I am NOT a fan of underground bunkers in the name of preparing against a nuclear fall-out scenario. In my opinion, it’s just plain overkill in light of what I believe to be practical. I recently watched a cast member of National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers” show who spent at least six figures just to install an empty underground bunker, located an hour and a half away from his home—which also means that he had to drop a pretty penny for the land as well.
Then he went on to purchase all of the tools, furnishings, etc to fill it. There are so many things wrong with this scenario though. First of all, it’s way too much focus just to address one possible—and for the record, LEAST likely scenario. This was manifested when they were asked by the producer, “What’s for dinner?” “Dinner” consisted of ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese. Yes, I realize that was most likely for the cameras and at the request of the field producer, but seriously? I wouldn’t even be able to come up with that meal—cameras or not. It’s just counter-intuitive to spend so much time, effort, focus, and resources for an underground, nuclear proof bunker, to not even attend to having proper nutrition.
Secondly, it’s unrealistic to believe that IF such a scenario presented itself that it justified running to the hills to get to the underground bunker, um… good luck getting there—especially when it’s an hour and a half away. This makes absolutely NO sense at all. Out of all of the realistic scenarios for which we’d need to prepare to endure, there are very few which would merit this kind of a shelter.
Now, having said that, I should be clear in stating that I AM a big fan of retrofitting areas in your home which can serve as a panic room, a place to discreetly store essential items for long-term self-reliance, and/or a place which can provide a greater level of security in the event of a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake. Now THAT makes perfect, practical sense. And I believe that I’ve found the perfect, most cost efficient and least intrusive method to make this happen for most homeowners. And yes, you can do it without using an entire year’s salary; and without letting the entire neighborhood or even the municipality in on the fact that you’re taking such measures.
I found this great solution at a recent trade show. It was love at first sight—the product, that is—both the inventor and myself are happily married. *grin* Picture this—a non-claustrophobic space, with enough storage space for a year’s supply of real food and other essentials for a family of 5 (modifications available), that is put in without the purview of your neighbors or local building inspector, and that runs less than $32,000 for the “Cadillac version”! Oh, and did I mention that you don’t need to put an addition on your home? Instead, you put an addition underneath the one part of your home that most homes ignore—the garage!
Picture this. You have someone who’s just broke into the home. You have the kids trained to immediately respond to the first sign of danger to go out to the garage, jump down the hatch and securely lock the door--eliminating the emotional exposure to the potential danger and also taking them out of the formula of being used as leverage against you. (This video will help you visualize it a bit better. ) Those kids won’t hear a thing and no one, with or without dynamite, is going to be successful very easily in getting your family out of there. This is just one of the many scenarios I envisioned after speaking with Barry, the inventor of this product.
Barry’s background is in construction. So when he got to the point that he wanted to be better prepared for a disaster that might impact his home, he found himself very frustrated and even “angry” as Barry says, to discover that NONE of the underground options available could assure him that they would be able to handle flooding. This was something serious for Barry to consider since his home backs onto some gorgeous lakeside property. So, Barry did what any smart person would do. “If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em” is what I always say, and that’s exactly what Barry did. He worked with skilled designers and architects and put together a perfectly strong and safe and AFFORDABLE solution for his family. He loved it so much he knew he had to start sharing it with others.
I love how Barry clearly thought of everything when designing this solution--including air flow, storage space, claustrophobia, water penetration, earthquake resistance, and so much more. Heck, he even came up with a great process to make sure that your neighbors don’t have a clue what you’re doing to your home. For all they know, you’ve just foolishly spent some money on a customized hot tub. If you were to look at the garage floor in Barry’s home, all you would see is a standard oil mat that covers the hatch door to the pod. Even the air flow pipes coming out of the garage look just like any normal pipes that I’ve seen a dozen times around homes. Nothing out of the ordinary but truly an extraordinary feat. While this isn’t what I would consider as an alternative shelter for my home under a lot of crisis scenarios, it certainly does make my home safer as it provides me with an added level of security in the event that hard times bring about social unrest or Mother Nature throws a temper tantrum. I also like that gaining access to it doesn’t require that I own some kind of hardened armor car that’s loaded up with 100 gallons of gasoline. It’s right where a person would need it, making it the perfect place of refuge from a bad guy or two or even a tornado.
Mosey on over to Barry’s site and take a look at all of the possibilities. For some of you, this is a realistic next step and for others it might be more realistic of a plan to save up for. Be sure to check out this interesting video. You can see that under some circumstances it IS acceptable for a grown man to still have G.I. Joe Barbie Dolls. :-) There are some other videos on his site too that you should check out as well.
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