Joining a For-Profit Bunker Survival Facility

There are a number of companies that sell spaces in special survival communities, usually involving living in an underground bunker off stored supplies and fuel.

That’s maybe a good idea for a Level 2 situation – you can comfortably ‘ride out the storm’, whatever it may be, in a hopefully safe and secure location with sufficient food, water, energy, and other resources.

But you’re making some big assumptions – or, if you are not, maybe the organizers are.  What sort of assumptions, you might ask?  Oh, just about everything!

Assumptions About the Ability of the Bunker to Survive the Level 2 Situation

For example, how secure is an underground bunker?  Maybe it has a big thick solid door, and big thick walls and roof, and maybe it has a ‘security system’ – lots of cameras; we’ve even read about some setups with drones for surveillance too.

That’s all very impressive, and would probably do an excellent job of protecting you from a reasonably nearby nuclear blast, or from small arms fire.  But what’s to stop a determined attacker from walking past the cameras and waving at the drone, then pouring burning oil down the air shaft?  Or, if not burning oil, poison gas – something as low tech as the exhaust from a vehicle would be all that was needed.  Or, yet another approach, just block the air shaft and suffocate everyone inside – at least until such point as you emerge from the entrance, one at a time, like sitting ducks.

For example, what are the assumptions about food and water – how much food a day is budgeted for each person?  What type of food will you eat – will potentially lethal appetite fatigue set in?  How much water?  And let’s not overlook – what will happen to the sewage that will be created, too.  Where will that all go?

We’ve seen some facilities bragging about hydroponics, but hydroponics relies on energy – ideally ‘free’ solar energy, but when that is lacking, it needs a substitute energy source to make everything grow, and with these facilities having limited supplies of generator fuel, hydroponics becomes a very inefficient and clumsy way of providing food, and will only work as long as the diesel fuel lasts.

Talking about fuel, what are your energy allowances per day?  How many kWHrs does each person have?  How much hot water?  What about environmental issues such as heating and cooling?  What are the limitations on that?  How long will the stored fuel last, and what happens when it is used up?

We’ve seen some places that say they will have wind turbines too, but these are maintenance intensive, and also destroy any obscurity the bunker might hope to have.  It is somewhat feasible to obscure a bunker, but impossible to hide a 200 ft tall wind turbine spinning in the breeze.  Will such places have a sufficient inventory of spare parts for their wind turbines, and the skills to maintain them, and what will happen when the last spare part is finally used up?

What Happens if the Level 2 Situation Extends to Level 3?

The preceding questions and concerns are not actually our biggest worry about such sites.  The thing about such sites is that the people joining them are semi-passive in their preparing.  They believe that by spending a large sum of money, they have bought their survival, and presumably they expect the period spent in the bunker will be a relaxing strange vacation of sorts, enlivened by reading lots of books, watching lots of video, and who knows what other forms of recreation and indulgent enjoyment.

There is nothing wrong with this concept, but there is one big concern.  What happens when the bunker’s stored supplies of food, water, and energy are finally depleted?  The huge assumption that this approach to surviving makes is that by the time the bunker’s supplies are exhausted, the world will have returned to normal.  You can emerge from the bunker, and return to your normal residences and normal jobs and resume your previous normal lives.

Okay, it was hard to even type that with a straight face.  You know, and we know, that there’s nothing which would require us to abandon our homes and retreat to whatever type of safe location we have, which would allow us to, a week, month, year, or whenever later, return back to find our primary residence safe and secure, and our previous job ready and waiting for us.  We have to assume that our housing will be destroyed or at least massively damaged, and we have to assume that our jobs will no longer be open to us either.

And that’s the terrible massive flaw in this approach to surviving.  It provides a great short-term situation, but it does nothing for the longer term.  When you eventually have to leave the bunker, you’re starting from zero.  You’ll be no better off than people who weren’t in the bunker, and perhaps even worse off, because the other people – those who have survived – are already well on the way to creating a new sustainable life in whatever form it takes.

Our point, which we’ve been a long time in making, is simply this :  The underground bunker concepts are designed to work well for a limited amount of time.  When that time is up, you suddenly find yourself with nothing.  No resources, and all the people around you are lacking in skill sets or materials too – they’ve all ‘taken the easy way out’ and bought into the bunker concept, hoping it will solve their problem for them.

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