Most people wonder how to manage their day-to-day problems. But elite preppers, the super-rich who believe that doomsday is just around the corner, have something else in mind: they’re trying to figure out a way to continue living a life of luxury and ease when catastrophe strikes. And they have found the answer: they’re going to live in extravagant, underground bunkers.
These bunkers will in no way resemble the caves people lived in during the Stone Age. Their bunkers are decked out “with mementos and reminders of normal life and not only enough supplies not to feel the pain of a crumbling infrastructure but to be distracted by the illusion of normalcy even in times of the ultimate crisis,” says Zero Hedge.
In fact, a growing number of survivalists are preparing for the end of the world. They believe this could happen in a variety of ways: a nuclear disaster, the collapse of the electrical grid, a horrible food shortage, a meteor colliding with the Earth or other nightmare scenarios that would mean the end of life as we know it now.
And just in case it does happen, billionaires will be prepared. Conditions in the world may deteriorate to a point where people are crazed from terror and desperate for food, water, and shelter, but the elite will be safe, snug, and happy and live life as usual, oblivious to the problems tens and maybe even hundreds of millions of people are experiencing.
You Get What You Pay For
For the record, most bunkers are not cheap. The very least expensive one is a tiny abode that costs $25,000, while the top-of-the-line units are spacious and luxurious by anyone’s standards and cost more than $5,000,000. Plumbing, air filtration, and electrical systems are not included in some. Some have walls of super-reinforced concrete that are 9 feet thick.
In the event of a catastrophe, some of the elite will take refuge in the Oppidum. Located in a secret location in Czechoslovakia, the Oppidum, which took 10 years to construct, has 323,000 sq. ft. and is said to be the largest residential doomsday shelter in the world.
The floor plan contains one huge 6,750 sq. ft. apartment and six more with 1,720 sq. ft. Residents will have access to an opulent spa and fitness center that has the latest exercise equipment, and all of these units will also have access to other leisure facilities.
The Oppidum has the most luxurious designs imaginable. These bunkers will provide accommodations for up to 10 years without any additional supplies. They cater to people whose approach to life is very simple: Just because the world is coming to an end doesn’t mean one must give up his luxuries.
Other shelters come with enough food to last for at least one year, and many have hydroponic gardens to supplement this. In some, the interiors are left out so that the buyers can customize them to their unique preferences. Some developers try to put together “communities” of people who have unique skills that can benefit all who live there in case of an emergency.
During the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Vivos, a U.S. builder of a variety of underground shelters, completely sold out vacancies in their community shelters. Buyers, who were both liberals and conservatives, presumably worried that the candidate they opposed would win the election and wanted a place to escape to.
And this trend has continued even after the election. The Daily Mail reports that sales of certain bunkers surged by 300 percent since Donald Trump was elected. In the U.S., some of the biggest facilities are located in South Dakota, Kansas, Texas, and New York.
“The windows are designed to simulate normal patterns of sunrise and sunset and display views appropriate to their angles to simulate the feeling of being above ground,” says The Daily Mail. And, it adds, others are equipped with a variety of energy sources and the capacity to grow plants and breed fish for food supplies.
There is interest in these havens around the world. A 76-acre former Soviet bunker in Germany is capable of withstanding a plane crash, biological attack, and even a nuclear explosion; it has been transformed into 2,500-sq.-ft. five-star apartments. And shelters for low- and middle-income people are being built in China, Switzerland, and Russia; they will, of course, be much smaller and have far fewer luxuries than those geared to billionaires, but will also be available at a much lower cost.
The designers and planners who have developed these bunkers consider virtually everything that can go wrong and have taken steps to manage them in the event they come to pass. Yet there’s one thing even the best underground bunkers may not be able to do: enable people to maintain their sanity.
On the bottom line, human beings were not meant to live deeply underground for months or even years at a time. There’s a limit to how many movies and TV shows they can binge on and how many books they can read. People need at least some time to be able to sit in the sunshine, enjoy a walk in the evening breeze, gaze at a lake or ocean, or take a hike on a mountain trail.
Being locked so far underground for extended periods of time is in effect an experiment that will be conducted on a mass scale. When the elite think about the conditions on the surface of the Earth and how they are forced to stay in their self-imposed cells, there’s a good chance at least some of them will go bonkers. Even the most luxurious surroundings and amazing amenities lose their appeal at some point. When that happens, the elite, despite all of their money, will only be human after all.
Gerald Harris is a financial and feature writer. Gerald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org