Apocalypse Now? How to Survive in Style.

My Quest is, in part, a product of the exciting times we are living in.

The scale and speed of the global revolution that is taking place – from Silicon Valley to Rift Valley, and from Elon Musk’s AI to the latest prototype VTOL cars – is simply breathtaking.

As with all exciting developments, it’s a huge step into the unknown. As such, it’s understandable that fear – the sense of uncertainty that goes hand in hand with change – is becoming a driving force for those who are plugged into a global economy, and who value their family’s safety, security, and most crucially, freedom.

Mostly, it’s driving them to ensure that their ability to move around the world is not limited by the accident of birth. As I always say, a second or third passport is an easy, essential tool to allay those concerns. But some are taking things even more seriously and racing to buy emergency bunkers just in case the worst happens. By worst I mean environmental disaster, nuclear war, asteroid strike, or even zombie apocalypse. (A 2013 YouGov poll had it that 14% of Americans believe it might be coming!) Sales of such properties have gone up 300% in the US since Trump’s victory in November.

However, what you might imagine as a traditional bunker isn’t what’s tempting people to spend sums reaching into the millions to ensure their family’s security.

Robert Vicino of Vivos, a leading bunker developer, describes the old bunkers as gray, metal and military in style. But the latest designs aren’t all concrete, cot beds and canned food.

Companies like Vicino’s, as well as competitors like Survival Condos, Rising S and The Oppidum, take sites such as Cold War ballistic missile launchers and former government-hardened, deep-level bunker systems and redevelop them into luxury pads.

They can provide a level of comfort and amenities unimaginable even 10 years ago: everything from swimming pools, gyms and medical centres to theatres, spas and, of course, hydroponics (for fresh vegetables) and water filtration systems. With these systems the bunkers can sustain life for an indefinite period of time. Owners are encouraged to think of living in them like living on board their yachts – their stay will be something of a comfortable adventure.

The Oppidum will provide that comfort like no other. It’s a former Soviet and Czech bunker that’s being redeveloped for UHNW individuals. It includes a large above-ground estate as well as 7,200 m² of underground living space. The wine cellar and cinema are deemed essential to keep everyone entertained for the duration of any disaster going on up above.

For those who don’t require such privacy, or feel varied company is vital, developments like Vivos’ xPoint in South Dakota, which will provide accommodations for up to 5,000 people, or its Europa One complex in Germany, might be better options. The community approach is attractive to those on a slightly more limited budget as pooling resources means costs can be kept right down. Bunkers start from $25,000 and go up to $200,000.

I hope that storm won’t be upon us, and that our times won’t prove to be too exciting anytime soon. But whatever your budget, and wherever you may be, there’s now no excuse not to be fully prepared.


Image courtesy of Vivos.

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