The Trump administration has been good for the survival business. Texas businessman, Clyde Scott of Rising S Company says orders for survival shelters have doubled amid political uncertainty.
In an interview with NBC News in February, Scott said: “During the Obama administration our sales went up 250%. In the Trump administration in the past month our sales probably went up 500%.”
The underground bunkers are designed to house families while waiting for civil unrest, war, or natural disasters to pass.
An 8-by-12-foot underground bunker will set you back around $45,000. The shelters have blast valves, air and water filtration and a stainless sink, toilet and shower. Advertising states that the smallest model can store two years’ worth of food.
Josh and Brooke Greenhaw, repeat customers who were buying their second bunker, stated that Trump was not the reason they are getting prepared, as they have both voted for the president.
Brooke Greenhaw said: “Why not be prepared? It could be anything. It could be a tornado. It could be social unrest. Everything going on politically has really motivated me to want to purchase the bunker.”
While her husband said: “We’re not concerned about the Trump factor. It’s the other people in the world we’re concerned about.”
The “preppers” phenomena:
In 2012, National Geographic’s launched a reality TV series called “Doomsday Preppers” which ran for four seasons.
While Scott said that despite sales of his bunkers increasing during the Trump administration, the “prepper” phenomenon is not new, as it goes back to to fallout shelter amid fears of a nuclear attack during the Cold War.
Several Silicon Valley executives and other affluent preppers started taking precautions, according to the New Yorker. Their “prepping” ranges from laser eye surgery (glasses or contacts can be hard to come by in an emergency) to buying real estate outside urban areas to serve as a haven. Their fears ranged from civil war to natural disasters like a major earthquake
Scott’s shelters retail for around $40,000, they are on the smallest end which is an 8 by 12 mini bunker. A 10 by 30 model that includes a shower and bullet resistant door costs around $80,000. While a luxury shelter” like a 5,500-square-foot model can cost millions.
According to Scott, most of his customers are families who want, and can afford, the extra security. He said: “A husband, wife and two kids, that’s really the typical client,”
According to Walter McCarthy, Norad Shelter Systems LLC principal mechanical engineer, shelters and bunkers sales have increased eight-fold across the board for Texas-based company.
In an interview with NBC News, McCarthy said: “The biggest complaints from my customers are: one, Trump and his administration can’t deal with facts. Second, because of that, the travel ban, and the lack of cooperation in other countries, we’re not able to get intelligence we need to protect the country. Because of those two things, potential for war has increased many fold.”
Owner of California-based Atlas Survival Shelters, Ron Hubbard, says “There was an uptick two weeks before Trump’s election, and an uptick after the election. It lasted about a month.”