Above ground level, this 4,500 square-foot luxury house, located about 140 miles west of Dallas, has three bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, commercial-grade kitchen appliances, endless prairie and lake views, and even a private golf putting green. Below grade, there’s a 1,000-square-foot structure with reinforced steel walls, bunks for 12, plus a kitchen, laundry facilities, a periscope so survivors can view whatever remains on the post-apocalypse surface, and two hidden escape hatches. The bunker comes equipped with an NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) filter system and a hydroponic plant-growing system. Six backup tanks of oxygen, as well as 10 years’ worth of emergency ready-to-eat meals, are included in the sale too.
Then focus on building up ammunition supplies. After a major collapse ammo will be more valuable than gold, and it’s generally not something you want to run short of. For the shotgun get a range of shells, from bird shot to rifled slug. In rifle and handgun calibers quantity is the most important factor; cheap military surplus beats premium ammo simply because you can buy more of it. The target effect difference between cheap and fancy ammo is incremental, but an extra round is an extra round.
A lot of prepping is common sense, but there’s very little of it around. The theory goes that it’s psychologically uncomfortable to think about death and dying, so people tend not to. And people often think that a disaster won’t happen to them, so they’re less likely to prepare. But it’s not very difficult, and it’s not expensive – I buy equipment from Amazon: a survival blanket, a sleeping hammock, one of those bottles that filters contaminants found in water. Most of the time you won’t need it. But it’s that one time when you really do, and you haven’t got it, or you haven’t taught yourself how to use it… that’s when it’s too late.
After 9/11, my dad filled a duffel bag with some energy bars, a couple gallons of water, some penicillin, and a map. Amid scaremongering headlines about imminent anthrax and “dirty bomb” attacks in the city, he wanted to have some supplies on hand in case we needed to get out of Brooklyn fast. Were he to assemble such a bag today, he’d likely stumble on a number of companies promising a more wholesale brand of disaster preparedness: a box full of shelf-stable freeze-dried meals, to be revived from their dessicated state with the addition of boiled water.