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Shelter and Temperature Control

  • Lavish Bunkers and Laser Eye Surgery: Even Millionaires are Preparing for the Worst

    Bunkers that cost more than $100 million and have amenities like a bowling alley, movie theater, a pizzeria, or a swimming pool. Secret doors that can only be opened by playing a certain set of notes on a keyboard, a la “Goonies,” or by dialing a certain phone number. Executives who use “buying property in New Zealand” as a code for an apocalypse shelter.

    Hollywood Shelter - Illustration by Mario Wagner via Hollywood Reporter Lavish Bunker Nice and normal up top, secret and lavish down below - Illustration by Mario Wagner via Hollywood Reporter

    Many of the most wealthy people in the U.S. – one tech executive estimated as many as half of Silicon Valley billionaires, for example – are investing in lavish doomsday prepping.

    Companies are catering to them, offering bomb-proof, climate change-proof bunkers with air and water filters, underground greenhouses, off the grid power and water systems and armed guards. Oh, and interior designers to make sure they’ve got the best -looking shelters, with all the amenities.

    It’s not just shelters, either. Some are getting laser eye surgery, buying firearms and taking survival training

    “It's really just the newest form of insurance,” Robert Vicino, founder of a company that builds communities of bunkers in Indiana, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Most of us will never have access to these kinds of resources. (One bunker community costs $5 million per “chamber,” and residence is by invitation only.)  However, we may apply many of their principles of preparation.

    Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, spoke in-depth to The New Yorker about his preparations. He told the magazine if disaster hit, he would look for a community.

    Knowing neighbors and friends is not only sociable but also valuable if there’s a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its “Listen, Protect, and Connect” brochure offers ways to prepare so you can help those around you during a disaster.

    Even if you can’t afford a bunker or secret room, you should have a safe place for your most important personal information and an emergency fund.

    Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, told The New Yorker that two technology companies wanted him to design “a secure facility for their data center and a safe haven for their key personnel.” The same story said wealthy individuals are also buying Bitcoin and gold coins.

    And Steve Humble, president of Arizona-based Creative Home Engineering told The Hollywood Reporter, “There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors."

    “If there’s a natural disaster like a fire, do you know where your birth certificates are?” asked Ann House, coordinator of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit” is a great organizational resource, she said.

    The 44-page booklet includes four sections that identify what information to collect, like social security cards, insurance policies, prescriptions and emergency contact information.

    She also recommends keeping a few hundred dollars in small bills with an emergency kit. That way, if you need to buy water, you don’t have to find an ATM or pay $50.

    Medical preparation is necessary too.

    Yishan Wong ,the C.E.O. of Reddit from 2012 to 2014, had laser eye surgery. He told The New Yorker it was to do away with his dependence on a “nonsustainable external aid for perfect vision.”

    Everyone else can keep glasses and copies of prescriptions with emergency supplies or important documents. If your insurance will let you, get a few days’ worth of medication.

    Trident Lakes - via Business Insider Lavish Bunker Trident Lakes - via Business Insider

    At Trident Lakes, a planned luxury condominium development that includes in its amenities fortified shelters, the cost of a condo could be above the mid-six figures, according to a story in Business Insider. However, the community will offer discount rates for police, teachers and other civil servants.

    Learning useful skills can help anyone prepare for disasters, both natural and events like job loss.

    “Learn new skills that could be turned into a small job such as a piano teacher,” Kayleen Chen, a peer mentor at the University of Utah’s Personal Money Management Center, wrote in an e-mail.

    Preparedness is also about ability to evacuate quickly. One Percenters can do that in style.

    In a piece for GQ,  author Michael McGrath described how Goop’s 2016 “Ridiculous, But Awesome Gift Guide” included the Jetpack Bag, an “all-in-one, 72-hour survival pack,” for $399.

    For the rest of us, this FEMA brochure is more apropos.

    And there is another commonality between these super-wealthy preppers and the rest of us: Everyone’s eating canned food.

    Or, as The Hollywood Reporter put it, “The rations are grim, ranging from beef Stroganoff to chili.”

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner Lavish Bunker

  • 5 Types of Base Camp Shelters

    There are many reasons to setup a base camp shelter. Whatever your motivation, make sure you design and build one that meets your requirements and anticipates your needs. From underground bunkers to pine bough lean-tos, unique base camp shelters are needed for different scenarios.

    These five shelter types will cover most of your bases. Keep in mind that each shelter meets a different need. You may require more than one type for the scenario you are preparing for.

     

    1. Bunker

    Old abandoned bunker in forest - base camp

    This hidden shelter option has many advantages. Easily defensible, concealed, and well-fortified, a bunker shelter can provide safe and secluded base camp accommodations. Long-term food storage, rations, and other supplies can be easily concealed and kept safe until you need to access them. Bunkers can be equipped with generators and electricity, secure doors, multiple rooms, and other amenities of a permanent shelter.

    The size and location of a bunker may be limited by your access to land, and the amount of funds you are able to allocate to building one. Land, excavation, materials, and utilities can require a significant investment.

     

    1. Portable

    Portable shelters provide protection from the elements while allowing users to keep on the move. Trailers, tents, tarps, and tensioned fabric structures let you set up camp without having to own land, invest in excavating and building equipment, or devote a lot of time to building a permanent structure. Portable base camps should be designed for ease of setup and take-down, as well as stability in extreme weather events.

     

    1. Permanent

    Celtic Round House Base campA permanent base camp requires access to land and a significant investment in materials. Creating a permanent shelter is one of the most expensive base camp shelter options, but also one of the most comfortable and secure. A permanent shelter is more conspicuous than a bunker or a portable shelter. This type of shelter also provides many of the same amenities of a house. A permanent shelter may have running water, electricity, heating and cooling systems, and other comforts. It is important to remember that, unlike a bunker or a portable shelter, a permanent shelter will likely require a more established access route, such as a road, driveway, or established trail.

     

    1. Emergency

    An emergency shelter is necessary for quick and easy setup. This type of shelter is often located near a survival cache, and is meant as a temporary spot to regroup on the way to a more permanent base camp. An emergency shelter may also be required in an extreme weather event, such as a rainstorm, tornado, or blizzard. Emergency shelters can be crafted from many different materials. Having a tarp can make emergency shelter setup easy. If you aren’t that lucky, tree branches, rock outcroppings, or dry cave openings may have to suffice. Emergency shelters can be dug into the side of large snowdrifts, riverbanks, or small hills.  Survival caches setup ahead of time can also store tarps, ropes, and stakes in the event that an emergency shelter is needed.

     

    1. Semi-Permanent

    SafariTent_Open_Lifestyle_Moab_MattBarr_002_Web base campMore stable than an emergency shelter, yet not as immobile as a permanent one, a semi-permanent shelter can create a long-lasting, durable base camp that can be relocated or disassembled if necessary. Tensioned fabric structures can be anchored to nearly any surface to create a sturdy semi-permanent shelter. These types of shelters may have electricity and other utilities setup in mobile or temporary configurations.

     

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    Jimmy Wall is an avid outdoorsman always advocating people to get outside. Living in Washington State, he says nothing is better than a climb up Mount Rainier to Camp Muir.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - base camp

  • Keeping a Temperate Temperature

    One of the best parts about modern conveniences is that we have the luxury of controlling the temperatures where we live! I’m talking thermostats and air conditioning. If you have ever lived on the top floor of an apartment building in the summer or the bottom floor of anywhere in the winter, then you know how tough it can be to regulate the temperature within your home to a manageable, comfortable level.

    Cold Thermostat - temperature controlUnfortunately, we can’t always have that luxury. Natural disasters can come out of seemingly nowhere and relieve us of our modern conveniences, such as our ability to control the temperature inside our own home. Winter storms, earthquakes, and many other events could knock out the power, and next thing you know, you’re freezing in your own home.

    It’s important to stay warm during disasters and emergencies. Not only would it be unpleasant otherwise, but you could also face some serious health issues. During emergencies, use your resources to make sure your temperature is properly regulated.

    temperature control Portable propane heaters like this Big Buddy can keep you very warm during a winter power outage.

    Being prepared for these circumstances can make a huge difference in how these disasters effect your family. For instance, having winter-specific sleeping bags to sleep in can keep you from a long night of shivering. But winter days can also be colder than you would like. What then? Going about your day wrapped up in a sleeping bag would be less than productive. Generators can be useful tools to plug your space heater into, allowing you to shed the blankets and get on with your day.

    So before that next winter storm or other disaster comes your way, make a plan for how you'll have temperature control around you and your family during an emergency.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner - Temperature control

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