(Courtesy of Vivos)

How to Build Your Own Posh Doomsday Bunker


Money can't buy you happiness—unless, of course, the apocalypse happens and you define happiness as still having a place to live.

With talk of nuclear catastrophe continuing to bubble up at cocktail parties, many Silicon Valley elites are taking the question of survival rather seriously. As The New Yorker reported last winter, doomsday bunkers are officially a thing among the super rich; and, as rumor has it, Mark Zuckerberg has been planning his own post-apocalypse world domination from a panic room on his Palo Alto property since at least the spring of 2016.

If you don't share a tax bracket with Zuck (or Ellen or Oprah or any other human known to the world by their first name who is unlikely to invite you to share their underground lair), then the question becomes, What the eff am I supposed to do when armageddon strikes?

Well, let's imagine you are a blinding pessimist and that you fully conform to the idea that everything around you is in a state of limitless entropy. Investing in a property that would be capable of safeguarding all your first-world tastes while the world outside falls to literal pieces (never mind that you probably can't afford a house with regular old walls and floors that may crumble with the next quake), would bring you a certain peace of mind.

So, here's how to plan for when the doomsday clock finally does strike midnight.

Determine the size of your inner-circle.

Should the missile sirens start reverberating off Telegraph Hill, you'll have to embrace your inner Regina George and realize quite quickly that not everyone can sit with you around your bunker's kitchen island, no matter how generous the marble. Even the largest of doomsday shelters—they commonly run about 2,000 square feet—can only comfortably house about a dozen so of your closest family and friends. And because you are an animal lover, you also have two dogs, a cat, and an enormous python. Sorry, Gretchen, you can't sit with us.

Who you gonna call?

If you've been blessed by the real estate gods with space enough to build said bunker, your go-to contracting companies will likely be either Rising S Bunkers or Vivos. The Rising S Company is more geared toward the plebeian budget: The all-steel eight-by-12-foot economy bunker starts at $40,000 and comes with bunk beds, an alcohol-burning sink, food storage and a TV and DVD, not to mention a lifetime warranty and financing. But if you'd prefer to sidestep those linoleum floors for more stylish wood offerings, Vivos is more your bag. CEO Robert Vicino told CNN that his company created "doomsday bunkers that are just as luxurious as the houses behind the world's most sought-after gated communities."

This bunker kitchen promisesplenty of room to chill your favorite wines and cook up a feast for the fam with three stainless steel ovens and two refrigerators.

(Courtesy of Vivos)

Embrace opulence—the world is what you make of it at this point.

When the radioactive dust settles, the world you've created within your ultra-chic bunker is, arguably, the only one you'll know till it's safe to venture outside again. Media director Barbie Grossman gives us the skinny on Vivos' glammed-out bomb shelters which, she says, are designed for the "long-term psychological welfare of all Vivos shelterists."

While the company's Quantom shelters can be had for a base price around $35,000, add-ons can make the sticker price skyrocket to six figure heights. "As they ride out the extreme scenarios that will likely be happening on the surface above, popular additions to already lush living spaces include indoor spas, yoga rooms, and even artificial green spaces for dogs to run around and play on top of."

So while the rest of the suckers strike their best child's pose in the face of the nuclear blast, you and Fideaux can both be practicing your downward dog post-massage while dinner roasts in the oven.

Join the club.

Cabin fever seems a given while waiting for the dust to settle. But when it does, you can emerge from your posh underground palace and join your fellow shelterists in the southwestern corner of South Dakota where Vivos is building its xPoint—a community of more than 575 private bunkers strategically located on an 18-square-mile off-grid property. Grossman tells us the camp will host activities as well as medical and dental care centers. "It'll be available to private and co-owner shelter clients across America, with each community property outfitted with years worth of necessities and creature comforts," she adds. What could possibly console you at the end of the world? Try a dip in one of the indoor swimming pools or sweat it out in the gym. While you may never see the sun again, you can ponder that during a stroll in the indoor UV-light gardens.

Peace out, unpaid student loans.

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