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3/7/12

New Series: Doomsday Bunkers



There's not a lot info out there about Discovery Channel's new series, Doomsday Bunkers, but it looks to follow a small builder of bunkers/shelters through build and install on various projects. I've got a soft spot for bunkers and bomb shelters and am generally a big fan of Discovery--Survivorman, Dual Survival, even Man vs. Wild--so this could be good...or it could be a rushed-into-production copycat of Doomsday Preppers. We'll see the route they take.

Here's the synopsis from Discovery.com:

Discovery Channel is pleased to bring you Doomsday Bunkers, an all-new series premiering tonight, March 7 at 10PM e/p!

Doomsday Bunkers features the design and build of survival units with a reveal of the completed project at the end of each episode.

From sizable underground bunkers with safety measures that include outside hand rails with hidden flame throwers, to special safety structures that include the Pyramid and Tsunami pods, each unit is tested using a battery of attacks that include firearms, fire, and falling vehicles.

Each episode is a beginning to end “how to” and “why to” build the ultimate safety zone for those preparing for the worst.

I'll give it a watch and update this post later tonight with my thoughts!

UPDATE:

Pleasantly surprised with this one. They did a good job of representing the preppers featured and prepping in general--not the Looney Tunes vibe that's been common to Doomsday Preppers. The high price tag of one of these bunkers probably precludes many of the less serious/stable types--these ain't cheap.

Reminded me of Sons of Guns in many ways--follows the crew through the bunker build, some drama during the build, and then a demonstration involving guns/explosives. Overall, pretty good first episode.

Since they're solely focused on a bunker manufacturer, keeping the show fresh and interesting may be a challenge--how different will one bunker be from another? I also wasn't overly impressed with the actual bunkers...while they looked nice and homey, the blast door was not a real bomb shelter/blast door, the plywood tacked onto the wall was a concern and so on. Definitely some concerns if I was going to drop a couple hundred grand on one of these.

Anyone else catch the episode? Thoughts?

26 comments :

  1. Damn makes me wish I had Discovery. Guess I'll have to catch it on YouTube or Discovery.com

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    1. Trust me you didn't really miss anything. The show was little more than an hour long infomercial for the Bunker builder and another group called 88Tactical. The show was interesting but I can't see watching more than 4 episodes without this becoming monotonous.

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  2. Two comments, Damn I sure want one and WTF do these people do for a living to afford this kind of stuff!!!!!???? I guess I am just a complete failure and need to give up my poor ass.

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  3. What happens when someone shoves a towel in your air intake, the septic clogs, or a generator gives out? Being buried under ground means you're completely reliant on fairly fallible technology.

    The webcam security gizmos were a joke. That's not going to scare anyone off and could be taken out in a variety of ways from a power failure, to technology glitches, to .22 shorts and rocks.

    I wasn't impressed.

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    1. Agreed. Though if you NEED to be in a bunker to survive, there really aren't many substitutes.

      For the emphasis he made on OpSec/not telling anyone where your bunker is, they don't see to do much about camouflaging the entrance and support systems.

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    2. RomeroNJulietMarch 09, 2012

      Also, I think they downplayed the horrible tactical decision it is to incorporate "training" people to live in bunkers at the same bunker you plan to retreat to in a SHTF scenario. The designer/builder joked with the former cop about how bad an idea it was, but he still committed his funds to it. Even if the bunker were impervious, given that potentially hundreds of people will have been trained at this location, what if the Cop and his family are not the first to arrive on the scene?

      Why not build a mock shelter, for the purposes of training, at a fraction of the price? Seems like he wants bragging rights and the admiration of the people he trains. "Wow, look at this awesome bunker! Beautiful cabinets! This guy must know what he's doing."

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    3. I agree that one does not have to break into one, just cut off the air and wait. As far as their design goes, with a few modifications, you could bury a conex for a lot less money. They built one for a nuclear meltdown to enable the people to live for up to a year. The BIG flaw was a 500 gallon water supply for up to 10 people. This guyon the show is doing a great con job on paranoid people. If the SHTF I would rather be mobile, not stuck in a box underground. They would be good for storms, but that is it.

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  4. I seem to remember one particular scene from the old classic The Dirty Dozen. All the germans run to the air raid bunkers and get locked in by the good guys. Then they pour gas down the air intakes and throw grenades down the intake. I wonder how they camo or secure the air intakes to make the a non vunerable point of attack??

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    1. ..ha! The Dirty Dozen...love that movie. Good point, bright white candy caned shape pvc tubes sticking out of the ground..uh? Better get some spray paint and netting from the Truck driver in Doomsday Preppers show.
      -JJ

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  5. I guess this is Discovery Channels "MonsterGarage" attempt at the Survivalist/preppers genre. Concept same as most shows on Discovery, inroduction of crew, building process, drama, laughter, serious deadline, satisfied end user....Interesting to see most the units were no bigger or larger than a standard 10'x40' 65,000 pd. rated shipping container that can be bought for around $3500.00. I concur with Michael, I would still build an above ground facility with a secret access to the bunker as a last resort hold-out/safe area with a escape door in case a breach happens. The luxury items are nice to have but if you're in this type of bunker chances are the Shit has really hit the fan and they won't be any value. You could watch dvd movies and so forth, but power is required and flatscreens take a lot of power. Gas generators take gas and everyone knows it can't be stored for very long (even with a lot of Seafoam). Nice to have a well, I know in my neck of the woods it'd cost about $10K to drill just 250 ft. in standard ground and he drilled 750ft. to get to water, $30K?. I also agree that it bordered the line on becoming informercial for 88Tactical, but at least he was squared away with his fundamentals. Security for his family through superior firepower, hand to hand, and mental preparedness, plus secure (but overpriced) shelter, plus plenty of food and a water source. His reasoning for prepping/bunkering were not far fetched and as a former LEO (Law Enforcemnet Officer) and Military, his assessment that Shit will happen is WHEN not will it.

    The other family in the show seemed to be well balanced with a bugout bunker one full gas tank away (300 miles), So somewhere in the Tennessee Mountains. His involving the family members in security/self-defense using firearms was a plus but the whole ZOMBIE thing made him look a little wacko...should've left that part out from national TV. He had decent preps and security will always be an issue with land away from home. Need to spend some bunker money on property zoning fences, and probably being in Tenn., need to have "No Hunting/Private Property" signs posted and "Trepassers will be shot on Sight" signs. These are merely visual deterrents but they do work. If I spotted cameras and heard voice activated speaker systems while hunting or hiking through un-posted land, I would think something very important or valuable was in the area and would test the perimeter several times and realize that the threat might be automated or remote operated and disable them from a safe distant to find out what it is.

    The show hopefully will go with the bunker building, from designs to stuctures other than underground caskets, costs, home bunkering, etc. Not just about guns, food, and zombies. Show us how to build our own septic system, or perimeter defenses for our bunker, etc...If they stay more with the build and designing....should be a decent show.
    -JJ

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  6. How much energy do you need to suck water out of a 700' deep well?

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  7. RomeroNJulietMarch 09, 2012

    Ok, first off, I LOVE zombies! Also, I recently became very interested in guns (just over a year). However, the guy who refers to potential looters and home intruders as "zombies" disturbed me a bit. Seeing his young son with his over-sized ear protection taking aim at zombie targets got me thinking. While he obviously taught his son how to responsibly handle guns, the idea that he's training the kid to face real-world attackers with zombie imagery might screw him up later in life. I feel that I, as an adult, am capable of distinguishing between the potential fun of putting some rounds through a zombie paper target (or blogging about Walking Dead) and the reality of confronting an armed intruder in my home. I'm not sure a young kid can make that same distinction. Just a little disturbing to me...

    Interesting show. I laughed out loud when the guy from coastal Florida said his mountain bunker could withstand a tsunami! Sure, buddy, your BUNKER will survive...

    I agree that some fences and signs would make a lot of sense to protect the rural bunker location. Another thought might be to build a crappy little structure on top of the generator site. Why would potential looters look twice at a little hunting shack with busted doors and windows on a crappy little cinder block foundation? However, somebody already ripped off his generator, so kiss the "secret location" concept goodbye...

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  8. I had to record this and watch it yesterday rather than the original viewing time. At first I thought they actually did a better job of portraying preppers to not be crazy people. Then I realized in the preview they had the one guy saying that "Preppers will kill you" when it turned out they took the entire thing out of context and he actually said "The zombies (or hoards of people) will kill you" Probably will still watch it, but again disappointed about how we are portrayed.

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    1. Couldn't agree more Severs! I haven't watched the show yet but I was going to talk about how sensationalist the preview seemed! They are really milking the "fear factor" with this kind of show! I guess that is why these prepping shows are becoming so appealing, it preys on our needs for security. I think they could take a less sensationalist approach and provide more value, but I guess that doesn't capture eyeballs like saying "IF YOU AREN'T PREPPING - YOU'RE ALREADY DEAD!"

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  9. The bunker idea seems legit to some people, might work under the right circumstances and isolation, but I really dont think it is a viable long term option, especially if someone finds out where its at. If people want in bad enough, they are going to get in....smike you out, fire, polute water supply.....they will eventually figure a way in, or a way to get you out. Im still of the mindset that in a worst case scenario/shtf situation, being mobile, staying temporary, easily abandoned shelter, using concealment and light/noise discipline will be the way to go....at least until you could create/find a stable community/band of survivers with enough resources and manpower to defend/keepwatch/rebuild. I justvreally would wantbto be trapped in a steel box several feet undr groundvwhile the whole world was trying to get in....rather be mobile so I and the family could escape and evade/break contact whenever needed....find fresh resources and have more options. Anyone else?

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    1. I agree completely. A bunker is only really useful if it's hidden and unknown. If so, it becomes the epitome of a hide site, where you can lay low and wait until troubles work themselves out in the outside world. You're protected from bad weather, pandemic, and NBC stuff and can stay under as long as your supplies last.

      Unfortunately, the extensive work required to build most bunkers means that lots of people know where it's located right off the bat. You can't just drop one in your backyard without the neighbors noticing. Once a bunker/shelter is discovered, it's not particularly hard to make it unlivable--as you note.

      The difficulties with "staying mobile" is a shortage of supplies (food, fuel) and the greater risk of run ins with enemy forces (among others). Feasible but not an easy matter, especially if you've got kids in tow.

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  10. Disclaimer: I have not had a chance to watch this yet, work has gotten in the way.

    As tempting as a luxurious, secret, hidden, underground bunker sounds (admit it.. if you're around my age, you have imagined sitting back in a leather chair with a Cuban cigar, and saying "No, Mr. Bond..I expect you to die.." :) ), I have to think that for 99% of the people who read this, a used cargo container, some fill-dirt and rocks, paint, camo net and (edible) weed-plants might just be a better storage/hideout solution.

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    1. I've heard there are considerable problems with burying cargo containers--they can't hold the side pressure. Partially buried would probably not be a problem. There are lots of options that are intended to be buried, though - water tanks, culverts, concrete pipe and so on. Lots of cold war era and military fortification designs, too.

      A hidey-hole/shelter/bunker does NOT have to be luxurious, with all the comforts of home. It's about survival, not a vacation.

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  11. I agree - the "luxurious James Bond villain bunker" reference was there to make people laugh. (there is just not enough 'survivalist-humor" from "our" side - Q: How many non-preppers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: you have to change lightbulbs? FEMA will take care of that for us.. )
    Burying containers can cause problems - they aren't meant for burial but they CAN take top loads, not side loads, but you can change the outline to look like something more natural with some creative shovel-work.

    I have been looking at some blow-molded cylindrical chicken coops at Southern States Ag Coop that just may have some possibilities as hidey-hole drops

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  12. Previous was from me - sometimes I can't type

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  13. I TEOTWAWKI said it right. The problem with bunkers is people will know where they are. Even if you build the thing way out in the middle of no one you will need architects, builders, contractors--quite a few people will know about it.

    Also, doesn't a building have to be up to government codes and registered with the county clerk or whatever. The government will have some record of it somewhere. Good luck finding a decent building who will agree to illegally keep the whole thing secret from the government. I love the whole bunker idea too but building a viable bunker has some major obstacles.

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  14. Watching this and Doomsday Preppers has gotten me interested in the topic. Mostly prepping for natural disasters like tornadoes here in Texas. I've been through bad storms where power was out nearly a week. I need to prep better for that. Long term maybe be better prepared for something more major.

    I hope this show will feature other bunker manufactures and builders. This guy's products just seem "cheap" to me. The way they are built, not the price. Looks like he puts them in just a few feet of dirt and the entrances are so obvious. Like at the end where he needed to pour that big slab and use a massive crane to place the "bunker". Like others have said that thing is just going to be a target if society ever fell apart and its not hardened enough to keep anyone out for very long.

    I wasn't impressed at all by the one the guy from Fla had put in 300 miles from his home. The white hatch that looked like a pickup truck cargo box lid just stood out. For that kind of money they couldn't camouflage the site a little more? No wonder his generator got stolen. For what he spent that guy would have better off fencing in the lot then building a simple cabin which wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe as part of the build invest in a re-enforced basement if you feel the need to be underground. But a simple, secure cabin would be a better bug-out, hide, & supply storage option than that "bunker" he bought in my opinion.

    I still don't get the concept of having an underground bug-out "bunker" 300 miles from your home. If the crap hits the fan that bad where you think you need to be underground, what are the chances you'd be able to make it there to begin with.

    The only underground bunker I would ever consider buying are decommissioned gov't & military facilities that go for pretty cheap(relatively) and retro fit it to my needs. Like decommissioned commo bunkers or missile silos. I've seen examples online where people have bought old Atlas E & F launch sites and turned the Launch Control Centers into underground homes, man-caves, or even survival bunkers and some with a regular home above ground. These go cheaper than what the bunker builder on this show charges and they are true bunkers and actually hardened for nuclear attack. They just take a lot of work to get them into a livable condition.

    I found there is a decommissioned Atlas F silo & LCC site about 4 or 5 miles from me. It's owned by the local school district which has used it for a bus barn for the past decade or 2. I'd like to try to buy it from them one day and build a house there and slowly make the LCC livable again both as a glorious man-cave and storm shelter/survival bunker if needed.

    By the way, new to this site and have been finding some excellent advice on the modest prep I want to start doing.

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  15. So clog the air pipe with a rag and they will be forced to come out? Rag over dynamite I guess can win with a bunker.

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  16. Doomsday Bunkers features the design and build of survival units with a reveal of the completed project. Thanks for sharing.

    Bunker Repair Service

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  17. TorrenceOfArabiaMarch 24, 2012

    Just watching 3-07-2012 episode and a "steel" door was tested for a 2x4 shot. The camera shows a new and "flawless" door being hung for the test: however, when the lumber is shot at the door, there are 2 obvious indentations (by some small caliber handgun) above the impact of the 2x4 showing a switch of doors at some point. Great editing! Another show that the Discovery/TLC franchise feeds us as a great infomercial paid for by commercial advertising.

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  18. I saw these indentations in the "bulletproof" door too Torrence ;-) !!

    These bunkers look weak, because they lack concealment. As Anonymous said it may be a good idea to build it under a small cabin, just to "blend in" the landscape.

    Concerning the air pipe, you can hide it under a pile of stones. It MUST look natural !

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