Sure, you watch “The Walking Dead” and “Revolution” every week… but are you prepared for a real-life end-of-the-world scenario? The folks featured on National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers” sure are: They’ve built themselves well-stocked bunkers that can withstand anything from a global pandemic to a zombie apocalypse. And while the “preppers” stockpile supplies like crazed hoarders and put their small children through elaborate survival drills, the show brings on emergency-preparedness experts to judge how long each bunker would actually survive a catastrophe.
To celebrate a brand-new season of “Preppers,” we’re looking back at the most over-the-top bunkers we’ve seen on the show so far -- and giving you an exclusive look inside a new bunker set to air later this season. And don’t laugh… you might be begging one of these people to let you inside one day.
Survive the apocalypse in style [Exclusive]
Ron Hubbard is a bunker manufacturer, and his friend Brian happens to be in the market for a little underground sanctuary. In this exclusive sneak peek at an upcoming "Preppers," Ron shows Brian around his brand-new bunker, which is decked out with bells and whistles like a "flushing toilet" (luxurious!), a big-screen TV, and a leather couch with recliners. Plus, the bunker has an air filtration system and above-ground cameras -- all the better to keep an eye on any roving mobs that might want to get their hands on that big-screen TV.
Hey kids, let’s play “End of the World”!
You’re never too young to learn how to fend for yourself if the world goes to hell. At least that’s how the Rogers family feels; they’ve turned the basement of their suburban home into a makeshift bunker (complete with port-a-potty) and run regular “s--- hit the fan” drills with their young daughter. And don’t forget the pets!
Don’t miss the bus
Bruce is an old-school prepper: He started on his bunker way back in 1985, presumably to protect himself from Gorbachev and the Russkies. And he got a head start on the whole recycling thing, too, burying 42 school buses under concrete and earth to create a sprawling 10,000-square foot shelter. He even took inspiration from the Biblical story of Noah, naming his shelter “Ark 2.” Well, he’s already got the beard for it.
Big Al’s big bunker
True to his name, Big Al’s doomsday bunker (oops, sorry, “underground house”) is huge: a two-story subterranean hideaway spanning two thousand square feet. And to get ready for the Big One, Big Al conditions himself to post-apocalyptic life by living three months each year underground. Good things he’s got plenty of “bunker stew” down there to tide him over.
An underground skyscraper?
Larry doesn’t want “possible marauders” stealing his stuff in a post-apocalyptic free-for-all, so he’s doing what any sane individual would do: He’s building an entire condo building underground, fourteen stories embedded in nine feet of concrete. When it's finished, Larry says this luxurious bunker will have a swimming pool, exercise rooms, and a movie theater. And it’ll also withstand a direct nuclear strike… which should help boost the property values of those condos.
Tune in, turn on, hunker down
Ed might look like a peace-loving hippie, but he’s ready to go to nuclear war: He and his wife have converted an abandoned Kansas missile silo into a cozy underground home decorated with Tibetan prayer flags. Good thing he remembered to bring his acoustic guitar with him… or maybe a bad thing, depending on your musical tastes.
[Related: Lessons Learned from 'Doomsday Preppers']
Get into the foxhole!
More kids running drills: This time, it’s 11-year-old Cole, who joins his parents on an end-of-the-world drill which involves him and his dad racing into a foxhole they’ve built in their garage while Mom stands guard at the front door with a rifle. (How’d she get that job?) Cole doesn’t sound too thrilled once he's down there, though: “This place is awesome… I guess.”
“Doomsday Preppers” airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on National Geographic.