While many businesses (banks excluded) suffer from the economic belt tightening going on across the world, some firms in one niche little industry are seeing sales rocket in the wake of increasing global uncertainty.
CNNMoney.com reports that the sales of specialist de-luxe 'Doomsday bunkers' have increased a staggering 1,000% across the USA as earthquakes, Tsunamis, nuclear accidents and escalating bloodshed engulf the planet.
According to apocalyptic thinking expert David O'Leary of the University of Southern California, the last time this sort of interest was generated in survival bunkers and products was prior to the projected Year 2000 date roll-over computer meltdown fears (Y2K).
As an example of the scale of money involved Northwest Shelter Systems (http://www.northwestsheltersystems.com/) offers shelters that range in price from $200,000 right up to $20 million! They have seen sales go up 70% since the Mid East troubles began. They'e got 12 shelters booked when four in usually the norm.
Northwest Shelter Systems owner Kevin Thompson said "Sales have gone through the roof, to the point where we are having trouble keeping up".
Another company that sells $9,500 nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) shelter tents, UndergroundBombShelter.com, has experienced a 400% rise in enquiries.
Hardened Structures have seen a 20% rise in interest.
One company that sells room space in large 200 person bunkers, Vivos, has it says received thousands of applications with many putting their cash where their fears are at the rate of a $5,000 deposit per person. The company has five of these under construction across the country. Their latest project based under the Nebraska grasslands at 137,000 sq ft is bigger than a supermarket, can house 950 people for 1 year as well as withstand a 50 megaton blast.
There seems to be two types of people looking for a physical safe-haven. There are those that believe that a real apocalypse is round the corner, following for example either a Revelations or Mayan Calendar predictions. The other type represent those that think we are entering a stormy period in our history and it may just be safer to ride it out in a place of safety.
Survival may be nice while the rest of the world turns to toast, but living cheek by jowl with hundreds of people you do not know with no proper established legal and social system? The first thing you may well have to do is repel those who would use force to enter your little haven. Then life inside the bunker may turn out to be a lot more hellish than life in the open as a new 'social structure' is formed in its cramped confines. And even if you do get through it, what will the world be like when you do eventually get out?