Luxury Survival

Interesting underground survival shelters by Vivos–and they are built for luxury. 

With everything from cushy entertainment theater rooms, indoor swimming pools, upscale kitchens and bathrooms, gyms, and stocked with clothing, bedding, toiletries, survival gear, and food and medical supplies for a year–this is for planning to survive and thrive. 


They have dual generators, multiple water systems, airtight nuclear biological and chemical filtration systems, and medical and dental facilities.  This is communal living for 80-5,000 people. Shelters are co-owned–and it costs about $50,000 for an adult and $35,000 for children.

Vivos will also make you a private shelter, but obviously this is a more expensive option.  Is this an insurance policy for you and your family to protect against the ultimate catastrophes or is this simply preying on people’s worst fears? 

You’ll have to decide for yourself–and in the end, it’s a gamble either way. 😉

Busting The Organizational Bunkers


There is a law in Switzerland that every citizen has to have quick access to a bomb shelter and that all new residences be outfitted with these. 

According to the Wall Street Journal (25-26 June 2011), there are over 300,000 swiss bunkers with enough room “to shelter all 7.6 million citizens” and with 1 million to spare!
Yet, the Swiss continue to add 50,000 new spots a year in the bomb shelters.
Note, these are not just a proverbial hole in the wall shelter, but bomb bunkers able to withstand the “impact of a 12-megaton explosion at a distance of [only] 700 meters (765 yards)”–this is 800 times the energy discharged in the bombing of Hiroshima!
So the Swiss are very serious about sheltering themselves.
According to Swiss Info Channel, this preoccupation began in the 1960s with fear of nuclear attack and soviet invasion. Hence the slogan at the time, “Neutrality is no guarantee against radioactivity.” 
Despite the high cost of these shelters and the end of the Cold War, the Swiss hold dear to their shelters to protect against the variety of new dangers out there from terrorist’s dirty bombs to nuclear/chemical/biological accidents, and natural disasters–and the recent events with Fukushima only served to reinforce those beliefs. 
The WSJ points out, preparedness comes “second nature” to them–they popularized the Swiss pocket knife, they still have a mandatory military draft for men, and aside from the U.S. and Yemen, they have more guns per capita than anyone else out there. 
I find their obsession with security fascinating, especially since they are a neutral country and haven’t had a major conflict for about 200 years.  
Perhaps, the Swiss as a small country surrounded by Germany, France, Italy, and Austria that were pummeled in World Wars I and II, witnessed enough bloodshed to be forever changed.
It reminds me of organizations with defective cultures, where employees see others beaten down so often and so long, they simply learn to keep their mouths shut and their heads down. They have in a sense learned to “shelter in place.”  
Of course, being prepared to duck when something is thrown at you is a good thing, but when you are perpetually stuck in a ducking stance, then something is wrong. 
I admire the Swiss and the Israeli’s propensity to prepare and survive, when they are the David’s amidst the Goliath’s. 
However, in an organizational context, I am concerned when I see so many employees hiding in shelters, afraid to speak up and contribute, because they have been marginalized by broken organization cultures. 
The organization is not the place for bunkers, it is the place for collaboration and productivity.
(All opinions my own)
(Photo Source: Facts Worth Knowing)

>Avoiding The Ultimate In Surprise


Everyone remember the I Love Lucy show? Well, that show really epidemized what it meant to surprise and be surprised by all the antics that the main character, Lucy, got into–show after show.

One thing that’s very clear is that no one really likes surprises (except maybe for some comic relief and that’s one reason I believe the show was the most popular season after season).

So what’s the problem with surprises? They are not inherently bad–there can be good surprise and bad ones.

The issue is really that people want to be prepared for whatever is coming there way.

Even surprise parties or gifts somehow seem sweeter when the recipient isn’t completely “taken by surprise.”

One of my bosses used to often repeat to the team, “I don’t like surprises!”

Hence, the importance of what we all got in the habit of saying–communicate, communicate, communicate–early and often.

With the tragic tornados that struck last week across the south killing some 329 people, we are reminded how important early warning to surprises in life can be.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that new technologies are being developed for early warning of these tornados such as:

Visual cues–Antennas that can track cloud-to-loud lighting, which is often invisible from the ground, but it “drops sharply in a storm just before a tornado develops” and can therefore provide early detection for those that can see it.

Sound waves–Using “infrasonic microphones” we can pick up storm sounds from as far as 500 miles away at frequencies too low to be detected by the human ear and can filter out the noise to track the storm’s severity and speed, and therefore hear in advance if it is turning dangerous.

Early warning saves lives...even a few extra minutes can provide the much needed time for a person to get to a shelter.

After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami which killed more than 230,000 people, an early warning system was put in place there and again with the the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, we see the ongoing need for these efforts to advance globally.

These efforts for early detection and alerts have always been around.

Already thousands of years ago, settlers built lookout towers and fire signals to get and give early notice of an advancing army, marauders, dangerous beasts, or other pending dangers.

Nowadays, we have satellites and drones providing “eyes in the sky” and other technologies (like the proverbial trip wires and so on) are being developed, refined, and deployed to protect us.

Advance warning and preparation is important for risk management and life preservation and leveraging technology to the max for these purposes is an investment that is timeless and priceless.

The challenge is in identifying the greatest risks (i.e. those with the most probability of happening and the biggest impact if they do) so that we can make our investments in the technologies to deal with them wisely.

>Doomsday In Style


Surely, there have always been those with survivalist tendencies among us. But if you are paying attention, there is a new rage now for luxury doomsday shelters!

Despite all the technology advancement we have made in the last century–more automation, more information, more communication, more connectivity than ever–people are still afraid of the unpredictability and the uncontrollability out there.

Maybe it’s the technology itself that even contributes to those fears–someone pushing “the button”, someone unleashing a dangerous new something (nuclear this, bio that, chemical something else), or someone even causing mayhem through the very technology that underpins our society through some sort of cyber-attacks.

Some examples of doomsday shelters for the “rich and famous”:

– Wired Magazine reported on 29, March 2011 in an article entitled Missile Silo Condos about a software engineer who purchased an Atlas F decommissioned missile silo and converted it into an “untra-safe energy-efficient fortress” with GE Monogram stainless steel appliances and Kohler fixtures. The owner is offering $900,000 “condo suite packages” including a five-year food supply and “simulated window views with light levels calibrated to time of day” as well as electricity powered geothermal energy and wind turbines, a theatre, pool, and waterfall, and of course, as a military grade security system. Everything needed to survive and at the same time enjoy the luxury accommodations.

– Similarly, Forbes Magazine (9 May 2011) reports in Selling The Apocalypse, that Robert Vicino, a property developer is building a network of luxury underground bunkers for 6,000 people. “For $25,000 to $50,000 a head [half-price is for children] each applicant will own at least 100 square feet of space…equipped with a medical center, classroom, theater, gym, and detention area to jail unruly residents.”

According to PopSci (7 October 2010) on the same, there will be 20 such Vicino facilities each within 150-200 miles of major U.S. cities; and the one in Barstow, California is “built to withstand 50-magaton nuclear blast 10 miles away, 450 mph winds, a magnitude-10 earthquate, 10 days of 1,250 degree F surface fires and three weeks beneath any flood…and soon-to-be-installed air filtration system will also neutralize any biological, chemical, or nuclear attack.” In addition to the safety provided, it is supposed to be as luxurious an accommodation as a modern-day cruise ship! Note: the video is from their company website Vivos and on Youtube.

So what is going on here?

Are people’s fear being capitalized on? Are some simply catering to some eccentrics or the wealthy and their ability to perhaps splurge a little? Or is this a new type of life insurance or as Vicino put it “life assurance”? Perhaps, a little of all of the above.

I suppose there is enough out there to be afraid of, but the challenge it seems is not to create shelters for the few to survive, but rather to create enough genuine safeguards for the many to reasonably thrive over the long term. Is this doable or are we facing a ticking clock? And if a ticking clock are we all just going to do the best we can for ourselves – will we “fiddle while Rome burns?”

For me the prospect of hunkering down enjoying the stainless steel appliances, waterfalls, movies, and gym membership while the rest of mankind is getting eaten by Zombies doesn’t quite sit right, although I can see the appeal when faced with the alternative.

I vote for continuing to build better technology and if you can afford the life assurance, all the power to you!