dave-mittlemanDuring the time of the Cold War in the 1950s, doomsday shelters were common. Indeed, it was just as normal to have an underground doomsday shelter in your backyard as it was to have a kitchen in your house. But as paranoia subsided over atomic bombs, so did the prevalence of doomsday shelters—until now. True, the economy is still in the doldrums and the tea partiers are pretty far out there, but do we need to live in constant fear? Apparently, at least that’s according to people who are purchasing partial ownerships in underground shelter communities.

Take, for example, Jason Hodge, father of four children from Barstow, CA. Hodge claims he “isn’t paranoid” but he is concerned about possible future disasters such as nuclear attacks, killer asteroids, or tsunamis. In fact, Hodge was one of the first people to purchase into the Vivos shelter network, a proposed nationwide group of 20 fortified, underground shelters. However, Vivos isn’t the only evidence that underground shelters are making a comeback. Radius Engineering in Terrell, TX has also built underground shelters for more than three decades, and according to the company president, business has never been better.

If you’re thinking about purchasing an underground shelter, you should be prepared to shell out a pretty hefty sum: partial ownership in a Vivos shelter costs about $50,000 for each adult and $25,000 for children. Unfortunately, it appears that shelter manufacturers are capitalizing on peoples’ fears of the unknown. For example, the Vivos website features a clock counting down to December 21, 2012, the date when the ancient Mayan “Long Count” calendar marks the end of a 5,126- year era and the supposed beginning of an unknown apocalypse. However, emergency preparedness experts are skeptical about underground shelter manufacturers. While emergency management and homeland security service experts acknowledge that there will probably be a major earthquake on the West Coast in the future, as well as a major hurricane on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and in Florida, they do not deem it necessary for people to bury themselves underground in the desert in fear.