Preppers movement, underground shelters focus of “Doomsday Bunkers” on Discovery

Discovery's "Doomsday Bunkers"Fueled by devastating news headlines that range from nuclear disasters to the failing economy, shooting sprees, suicide bombers and/or horrific weather, a growing group of Americans are taking their worst fears and are planning for it.

They are known as preppers, and they are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. Discovery Channel casts light on their world by exploring the advanced and secretive underground bunkers they are installing in Doomsday Bunkers.

The three-episode series premieres tonight (March 7) at 10pm ET/PT and will air March 14 and 21. The series follows Scott Bales, owner of Deep Earth Bunker, and his team of engineers and craftsmen as they give viewers a rare look at the multi-layered survival strategies they use to build “the most invulnerable and comfortable hidden residences in the country.”  His company’s goal is to keep clients safe from physical, social, financial, political, psychological and emotional harm.

“It not only looks at a very timely movement or subculture — the prepper movement — but it also presents an opportunity to really explore science and design because it’s very much about the bunker building,” says executive producer Anna Geddes.

Each episode of Doomsday Bunkers follows Bales as he works with his clients in identifying their bunker needs, as well as designing, building, testing and installing the bunker. Testing a bunker to see if it can withstand a disaster is equally as fascinating as the people purchasing it. Bunkers are tested using a variety of methods including firing canons at it, dropping or catapulting vehicles on top of it (as would an explosion or tornado), plus a battery of other attacks that include firearms and fire.

The bunkers range in size and features and can be as simple as a storm shelter that provides space and air, to elaborate bunker systems that protect against nuclear, biological and chemical disasters that include massive water storage tanks, security systems, gun vaults and more. Some of the bunkers go beyond safety, in fact, some of these underground cribs are more elaborate than an average home with granite counter tops, custom floors and luxurious bathrooms. And these aren’t cheap either.

“No! These are quite big investments – they’re like small homes underground. They can range anywhere from $50,000 to $450,000 and even more – if someone has a really wild idea,” Geddes says.

When you google bunkers for sale the price range is even higher, from an 8,800 square foot “nuclear hardened” underground structure for $750,000 in Russell, Kansas, to a home and silo in upstate New York, which is part of an exclusive airport subdivision that’s listed for $800,000.

In the end it’s all about building the ultimate safety zone and satisfying the preppers’ growing demands.

When factoring in all the news headlines, natural disasters and economic issues going on right now, Geddes says she sees how people are becoming more interested in the prepper movement.

“I think all of those things make people open to the ideas of the prepper movement,” Geddes says. “When you really listen to what they are trying to say there’s a lot of logic involved. It can be quite convincing.”

Geddes can relate too, telling us she was living in New York during  9/11 where she realized the importance of having something like a three-day emergency pack witnessing empty grocery store shelves firsthand. “It’s smart to a degree to be prepared, some people just take it to a more extreme level,” she says. “Today’s society is high tech — we’re not as self sufficient, we’re more reliant and dependent on our infrastructure and I think people are seeing this as a concern and want to be more self-sufficient.”

DOOMSDAY BUNKERS airs March 7, 14 & 21 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel


  1. I am a welder and can build,anything anyone want’s,with blast door’s,i will ship and come on site and set up will have everything you will need,you will think your at home,from little too very large,some of these that i have seen are a joke…

  2. I am the C E O of Tricon Industries, Inc. We also produce Bunkers for clients across the country, believe me you should do your homework people before you decide to go into a bunker close the hatch and think that things are going to be O K. Alot of people are decieved of what it really takes to protect your family in a melt down.

  3. I live in upstate ny. And i made a trip to mais bunkers,to ckeck out there shop.And got talking with them. There offering courses for pistol permits and other firearm training. That is fn kool.

  4. Tsunami Bunker:
    Airtight, round and only one hatch. What if, after the wave, the Sphere lies on its hatch? Cant come out. What if the single hatch is slightly bend? Cant come out.
    What if you can’t escape out of an airtight sphere?
    Not so smart to be trapped and suffocate if you ask me.

    Better have two hatches at opposing sites, or at the very least have a few openings which are closed by default but could be opened after the tsunami is over. This way the inhabitants can at least breath until, after some days somebody has time to cut through the steel and free them.

    BTW what rescuer would think of looking for survivors in some random steel ball lying around on the beach or even floating in the ocean? There should be some way to communicate from inside or at least some easy to understand paint scheme (red crosses or what not) and some strobe LEDS etc.

  5. How do I contact someone about these bunkers? I’m interested in getting one but I want more information on them.

  6. There is a site that i think is so cool. Its called MAIS Bunkers and there located in upstate N.Y. Looks down to earth, and for the average person. You dont have to be rich to own one!

  7. This has gone from an amusing cottage industry to a growing business opportunity for those willing to profit on other peoples fears. With all the political rehtoric and fear mongering on the economy, climate change, nuclear, biological and chemical warfare it hasn’t been this easy to separate well meaning people from their money since the height of the Cold War and bomb shelter building.

  8. We have 70 acres in rural mo and are interested in putting an underground container for anyone who wishes to help and be safe. WE have horses and everything but not sure where to start please help!!

  9. How do I buy a Bunker for me and my kids, I am a single mom with 4 kids and I dont make very much money…. But I want me and my kids to live on too.

  10. It’s Hard to Believe people actually buy into this,seems to me this man is actually making money scaring the crap out of people. Does he truly think that no one can get in any of these bunkers? lol There were weapons made by the military to bust bunkers, armory piercing rounds that can penetrate most things but hey, spend that money make that clown rich lol if all this took place how long does he think paper money is or for that fact anything going to be worth anyway.One thing is Clear You can’t hide from God no mater what You try as for Me I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face so if they do manage to kill me I still win because if this all takes place what is truly gonna be worth having? This man fails to realize there are people way smarter than him.Anyway spend that hard earned money in these hard times but as for Me and My family we’ll keep serving God with all are hearts and know that He and He alone is in control. Honestly when all this stuff takes place I hope and pray God has already come and received his people home and you can have what is left Good Luck and God Bless.

    • I just had to add to My previous statement I watched it again with the piramid how many people will have a self contained breathing apparatis while in there and seen them light it on fire it still filled with smoke I mean come on this Man is an idiot not alot of thought into what he’s doing be it GodBless

  11. Somebody just shot your plundering gang buddy what are you going to do when the guy hides in his bunker? Fill up the entrance stairway with lots of smoke and hope it goes into the bunker. If it fails fill up the open stairway (below surface) with dirt and trap that dude forever.
    Why wasn’t he so smart to have a hatch at or slightly above ground level. Real smart would be to make it possible to force it open from inside with a manual car jack, in case you would have parked a car on top or some heavy rocks.

    He has booby traps which in the best case kill 2 people. Will your gang run or be angry? Of course you are in a gang, or else you would most likely not have attacked the dudes whole family.

    He has a fancy periscope camera? And? If it really bothers you paint it or drop a blanket over it. Why wasn’t he so smart to hide his camera nearby in a tree, where nobody could have noticed it and the view might have been much better.

  12. Anyone who wants to prep buy wasting thousands, if not millions, of dollars on a bunker is mentally challenged. If something happened that bad where one would have to live in a bunker, then the world is over, I say party and die happy. Otherwise, good old fashioned homesteading on some rural land is the best way to be prepared for natural or any kind of disaster. Bunkers are death traps, smoke, plug or shoot up ther periscope airways and security cameras and it’s a chicken shoot when they come running out

    • Phormios… YOU ARE STUID! Real bunkers won’t be found and it they were, they wouldn’t have “periscopes. Never open your mouth to things you no nothing about!

  13. All you preppers need to take classes and learn how to operate your firearms, or don’t buy them you ignorant bastards

  14. I found it odd that the owner in Florida would allow a wired security system install that required the running of wires from tree to tree to interconnect the cameras and sound system instead of installing a wireless system that used solar powered cameras and sound system. The wireless system would be easier to hide and would provide the same security.

    Not much thinking went into that system install!

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