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article imageSurvivalism comes of age in 2010

By Stephanie Dearing     May 18, 2010 in Lifestyle
Barstow - So you're worried about the impending apocalypse -- all indications now point to 2012 as the end of the world as we know it -- but you're too busy to build your own safe bunker.
Fear not - reservations are being taken now for luxury bunkers to be built in the USA by Vivos Group. Vivos urges people to apply, saying "Millions of people believe that we are living in the “end times”. Many are looking for a viable solution to survive potential future Earth devastating events. Eventually, our planet will realize another devastating catastrophe, whether manmade, or a cyclical force of nature. Disasters are rare and unexpected, but on any sort of long timeline, they're inevitable. It's time to prepare!"
The Vivos Group plans for personal space to be 100 square feet, in addition to state-of-the-art facilities that will sustain up to 200 people for one year. Ultimately, Vivos Group hopes to accommodate 4,000 people in 20 bunkers strewn about the USA.
Survivalism, long thought to be the arena of the paranoid, has come of age in 2010. But it is not for the weak of heart. Survivalism, you see, requires thinking about how every facet of life could be sustained should, for some odd reason or other, all the normal trappings of life are stripped away. Survivalism isn't simply about shelter, but rather, it's about food, water, medical preparations, energy supplies, communications, governance, law & order ... and the other niceties of society we currently take for granted.
With the average underground survival shelter costing around $40,000 just to purchase -- not including land costs, installation, or furbishing with the necessities of life; survivalism is not for those with thin wallets either.
But Robert Vicino, founder of Vivos Group, appears to be onto something with the concept of offering fractional ownership in his luxury survival bunker. With rates of $50,000 per adult, $25,000 per child (pets free), the average family could reserve a safe spot for as little as $200,000, which, in comparison with all the work required to construct one's own bunker, it's a real deal.
Robert Vicino already sells fractional ownership in vacation homes, so it was a natural step for him to purchase and retrofit an existing bunker, turning it into a high class place to shelter out a year of cataclysm.
There are just two little snags.
First, the main bunker, already half sold according to Metro, has not yet been renovated.
Second, getting dibs on one of these spacious underground survival suites is not that easy. While Vivos Group preaches to the middle class, money isn't enough to gain entry. Potential survivalists must apply for membership, and while Vicino told CBS2 reporter Serene Branson "There is no prejudice. There is no affinity with any religion. There is no dogma and there is no ego. You check your ego at the door," simply purchasing a survival unit is not allowed.
According to the Vivos Group website, the eligibility criteria is complex, convoluted, and completely lacking in transparency. "The Vivos Selection Committee will evaluate each member applicant's profile for determination and candidacy of their membership. Vivos will then look for those individuals who may best contribute to each Vivos shelter community, for the greatest chance of long-term survival of the entire group. Each candidate will be reviewed based upon a number of criteria and psychographic information, including: their profession, education, expertise, skills, benefit to the Vivos community, proximity to a Vivos location, current health, and desired family or group ownership."
The Vivos Group bunker offers a lot of advantages to the savvy survivalist. Once finished, the facilities, according to Vivos "... will be deep underground, airtight, fully self-contained shelters designed to survive virtually any catastrophe, or threat scenario including natural disasters, a nuclear blast, chemical and biological weapons, or even social anarchy. Each self contained shelter complex will comfortably accommodate a community of 172 - 200 people, in spacious quarters, for up to 1 year of autonomous survival to ride out the potential events. Every detail has been considered and planned for. Members need to only arrive before the facility is sealed and secured."
After the cataclysm, and once safely installed in the bunker, the survivors will operate much like a condominium; electing a Board of Directors whose duty will be to enforce the rules of the shelter.
There are many alternatives for aspiring survivalists besides purchasing a share in an underground bunker, although they do appeal more to the do-it-yourself mentality. Once thought to be the domain of the paranoid, the survivalism movement has changed in response to the diverse needs of today's society. One of the newest branches are "preppers." Preppers are ordinary people who are "On the path to self reliance by preparing for any emergency," as the Canadian Preppers Network website declares. Survival classes have also become popular, offering practical skills and knowledge. Classes can be found virtually around the world.
With government agencies urging citizens to be prepared for emergencies, such as tornadoes and floods, advising people to try to prepare for at least three days of being on one's own in a worst-case scenario, working to prepare for a bigger situation isn't that much of a stretch any longer.
More about Vivos, Survivalism, Apocalypse bunker, End world, 2012
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