As Russian forces continue to bombard Ukraine, many Americans are deciding to shell out on a bunker.
“In the past month, I would have normally fielded less than 100 inquiries — I’ve fielded over 3,000,” Garry Lynch, CEO of steel bunker and bomb shelter builder Rising S Company, told the Guardian of the average amount of interest his preparedness business gets, and how much that has increased recently amid the war in Ukraine.
“There are definitely a few ‘I told you we needed one of these’ conversations going on in households around the world right now,” he added, noting that some of the customers who have reached out since the war began are panic-buying the safety vessels.
Other bunker and preparedness companies have reported a similar surge in interest, which they also directly link to the war.
“Our top on-site search terms have been ‘nuclear’, ‘iodine’ … and ‘radiation sickness’,” practical prepping website the Prepared founder John Ramey told the Guardian. “Those terms are normally nowhere near the top.”
Some are even using the war as a direct peg in pitching their product.
“[With] all hell now breaking loose in Ukraine, and the beginning of what may be WW3, you are probably wishing you had secured a Vivos bunker,” the California-based Vivos Group wrote in a recent email.
This isn’t entirely due to the war in Ukraine, however.
The pandemic also significantly helped with bunker industry sales, as have worries concerning climate change and civil unrest.
The reason for America’s growing bunker obsession can also be traced back to a lesser-known historic precedent: During the Cold War, in contrast to the Soviet Union — which built out its public defense infrastructure — the US markedly left citizens to protect themselves from nuclear fallout, and rely on the private sector for protection, the Guardian added.