Last night the Discovery Channel premiered its new series, ′Doomsday Bunkers′, a quasi-Reality TV look into the world of Scott Bales and his company, Deep Earth Bunkers. Thanks in part to the success of another series, ′Doomsday Preppers′ on the National Geographic TV network, Scott′s Texas-based firm is getting busier by the day. He started out primarily making storm shelters for people who live in areas prone to tornadoes. But in recent years, following the financial disaster and the mismanagement of the Obama administration, more of Scott′s trade is now focused on constructing survival bunkers for ′preppers.′ Scott is also something of an inventor and is always working on new, crazy gadgets.
Much like the other hit series on the Discovery Channel, ′Sons of Guns′, the audience is treated to a behind the scenes look as Scott and his workers solve engineering problems to help their clients. Luckily for him, he does not have a fool like ′Sons of Guns′ lover-boy′ Kris around to do stupid things like crash an expensive CNC machine or break some other piece of hardware. Scott does have his own son, Alex, who turns 22, around who is learning dad′s business and making some mistakes. But unlike Will of ′SoG′, Scott has not give Alex any authority yet.
The first episode of ′Doomsday Bunkers′ features Scott dealing with two clients. Shea is a police officer in Texas who has been ′prepping′ for another financial collapse and potential civil unrest for several years. At first his wife was none too happy with all the money he was spending on essential prepper supplies, like long-term food and plenty of guns and ammo. But Shea has turned his passion into a business as well, aiding and training others to the prepper lifestyle. He comes to Scott wanting a roomy bunker for his family of four which can keep them safe for at least six months and double as a training element as part of the course he teaches. Scott draws up plans for an 1100 sq.ft. steel bunker complete with a kitchen, living room, bedroom and a large storage room. The price tag for this will be $450,000.
Scott′s other client is Mike from Florida, for whom he built a large survival bunker a year ago. Mike is worried about hurricanes or a tsunami, so his bunker is 300 miles from his home up some 1,500 feet on top of a low mountain. His problem is that since its remote, security is an issue. Somebody has stumbled upon the bunker and stole its diesel-fueled electric generator. So Scott needs to come up with a way for Mike to better monitor and protect his bunker.
Shea′s bunker also has a security issue, but the opposite. Since his bunker will be in his backyard, and used in Shea′s training course, it will be too well known by too any people. Scott and his team of craftsmen work on building a super-strong steel door to prevent any unwanted entry. They first test a door that FEMA rates can survive an F-5 tornado. Scott fires a 6-foot long 2-by-4 using a powerful air cannon to simulate such a tornado, but the $8,000 commercial door fails to hold up. The wood plank turns the door into an $8,000 paperweight. Scott′s team augment another door with four extra slabs of 14-gauge steel, two on each side. Construction of the bunker itself begins and the clock is ticking as Shea will return in a week. Success could mean extra business and money for Scott from Shea′s training clients.
Meanwhile, Scott starts playing around with developing an automated, robotic turret which can mount a camera and a weapon and track any trespasser. While he invents the unit with Mike in mind, which would allow him to monitor and control the robot from a computer or smart phone anywhere in the world, a few bugs need to be worked out. Scott winds up coming up with a quicker solution and drives to Florida to install a perimeter security system. A set of four cameras, plus motion detectors would enable Mike to see and hear any potential intruder. A loud speaker gives Mike the ability to yell a warning at the trespasser from hundreds of miles away via the Internet. Mike is happy and takes his family of three to the gun range to get in some ′trigger-time′ fighting off a ′Zombie Apocalypse.′
Scott returns one day before Shea′s arrival to find the bunker far from finished. His crew pulls an all-nighter getting it ready for the customer′s walk-through. The next morning, Shea arrives and is very pleased with his new bunker. Scott then takes Shea out to a field for a test of the new steel door. Four members of a local police SWAT unit are invited to attempt an entry. They blast away at the door with riles, pistols and shotguns. Then they try to use a battering ram and prybar to open the door, but its holding up well. Finally, the SWAT team tries a 3-pound charge of C-4 explosive! There is barely a dent in the new door! Success! Shea is very pleased!
Personally, I like ′Doomsday Preppers′ on NatGeo TV more than ′Doomsday Bunkers′ on the Discovery Channel. In ′Doomsday Preppers′, we follow three different families each week as they demonstrate their survival plans and skills, and are then judged by a team of experts. This week′s episode even included one fellow who could be a competitor′s of Scott Bale′s company, Deep Earth Bunkers. Still it was a good show and at least we did not have to watch an idiot like Kris of ′Sons of Guns′ break a sophisticated, CNC milling machine. Scott′s crew appear to have their act together. The transition from building weather-related storm shelters to doomsday bunkers was a good business move for Scott. Especially if Barack Obama is reelected, we may all find ourselves dealing with a ′Zombie Apocalypse.′