Doomsday prepping’ used to be seen as a hobby relegated to the paranoid fringe — but ordinary Americans spent a staggering $11 billion on survival items, just last year, from April 2022 to April 2023.
About a third of US citizens admit to prepping, surveys show, but few have the resources today’s billionaire bunker-builders have to devote to their own shelters.
The world’s wealthiest have increasingly spent hundreds of millions on securing underground compounds, private islands and (for the merely rich) ‘survival condos.’
Late last year it emerged Mark Zuckerberg was building a $100 million hidden fortress buried beneath his Hawaiian island ranch, complete with its own energy and food supplies and blast-resistant doors.
Billionaire wellness entrepreneur Frank VanderSloot — Idaho‘s richest man — recently bought a 2,000-acre ranch south of Zuck’s compound for a cool $51 million.
And OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman once let slip that he and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel have an ‘arrangement’ in case the world is ending: If things hit the fan, Altman said in 2016, the pair would lay low at one of Thiel’s properties in New Zealand.