Bomb shelters are back

Bomb shelters are no longer relics of the Cold War past.  As a result of North Korea’s nuclear threats, and President Donald Trump’s tough rhetoric in response, the business of backyard fallout bunkers is booming.

Gary Lynch, general manager of Rising S Bunkers in Murchison, Texas, describes the tense international situation that’s boosting his sales lately.  “The entire world has a problem brewing in North Korea,” he says.  “We’ve got a world leader who’s very irrational.  [Kim Jong Un is] like the schoolyard bully.  And then finally [Trump] stood up to him, so now he doesn’t know what to do.”

As a result of Kim’s claims that North Korea will soon have an ICBM capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States, Lynch says, “We have a lot of business in California currently.”  In addition, “About 85 percent of our sales last week were from Japan,” which, Lynch points out, is too close to Korea for comfort.  “He’s already launched ICBMs, in his testing, into the Sea of Japan,” Lynch says.  “So the people there, they’ve got every right in the world to be panicking.”

Lynch says today’s shelter is not your grandfather’s dugout.  “During the Cold War era, when there bomb shelters being built, they were all concrete,” he recalls.  “They were dark, they were dreary, they were damp.  They didn’t any amenities like home.”  Referring to the 1999 film Blast from the Past, Lynch says, “It wasn’t like you see in the movies, where Brendan Fraser comes out after 50 years, and his family lived happily under there.  It was a place people dreaded.”

“But now,” he continues, “they’re just like an extension of your home.  We build for comfort.  So just because you have to go into a bomb shelter, or you need to go into a bomb shelter, doesn’t mean you have to go down there and be uncomfortable.”

Lynch says buying a shelter is like buying auto insurance: you hope you’ll never have to use it, but it’s best to be prepared.

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