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Luxury Bunkers: Much More Than Your Basic Survival Shelter


Living room of a luxury bunkerAs more affluent homeowners – here in Montecito and Santa Barbara as well as elsewhere —  become aware of the comfort and versatility of luxury bunkers, they’re likely to consider one for their homes. These aren’t your old school bomb shelters. We’re talking well-appointed and often lavish living spaces that qualify as beyond comfortable.

Long gone are the days when bomb shelters (aka fallout shelters) were considered a relic of the Cold War and built to withstand nuclear conflict. In years past, air raid drills in schools and cities around the US were commonplace. They were so commonplace back in the 1950s and early 1960s that the Department of Defense created a handbook showing how to build fallout shelters in your backyard or your basement. Today’s luxury bunkers are, indeed, a world beyond those former models, and are much more versatile as well.

“They don’t just have to be for an apocalyptic situation,” says Ron Hubbard, founder, and CEO of Atlas Survival Shelters, which offers about a dozen types of shelters. “Here in California, with all the wildfires we have, that’s actually our No. 1 concern right now.”

Hubbard says demand for his units comes in waves. Hence, his California factory always has up to 20 bunkers ready to ship. Sometimes, however, even that number of shelters is not enough. Last August. for example, while President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury,” Atlas Survival received about 200 calls a day.

Basic Bunkers

Today, you can still build your own shelter or buy the ready-made BombNado, one of Atlas’s most popular models, for only $19,000. What you’ll get at that price is an 8-by-8 foot basic bunker with a bed, toilet and air filter.

Featuring the NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) Air Filtration System, the basic BombNado offers homeowners hundreds of cubic feet of storage beneath the laminated oak flooring. Built with sturdy steel and advanced engineering, this shelter is strong enough to park a car atop its hatch.

Multiuse Bunkers

Some higher-end luxury bunkers come with pools, hot tubs, surveillance systems and even shooting ranges. Multi-use billionaire class models cost into the millions but can serve several functions. One Calabasas family had the WineNado installed that seconds as a wine cellar. The WineNado model installs underneath your kitchen island, with the entrance hidden by a pre-concrete slab. Besides being used as a wine cellar, these units can be utilized in any way the homeowner likes: as a gun room, a guest bedroom, an office, extra storage room, a hobby room, or a hidden vault to protect valuables. Check out this video of a luxury bomb shelter built under a home.

“The fact that the shelter is hidden underneath the kitchen counter will bring jaw-dropping wows from your friends when you show them the hidden entrance to your new favorite room,” Hubbard explains. “Most people, when they think of a bomb shelter, think of something cold and wet and downtrodden. I am changing that persona of a bomb shelter.”

Hubbard actually promotes these versatile units as much more than just a means of survival. He refers to his luxury bunkers as a vanity purchase. Some shelters push the limits, like the 16,000 square foot  Underground House. Built in Las Vegas in 1978, this shelter has a dance floor, a putting green, fireplace, wet bar, laundry room, guest house — and yes, a pool — all beneath the earth.

Speaking of swimming pools, Hubbard wants homeowners to consider adding a luxury shelter the same way they’d consider adding a pool to their property. While a pool and survival shelter cost about the same, if disaster strikes, only one will keep you and your family safe. Spoiler alert: We’re not talking about the pool. 

Perhaps you want to postpone having one of those luxury bunkers built until you’ve found your new Montecito estate. If that’s your plan, check out the portfolio of exceptional properties you’ll find on my website, then give me a call at +1 805.886.9378 or email me at I’ll find you the perfect Montecito estate with room to add your own luxury survival shelter.


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