The on-going global financial crisis coupled with recent military conflicts and increasing number of extreme weather events appear to have triggered a general fear in society, both conscious and subconscious, that the human race could be facing ‘end times’.
This is reflected in a huge surge in the number of books, films, magazine articles, TV programmes and other media focusing on disasters, wars, viral epidemics, death cults and global social and economic collapse.
Zombie-proofing your home
Whatever the reasons behind this morbid fascination, it’s also being reflected in the number of homes people are building, adapting and buying which have special features to protect their inhabitants.
Here are 15 such homes (some perhaps more realistic than others!) but all which never the less show just how intent humans are on protecting themselves against threats, both real and imagined.
Which you would feel most secure in?
1. Home’s a concrete box, sometimes
Image courtesy of www.home-designing.com
Architects KWK Promes in Poland, experts in creating secure residential homes, have designed this modern monster, offering 6,100 square feet of incredibly secure living space. It’s located on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland.
The house can be closed off and turned into an impenetrable concrete cube at the touch of a button.
Concrete and steel reinforced shutters slide shut on each window with no jutting edges and a huge steel barrier drops down the front of the house.
2. You’re safe above water
Image courtesy of www.myzombiegear.com
These rusting hulks are reportedly being converted into safe houses with boat-only access. That should stop the zombies climbing up.
3. Spitbank Fort
Image courtesy of Flickr
This fantastic private home in Portsmouth Harbour sold for £1million in 2009. Being out in quite deep waters, its shape and the difficulties intruders would have actually clambering up onto the structure, makes it incredibly secure.
Sir Francis Drake would have been proud.
4. The White House
Image courtesy of www.waymarking.com
The American President’s residence in Washington DC is one of the most highly protected buildings in the world, with missile systems on the roof and incredibly complex security systems and round the clock military and secret service protection.
5. Number 10 Downing Street
Image courtesy of www.Yourrightmove.co.uk
Even up until the 1980s people could stroll past the very front of the UK Prime Minister’s house. Then, due to the threat from the IRA, gates were placed at either end of the street.
No. 10 is now extremely secure, and there are tunnels underneath through which ministers can escape if necessary.
6. US Embassy in Baghdad
Built on the site of Saddam Hussein’s old palace, the US embassy in the Iraq capital is ringed with roads with concrete defences to prevent suicide bomb attacks.
Huge walls circle the giant building and protect staff and soldiers, along with sophisticated surveillance systems, tanks, missile systems, armed soldiers and police; you name, it’s protecting it.
7. Mobile safe house
Image courtesy of www.inventorspot.com
Ok, so this is the only entry that isn’t real. But it’s a great idea, and as it’s on an inventor’s list of ‘things to do’, it might one day.
The idea here is that the post-apocalypse family will have to be mobile. The giant vehicle is bomb and shock proof, has a gardening area capable of growing food, an air and water filtration system and extendable ‘wings’ which would help capture moisture to provide drinking water.
8. ‘Apocalypse’ house in the Adirondack State Park, Upper State New York
Upstairs is 2,000 square feet of living space, but enter the ‘basement’ through the huge, impenetrable steel blast-proof doors and there’s a further 2,300 square feet below ground, including a huge underground storage tower for foodstuffs and bottled water.
9. Pump station safe house, Jefferson, Louisiana
Image courtesy of www.gibbsconstruction.com
This project was commissioned by the local council to help protect local citizens in case of environmental disaster. The drill shafts contain self-supporting living units to house humans.
The converted pump house itself can withstand winds of up to 250 miles an hour (Louisiana suffers from huge tornadoes).
10. Hever Castle, Kent
Image courtesy of www.destination360.com
It’s said an Englishman’s home is his castle. This is literally the case when it comes to the private residence of Hever Castle in Kent.
Built to withstand all types of invaders, the huge stone walls and, in particular, moat with drawbridge, keeps the owners extremely safe.
11. Head for the trees!
Image courtesy of www.blueforest.com
Height, combined with difficult access, automatically gives protection and advantage over invaders.
These brand new, state of the art tree houses are built to order and can include fingerprint recognition technology and bespoke video security. Built by luxury tree house designers Blue Forest, a number were recently on sale from £250,000.
12. Build your own safe room
Image courtesy of www.al.com
Safe rooms are all the rage among the rich and famous, but you could build your own reasonably cheaply, creating a secure space in the home to lock yourself into if you feel the need.
In the United States, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, even provides guidance on how to do it yourself.
13. Move to Switzerland
Image courtesy of www.switzerland-trips.com
The Swiss seem obsessed with creating a nation filled with incredibly secure homes. Government rules state that every new home built must have a nuclear bunker where the owners can live in times of crisis.
It’s estimated the country now has over 270,000 such bunkers, which can accommodate the entire population of 7.8million if necessary.
14. Safest mobile ‘home’ in the world
Image courtesy of www.worldrec.info
A fair few people have to live in a car at some stage in their lives (they might lose their job and house, for example). So if you’re going to do so, why not do it in the safest car in the world?
Specifically made to protect the President of the USA, Cadillac One as it’s known, has 8 inch thick explosive-proof doors made of military grade armour plating, it’s own oxygen supply, tear gas, shotguns hidden away, and bullet proof glass.
15. Cave house in Arizona
Image courtesy of www.inhabitat.com
Plenty of survivalist nut jobs and apocalypse believers head to Arizona to live as you can get away from people; there’s simply not much around apart from nature.
This house was built into a cave in Arizona, caves being one of the safest environments for mankind since we began to walk hundreds of thousands of years ago.
It looks like a simple, small cabin from the outside, but is in fact a huge cavern going straight into a mountain. The home is 3,000 square feet in total and the entrance could be easily blocked off or protected against most potential threats if necessary.