Underground skyscrapers and off-grid bunkers: inside the world of preppers

From the mega-rich to ‘prepsteaders’, Bradley Garrett has spent the last four years with people preparing for the end of the world. What can they teach us about our current crisis?

“Nothing sets your priorities straight better than a disaster,” says Bradley Garrett. “Making sure your basics are covered, making sure your loved ones are cared for. These are the things that matter. Going back to survival mode is a good thing … We’re going to be in lockdown for some months. But although the worst-case scenarios are terrifying, we will survive as a species. And we will learn.” A California geographer and urban explorer, Garrett has spent the past four years researching his book Bunker: Preparing for the End Times, which will be published in August. The research has involved hanging out with millenarian fruitcakes, disaster profiteers and the uber-rich, not to mention tooled-up, swivel-eyed anarcho-libertarians from America to Australia.

Garrett became known in 2012 for climbing the Shard before it opened. As part of his ethnographical research into hidden aspects of cities he joined a group of trespassers called London Consolidation Crew. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to committing criminal damage during sorties into disused London Underground tunnels and published Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City.

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Read more: theguardian.com

 


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