Rich Americans, unlike the rest of the middle class, had an escape plan in place for any worldwide disaster long before the coronavirus began driving the rich out of New York and elsewhere in droves. New Zealand is a hotspot for doomsday survival plans for the mega rich; it’s far enough away from most civilization to avoid human contact but provides all of the luxuries the rich are accustomed to.

The shelters in New Zealand can easily go as high as US$8 million with additional features like luxury bathrooms, game rooms, shooting ranges, gyms, theaters and surgical beds. Bunkers have also been built in the U.S. including two dozen families that have moved into a 5,000-person Vivos shelter in South Dakota where they’re occupying a bunker on a former military base that’s about three-quarters the size of Manhattan. Another 80-person bunker has been built in Indiana.

Preppers in New Zealand have chastised others they know with bunkers on the island who did not get there before New Zealand shut down their borders to outsiders, however, local press reported a slight increase in private plane landings in the country after the shutdown was implemented.

Wealthy billionaires who own property on the island keep the mansions and bunkers deserted for most of the year, and sometimes even years on end. They also keep these bunkers private, and those who maintain the residencies throughout the year are unaware of who the owners are of the property.

“Obviously the coronavirus is making people realize how vulnerable we all are, but what people are really concerned about is the aftermath,” said Vicino, the Vivos founder that makes bunkers for the rich, who believes the wealthy fear an economic collapse or global depression could lead to uprisings against the top 1 per cent.

Notably, the creators of the bunkers have not fled to one of their own, and instead are sheltering in place in their normal homes.