• A Silicon Valley tech executive forgot how to unlock his underground bunker in New Zealand, according to a recent report.
  • Purchasing and converting underground bunkers into luxury shelters was a growing trend among the wealthy elite before the coronavirus pandemic, and now some preppers are taking refuge there.
  • New Zealand is one of the most popular spots to build a get-away estate, because of its secluded nature and scenic beauty.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Some of America's richest are taking refuge in private bunkers during the coronavirus outbreak, but one Silicon Valley executive who escaped to his underground bunker in New Zealand forgot how to unlock it, according to a report by Bloomberg's Olivia Carville.

Gary Lynch, the general manager of Rising S Co, a Texas-based doomsday shelter provider, told the news outlet he received a call in early March from the businessman asking how to unlock his shelter, which he had never used before, as well as asking questions about the power, water heater, and air filters.

New Zealand is a hot spot for elite doomsday preppers to build underground bunkers or luxury homes on prime real estate to escape to during global crises, as Business Insider's Katie Canales has reported.

Plus, as Bloomberg notes, New Zealand has more recoveries from the coronavirus than active cases and only 12 reported deaths versus the US, where the death rate per capita is around 50 times higher.

"He went out to New Zealand to escape everything that's happening," Lynch told the publication about the executive who lives in New York and runs a company in the Bay Area. "And as far as I know, he's still there."

For the extremely wealthy, prepping can be a reasonable investment considering the size of their income, BI reported. Bunkers can be purchased for between R9 million and R45 million and cost as much as R380 million to renovate into luxury shelters.

Some of the most extravagant shelters include family theaters, pubs areas, church chapels, and gyms in addition to fully furnished, bedrooms, bathrooms, dining areas, and living rooms.

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