A 3-D rendering of one of Radius Engineering's underground communities.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy Radius Engineering
On the high-end of the disaster relief shelters market is Radius Engineering’s underground disaster shelter, which is built to sustain life following biological, nuclear or chemical attack. According to Walton McCarthy, CEO and founder of Radius Engineering, most of the company’s shelters, which house between 25 and 50 people, are buried 25 feet underground and can sustain life anywhere from 30 days to five years depending upon the options chosen by the customer.
“Most of the shelters we send out now are designed for six months to a year,” McCarthy said. “The bigger (corporate) communities, they won’t do less than a year.”
Despite many of the misconceptions people have about the aftermath of a nuclear weapon detonation, 30 days is the typical timeframe in which it takes for radiation levels to return to normal.
Though many of Radius customers are within the government sector, particularly foreign embassies, McCarthy said that they also have many global corporations as customers. In fact, the company saw a big uptick in sales among corporate customers last year following a missile test by Iran. Should a company or government ever have to deploy personnel into one of the shelters, they won’t have to worry about them being targeted by modern target acquisition technology as they give off no radar or thermal signatures.
“We’re the exact opposite of the government. While the government protects everybody a little tiny bit, we protect a few people completely,” McCarthy explained. “We’ve got filters for fallout… we’ve got carbon (filters in the shelters) for chemical agents and radioactive iodine gas and in the last stage our shelters is ultraviolet to kill any biological agents or viruses or molds.”
Radius’ CAT 25, which is a shelter that can house up to 25 people, costs $342,000. The Earthcom 32, which is a step up from the CAT 25 and essentially serves as a house underground, costs around $700,000. McCarthy added that many of the corporate customers are interested in the Earthcom Dome, which is a 60-foot diameter dome that can have between eight and twelve CAT 25 units added to it. These units also feature an internal power plant, which can generate electricity for the community for up to five years.