AUSTIN, Texas -- Over the years, doomsday scenarios have become fodder for Hollywood fiction. The plot rarely strays. War, disease or a natural disaster destroys the population, forcing survivors into new territory.
In the real world, that new territory could one day be one of Walton McCarthy’s state-of-the-art shelters. For the past 30 years, McCarthy has been president of Radius Engineering International.
Located about 30 minutes east of Dallas in Terrell, Texas, McCarthy’s factory is 52,000 square feet. His 52 employees create unique, underground housing. People can live in it for up to a year without coming out. The average cost to live in one breaks down to about $80,000 per person.
McCarthy describes his properties as shelters, not bunkers, because Radius offers more than a place to hide. Each one has an internal generator for power, an air purification system, plumbing and septic. Multiple shelters can be connected through customized tunnels.
McCarthy said he came up with the idea for the company while working on an engineering degree. He says he met a young girl at the time whose family had a suicide pact in the event of a nuclear attack.
“It scared the daylights out of me,” McCarthy said.
Today he believes that many major threats still exist.
“We have missiles missing from China, we have uranium missing from the Soviet Union, and we have people in the Middle East who hate our guts,” McCarthy said. “It is a very bad combination.”
Despite the current state of real estate, Radius' sales are booming. McCarthy says his company has doubled its business every year for the past five years.
Much of the success stems from a contract with the Department of Defense. Radius has built shelters—some which can hold up to 300 people—in every U.S. capital from Hawaii to Maine. McCarthy also has a number of private clients who include politicians, musicians, actors and athletes.
Worldwide, more than 1,100 Radius shelters are now underground. McCarthy says he has no doubt he could one day live in one of them.
“Since the beginning of recorded history, we have had about 18,000 wars and we’re still counting,” McCarthy said. “So the question is, 'Has human nature changed?'”
Clearly, he is betting on “no.”
For more information on Radius Engineering International click here.