Doomsday 2012: 'Preppers' Prepare for Worst, Turn a Profit


Of course, we've been here before. Harold Camping, the president of Family Radio, a California-based Christian radio broadcast, proclaimed that Doomsday was upon us first back in 1988, then in 1994 and then most recently for May 21, 2011, all of which came and when without so much as a frog falling from the sky.

But there are enough people believing the end is nigh that few have been able to turn Doomsday into an entrepreneurial business opportunity. Last year, "Nightline" profiled Robert Vicino, a real estate agent in the process of converting a Cold War bunker in the Mojave desert into a luxury modern shelter with several condo units for sale.

"It's Noah's Ark," Vicino said at the time. "It just happens to be underground."

It will be fortified against the unthinkable, he said, complete with a hospital and a movie theater. At $50,000 per person, and long before it's even done, the shelter is already almost sold out. Vicino is nearing completion on another shelter in Indiana that will be big enough to house 80 people. It too is almost sold out.

"We hope to have 20 facilities done by 2012," he said. "But beyond that, we're looking at doing 20 in China, three in Taiwan, Romania, Russia, everywhere. People are coming at us from everywhere."

Tim Ralston also has made a small business venture out of his disaster-preparedness. He doesn't just stockpile his stuff, he sells it through his online outdoor and survival store.

Geared up for anything, and making a profit off it too.

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