“People are scared to death”

Worried about how November will go or if Civil war could the film come to fruition in real life? Talk to Bill Rigdon, whose company Building Consensus Inc. is responsible for erecting panic rooms, bunkers, and more. for an uncomfortable population. What he’s asked most these days is, “How can I protect myself in the face of the upcoming election and civil unrest that I watch on the news every day?” “People are scared to death,” Rigdon said, according to Fox Business, which notes that his specialization lies in “state-of-the-art steel-reinforced concrete structures that are equipped with high-tech mechanical and electrical installations.”

Rigdon, consultant for the 2002 film Panic room, says there has always been a high demand for its services among celebrities, but there has been an overall increase in interest in recent months, particularly in New York. In addition to the seemingly impenetrable exteriors of its safe spaces, Rigdon’s security plan may incorporate features such as electrified door handles; colored pepper spray that will “temporarily blind intruders and stain their clothing, making them easier to identify if they try to escape,” according to ForumDaily; and even drones that drop nets on those who flee. This is not a task for amateurs, Rigdon says.

“I once had a Fox News reporter who had a whole plan for a basement bunker where 13 or 14 people could stay for a while,” Rigdon told Curbed. “But there was no bathroom.” The outlet notes that “Rigdon neither confirmed nor denied that the client was Roger Ailes.” There have been other periods where experts have seen an increase in panic requests, including at the height of the pandemic, amid the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, when Democratic and Republican politicians began reaching out to increase their home security.

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Rigdon won’t say who his clients are (he signs the NDAs), but he gives hints about a “famous English pianist who wears funny glasses” and “a very famous TV host with a friend named Gayle.” So how much can a setup like this cost you? It could be in the millions, Rigdon says. A heavy ballistic frame security door alone can cost over $50,000. Don’t have wallets that deep? Rigdon recommends storing 30 days of freeze-dried food and hoping for the best. (More panic stories.)