For a long time they were a kind of joke with serious survivalists but recently Richard Vicino and his Vivos startup have captured a huge part of the booming Vault industry.
They are now working in units of thousands of lives saved which starts to change balances in realpolitik.
So the feds know where these vaults are they are looking at ten thousand survivors who are well armed and well provisioned. That is going to factor into their planning and it also attracts the wrong kinds of attention when people get hungry.
I am not criticizing Richard Vicino and I think what he is doing is admirable but as always when you deal in the commons you are going to become significant on the radar of unpleasant people. There are certain individuals who will make a beeline for these shelters the second TSHTF and they will know there are things there worth taking by force despite casualties. This would be the reason I would never put my family in one of these things. You need more than a security force designed to police the inside - you require almost as large an army to police the outside.
Because of the internet there are more and more people starting to realize the precarious nature of the era they had the the misfortune to be born in and with that understanding they are starting to understand there are way too few vaults to house way too many people. The economy that is being created will have to start computing logistics of tens of thousands and nobody has bothered to think in these terms since they shot John F. Kennedy the month after I was born. History is starting to catch up with this generation of baby boomers in the West and it is only now they are beginning to understand what massive failures they are as human beings, having neglected all the highest priority problems until they became so daunting that it is not even worth pretending you have a snowball's chance in hell of fixing them now.
When I was growing up I don't know how many times I heard "That is a problem our children will face." These cowards are only beginning to realize it is also a problem they would face when they were too old, too weak and full of regrets about their foolishness in saying such stupid things when they were younger. They thought they'd be dead by now but all they have done is assure their retirement will occur in very interesting times, if you know what I mean. It is one thing to be running from a cannibal horde in your twenties and another thing altogether to try to hobble along in your seventies. These idiots imagined their grandchildren running from vicious cannibal enrichment squads and they were okay with that so it is really a matter of being hoisted by your own petard. There's nothing funnier than a sixty year old secular atheist frantically trying to escape a huge savage mob of like-minded souls chasing him for barbecue. After all, we are nothing but meat and death is the end so why shouldn't this old fellow throw himself on the grill for the greatest good for the greatest number? He is old and according to utilitarianism will taste best with chives and chicken salt.