Diana, it's been going on...
Diana, it's been going on for a while. The government even got into it with the build a fallout shelter campaign in the 50's and 60's.
With a financial crash, Remember Howard Ruff in the 70's? His how to prosper during bad times book even hit #1 on the NYT best sellers list AIR. I think that the current cable TV shows might give the impression that there are more of the people going to extreme lengths than actually exist.
I have been watching those "prepper" type shows that have come out recently, as has been my cousin. We have fun discussing some of silly things we have seen. Some things are downright stupid. They are fun to watch sometimes. Heavens, one of the latest ones deals with a "Flower Child" type preparing a bunker with preparation for that point of view. Those shows show all types of people.