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By Kurt Ernst

Zombies, it seems, have turned the end of the world into a commercial opportunity for businesses ranging from auto customizers through ammunition suppliers. While many companies build products that look stout, there are no guarantees they’ll get the job done when the fertilizer really does hit the fan.

In all likelihood, the end of civilization won’t come at the hands of comic-book monsters. Instead, all it will take is a few simultaneous natural disasters, an EMP from a rogue nuke detonated in the atmosphere or a new strain of hemorrhagic fever, imported fresh from Central Africa to Manhattan. Someone once said we’re three missed meals away from anarchy, and we’re inclined to believe them.

If you believe that, too, you also know that the current “zombie survival” trucks on the market may protect you from an angry mob of the fictional undead, but they won’t help with a nuclear, biological or chemical emergency. Most will be rendered useless by an EMP, meaning that you’ll enjoy the end of the world from your driveway, not your mountain retreat.

Read: Best car to survive a zombie apocalypse

Enter the SEMA 2012-displayed Survivor Truck, the brainchild of security consultant Jim DeLozier. While the converted Chevrolet C70 may look like just a tree-service truck on steroids, the build sheet tells a different story. DeLozier put some serious thought into this, and his truck is aimed at protecting occupants from real-world emergencies, not just fictional ones.

As explains, the design features a Faraday cage (to shield  electronics from EMP), filters for nuclear, biological and chemical threats, a water desalinization system, water purification and multiple ways to generate electricity, including solar panels.

Its engine is designed to run on a variety of fuels, as is its primary generator. There’s ample storage, and by DeLozier’s calculations a family in a fully stocked Survivor Truck could live off the grid for up to two years. If dad has special forces training, that window could probably be pushed out even further.

To that end, the truck and its accessories are bulletproof, and it comes stocked with gas masks, chemical suits, night vision equipment and camouflage netting that provides 360-degrees of virtual invisibility around the truck. If you believe the best defense is a good offense, the roof is meant to serve as a sniper platform, though you need to provide your own Barrett .50 caliber.

Let us remind you that guaranteed survival comes at a high price, meant to discourage those looking for a mere weekend adventure vehicle. Supply your own platform and go light on the options, and a Survivor Truck will start at around $100,000. If you want the full-meal-deal, expect to pay as much as $600,000.

That may sound like a lot of money now, but when the lights go out and no one picks up when you dial 911, we suspect it will seem like a bargain.

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By Larry Edsall

You may know the word “survivor” as an older pickup truck that has not been restored, but rather preserved in as much of its original condition as the wear and tear of years on the road has permitted.

This story isn’t about one of those.

This story is about the Survivor Truck, but that’s survivor as in surviving nuclear, biological, chemical or any other sort of warfare, or even famine and pestilence, for that matter.

Jim DeLozier, who says he’s a “security consultant,” built and brought this truck to the SEMA Show. It's a truck meant to be as secure as anything anyone likely has ever built.

Beneath the 360-degree protective cage, armored sniper platform, command and communications center with full Faraday cage, and assorted storage compartments is a Chevrolet C-70, but one with an engine modified to run on a variety of fuels.

DeLozier says the truck carries enough freeze-dried food and has its own water purification, generation and desalination systems to enable his family to live for as long as two years well off the grid, producing the electricity it needs via solar and mobile generators.

Or, he says, the truck can become a barracks for a 12-person team.

For camping, the unit has air conditioning, heater, toilet, shower and 4,135-watt solar panel. There also is a fold-out tent, 360-degree thermal-regulated camouflage net system and a medical kit. The truck even carries an electric-powered ATV.

Air inside the vehicle is filtered against various contaminants, but the truck also has gas masks, chemical suits, night-vision cameras, self-contained breathing apparatus and other survival necessities. The truck, even its lights, is bulletproofed.

DeLozier said it took six months to built this prototype, but he expects to be able to produce customized duplicates in about 60 days. Pricing will range from $100,000 to $600,000, depending on the gear you need and whether you already have a donor truck for the base.