Madoff Family's New Gig: High-End Disaster Planning

Catherine Hooper and Andrew Madoff run 'Black Umbrella'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2011 10:23 AM CDT
Black Umbrella can help you create a kit sort of like this one.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Are you prepared in the event of a disaster? Well, if you have tons of excess cash, don’t worry: The Madoff family can help. After his father was arrested, Andrew Madoff helped fiancée Catherine Hooper launch a high-end disaster planning service, ABC News reports. Dubbed “Black Umbrella,” the company charges $750 to $2,000 to consult with families on things like communication plans and possible escape routes—and calls have jumped 300% since the Japan earthquake.

As part of the not-so-cheap package, clients walk away with a "Go Bag" of disaster essentials like goggles, batteries, four aluminum emergency contact cards ... and a giant black Sharpie. "What this does for you, in a real emergency, is give you the ability to leave a message anywhere and on any surface," says Hooper. "If you needed to leave a note on your door—'gone to grandma's'—this could be a great emergency tool." As to why you should pay so much for a bag containing a Sharpie, "Personal trainers aren't cheap either, but people hire them when they absolutely can't make it happen for themselves," explains Hooper.

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