Real-life designated survivor: Alex Vogel

Anthony Austin reports. 9/21/2016

First Coast News talked with a real-life designated survivor, who took up the role in 2004 under the Georgia W. Bush administration.

“I think they want you to be pretty well fed in the event of Armageddon, as I recall we had steak and lobster and some red wine,” said Alex Vogel.

Vogel had a full stomach while he sat at an undisclosed location during the 2004 State of the Union Address.

“I was the chief counsel of the Senate Majority Leader, so I was asked to accompany Senator Lott,” said Vogel. “So, I was the designated staff survivor.”

So, basically if the worst happened, he would be the only government staffer left. That’s a lot of responsibility.

“It is definitely a surreal experience to think about on your way there,” Vogel said.

Vogel said he was flown by helicopter from a military facility to a secret spot.

“We watched the speech, just like people might at home," said Vogel. "The only difference is we were in a very secure location watching it."

In Wednesday night’s episode of Designated Survivor on ABC, Tom Kirkman, played by Kiefer Sutherland, becomes Commander-in-Chief after an attack on the US Capital during the State of the Union Address.

I asked Vogel about his thoughts on the show as a man who was actually a designated survivor.

“The secretary was watching the State of the Union from the location, within five miles of the Capital, and while I can’t tell you where I was, it was a lot further away and the designated survivors actually leave Washington,” Vogul said.


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