Doomsday Preppers

I will admit that I’ve only watched a few episodes of the show. You can see it on the National Geographic channel, which in itself is a bit strange. But why not? If we can have shows about ghosts on SyFy and aliens on the History channel, why not Doomsday on NG? TV doesn’t really make sense to me anyway, and hasn’t for quite some time.


Each week the show chronicles the efforts of three or four groups, usually families, and reviews their doomsday preparations. They are given scores based on the thoroughness of their preparations across a range of categories, food, water, shelter, etc., to indicate the likelihood that a particular family’s strategy will cause them to survive the zombie attacks, the electromagnetic pulse, rising sea levels, or just about any event that could conceivably cause the breakdown of society.


Am I then only one that sees: If you are separating yourself and squirreling away guns, ammo, food, water, and medicine, you’ve already left society. You’ve given up before the “event” even happens.


Like commando versions of the little red hen, these folks are industriously saving every conceivable necessity of life, and furthermore expect the rest of us to turn into ravening hordes hell-bent on obtaining the stale canned goods they are stashing in their bunkers. It seems the only way to deal with the possibility of hard times is to teach weapon skills to eight-year-olds.


I’m a little uncomfortable with the notion that something like 30 million Americans have already given up. Is it just a US phenomenon? I can’t tell, but I suspect that it may be. We have a long affinity with “end-times,” having learned it as children in Sunday school. Having passed through a childhood filled with nuclear holocaust can’t have helped my generation, and so we must infect the next. Reality TV sure brings out our best.


Here’s the deal. If zombies are attacking and you have no food? I’ll be happy to let you have some of mine. Grab a canteen and some ammo, I’ll watch your back.


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8 Responses to Doomsday Preppers

  1. kimkiminy says:

    People can hoard all the food, water, and ammo they want; if society collapses the only real commodity will be fuel.

  2. I haven’t watched it, but I’ve heard about it (and thought it was strange that it was on National Geographic as well … ).

    An ex-coworker of mine hoarded tons of stuff in anticipation of Y2K disasters. I think his family is STILL eating MRE’s. I told him that in the event of the collapse of society I was just going to go to his house and steal all his stuff, since he’d be quivering in his bunker.

  3. I’d remarked earlier that one reason why zombies are all the rage in Hollywood now is because we’re more afraid of each other than we are of space aliens, rogue computers, the Red Army, or a nuclear holocaust. Ironically, the latter is more likely to happen than a zombie holocaust—Iran and North Korea are actively looking into joining the nuclear club, and neither nation is being led by men you can reason with. Yet people seem more afraid of their own neighbors and government to the point they’d actually try to live “off the grid” in fortresses and isolated compounds.

    The other irony is that anthropologists now believe that the species we call “modern man” was successful at surviving primarily because we figured out that it was safest to live in organized, cooperative groups. Large bands of humans could harvest more food if they all worked together and collected it into a central storehouse. Hunters could go after larger prey and bring home more meat if they went out in organized parties. The more isolated, smaller groups could travel faster, but in periods of severe weather when they needed to hunker down, it was harder for them to survive because they had fewer people to rely on for survival tasks like finding food and building shelter.

    So, I’ll bring my fire-starter kit, ice ax, a sack of beans and a sack of rice and a pound of salt. I also know how to identify edible plants and cook them. (You’d like them! I just fixed mustard greens I picked out of a field near our house.) I also know how to dress a deer carcass, but that’s a skill I really don’t want to use unless it’s that or starve. 😛

    • Doug says:

      You’d be an excellent addition to the zombie apocalypse team. I think real survival lies in knowledge, which is something that you can’t have or share in isolation.

    • jaklumen says:

      “Large bands of humans could harvest more food if they all worked together and collected it into a central storehouse.”

      We Mormons are doing just that (bishop’s storehouse/LDS Welfare Program). So, are we doing something right? I mean, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of these Prepper types are the same ones that are glib with calling us heretics.

      I was accused of being a prepper, once, by a bagger at the grocery store. Bullshit. I was just telling my daughter the other day we did canning so she and her brother had something to eat on the off-season. We’re taught to rotate our foodstorage at Church, I promise– and we can’t afford to just let it sit, no way!

      • Doug says:

        I think the prepper mindset requires three things : 1) Distrust of society 2) Caching goods anticipating its collapse and 3) Defending the prepared materials with weapons. Some folks are not preppers, just prudent. Some things are a good idea just because they are a good idea.

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