bug-out locations

Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve been observing and blogging about “prepping” for several years now. Case in point, this 2011 post recapping a new TV show called Doomsday Preppers (ever heard of it?).

Early on I noticed wealthy Americans were getting into preparedness. They recognized and took steps to deal with potential TEOTWAWKI scenarios- just like their lower-net worth compatriots.

And such activity continues to this day, spurred on not just by concerns over major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters, but fears of a financial crash, civil unrest/war, and impoversihed and angry masses turning against the rich.

Earlier this evening I finally got the chance to read an article from the January 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich.” Evan Osnos penned:

Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort…

The lengthy-yet-interesting piece took a closer look at the prepping mindset and priorities of the wealthy these days. One notable passage was:

I asked [prominent investor and co-founder of LinkedIn Reid] Hoffman to estimate what share of fellow Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance,” in the form of a hideaway in the U.S. or abroad. “I would guess fifty-plus per cent,” he said…

There was also this from Osnos:

In building Reddit, a community of thousands of discussion threads, into one of the most frequently visited sites in the world, [co-founder and CEO Steve] Huffman has grown aware of the way that technology alters our relations with one another, for better and for worse. He has witnessed how social media can magnify public fear. “It’s easier for people to panic when they’re together,” he said, pointing out that “the Internet has made it easier for people to be together,” yet it also alerts people to emerging risks. Long before the financial crisis became front-page news, early signs appeared in user comments on Reddit. “People were starting to whisper about mortgages. They were worried about student debt. They were worried about debt in general. There was a lot of, ‘This is too good to be true. This doesn’t smell right.’” He added, “There’s probably some false positives in there as well, but, in general, I think we’re a pretty good gauge of public sentiment. When we’re talking about a faith-based collapse, you’re going to start to see the chips in the foundation on social media first.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve noticed a growing amount of anger directed against President Trump and the Republicans on my Facebook “home page” these days.

“Early signs” of significant civil unrest coming?

If you’ve got some time to spare, head on over to The New Yorker website and check out the Osnos piece here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Civil Strife, Class Warfare, Emergencies, Government, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Political Parties, Preparedness, Technology, TEOTWAWKI, War, Wealth Comments Off on Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

How Prepping Saved Many Alsatian Jews From the Nazis

Back when I was in high school, I was given an assignment that involved researching my family’s history. I decided to talk to my grandmother about the project, and she provided me a good deal of information. I knew we had been around Chicago since its early years. And that my family came from a number of Western European countries prior to that, including a branch that resided in the region of Alsace-Lorraine- sometimes a part of France, other times Germany. It was these ancestors I thought of the other day when I stumbled upon a November 10, 2013, article in The Times Of Israel entitled “Anticipating the Nazis, Alsace Jews prepared for the worst.” Cnan Liphshiz wrote:

His hearing isn’t what it used to be, but Georges Loinger still remembers Adolf Hitler’s voice emanating from the radio at his Strasbourg home.

Growing up in the heavily Germanic Alsace region of eastern France, Loinger and his family tuned in regularly to broadcasts of Hitler’s speeches. They heard his “electrifying voice” and the plans he had in store for the Jews of Europe.

So when the Nazis’ anti-Jewish propaganda turned to deadly violence on Kristallnacht, the pogrom unleashed on the Jews of Germany and Austria 75 years November 10, the Jews of Strasbourg were ready.

“We had read Nazi propaganda,” said Loinger, 103, who fought in the French resistance. “We spoke to hundreds of Jewish refugees from Germany. We knew what was coming.”

Historians say the knowledge, unusual for Jewish communities outside Germany and Austria, made the 20,000 Jews of Alsace and nearby Lorraine better prepared to face the forthcoming Nazi occupation.

The community was able to help German Jews, hide heritage assets and private possessions and, most important, survive. Ten percent of the Jewish population of Alsace and Lorraine perished in the Holocaust, compared to 22 percent elsewhere in France…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Liphshiz pointed out that between 1934 and 1941, Alsatian Jews banded together to protect themselves and help others in advance of and at the onset of the Nazis arrival in the region.

Lucien Lazare, a historian at Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, was also quoted in the piece. Lazare’s family was one of those living in the area prior to the German takeover. Liphshiz added:

Like many Alsatian Jews, Lazare’s family sold their home and other valuables months before the Nazi invasion. Within hours of the arrival of the German army in 1940, the family was prepared to go into hiding

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Great article. With plenty of valuable lessons applicable to preppers today, including:

• Keep up on current events (while filtering out the nonsense, of course)
• Seek knowledge about possible threats
• Put together a plan
• Be mentally-prepared to follow through with the plan
• And last but not least, take care of the community and others seeking help when possible

You can read the rest of Liphshiz’s article on The Times Of Israel website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 Europe, Preparedness, War Comments Off on How Prepping Saved Many Alsatian Jews From the Nazis

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘The Fight Ahead’ Preview

A week ago, I blogged about the start of season 3 of the National Geographic Channel’s hit TV series Doomsday Preppers. I noted that I was able to get an advance screening DVD of the first two episodes for the new season. Before it airs tonight at 9 PM ET, I want to preview episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers, entitled, “The Fight Ahead.” From the Nat Geo Channel website:

Prepper Chad believes that a nuclear strike resulting in a genocidal siege is a real possibility. At his home in Arizona, he is working on executing the biggest prep of his life- a 140-foot-long escape tunnel from his family’s house to a bug-out vehicle. With the help of his wife and daughter, he begins construction. But as the project unfolds, they realize they’re in over their heads.

In addition to Chad Hudspeth, his wife Debbie, and daughters Heidi and Holly out in Phoenix, there’s Mike Evock and his family out in Laurinburg, North Carolina, who are prepping for a biological/chemical attack.


“Tunnel Time”
YouTube Video

I watched the “The Fight Ahead” a couple of weeks ago and thought it was pretty good, especially as it contained a bunch of potential prepping ideas. Keep an eye out for the following tonight:

-The Hudspeth’s backyard aquaponics system, which also generates algae for producing biodiesel fuel
-The addition of an underground shelter with escape tunnel to the Hudspeth home
-The family’s use of a single code word to signal TSHTF
-The Evock’s being able to run a family business from their bug-out location
-Their BioDome, a portable sealed-off safe room that protects against biological/chemical attack
-Their combat-capable ATV, the “Interceptor”
-How to produce homemade caltrops, a tire-deflating device made from spiked steel

Like I said- lots on potential ideas in this episode.

One more thing. I noticed that while Practical Preppers LLC is still assessing the preppers featured in the TV series, I didn’t see any scores displayed for them at the end of the first two episodes of the third season. I wonder if it’s because I’m viewing copies that are “not cleared for broadcast.”

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the National Geographic Channel here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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On TV: All-New Season Of Doomsday Preppers Starts Tonight

The National Geographic Channel has been pretty busy with their survival-themed programming this week. First, they aired the two-hour movie event American Blackout on Sunday. And tonight, an all-new season of Doomsday Preppers begins at 9 PM ET.

(Editor’s note: In August, four “summer episodes” of Doomsday Preppers aired. I erroneously labeled these season 3 of TV series. The third season of Nat Geo Channel’s hit TV series actually kicks off tonight. As such, I’ll be going back and making the necessary corrections on this blog.)

Season 3 debuts with the episode entitled “Take Our Country Back.” From the National Geographic Channel website:

Deep in Oregon’s backcountry sits an 80-acre off-the-grid estate that prepper Curt and his family have designed as a fortress in the event of an economic collapse. Isolation is one of their greatest strengths, but the protective measures are endless: a 3,000-square-foot greenhouse, a lake with 1 million gallons of water, infrared cameras and a high-tech software system not to mention the children are trained in marksmanship.

In addition to “Curt,” there’s Rodney Dial in Ketchikan, Alaska, who along with his wife Lisa and daughter Megan are prepping for major earthquakes in the Alaska area and the tsunamis they could potentially unleash.


“Armored for Armaggedon”
YouTube Video

I was lucky enough to get an advance screening DVD of two upcoming Doomsday Preppers season 3 episodes from the National Geographic Channel- including tonight’s show. After watching them the other week, I thought the Nat Geo Channel staff were correct in selecting this episode as the season premiere. Keep an eye out for the following on “Take Our Country Back” tonight:

-Rodney’s ingenious way of caching some of his of preps
-The Dial family’s bug-out vehicle, nicknamed the “War Machine”
-Curt’s 80-acre bug out location that he moved his family to (wife Randy (spelling?), kids Crae and Sam) last year. What a nice piece of survival property.
-An incident just beyond Curt’s BOL which looked pretty serious and threw him and the production crew off somewhat

For more information about Doomsday Preppers, visit the National Geographic Channel here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 Emergencies, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, On TV, Preparedness, Shelter, Supplies, TEOTWAWKI, Transportation, Vehicles Comments Off on On TV: All-New Season Of Doomsday Preppers Starts Tonight

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Solutions Not Problems’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with a special Valentine’s Day episode, “Solutions Not Problems,” which airs at 9 PM ET.

I was lucky enough to be provided an advance-screening of the “Bachelor Prepper” episode. From a Nat Geo Channel press release I received at the end of last week:

Prepping for an economic collapse, Jeff is converting a decommissioned missile silo into the perfect bug-out getaway. But that’s not all Jeff is focused on. With an online dating profile, he is also searching for a special someone who can share his love for prepping. We’ll see Jeff, a bachelor on the lookout for love, not only work on his bunker, but also go on multiple dates to find his prepper mate. Will he select one to take to his secret bunker? We also meet Doug, who lives in the mountains of Tennessee. He currently runs his own stone quarry, and the locals call him “Rockman.” But what they may not know is that he is using rocks to prepare his underground bunker for the upcoming economic collapse. Will he build a safe haven out of his rock stockpiles?

Jeff Flaningam is a 37-year-old Wisconsin bachelor who owns 19-acres out in central Kansas- with a decommissioned Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silo buried underneath it. Jeff is hard at work turning the abandoned missile base into a livable bug-out location. He told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic economic collapse.

According to the show:

The national debt currently totals more than $16 trillion. Jeff believes that if nothing is done to change this, the U.S. could go from becoming a global economic leader, to a nation struggling to provide food, water, and power. He worries that the consequences of such a collapsing economy could last indefinitely.

Flaningam added:

Transportation system falls apart, fuel costs go through the roof, people can’t get the goods that they need. The normal courtesy that we share with our fellow man is going to degrade and get thrown out of the window. Violence would be rampant. I don’t think anyone can know how long an event like that could last. I know I have to be prepared to stay off the grid for as long as it takes.

The Wisconsin-based prepper plans on bugging out 800 miles to the Kansas bunker when the first signs of a SHTF situation arise.

But before that happens, he’d like someone to share those “special times” with.

“Doug,” aka “Rockman,” owns a stone quarry in the Tennessee mountains. He told viewers:

I’m prepping for an economic collapse that will change the world forever.

Doug added later:

Our economy is in distress. And I don’t see it getting better. Can you imagine paying $17 trillion dollars back?

Along with his employee and best friend Inés, the two of them are shown building an underground shelter constructed out of a shipping container that their families will use as a bug-out location, and putting a 3-tiered defensive plan for the bunker into place.

It was a fun, informative, and not too overboard (reality TV-wise) episode to watch. And if you’re not into that lovey-dovey stuff, at least catch it for the “Rockman’s” segment, where he, with the help of a former U.S. President, shows you an easy way to make money from money.

Don’t worry. You’ll get what I’m talking about by watching tonight’s episode.

For more information about the TV series visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 Civil Strife, Debt Crisis, Man-Made Disasters, On TV, Preparedness, Self-Defense, Shelter, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Solutions Not Problems’ Preview

On TV: Doomsday Preppers Season 2 Episode 3 Premieres Tonight

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with episode 3, “Bad Times All the Time,” which airs at 9 PM ET/PT.

One again, the Nat Geo Channel provided me with an advanced screening opportunity of the episode, and it didn’t disappoint. There were three prepper “groups” featured in “Bad Times All the Time.” First up were Jay and Holly Blevins of Berryville, Virginia. Jay, a former law-enforcement officer, told viewers:

We’re preparing for the breakdown of social order caused by an economic collapse.

Jay and Holly somehow managed to forge a prepper network out of a number of other households in their cul-de-sac. It was real interesting to see. Also, Jay talked about something called the “Circle of Force,” which included his rifle, handgun, edge weapons, impact weapons, pepper spray, martial arts, and verbal commands. Emphasis on a battery of different weapon groups beyond the traditional battery of firearms- I like that. And as the Blevins family tested plywood sheets that would cover their home’s first-floor windows in a SHTF scenario, the importance of real, functioning window shutters became visually-apparent, although it wasn’t discussed.


“Prepper Profile: Jay Blevins”
Nat Geo Channel Video

Next up was Brian P. Murdock, a real estate agent from Somerville, Massachusetts. Murdock told viewers:

I believe there will be a Third World War in my lifetime.

Two things stood out in this segment of episode 3. First was his acquisition of a bug-out location- 50-acres in rural New York state- and a bug-out vehicle- a recreational vehicle, or RV- to get to it from the Boston metro area.

Second was his search for a “prepper wife,” which was fulfilled in the lovely Colombian national Tatiana Maria Cogollo Fernandez. When Tatiana told viewers:

I can’t believe that I came here to die.

I knew I was in-store for a little bit more “reality” TV than I prefer. Still, this second part of the show was palatable, and I found Brian and Tatiana’s story interesting and informative.

Finally, there was Bryan May and wife Lacey Simmons-May, small business owners living in Indiana. Bryan revealed:

We’re preparing for the New Madrid earthquake that will change the world as we know it.

I did some research on the potential threat to the Chicagoland area from a big New Madrid quake when I was working for a suburban fire department some years back, and it’s real. Deadly real, depending on where you live. Bryan and Lacey have a legitimate concern here. Two things to watch for in this last segment of “Bad Times All the Time” are the couple’s bartering and their willingness to pursue more income as a way of obtaining the preps they think they need but can’t afford. It was inspirational. Sextacular even. And no that wasn’t a typo.

Enjoy tonight’s episode. For more information, please visit the Doomsday Preppers page on the National Geographic Channel website here.

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When Mandatory Evacuations Are Enforced

From the CBS News website this past Monday:

Wildfires force more evacuations as officials say looters targeting victims

Crews in northern Colorado faced powerful winds Sunday as they battled a blaze that has scorched 87 square miles of mountainous forest land and destroyed at least 181 homes, the most in state history. Meanwhile, local authorities are focusing on another concern — looting.

Looting. When I see this word, I think L.A. Riots, 1992. New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

But this report out of Colorado makes it twice this year I’ve come across looting-related stories here in the United States. I wrote back on March 6:

I’d heard the rumors- looters are popping up in Indiana and Kentucky, taking advantage of the damage and chaos caused by recent severe weather in parts of the Midwest. And then I came across this excerpt from an article that appeared on MSNBC.com last night:

In hard-hit areas, National Guard troops manned checkpoints on roads and outside towns, and were inspecting identity documents of those seeking to enter damaged areas in Indiana and Kentucky following reports of looting.

According to law enforcement officials, looting did happen in Indiana and Kentucky, with the looters coming from as far away as Ohio.

Disgusting.

I know what some of you might be thinking…

Death to all looters.

Oh, that’s not it? Perhaps it’s…

Mandatory evacuation or not, there’s no way I’ll ever leave my home to the mercy of looters.

The thing is, “mandatory evacuation” means just that sometimes.

In the days following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, the following appeared on the CNN website on September 7, 2005:

New Orleans’ mayor ordered law enforcement agencies Tuesday night to remove everyone from the city who is not involved in cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, whether they want to go or not.

Mayor Ray Nagin instructed all public safety officers “to compel the evacuation of all persons … regardless of whether such persons are on private property or do not desire to leave,” according to a written statement from his office…

Many residents have refused to leave New Orleans despite a mandatory evacuation and warnings from government officials that staying in the flooded city represents a health risk…

“These citizens will have to be removed for their own good,” Police Superintendent Eddie Compass told CNN.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)


“Woman uses gun on police to stop evacuation from home”
YouTube Video

The reality is, mandatory evacuations can become “forced evacuations,” especially in the aftermath of some disaster. I emphasize the word “can,” as you may recall New York City ordered a mandatory evacuation for some residents in advance of Hurricane Irene last August, but forced evacuations never came into play.

It’s only a matter of time before the next mandatory evacuation is announced somewhere in the United States. And one of these days, it could get so bad that the authorities feel compelled to enforce it again. Having your own evacuation plan in place, with a location of your choosing outside the probable evacuation area, is probably a good idea. Those with bug-out plans/bug-out locations (BOLs) are already in good shape.

Sources:

“Wildfires force more evacuations as officials say looters targeting victims.” CBS News. 18 June 2012. (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57454964/wildfires-force-more-evacuations-as-officials-say-looters-targeting-victims/). 22 June 2012.

“New Orleans will force evacuations.” CNN. 7 Sep. 2005. (http://articles.cnn.com/2005-09-06/us/katrina.impact_1_force-evacuations-mayor-ray-nagin-new-orleans/2?_s=PM:US) 22 June 2012.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 8

I finally got the chance to watch episode number 8 of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers.

The show focused on three groups of preppers Tuesday night, March 27. In order of appearance:

Bruce Beach, rural Ontario, Canada
Bruce and his family have built a massive underground shelter in anticipation of an inevitable nuclear war. “We are not about survival. We are about reconstruction.”

Jeremy and Kelly, outside Salt Lake City, Utah
“I’m preparing for the collapse of society due to peak oil”

Bradford Frank, San Diego, California
“I’m preparing for a worldwide pandemic that will end life as we know it”

Here are my thoughts about episode 8 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Bruce Beach

Bruce Beach is a retired scientist who thinks the world as we know it will end by nuclear destruction. According to Bruce:

This is going to be a universal catastrophe. It’s that sudden. I don’t think there’s going to be a two-minute warning. There’s a distinct possibility that mankind can destroy itself. I think nuclear war is inevitable. In a catastrophe this size, 80 percent of the population will die during the first 2 years. The things that will kill them are social disruption, plagues, lack of food, lack of heat, exposure. It’s a random sort of thing as to who’s going to be saved and who isn’t.

Thinking this will be our fate, Bruce has been preparing for decades now to rescue humanity. From the show:

To save mankind from apocalyptic destruction, Bruce has taken it upon himself to build a haven for humanity. A unique place to sit out the end of the world.

Bruce and his wife Jean have constructed a 10,000 square-foot shelter that’s been designed to survive a nuclear war. Built in 1985, it’s intended to be an “underground orphanage.” Bruce explained:

Save the children. That’s a basic human characteristic. They’re our hope for the continuation of life for building a new and better world.

According to the show:

Bruce’s protected safe house is constructed from building blocks that many kids would consider familiar surroundings: 42 recycled school buses, linked together and buried under 18 inches of concrete and 14 feet of earth…

School buses can support over one-and-a-half times their weight, and can cost as little as $300 second-hand, making them a prepper favorite for bug-out vehicles, and even safe mobile homes…

It’s been estimated that if a global nuclear war occurred, up to a billion lives would be at risk in the months and years following.

Bruce revealed:

We can have 500 people in here, but have to have a number of people to watch over the children.

The underground shelter complex is named Ark 2- in honor of Noah’s Ark.

The extended Beach family contributes to the upgrade and maintenance of the facility.

Although Ark 2 is located in southern Ontario, Canada, Bruce pointed out that an attack on missile bases in the central U.S. could bring significant fallout to their area. Should this or a nearby nuclear blast be reported, the Beach family plans to head to the underground bunker, and start taking in young refugees.

And what about the children’s parents/guardians or any others who come to the shelter but are turned away? Ark 2 staffers plan on giving them “Go Away Kits,” packs that will help people live outside of the bunker. These kits includes radiation detectors.

According to the episode:

Bruce expects refugees would have to stay inside the Ark for weeks, maybe months, to avoid the worst of the radiation outside.

As such, his family has spent 30 years stockpiling “tons of food” to feed the inhabitants.

Now the show pointed out:

One of the hazards of living underground for an extended period, is making sure you have enough air to breathe. At full capacity, and without proper air circulation, Bruce’s 10,000 foot shelter would run out of oxygen in approximately half a day. So Bruce has devised a rather unusual, and cost effective, air circulation system. This strong line of garbage bags can distribute 300 cubic feet of air from the outside vents to different locations in the shelter.

They didn’t say if Ark 2 has nuclear/biological/chemical (NBC) filters for these vents. I would hope so, in order to prevent radioactive fallout from entering and contaminating the facility’s air supply.

It’s not just the Beach family who are involved with the complex. It was revealed that a network of Ark 2 preppers exists all around the United States.

These days, Bruce is busy working on an off-grid communication system, which he hopes to distribute to key members in the local community so that Ark 2 can have a link to the outside world, especially as it concerns information about supplies, radiation levels, and security when TSHTF. From the episode:

The secondary effect of a nuclear detonation is an EMP, a wave of electromagnetic energy powerful enough to bring down the grid. So they are building a ham radio system, widely used by preppers, because it relies only on naturally-existing radio waves to transmit messages, and can work independently from the electrical grid.

According to the show, a 1.4 megaton bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most of the electronics in the United States.

As the segment drew to a close, Bruce Beach left viewers with this:

The Ark is about our service to humanity. And whether or not I pass the Ark on to the grandchildren is irrelevant. What is important is that I pass on to my grandchildren is a dedication of service to humanity. So that’s what my life is about. What my legacy will be, I have no idea.

Jeremy and Kelly

Jeremy (no last name given) is the owner of a digital media company. He and his wife Kelly have a 1-year-old son, Zander. The young family are preparing for peak oil- and what it could mean for our society. From the show:

The term peak oil refers to the eventual decline in the supply of oil reserves. If oil becomes harder to get, the price will increase past the point where people can afford to buy it. The U.S. alone consumes 20 million barrels of oil every day, and global demand is projected to grow by a quarter by 2030.

Jeremy talked about his concerns with peak oil:

I think drastic changes could happen literally in a matter of a couple of years from now. All it takes is for the demand for oil to outstrip the supply, and we’ve been on the razor’s edge of that for a really long time. My worst case scenario is that oil exporting countries stop exporting, and gas pumps start running dry around America. Then that just has a cascading effect across our entire society. People won’t be able to go to work. And if you can’t go to work, then infrastructure starts to fail…

Once infrastructure starts to fail, we could eventually even see the grid go down. And if the grid goes down, society as we know it will be very, very changed.

Kelly recalled something that might sound familiar to a number of preppers:

My first reaction to my husband’s desire to start prepping was a little scared. I actually walked away, and was like, trying to ignore him, because I didn’t want to admit it. It took me about a year to finally come to terms with the idea of prepping.

Jeremy said this about his prepping:

I like to think of myself as a fairly-balanced person. And I don’t think this is an obsession. It’s just a precaution.

To deal with potential water shortages, Jeremy and Kelly look to their 450 gallon hot tub. From the show:

Jeremy and Kelly are able to ration their hot tub water by using the drainage tube. This allows them to preserve a precious resource. Having clean water is essential to survival. So in a grid-down situation, it is imperative to have a water purification system. The 450 gallons in the hot tub could hydrate Jeremy, Kelly, and Zander for about 8 months.

Jeremy is also concerned about infections and disease. He noted:

One of the concerns in the post-collapse world is the lack of access to medical facilities, antibiotics, things like that.

According to the episode:

80 percent of the active ingredients used in American drugs are made overseas. And without the fuel to ship them, emergency treatment would be in short supply. So Jeremy is leaving nothing to chance.

The Utah prepper revealed:

It turns out that the antibiotics used for fish tanks is actually the same antibiotics as are prescribed for humans, so you can actually get human antibiotics at a pet store.

The show added:

Common antibiotics like amoxicillin are marketed under different names for aquatic use. Fish antibiotics are a favorite among preppers to stockpile, because they are widely available without a prescription or pharmacist.

I’ve come across material on the web for and against the substitution of fish antibiotics for human antibiotics. Since you’re only talking about your health here, it would probably be wise to research this very carefully before heading down to the local pet store to pick up some fish antibiotics.

The show returned to the topic of peak oil. From the episode:

Experts disagree as to when we will reach the peak of oil production. Some estimate it will peak as soon as 2035. Jeremy believes it already has.

Remember, “peak oil” doesn’t necessarily mean the Earth is running out of crude oil. Rather, it refers to the maximum rate of the production of crude oil.

Speaking of oil, Jeremy and Kelly have in their possession a bug-out vehicle known as “The Beast.” It’s a military surplus M35 2 1/2 ton cargo truck that Jeremy bought for $3,500. Due to the size of the vehicle, it serves as the family’s transportation and shelter in a SHTF situation. Best of all, it’s has multi-fuel capability, meaning it can be run on regular gas, diesel, kerosene, jet fuel, and used motor oil.

Jeremy is shown collecting used motor oil for “The Beast.” His goal is to stockpile 1,000-1,500 gallons of it.

Near the end of the segment, the family practiced a bug-out drill. During the exercise, Jeremy taught Kelly how to drive the “deuce-and-a-half.” Telling her to “man-handle” it on rough terrain, she “woman-handles” the truck instead, and lets out a priceless roar.

Bradford Frank

Bradford Frank is a psychiatrist who lives in sunny San Diego, California, with his wife Narin and daughter Alexandria. He’s concerned a pandemic will bring about TEOTWAWKI . Bradford said:

Sometimes people refer to me as Doctor Doom. I think that most people would look at me and say, “He’s a nut case. He a psychiatrist, he’s obviously crazy.” And that’s the reason I don’t talk to a lot of people about prepping. I went to Yale and studied infectious diseases. And, that’s where I started to get interested in influenza, and in particular, bird flu.

Bradford added:

Super influenza- a super bug- is not a completely new event.

From the episode:

He believes a new, extremely-contagious form of bird flu will transmit to humans, then spread through the population like wildfire.

The World Health Organization considers 100 million infections a conservative estimates for a global pandemic.

Bradford predicted:

People would become hysterical, there would be chaos throughout the world. It’s not a question if it’s going to occur again. It’s only a question of when.

As a physician, the California prepper has easier access to medicine than most others. He explained:

I am able to obtain antibiotics and other medications because I am a physician. I actually buy these in large quantities. So we have all these medicines. It’s a little bit hard to know what to do with the antibiotics if you’re not a doctor.

The show added:

After a pandemic, Bradford believes hospitals will become hot zones for infection. So he’s stockpiling antibiotics to ensure his family never needs to leave the house for medical care.

Bradford’s wife, Narin, is concerned her spouse is wasting money on preparedness gear and supplies. She revealed:

I told him you like to think all negative things. And scary things. And nothing’s going to happen.

Despite her objections, Bradford stockpiles food, including 1,000 lbs. of rice. From the episode:

Bradford considers rice the perfect prepper food, because it’s inexpensive, contains protein, and has a long shelf-life.

The Franks’ daughter, Alexandria, seems a bit more understanding of her father’s efforts. She said:

I don’t really know how I feel about my dad being so concerned about bird flu. He lets it go to his head too much sometimes, and I feel he can be a little neurotic. But, it’s good that we have a little back up plan.

The show revealed the family has enough food stashed away to last a year.

Viewers were provided some insight into Narin’s stance on preparedness. Narin is from Cambodia, and all her primary relatives were killed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. At 19, she escaped from one of their prison camps, and did whatever was required to survive.

Could talk of prepping be bringing back bad memories? She said:

I don’t need a lot of food. And I don’t need a lot of medicine. I know how to survive in a different way.

Maybe so. But not needing a lot of food or medicine doesn’t mean squat should an easily-communicable and lethal strain of influenza arrive at your door. And should its appearance result in societal collapse, Narin must remember she’s no longer 19 as well.

Bradford is concerned that the infected will target doctors’ homes in search of medicine. Subsequently, he replaced his home’s sliding doors with quarter-inch thick sheets of ballistic glass, which repels projectiles and bullets. And according to the show:

Some glass manufacturers are making “one-way” bullet proof glass, allowing for return fire at the exterior threat

Interesting. Will have to look into that one.

Because the potential exists for infection via his neighbors, Bradford secured an isolated bug-out location- a gem mine 2.5 hours from San Diego. He pointed out:

The number one protection in a global pandemic is being away from other people who may be infectious.

The prepper also revealed just how driven he is to survive this and other life-threatening scenarios. Bradford said:

I have just a very powerful survival instinct that would propel me to continue to scratch and claw my way forward.

Getting back to the cave, the underground shelter brought back bad memories for Narin. During her flight from the Khmer Rouge, she was forced to hide in one for 2 months.

As such, it might not work for the Frank family.

Plus, in the “Expert Assessment” portion of segment, Practical Preppers LLC offered up the following:

However, if you ultimately choose to bug-out to an isolated location, we do not suggest a cave. A cave is susceptible to moisture, which would destroy your food stores.

In the “Doomsday Preppers Update,” viewers were informed that Bradford was carjacked at gunpoint while on vacation. He said:

Things turned out well, and the perpetrators are behind bars. But I actually hope that this experience is a positive one for my family in helping them understand that bad things can happen even when you least expect them.

Overall, another good episode of Doomsday Preppers. More interesting ideas to explore. Plus, I liked the additional focus on spouses and family members in this installment. I have a feeling there’s a lot more Narins out there than Jeans or Kellys when it comes to embracing prepping and the advantages it gives the individual/family should a SHTF event take place. But that’s not meant to take away anything from Mrs. Frank, who, as a survivor of the Cambodian “killing fields,” is obviously one tough, resilient woman. However, based on her experience “living” in “Democratic” Kampuchea, one might think she’d be more open to being prepared for those unexpected life-threatening situations that come along every once in a while, like a murderous regime seizing power or global pandemic, for example.

Anyway, I wish these preppers success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 5

This weekend I got around to reviewing episode number 5 of National Geographic Channel’s new TV series Doomsday Preppers. “You Shall Not Fear,” which aired on February 28, focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:

Michael Douglas and family, Augusta, Maine
“I’m preparing for overpopulation to reach critical mass”

Larry Hall, Kansas plains
“I’m building a luxury survival condominium to protect against solar flare, worldwide economic collapse, or anything Mother Nature could throw at us”

Becky Brown, Salt Lake City, Utah
“Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 5 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Michael Douglas and family

Michael Douglas is a former U.S. Marine who is now a wilderness school instructor. He lives on a 30-acre farm in Augusta, Maine, with his wife and three kids.

Michael is concerned about overpopulation. According to the Nat Geo Channel:

The global population first reached 1 billion in 1804. In only 200 years, the global population has soared from 1 billion to 7 billion. Researchers believe that the planet can only sustain a limited number of people. And Michael fears, that we are fast approaching critical mass, and will soon exceed the world’s carrying capacity.

The prepper added:

Overpopulation reaches critical mass, soils will be depleted and turn into deserts. Once those deserts establish themselves, it’s irreversible. Giant dust clouds turning the sky red for days will cover the landscape. What’s going to happen? Massive food riots in the streets. Violence. A gallon of water would cost more than a gallon of gas.

Not only has Michael been developing his survival skills for the last 20 years, but he’s also been teaching his three kids to be preppers and to be able to live off the land. He explained:

It’s important to have every family member on board if we are to survive as a family.

Michael predicts food and water shortages ahead. The farm produces food and has 400 gallons of water cached. However, he thinks the key to his family’s survival is to become “hunter-gatherers.”

Instead of utilizing traditional alarm systems, Michael has been teaching his kids to decipher alerts among the local bird population. He believes this gives them around 5 minutes warning of approaching danger. While this sounds good on the surface, what if there are no birds present in an area at a particular time? Or what if another sound (farm equipment, or steadily falling rain, for example) drowns out the birds? Then there’s the evening, when the family retires indoors to bed. The Douglas family might want to consider adding additional layers of alarms, such as a battery of motion detectors, particularly for those times when they’re inside their residence.

On the topic of protection, the show revealed:

Most preppers stock up on firearms for self-defense. But Michael does not possess guns. He believes population would cause ammunition to become a finite resource, and he does not want to become dependent on it.

Instead, the Douglas family uses martial arts, the tomahawk, and the throwing stick to protect themselves.

While I’m glad to hear that the family is paying attention to their personal safety, I wonder about the tools they’ve chosen. Martial arts has a limited effective range, as does the tomahawk and throwing stick. Introduce a firearm like a carbine or battle rifle into the equation and they could have a real problem. Also, in a confrontation, you’re likely talking about one tomahawk/one “stick,” one throw. Advantage, “high-capacity” magazine? Finally, while the family may be able to effectively deal with one or a small number of lightly-armed intruders with what they’re working with, I’m concerned the outcome might be different in other circumstances. The more bad guys, armament, training, and distance of engagement, the more likely the attackers will prevail.

Ammunition availability is a major concern for many preppers. The solution I often come across in my research? Get out there and start buying ammo, and be sure to “stack ‘em high and stack ‘em deep.”

Michael said he conducts self-defense drills every day, multiple times a day, and often without warning. That sounds great, although I hope he doesn’t end up like Cato from the Pink Panther movies some day.

The children are being guided towards a “rite of passage” event in which they are to recognize they have the essential skills they need to survive. In the episode, the middle child, 12-year-old Ryan, was undergoing such a rite. Initially, Ryan was shown as not being too interested in the whole program. The young man even said:

I don’t need to know all the different skills that he teaches me. Like, for the food, pizza. Fire, matches. Water, sink. Not drinking out of moss.

His rite was to require of Ryan to build a shelter and a fire using a blow drill and piece of notched wood. Turns out, Ryan was pretty darn good at doing both.

Michael Douglas is not one for accumulating survival “toys.” He announced:

A lot of preppers get sooo infatuated with new toys. They’re temporary conveniences that will rust, fall apart, break, get lost.

Great point- which is why preppers should obtain the best-quality “toys” they can afford.

Larry Hall

Larry Hall is an engineer turned real estate developer who is building luxury survival condos somewhere on the plains in Kansas. The condos are being constructed out of former nuclear missile silos. The structure is 14 stories deep (175 feet), embedded in up to 9 feet of concrete. It will contain room for 70 residents, including Larry, his wife, and 6-year-old son. He said:

The survival condo project is a one size fits all solution to solar flares and loss of the grid, avian bird flu, a nuclear explosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

The complex is stocked with a combination of freeze-dried and dehydrated food- approximately 5 years’ worth of food for each resident at 2,500 calories per day. Psychologists were consulted and recommendations implemented (high ceilings, for example) when dealing with potential “cabin fever.” Artificial windows, available with a number of different scenes, are being built into the structure. Redundancy has been achieved for key life support systems.

According to Hall, residents of the complex will perform preventative maintenance and man security details. The structure is almost completely hidden from view. A half-million dollar 4-stage security plan is in place:

• Security Stage One- 7-foot high perimeter fence
• Security Stage Two- Complex surveillance system monitoring interior/exterior
• Security Stage Three- Concrete-encased entrance offers protection for armed defenders
• Security Stage Four- 70 armed, battle-ready residents can be mustered if necessary

Each condo unit will be offered for between $1 to $2 million. A prospective buyer by the name of Sara(h?) visited the complex during filming. From the show:

Many Americans can identify with Sara(h)’s sense of impending dread. A recent poll found that 41 percent of Americans feel that preparing for a disastrous event is more important than saving for retirement. And over half believe some kind of catastrophic event will occur in the next 10 years.

Near the end of the second part of the show, Larry Hall offered up this little nugget of advice to viewers:

Be prepared, because you don’t want to deal with the alternative.

In the “Expert Assessment” section, Practical Preppers suggested:

However, you should think about recruiting inhabitants with advanced skills sets, including those with medical and military training.

Great advice. Larry responded with:

I agree 100 percent with that comment. We attempted to do just that, but given the economic conditions that we have today, that option became overcome by events, for lack of a better term.

I think I get what Hall is trying to say here. If that’s the case, the project leaders might want to coordinate top-notch training with the future inhabitants as soon as they sign on the dotted line.

One last thing. Residents who live some distance from the Kansas complex must figure out how to get to the bug-out location safely and promptly when all hell is breaking loose. Otherwise, their purchase might be for nothing. I wonder if this is something the project assists with (providing armed escort and transportation that is strategically-positioned around the country, for example) or is each party on their own. I’m guessing it’s the latter due to the significant costs that would be involved with the former.

Becky Brown

Becky Brown is a thirtysomething business school student living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was introduced in the episode with:

Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.

Brown herself added:

I foresee the government takeover happening within the next year or two. Honestly.

Brown is pretty intense about her prepping. She spends 4 hours a day thinking about prepping. She revealed that she has spent $50,000 on preps to-date- $30,000 in the last year alone.

Brown lives near the Utah State Capitol building. She said:

Having the Capitol right behind me is a constant reminder that the government could declare martial law and take over the city. So, it’s a blessing that I’m living so close to be able to put the clues together.

Then again, one can put the clues together while not living so close to a high-profile government facility. Her proximity to this building might make bugging-in and bugging-out more difficult in a SHTF event. Or it might work in her favor, as the amount of security in the area might provide some stability in a major crisis. I’d still keep an eye out for a good bug-out location though.

Brown dedicates 200 square feet of her 1,800 square foot apartment to supplies and preps. She fears water will be in short supply during a major crisis:

We won’t have a water supply. They’re going to hold the water for the most elite.

Brown owns several bug-out bags. Preppers are often known to utilize a vehicle bug-out bag and an everyday carry bag, or EDC bag, in addition to their main bug-out bag positioned at their residence.

Becky owns a stun gun, but not a firearm. She said:

I’m a girl, I’m feminine. I’m not supposed to love guns.

However, she added:

But you get in a different mentality when you’re protecting your family, and your home, and the things that are most important to you.

Consequently, she is shown receiving firearm instruction from a friend of hers, a “professional contract sniper.” In addition to some handgun training, she is given a scoped bolt-action sniper rifle for hitting targets 1,000 yards away. She explained:

I’m taking sniper training, because then I can keep people as far away as I needed to.

She proceeded to hit targets out to 200 yards with the long gun. That’s great, but I can’t help but wonder if she shouldn’t be concentrating on learning fighting skills in a particular order. Based on her not owning a firearm and living in an urban environment, she might want to consider learning hand-to-hand fighting skills first. After this is done, perhaps training in basic handgun, basic shotgun, and basic rifle should be pursued, possibly in that order. Sniper training might be further down the list of priorities for her, considering her personal circumstances.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the segment, Practical Preppers recommended to Becky:

If you have to leave Salt Lake City within a matter of minutes, it will be difficult to carry your supplies.

She responded with:

That’s why I have a big-frame hiking backpack , and so that’s the thing I would take if I were on foot.

Since it appears Becky has a large amount of supplies stored in her apartment, being able to take only a backpack-full of supplies in a “Get Out Of Dodge,” or G.O.O.D., situation seems wasteful. If she hasn’t done so already, she might want to select a good bug-out location (place of refuge in a major crisis) and pre-position supplies there and along the primary/alternate routes to the BOL in supply caches.

Becky recently appeared in a YouTube video with updates on improvements she’s made with her preps:


“National Geo Update.MP4”
YouTube Video

Another good episode. Funny how two of the preppers featured didn’t own firearms- although I wonder if Ms. Brown hasn’t changed her mind regarding that. Not as many good ideas worth looking into this time around- although I was intrigued by those artificial windows. I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 4

Getting back on track with my reviews, on Tuesday, February 21, episode 4 of the new National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers aired. In “It’s All Gonna Hit The Fan,” three prepper groups were assessed. In order of appearance:

Martin and Sarah Colvill, “mobile preppers”
“I’m preparing to survive the next great depression caused by a worldwide economic collapse”

Donna Nash and family, Alpine, Utah
“I am preparing for a worldwide pandemic”

Kevin O’Brien and family, formerly of Jacksonville, Florida; now somewhere in the Tennessee mountains
“Kevin believes that a 2012 polar shift will cause the earth to move on its axis, resulting in an onslaught of natural disasters… and since Florida is a low-lying coastal peninsula, Kevin believes that his home state will be completely devastated by a polar shift.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 4 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Martin and Sarah Colvill

Martin Colvill is a retired police officer who is now a big-rig trucker. After they lost their home to foreclosure, Martin and his wife Sarah, who is battling cancer, live in their truck. As stated above, Martin fears a U.S. economic collapse and the turmoil associated with it, such as hyperinflation. He anticipates delivery trucks having problems making deliveries in such a scenario. Colvill said:

My long term goal is to help America become the nation that it should be again. And the biggest way I can do that is to make a delivery in a safe and timely manner. If I can help other drivers survive, then our nation will be able to rebuild itself. With truckers, we have a chance.

The Colvills prep in the 53 square foot sleeper cabin of their truck. The couple has amassed a 4 to 6 month food supply, which includes dehydrated food. Along with dehydrated food, freeze-dried food is very popular in the prepper/survivalist communities. What’s the difference between the two? Well, from what I understand, dehydrated. or dried food, is made by slowly removing the water from the food through the use of heat. Freeze-dried food is a fresh or cooked food item that’s been frozen- then had the water removed. Each process has it pluses and minuses, so research is recommended before going out and buying food in these forms. One of the advertisers I partner with, Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center (see sidebar ad), offers both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.

In addition to what they have stored on the truck, the Colvills also have a network of supply caches all over the country. For those readers that have or are planning to acquire a place of refuge, or “bug-out location,” in the event they need to flee from a catastrophe, having hidden stashes of supplies pre-positioned along primary and alternate routes to a BOL is something worth exploring.

When TSHTF, the couple plans on driving to a “safe zone.” However, one of their concerns is not having enough fuel for the truck. Martin said that they do have the ability to siphon fuel, should it come to that. Siphons are inexpensive, and might be a worthy addition to one’s preps.

During those times when they’re not on the road, Martin wants to camouflage the truck. In the episode, the prepper is shown purchasing camouflage netting from an outfitter to spread over his rig. However, once back at the truck he realizes he’s going to need a lot more of it to complete the job. Camouflage nets- and by extension, camo tarps- can be used for a variety of tasks, in both good times and bad. They’re also worth looking into.

In a societal collapse, Colvill fears the bad guys might try to seize his rig and its contents. The retired law enforcement officer pointed out:

Something that most people don’t think about- modern prisons use electronic locks. When the grid goes down, electricity is no longer around, prisons around the nation will suddenly open up. All of a sudden you’re going to have a flood of angry men and women, and they’re going to come flooding out.

The Colvills are subsequently shown training to deal with potential truck hijackers.

At a time when prisons across the county suffer from overcrowding and government budgets keep tightening, the temptation exists to release portions of the prison population back into the general populace before their term is served to completion. California and Illinois come to mind here. From the Los Angeles Times on December 10, 2011:

The early release of inmates in some parts of California is accelerating as officials at county jails struggle to accommodate state prisoners flowing into their facilities…

And from The Herald-News, a Chicago Sun-Times publication serving Will County, Illinois, communities, this appeared on their website yesterday:

The governor also plans to close a super-maximum security prison in downstate Tamms; a second youth-detention center; and six secure halfway houses, the latter of which could result in the early release of as many as 1,000 inmates into the general public, the state government’s largest employee union predicted Tuesday…

Martin Colvill left viewers with something worth thinking about. He said:

A lot of it is left up to us- what choices we make. When I see someone in need, or someone being bullied, I will step in and say, “NO.” And if it means taking a risk, there are those of us that are willing to do that. All that evil needs to propagate is for good men to do nothing.

In the “The Odds” portion of the segment, the show says:

While hyperinflation and severe depressions have occurred in major economies of the past, economists do not believe the United States is currently at risk of such disasters.

Other “doomsday preppers” concerned about hyperinflation include Dennis Evers in episode 2 and Pat and Lynette Brabble in episode 3. As I said in my last review:

Some of the same people who predicted the 2008 global economic crisis are warning that the nation is heading for hyperinflation. Recent examples of such rapid inflation include Argentina a decade ago and Zimbabwe.

As well-known investor Jim Rogers pointed out recently, the Federal Reserve has the printing press going at full-speed these days. And some real smart people who were way ahead of the pack when it came to identifying the housing bubble, the economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” think the United States will eventually opt to print its way out of its massive debt obligations. “Would you like some fries with that $1,000 Big Mac?” That’s what it might come to.

By the way, these same parties also don’t discount the likelihood of a severe depression taking place either. The fact is, most economists and other financial types didn’t see the recent financial carnage coming until it pretty much sat on their faces. Therefore, take what they have to say with a grain of salt.

Donna Nash and family

Donna Nash is prepping for a worldwide pandemic. From the show:

The World Health Organization believes that a devastating influenza pandemic is almost inevitable. Even conservative estimates suggest as many as 100 million people worldwide may be infected, and millions will die.

On Tuesday, the U.S. News & World Report website ran the following:

A paper published Tuesday by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control suggests a new swine flu virus has the potential to cause an outbreak.

The A(H3N2)v swine flu strain that has infected at least 18 Americans since Sept. 2010 has shown the potential for human-to-human transmission. According to the paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the H3N2 strains “resemble viruses with pandemic potential.” Terrence Tumpey, one of the authors of the study, says the current seasonal flu vaccine won’t protect against this swine flu strain…

In 2009, we were given a glimpse of how devastating pandemics could be with the spread of H1N1 influenza.

Getting back to the episode, Donna is shown stockpiling supplies and putting together pandemic survival kits. She said she plans on helping immediate neighbors, and footage is shot of her visiting some of them with her kits. I wonder if she gives these away, or charges/asks for donations for them. A little research revealed that the “Pandemic Lady,” as the show called her, is also the owner of Ark Ready, a company which sells preparedness products. Like Tim Ralston in episode 3, Donna is a “prepper entrepreneur.” I have to point out that the “About” section of Ark Ready’s website really grabbed my attention. It says:

As a girl, Ark Ready Founder and Chief Evangelist Donna Nash recalls her mother handing her a canister of mace and telling her to have a nice evening. Nine boyfriends and 16 canisters later, Donna was committed to the importance of preparedness…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

By the sound of it, I’m guessing those canisters weren’t disposed of because they were past their expiration dates.

Like a number of other “doomsday preppers,” the Nash family realizes the importance of training. In the episode, Donna and her family members are shown conducting a family pandemic drill where they donned their pandemic protection supplies as fast as they could and mustered on the front lawn. The neighbor’s quizzical look was classic.

Another priceless moment was when Donna’s daughter-in-law showed up late to the drill and was quarantined- along with her child- in a room adjacent to the home’s dining area. As the rest of the family sat down to share a meal, the young mother and child could only look on behind transparent plastic sheeting.

Kevin O’Brien and family

Kevin O’Brien, his wife Amie, and their kids are relocating from Jacksonville, Florida, to the mountains of Tennessee because they’re concerned about a coming pole shift which results in Florida becoming submerged underwater. To be clear, what the O’Briens fear isn’t a magnetic pole shift, but rather true polar wander, which is a solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to its spin axis, causing the geographic locations of the North and South Poles to change, or “wander.” Some theorize that rapid TPW could lead to scores of natural disasters taking place across the world over a small period of time.

After years of research and planning, the O’Brien family are shown moving to their new home in Tennessee: 130 acres located on geologically-stable rock at an elevation of 1,800 feet. Kevin said:

Our land is secure and defendable, there’s a forest and timber there for firewood, we can grow own vegetables there. There’s a source of water. We can raise our own livestock there.

On the design of their future residence, Kevin added:

We’d like to build a really solid home, probably out of reinforced concrete. Bullet-proof, water-proof, fire-proof, earthquake-proof, and ultimately, pole shift-proof.

The O’Briens intend to utilize alternative energy at their new homestead, including solar panels and large black plastic barrels filled with water for passive solar heating. Interesting.

Kevin O’Brien brought an assortment of firearms and 5,000 rounds of ammunition to Tennessee for protecting the retreat and its inhabitants. 5,000 rounds might sound like an awful lot of ammo to some. However, well-known survival blogger and author James Wesley, Rawles recommends 2,000 rounds per battle rifle, 500 per hunting rifle, 800 per primary handgun, 2,000 per .22 rimfire, and 500 per riot gun in his 2009 book How to Survive the End of the World as We Know Iticon. And those are minimum recommendations.

In “The Odds” portion of this segment, the show said:

There is some scientific evidence that a true pole shift occurred 800 million years ago when the earth’s land masses formed a super-continent. But scientists believe that because our continents are now separated, such an event is almost geologically-impossible.

What they might be referring to is a study in which the magnetic composition of ancient sediments found in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard was analyzed by Dr. Adam Maloof of Princeton University. From an accompanying news release dated August 25, 2006:

“If a true polar wander event has occurred in our planet’s history, it’s likely been when the continents formed a single mass on one side of the Earth,” he said. “We don’t expect there to be another event in the foreseeable future, though. The Earth’s surface is pretty well balanced today.”

Another good episode. More ideas worth looking into. Again, I wish all these prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

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    Rare numismatic coins often find their way into safe deposit boxes. And Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world which also offers safe deposit boxes (for customers) at branches in Germany, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland, has posted information about the next Numis Day (first blogged about here) at their Geneva and Zurich […]
  • Related Reading: Switzerland, Canada, United Kingdom Top U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 ‘Best Countries’ Rankings
    Here’s an annual survey one might consider when selecting an offshore safe deposit box location. U.S. News & World Report just released its “Best Countries” rankings for 2017. Kevin Drew reported Tuesday morning on the American media company’s website: Switzerland is viewed as the No. 1 overall country, according to a survey of more than […]
  • Related Reading: London’s Sharps Pixley Spotlighted By The Spectator Magazine
    Monday evening I read an interesting article about London, England-based precious metals showroom/safe deposit box service Sharps Pixley (first blogged about here). Margareta Pagano wrote on the website of The Spectator (UK) this past weekend: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. And when the going is seriously tough- as it may be […]