nuclear meltdown

On TV: Doomsday Preppers ‘Escape From New York’ Preview

Season 2 of National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series continues tonight with episode 6, “Escape from New York,” which airs at 9 PM ET. From the Nat Geo Channel webpage for the TV show:

With recent storms such as Sandy, New Yorkers now more than ever need to have escape plans in case they need to flee. NGC cameras follow three New Yorkers as they plot their routes out of the city, literally escaping the grid to reach safety.

Once again, the National Geographic Channel provided me with an advanced screening opportunity of the episode, and it didn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact, it really hit close to home as I too live in a large U.S. city (Chicago).

There were three preppers featured in “Escape from New York.” First up was Cameron Moore in Brooklyn, a college student studying for medical school. Cameron told viewers:

I’m preparing for a meltdown at the Indian Point Nuclear Facility.

Next up was Margaret Ling in Harlem, who told viewers:

I’m preparing for a catastrophic hurricane.

Finally, there’s Jay, a Wall Street bond trader, who explained:

I’m preparing for another terrorist attack.

All three preppers fear what might happen in New York City should TSHTF. From the show:

That’s why for these three New York preppers, at the first sign of trouble, survival comes down to one objective.

CAMERON: Get out of New York City.

JAY: Leaving Manhattan as soon as possible.

MARGARET: Grab my bag and just jet out.

They’ve also paired with a mentor to help them refine their plan. Krav Maga instructor Matan Gavish, preparedness expert Aton Edwards, and urban survivalist Shane Hobel. Now, over the course of one night, all three preppers will put their bug out plans into action for the first time and attempt to escape New York.

The first prepper introduced in the episode was Margaret Ling. In this segment, Margaret, who wears a backpack full of survival supplies every day, revealed that she was concerned about a major hurricane hitting the “Big Apple.” Ling told viewers:

I know I don’t want to be sent to a shelter. And I plan to get out of the city and make my way up to the mountains in upstate New York close to Canada. The last and worst case scenario is walking the entire distance to safety up in the mountains.

Margaret is paired with Krav Maga Academy founder and chief instructor Matan Gavish to help get her prepared.


“Doomsday Preppers: Lollipop Lolliprep”
Nat Geo Channel Video

The second prepper the show focused on was Cameron Moore. In this segment, Cameron shared his fears about an Indian Point Nuclear Facility meltdown and the potential for radiation escaping the facility. He informed viewers:

When TSHTF, I will bug out.

Cameron worked with International Preparedness Network executive director Aton Edwards to help him with his preps.

Finally, there’s Jay (no surname given). Jay was in Manhattan on September 11, 2001. And the Wall Street bond trader realizes New York City remains an attractive terrorist target. He told viewers:

I don’t think it’s going to end. I don’t think that we’re going to wake up all of a sudden one day and all of a sudden we’re not going to be a target to terrorists around the world. A dirty bomb is, without question, an option for terrorists out there.

From the show:

If terrorists detonate dirty bombs across Manhattan, as Jay fears, he’s instructed his wife Mindy and their 6-year-old daughter to get ready to flee the city.

Should TSHTF, Jay’s goal is to get out of the financial district and get back to his family as soon as possible. Jay paired up with Mountain Scout Survival School founder and instructor Shane Hobel to come up with a plan to make that happen.

With the three preppers coming from the same area of the country and attempting a simultaneous bug out, this particular episode was more like a TV special. A TV special for urban preppers. According to the U.S. Census earlier this year, more Americans are living in cities now than ever before. And perhaps it’s because I live in a major American city that I found “Escape from New York” particularly interesting. Although that bike “borrowing” bit was a little over the top. Still, good stuff overall.

And I applaud National Geographic Channel for not removing Doomsday Preppers from the air due to some in the press possibly trying to link preppers with last week’s school shooting.

Blamethrowers. Precisely what the world needs more of these days.

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

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Solar Superstorm Threat Discussed On Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com

Last Friday, I blogged about FOX News Reporting’s “Countdown to Doomsday” and the part of the show where physicist Michio Kaku highlighted the real threat posed by solar superstorms.

Well, yesterday Mike Opelka over at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com also talked about the threat from severe space weather. Opelka wrote:

If Earth is struck by a large solar flare, some in the scientific community believe:

• The planet will be hit with a widespread loss of power.
• Air travel would be grounded.
• Nuclear plants would be crippled and without sufficient back-up power, dozens could meltdown.
• Satellites would be disabled, causing a serious loss of communication in all areas (military and civilian).
• Food and medicine would be in short supply, setting up the potential for food riots within days of an outage…

Over the next fourteen months Earth will be on high alert for a huge burst of electromagnetic energy from the sun… The peak time for the next big flare is sometime between now and the end of 2013…

We could have a real SHTF situation on our hands if these scientists are right.

I’m glad to see more attention being paid to such a potentially-devastating threat, but I wonder if we won’t be too late in protecting the nation’s power and communications infrastructure from the effects of a coronal mass ejection in the coming “solar maximum.”

If a CME does hit us square-on… well, here’s hoping that the science guys are wrong.

Anyway, Opelka’s article is a good read about what’s at stake here, and can be found on TheBlaze.com here.

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On TV: Doomsday Bunkers, Episode 3

It’s Wednesday, but no new episode of the Discovery Channel TV series Doomsday Bunkers will be airing tonight (second straight week).

FYI, I sent a little note out to corporate (Discovery Communications, LLC) regarding future episodes and upcoming air dates. We’ll see what they say. Of course, I’ll let Survival And Prosperity readers know if I hear anything back that’s worthwhile.

In the meantime, I still owe you my review of episode 3 of Doomsday Bunkers, “Tsunami Pod/Nuclear Fallout Shelter.”

At the beginning of the episode, which aired on March 21, Deep Earth Bunker was shown to be inundated with work. Floor Manager Jesse Saul was trying to deal with the significant backlog of shelters that customers- many of them preppers- had ordered and were waiting upon. It was revealed that springtime is particularly busy for DEB, when severe weather routinely makes the headlines. From the show:

In 2011, extreme weather accounted for $130 billion in damages with hundreds of thousands dead.

In addition, there was this:

And the most extreme preppers suspect the government is behind it.

Say what? Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales explained:

Up in Alaska, there’s this thing called HAARP. HAARP stands for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project. It’s for shooting high frequency through antennas up into the ionosphere, and bouncing it back down. Originally built to talk to submarines deep in the water. A lot of my clients think the government is using it to control the weather.

I’ll have to take a closer look at that claim. In the meantime, more information about HAARP can be found at the project’s website here.

Loretta Sanders

The first client viewers met in episode 4 was Loretta Sanders, a prepper and former police sergeant. Sanders has a nuclear power plant 15 miles south of her home. According to the show, Indian Point Nuclear Plant, just outside New York City, is one of the most vulnerable reactors in the country. She explained:

This is ground zero. When they built it I guess they didn’t realize it’s 1 mile south of a connecting fault line. If there’s an earthquake and it starts to melt it’s going to be mayhem. The meltdown will take out this entire area. Most people will panic in evacuation. With 4 to 7 days the Joe Six-Packs of the world, without food or water, will break down your door, trying to find food. They’ll start to scavenge and we’ll revert back to hunting and being hunted.

The show revealed:

She’s prepared to do whatever it takes to protect her son Teddy, her daughter Marissa, and her growing stockpile.

Sanders added:

I’m prepping to live indefinitely. If the world changes permanently, I’m ready for that… I want to be able to get underground so I want Scott to protect me.

Scott Bales worked with Loretta to get her an underground bunker. He explained:

If an earthquake does happen, there’s going to be fallout- big time.

Bales pointed out that the former police officer’s shelter needed a nuclear/biological/chemical, or NBC, filter to prevent nuclear fallout from entering her bunker. According to Bales, the radioactive fallout will get hung up in the NBC filter.

He informed Loretta that it would take 4 weeks to complete her bunker. In the meantime, DEB would try to get permits to allow the transportation of heavy equipment/loads on roads near the installation site during the winter.

Envisioning the shelter’s design, Scott said:

If there’s a nuclear disaster, Loretta might have to go in this bunker for up to a year. So I have to make sure there’s enough space for her food and water supplies.

From the show:

Scott’s designing her a 2-unit, 600 square foot bunker. With sleeping quarters for 10, ample storage for her growing supplies, 2 500 gallon tanks- 1 for drinking water, 1 for waste. A full bathroom and kitchen. And most importantly, a state-of-the-art NBC filter to protect her from any fallout. Time frame, 4 weeks. Total cost, $150,000.

DEB staff went to work on the project, and Loretta Sanders was shown preparing for her new underground dwelling. From the episode:

A nuclear meltdown at Indian Point could contaminate over 1,100 square miles around the plant. So Loretta’s decided to buy land to install her bunker 3 hours north. But to get there, they might have to drive through looting, rioting, or worse. To survive, Loretta wants to learn how to turn her car into a weapon.

Enter Joe Autera, President, CEO, and Defensive Driving Instructor, Tony Scotti’s Vehicle Dynamics Institute (VDI). According to the show:

As the prepper movement has grown, defensive driving schools like this one have seen an unprecedented number of civilians taking their courses.

Loretta received defensive driving instruction, and is subsequently shown plowing through a mock roadblock consisting of two vehicles parked end-to-end. Loved it.

The prepper, mother, and former LEO shared this with viewers:

This is why I prep. The government is not my first line of defense, I am. And as a citizen, that’s my right.

Unfortunately, Loretta doesn’t get her new bunker on time. Renee Bales, Scott’s wife and head of Accounting, informed DEB’s owner that the permits were denied because of “freeze laws,” with the trailer and bunker deemed to be too heavy. Scott is shown breaking the bad news to Loretta, which meant delivery of her steel shelter would be delayed 3 to 4 weeks until the roads thawed out. All in all, she seemed pretty cool with that.

Tsunami Pod

Another episode, another new project. Scott Bales told viewers in episode 3:

Last night, I came up with a great idea. Something to protect people from a tsunami wave. This is the ultimate product for a prepper. All of the people that live on the coasts have this fear. They’re wondering, “When is that wave going to come in and get us?” There’s nothing to protect you against a tsunami. Nothing. Except for our tsunami pod.

From the show:

Scott’s designed a floating steel orb, 10 feet in diameter, with room for 2 people. When the tsunami waves hit, the airtight ball would be lifted off a special stand, and kept upright through a concrete weight called a ballast.

The owner of DEB added:

Because you have ballast in there, it brings it to where they’re sitting right back up… This thing has to be waterproof, it has to be able to take impact, it also has to sit up straight so the passengers are sitting in an upwards position.

Scott assigned Scotty Free, Special Projects Manager, and Charlie Christie, Quality Assurance/Carpenter, to the project. It’s revealed that DEB budgeted $80,000 in parts and labor for the development of the Tsunami Pod, making it the most expensive prototype in the Dallas-based company’s history.

Before the project commenced, Scott Bales noted:

Scott Free is an older guy. Set in his ways. Precise. Charlie. Young. Moves very quickly. Adapts quickly. Charlie’s a builder, and Scott’s a fabricator. They’ll bump heads, but, with both of them together, they can figure out the tsunami pod.

Not without hiccups, Scotty and Charlie pieced together the Tsunami Pod prototype. They then pounded the pod’s steel exterior with a debris shooter, which is capable of shooting a 14-foot 2 X 4 more than 600 mph. Amazingly, the thing survived.

Next, Scotty and Charlie tested the prototype out in a parking lot. They discovered the pod’s ballast, which consists of 150 lbs. of concrete, needed adjusting.

The final test of the Tsunami Pod took place at a lake, where DEB staff could test the ballast once again and see if the prototype was watertight. Scott Bales explained:

When you do something in a ball shape, the water spreads itself out until it hits a resistance point just under the equator. You’d never want the water to go over the equator. If we added too much weight or this thing leaks, it’s going to sink to the bottom of the lake.

Upon dropping the steel structure into the body of water, it’s discovered that while it was watertight, the pod floated on its side. Apparently, Scotty and Charlie didn’t compensate for the weight of the door. Despite this oversight, the tests of the Tsunami Pod were declared successful. Scott Bales remarked:

I feel great that the Tsunami Pod is floating, and I just have to adjust some ballast. But this test is a success.

Weyland Smith

The second client viewers were introduced to was Weyland Smith, a Deep Earth Bunker salesman and prepper who resides in Homer, Louisiana. Weyland recently became a prepper while working with DEB. He explained:

One of my bunker clients had some basic ideas I’d never really had put in front of me before. Go to your local grocery store late at night- half the food aisles are empty. If something broke our supply chain, I know the store shelves would be empty in 3 days. My biggest fear is the drastic change we’ve seen in the weather. We all need to be better prepared. If I need something, it’s not going to always be at the corner store to pick up.

Being from Louisiana, Weyland has first-hand experience with what the aftermath of a disaster looks like. He called the refugees from Hurricane Katrina:

We really saw the level of unpreparedness that these people had. And to wade through the devastation afterwards. It really opened your eyes.

He added:

I’m still new at this prepping. I’m kind of learning as I go. And I’m now finally getting the one that I need.

Weyland talked about why he wanted an underground shelter. He said:

My bunker will serve primarily as a shelter in case of bad weather. The shelter that I bought is a steel, doghouse-style shelter. Double-welded, with a marine-grade coating, totally watertight. And it will be perfect protection for my family.

Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales commented on the structure that Weyland chose. He said:

He’s picked out a steel shelter that’s big enough for his family, and some food and supplies. It will be great for short-term, emergency situations.

In the episode, Weyland Smith said he now realized he’d been prepping all along. Accumulating gear and supplies for different outdoor activities had given him a head start. Smith revealed that his wife already had 3 months’ worth of food canned. His goal was to have 6 months’ worth set aside. In addition, Weyland hunts and processes his own meat with his son, J.D. They’ve managed to sock away 3 to 4 months of meat already.

Weyland made this observation:

People in the rural areas will be much more likely to survive because they have the basic skills to take of themselves.

Near the end of the episode, Weyland opted to install his new shelter himself, and Scott Bales stopped on by to check out how he was doing.

Overall, I enjoyed episode 3 of Doomsday Bunkers. I have to admit- this TV series is growing on me. “Tsunami Pod/Nuclear Fallout Shelter” was interesting, informative, and funny- yet again. Loretta Sanders is a total hoot. I especially enjoyed that scene where she was cleaning her firearms. Not to mention her barreling that car into the “roadblock.” The production crew once again managed to keep the annoying “reality” TV elements to a minimum.

No time for drama WTSHTF, right?

Hopefully, more episodes of Doomsday Bunkers will air soon on the Discovery Channel.

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