true polar wander

Signs Of The Time, Part 43

Those who watch the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers and the Discovery Channel TV show Doomsday Bunkers may have noticed that quite a few of the individuals appearing on these productions are actually “prepper entrepreneurs.” These television shows, along with growing concerns about the-end-of-the-word-as-we-know-it (TEOTWAWKI), have resulted in boom times for the emergency preparedness industry. I know Deep Earth Bunker, the Dallas, Texas-based shelter company that’s featured in Doomsday Bunkers, indicated on their web site that they were swamped with interest about their products while season 1 was running. And do you remember Riley Cook from episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers? Riley was the welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids, and who was prepping to survive a polar shift (actually, true polar wander it sounded like).

You may recall that Riley also produces underground shelters. Well, I came across the following on the 680News (Toronto, Canada) website on Monday:

A down economy appears to be good times for at least one Colorado company.

Many disaster-shelter companies across the nation can’t keep up with the demand from their customers, who all appear to be worried about the future.

The Colorado company was recently profiled on the show “Doomsday Preppers,” hosted on the National Geographic Channel.

Owner Riley Cook says their phones have been ringing off the hook ever since, with people requesting everything from survival kits to advice…

I have a feeling it’s going to be like this for a while.


“Welder goes into the Armageddon business”
9News Video

Source:

“Colorado disaster-shelter company swamped with orders.” 680News. 9 Apr. 2012. (http://www.680news.com/news/world/article/349747–colorado-disaster-shelter-company-swamped-with-orders). 13 Apr. 2012.

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Thoughts So Far About Doomsday Preppers

Regular viewers of the National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series might have been disappointed that only reruns were shown last night.

I was actually kind of happy to have a week off from writing-up episodes since they can be time-consuming. Not that I don’t like doing reviews of each installment, but it takes some time to put together something that I think might have value for Survival And Prosperity readers.

Seven episodes down. There more to go this season. Plus I see that they’re casting for a second season of the show. Good for Nat Geo Channel and all those associated with the production.

So far, I’m enjoying season 1 of Doomsday Preppers. The preppers featured on the weekly TV series seem not much different than the typical person I myself would run into on a Chicago street, they seem genuinely-concerned by the myriad of man-made and natural threats around them, and unlike many Americans, are actively doing something to mitigate these potential hazards.

Just what are those threats influencing the direction of their prepping?

Economic Crisis/Collapse- 8 “doomsday preppers” identified as primary concern
True Polar Wander (Polar Shift)- 3
EMP/Solar Superstorm- 2
Black Swan Event- 1
Climate Change- 1
Energy Crunch- 1
Food Shortage- 1
Major Earthquake- 1
Multi-Hazard- 1
Overpopulation- 1
Pandemic- 1
Radioactive Fallout- 1
Supervolcano- 1

Some time ago I came across a post on a survivalist board where some guy said something along the lines of he looked forward to TEOTWAWKI so that when he emerged from his bunker well-armed and well-supplied, the remaining women he encountered would not only adore him but “nay, beg me to father their children.” You’ve got to be kidding me (I think he was). Thankfully, none of the preppers featured on the Nat Geo Channel show to-date have come out and said they were looking forward to society’s collapse. Even though certain aspects of modern living might easily get under our skin, who in their right mind would really want such an event to happen? The amount of pain, death, and destruction that would likely accompany such a horrific scenario is beyond the comprehension of most Americans, and is something no sane human being would certainly wish for.

One more thing. A number of “doomsday preppers” indicated on the show that they put a lot of time into prepping. It’s one thing if you’re a beginning prepper and want to get things “up to speed.” However, if you’ve been doing it for a while and have a significant amount of gear and supplies socked away already, I’m wondering if it ain’t “Miller Time” already. At least for a bit. The last thing you probably want is your prepping turning into an obsession. Otherwise, you might just be short-changing yourself when it comes to other aspects of your life. And think about it. If TEOTWAWKI is really coming, wouldn’t you want to experience some things that would likely disappear when society grinds to a halt? I, personally, would like to do some more overseas travel before it gets much more difficult to do.

Anyway, that’s my two cents on Doomsday Preppers to-date.

What do you think about the show?

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On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 6

On Monday, I previewed episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” of the National Geographic Channel TV series Doomsday Preppers. This afternoon, I’ll be doing my review of the episode.

The show focused on three prepper groups this past Tuesday. In order of appearance:

Mike Mester and family, suburb of Atlanta, Georgia
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”

Preston White, central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”

Riley Cook and family, Silverthorne, Colorado
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Mike Mester and family

Mike Mester is a contractor who lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs. Prepping is a way of life for the entire family, so much so that they’ve been doing it for almost a decade. Mike warned:

The way the United States economy works today is not sustainable. We were once the greatest creditor in the world. Now, we are the greatest debtor. Where will all the money come from? Look at the news, look at the papers. Police departments cut. Fire departments cut. What will we do when there’s no one there?

According to the show:

Mike believes that as the global economy falters, the U.S. economy will fall deeper and deeper into debt. Banks will close. Power will go out. Basic services will grind to a halt.

Which led Mike to ask:

If the grocery shelves are empty, you’re only nine meals away from anarchy. What will happen then? Will you be prepared?

It’s revealed that oldest son Ryan is away at college 250 miles away. Mike declared:

My wife and I, our home is our family. That’s why we want to ensure that we get all our children home when things collapse. We will go to any extent to ensure their safety.

As a result, Ryan’s parents provided him with a “get home” bag full of supplies, including food and water, that will support him for 4 days. In case their son is unable to make it back to the Mester household by himself, his parents have a backup plan in place. Mike explained:

Heaven forbid our oldest boy can’t make it home. That’s why we have plans to retrieve him in 30 days.

From the show:

Mike believes that after an economic collapse, rioting will spread from urban centers in waves, with violence cresting in the first few weeks. So 30 days is a key timeframe for braving the road.

Mr. Mester suspects gasoline will be hard to come by in an economic collapse, so he stores 50 gallons of it out in his garage. He replenishes his stockpile every 3 months to keep the gas fresh. Viewers were also informed in the episode:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for stealing gasoline, if necessary.

Nice. How about:

He is also teaching his son Kyle methods for recovering gasoline from abandoned/disabled vehicles in a societal collapse.

It’s just not the humans who are prepping in the Mester household. Their two German Shepherd dogs, Storm and Thunder, both have bug-out bags and were later shown to be receiving training for protecting the home and family.

Putting his logistician background to good work, Mike has amassed and organized an impressive stockpile of food and water. It’s revealed 3 rooms of his 4,500 square-foot house are dedicated to food storage. He estimated they have 2 years of food for 10 people. Viewers are also informed:

Mike stores thousands of cans, sometimes for years past their expiration date. Expired food might not taste good, but Mike knows it could keep his family alive in a crisis.

Mike added:

There’s a difference between shelf life and life-sustaining. In Third World countries, they use rancid cooking oil. Certainly, it will not hurt you.

Another interesting bit of info provided about the Mester family’s preps was the alternative fuel source they were shown fabricating and stockpiling. They collect dead leaves in the fall and combine them with newspaper to create an alternative fuel source. The mixture is soaked in water for 5 days, the slurry is compressed to remove the liquid, and briquettes are formed and air-dried for a week to serve as emergency heating and cooking sources. Very nice.

Like a number of other suburban preppers, Mike and his family recognize the potential threats from living so close to a major American city should a SHTF situation arise- and are preparing accordingly. Mike said:

Security is an important part of the prepper’s lifestyle. If there’s an economic collapse, civil unrest will likely ensue the metropolitan areas, then spread out to the suburbs. Downtown Atlanta is only 45 miles away. We don’t know how fast that civil unrest will get to us, but we certainly will be prepared if it does.

The Mester family possesses a battery of home-defense firearms and a stockpile of ammunition, and trains monthly at the shooting range.

Mike left viewers with this thought:

If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the Mester segment, Practical Preppers LLC recommended:

You need to put your leadership skills to use in your community. Getting your neighbors aware of, and involved in your prepping, will only make your family more secure in a crisis situation.

Excellent advice. But I’d add, that depends on the neighbors. I’ve lived next to my share of wackjobs over the years. And here in Chicago, where a good number of the residents have bought into the notion of “cradle-to-grave” care and protection by the Nanny State, preppers/survivalists and firearm owners are looked upon with intense suspicion, if not disgust.

Finally, in the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion, Mike Mester indicated that the family was planning to grow a 1,000 square foot garden in their backyard. Those who lived in Russia in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse will attest to how important a food garden is when society breaks down.

Preston White

Preston White is a web developer who lives in central Colorado. The recent disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan got him prepping. From the show:

Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.

White said:

People need to know Japan should be evacuated. California, Oregon, and Washington should be evacuated.

Convinced of this radioactive contamination, White makes putting together a seed bank a top priority. From the episode:

Believing that radioactive fallout from Japan will contaminate the American food chain, Preston is creating a seed bank, a store of fruit and vegetable seeds that can be used to grow radiation-free food in a post-apocalyptic world.

White has amassed so many seeds, he is shown displaying 11,000 different types for viewers. He explained:

A non-prepper might look at my supply and say, “Are you kidding me?” But if something happens- I win this game. People that aren’t prepared- they lose this game.

In the episode, Preston White worked with other preppers (Shane Anderson, Richard Dudas) to plant his seeds and create a radiation-free farm. A key component to the farm is the biosphere tent system, which acts as barrier to radioactive fallout while allowing enough light in to grow food year-round. In addition, these tents can be broken down/set up fast and easily transported should the situation call for it.

Besides growing food, these tents were also purchased so people can live in them. At this point in the episode, local Russell Preister brought in and demonstrated an HHO generator/home heater prototype that would hopefully provide energy, clean radiation-free water, and purified oxygen for the plant and human occupants. According to the show:

The HHO generator can turn water into highly-flammable gas by using electrolysis to separate water’s hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It can literally turn water into fire… HHO technology has become increasingly popular, with plans to build home generators readily available on the Internet.

Like the Mester family, White has a battery of home-defense firearms. He said:

If you’re a prepper, there’s 4 guns to have. You’ve got a 30-06 to kill a deer, shotgun, 22 rifle to protect your home, and a 9mm pistol. A sidearm for close contact. The guns I chose, I chose for defense.

Hope he meant to say that 22 rifle is a .223.

After learning a valuable lesson about violating operational security (OPSEC), White remarked:

I was faced with death. Decided I wasn’t going to be a victim. It changed my life the way I live tomorrow. I can affect my picture, and that’s what you do by prepping.

In the “Doomsday Preppers Update” portion of this segment, Preston said:

I’m hoping in the future to pick up a motor home and make it into a really good bug-out vehicle.

I always thought a mobile bug-out location was a neat idea. For those who can’t afford a fixed BOL, it might be worth investigating.

Riley Cook and family

Riley Cook is a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids. According to the show:

Riley believes that during his lifetime, there will be a catastrophic polar shift, a movement of the Earth’s North and South Poles along the Earth’s mantle. And this drastic geological change will unleash a litany of natural disasters.

The Cook family began seriously prepping 5 years ago. It was revealed they have already spent around $300,000 on prepping.

Prepping has become such an integral part of their lives, the Cook family’s welding shop recently became a disaster shelter building business. Because they construct customized underground bunkers, all sorts of features can be incorporated into a project. Even an incinerator to eliminate pesky intruders. Riley explained:

That’s what you get when you combine a prepper and a welder.

Getting back to the episode:

A bunker buried at a distant bug-out location is only effective if you can get to it. Riley expects that the catastrophic nature of a polar shift will cause severe fuel shortages. So he has used his expert welding skills to solve the problem of transportation. His latest prepping tool is a custom-made Cook original that he hopes will allow his family to carry supplies without needing a car or truck.

Riley designed and built a 100 lb. hand-crafted aluminum cart that allows him to haul almost 9 times his body weight by distributing loads like a horse and cart. In this case, Riley is the horse. It’s also water-tight and can float in a body of water. Pretty cool.

Not surprisingly, the Cook family has an underground survival shelter located at 11,200 feet in the Colorado mountains 10 miles from civilization. During the episode, Riley, his wife Sara(h?), and their kids are shown practicing bugging-out in severe weather up an unplowed, snow-covered mountain pass to the bunker. From the show:

Emergency preparedness experts suggest that you practice evacuating your home at least twice a year, and plot alternate routes in case roads become impassable.

Great advice.

The Cook family eventually made it to their “cabin,” and proceeded to hunker down for the remainder of their stay.

Overall, a really good episode. As I said in my preview earlier in the week, a lot of viewers can probably relate to the Mester family in the suburbs, the Cook family in the small town, and even Preston White out in central Colorado. And this week, a number of ideas (food gardens, HHO generators/home heaters, motor homes, etcetera) were introduced that might be worth looking into.

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.

And before I forget, have you seen the new Doomsday Preppers TV commercial yet? When I first heard it, I thought it sounded so similar to the beverage commercials from the late 70s/early 80s it had me wondering if the original crew hadn’t been hired to produce it…


“I’m a Prepper, You’re a Prepper”
YouTube Video

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Preview Of Doomsday Preppers, Episode 6

If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.

-Mike Mester, “doomsday prepper”

Last week, I received an e-mail about participating in part two of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers Blog Carnival. By agreeing to take part in the event, I’d get a sneak peak of the next Doomsday Preppers episode airing on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, March 6. More importantly, I’d be able to provide Survival And Prosperity readers a preview of episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy.” I watched the show, which focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:

Mike Mester, a contractor living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”

Preston White, a web developer living in central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”

Riley Cook, a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”

Now, because this post in only a preview, I can’t give up too much information. However, I think those that are interested in preparedness and who are following the television series will really enjoy this installment of Doomsday Preppers. How so? Well, I’ve learned that preppers come from all walks of life here in the United States. As such, plenty of viewers will relate to the Mester family and their situation in the suburbs, the Cook family and small-town living, and Preston White, the mild-mannered, techno-geek prepper. Personally, I can identify with all three parties. I grew up more or less in the Chicago suburbs, a lot of it in a town writer Ernest Hemingway once supposedly-described as consisting of “broad lawns and narrow minds.” I’ve also spent a good deal of my time throughout the years in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin that’s generally succeeded in not being overrun by throngs of vacationers from northern Illinois. Finally, with the word “eccentric” having been used to describe me before, coupled with my ongoing interest in computers from an early age (borrowed my uncle’s TI-99 back in 1983, picked up an Apple IIc in 1984, and never looked back), I think I understand where White is coming from.

I think viewers that are prepping or are interested in it will also appreciate episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers because many topics will probably hit close to home. Sorry, but no umbilical cords being handed out in this installment. From the Mester family section:

• How to retrieve family members during a SHTF situation who are located a long distance away from the household
• Prepping for pets, particularly dogs
• What to do with expired food
• A cheap, alternative heating and cooking source
• Preparing for civil unrest that might spill into the suburbs from the city in a major crisis

From Preston White’s section:

• A personal seed bank
• Tents to grow food year-round and for living- in a radioactive environment
• An HHO generator and home heater
• A home defense firearm battery
• A graphic lesson about maintaining operational security, or OPSEC

From the Cook family section:

• Underground shelters
• An alternative form of transportation
• Bugging-out in severe conditions

Now, the Cook family is prepping because they fear a polar shift is coming. You may recall that in episode 4 the O’Brien family had the same concern. From that episode:

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.

I feel it’s important to point out, once again, that what I think the O’Brien and Cook families are really concerned about is not a magnetic pole shift, but what’s known as “true polar wander,” or the solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to its spin axis, causing the geographic (not just the magnetic) 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.

Overall, I think you’ll really get into episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers. Like I said, many viewers should be able to identify with the featured preppers and topics. I thought this episode covered the most interesting material to date- although I leave it up to you to decide on Fukushima. While I liked learning about the Mester family’s suburban stronghold and the Cook family’s mountain retreat, I thought the HHO generator/heater that Preston White and his friends were playing around with was way too cool. Then again, that’s the techno-geek in me coming out.

Tune into Doomsday Preppers episode 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” on Tuesday night, March 6, on the National Geographic Channel.

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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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