Doomsday Preppers: A Movement
Doomsday Preppers are individuals and groups who believe that one way or another they will experience a doomsday type of event. National Geographic has even created the highly rated Doomsday Preppers TV-series due to the popularity of the movement. In this show you learn how “preppers” get ready for what they believe to be an inevitable doomsday occurrence.
The actual impending crisis varies among preppers, ranging from natural disasters to an economic and societal meltdown. Their preparations vary as well and include Bug Out Bags, hardened structures, emergency food storage, water stockpiles and any other form of sustainable human provisions. There are many individual preppers who get ready by themselves or with family members. But you can also find communities of preppers consisting of friends and of neighbors or online communities that share experiences and expertise via blogs and social media.
Doomsday Preppers: A History
You need to understand that ever since ancient civilization there have been doomsday prophets left and right. These individuals have their own following. And in one way or another have made preparations for such an event. Some prepare by “cleansing” themselves of sin and accepting the inevitable. Some have prepared to save themselves and make human life sustainable.
Even Governments are Preppers!
In 1992 the Washington Post made an expose on how the United States government has prepared an underground bunker for every member of Congress. The shelter was dug underground in the Allegheny Mountains. And it includes, among other things thirty (30) ton blast doors, food, water, medicine, etc. for the long term. It would be naive of one to think that no other similar installations were built for other heads off states.
What Qualifies as a Doomsday?
A doomsday occurrence is not limited to an extinction level occurrence similar to what wiped out the dinosaurs. Of course this is one of the bleaker scenarios. But some preppers are more practical about this. A doomsday can be a localized event that is natural or man made. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
Terrorist attacks including Dirty Bombs
Pandemic (plague, virus, deadly disease, etc.)
Nuclear fallout and EMPs
Economic meltdown resulting in widespread panic
Social Media and Doomsday
As mentioned earlier, there seems to be a correlation between an increase in prepper activities and the onset of survivalist themed web sites. A simple explanation would be that preppers from all over the world are now getting more visible as information is easier to collect online. Another interpretation is that social groups of the same interest discussing their theories and “know how” creates more interest and relevance in the public’s eye. And on the coat tails of this movement, enterprising individuals are capitalizing through what many call “fear marketing”.
Doomsday Prepping is Big Business
There is no secret to the fact that some businesses concentrate on providing preppers with necessary tools as well as structures, including:
Firms that specialize in long term food and water storage products.
Companies that specialize in Emergency foods and MREs.
Alternative energy firms providing solar, wind and biofuel technology.
Bunker and hardened structure companies such as engineering firms, architectural firms, mining firms, etc.
Businesses that specialize in selling real estate, former missile silos or communities that are naturally sheltered or can be easily converted into doomsday shelters.
Prepping for a doomsday is becoming more accepted by the general public and is no longer seen only as a Para militarist’s vocation. The TV show highlights individuals with what some may view as extreme lifestyles. These people seem to be consumed with the planning, preparation and execution of their doomsday strategy.
But Preppers are mocked by many, and if you are one of the sheeple who expect the government to bail you out of a crisis, think again. Look at the recent Super Storm Sandy (2012) and see how well those victims were taken care of by local, state and federal bureaucracies.
If you choose not to prepare for disaster, be prepared to be a victim. If you are lucky, you live next door to one of those wacko Doomsday preppers when the SHTF. And maybe he’ll be benevolent and take pity on you. But then, maybe not.