NatGeo TV aired the Season One finale of its smash hit series, ′Doomsday Preppers′ last night. Titled ′Bunkers, Bullets and Bug-Outs′, the show reviewed highlights from the previous 11 episodes, and featured some of our favorite preppers. Throughout the series, we have been introduced to about 33 people and their families, seeing how, and why, have taken up prepping for Doomsday as a hobby, if not a complete lifestyle. National Geographic aired the series as part of their ′American Outlier′ theme, which is covering a wide range of subcultures in our nation, ranging from motorcycle gangs, to the Amish to folks involved in the medical marijuana industry. But for some reason, Doomsday Preppers has been the most successful of these as far as ratings go. Just why is that?
A sign of the times, perhaps? No doubt, many Americans are worried about the future. Man-made disasters, like the 9/11 attacks, the financial meltdown and the Fukushima nuclear power crisis, along with natural disasters like Katrina, the Haitian earthquake and the Sendai tsunami all demonstrate how vulnerable we are. I can well remember the Oakland earthquake which had much national attention as the baseball playoffs were underway when it struck. The image of a police officer walking through a street, telling people to turn off their gas lines and warning them that for at least the next 72 hours, they would be essentially on their own is worth recalling.
How often do we see local disasters such as tornadoes or storm-related power outages effect, if not change people′s lives? Pretty much every year, the message is repeated. In the midst of a disaster, you can only depend on yourself for a period of time until help can arrive. Preparing for disasters, even for just a short-term emergency, is indeed a rational step to take. From time to time, some morning fluff-news program will do a 4-minute segment on what sort of steps people should take to prepare for your run-of-the-mill emergencies.
But with NatGeo-TV′s Doomsday Preppers, we get an in depth look at folks who are thinking in terms of surviving on their own for months, if not years. Most of those whom the series has featured are concerned about either an economic disaster where the US dollar crashes and becomes totally worthless, or a solar flare or other EMP attack the renders our electrical grid and electronic-digital infrastructure useless. In these scenarios, it could take months, if not years, before civilization could be restored to ′normal′.
Sales of purpose-designed doomsday bunkers and storm shelters have increased 1000% in 2011. This year will probably be even bigger. Sales of guns and ammunition have also been brisk the past couple of years. The same is true for specialized food designed for long-term storage. Most polls show that between 60% to 80% of the American public think the nation is headed in the wrong direction. Faith in ′The System′, confidence in our institutions and for ′The Establishment′ are at all-time lows. The American people understand that they cannot wait for government to help them, or to fix any of the nation′s problems. We have to do it ourselves!
I have enjoyed the NatGeo-TV series ′Doomsday Preppers′ very much. Last night, the series wrapped up Season One with an episode, ′Bunkers, Bullets and Bug-Outs′ reviewing many of the preppers and their methods of prepping. National Geographic is already gearing up for a second season and I can hardly wait. So pass me a cheese tortellini MRE and a box of 30-06 ammo. I′m ready, are YOU?