I was almost disappointed with last night′s episode of Doomsday Preppers on NatGeo TV. Instead of the program being about supersized shelters, National Geographic aired ′Prepared, Not Scared′, which follows the activities of two preppers. Bryan in Florida has a bug-out farm and plans to grow tobacco and sugar cane for bartering. Christine in Virginia who is worried about a tsunami being caused by the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands blowing up. So let us see who has the better preps?

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Prepper Christine takes inventory of her supplies. Image Credit: National Geographic.

First up is Bryan. He′s got a lot of money invested in his preparations for the collapse of the global economy. With a family of 12, he better! So he has enough survival-type food to feed his brood for a whole year. Bryan also has a secret 47-acre, bug-out farm where he plans to grow tobacco and sugar cane. With these cash crops, Bryan will set about rebuilding the world′s economy with cigarettes and booze. He also can use the alcohol to run a generator which is used to tap into the Florida Aquifer and provide him with plenty of water. If he needs fuel for his tractor, Bryan plans to shoot electrical transformers and salvage the mineral oil from them. Bryan also has invested in ammunition reloading tools and can reload nine types of ammo.

But when the poop hits the fan, Bryan is concerned about roving gangs of looters. So he has contacted his friend in California, Ron Hubbard, who owns Atlas Survival Shelters. Ron designs cylindrical shelters for all circumstances and budgets, from $8,000 to $800,000 and has been very busy lately with many military and government types buying them. Bryan′s shelter is a 5,000 square foot model and is capable of protecting his family from any Nuclear, Biological or Chemical threats. The cost is $150,000 and includes an ingenious escape tunnel. But concerns over it′s design and placement strains the friendship between Bryan and Ron. In the end, Bryan is happy and Ron′s use of out of state contractors means that no locals know the location of the shelter which is buried 20 feet below ground. The pros score Bryan;s preps at 78, giving him 16 months of post-apocalypse survival.

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Christine is the prepper equivalent of a ′tiger-mom′, spending about two hours a day organizing and reorganizing her supply of goodies. In addition to food and water, she also has taken great care in having a back-up toilet complete with individual seats for her family of five. Christine went through Hurricane Isabelle in 2003 and since then has been busy preparing for something even worse. If the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands blows, it could send a massive tsunami 3,500 miles towards the U.S. East Coast at a speed of 500MPH. This would give her only 7 hours to make an escape to higher ground further inland.

Spending about $200 a month, Christine is steadily building a supply of food and other necessities for her family. She also teaches her friends about prepping, showing off her organizational skills. But a test drill of an escape shows many flaws in her plans. Loading the family van and a towed trailer took only 30 minutes, but what if the roadways are jammed with others trying to flee? Christine has a back-up escape route using inflatable rafts to make the last 10 miles by river. They take about an hour to inflate and load the rafts. Now, 2 hours into the drill, the family begins to paddle, but can only average about one mile per hour. There is no way that they can reach their shelter in time. The pros score Christine with a measly 51, giving her just 5 months, IF she can escape the tsunami!

So that was last night′s episode of Doomsday Preppers, ′Prepared, Not Scared.′ Next week will be the episode on supersized shelters that we have all been waiting for on the National Geographic Channel. Bryan is doing well prepping for an economic collapse now that Obama has been reelected and plans to raise everyone′s taxes. As for Christine, her concerns about a tsunami caused by the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands is not so far-fetched. The volcano is an active one that erupts at least once per century. Simon Day of the Benfield Greg Hazard Research Centre at the University College London says, ″We′re looking at an event that could be decades or a century away…″ and would send a 3,000 foot-high wall of water through the Atlantic Ocean. Yikes!