The National Geographic Channel finally aired the Doomsday Prepper episode concerning supersized strongholds. Unfortunately, NatGeo TV seems to have overplayed this hand as the fortresses shown were neither supersized nor exactly good strongholds. But it was still fun as we watched Brent in Florida build a small castle and make his children compete for succeeding him as it′s king. We also saw Derek in North Carolina who built an Old West amusement park, Deadwood, which earns his family money and serves as a doomsday fortress for his survival plans. He even has an old muzzle-loading cannon to defend his fort with!
First we begin with Brent in Florida. He has a varied background, from military, to being an engineer and then into real estate. He combines all his skills and resources to build his very own Medieval castle to be his bug-out fortress if the United States suffers an EMP attack. Be it from a solar flare or a terrorist nuke, Brent thinks he is ready. With 10 children from two marriages, plus grandkids, Brent needs a castle just to house them all. So far he′s spent about a million dollars on the place and it is far from being finished.
However, Brent has set up a trust fund to sustain his castle for the next 100 years. So he has gathered his family together and announced that there will be two executors, one child from each marriage, to his estate. Whom he will pick shall depend on their commitment to the cause of prepping and family survival. Brent holds a competition to test his children′s various skills. First up is assembling a solar panel array. Then we have the usual gun play. The family is then drilled in defending the castle during a thunderstorm. For dinner, Brent serves up some 12-year old MREs that are barely fit for human consumption. Then his family faces a real emergency when another thunderstorm brings lightning along with it and causes the electrical system in the castle to go haywire! Might be a good idea to finish those tall towers with the exposed steel rebar. The experts score Brent with a 68 giving him 11 months to survive.
Then we meet Derek in North Carolina. His amusement park, Deadwood, brings the Old West to life for happy vacationers. It also serves as a cover for his doomsday fortress. Derek is worried about an natural EMP event from a solar flare, so he focuses on pre-electrical technology. The park has one of those mini-trains that carries vacationers around by day and then prepper supplies at night. Derek fuels his train with used cooking oil from the park′s restaurant. A Western style fort is built with reinforced concrete and withstand bullets and even small explosives. Derek′s pride and joy however is an old muzzle-loading cannon, which they test fire to see how much damage it can do.
Three generations of family are involved in running and maintaining the park. At night, Derek runs a drill to test their skills. Four attackers try to capture the park′s dance hall protected by three defenders, one of which is Derek′s 11-year old son, Haven. Considering the current fervor about guns and children, NatGeo was gutsy in airing this scene of an 11-year old walking around with an AR-15 equipped with those high-capacity magazines. The exercise proved useful in showing flaws in the family′s defense tactics. The experts score Derek with a 68, giving him 12 months to survive.
So much for Doomsday Preppers ′supersized strongholds′ episode. Elaborate doomsday fortresses is a better description. The National Geographic Channel series over-hyped this one. Now, if you really wanted to see a real supersized stronghold, then the Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory episode about the Illuminati castle in the Ozarks is more to the point. But I doubt if the guy building that would agree to appear on NatGeo TV.