National Geographic aired another new episode of Doomsday Preppers last night, entitled, Total Destruction. We met two new preppers worried about the weather. Tracy in Smithville, Tennessee is prepping for an EF-5 tornado while Dan in Tampa, Florida fears a mega-lightning storm. Both open their lives to the NatGeo TV audience as we see how they prepare to survive whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

doomsday preppers total destruction
Roy in Tampa, FL works on his multi-purpose solar station. Image Credit: National Geographic.

Tracy Foutch owns a powder-coating business and a nice farm in Smithville, TN. Having lived in Tornado Alley, he knows all too well what a big twister can do. If an EF-5 tornado hits him, Tracy is ready to survive. His farm has 15 cattle and he also keeps bee hives. Both cattle and bees react when a storm approaches, so Tracy hopes he′ll get some advanced warning. He has two safe rooms loaded with supplies for his wife, two daughters and himself. He has also devised a gasification system to transform wood into usable fuel. But his latest prep is converting a school bus into a bunker bus, complete with armor and its own gasifier.

Although a typical school bus is built to be 7 times stronger than other personal transport, Tracy wants more. So he is adding a steel cow-catcher type plow to the front, as well as bullet-proof armored louvers for the windshield. Steel cages are welded over the wheels to cut down damage from debris, including downed power lines. His daughters help out cutting away the sides of the bus to allow for the installation of the gasifier boiler. Unfortunately, one daughter starts a small fire in the bunker bus while welding. Once completed, Tracy test drives his rolling bunker, plowing easily through two parked SUVs.

Dan Rojas in Tampa, FL has had his home struck with lightning many times, three times lightning started a fire, despite having lightning rods. Dan fears that a mega-lightning storm could knock out all power over a wide area, so he is going solar. His home has a strong storm shelter to keep his wife, mother, pets and he safe. Photovoltaic panels provide electricity, but Dan is going one step further. He designs and builds a portable solar station which is multi-functional.

Using the Fresnel lense from an old fashion big screen TV set, Dan creates a sun-powered device that can cook food, purify water and even melt metal. He devises a home-made sun-tracker system using solar sensors and electric motors and long drill rods to keep the lense aligned with the Sun. His first test results in a short, burning a finger as he pulls smoking wires away. But the battery is okay and he rewires the system with better wiring. His next test is to purify a swampy water from his property. The solar distiller works great, though Dan burns his hand when he touches the steam tubing of the condenser.

For his next trick, Dan tries to cook a whole chicken with his solar station. But the light is so intense that it sets the bird ablaze! The fats are ignited causing a jet of fire to emerge. Dan remedies the situation by using a parabolic mirror underneath the chicken to cook it properly. Finally, Dan tries to forge a knife made by melting zinc and pour the molten metal into a ceramic cast. The knife comes out fine and after some machining, is sharp as can be.

So there you have it. Another great episode of Doomsday Preppers, Total Destruction, on the National Geographic Channel. NatGeo TV does it again showing the diversity and ingenuity of doomsday preppers. While the two preppers in this episode differ from others as they prep for major storms, the basic idea of planning for surviving calamity is the common thread they share with others worried about the economy and social disorder.