Last night on NatGeo TV we had the premier of a new series, ‘Doomsday Preppers’. National Geographic has aired a couple of specials before on the subject of how some Americans are preparing for the end of the world as we know it, or, as the survivalists call it, TEOTWAWKI. Having learned lessons from the Father of Survivalism, Kurt Saxon, it might have been helpful for the show to interview him. But let us see who these folks are and what makes them fear the future?

doomsday preppers

First up was Paul Range and his wife, Gloria Haswell from Texas. They are worried about a potential pole-shift that could wipe out the entire planet’s electrical grid and electronic systems. Living in a Medieval style fortress home built out of nine steel storage containers, these folks have it all. They’ve stockpiled some 50,000 pounds of food, enough to feed 22 people for 15 years! Wind generators and solar panels keep them off the grid and they have turned a pig sty into a methane generator for additional fuel.

Yes, they have guns and plenty of them! Paul and Gloria routinely practice a bug-out escape should their home be compromised by a hoard of looters. Several vehicles, including two modified school buses will transport them to their secret alternative site, livestock and all. These folks are full-time preppers and get high marks across the board for adjusting their life style to one of complete self-sufficiency.

Next up we Christopher Nyerges of Los Angeles, who is very worried indeed about another major earthquake in California. Unlike the first couple, Chris is prepping in a different way. He plans to survive off the land, even in the urban wasteland of a destroyed Los Angeles. Botany is his answer. Armed with just a small ‘go-bag’ with essential tools, Chris has studied the local fauna and knows what plants are edible and which can be used for medicine.

In the event of a major earthquake, Chris plans to hoof it with his kit along storm drains and such, seeking water and food where he can. He also carries some items for barter and bribes, such as silver Ike dollars and arrowheads. Chris practices his escape routes regularly, including bushing up on his fire starting skills. As us fans of the Reality TV series ‘Survivor’ know, fire is life!

Finally, we meet Megan Hurwitt of Houston, Texas. She’s a tough chick who can party hardy and still kick your butt if necessary. Her tiny apartment is packed full of food, water and two gun lockers. She thinks that there will be a major oil crisis which will cause mass riots and looting. Her game plan is to wait out the initial mayhem for a few weeks, then bug out to Mexico with her boyfriend and her pet cat.

Megan is a realist and figures she can survive for several months on her own before needing to resort to trading sex for food and water. She trains regularly to stay in top physical condition, as well as maintaining her awesome shooting skills. But during a practice run of her bug out march, her large backpack slowed her down. While she has the right idea, her planning leaves too much to chance. So she has now joined the U.S. military and intends to help her fellow citizens rather than kill them for food.

The new NatGeo TV series, ‘Doomsday Preppers’ was much fun and I plan on watching more. I am amused that National Geographic would do a series like this. But what the heck? They’ve also aired series on marijuana growers and people trying to make jousting a professional sport. The new series does raise good points on what it takes to survive a disaster and might benefit people interested in survival skills or self-sufficiency in general. A nice, positive attitude that no matter what happens, even nuclear war, many humans will survive and carry on to build a new civilization.