Most articles discussing “Prepper Motivation” focus on simplistic words like ‘Apocalypse’, and ‘The End of Civilization’ when they highlight information. In general the media portray ‘those who prepare’ as some kind of goof or wing-nut; That is profoundly unfair.
Think of those people in Long Island after Hurricane Sandy, do you think their lives would have been better if they were prepared to be totally self-sufficent for a month or more.
The example of anarchy in New Orleans should still be fresh on the minds of those who would ridicule or diminish such prudence, yet they do it anyway.
Having had personal experience in dealing with the total fracturing of societal rules of governance, along with the collapse of civil and moral rules on self-controlling behavior, I can tell you it ain’t pretty…. and most people have no idea how bad it can get – QUICKLY.
(Daily Mail Article) Imagine if suddenly, and completely without warning, the world experienced a total blackout – no electricity, no mobile phones, no banks, no internet, no TV, no emergency services. Nothing.
Highways quickly become jammed with cars that have ground to a halt; an aeroplane falls from the sky; a satellite view of the planet shows it rapidly plunging into darkness.
As it becomes apparent that the lights are never coming back on, nations are plunged into chaos, mass riots break out in major cities and, without electricity, governments are toppled. Into the vacuum step ad-hoc militias, armed and ready to enforce their own rule of law.
This is the apocalyptic premise of the hit American TV series Revolution, which begins on Sky 1 this week. In the first episode, viewers are pulled through this nightmarish chain of events.
So, what would you do? It’s a question that members of a burgeoning subculture known as ‘Preppers’ – people who are prepared for any kind of disaster – have been asking themselves for years.
Preppers look at the world around them and see all kinds of potential threats – economic collapse, global warming, terrorism, nuclear war, dwindling energy supplies, asteroid strikes and, yes, a prolonged blackout.
They’ve largely reached the same conclusion: the end of the world as we know it is just around the corner, and time is running out to gear up for the total collapse of society.
It’s estimated there are three million Preppers in the U.S. alone, and the number is rising.
Furthermore, the recession has seen ‘Prepping’ become a multibillion-dollar industry, with many American Preppers spending thousands every year stocking up on supplies to see them through the impending catastrophe.
Ron Douglas (pictured above, with his wife, six children and enough supplies to be self-sufficient for a year) has seen business boom in the past 12 months. A founder of the Red Shed Media Group in the States, he’s enjoying what might be described as the ‘profits of doom’.
Last year, Red Shed organised five Self Reliance Expos, which pulled in 40,000 punters at $10 a head, while its radio network has notched up over two million podcast downloads.
The company also owns the rights to a book called Making the Best of Basics, first published in 1974; it reportedly sold around 20,000 copies last year.
Douglas, in his late thirties, lives in Frederick, Colorado, around 30 miles from Denver. To stage the photograph to the left, it took 15 people over six hours to move all of his stockpile – mostly kept in his basement – out onto his front lawn.
If a disaster resulted in basic necessities such as food and water becoming scarce, the Douglas family would tough it out at home.
If they absolutely had to leave their house, they would get into a modified Chevy Suburban SUV equipped with emergency supplies that can do 850 miles before needing a refill.
Interest in what Douglas has to offer, as well as the Prepper movement as a whole, is growing, fuelled by the success of another TV programme, National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers.
It’s the channel’s highest-rated show in America, and the second series has just started in the UK. One episode features Derek Price, who runs a Wild West theme park called Deadwood in Bear Grass, North Carolina.
The park doubles as his compound in the event of the power grid being knocked out by a solar flare. Within the grounds there’s a golf course that has a series of sniper positions set up behind the greens, from which he could take out any rioters.
During the episode, Haven, Price’s 11-year-old son, is seen being put through his paces as a nightwatchman, clutching a 9mm rifle (albeit with the safety catch on).
The show hasn’t met with broad approval within the Prepper community, perhaps because it sheds light on a more sinister side of the movement, one that generated headlines when it was reported that the mother of Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza was a Prepper.
Nancy Lanza, Adam’s first victim, was shot four times before her son embarked on a killing spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, murdering 20 schoolchildren and six teachers before taking his own life.
While there’s no evidence to prove that Nancy’s lifestyle directly contributed to the tragedy of Sandy Hook, it has prompted some commentators to suggest that Preppers are gun-toting, conspiracy-theorising, right-wing militia.
Much like the Australian punters who last year bet on the world ending after our planet is ‘consumed by the Sun’ (in which case, how would they claim their winnings?), there are radical elements within the Prepper community.
But not all Preppers are armed and dangerous. Many are becoming self-reliant because they care about the environment and want to safeguard the future of the planet. Douglas insists he’s one of them. (read more)