Due to the recent flurry of apocalyptic tragedies, television has been exploring worlds in which people live without the amenities we all take for granted. Shows like "Revolution" on NBC, which portrays a world without power, and "The Walking Dead," which features a world destroyed by zombies, have given us a small glimpse of what a devastated world would look like.
Most people don't think about how they would survive in these types of situations, but the National Geographic Channel has taken things to a different level with "Doomsday Preppers." This documentary-like series goes into the lives of people who are actually taking precautions and making plans on how they will survive incase of things like nuclear wars, oil shortages, anarchy and complete destruction of American society.
Now in its second season, "Doomsday Preppers" gives a peek into the lives of these "fanatics" of survival. Some of them have meticulous plans for where they will go in case of a global emergency.
“Doomsday Preppers” is on the National Geographic Channel at 9 p.m. Tuesdays. The show, which is currently in its second season, features people who are going to extreme lengths to prepare for apocalyptic situations.
They have stockpiles of food that they believe will let them survive up to a year or more. After the audience sees their plan, the show gives them scores from the experts and also arms them with tips to sharpen their skills.
The first episode of the second season, "Am I Nuts Or Are You?" highlighted three different individuals with different plans. They start off with Big Al, a music producer who has a hidden "bug-out" spot in the mountains that is 5 feet underground.
He conditions himself by staying isolated in this refuge for three months out of every year. As most people know, isolation can cause anxiety attacks and completely mess up a person's mind, so Al finds things to do, such as chop wood and make concoctions out of his canned foods that he has been piling up. Al believes that Russia is planning a nuclear attack on the United States and believe his preparations will keep him safe. The show displays little facts at the bottom of the screen and when I read that Russia has made a bomb that could give people third- degree burns from 12 miles away, I started to understand why these people are so enthusiastic about "prepping."
The next individual we meet is a 15-year-old, Jason Beacham, who is preparing for anarchy, and who is a little scary. He has firearm skills that could compete with people twice his age, researches weapons and also has his own stockpile of food.
His mother even seems a bit concerned about his interests, but Jason insists he is not obsessed with it, he's just passionate. He even made a weapon for when he runs out of ammunition that is a bat with nails, which he calles a "maceball bat." His mother laments to the camera that she wishes she could be a "normal mom" and not have to worry about her son and "maceball bats."
Lastly, we have the Southwick family who is preparing for biological warfare. The father, Braxton, is more about this doomsday prepping than his family, but when they do a mock "bug-out," he convinces them that this is something that could happen. He has a moveable chicken coup, trailers full of water, food and supplies, and biohazard suits for the entire family.
The first thing I had to learn about when watching this show was the term "bugout." This is a term for when you have to "get out of dodge." These people have prepared for when they only have a moment's notice to reach their safe spots. The experts say that a "bug-out pack" should have enough supplies to sustain an individual for three days. Some of the people customize theirs, some buy pre-packaged ones.
Another thing I realized was that most people might think these people are crazy, but what they are is smart. They all have researched everything they do and have found ways to survive in a world that we are completely unfamiliar with. In one episode in season one, a couple has found a way to use everything. They even use the fart gas from their pigs as fuel. They even used their own excrements for fuel.
Some people think, "Who has time for that? Who has the time to prepare for something that might not even happen?" These people put money, work and TONS of time into preparing for a destroyed world. And the people who have time for that? They are going to be the ones left if, God forbid, something happens. Call them fanatics, call them unrealistic, but it's quite fascinating to see the time and effort these people put into preparation.
Check it out for yourself. "Doomsday Preppers" is on National Geographic, at 9 p.m. Tuesdays.