« My first chopper | Home | Math Tie »

February 7, 2012

Doomsday Preppers — "It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle"


So said doomsday prepper Gloria Haswell in today's USA Today story about the National Geographic Channel's new reality show, "Doomsday Preppers," (catchy title, what?),

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 10.44.51 AM

premiering tonight at 9 p.m. E.T.

I won't be watching, as Gray Cat and I will be fluffing our pillows and otherwise preparing our comfy nest for bedtime.

But you go ahead.

Excerpts from Monika Joshi's article:

For some people, the end of the world as we know it is upon us, and there is no better time than now to start preparing.

Such is the concept of National Geographic Channel's  new reality show "Doomsday Preppers," which profiles Americans who have taken extreme measures to plan for a forthcoming apocalypse — whether natural disaster, nuclear war or economic crisis.

The channel commissioned an online survey of 1,007 adults in the U.S. and found that 61% of Americans believe the country will experience a major catastrophic event within the next 20 years, but only 15% feel they are fully prepared for it.

Each episode will feature a few individuals from the prepping subculture, and the effectiveness of their preparations will be assessed by experts. In the series premiere, viewers meet a retired couple who have 50,000 pounds of food stored in their doomsday-proof home built of steel shipping containers, an urban survivalist in Los Angeles prepping for a severe earthquake and a young, outgoing Texan ready to bug out when an oil crisis creates havoc.

"It's not a hobby," prepper Gloria Haswell tells National Geographic, "it's a lifestyle." Haswell and her husband spend 50 hours a week preparing for  a shift in the North and South poles, which could cause severe climate change.

Look at the graphic up top.

My response to the question "What have you done to prepare for catastrophe?"

Absolutely nothing.

And I never will.

Why is that?

Because you'll never see — much less hear — the bullet that's coming.

And you can quote me.

On a related note, constant readers will recall that I've long believed that annual physicals and visits to the doctor on a regular basis without a specific cause are not only a waste of your money and time but actually harmful and potentially dangerous.


Because if you do enough tests, there is a 100% chance you'll find an abnormal value which mandates a work-up and exposes you the wide, wide world of iatrogenic disaster.

But that's a topic for a future post, focusing on my friend Dr. Margaret McCartney's new book,

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 10.31.30 AM

"The Patient Paradox: Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad For Your Health."

Screen Shot 2012-02-07 at 10.31.43 AM

Stay tuned.

February 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Doomsday Preppers — "It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle":


One whole, raw, Scotch bonnet pepper? Ow. And I love hot stuff - including the Bhut Joka - but you have to use a light hand with these powerful spices....

Here in LA, I live in a state that says I should be able to survive without the grid or any emergency services for at least three (3) days.

I have enough gear to outfit a small expedition or to climb just about any multi-day traditional climb in the US. Joe, you had your heavy winter sleeping bag at the ready last year when the ice storm took down your grid (and, you still managed to post!) and I suspect that a substantial number of us who hike, climb, canoe, kayak, hunt, fish or otherwise have spent a good deal of time enjoying the outdoors would have a pretty good supply of gear at hand for almost any emergency save for a massive fire (I am most decidedly not in a fire zone, but I'm within a mile of a canyon that burned three years ago).

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Feb 7, 2012 9:07:44 PM

Every time I look at the headline of this post I first see "Doomsday Peppers" and flash back to the time I unknowingly ate an entire Scotch bonnet pepper without knowing what it was. That'll get your complete and undivided attention, trust me.

Posted by: bookofjoe | Feb 7, 2012 6:24:26 PM

Hurricane Irene beat me up and then read aloud a list of supplies to buy. I lived in FL for 11 years with nary a peep and then here I am in Jersey, minding my own business, and a hurricane takes out my basement. That just hurts.

So yes, I'm assembling the kit. For you pikers out there, start with a good, easy to use headlamp.

Posted by: Becs | Feb 7, 2012 5:47:32 PM

I don't expect zombies to start knocking on the door, or the poles to shift or any of these other reality-detached events, but I do carry a kit on my person (the AMK PSK) in the event a major earthquake strikes. Enough to signal for help if I need it, or to light my way, or to help make do and get by until some semblance of normality returns.

But the most important things we have in survival situations are what's between our ears and luck.

You can get by without any preparation, yes. Preparation just makes it easier to get by in most urban settings. For boj HQ, where hurricanes give you advance notice, maybe all you need is a checklist as a reminder. Being prepared is not the same as subscribing to some of these people's whacko civilization collapse theories.

Posted by: tm | Feb 7, 2012 4:40:44 PM

I grew up in California, and in an area with a significant Mormon population, so the concept of not socking away a little water and food and emergency first aid for the inevitable earthquake was deeply ingrained. My parents actually relied on their emergency supplies a few years back when a landslide took out the county road and their driveway, and they were stuck up the canyon for about 11 days.

Of course, my leetle tiny prep is nothing compared to even my Mormon neighbors (who aim for a year's worth of supplies) nor the interesting folks I know who are preparing themselves for the zombie apocalypse (because they figure any prep for that will be transferrable to earthquake, fire, flood, et cetera).

Posted by: Mary Sue | Feb 7, 2012 12:30:52 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.