“Don’t worry, junior, it’s not the end of the world…” That’s a conversation that many parents have with their young children and teens when they undergo the rather difficult trials and tribulations of childhood and teenagerism (I call dibs on originating THAT term!). The world just isn’t going to end tomorrow, barring a massive cosmic disaster that would come down and wipe us out like the dinosaurs before, chances are that we’re pretty safe.
But what about natural disasters or other stuff that can reasonably happen? Well there are lots of things that people can do and are encouraged to do by authorities. Storing some food, medical supplies, tools, etc; these are things that are perfectly reasonable and normal to do.
So if you have remained informed about the natural disasters that have been happening for a while or if you know about people who are preparing for doomsday, you’ve probably run across the people known as preppers. These people aren’t just your typical preparedness enthusiast that know a thing or two about survival skills or keep a stock of emergency supplies until the disaster blows over. These are people who practically fetishize the apocalypse are not just prepared for some short-term disaster. These people don’t expect the world to return at all. They’re counting on a Mad Max scenario… at best.
These preppers will go to great lengths in order to feel prepared for that scenario. In the following article, we’ll be exploring 15 of the bizarre facts about doomsday preppers…
15. Some of the preppers prep for insane scenarios
There is one scenario that seems to capture the imagination of every single prepper and that is the zombie apocalypse.
It’s not only the late George Romero who was fascinated by these creatures,. These people are truly worried about a zombie apocalypse to the extent that many prep very specifically for this highly unlikely scenario. It isn’t a joke that many preppers get equipment, guns, food, and even physical training that allegedly would get them away from or help them fight zombies effectively.
Though there are at least some people who turned this into a fun activity. If you like practical shooting, they now have zombie scenarios available for people who like to shoot cardboard cut-outs and advancing plastic mannequins.
14. Natural disasters are barely the tip of the prepper iceberg
Natural disaster seems like the most likely thing to prep for. If you lif3in a place like Japan, a tsunami or earthquake isn’t something out of a sci-fi book. It’s a very real (and regular) thing, so being ready for that is as normal as having a few extra cups around in case a few more guests come over on a Saturday night.
Zombies aren’t just something they talk about. But they almost always talk about the complete and absolute breakdown of all civil society and a return to some form of primitive tribalism that would make Mad Max look tame such as Black Death-like epidemics, total irrecoverable economic collapse, the loss of all agricultural plant life, religious end-timers, and much, much more. Or at least some of them. I have yet to see someone to subscribe to all of them, though.
13. Preppers aren’t poor…or necessarily fringe nutcases
Prepping isn’t cheap. Some people might love to think that your average prepper is some weirdo living out in the woods in Montana who has an arsenal of guns and survival gear and enough supplies to hold off an army for a month, but even that guy would need a lot of money to get those supplies. A house isn’t cheap, lots of gear isn’t cheap, guns aren’t cheap (and getting enough ammunition to last anything more than a quick trip to the range isn’t peanuts either), and enough food to last decades isn’t cheap either. All of these cost money and people who don’t make a lot of money are just not going to be able to have all that stuff.
So what happens when you have the superrich become preppers? Despite what you might think, they’re not all nuts. In fact, some very wealthy and very influential people have been on the prepper bandwagon for a long time. People like Steve Huffman, the co-founder and current CEO of Reddit opted to stop wearing glasses and go for laser eye surgery. Why you might ask? It wasn’t the inconvenience of wearing glasses, it was the fact that he considered his eye glasses a major problem in a world-ending catastrophe. Not merely a simple case of natural disaster that will need a few months worth of stuff, but a Mad Max, or Fallout style apocalypse.
12. But A lot of them do harbor fringe political ideologies
So what about the ones that DO harbor major political ideologies that would make both Pinochet and Castro roll their eyes and say ‘Oh come on, now’. Some of the biggest advocates of prepperism that I have ever seen not only harbor a strong resentment of society at large, but seem to think that society is actively out to get them in some way, whether it’s people that they don’t like or aren’t part of their group or some insidious secretive branch of the government that seems hell bent on bringing about the end of the world.
It’s no surprise that many conspiracy theorists are so keen on preparedness and are obsessed with self-reliance. It’s not that they feel that they simply need to survive on an instinctual level and help the people around them, but it’s really hard to think that they don’t want to do it to feel better than the average person. Alex Jones is one such individual who probably has a massive stockpile that he keeps around, but he is also making a fortune selling such things to others, which brings me to my next point.
11. Companies gladly offer up kits for them
It isn’t just Alex Jones and other people who are selling to these people. Major corporations also want in on the action, since it can make for some very lucrative profits.
Costco is one such company that doesn’t shy away from this. They have survivalist food kits that are guaranteed to last up to 25 YEARS stored. One of the cheapest kits they have is a $1,000 kit that has lots of canned vegetables, fruits, and meats and are designed for one person for one year. Their fancier options can last a group of four or more for the same period of time. If you’re going to prep for a major disaster, be sure to let the companies that won’t exist after that disaster help you!
10. There is a social/gaming aspect to prepping
Go on Youtube and search for preppers or prepping and you’re going to find a large variety of channels available. Some are quite down to earth, entertain and educational. And the less said about the others (and the personalities that create them), the better. There aren’t just books and videos though, there are also games involved. Online games that not only test your preparedness by asking you what you have stocked and where you live, but even go so far as to make up outlandish scenarios (such as the zombie survivalism thing that we’ve talked about earlier).
There are a lot of debates and discussions that go on in these communities as well. While some are rather pig-headed about it, most of it appears to be quite civil and fun, like a community of people who just want to find the best way to survive a Pompeii-level volcanic eruption that might happen any moment over Washington State…
9. Some have enough guns to arm an army
I’ve never seen a prepper that isn’t into firearms. Owning and being able to use firearms is a tip that is almost universally approved by preppers. Not only do they advocate for training (which is reasonable) and ownership, but just the sheer amount of firearms that some preppers own seems massively overboard.
I can understand the logic behind owning multiple firearms, especially when you think about hunting. There is not one universal gun that can take down everything from squirrels to moose and that is also useful for other purposes like self-defense. But there are preppers that own dozens of guns, with some of them having over 50 firearms, plus ammunition, ready in special-built rooms they have in their homes. Perhaps they not only want to remain armed themselves, but also arm their neighbors who weren’t able to get their own guns? Maybe, but at least most of them keep their weapons stored safely…
8. And some are completely obsessed with firearms
Prepper interest in firearms is to be expected. But there are some preppers that completely obsess over the firearms aspect of prepping. Canadian Prepper has Youtube channel where he has criticised these people as being too obsessed with guns without realizing that just having a gun or two (or fifteen or thirty) just doesn’t qualify as prepping. He mentions perfectly reasonable things like mental preparedness, as well as food, water, medicine and other vital aspects of staying alive until things get under control.
7. Some doomsday preppers build surprising bunkers… in surprising places
So people live in houses, and some preppers with some ingenuity really know how to fortify their homes against most attacks (and it likely would stand up to a military attack, which makes sense since a prepper with military experience would have been trained to do that), as well to protect themselves for a prolonged period of time.
But what if a normal home is just not enough? Like the super rich above who go all out, there are some people who have money to burn and do it to prep in the most insane ways possible.
Ever since the end of the Cold War, there has been a gradual disarmament of nuclear weapons. That means that there are actually a lot of old missile silos that are abandoned. So what is government using them for? Actually, nothing. They’re actually up for sale!
And some of those super fancy rich folk have decided that these silos are also prime real estate for people who want to be safe from the apocalypse by turning them into luxury apartments. One such place is located north of Wichita, Kansas, where a former missile silo was purchased by Larry Hall and turned into one such place as a part of the Survival Condo Project. If you’re going to survive, do it in style!
6. And they fancy themselves as big leaders
Larry Hall has a very nice project going for him to cash in on some prime ex-missile silo real estate, but I don’t know how much of a leader he plans to be if the bombs actually do drop. As CEO of the company, he probably will have to assume some kind of leadership role, and he has armed, paid guards to back it up with force if he has to.
But he doesn’t strike me as a cult leader of sorts. However, Bruce Beach, with his Arc 2 project, does strike me that way. He is a Canadian who has an underground project made out of 42 school buses (I’m not kidding) and he plans on making it a survivable place in the event of a nuclear war. He also wishes to create an entirely new society with a new language. I’m not sure how many followers he has around him, but given that when Penn and Teller interviewed him in 2003, he seemed crazier than a loon. I wonder what he’s up to now. Not leading anyone, it seems.
5. Ironically, some can be more dangerous in a breakdown…
While most preppers are actually sane people, there are some that are a few cans short of a six-pack. One specific prepper that we can mention is a man called Martin Winters who was allegedly someone with a massive stockpile of weapons and booby traps and so off the rails that he would not only kill FBI agents, but anyone he perceived as a threat.
There are a lot of preppers that seem to yearn for some kind of disaster for them to be able to make their fantasies come true. Remember the point about some preppers being so obsessed with firearms that it goes beyond all logic? A lot of those people spend not only tens of thousands of dollars on firearms, but just as much on training with them for scenarios. The people who keep emphasizing how much they will defend themselves with lethal force if they see fit… Well those people might not necessarily have the mental fortitude to restrain their violent urges if society around them DOES go down.
4. But others are actually heroic
But despite this, there are some preppers who not only have pulled through, but have done a lot of good in their communities as well. Joseph Badame is one of these good preppers, a 74-year-old man from New Jersey who recently donated his entire good food supply to help relieve the people of Puerto Rico after the island had suffered through a massive hurricane. His entire doomsday supply of food was enough for 84 people to live on for four entire months. This is probably more than what has been given by any one individual for the relief effort.
3. Some prep for something entirely more insane
At lot of the things people prep for can actually happen, but there are people who prepare for disasters of a more spiritual variety.
I personally remember the Rapture prediction that happened back in 2011. I read about it online at the time and I saw cars with signs on them that warned people that the world was going to end on May 21st, 2011. And it obviously didn’t happen. Harold Camping then changed his prediction and said it would happen on October 21st, 2011. And it STILL didn’t happened.
But this wasn’t even the first time such a thing happened. In 1994, Harold predicted the rapture would occur on September 6th of that year. Obviously all of these are wrong, but what was the effect of this on the people who really believed it? Some had prepped for it by giving away their worldly possessions and had lost everything: their homes, their jobs, everything. There were people who had so wholeheartedly believed it and thought they would find salvation, only to end up near homelessness or even outright homeless.
2. It isn’t new, nor was it always bizarre
Preppers have attracted quite the strange reputation over the past 16 years. From people fearing a race war, to people fearing economic collapse and armies of hungry people raiding for food, to zombie survivalists, to people believing that Jesus will return if only they isolate themselves somewhere, it seems that all the people who think this way are pretty crazy, right?
Except that’s not the case. During the early days of the Cold War, especially in the 1950s to the 1960s when the fears of nuclear destruction was a very, very real thing, people prepped because it was actually necessary.
People had bomb shelters in place or were even required to have access to them in some areas (such as Switzerland), and people often stockpiled a lot of supplies in those shelters in the event of a nuclear attack. I cannot stress this enough. People at that time had very real fears of nuclear war, and the world often did teeter on the edge of nuclear annihilation. So having a well-stocked fallout shelter/underground bunker in 1962 when the Cuban Missile Crisis was in full swing, or one in 1983 when a glitch on a Soviet radar had a false positive (war was averted due to ONE officer saying no), didn’t mean you were crazy. It meant you were as prepared as someone who wore a seatbelt in their car.
1. Even the President of the USA does it
Prepping, even the extreme forms of prepping, aren’t necessarily the haven of the fringe lunatics who think that the world is going to collapse around them at any moment (and the thrills that they believe await them afterward). It’s actually a part of the contingency plans that many very important politicians and world leaders have, including the President of the United States.
Ever since the end of WWII, when the world changed dramatically to the extent that it would be unrecognizable to most people even 10 years before, and the rise of nuclear weapons that could completely wipe out nations in a matter of minutes, leaders of many nations came up with highly elaborate (and also completely workable) plans known as ‘continuity of government’. What these people planned on doing was the moment any threat of nuclear annihilation took place, they wanted to make sure that the ensuing power vacuum did not plunge entire nations in chaos.
Networks of deep underground bunkers, entire fortresses built into mountains designed to remain stable even after receiving direct strikes from 25+ megaton nuclear missiles, to Air Force One, which was designed to remain airborne for weeks on end, were all conceived to ensure the safety of the top officials.
Even the Internet that you are using to read this article was originally designed as a nuclear war proof manner of communicating. The idea of a large network of computers that could still communicate with one another even if one of the computers was destroyed was something invented during the 1960s during the Cold War. So what you are using today is actually a prepper device!
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