National Geographic's series "Doomsday Preppers" returns on Nov. 13 with a new round of episodes exploring the end of the world - the world as we as we currently know it, that is.
The show is notable for taking the survivalists featured on the show really seriously, and supporting their claims with facts, studies, and scientific evidence. Not that it always goes in the preppers' favor.
There are a ton of cookie cutter reality shows these days, many of which include elimination rounds, expletive bleeps, and celeb judges. "Doomsday Preppers" provides a very different window into a real America where even the best of us are preparing for the very worst.
Check out this list of Season 1's standout episodes.
"It's All Gonna Hit the Fan" -- Donna Nash is preparing for an international pandemic. She spent 20 years obsessing over it until she decided to take action by arming her family. Pandemics are viruses or diseases that affect large numbers of people, and it's possible for one sick person to cause outbreaks that run rampant in multiple geographic locations. Her biggest fear is bringing illness home to her family. As a result, she's stockpiled thousands of masks, gloves, sanitizer, wipes, and more. The sight of her stockpile alone is jaw-dropping.
"Back to the Stone Age" -- New York firefighter Jason keeps crushed glass by the door for security and takes his family through various end-of-the-world drills. What he knows is that volcanic ash can clog drains and might limit access to clean water. Here's what he's most afraid of: A large eruption of the supervolcano at Yellowstone would have devastating short and long-term consequences. He's collected more than 100 galloons of water, and his plan to feed his family involves MREs (pre-packed meals given to the military that remain edible for years). He rents storage space that contains a one-year supply of these rations. Though they have little room in their apartment, he has turned it into a bunker, just in case.
"Close the Door, Load the Shotgun" -- Megan Hurwitt fears a global oil crisis. She's a Houston, Texas, resident and believes that a future oil crisis will hurl the country and her city into chaos in a matter of days. "When people's kids are hungry, they're going to come for you," she said. She has a tiny apartment, an herb bank, a veggie bank, and true to the episode's title, two safes for guns and "lots of bullets." She plans to "bug in" for at least two weeks and "bug out" if anyone's left. Then she'll go to Mexico.
"Am I Nuts or Are You?" -- This episode showcased three intriguing people: Big Al, a songwriter, who is preparing for nuclear war and has an underground house; Braxton Southwick, who is preparing for a smallpox outbreak; and 15-year-old Jason Beachum, who is preparing for civil unrest due to economic factors. This episode best illustrates the show's mission statement: Show real people, and in doing so, make their fear believable (and palpable) for the audience.