"Doomsday Preppers," National Geographic's compelling reality series, turns the camera on those men and women who make disaster preparedness their lifestyle. Preppers typically spend thousands of dollars on food and supplies while practicing various methods of "bugging out" of a disaster site.
When the world teeters on the brink of collapse, though, where is the best place to wait it out? Different survivalists have different ideas.
Missile silos help preppers thrive and survive
Kansas residents Ed and Dianna Peden have converted a decommissioned Atlas E missile silo into a rather quaint home. Christened "Subterra," the couple's home contains things to help them survive and thrive - most notably a Jacuzzi. Peden and his wife also schedule public tours of their silo home.
Former engineer Larry Hall has taken the concept of making missile silos inhabitable to a whole new level. Hall, now a real estate developer, is converting another Kansas nuclear missile silo into luxury survival condos. On camera, Hall says the project is like burying a 14-story building approximately 175 feet underground.
With room for 70 disaster preppers, Hall's complex will have a gym, swimming pool, and movie theater. Comfort comes at a price, which in this case starts at one million dollars. According to the official project website, the original silo is almost completely sold with plans for a second silo under way.
Safeguarding mankind's future
In Ontario, Canada, Bruce and Jean Beach have built what they call a haven for humanity. Designed as a post-apocalyptic orphanage, "Ark Two" was constructed from 42 recycled school buses. Buried under 18 inches of concrete and 14 feet of dirt, the structure can house approximately 500 people. The couple also has been stockpiling supplies for decades.
Bruce Beach's expressed goal is to save as many children as possible because they represent the future of mankind. Ark Two will also host several adults who will care for the children.
Training for a post-apocalyptic world
Doug Huffman is turning his California ranch into a community that can survive after a disaster. He is constructing a 2,500 sq. ft. greenhouse to grow vegetables year-round and a root cellar to store his fresh produce. Huffman also raises chickens and rabbits, two animals that can produce large quantities of food.
Huffman's Sierra School of Survival teaches young preppers how to survive an economic collapse or other disaster. Huffman and his junior rangers train on his ranch, and (as "Doomsday Preppers" points out) he hopes that many of them will join him on the property to help rebuild civilization.
This prepper even has a backup plan in the form of "spider holes": one-person foxholes where he can hide out for three to seven days at a time. When it comes to Huffman, his motto says it all: "When survival's the goal, into the spider hole."