When it comes to learning about and witnessing disaster preparedness, few outlets present the type of insights you'll get from National Geographic's reality show "Doomsday Preppers." Packed with information, this reality series offers useful tips about storing food and water far ahead of a disaster.
Each prepper, though, has his/her own opinion about what will bring civilization to a halt. Megan Hurwitt of Houston, Texas, has been prepping in anticipation of a catastrophic oil crisis. The global economy is so driven by gasoline and other petroleum products that an oil shortage could cause chaos. Hurwitt has since joined the military, but she did keep a "bug out" vehicle loaded with gas and was advised to keep caches of fuel along her escape route.
David Sarti, on the other hand, has been prepping for the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Nuclear detonations can trigger an EMP, which would affect computers and other electronic control systems. Sarti plans to combat such an event by storing his electronic gear in a faraday cage. These containers allow electromagnetic waves to pass over, not through, the equipment.
Churchgoing Pat Brabble believes the United States is close to a state of hyperinflation. In the early 20th Century, Germany experienced the same economic issue when a wheelbarrow full of paper currency was not enough to buy a newspaper, let alone food. Brabble and his family are stocking up on guns and booze, even though he and his wife don't drink. Liquor is a useful bartering tool, Brabble points out, and it makes a nifty Molotov cocktail.
Donna Nash of Alpine, Utah, is getting her loved ones ready for a worldwide pandemic. Known in her neighborhood as "The Pandemic Lady," Nash runs preparedness drills with her family and, as one latecomer learned, she will quarantine anyone who has been exposed to contaminants. To ready her community, she assembles pandemic kits and distributes them to her neighbors.
Computer programmer Preston White thinks that the radiation from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster will pose more of a threat than the government has said. White is stockpiling seeds and plants to grow radiation-free food after the full effects of the meltdown are felt.
Kathy Harrison is fearful of "Black Swan" events, those disasters that come out of nowhere. Harrison, like Donna Nash, is involving her community in stockpiling food, water, and materials that can be bartered.
Psychiatrist Bradford Frank is, despite his wife protests, preparing for a bird flu epidemic. Dr. Frank has stocked his San Diego residence with food and runs disaster drills with his family. For the Nat Geo cameras, Frank took his family to a cave that serves as one of their "bug out" locations.