I recently discovered National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers, and I have to say that it is scarier than any episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. No, we don’t get blood thirsty zombies crawling across the screen, but there is a palpable sense that this kind of life altering event is exactly what these “preppers” are getting ready to face, or maybe even something more grim than imaginable.
I have seen only a few episodes, and they shook me up quite a bit. You get to see these regular people, some of whom you probably work with or know socially, who by night are preparing parts of their homes to be underground bunkers in case of disaster. The prepping involved is extensive and, in most cases, seems carefully thought out and executed. The problem is that NGC’s “experts” then evaluate the preppers, and the results are not always positive.
In all of these episodes I have seen these people are working their butts off to get things right. They stock potable water, tons of food, and all the other necessities. Many of them are armed to the teeth with all sorts of weapons. Despite all the prepping, there always seems to be a flaw in the plan that the experts reveal at the end. Many of the preppers then respond to these experts, and some seem to try to make up for deficiencies in their planning.
I guess the thing that scares me the most about this show is not all the difficulties of planning or even all the expense incurred, but rather that no matter how carefully these folks prepare, there is bound to be something to get in their way. One family planned to stick it out in the bunker over a period of time and then hightail it to a boat to escape to an island. The experts picked at the flaws in this plan that seemed obvious: they had to avoid obstacles on the road to the boat and then had to hope their boat was still there.
All the preparation in the world seems to only help people for a certain time. Whether it is six months or a year, supplies will run out. If there is some kind of “zombie apocalypse” to deal with, it seems that everyone will eventually be forced to do what the characters on The Walking Dead must do – find a way to survive off the land and what has not already been foraged. It would seem that this planning will bring everyone back to square one, so you wonder about what good it is to do it in the first place.