Doomsday Preppers, National Geographic Channel’s new hit series – is awesome.
The show follows various survivalists through their daily lives as they prepare for the end of civilization as we know it, whether it be from massive economic collapse, nuclear war, the melting of the polar ice caps or the failure of the power grid.
Each prepper, and sometimes their families, friends and neighbors has undertaken serious precautions, from stockpiling months of non-perishable food and water, to training in self-defense to building bunkers in the desert. All based on their belief that at some point – in their lifetime – they will need it.
They are then scored by survival experts in five categories of survival; water, food, shelter, security and an x-factor.
Some score quite well. Others? No.
Most people find it entertaining due to the uniquely odd and dysfunctional nature of the preppers themselves.
I recall one episode specifically where one prepper had stockpiled nearly 50,000 rounds of ammunition, built a sniper nest in a tower, and then proceeded to have his ear blown off because his companion was had no experience with firearms and because he wasn’t wearing appropriate ear protection.
Sometimes it’s the little things.
But I find it entertaining for different reasons.
First, if you ask the experts that are closest to these scenarios – financial collapse, cyberterrorism, chemical and nuclear weapons – they’ll tell you that the likelihood of them making a significant impact on our lives is higher than most think.
The joke’s on us.
Second, human beings aren’t very good at identifying the real threats in any situation.
In the event that water, food and shelter become scarce due to some epic disaster, the threat isn’t going to be the flood waters, chemical agents or viruses. The real threat will be your neighbor.
People are always the biggest threat.
Hurricane Sandy was a massive storm, but one could argue that the worst damage was fairly localized. If you lived on the Jersey coast, lower Manhattan or Long Island, things were very bad, but outside of those areas you may have only gotten a little rain.
Yet inside of two weeks people were pulling guns and knives on each other, just to get in line for gas. What would it have been like if the damage was more widespread and the shortage sustained?
We saw the same behavior during Katrina. People were killed for food and guns. Society started breaking down. Quickly.
By nature we are all survivalists. It’s why we have a massive brain and opposing thumbs. The human race has endured for thousands of years because this is how we’re programmed. In many ways, we’re all Doomsday Preppers.
What’s your score?