10.17:14 Doomsday Preppers, a TV series review

I hardly ever watch TV and never had cable. So I'm unfamiliar with a lot of what's been broadcast. But occasionally I come across an interesting library DVD box set that reprises a whole season. A recent one was National Geographic's Doomsday Preppers (2012).

The show's premise is to travel around America and film what "Preppers" are doing for their specific apocalyptic scenario. Each episode runs about 45 minutes, introducing us to three individual Preppers (and their families).

[prepper]

While each Prepper has a somewhat different take for doomsday, they all know their responsibility for food and shelter needs. As they say over and over, with riots in the streets and hungry marauders, FEMA won't help anybody.

While the sanity of any given Prepper might be at question (part of the fascination of these portraits), there is no doubt each wants to survive (and most have guns and stock ammo).

Some of the doomsday turns include hyperinflation and economic collapse, eruption of the Yellowstone super volcano, solar flares and electromagnetic pulses on earth that knock out the power grid, collapse of agriculture and the food supply, a geomagnetic polar shift and chaotic weather, or widespread nuclear radiation.

While some of the Preppers' motivations might be from unlikely scenarios, their methods are not madness. It's educational to see what an individual can do to prepare for any possible disaster and ride it out. Most of the time, we don't fully appreciate how fragile our community support systems are. Each year, predictable catastrophes--earthquake, loss of electrical power, super storms, ice storms--hit large numbers of people somewhere in our country. This summer in Portland, we lost our safe drinking water for a few days. All bottled water in Portland literally was gone from the shelves in hours.

Preparing for doomsday, however, recalls the story of the journalist, who wanted to protect his family from radiation fallout in a nuclear war. Since he could work from any location, the family moved to the coast of Southern Oregon--upwind from any conceivable nuclear fallout in the U.S., an area favored by survivalists. Soon the journalist decided the rural interior of Canada was safer. But once there, he again packed up his family for one of the remotest places on Earth. Islands that were obscure up to 1982 and after he filed a dispatch about his family being caught in the midst of the war Great Britain was waging against Argentina in the Falkland Islands!


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The Cat at Light's End

Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection, The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:

.mobi (Kindle)
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)

Also, a flash fiction, "Ylena Thinks Nyet," is at Cigale Literary Magazine.



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