I suppose I'm not very tuned in to the current scene. I had no idea there was a Doomsday Preppers show on the National Geographic Channel. In fact, I'd never even heard of "preppers." That is until I read a newspaper article this morning about the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo coming to Nashville next March.
One local prepper quoted in the story said the growing movement believes preparing for the end of civilization is more rational than ridiculing those who do. According to the writer, what was once viewed largely as a practice by survivalists on the fringe has achieved cohesion and community in the Internet age through best-selling writers, bloggers, risk assessors, conspiracy theorists, and companies that cater the preppers' needs.
The American Preppers Network has a website that promotes "Freedom Through Teaching Others Self-Reliance." Its Facebook page has the motto "Helping Others Help Themselves." The organizer of next year's Expo in Nashville says the Doomsday Preppers TV show focuses on "the extreme, the worst-case scenario." But he points out that people in New York and New Jersey are still without power from Hurricane Sandy and have to wait in line four to eight hours for gas.
One prepper who is a former deputy sheriff says social unrest from a financial meltdown could be devastating. Another situation that could cause massive disruption is the sabotage of the power grid, which has been warned against with increasing concern.
James Wesley Rawles achieved best-seller status with Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. He wrote two other novels in the series as well as a non-fiction book on how to survive in an uncertain world. He and various contributors provide tips on how to survive in his survivalblog.com.
Mainstream authors have penned post-apocalyptic books, including Stephen King with The Stand and Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
We're all familiar with the wealth of end-of-the-world predictions that proved false, with one still outstanding for December 21, 2012. But that one has been debunked by numerous scholars. It seems the serious preppers community has something more realistic in mind, however. That's the ever-present possibility of our facing the necessity for survival of natural disasters and devastation brought on by those who wish us ill or blunder us into oblivion (think a Congress that has spent us into bankruptcy).
Maybe I'd better check out this Expo next March, if I'm still around.
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