Confessions of a Doomsday Prepper

doomsdayGranted, I might be hung by my toes, pummeled with an organic carrot, and fed tofu for saying this, but... I simply do not subscribe to the whole “Doomsday Prepper” mindset.   Naturally you might then ask me  what in the heck am I doing on a show called Doomsday Preppers?  Well, I’ll be happy to clarify if you’ve got a moment and in doing so I hope that you'll see the great potential that's about to hit the prepper community.

If you haven’t heard, National Geographic TV will air their premier season of Doomsday Preppers beginning Feb. 7th, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. On the first night they will be airing two episodes back to back. For those who care to know, I’ll be in the 2nd episode (along with my hunka hunka hubby and several shots of all of the great gals who joined me for the episode by the looks of the commercials).  Now, before you guys get all in a dither about how some of these people are portrayed on the trailers, understand one important truth—this is television and there has to be an entertainment factor in order to attract viewers.  Without the term “doomsday” in the title or people saying “the end of the world as we know it” it just wouldn’t have the same appeal to as broad of an audience. What would Clark Kent be with just the word “Man’? How interested would you be to watch show about women competing to make the best cupcakes if it was simply called “Cupcakes” instead of "Cupcake Wars"? Likewise you’d have a difficult time trying to entice a broad audience with a show simply called “Preppers”. In fact, I have absolutely LOVED how they've mixed humor and seriousness in with their commercials. I belly laughed when I saw the first one. (sigh, my family nonetheless, particularly my teen and tween nieces, are just biting their nails waiting to see how the show might embarrass their family member. I think they are waiting until then before they claim me as their Aunt Keen to their friends. *grimace*)

Doomsday Preppers-a pretty great show considering the hype that's out there

Continuing on in that vein, I can tell you personally that I felt that the producer and camera crew were nothing other than respectful. Such respect isn’t an anomaly; the pilot episode of Doomsday Preppers also did a good job of portraying preppers in my opinion. And as an added assurance that this isn’t some devious plan to portray preppers as country bumpkins, you can also take a gander at the write-ups that were done on each of the preppers. Additionally, I am anything but photogenic. Even when I’m a size 6 it’s very easy to take unflattering photos of me. If they were out to embarrass me (us) then they could have used a litany of stills and outtakes to do so that would have repulsed the dead. But you simply don’t see that and I'm confident you won't. That's not to say that you'll be able to relate to every preppers motivations or actions.  But as you can see that the photos, write-ups, etc. there's no Jerry Springer type of agenda here.

doomsdayLastly, can we all get real for a moment and accept the fact that when we’re talking amongst ourselves we are perfectly comfortable in using "doomsday" phrases such as “I’m preparing for a global financial collapse; A series of terrorist attacks is indeed plausible; A devastating earthquake, and When an EMP hits throwing us all back into the 18th century it’s going to feel like the end of the world as we know it!” So if we’re going to be just as real when the cameras are on us, then certainly they are going to reflect that, right? So can we all please come down off of the ledge of indignation for just a moment and enjoy the ride?

As much as we loathe the talking heads of today, mass media is one of the few effective ways that we have the opportunity to share our message of rational concern for our neighbors that they take some semblance of responsibility for their well-being today and for the challenges of tomorrow. If we help just one family do better in this regard, then all of the physical and emotional work I’ve put into the past 3 years, including doing this show, will be worthwhile to me—because that’s how I value human LIFE!  Don’t you?

Doomsday-End of the World Preparation?

doomsdayO.k. Now with all that being said, allow me to address the elephant in the room. For the record, I do NOT believe in preparing for a “Doomsday” or “end of the world” scenario and frankly, I hope you don’t occupy your time considering such an event either. (And in speaking with the some of the other preppers on the show, they don’t either.)  I mean really; let’s face it; if God determines that it’s time to roll the earth like a scroll, then what the heck difference does my wheat, water, and whatchamacallits make?  To be perfectly clear, an end of the world doomsday scenario is not what motivates my efforts of being more self-reliant. That kind of behavior is necessary for TODAY. I find virtue in being prepared for life’s everyday challenges and I firmly believe that if I’m ready for the everyday curve balls, then I will be ready for the bigger ones such as a Hurricane Katrina, a Teton Dam breaking (which is 10 times more likely today than it was back in the 1970’s, BTW), an earthquake in the New Madrid fault, or a worldwide financial collapse.  As I consider the likelihood of "doomsday" possibilities, my desire for preparedness expands—both with regard to the person’s I want to be sure that I can help and the vast amount of circumstances for which I want to be prepared.

Let’s look at it this way.  I know several law enforcement officers who carry their official issue weapon, a taser, an asp, pepper spray, handcuffs (which are a great weapon if you know how to use them as such) a long-handled flashlight, cordless communication devices, a bulletproof vest, a couple of fully loaded spare magazines, the working knowledge of physical self-defense capabilities, a solid car doomsdaywith intimidating lights, and another firearm located in an ankle holster. At what point do we scoff and scorn that person for being crazy for carrying anything more than his badge?  Now let me ask you, if that officer were to walk into a the perimeter of a bomb set to go off would he be aided by any of that preparation?  Nope. Rather he’ll be hanging out with those who filled his shoes decades before him. And yet so many of the world today would mock or even spew hatred and threats of violence against persons who would live their everyday lives with that same level of awareness of the vulnerabilities which threaten to impact their life. Now which one of us thinks that any one of his tools are ridiculous?  Sure there are persons that MIGHT say that a police officer’s life is never really in danger.  But I can assure you that the spouse and family of that person never wants it to even be a possibility. So, he prepares, he learns, and he thinks about it over and over again even though he’s armed with a litany of tools to use in a very narrow aspect of his life and the present mortality rate of LEOS is only 58 a year out of 655,000+!

So, whatever it is that motivates you to be ready for a rainy day—keep it up and keep sharing that conviction. Keep expanding your scope of influence to help others someday as well. No man is an island, let alone a safe, impenetrable one. As for the Doomsday scenarios of Zombies, Apocalypse, The End of the Planet Earth—it’s either not real or your preparedness efforts aren’t relevant to such scenarios.  But being ready for the next set of extreme challenges that the Lord definitely does have in store for mankind will definitely be worth it. Of that I am absolutely certain.

(By the way, if you'd like a look at behind the scenes of my journey to and through the presentation of Doomsday Preppers, I am posting such articles on my personal blog site here.)

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Comments

I totally understand. For all the people west of the Mississippi, if the Yellowstone volcano blows, all that stored wheat will be over-baked bread, with nobody to eat it.

I strongly suspect that we are in the beginning of the very rough period before the second coming. I am preparing for that time. End of the world? Not yet, but tough challenges until it does end. Otherwise I would not spend all this time and money on preps that I never needed in a more calm world.

Unless he has celiac disease he certainly does not need to go through this step and instead he's losing vital nutrients by doing so.

I just saw a commercial about this show and think the idea of doomsday prepping is absolutely ridiculous. My silly father was sure y2k would happen and purchased gallons upon gallons of water and canned food that took up a large majority of the house. I asked him why bother? Let me tell u something, if the end of the world came, I'd step right outside and be the first to go. Do u really think I want to stay alive when there is nothing to eat but canned food and water and have to stare at my parents all day? That's not happening. They are divorced now anyway so that's irrelevant but still just the thought of having to stay around my parents until I die, can't ever have sex, meet anyone and will be stuck in a hole forever isn't appealing to me. I rather spend money on a real future, college, job training, children, a house, etc. Not for the next nucleaur bomb. When its time to go, its time for u to go and that's it. No amount of foodcans will be able to save you, sorry.

@adebt2society That was very insightful! As a repair tech for Sears at the time of the millenium, I had many call-out in late 2000 and all of 2001 to repair generators which had gas left in them too long. As you stated, if it's gonna come, no amount of stores are going to save you. However, be careful. If you disagree with her too often, she'll block you from posting on her facebook page.

@adebt2society the key is it most likely won't be a catastrophic event or bomb, it'll be a severe interruption in our food and supply chain (we have three days in the system) that would lead to slow painful starvation, and threats from the millions who did nothing to prepare. Quite different than the blaze of glory catch the abomb in your teeth scenario eh?

Simply stocking up on food my family uses daily, and rotating it into our kitchen, planning for our personal saftey with some firearms and ammo, setting up alternative sources for heating fuel (firewood) and electricity (solar panels and soon a small windmill) as well as having things every family should have in the way of first aid gear, and some know-how of how before the last 80 years of the modern age, mankind survived if not thrived for thousands of years. well... sure would beat starving to death and fearing mobs of like people.

This is the first time in mankind's history, we for the most part don't have the basic abililtys to survive without the systems that are in place. Precarious position to be in.

hi all....thanks to kilene i am able to stand all the canned etc comodities the government is supplying to us old folks. let me tell you it has been a trip!!
i get some overcooked canned vegetables that are just plain awful. after seeing her plan for better food when you follow recipes for exchange i can eat the stuff and it is good. no it's not going out to steak and ale...but it can get us through hard times. my doomsday hit when an 18 wheeler hit my car from the rear and i got cancer. i can no longer work. she made it bearable for me and if you read this kilene i would sure appreciate some complete recipes from you. there are plenty of us out here right now eatting commodities and need the help. funny if a big disaster hits we will be more prepared for the canned food than the people who only consider their own little world. what america needs is a cooking show and kilene starring in it making something edible with what we have in our pantries. for the people insulting her. . . she has made lemonaide out of lemons. take a hint you skinny ones. . she is married to an awesome guy . . . r u????!!!! for the men? who are insulting her weight . . . bet in a few years you will be looking for girls just like her. bet you wouldn't want to meet her or her husband with your mouths open . . . .to the rest of you folks ---- luv marge

Oh my holy cow, Marge! You are a trip. What a hoot. You made my day--seriously and that's AFTER spending the day with a TV producer from "Hollywood". So that's saying a lot. *hugs*
Just a hint, if you do a search on here for "recipe" you will find several that I have put in with articles that the recipes went well with. I really am working hard on a recipe book for you guys.
Take care--Kellene

the cool thing is that nobody is asking, you or telling you that you have to be a prepper. so if you decide to check out at the next big storm, right after the power has gone out, and it's 20 below zero, please go right ahead nobody will miss you, and I guess from the way you talk about your family they wont miss you either.

I will never forget the NE blackout a few years ago when several states lost their power. My husband and I lived off granola bars and chips for a couple days since we never kept much food in the house. Prepping isn't just for major catrostrophes, it's for times when you don't have power for 2 weeks because of a major snow storm too.

Exactly!

We owe it to ourselves, family and those around us to prepare. Don't we all carry auto insurance, home insurance......to replace and repair those things IF something happens? And whether these items experience total catastrophe or just a small repair? How irreplaceable are the lives of you and those you love? Or how much pain do you want to put those you love in if you didn't plan? Geez, even a big snowstorm causes issues. Store shelves do get empty when those events are EXPECTED. What would you do if a storm wiped out your power, water source, and local store stock for even a week?

@lisajean16

True so true. I think what so many have forgotten as Americans seem to do is"Katrina". Total breakdown of society in a matter of hours. No food or water, people resorting to violence not only for food and water but the criminal element was Johnny on the Spot as usual to rape and murder as well as steal. That was just one major city. We must always remember that it can always be worse and someday it will be for whatever reason.

10 years ago the area I live in which is mostly hills with natural forage grazing land and trees, was hit by a wildfire. We could not get out of the area due to closed roads which were a limited few. Our power was off for days as they battled the fire from both land and air. I realized then that I was woefully unprepared for any type of emergency. I had no way of pumping water from my well for our personal use or for my small barnyard of animals. I had to take large 30 gallon buckets in a truck to a nearby lake, sneak into fill them by hand with smaller buckets, then arrive home with them half filled from the ride. We live quite rurally on a dirt road so the sloshing around almost emptied the buckets before we got home again. Since then I have worked to make sure I have had food in storage, water in storage and a way to use my well if power is out. It started with fear of another fire but now has moved more towards worry about unemployment, the possibility of one or more of our 6 grown children needing a hand or more serious economic issues. I am new to your blog but was enticed to find it when I watched NG's "Preppers" the other night. I can't tell you how many eggs I give away every year because we get so many, then have to buy them in the winter! I look forward to learning more from you in the future!

Stephanie

Stephanie....so understand -living in the mountains within national forest. My husband witnessed the Hayman fire five miles from our home watching it and waiting. Perfect reason out here to be ready to Bug in or Bug out at a moments notice. And water is certainly an issue out here.

Since this is our "bug-out" place we now have explored many new ways to get in and out with all our goats and llamas, some of the chickens and ducks/geese our household pets but the rest will be turned loose ie: chickens/ducks, barn cats and will have to make do as they can. If it looks like a long standing evac then we would try to come back for the rest as soon as possible. We do have a place to go further up in elevation but it is not a place to be come heavy winter. Just an evac area for short term living.

I hope you've read the follow up article to this, "Do Preppers Belong on TV?"

As for the show, it got you here, and I'm happy for that!

Also, please note that the individual in TN states clearly that National Geographic had NOTHING to do with him losing his gun rights. It happened long before he even recorded his episode. He simply didn't know it until he went to purchase a firearm after the show.

The guy who shot his thumb off? I see. So we won't have any "ruh roh" moments in the midst of using our preps? The only thing I didn't like about it is the guy saying that the gun "went off" and "misfired." I'm of the belief that guns don't misfire, people do. And hey, if that were to happen in a real crisis scenario, there wouldn't be an EMT nearby to assist. ;-)

@Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop

As my husband and I watched that episode the first thing my husband said was, "what was he doing with his thumb over the barrel of a loaded weapon?" Seems pretty amaturish. My husband is not sold on prepping, he doesn't mind my "hoarding" food but he is not sold on a lot of the other aspects. When he sees these extreme situations on NG he will usually say something to the effect, "thats what you think we should be doing?" Usually its after an episode like the one last season where the 2 women were worried about zombies... I just have to remind him that God wants us to be prepared for all issues so we can help our neighbors and set examples of Christian living after the next big earthquake or wild fire.

@Rattailusa Zombies are real...they're all in Washington D.C. though posing as politicians. :-)

OMGosh, Kellene you are soooooo correct in that horrid Zombie description of politicians right up to the Head of State!! I loved the show and because I am a real person like you, I understand how being prepared (I am an old Girl Scout) can save lives. Just our ordinary emergencies in New England would be so much easier if people just prepared their homes a bit. Water, extra canned goods, first aid supplies....how difficult is that and enough to share with your older kids who have moved out. Thanks for bringing the "real" into the "Doomsday" preps. Some days seem like Doomsday at my house and the power and water is on and working!!! Marianne

@Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop

LOL!! I think I would rather deal with "Zombies" than the DC Politicians!

@LJ although some people may be naive that doesn't make Ll of us! I've watched the show since it aired and wish they would've showed this a few years earlier, I've since become a prepper and love to watch the preppers in action! As for the people laughing, let them! We'll laugh last!

Actually I hope everyone else gets the last laugh. I desperately want all preparations to be for nothing because I don't want anything to happen. Just having the peace of mind that comes from preparation is enough.

i really think being a prepper is a good idea,we live on gravel,out in the county miles from anywhere.we always lose power,get snowed in ,so its a good idea to stock up alittle

seeing this infographic made me realize that those of us who are preppers have blindspots (at least I do) http://www.besthealthdegrees.com/survive-nuclear/

given the fragility of nuclear power plants, probably something to get up to speed on.

Let those laugh, but us that prep ,will laugh when those who dont , will beg when the time comes.

Unfortunately, those who have not prepared may approach you in three stages.
1. They will ASK (beg) for food, water, etc.
2, They will DEMAND the same.
3. They will TAKE by stealth or force what they want.
All will feel perfectly justified for their own need or that of their family.

what about the people who dont have to money to prep? i would love to start prepping for my family but cant so i guess i will be a zombie lol

Well, fortunately for you the majority of the Principles of Preparedness don't cost anything other than your time and attention and commitment to learn and make some changes. And even above that, I said on the show that I had a RETAIL VALUE of over $100,000 of preparedness supplies. I can sure tell you there's no way I spent all that money to get it. Working smart, not hard is what I always say. I'd suggest you look at the 10 Principles of Preparedness on our site. (put it in the search bar and voila--you CAN)

How much money does it take to buy a couple extra cans of soup or a bag of rice each time you go shopping? Buy what you normally eat and eat what you buy in FIFO (first in, first out) rotation and keep building. Now, is that hard - or expensive? Good luck.

Mormons have been prepping for many years. They stock a years supply of food. I went from having money to burn, to near bankruptcy, due to the real estate bust. I wish I had stockpiled the non-food items. They are really expensive. I am now doing just that, as I slowly am paying my bills off. I have a large pantry, so I am slowly stocking it with non-perishables.

As a person who has survived the aftermath of several hurricanes. I was ill-prepared for all of them. Too stupid to realize after the first there would likely be another along sooner or later. Now I have begun to prep. It made my wife nervous at first but now she has begun to see the wisdom of having food, emergency shelter and water. Most people don't prep for three main reasons: Simple complacency; It costs too much; I don't want to look like a crazy. I went through all three myself. Now looking down the barrel of finacial collapse and the ensuing social unrest that will follow, I am prepping as fast as I can. In addition, I am scared that there will be major riots this summer disrupting distribution of all manner of goods.

Nothing quite like starting my day with something from Kellene for a pick-me-up or a kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants... smiling here, Kellene! Most have heard the phrase, "ignorance is bliss"? Many years ago, my brother taught me, "ignorance will get you killed". Wouldn't it be a bummer to die from ignorance when there's such a wealth of knowledge all around us? Taking control of what goes on between our own ears (in our thoughts) is an individual responsibility and one of those "failing forward to success", daily's.... Learn from each other yet compare self to who we were yesterday will help keep things in perspective.

I love this web site. I am a USN veteran and a Union Maintenance Machinist (I.A.M.). I live in an area that is loaded with potential chemical disasters all of which can be triggered by a natural disaster or stupidity. Thanks to this web site and OSHA training at work my family is on its way. Beware of potential chemical disasters.Check out the Chemical Safety and Hazards Investigation Board(C.S.B.). and become a watchdog in your neighborhood.

Prepping isn’t just for major catrostrophes, it’s for times when you don’t have power for 2 weeks because of a major snow storm too.
Its crazy to think about what could happen & what people are going to do. Without food or electricity, where will you turn? My guess is to sites like these where people have the supplies & gumption to survive, while the scoffers' laughter stops. (edited for language and potential spam)

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