Saturday, September 27, 2014

Doomsday Preppers

Reality TV.   Not mine, not yours, but someone's reality, showcased for everyone to see, and I suppose intended to facilitate your gloating over that your reality is different from/better than what you are watching.

I had never seen the program, but late at night when you're trying to wind down I thought I'd give it an eyeball.


Very first episode, here's what I noticed:
  • lots of 'stuff' in one yard, easy for someone to hide behind 
  • expectation that breakdown of power grid, e.g., will be like fall of Saigon
  • no protection for jars on shelves against falling off in an earthquake
  • lots of home canned goods; shelf life is not as long as commercial stuff
  • windows on ground level in 3/8" steel shipping containers = weak points
  • statement that cooking reduces nutrients and proteins in fish (countered by the producer with a statement of the facts of the matter on screen)
  • overweight and badly packed bugout bag
  • focusing on fitness (4 hours/day) and not balancing with practical knowledge 
  • assumption that all other women will have to 'whore themselves out' to survive (based, I think, on a book I've read excerpts from, which assumes a woman without a man can't survive without the aforementioned 'whoring out'; the book having been written by a man, there is definitely a grain of salt to be taken there)
Now, I admit to being picky, but these weren't small issues I felt I could suspend reality for.  

Will I keep watching this series?  Yes, and here's why:

When you watch programs like this, or read blog posts (even this one!) you should be keeping a weather eye out for whether or not there's any truth to be had or whether you are reading or watching a can of worms in bullshit sauce being opened.  If a casual perusal of Doomsday Preppers alerts you to what not to do, that's a good thing.  If it points out a flaw in your emergency preparations, that's a good thing. 

I'm including this blog in the 'can' reference; what works for me might not work for you.  Your mileage may differ.  Your experience/situation/location/perception, etc., may require something else entirely.  And that's what I recommend:  that you prepare for emergencies in a way that makes sense to you, not to me, not to Uncle Bob, and not to your Facebook friends.  To YOU.  And read/watch with a judicious eye; don't assume that anybody writing or producing anything knows anything.

Anyway...Doomsday Preppers at least shows some things not to do.  Take that first episode:  'we have 50,000 pounds of food'...yeah, and the first earthquake, without you having ensured it won't fall off the shelf, it will, and you're up the creek with a pantry full of busted glass and a mix of wet and dry food that is now totally inedible.  

And the overweight and badly packed bugout bag:  the owner thereof mentioned her newly acquired knowledge that she needed to think in terms of ounces, not pounds...and that she wasn't as physically fit as she thought when traversing six miles took her six hours and wore her out.  

And firing a weapon at water bottles when it's propped against a picnic table is a lot different than firing it freestanding at a moving, hostile target, and until you can hit the latter, you might be better off running away. 

Doomsday Preppers is educational in many ways.  Just don't expect that the education is entirely positive.