the plan for the future
February 11, 2012
Author: Tara Brady
Taken from: Mail Online - Three million people preparing for the end of the world as we know it
- One couple living in fortress with stockpile of guns and 25,000 rounds of ammunition (just in case!)
- Man keeps 1,000 fish in his swimming pool so he has plenty to eat in the event of the apocalypse
- 'Survival' movement to be focus of new reality TV show
There was once a time when preachers standing on street corners predicting the apocalypse would have been deemed crazy.
Shoppers would cross the street to avoid the archetypal banner-waving man loudly proclaiming 'the end of the world is nigh.'
Today, however, it seems we're not quite so convinced that the rantings aren't actually prophecies for a doom-laden future.
As many as three million Americans now fall into the category dubber 'preppers' - people who are making detailed plans for the end of the world as we know it.
The preppers are an ever-growing group of survivalists who take extreme measures to prepare for a major catastrophic event.
One man from Phoenix keeps 1,000 tilapia fish in the deep end of his swimming pool which he plans to eat when a massive solar flare 'knocks civilisation back to the Stone Age.'
While a couple living in a gated-home with 25,000 rounds of ammunition have enough food to last half a century.
More than 300,000 people a month visit the movement's website, survivalblog.com, which catalogues how people are preparing for the worst.
The website has been set up by James Rawles, a former US Army intelligence officer, who is one of the movement's leading figures.
Speaking to The Times, he said: 'Should the worst happen, it's become apparent that the Government can't provide for everybody. And now that realisation is becoming more widespread.'
Events such as the recession, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina has added to the growth of the movement.
The Red Cross has also reported an increase in the number of people learning first aid.
Post apocalyptic movies like The Road which was released last year are thought to have contributed to an increase in the number of people joining the movement.
The group is also now the focus of a new reality TV show on the National Geographic channel called Doomsday Preppers which will be broadcast in Britain later this year.
The programme features Megan Hurwitt from Houston who practices fleeing the city by foot in case of an oil crisis.
Tim Ralston, an ex-military man living with his family in Arizona, is one of many ‘Doomsday Preppers.’ His garage is full of food, water purifiers, weapons, and a trailer full of essentials ready to be hooked up to the family car should disaster strike.
About once a week, he takes his two sons out to the dessert for target practice. His one son has been practicing with an AK-47.
‘You just never know,’ he told ABC News. ‘God put you on this Earth for certain things, and for me, it’s to make sure my family lives and I can help other people.’
Among his stockpiling are water purifiers, a vast array of artillery, and canned chicken that is good for 15 years.
He believes an electromagnetic pulse or a solar flare will wipe out energy sources and prepares by putting his family through the paces by evacuating to an underground bunker.
‘People invest so much money in life insurance,’ Mr Ralston told National Geographic. ‘This is life assurance.’
He is like some of the people featured on National Geographic’s new show Doomsday Preppers, which chronicles a new prepper each week, delving into their conceptions of the end and what they’re doing to prepare for it.
‘It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle,’ Gloria Haswell told National Geographic. She and her husband spend 50 hours a week getting ready for a climate shift in the poles.
A staggering 61 per cent of 1,000 polled by the National Geographic channel believe there will be a catastrophic event in the next 20 years, and people want to be prepared.
'These are not just a handful of people living in the mountains,’ National Geographic Channel’s executive vice president of programming Michael Cascio told the Wall Street Journal. ‘They’re everywhere.’
Robert Vicino, a real estate agent, is garnering a significant profit from the fears by building luxury bunkers.
ABC News profiled Mr Vicino while he was in the midst of converting a Cold War bunker into a high-end escape pod, with many of the units already sold.
Meanwhile, Family Radio president Harold Camping has incorrectly predicted the end of the world for decades.
The Christian radio broadcaster said it would come to an end first in 1988, then again in 1994, and twice in 2011 – once in May and the other time in October.
None of them, obviously, came to fruition.
The Journal notes that Nat Geo has begun appealing to a growing subculture that has seen the past disasters – from last year’s tsunami and earthquake in Japan to riots to economic uncertainty – and have wanted to prepare the best they can.
‘The last few years have probably exacerbated the doomsday fear,’ Mr Cascio told the Journal. ‘The world is changing.'