When “Doomsday Preppers” contacted me and asked if I would be willing to put my family on their show, I was reluctant, but figured it was put up or shut up time. As a former police chief, I’ve written for years in my spare time about disaster preparedness and recovery, terrorism and business continuity for some of the most prestigious security, business and government oriented publications in the US, most of them on assignment.
My emergency response book has sold over 160,000 copies globally to police, fire, the Secret Service, all branches of the military and government, and is used by numerous Fortune 500’s as an emergency SOP. How could I turn down the opportunity to preach preparedness to a national audience?
One concern I had was that they would do things like call our gate-less property that has “Welcome” signs hung about a “compound” or take other “dramatic license”. Granted, they did stage some scenes to “spice things up” but after all, it is TV and it is entertainment and quite frankly, preparing is boring.
We are not preparing for “doomsday”; I simply advocate being prepared for any type of crisis that might affect my family. Whether an Act of God or act of man, their safety is paramount. If people wish to put the survival of their loved ones in the hands of corrupt, dysfunctional, self-serving political and financial systems that has each taxpayer owing $135,732.00 (as of 2/11/12) that’s their right.
Our preparedness has allowed us to ride out several snow storms and power outages without a hiccup. When a massive forest fire encroached, we took in families and livestock because we were prepared, not for doomsday but for fire. Our grass was green and mowed, with a huge safety buffer and portable water tank, pump and hose. Those that didn’t have basic disaster prep in the form of a defensible space fire plan lost their houses because it always happened to, “someone else”.
As far as my kids go, they are taught skills for life, not disaster skills. I’ve taught them things like how to change their oil, starter, brake pads, how to do some basic wood and metal working so they can build things. My girls all know how to completely service their vehicles bumper to bumper because it saves money, helps insure that some unscrupulous mechanic won’t be able to take advantage of them, and might get them safely home if their car breaks down.
I am not a tree-bark eating, live-in-a cave type of guy. I simply believe in the Boy Scout motto, and feel that the onus of survival rests squarely on our shoulders. Look at all the people sitting on roofs post-Katrina that didn’t have the foresight to take food and water up there after they pooh-poohed numerous warnings to evacuate. We have a totally oblivious generation whose entire existence is “i” toys, worshipping vacuous celebrities and brawling over sneakers.
As far as security goes, there are no guarantees whatsoever in life so we will continue to simply keep an eye peeled and trust in God alone.
I’ve had some pretty wild things flung at me for being on the show (and as a cop) but one thing about age is the older you get, the less you care about what other people think. If TSHTF and I weren’t prepared, I couldn’t face my family.
If anyone saw the show and realized that they should invest in some basic prepping, that’s great and it was worth it. A family that has a one or two month’s supply of food and water will be less of a burden (and a threat) on an already over-taxed emergency response system. If they want to take it further, good for them. For those of you that think we’re nuts, you’re absolutely entitled. Just be sure you enjoy the Kool Aid.
Guest post by Dennis Evers, who can be reached at his website How to Handle a Crisis.
Lisa’s note: For some reason, the harshest and sometimes most vicious critics of any prepper who talks about preparedess in public are other preppers. The majority of Americans are unprepared for even the most minor emergency, yet many who have started the process of being prepared, for whatever, believe in staying silent. At the same time, these critics worry about neighbors and loved ones not being ready for a disaster, and still others seem to relish the idea of being able to shoot on sight anyone who comes near their “preps”, as though they’re some sort of post-SHTF action heroes.
If even a third of our neighbors are prepared, then we all are better off, whether for a winter storm, earthquake, or economic collapse. There’s no need to divulge every detail of what you’ve done, but the only way to avoid zombies in the future is to create allies right now, and the only way to do that is to strike up conversations that might lead to helpful discussions about preparedness topics.
For more thoughts on “Doomsday Prepper” read my most recent newsletter article, “Doomsday Preppers: An Insider’sView“.