Judging from recent apocalyptic films This is the End and World War Z to “what if” disaster shows like NBC’s Revolution or Nat Geo Channel’s upcoming American Blackout, to reality fare like Doomsday Preppers, it’s safe to say that the “end of the world as we know it” is on everyone’s mind. But what effect has TV shows and films like these had on the prepping movement? We thought we’d poll some of the best and brightest in the preparedness community to find out what they thought.
When we asked Gaye Levy of Backdoor Survival to share her thoughts on the topic, she noted that her feelings are mixed:
“In my opinion, these shows are a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, they depict catastrophic situations and the human dynamic that contribute to their resolution, for better or for worse. On the other hand, situations that are serious are portrayed as entertainment, something to watch for instant gratification and then discarded in favor of the next item in the playlist.”
While she initially felt individuals featured in the first season of Doomsday Preppers “were portrayed as extremists” she goes on to share:
“I am happy to say that currently, you will see participants that have more balance both in their daily life and in their preparations…Reality shows have the potential of educating a huge segment of our population about both the need to acquire self-sufficiency skills and the requirement to store food, water and supplies for an emergency. Whether they succeed or not will depend upon the show and its real-life depiction of practical strategies that can be accomplished by everyday families living in both the cities and suburbs as well as the country.”
Read more of her thoughts on this topic as well as creating a self-reliant lifestyle at Backdoor Survival.
Erich of Tactical Intelligence discusses the pros and cons of the genre – from the perspective of both preppers and non-preppers alike:
“On a personal note, I love watching these shows and movies. Beyond entertainment, I’ll often become aware of weaknesses or shortcomings in my own preps or plans or it makes me consider scenarios that I’ve haven’t before. But as far as the “general masses” go, if these shows are what’s needed to wake them up out of their stupor and start preparing for the tough times ahead, then I’m all for them. After all, the more prepared the general populace is, the better off we’ll all be (and the less we’ll need to worry about when times get desperate).”
Erick goes on to share his disappointment in these types of shows when they “cause people to ridicule prepping” stating that it “does the movement (and preparedness in general) a disservice.” Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts at Tactical Intelligence.
Bernie Carr, The Apartment Prepper, feels similarly, stating the pros and cons of doomsday type shows:
“At the very least, I think these shows get people who may never have considered it, thinking about the need to prepare. Some people may appear more extreme than others, and thus may be labeled as a ‘fringe’ element, while others will fear being associated as one…If survival and prepping shows get people to start preparing for any emergencies then that is a good thing.”
Check out his blog for the full list of pros and cons – as well as information about family preparedness in an apartment setting.
When we posed the question to two prepper bloggers who go by the names of Road Warrior and Jarhead Survivor over at SHTF Blog, we were informed they don’t watch much in the way of TV. Once we got over our initial confusion at this statement (no TV???) we realized they had seen their share of Doomsday Preppers over the last couple of seasons. Jarhead Survivor shared his thoughts on the subject, while reminding us about that pesky little government shutdown we recently dealt with:
“I believe that these T.V. shows are converting more people than a hundred blogs ever could, which is a good thing. People should have some food and water stored away in case of emergency. It doesn’t have to be a year’s supply of MRE’s, but having a month of food in your pantry just might save the day in case of some farfetched scenario like a government shutdown and you’re a federal worker suddenly without a job or a paycheck. Right? Remember, a SHTF event doesn’t necessarily mean a solar flare, it could be as simple as losing your job, but if you have some preps stored away that would at least be one area you don’t have to worry about.”
The man makes a good point. To read more of them, check out SHTF Blog.
Thanks to all the bloggers above who took the time to join in the discussion! Stay tuned for more thoughts on the topic when we share part two of “Doomsday as Entertainment” tomorrow – and please, share your thoughts with us below in the comments.