Doomsday as Entertainment – Preparedness Bloggers Weigh In: Part 2

With the upcoming premieres of American Blackout and Doomsday Preppers later this week and early next, we’re beginning to feel a little unprepared over here – in fact, my weekend plans may include figuring out a 72-hour food and water storage plan.  But how have others been affected by shows like these?  We posed the following question to a group of experts on the topic of preparedness to find out:

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?

Read the first part here and read on for more thoughts on the topic.

Angela, Food Storage and Survival

Angela from Food Storage and Survival, just dealt with a scheduled six hour power outage in her town – nothing compared to the 10 day long American Blackout (though we have a feeling Angela is well prepared for either scenario).  Once the power came back on, she had a chance to check out new episodes of Doomsday Preppers as well as American Blackout.  Her takeaway:

“Definitely some food for thought presented in this movie–especially if you haven’t considered a long term power outage as part of your preparedness plans.”

Angela also appreciated the new format of Doomsday Preppers this season, focused on bigger preps and builds:

“Doomsday Preppers has always been an entertaining show, and this year it looks like they’re trying to sway a little bit toward more education.” 

Head over to her blog to give your own two cents on “end of the world” TV and films.

Survival and Prosperity

Christopher E. Hill of Survival and Prosperity notes a strong correlation between the increasing number of individuals taking up preparedness and the rise of post-apocalyptic media:

“Despite often portraying more extreme prepper types (it’s just show business!), it’s my belief such productions have increased the ranks of preppers in the United States, thereby assisting public safety agencies across the United States in the event of a real disaster as preppers should be able to take care of themselves and a number of other individuals in many cases, freeing up limited resources to be applied elsewhere in the emergency response.”

Check out his blog for more of his thoughts on this topic as well as general information on “protecting and growing self and wealth in these uncertain times”.

Prepper Central

Silent Prepper (a pseudonym used to keep his identity private) on Prepper Central notes that not all the attention brought to the preparedness movement through these types of TV shows and films has been positive:

“I will say that people are more aware now that they need to be self-sufficient when it comes to disasters, etc., and it is about a 50/50 split amongst the general population on their agreeing with being a prepper or not….just like anything else, [Doomsday Preppers] has its pros and cons. It is up to you on what you take away from it. Remember, any disaster scenario is possible and we just had one close call with our own federal government shutting down. Again, you have to decide what is important for you and your loved ones.”

For more thoughts on this topic as well as all things TEOTWAWKI preparedness, check out Prepper Central.

Common Sense Prepping

Tara Dodrill of Common Sense Prepping discusses the difference between those taking the self-reliant community seriously and those who mock it:

“The impact prepper movies and survival television shows have had on the preparedness movement have been both positive and negative. The tinfoil hat contingent does make appearances on the big and small screens, but so many others are merely interested in educating the masses about the importance of living a more self-reliant lifestyle.”

Tara also notes changes in the new season of Doomsday Preppers, which she believes “greatly enhance the series:

“National Geographic’s new season of Doomsday Preppers surely appears to be taking the views of the self-reliant community seriously…This season of Doomsday Preppers is focusing more on ‘builds’ and the ‘how to’ aspect of preparedness than ever before.”

For more preparedness news, events and tips, click over to Common Sense Prepping.

Survivor Jane

Jane, of Survivor Jane which focuses on survival preparedness by and for women, discusses the ability to learn from circumstances that she’s never personally experienced:

“I for one since becoming a prepper, have always used the visual media to learn from. I’m a visual person so to watch a television show or a film that deals with living in a catastrophic, post-apocalyptic world, or in less than stellar circumstances, helps me to mentally prepare for a world I’ve never experienced.  In fact, lots of preparedness-minded people do the same.  It’s a way to visually learn from the blatant mistakes made by some or creative ways to do something or how to better survive our end of the world as we know it.” 

Read more about her thoughts on the pros and cons of “prepping” going mainstream over on Survivor Jane.

Thanks again to all the bloggers above who took the time to join in the discussion – we hope you’ll do the same in the comments section below.

Watch the world premiere event of American Blackout on Sunday, October 27 at 9P, followed by a new season of Doomsday Preppers on Tuesday, October 29 at 9P.



  1. Scott
    Big square state full off rednecks
    October 24, 2013, 9:23 am

    Am I the only person that finds this show insanely fukcing stupid? Why are we subjected to all these shows about retarded right wing paranoid xenophobes? It’s
    Embarrasing, no wonder the rest of the world looks at us as a bunch of obese puritanical self indulgent retards…..

  2. munkle
    October 24, 2013, 8:44 pm

    Scott, we have no time for 12 year olds sitting in their underwear in their mom’s basement. While you’re down there google “Hurricane Sandy.”

  3. Jake
    November 12, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Was not sure the best place to post this but I just watched an episode tonight that I just had to comment on… not only for the idiocy of what I just saw but the out right danger level of this being done by someone like this guy that truly has no idea what he is doing or talking about… and the additional danger of someone out there thinking what he is doing they should be doing…

    The episode regards this guy that plans on doing his own C-section for women who are pregnant, makes his own armor, plans on having a group that will go out and raid and prey on other prepper types and thinks that what he has planned is going to easily protect him and whomever is with him.

    The ideas this guy has are not only dangerous but in practical sense are utter ridiculous. Let’s just take one item and one idea he has… his home made armor and his idea he is going to easily prey on other preppers..

    I do not even know where to begin on this one… First his armor is a joke and is not going to protect him from anything at all. His idea of doing a C-section after “reading” lot’s of books and articles…. I feel extremely sorry for his wife should it come to that.

    When Doomsday Preppers first came out, many of the preppers had some solid ideas and some solid designs in their preps.. but it seems more and more we are seeing people like this who would be more of a danger and menace to the rest of us than the previous..

    Someone like I just saw in this episode who also states outright he intends on going after other preppers is just not running on all cylinders. Has he not even thought about the fact every other prepper out there is also armed and in many cases are actually trained ex-military or otherwise? Or in some cases like ours, he would be taken out before he ever got within a mile of the the last perimeter ring in our defensive system?

    While I am all for people prepping, coming up with unique and cost effective designs and tools as well as individual training, I think there has to be a line and in this case, I think this episode did a dis-service to all preppers. This was just ridiculous to watch and listen to…. and I hope no one else gets the idea that his ideas should be mainstream prepping technic.

  4. D Harper
    November 13, 2013, 11:06 am

    The November 12 show was totally irresponsible on NatGeo’s part by publicizing that idiot Tyler Smith and his plan to raid other preppers for supplies. He is a real piece of work and his attitude unfortunatly will probably.encourage others to do the same. You did a real disservice to the prepper community.

  5. Jed
    November 15, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Check out this trailer about a new doomsday novel from Alaska that’s been getting a lot of attention here and nationally. You want to see what the end of the world looks like, take a look at rural Alaska….

  6. Anthony
    November 18, 2013, 5:34 pm

    Just saw the American Blackout and liked it! While there are some exaggerations, it was entertaining and made some points. I found a video of a guy you flew out for the premiere, looks like he had a good time and got in the movie. I would like to see more movies made using actual youtube footage.

  7. Gunny
    December 3, 2013, 10:46 pm

    I particularly enjoy the episodes where military veteran preppers, contribute to your shows. Training, discipline and common sense always play most important roles in any survival situation. What I found almost laughable–except that there are leeches like that in our society–was the episode dealing with “Marauder Preppers.” What he fails to count on(barring military intervention), is the number of armed veterans in this country with combat skills, that would strongly object to “marauders” trying to take supplies and items from us in a social breakdown. In fact, these “Marauder” types have to consider that Marines–for example–are trained to shoot effectively out to 500 yards….and that’s just a basic Marine. Snipers and other spec ops veterans can take various commercial rifles and zero them in for kill shots beyond 800 yards. Here in Florida, there is a large group of veterans, dating back to Korea and recently returned combat vets who have started forum on armed convoys and special evacuation measures for a bug out and building a compound in an undisclosed location. One of the hot topics us old-timers have thrown at the younger vets is: “What happens when the batteries die and there is no way to get more for your fancy lasers and red dot sights?” The argument has always ended with back to the basics of “iron sight” or standard non-battery powered optics. I would really like to see a doomsday prepper forum televised with current and past veterans discussing prepping for cataclysmic survival and sharing the lessons learned in battle and in various training scenarios. The average civilian, can prep all they want, but it also takes a mindset and discipline to survive in an apocalyptic environment. By the way, the main character in the “Marauder” episode needs to lose about 30-40 pounds before I’d trust him in any survival scenario. As a retired Marine, I had a hard time taking that “chubby butt” seriously. My Mideast Combat Marine son also felt that the “Marauder” would make a fine target.
    Da Gunny

  8. Gunny
    December 4, 2013, 12:15 am

    As our military veteran forum has progressed on survival prepping, we also have expressed the importance of K-9s in our survival compound/commune. Among the group we have service trained dogs, hunting dogs and territorial breeds that make great watchdogs. However, a survival compound also needs to have the means of self-sustenance which may mean farm animals and maybe horses. Basic farm tools and supplies would therefore be a must. Also, skills to process and preserve vegetables and meat sources. One of the few things we’ve noted is that few urban or suburban preppers have any idea of how to skin or prepare wild game such as squirrel, deer, rabbit, feral pigs or wild turkeys. A time may come when MREs or commercial non-perishables run low, and living off the land becomes a necessity. Animal hides and fur become invaluable for long-term survival and I’d like to see an prepper episode on curing and tanning hides. Even urine can be used in the process of tanning hides. In a long term breakdown of social order, requiring evacuation “preppers” need to think about safe areas. In our forum we’ve even discussed the Yellowstone Super Volcano, major U.S. fault lines, tornado alley and other Nat Geo specials, to determine the safest sanctuaries for a compound. And, our forum has decided that the coastal U.S. is definitely out of the question. Our consensus is a mountain valley with fresh water access. And, while some may laugh, at least 1,000 miles from Yellowstone. The USGS has made it abundantly clear that Yellowstone is a potential time bomb. With all that being said, survivalism is not just stocking up supplies and ammunition, it’s a mindset that requires self-discipline, common sense and the willingness to do things that may make the average person squeamish, like being able to gut, skin and prepare anything from a squirrel to feral pig for the stew pot. Knowing where to forage for edible vegetation and/or how to grow one’s own produce. Don’t expect FEMA to bail out anyone. In fact, if one were to read everything in the Operational Orders for FEMA and DHS, people living off the grid or in self-sustaining communes may be much better off than under government supervision. But, if the mindset of the “Marauder” episode is a valid example of the breakdown of civil order, people will have to be ready to hold and defend what they have. I can’t criticize the bunker builders and those that want to sustain themselves in bunkers, but that eventually becomes a temporary measure. Once the food is gone, one has to come up for food and other necessities.
    Da Gunny

  9. Greg
    Lexington, VA
    February 19, 2014, 1:50 pm

    I have to agree with the “Da Gunny’s” comments since I was a Gunny in the Marines too. The Doomsday Prepper shows are great because they are leaning more to the education side vice a bunch of nuts. I do think the Marauder Preppers show was the worst because the guy just did not have any common since but I understand you need to show it from both sides of the coin. I wish the show would expand more on the practical ideas of some of these people then just breezing over the ideas. Keep up the great work on the show.