The Results Are In: Is It The End Of The World As We Know it? Survey Says!

With tsunamis, earthquakes and financial concerns dominating the headlines over the past year, National Geographic Channel partnered with Kelton Research to conduct a survey gauging Americans’ preparedness levels and mind-set related to a potential “Doomsday” scenario.

With the premiere of Doomsday Preppers tonight at 9 p.m., it seemed like an appropriate time to share the results. The new show focuses on Americans with an unshakable certainty that America will soon face tougher times – when grocery stores are empty, water is in short supply and electricity is unavailable – and are stockpiling for survival. So what about the rest of the population? How prepped are the masses? And, are they even thinking about an impending disaster?

The results are in, and here 10 key takeaways:

  • 85 percent of the nation is not ready for a devastating event.
  • More than 62 percent of Americans think the world will experience a major catastrophe in less than 20 years.
  • Nearly three out of every four people (71%) envision a major disaster in their lifetime as an act of God, not man.
  • One-third (27%) believe that the Mayan calendar’s prediction about a calamitous event in December 2012 will be at least “somewhat true.”
  • More than half of the nation (52%) believes that if Mitt Romney or one of his Republican counterparts overtake Barack Obama, a man-made  catastrophe is more likely.
  • Among those who feel unprepared, 40 percent cite the lasting effects of the recession as the reason for their unpreparedness.
  •  The same number (40%) is saying “to hell with a 401(k)” to save money for catastrophe arrangements.
  • Nearly half (49%) of Americans would forgo new high-end appliances in a new home if it had a safe room or bomb shelter instead.
  • If doomsday were to arrive, nearly four in 10 (39%) think they would not last two weeks based on the supplies they have on hand.
  • One in four Americans have done nothing to prepare.

Do you agree with the study? Fall into any of these categories? If these results convey the attitude of the majority, and disaster is as imminent as most seem to believe, then it seems as though we might want to start thinking about ways in which we can prepare for such disasters.

Curious for more? Check out the expanded survey results.


  1. Arl
    Jax, FL
    February 7, 2012, 9:58 pm

    The survey should be ongoing. I’m interested in filling it out.

  2. Maureen
    February 7, 2012, 11:03 pm

    I looked and Doomsday preppers is not on tonight??? It saws Drugs Inc. is on at that time and Doomsday is not coming up in my search!

    • Meghan Gleason
      February 7, 2012, 11:07 pm

      Hey Maureen, it’s on tonight at 9 and 10 p.m. eastern/pacific. Are you sure you’re looking on the right day?

  3. Maureen
    February 7, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Yes, National Geographic Channel right? I am on mountain time so 2 hrs bbehind eastern.. at 7-8pm MST (9-10 PM EST) Its is Drugs INC, then Rock Starts is on from 8-9 MST (10-11 EST) then William Shatners Weird or what from 9-10 MST (11-12 PM EST). I searched Doomsday Preppers and it wont even find it anytime in the next 2 weeks…. 🙁

  4. Maureen
    February 7, 2012, 11:57 pm

    Unless the TV Guide is just saying the wrong name of the show?? Either way I will tune in at 7pm MST to see if maybe its just a guide glitch!

  5. Maureen
    February 8, 2012, 12:14 am

    OR, Is it only in the States? Im in Canada!

  6. Maytas Suaysompol
    United States
    February 8, 2012, 12:20 am

    I’m living in central time? Can anyone tell me what time the show will be?

  7. Rick Gilhousen
    February 8, 2012, 3:38 am

    People need to look at the hold picture it started a long time ago the banks have started the end of the world right know they are the bigest property owners in the U.S.A. then oboma bailed them out with our money no one cared that was the

    g of the end but i do believe that there is something coming im prepaired

  8. […] more here: The Results Are In: Is It The End Of The World As We Know it? Survey Says! – National Geograph… Tagged with: 2012 doomsday • 2012 end of the world  If you enjoyed this […]

  9. eric
    February 8, 2012, 7:01 am

    Why not just die, big deal. It’s gonna happen eventually anyway.

  10. Jeff
    Redlands CA
    February 8, 2012, 10:48 am

    As someone who takes preparing very seriously, I was fully expecting a PC hit piece. I am totally pleased with how respectfully the show’s format presents the subject.
    However, I’m puzzled why your experts never mentioned the need for lips, bungees or doors on the shelves full of glass jars that could easily fall? Nor was there any mention of the large glass jars on top shelves that could easily cause a serious head injury. FYI… Any actively shifting continent will very likely cause quakes that can throw a fridge across a room. Let alone shake much needed food off shelves.
    Looking very forward to next weeks shows!

  11. Terryshilo
    Desert South West Washington State
    February 8, 2012, 11:50 am

    I just started watching the first episode on my DVR. I’ve seen the first group. I had formed a “bonkers” opinion about the show before watching. I have to admit; based on the first group, kudos for them. If something happened I would certainly rather have the stores and companionship of others they would if the situation is survivable. It always bothers me with the semi automatic rifles, firepower, ammunition, etc., this is because I’ve never been around guns and they they seem to be used to harm too many innocent people. I will again state.. as different as the folks are, I give them credit for contemplating the worse realizing there would be no help and having a plan to take care of their own. This would be difficult to fault anyone for. Good and long lives to you and I hope you never have the need for your planned apocalypse.

  12. Brad
    February 8, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Canada has a different schedule, not sure if they are airing Doomsday Preppers, but you can find out more info at

  13. Roger Dane
    Los Angeles
    February 8, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Preparation is not a phenomena and has been present in various forms for years. In the 1800s’ people “canned” their produce and put potatoes in the cellar and tried to salt meat for preservation. In the 1900s we had similar early situations but in the ’50s of course the advent of the ‘bomb shelter’ and all that meant. Being prepared is not a ‘lunatic fringe’ concept but it can, like almost all endeavors be pushed to that extreme.

    I think people who fear the ‘Mayan’ calendar or even the poles changing have not done enough ‘valid’ (means from non-emotional, calculating and politically/financially unmotivated) research. Those are simply refuted or rebutted significantly. But concerns about natural catastrophe are historically proven and very valid. Now, as we see social issues dividing the country we must realize that some people do not take such circumstances “calmly” and might even border on maniacal. Enough of them could result in a social upheaval with the same devastating results as a ‘geological’ upheaval. Food, water, medical, planning and the ability to defend and hold or even move are all valid ideas in preparation. Lets hope the show does not swing to the lunatic element and continues to promote sane examples of wisdom in consideration of the potential.

  14. murphy
    February 8, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Obama is our Man-made disaster. Global Warming was a Hoax, so says the Brit Met Office and the CRU.

  15. Mark Claarity
    February 10, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Fuck it, I’m stocking up on meth in advance of a looming shortage as a result of the calamity about to hit us. Oh, by the way, most of the people who responded don’t believe in global warming, despite the scientific evidence, but they believe in a calamity overseen by our omniprescient and forgiving God.

  16. Mark Claarity
    February 10, 2012, 2:54 pm

    In summary, irony is wasted on you.

  17. Jeremy
    Woodruff, SC
    February 13, 2012, 6:05 am

    I think the show is good. Although I am suprised that people who refuse to prepare to defend themselves made it on the show. As far as the survey goes, I believe that it is accurate with one exception. “More than half of the nation (52%) believes that if Mitt Romney or one of his Republican counterparts overtake Barack Obama, a man-made catastrophe is more likely.” I believe that Obama is the reason that fewer people trust the government and have begun to prep. A good conservative president is the only chance we have to prevent a disaster. Obama has weakened the economy, passed the NDDA, weakened our military and state governments.

  18. ed pearson
    February 13, 2012, 6:30 pm

    deliberately designing your survey questions to promote obama and the communist theology he and his minions are spreading is too obvious!

  19. Sandy
    West Virginia
    February 15, 2012, 12:31 am

    I just watched the show and found your blog. Im supprised not one prepared for the coming ice age. The pentagon did a report on it and their assesment was scary. I am building my home for that event. Natural gas from a well on my farm and solar and wind for energy. And will use my farm for food and I have a well for water. Then I come to this blog and find those who just hate Obama.

  20. Timothy Brogan
    February 15, 2012, 6:31 am

    Not as biased as I thought it would be, especially after viewing the third new episode.

    I do think however that some of the events given for preparation are a bit unrealistic and that in my experience most “preppers” are doing so for the possibility of multiple possible scenarios not any one in particular.

    At least the show gives those who haven’t given preparation any previous thought the possibility of considering it. It will make it easier on those of us who have prepared.

  21. Ryan
    February 15, 2012, 7:18 pm

    I feel something coming, never before have so many aspects of everything we know as a global society been under threat.

    We are too connected, too reliant on modern creature comforts, consistently making worse and worse political decisions and witnessing global political changes spread like wildfire around the world. If not now when? If we don’t know why not prepare?

  22. greenplan
    February 16, 2012, 12:10 pm

    Really amazing.

  23. j. Wm. Burrill
    February 16, 2012, 9:48 pm

    If anyone thinks preppers are paraniod, check this link at

  24. Julie
    February 18, 2012, 2:43 am

    I call shenanigans, and don’t think the method of collection accurately reflects the public opinion. Email to a “representative sample”? How were they chosen?

    Meghan Gleason obviously needs some more experience before writing for NatGeo instead of NatEnquirer. Shame on her for trying to make this a political piece. I didn’t realize I was reading HuffPo.

  25. James Lewis
    February 18, 2012, 9:19 am

    I’ve watched the first three episodes to air so far, and find it more entertaining than informative. In fact I find parts of the material aired and included in the website to be potentially dangerous to those who might follow up on it in the misguided belief it will save their lives should a disaster befall them. I’ll reference the quiz as an example.

    The question as to whether kelp contains enough iodine to keep radiation out of the body is simply misleading. Yes kelp may contain enough iodine to fill the human thyroid gland ( if you can eat enough, and not make yourself sick), but that only blocks one source of radiation from being absorbed into that part of the body. It will not protect anyone for the effects of ionizing radiation who would be exposed to it long enough at high enough level. The answer to radiation is; as it always has been and always will be; time, distance and shielding.

    The second point about the quiz was about the storage of fresh drinking water, where the answer decided upon by the testers is one gallon a day per person. This goes against every published preparation guide I personally have read where a minimum of three gallons a day per person should be stored. The greater amount is to cover not only drinking , but also food prep, clean up and sanitation, because you don’t cook, wash or do dishes with unclean water.

    My advice to everyone is to find well written books, published by experienced and educated professionals, and become much better informed than you ever will be by this series.


  26. travelingtweety
    Fairbanks, ALASKA
    February 18, 2012, 8:30 pm

    We live at the end of the supply chain – literally. Should anything happen in Seattle, Alaskans will feel the result quickly and severely. Even more frightening for those of us in the Interior of Alaska is a double whammy in Seattle and Anchorage. It only takes one bad day and our transportation system is either disabled or derailed. Due to the “just in time” delivery system of food and other consumer goods, there is approximately one week, maybe two of consumer goods on the shelves and in the backroom.

    This is the scenario that we prep for – a disruption in the transportation system for whatever reason. Based on that premise, we not only have food and water stored but also have the means to filter water on an ongoing basis no matter its source. We also stock items for barter – alcohol, first aid supplies, coffee, tea, loose tobacco, rolling papers, dental floss, heavy duty sewing needles, fabric, pet supplies and non-GMO seeds. Because of our location, we are preparing to bug in for an extended period of time due to the fact that there are two bridges that are literally our lifeline to the Outside. If these bridges are destroyed, getting out is simply and literally impossible. 9/11 also emphasized the fact if planes are grounded, we won”t be going anywhere or getting anything.

    We never thought of ourselves as doomsday preppers but rather just a couple who want to be able to care for our extended family (who also all prep) should the need ever rise. We prefer to think of ourselves as practical and pragmatic.

    Should the sh*t hit the fan, we’re prepared to hunker down in place. Our tenants are gold miners and preppers by nature. We all share the same belief in self-reliance and self-sufficiency as we know we live at the end of the road, literally.

  27. travelingtweety
    Fairbanks, ALASKA
    February 18, 2012, 9:05 pm

    Someone recently asked why we consider dental floss as an item to stock. It’s simple. Aside from the obvious reason of dental hygiene, it’s also used for sewing fur pelts and in a pinch suturing. There is something else to consider that I would like to throw out for consideration. A veterinarian or vet tech often have comparable or better all around medical skills that can be utilized if other medical providers are not available. Just something to consider.

  28. Jeannie
    February 20, 2012, 9:28 am

    Why do the preppers can in glass jars, & put them on narrow shelving w/no rails to keep them from shattering if there is an earthquake?!

  29. ken stroud
    zion, il
    February 20, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I have started watching the preppers program. Those preppers that have stored preserved foods in glass jars should have some kind of slat of bar going across in front of them. If and earthquake hits it will shake some of those jars of of their shelves. You need to keep that from happening, so put something across the shelf and don’t lose anything.

  30. Ryan
    February 21, 2012, 8:57 pm

    @ken, yea man I was thinking the exact same thing. Especially since they claimed they were preparing for a major earth quake. Anywho, there is a really good site that covers these topics its pretty new check it out.

  31. […] ancient Mayan prediction of global calamity this December are “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The prediction is based on a huge stone calendar wheel but exact nature of the disaster — […]

  32. […] ancient Mayan prediction of global calamity this December are “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The prediction is based on a huge stone calendar wheel but exact nature of the disaster — […]

  33. […] ancient Mayan prediction of global calamity this December are “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The prediction is based on a huge stone calendar wheel but exact nature of the disaster — […]

  34. […] ancient Mayan anticipation of tellurian difficulty this Dec are “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The anticipation is formed on a outrageous mill calendar circle though accurate inlet of a […]

  35. The Silver Survivor
    March 11, 2012, 9:20 pm

    It’s not a natural disaster we should fear, but those who fear it most. Check out down-to-earth opinions on the Mayan Prophecy and Doomsday survival. No ads, just me. Enjoy.

  36. The Silver Survivor
    March 13, 2012, 10:26 am

    Here’s a practical Doomsday topic you don’t hear about very often…

  37. […] ancient Mayan prediction of global calamity this December is “somewhat true,” according to a recent National Geographic poll. The prediction is based on a huge stone calendar wheel but exact nature of the disaster — […]

  38. Brian
    March 22, 2012, 10:36 am

    all this doomsday talk is crap . The Mayan calendar has nothing to do with predficting he end of time. in teh Bible it says ” we know not the time nor the place for HIS return ”
    I only watch the show becasue it is comical entertainment

  39. Dexter
    April 7, 2012, 3:50 am

    Americans watch too much of Hollywood movies…

  40. JustamereBear
    April 8, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Acts of god disasters such as solar flares wiping out the electrical grid, or volcanos erupting causing an ice age are certain. The only question is whether they will happen in the next second or the next 100,000 years.

    Man made disasters are also certain because of the massive stupidity of man. However, the time frame might be different, especially since we are talking of the world as we know it and the ability of the majority of the population to adapt to a non terchnological world. Most westerners alive today have never suffered a major reversal in their life, not even as bad as the dirty thirties. Given such things as Just In Time, everyone is going to have only a very short time to learn to adapt or die. Even the preppers who have bought themselves extra months or a year are going to have to be lucky to survive.

    For many it will be the end of the world, and certainly for the remainder, the end of the world as we know it. We are near a major tipping point of world overpopulation, pollution, and financially among others.

    Allen Currie has just pulished an Orwell style novel that looks at how such a man made disaster might unravel. As yet it is free to read at (a download and a hard copy are avaiable to purchase as well.) That will change as he switches from giving back to humanity for having lived in the best time and place humanity has ever known to making a bit of money for the nearly 20 years of labor he put into the novel.

    It is a chilling thriller that you will not be able to put down and I reccommend it highly. Perhaps National Geographic should also consider this in their series.

  41. Guitarjunkie37
    September 5, 2012, 8:30 pm

    I love this show and glad NatGeo is bring attention to preepers so it might wake up a few people. If anyone is interetsed I ran into a great prepping website that Ive ordered from and they have great prices.

  42. Mwamochi
    November 24, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Our old world order will undoubtedly end on 21/12/2012 11:11pm to usher in the new world age. God’s wrath will be poured undiluted upon the ungodly. It will be a fearful moment to everybody that loved this present wicked World.

  43. edward bongolan
    tominobo prk 11 iligan city
    November 27, 2012, 5:01 am

    only god knows the end of the world!!!!!!!!!!
    because!!!! me i don’t believe the end of the world 21/12/2012

  44. 2012Study
    December 8, 2012, 6:36 pm

    We are also doing a survey on 2012, if anyone wants to participate and be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. We are researchers from the Anthropology Department at the University of Oxford and we want to know about your personal beliefs, how they may have changed over time, and how this might be related to groups that you interact with, either online or in person. You must be at least 18 years old and a fluent English speaker to participate. If you would be willing to help us, please click here to take the survey
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  45. […] the original reference ….. (see:…), and attached “topline” results that were published by NGC.  It’s actually […]