Are You Prepped? Earthquakes, Pandemics and Nuclear Threats

This week in our doomsday blog round up we explore near misses and possibilities, take a look at the deadliest earthquake in history, a closer look at flu pandemics and the nuclear threats of North Korea. Disaster possibilities always loom whether you are a hardcore prepper or simply prepared for the unexpected. Some disasters, though, can strike fast and hard with no warning.

The Deadliest Earthquake in History

This month touts the anniversary of one of the most awe-inspiring natural disasters in human history. It wasn’t the biggest earthquake on record, but 1556 Shaanxi earthquake during the Ming Dynasty was the deadliest. On the morning of January 23, the ground shook with a force estimated at 8.1 on the Richter scale. It was a large earthquake, but not as large as the Great Chilean Earthquake in the 1960s, which measured at 9.5. All the same, the Shaanxi earthquake destroyed an area that was 520 miles wide and in some of the affected area killed as much as 60% of the population. It was estimated that 820,000 people died in the quake. Much of the population lived in caves dug into cliffs or in primitive buildings, none of which stood a chance in a good shake. Much like the large loss of life in the Haitian earthquake, the biggest cause of death was the failure of living structures. We have learned a lot about earthquakes and saving lives in the event of a big one, but can we be sure we are prepared?

One in Five Suffered from 2009 H1N1 Pandemic

According to a study released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College London, the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic infected on in five people, which is 20 to 27 percent of the people in Britain, China, India, the United States and 15 other countries. Children between the ages of five and 19 years-old had a 47 percent infection rate. The study was achieved by collecting more than 90,000 blood samples before, during and after the pandemic. These samples were tested for antibodies specific to a response to this strain of flu. While this pandemic wasn’t as deadly as it could have been, the infection rate is making scientists wonder how bad a more deadly strain could have been.

Is the United States Ready for the Next Big Flu Pandemic?

David J. Dausey, Ph.D. who is the chairman of the Public Health Department at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. as well as the founding director of the Mercyhurst Institute for Public Health recently published an opinion piece with some sobering thoughts on the flu. The piece which was published in The Buffalo News states clearly that the United States is nowhere near ready for a flu pandemic. While there was a team of scientists and professionals working toward a comprehensive plan for managing a pandemic following 911, Dausey feels that the recession brought much of this progress to a screeching halt. Dausey states, “We need to be ready to respond not only to a “bad” influenza season but also to a catastrophic one. That requires bipartisan support for sustained investment in local, state and federal public health preparedness that is viewed as a priority even in tough economic times.”

North Korea Threatens United States

On January 25th North Korea threatened to conduct its third nuclear test with Washington as its target. While North Korean officials did not specify the details of the test, they did lash out at the US in a statement. “We don’t hide the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets which the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will fire one after another and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States, the sworn enemy of the Korean people” the National Defense Commission said in a statement carried by official news agency KCNA. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Obama administration is “prepared to deal with any kind of provocation” from North Korea. While North Korea has been rattling its sabers for some time, surely this leaves many preppers pondering the possibilities of nuclear war. Perhaps it’s not a bad idea to have a friend with a bunker.

This week we meet a prepper named Frank who is planning to bug out by seaplane to his underground bunker in the woods of Maine. We also meet Brian Brawdy as he prepares for his fear: a terrorist attack. Brian spends the majority of his time mobile and on the road in his ultimate bug-out vehicle. Perhaps if you are a moving target, you are more likely to stay safe. Check out Doomsday Preppers: Hit the Ground Running and meet several preppers who live off the grid. Do you think you can live a life of constant bugging out? Tune in to Doomsday Preppers this Tuesday February 5 at 9PM et/pt and decide for yourself.


  1. Julie Ortiz
    February 4, 2013, 10:57 am

    Your Doomsday Preppers show incites paranoia and violence. I would expect this on Fox but not from you. I watched in horror at the gun bunkers these people have in nice neighborhoods across the U.S. I know of one case in our town already where a boy accidentally shot himself (he didn’t die thank goodness) as a result of this kind of paranoid behavior. I’m just waiting for the girlscout selling cookies to get blown away “by accident”. I also have a friend that is terrified by all the guns in her home as a result of your show. You are part of the problem! I currently receive a National Geographic Magazine, and will be cancelling that subscription. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  2. Rick Young
    North Carolina
    February 6, 2013, 10:49 am

    I think the best thing we can do for our familes is to try to be ready in case of any things that could occur.As all preppers we hope this planning is not needed but why would anybody be affended.To be honest we do not care that you will be cancelling your subscription.You will be the one wishing you would have listened,and its sad your family will be the ones to suffer because of you.Bless all

  3. Bo1370
    February 22, 2013, 7:14 pm

    I think that if you look at recent disasters in modern countries, like the nuclear meltdown and tsunami in Japan, hurricane Sandy, and others, people tended to help each other out, come together, and do some rather heroic things to protect the weakest people (rescuing the patients from the NY hospitals). This directly counters the view that preppers seem to have, which is that that people would turn on each other like rabid animals in a catastrophe. I think that there is always a small minority that would take advantage of a crisis to loot or commit other crimes, but I would like to believe the majority of people are essentially moral and would help each other.

  4. Carolyn
    New Zealand
    March 29, 2014, 1:33 am

    Greetings. We are preppers in New Zealand but prep to stay at home. In Christchurch 2010 and 2011 we had 2 earthquakes that the city is still recovering from 3 years later. 185 people were killed and half the CBD is now gone. They averaged 5 – 11 ks deep and were 6.3 and 7.1. there have been over 2000 ( yes 2000 ) aftershocks since then and other large quakes in different parts of the country.The prepping programmes are great but the reality is very different. Christchurch experienced liquifaction. The reality was that yards, driveways, garage floors and homes all cracked. The liquifaction came up everywhere and was about thigh deep in places. It is therefore impossible to move any vehicles out onto the streets ( which were impassable anyway ). Our choice is to stay put. This needs to be done for security also. Many Christchurch properties were wrecked by vandals and now many have squatters living in them.Unless you have a spare helicopter in the back yard you won’t be able to go anywhere. The authorities close all streets and roads also. We have always been prepared as are our neighbours etc and all help each other. NZ is a camping/outdoorsy country so having to camp out for a few months or couple of years isn’t too bad, however if you do experience a big quake be prepared for about a year of relentless aftershocks, stress levels through the roof, terrified children and shattered relationships. Google Christchurch NZ earthquake pictures to see what happened to us, and no one ever knew what was lurking under the city. We have many earthquakes but usually don’t even bother to react much now unless they are about 6.0 and shallow … it’s easier to just carry on cooking the meal, suck it up and get over it. They are a fact of life here. Even the kids don’t react much any more. Keep prepping but please be realistic. The reality is that you will probably be stuck where ever you are at the time and bug out vehicles will be of no use because you won’t have a driveway or any roads left.Stay strong USA. We are with you in spirit. Don’t forget to check out the pictures.