Imagine you’re unwinding at home from a long day at the office, sheltered from July’s thick heat by the cool air blasting from your air conditioning unit. Unexpectedly, a flash summer storm knocks the power out. An hour turns into a long, sticky, dark night. Then, three days. Finally, a full week. Would you have batteries in a flashlight? A fully-charged cell phone? Supply of bottled water? Sudden, brief power outages might be common annoyances, but extended periods without power raise greater concerns, from carbon monoxide poisoning to unsafe tap water.
People from around the country will gather in Denver, Colorado this weekend for the nation’s first ever Doomsday Expo, an open-to-the-public event focused on providing disaster preparation information, services and products. While “doomsday” is the mainstream, attention-grabbing term, this convention is focused on ensuring you are prepared for whatever that personal doomsday might be for your family and community – whether that means a night in the dark or a nuclear meltdown. With the motto, “Preparation Starts Here,” this full-education series of Doomsday Expos spans the gamut of preparedness and caters to both beginner and experienced preppers.
Some might suppose that all preppers are extremists, but the organizers behind the trade show want to debunk this common assumption. Says Eric Fischbach, Chief Operating Officer for Doomsday Expo. “Our focus is this – everyone’s a prepper in real life. Filling your tank with gas at the beginning of the work week is prepping. We’re trying to reach every family out there, and we don’t care what their reason is, from camping to the apocalypse. As long as they need information, services, and supplies, we want to help everyone.”
Expo attendees will include individuals affected by natural disasters or those living within a region of specific threats, like tornadoes in the Midwest and wildfires in the Centennial State. They may want to learn about administering tactical first aid or applying “fire-proofing” treatments to a home’s exterior. Other expo attendees may seek out information on preparing freeze-dried food or what to do when the well runs dry. Those dwelling in urban, high-rise buildings might seek training on buying and using a generator if the power goes out, tips on stockpiling goods when storage is at a minimum, or how to survive if trapped in a building until help can arrive. Other individuals may want specific defensive training on what to do if their home were to come under attack, whether it be from Extra-Terrestrials or terrorists.
Doomsday Expo organizer Fischbach says that an unexpected crisis “might not be the end of the world, but it’s the end of that family’s world as they know it. You cannot just plan for one event. We are not only focusing on long-term survival – which would be the cause of the most recent threats by North Korea should they become real – but it is important to make sure that you are prepared to care for your family in the wake of another hurricane, snowstorm, or other natural disaster. So look at your community, your region, your climate… What are the biggest threats that could happen, and how could you prepare?”
[How long would you survive after a global cataclysm? Get your prepper score!]
The Doomsday Expo will feature a range of workshops, with speakers sharing personal testimonies, presenting prepping strategies, and offering product giveaways. Vendors in attendance will be promoting dry food products, water filtration systems, and camping gear, to name a few. Need camouflage attire? Check. An off-road vehicle? Check. Want to build a bunker? Sell your gold? Purchase metal detecting equipment? Check check check. Doomsday expos are a one-stop shop for preparedness. “If you think you might need it in a crisis situation, it’s going to be there,” says organizer Fischbach. “We definitely are not discriminating against anyone or their beliefs in why they are preparing and what for… the main goal is to prepare for yourself and your family, for any situation. Our goal is to make this the most informative and educational event for preppers so everyone can get the basics and advanced information, no matter what stage of prepping they are in.” There will be a series of 13 Doomsday Expos in the next year, with convention dates across the United States, and as far as Sydney and Vancouver.
The National Geographic Channel will be holding a casting call for its third season of Doomsday Preppers at the expo in Denver. This series explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for all sorts of situations.