Granted, I might be hung by my toes, pummeled with an organic carrot, and fed tofu for saying this, but... I simply do not subscribe to the whole “Doomsday Prepper” mindset. Naturally you might then ask me what in the heck am I doing on a show called Doomsday Preppers? Well, I’ll be happy to clarify if you’ve got a moment and in doing so I hope that you'll see the great potential that's about to hit the prepper community.
If you haven’t heard, National Geographic TV will air their premier season of Doomsday Preppers beginning Feb. 7th, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. On the first night they will be airing two episodes back to back. For those who care to know, I’ll be in the 2nd episode (along with my hunka hunka hubby and several shots of all of the great gals who joined me for the episode by the looks of the commercials). Now, before you guys get all in a dither about how some of these people are portrayed on the trailers, understand one important truth—this is television and there has to be an entertainment factor in order to attract viewers. Without the term “doomsday” in the title or people saying “the end of the world as we know it” it just wouldn’t have the same appeal to as broad of an audience. What would Clark Kent be with just the word “Man’? How interested would you be to watch show about women competing to make the best cupcakes if it was simply called “Cupcakes” instead of "Cupcake Wars"? Likewise you’d have a difficult time trying to entice a broad audience with a show simply called “Preppers”. In fact, I have absolutely LOVED how they've mixed humor and seriousness in with their commercials. I belly laughed when I saw the first one. (sigh, my family nonetheless, particularly my teen and tween nieces, are just biting their nails waiting to see how the show might embarrass their family member. I think they are waiting until then before they claim me as their Aunt Keen to their friends. *grimace*)
Doomsday Preppers-a pretty great show considering the hype that's out there
Continuing on in that vein, I can tell you personally that I felt that the producer and camera crew were nothing other than respectful. Such respect isn’t an anomaly; the pilot episode of Doomsday Preppers also did a good job of portraying preppers in my opinion. And as an added assurance that this isn’t some devious plan to portray preppers as country bumpkins, you can also take a gander at the write-ups that were done on each of the preppers. Additionally, I am anything but photogenic. Even when I’m a size 6 it’s very easy to take unflattering photos of me. If they were out to embarrass me (us) then they could have used a litany of stills and outtakes to do so that would have repulsed the dead. But you simply don’t see that and I'm confident you won't. That's not to say that you'll be able to relate to every preppers motivations or actions. But as you can see that the photos, write-ups, etc. there's no Jerry Springer type of agenda here.
Lastly, can we all get real for a moment and accept the fact that when we’re talking amongst ourselves we are perfectly comfortable in using "doomsday" phrases such as “I’m preparing for a global financial collapse; A series of terrorist attacks is indeed plausible; A devastating earthquake, and When an EMP hits throwing us all back into the 18th century it’s going to feel like the end of the world as we know it!” So if we’re going to be just as real when the cameras are on us, then certainly they are going to reflect that, right? So can we all please come down off of the ledge of indignation for just a moment and enjoy the ride?
As much as we loathe the talking heads of today, mass media is one of the few effective ways that we have the opportunity to share our message of rational concern for our neighbors that they take some semblance of responsibility for their well-being today and for the challenges of tomorrow. If we help just one family do better in this regard, then all of the physical and emotional work I’ve put into the past 3 years, including doing this show, will be worthwhile to me—because that’s how I value human LIFE! Don’t you?
Doomsday-End of the World Preparation?
O.k. Now with all that being said, allow me to address the elephant in the room. For the record, I do NOT believe in preparing for a “Doomsday” or “end of the world” scenario and frankly, I hope you don’t occupy your time considering such an event either. (And in speaking with the some of the other preppers on the show, they don’t either.) I mean really; let’s face it; if God determines that it’s time to roll the earth like a scroll, then what the heck difference does my wheat, water, and whatchamacallits make? To be perfectly clear, an end of the world doomsday scenario is not what motivates my efforts of being more self-reliant. That kind of behavior is necessary for TODAY. I find virtue in being prepared for life’s everyday challenges and I firmly believe that if I’m ready for the everyday curve balls, then I will be ready for the bigger ones such as a Hurricane Katrina, a Teton Dam breaking (which is 10 times more likely today than it was back in the 1970’s, BTW), an earthquake in the New Madrid fault, or a worldwide financial collapse. As I consider the likelihood of "doomsday" possibilities, my desire for preparedness expands—both with regard to the person’s I want to be sure that I can help and the vast amount of circumstances for which I want to be prepared.
Let’s look at it this way. I know several law enforcement officers who carry their official issue weapon, a taser, an asp, pepper spray, handcuffs (which are a great weapon if you know how to use them as such) a long-handled flashlight, cordless communication devices, a bulletproof vest, a couple of fully loaded spare magazines, the working knowledge of physical self-defense capabilities, a solid car with intimidating lights, and another firearm located in an ankle holster. At what point do we scoff and scorn that person for being crazy for carrying anything more than his badge? Now let me ask you, if that officer were to walk into a the perimeter of a bomb set to go off would he be aided by any of that preparation? Nope. Rather he’ll be hanging out with those who filled his shoes decades before him. And yet so many of the world today would mock or even spew hatred and threats of violence against persons who would live their everyday lives with that same level of awareness of the vulnerabilities which threaten to impact their life. Now which one of us thinks that any one of his tools are ridiculous? Sure there are persons that MIGHT say that a police officer’s life is never really in danger. But I can assure you that the spouse and family of that person never wants it to even be a possibility. So, he prepares, he learns, and he thinks about it over and over again even though he’s armed with a litany of tools to use in a very narrow aspect of his life and the present mortality rate of LEOS is only 58 a year out of 655,000+!
So, whatever it is that motivates you to be ready for a rainy day—keep it up and keep sharing that conviction. Keep expanding your scope of influence to help others someday as well. No man is an island, let alone a safe, impenetrable one. As for the Doomsday scenarios of Zombies, Apocalypse, The End of the Planet Earth—it’s either not real or your preparedness efforts aren’t relevant to such scenarios. But being ready for the next set of extreme challenges that the Lord definitely does have in store for mankind will definitely be worth it. Of that I am absolutely certain.
(By the way, if you'd like a look at behind the scenes of my journey to and through the presentation of Doomsday Preppers, I am posting such articles on my personal blog site here.)
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