After reading viewer comments panning the show on M.D. Creekmore’s blog, I decided to DVR the series, just to see why all the vitriol was being directed at the preppers who decided to appear on the show.
The premise of Doomsday Preppers is:
Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.
There were 449 comments on Creekmore’s post about the show, most of them excoriating the preppers for being on the show and giving up their identities/locations. Others debated whether or not the show was fair to the people they profiled, or whether they made preppers look like nuts.
My wife and I got around to watching the first two episodes, which seems to follow the format of introducing a prepper/prepper family, getting a quick overview of the cataclysm they are preparing for, a look at the preparations they’ve made, and then they get a review of their preparation efforts from prepping experts. The segments per prepper/prepper family are about 20 minutes (minus commercials), and they do three a show.
My take? It was an interesting window into the psyches of the preppers featured in each segment, the scenarios they were preparing for, and the ingenuity of those involved. I was amazed at both the insights and engineering prowess of some of the preppers, each as a rolled my eyes at the beliefs some of them shared. It was fascinating viewing, and what was even more interesting (to me at least) was how each each prepper/prepper family responded to criticisms of their preparations by the show’s prepping experts.
Very few people had thought their preparations through as well as they thought they had. One family had literally tons of food put by, but all in one location. One prepper in Houston planned to escape to Mexico (?!?!?), but didn’t have enough gas to get there. Some didn’t take practical steps to ensure their safety. It isn’t difficult for someone to latch on to an idea or plan, but getting them to adapt is an entirely different matter. It is the ability to read changing conditions and adapt to them that often separates the survivors of a disaster from those that become victims.
Unsurprisingly, quite a few of the preppers were very resistant to suggestions from the experts. If disaster strikes, and scenarios don’t unfold precisely the way they have envisioned, then these people, despite all their preparations and supplies, are little more than delayed victims.