2012 could be called the year of the prepper
Shana Rose Reporting
A recent study from National Geographic shows well over half of the population is at least a little concerned that there will be a major catastrophe in the next 20 years.
Recent events like the Great Recession, killer hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear accidents all have people more aware of just how vulnerable they are if any part of the infrastructure starts to break down.
Possibly millions of people now consider themselves 'preppers' as they get ready for a doomsday scenario.
And there are hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated to helping people prepare for a possible end. Some of the biggest report hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. There's even an American Preppers Network on-line now.
Locally, Bill Poynot, owner of Perret's Army Surplus Store in Kenner says he's been seeing an uptick in people picking up survival supplies. "We are seeing more people coming in, buying MRE's, buying water containers, buying stoves and lanterns," says Poynot and he explains a lot of that is what people normally stock in southeast Louisiana as hurricane preparedness.
But now he says he's seeing more business when it's not hurricane season and when there's not a storm in the Gulf. "They're always buying MRE's, but they're also buying water cans, propane stoves, lanterns, batteries, they're buying flashlights, duffel bags to put their stuff in, they're buying ammo cans. Ammo cans are great because they're water proof and air tight. So they're really good storage devices."
(MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat, pre-cooked food, usually with a high caloric content, that the military has used to feed soldiers on the battlefield or in places where fresh food is not normally available.)
Killer pandemics, solar storms, World War III, mega earthquakes and tsunamis, asteroid strikes and the end of the Mayan calendar this year are just a few of things people around the world are worrying about.
The popular new TV show Doomsday Preppers on the Nat Geo channel seems to show just how mainstream prepping has become, and how mainstream the belief in an imminent collapse of society or a catastrophic event is.
According to the survey, about a third of Americans think there will be at least some effect in 2012 as the long-count Mayan calendar ends.
"These are not just a handful of people living in the mountains," National Geographic Channel’s executive vice president of programming Michael Cascio told the Wall Street Journal. "They’re everywhere."
Here's some of the results from the National Geographic Study on what people think could happen in the next 20 years:
Significant Earthquake 64%
Significant Hurricane 63%
Terrorist Attack 55%
Financial Collapse 51%
Significant Blackout 37%
Pandemic, Such as From a Super-Virus 29%
Nuclear Fallout 14%
None of These 13%
Click here for the entire study from Nat Geo.
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Black Blade: These "prepper" shows are really catching on. Shows like "Doomsday Preppers", "Doomsday Bunkers" and "Meet The Preppers" reach millions. Some of that will rub off as we go into another election year with so much at stake.