Doomsday Preppers: Kathy Harrison

The next profile is Kathy Harrison, called the ‘Doris Day of Doom’.
The narrator calls her a New England Liberal, which basically means retired pacifistic aging-hippy type—that’s not necessarily a bad thing—and says she’s concerned about unforeseen ‘Black Swan’ events, like a quake from the New Madrid fault. Unlike the previous lady in Utah, who was concerned with a financial collapse and responded by food-hoarding, this lady is worried about the disruption to the food distribution system that would result from a natural catastrophe, and logically prepares by growing a big honking garden (I get the feeling that she and her husband have been doing this since before there was a ‘prepper’ movement. Like my folks, they might’ve been back-to-the-land homesteaders at some point.). Not only do they grow heirloom crops, they also keep bees, press their own cider, make furniture, and sew on a treadle-powered sewing machine. Often they also invite friends over to share their skills and join in some fruits-of-their-labours feasting.
(Just in case any gullible folks out there wanted to act on Mr Harrison’s comment, I’ll save you the disappointment: you cannot make whisky from apple cider. Sorry. You can make hard cider, though, or brandy, if you have a still!)

Throughout all this, there are no signs of any weapons, unless you count the maul they used for splitting firewood. Basically, their whole plan is based around respect, support, and resiliency in their community, which gets a huge thumbs-up from me.

The ‘expert analysis’ section is where it gets funny. The ‘experts’ report that while she’s “well-rounded in self-sufficient and community-based skills” (at which point I would just congratulate her), she and her husband should focus on defense and weapons. She says that doesn’t suit them ethically and they’re not going to change a thing. Right-on, lady. While I think it’s really naïve (I can’t believe they don’t have at least a flintlock hanging around somewhere), I have to salute her for sticking to her guns (or lack thereof).

Here’s where the truth behind the ‘experts’ comes out.  I watched the credits and Googled Practical Preppers LLC; at first I couldn’t get into the site, but did pull up their tagline—Providing tactical* and technical solutions for all your prepping needs.  So obviously, they’re going to be focused towards gear and guns—things you can buy. If your approach to survival is community-based, quasi-permaculture, and pretty low-impact, you’re not going to be buying much (it’s the same reason that, of The 3 Rs, pretty much the only one you ever hear about is Recycling—because Reduce and Re-use aren’t good for the consumption economy). When I did get into the site (it was probably swamped following this premiere) I saw that its consultants were the cast of the pilot Doomsday Preppers episode back in November or whenever. That show had the same format as this one with ‘expert analysis’ at the end, so were these guys evaluating themselves? I dunno, but it’s not like they actually sought out real survival experts (I’m thinking someone like Ray Mears or Cody Lundin), I think they just looked up consulting firms with ‘prepper’ in their name.

*does anyone really know what that word means? It’s become so overused that it’s lost its meaning—I went to a gunshow the other day, and everything was ‘tactical’. I think it’s just the Oughts/20-teens version of ‘radical!’ from the ‘80s or ‘extreme!’ in the ‘90s.


4 responses to this post.

  1. […] who have low-impact, actually sustainable strategies focused on fresh foods (Chris Nyegres, the Harrisons, and these guys) are also the ones who don’t fixate on guns and ammo (or conversely, the […]


  2. […] who have low-impact, actually sustainable strategies focused on fresh foods (Chris Nyegres, the Harrisons, and these guys) are also the ones who don’t fixate on guns and ammo (or conversely, the […]


  3. […] […]


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