Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’

Doomsday Preppers: David Nash

Our other Tennessee prepper this episode is David Nash, who is also concerned about the likelihood of a modern New Madrid earthquake.
© NatGeo/Sharp EntertainmentDavid explains how he and his wife Genny have “chosen careers that fulfill us but don’t necessarily leave us with much in the bank”, ergo he is DIY all the way! Which is great—less is more! I like it!
He starts off by showing Genny his homemade ‘saline converter’ to turn saltwater to bleach, which he could then add to contaminated water to make potable.
I’m not totally sold on the chemistry(NaCl+H2O -> NaOH + Cl ->bleach?), but if it checks out, that’s not a bad little system!
And because David thinks ahead, he DIY’s himself a stringtrimmer motor/wood-burning steam engine contraption to charge the battery he’ll use to run his bleach-maker. I’m not sure how all that comes together—I have little mechanical knowledge of anything more complex than a forge-bellows, but if he can indeed charge a battery by burning sticks and small wood, that’s a winner.

After that, David reveals his build project: a geodesic dome shelter to resist the shaking expected in an earthquake.
He cuts the aluminum pipe framework pieces in his shop, assembles them with his dad’s help in the woods, and then drapes it with a big heavy-duty piece of signage tarp. The dome gets draped in three kinds of wire mesh (probably could have gotten by without the chickenwire), and is coated by sprayed concrete and then given a camouflage paintjob. It looks solid, if a bit melty organic, but to make sure they give us another requisite DP tannerite explosion test, with dad inside! (the shelter appears to survive).

I had a friend in the UP who built a shack along similar lines some years back—except he used steel cattle panels and reclaimed plastic sheeting and old carpeting, all bermed with soil, to make a sort of ‘longhouse’. Apparently it was pretty much invisible once the woods grew up around it.

Oh, and for lighting inside his dome, David installs a two-liter ‘light bottle’—a really genius DIY lighting system—and some DIY gutters for water catchment.

Anyway, geodesic domes (yay, Buckminster Fuller!) are always awesome, and I love the use of the reclaimed billboard tarp. For a non-mobile DIY bugout shelter in the woods, the sprayed concrete shell is probably pretty hard to beat (I wonder if their concrete sprayer would be compatible with any of the alternative ’cretes—something with more solar mass for passive heating/cooling?)

After watching this episode and about the same time coming across this art exhibit, I got to thinking about the utility of combining modern materials like David’s tarp (which already exist in great numbers) with traditional indigenous building shapes and materials. I can pretty easily imagine a band of neotribal folks walking or riding (horses—no Ancient Sunlight Juice for these sustainables) across the post-Long Emergency landscape (or even the Right Now landscape, if you can imagine such a thing!), towing their travois loaded with a couple of these waterproof billboards (emblazoned with images of golden arches or sports mascots or other similar logos that must have once held great significance to the old ‘uns of the Fourth World, but are now no more than mysterious runes) and a bundle of tentpoles, all ready to set up camp at the next watering hole.
Just something to think about, it’s always fun to combine ‘new’ and ‘old’ and imagine different ways of doing thing. After all, there is no One Right Way to Live!


Doomsday Preppers: David Mays

Alright, folks. It would seem DP has finally jumped the shark—or at the very least, hit peak media oversaturation, and exhausted its fifteen minutes as a rating$ juggernaut—and stopped producing new episodes, which mean there are only two I have left to cover this season…and I really couldn’t be happier. It’ll be a big weight lifted off my shoulders when I won’t have to subject myself to watching this program (one which, in the big picture, turned out to be pretty sensationalist, exploitative, and generally detestable) for the bigger purpose of uncooling its message.

It’s not 2012 anymore, and I think folks are kinda sick of ‘reality’ shows about midlife-crisis, middle-class white guys with more money than sense, delusions of grandeur, and hard-ons for ‘tactical’ weaponry and foodbuckets. Don’t worry, they’re still out there; but the media landscape has (unsurprisingly) shifted over the past two years to the point where Prepperdom isn’t such a hot commodity anymore. Which is fine by me, because while it means a little less blog traffic for this page, it also means less toxic, deluded, status quo-y notions being broadcast into the public mindspace.

Anyway, episode ‘Nobody Will Be Ready’ cuts between the two Davids from Tennesseee; both guys are supposedly (but not unreasonably) preparing for a quake along the New Madrid fault line.
First up is David Mays:

© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment

Transparency clause: David and his wife Holly run an essential oils business (remember, this show has almost always been about ‘preppers’ using their appearance as publicity for their own enterprises).
Even though they live in a tract of burbland, their family seems to be taking some good first steps to increase their self-reliance by raising silkie chickens in the backyard, and growing aeroponic vegetables in a vertical garden tower.

But David’s main hobby, it seems, is flying drones!
While the military-capitalist-corporate-industrial hegemons rain down remote-piloted death and destruction on foreign civilians of colour, here at home the basic technology has trickled down to the prosumer level, allowing armchair hobbyists to tinker about and remote-pilot their own camera-equipped drones around their pre-apocalyptic suburban wastelands! Isn’t our modern age great?

David’s plan post-quake is apparently to use his ‘drone army’ to ‘patrol’ his neighborhood, and equip them with various payloads—like one of those GoPro cameras that are all the rage right now, or a disposable camera-turned-improvised taser, or an ultralight silver parachute of medical supplies.
I dunno, I feel like it might just be easier and more productive/rewarding for David and/or the family to get out in the neighborhood on foot, meet their neighbors face-to-face, and start turning their subdivision into an actual community. Get a couple more families in the cul-de-sac on the chickens-and-gardening bandwagon and they could have the seeds of a nice little self-reliant network. Just a suggestion.

Doomsday Preppers: Rodney Dial

I had really hoped Doomsday Preppers had jumped the shark after their mini-season, but alas.
And so…they’re back. Can we really be surprised this show—loathsome parade of swagger and dick-measuring that it is—got picked up for a third season? When ratings (=profit$) are involved, of course not!
Because I really do have better things to do, until I see someone on this show doing really good things (y’know, demonstrating positive, life-affirming attitudes, progressive thinking, and real solutions—in other words, the polar opposite of what I think we’re in for this season), I’m gonna try and keep these commentaries short.
S03E01(‘Take Back the Country!’) opens with Rodney Dial of Ketchikan, Alaska.
© NatGeo/Sharp EntertainmentHe’s worried about “a major earthquake in the Alaska area”, which would likely result in a large tsunami. This is not entirely irrational, seeing how he’s right on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

As we’ve come to expect by this point, Rodney couches his fears using the same worn-out Survivalist mantra of ‘after three days without groceries, people go crazy!’. But don’t worry, because he also believes that “after a tsunami, only those who know how to live off the land would survive”.
Of course this sequence is intercut with a bunch of stock footage of rioting crowds in urban centers, which really clashes when juxtaposed against Ketchikan’s “quiet fishing village”. Seriously, with the right pre-disaster attitude, a small-ish town (Ketchikan is only about 8,000 people) stands a way better chance (compared to a major metropolis) of actually becoming a real community and coming together for mutual support in the event of a disaster!

Rodney apparently has “20 years of military experience”, so you know what that means—he’s all about black tactical crap, big talk, and showing off! Oh, and he runs a tattoo parlor.
Apparently, he’s dropped $100k on his wholly misguided ‘preps’—these include a 5,000-gallon grain-bin-as-rain-barrel (cool idea, but how watertight would that be?) and only six months’ worth of food storage (for a family of three), but don’t worry, he has a tank! (clearly used as mobile advertising for his tattoo shop):

© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment

boys and their toys…*eyeroll*

Our narrator points out Rodney’s battlewagon is designed “to establish authority”—in other words, let folks know you’re the one holding power over their lives. This, of course, has been the policy of every Younger Culture military from Uruk up to Amerika: flaunt all the life-destroying goodies you’ve made, to keep the citizenry in line and make sure they know who’s in charge.
Rodney’s teenage daughter thinks dad’s tank is “kind of embarrassing”, and I have to agree—seriously, couldn’t he have just bought a red convertible like all the other mid-life crisis dads?

There’s a bit where Rodney goes scubadiving for sea cucumbers for the family to eat. “They’re everywhere here!” he says, which I’m pretty sure is exactly what they said about Atlantic cod, bluefin tuna, and the American bison. Thankfully, as soon as Rodney says that, a caption pops up, mirroring my thoughts—letting us know that overharvesting of sea cucumbers is strictly regulated. Of course, such in-system sanctions do nothing to combat the deeper, more insidious implications: this Man helps himself to these organisms because he has been taught by his culture that he is superior to them, and so he can continue to exploit them, giving nothing back, until they are gone. This is the pattern of our civilization.

About half of Rodney’s segment is wrapped up with his delusion of making underwater supply tube-caches to keep goodies out of the hands of his lawless neighbors. There’s some drama resulting from forcing a typical teenage girl to do something she doesn’t want to (she gets a piece of metal in her eye; she gets better), meh. They weld up these steel tubes and drop them out in the ocean (hope they don’t rust in the saltwater!), because if they can’t have supplies, nobody can! (or…something). Apparently, while they don’t want to rely on a boat (which could be lost in our hypothetical tsunami) to retrieve their caches, they do want to rely on terrestrial landmarks like trees? I got news for ya, dude—if your tsunami does go down, the landscape’s gonna look pretty different.
At least he has a cool improvised tank-free diving setup, using an innertube, compressor and battery.

Oh, and of course: to keep us watching, it looks like they’re cutting each show’s segments together, so unlike in previous seasons, we don’t just get a 15-minute block of JoeBob, then a block of BobbyJoe. This of course gives the producers more opportunities for dramatic cutaways. Ugh.

Aaannnd…it also looks like they’ve done away with season two’s ‘expert assessment’ scores? We still have an ‘assessment’ section, but it’s not quantitative: it’s mostly just the narrator telling our subjects ‘good job on buying enough stuff to make you feel ‘prepared’; now think about how you’re going to refill those foodbuckets’.

Doomsday Preppers: David Appleton

The series’ next ‘prepper’ is one David Appleton, of Charleston, SC.
© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment
His single-fear issue is a major earthquake, and while one wouldn’t normally think of South Carolina as prime ’quake country, he points out the 1886 7.3-magnitude earthshaker as precedent. So, not an entirely unwarranted fear.

I really like this guy, his wife Lauren, and their approach. It’s really nice to see two folks who so clearly ‘get’ each other. The aspect that they’re focusing on in this segment is David’s livelihood as a stand-up comedian, and the importance of having a sense of humor about SHTF! This means that throughout the segment he’s cracking puns and bad one-liners, which are actually pretty endearing.
Additionally, since he’s apparently living off gig money and whatever his wife brings in, David makes a big point of ‘prepping’ on a budget. This translates to curb-crawling, dumpster-diving, and scoring free or cheap stuff from craigslist. David puts this post-doomsday skillset to great use by building a collapsible rickshaw/stretcher out of pvc pipe, as well as using some old scrounged canvas and junk to make some diy camouflage:
© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment
And unlike the ‘guns-n-bunkers’-type preppers this show usually shows, David isn’t planning an act of war for when the Big One comes; he plans on using his camouflage to cover up his Army truck-towed pontoon boat (which he dubs ‘the Rafture’, ha!). And to increase his survivability, we see him install a basic rain-catchment system. On his boat! Genius!

Even with an AWESOME altruistic personality, applicable skills, and a greenhouse (more than you could say for most of the mainstream preppers on this show), David is most decidedly non-tactical, and so the ‘experts’ give him a score of 57 points, for six months’ survival. Lame.

Doomsday Preppers: Cheree

The episode concludes with a literally ten-minute look at Cheree of California’s Sierra mountains.
Since they live in Cali, it’s only understandable that their preparations focus on a ‘mega earthquake’.
With such a ridiculously short segment, there’s really not much material here to discuss. But don’t worry, I’ll find something!

With her parents, Cheree runs some kind of religiously-minded camp. While they seem pretty strongly ‘Christian’, I also caught the slightest hint of a New Age-y vibe off their descriptions.
In the event of the Big Quake (or, conceivably any other disaster), Chree’s main objective will be “to follow Christ.” Ohboy.

I generally try to stay away from conspicuously ragging on hot-button issues; they say you’re not supposed to bring up religion or politics, but without those, everything else is superficial small-talk (and I don’t mess around with that stuff)!

Okay, I can understand how the historical figure Jesus of Nazareth could be a good person to seek to emulate in your relations to others: stand up for the meek, champion gender equality, fight the powers that be, all that (Jesus was a lot like the John Lennon of Imperial Roman times).
So, why do I cringe when I hear that someone’s chief post-disaster strategy is to “follow Christ”? For starters, Christianity is—like the Judaism it grew out of—fundamentally a Younger Culture religion of civilization: at its core is the message that Humanity is flawed and unable to be fixed. The founders of these religions believed this because they looked around and saw only cities and miserable people living in them; having abandoned (or destroyed) their tribal histories, leaving their earliest records to date from post-city-dwelling times, they incorrectly assumed that humanity was born to build and reside (and be miserable) in cities, and if that was the case, and humanity had never been any other way, then human nature is simply to be depressed, violent, selfish, abusive, ignorant, and generally wicked.
Of course, anthropology has proved all that to be completely wrong, and so we should, for the good of Everyone, abandon such fallacious thinking as soon as possible.
Secondly, Christianity’s focus on post-death reunion with their creator in ‘heaven’ has been simply disastrous for the planet (and the rest of we heathens who have to share it with them). Y’see, when Being With God In Heaven is your life’s main goal, you tend to not put much priority on the actual being-alive-here-on-Earth part of life. As a result, you’re not going to care about keeping the place nice for the rest of us, because you’re ‘just passing through’ (those ‘be fruitful and multiply’ and ‘have dominion over the earth’ clauses didn’t help matters either), so you’d best ‘get what you can while the gettin’s good’.
In conclusion, anytime I meet an otherwise rational and intelligent person who self-identifies as a follower of one of the Humanity-is-Flawed religions (Christianity especially), I have to ask myself if they don’t have a loose wire somewhere upstairs.
Really, just be a decent person and leave the labels out of it.

Anyway, in order to practice living through a disaster, Cheree gets together a few like-minded folks to do a weekend full-immersion scenario. Kudos to them for that! They turn off the Juice and spend a few days living without all the modern conveniences we’ve become reliant upon and/or take for granted. Some of the guys install a few 250-watt pv-solar panels on the roof, while others build and install a DIY PVC hand pump for drawing water. And I think I saw someone do a tiny bit of gardening??
However, that’s about all the good stuff, because the remaining five minutes are concerned with a contentious debate among the group over whether or not to allow a member, Garry, to remain in the group, since he advocates armed self-defense. After some waste-of-time scenes, they agree to remain unarmed and excommunicate him from their little network. I guess when a disaster goes down, they’ll defend against hungry marauders with harsh language, man!

Experts give them 58 points for 8 months. They tell them to learn food-canning; Cheree admits that she has already has all the stuff to do it, she just hasn’t gotten around to it yet. She concludes by reiterating her strategy for surviving—to maintain her mantra that “God is on our side!” Okay, kid, keep telling yourself that.

And just for fun:


Doomsday Preppers: Lucas Camerons & Kevin O’Brien

The season continues with the episode ‘In the Hurt Locker’ (a title which actually comes from a line in the episode about having no money). We start off in the Bible Belt with a look at Lucas Cameron and his group of ‘Seven Trumpet Preppers’. As our narrator tells us, Lucas, his wife, son, and parents are all “God-Fearing Christians”.
7Trumpet PreppersA few weeks ago I was explaining Doomsday Preppers to a friend, and he asked me what kind of ‘doomsday’ the folks were prepared for.
“Oh, you know,” I said, “pretty much everyone says financial collapse, with the odd earthquake or volcano thrown in.”
“What?!” he stammered, “Those aren’t doomsdays! An asteroid is doomsday!” His point being, there’s a difference between something being the end of your world, and the End of The World.
Well, on this episode, we have the first group preparing for that latter category, stemming from their particular book of faith: Lucas and the rest of the Seven Trumpets fear a “global earthquake described in Revelation”. They somehow think this will relate to the big, bad wolf of the Eastern US, the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Which…isn’t global…but whatever. Maybe they think that’ll be the first Trumpet, and the rest will follow.

Once again, like everyone else, their real fear is that in the days after a quake, “people will turn to lawlessness”. Well, probably, but let’s first recognize that—just as there is no one right way to live—there are more ways of keeping order in a society than relying on arbitrary “Don’t do _x_!” laws decided on by elite old men, which are fully expected to be broken. Given a big enough disaster, a long enough timeline, and the absence of a dominating militarized government, it’s conceivable that we might actually see a return of an organically-evolved system of tribal law. Of course, we’re dealing with a guy who wears a miniature set of Ten Commandments (the world’s most famous set of anti-tribal laws) around his neck, so I don’t really expect them to understand.

Anyway, to deal with the likelihood of lawless, hungry folks hemorrhaging from cities, the Cameron clan has spent a comparatively-meager $50,000 fortifying their farm and home; like Tom Perez, they call their fortress home The Alamo.
And to help with the defense and upkeep of the place, Lucas has recruited prepper friends with a very telling variety of skillsets. These include a soldier/‘private military contractor’-type, a guy who works night shift security, and Lucas’s father, a lifelong farmer of row crops and beef cattle. Additionally, Lucas and his buddy Spence work together to fabricate machines including a wind turbine and another one of those ‘wood gassifiers’ things (I have yet to really understand how they work) they use to power a generator. And what is this wood-burning fuel-maker made from? An old oil drum and some jumbo ammo cans! Well, that gets a thumbs-up for DIY solutions! However, when it comes to farming, I have to raise this point: like Lucas’s pa, my dad and uncle have been growing maize, soya, and beef cattle for decades. But do I think they could do it without modern synthetic fertilizers and antibiotics and inoculants? No way! If you want to be really able to survive an uncertain future, make friends with someone who has a big, productive organic garden. Y’know, a horticulturalist, instead of a totalitarian agriculturalist.
So to recap, the way the Trumpets see it, one’s essential concerns should be defense (warfare), herding, and maintaining power. For those who say our culture has continued to evolve, let me point out that those three essentials are calling cards of the patriarchal, warlike, sky-god-worshipping Indo-Europeans who rode into history to dominate Europe about the time I’m guessing the Seven Trumpets believe the Earth was created.

Anyway, where were we? Food? Speaking of food, about the only time we see the ladies is when they’re showing off a bit of their massive food stockpile, including a lot of rice in two-liter soda bottles. For dry goods, I think those are hard to beat: bugs can’t get in (I guess mice might be able to chew through), they don’t shatter when dropped, and they stack up pretty neat; win-win-win. Apparently, they also have multiple food caches spread around the farm, which is always a good idea—Nature doesn’t put all her eggs in one basket, and we shouldn’t either.
We also hear that the family has a fair amount of food on-the-hoof: five goats, a score of chickens, and two-score cattle. That’s not bad, but again, can they keep them fed through a winter without relying on maize? And furthermore, would they really want to?—remember that ruminants like cattle evolved as grazers, not grain-eaters; grass-fed beef is way better.

Like most long-term thinking folks, the Seven Trumpets plan on reloading a lot of ammo when things head south. We get to see grandpa (who owns a firearms business) and Lucas teach his son how to reload shotshells, which they use as an opportunity to quiz him on his gun-ethics.
“What are guns for?” “Killing people trying to kill you.”
“That’s right,” says grandpa. “Guns are just weapons, like a carpenter’s saw.” Wait, what?

Always interested in swelling the ranks of the ’Trumpets, Lucas has been in contact with a new arrival to the area, who just happens to be a familiar face from season one…Kevin O’Brien! This means we get to see an update on his ultimate prepper homestead, right? Unfortunately, no. While the O’Briens bought 130 acres of lovely countryside, they still have no home, so they rent a house nearby and take frequent camping trips to get familiarized with the land. There’s a bit where the kids make it abundantly clear they have no intention of ever living without indoor plumbing, haha.
So, to try out for the ’Trumpets, the O’Briens head over to the Cameron compound and do some target shooting with that crew. They seem pretty pleased with his performance, but have a more rigorous test in mind for him, one for which they’ve called in the big guns, literally. Because who shows up next but the ‘experts’ themselves, Practical Preppers! Hot damn, this is turning out to be an all-star episode!
Kobler and Hunt roll up with black guns, night-vision, and more tactical crap than I’ve ever seen before, to play to role of ‘raiders’ that O’Brien and the Seven Trumpets will hopefully detect and defend against. Which begs the question—exactly what kind of raiders do these guys expect to deal with? Are they planning on facing hungry hordes of unprepared city-folk, or the local band of Navy SEALs?  Seriously; boys and their toys, *eyeroll*.

Luckily (unlike some of the other invasion drills we’ve seen), at least these guys’ guns are loaded with blanks (Kevin is armed with a spotlight in hopes of blinding the night-vision). Anyway, the experts manage to sneak up right under the others’ noses, and during the shooting, Lucas’s AR jams! Haha! I think I’ll stick with my EastBloc dunk-‘em-in-mud rifles, thank you very much. Despite all this, I guess everybody considers it a successful learning experience, and Lucas offers to bring Kevin into his group.

In the experts’ assessment,
O’Brien gets 62 points—keeping chickens (his daughter names her chick Nugget. Right-on, that’s the way to do it!) gets him extra kudos for food resupply—for 9 months’ survival.
Lucas—who the experts say needs to buy some two-way radios—gets 74 points for 14 months.

In their update, the O’Briens have moved to a new location with a stocked fish pond, wood-burning stove, a bigger chicken coop, and lots of stonework, which looks really good in the woods. Thumbs-up for architectural camouflage. Meanwhile, Lucas reports that they’ve taken the experts advice and bought walkie-talkies, as well as installed a hand pump for their well. Yay for the best kind of sustainable energy, people power!

Doomsday Preppers: Bob Kay

I’ve scheduled this to post on 22/12/12, so if you’re reading this, congratulations on surviving the ‘Mayan End of the World’!

Season two’s next episode (‘You’ve Got Chaos!’) opens with a very interesting look at Johnny-come-lately bandwagon prepper Bob Kay from southern California wine country:
Bob KayAs a nutritionist, he has apparently made a boatload of money with some wonder-vitamins or some such whatsit.
Living in SoCal, it’s only reasonable to be prepared for a massive earthquake that, as he says, “will change society as we know it”. I think that might be giving mother nature a bit more credit than she deserves. Change how the affected people live for a while, yes. But change Society?, I dunno.

So, it seems that just last year, Bob was watching what I’m guessing was the pilot episode of Doomsday Preppers (the one that looked at the guys who are now the unseen ‘experts’ on these episodes), when he said to himself, “Look at these guys, building a self-sustaining greenhouse in the backyard pool, and their homemade wood-fired pickup truck, and their deer hunting for food! Surely I can do better than them, and use my discretionary income to buy my way to preparedness!” And so, in twelve months, he’s spent damn near close to a million dollars on his ‘preps’.
Our narrator explains to us that “Many preppers dream about the elaborate things they would buy if money were not an object”, which, combined with the profile of Mr. Kay, proves my hunch that the current model of preparedness isn’t really about preparedness, but conspicuous consumption.
So how does all this spending break down? Bob has two-and-a-half acres of land and a probably-6,000-square-foot-plus McMansion, and he’s spent $35,000 on exotic edible plants to landscape the place. Their 35,000-gallon swimming pool cost another $100,000 (they purify and drink some of the water, giving us yet another preppers-toasting-with-glasses-of-something-uncommon scene).

Then Bob gets to show off his $110,000 convoy of dream ‘bug-out vehicles’. Now, if you told me you’d spent that much money on six ultimate BOV’s, I’d expect you to unveil some, like, NASA-designed, Swiss-made, carbon-fiber collapsible bicycles with tubeless Kevlar tires. But not Bob Kay. He just has six motorcycles, because y’know, “Nothing impedes a motorcycle! You can get pretty much anywhere on it!” Sure, assuming you have enough petrol to feed it and you don’t come across any large downed trees on your travels. But once your fuel runs out, what then?
Okay, for a long-term, civilization-ending catastrophe, foot or hoof travel is the only sustainable way to get around. But for all other scenarios, bicycles are best. Why?
Zero emissions: bikes require—and burn—nothing but calories. Remember, RULE #1: CARDIO.
User friendly: no motor = way less moving parts to break and potentially ruin your day.
Nearly-silent: stealth might become a big factor when bands of marauders run amok?
Lightweight: try carrying that motorcycle over your head while crossing the ’quake-buckled 105:
So yeah, motorcycles might be fine for the man with the mid-life crisis, but in terms of preparedness, they’re not that great. And why Bob feels he needs six (he only has a wife and two daughters), I don’t know.

Anyway, at least Bob has his older daughter on-board with his prepping, which makes for some quality father/daughter bonding. From the way it sounds, she thinks up what they need, and he buys it.
Then they go to what I swear is the same bulk-food-store everyone on this show goes to. Our narrator reminds us that an average family’s annual grocery bill is about $3,700, and “Bob just spent over ten times that in one day!” When he gets home, he tells his wife he made a very “reasonable” purchase. His wife asks him what he’s going to do with $45,000 worth of freezedried chicken and such. Bob should say, “Eat it!” but I’m guessing it goes into a basement hoard to be sealed until disaster strikes. You know what I do with my stockpile of dehydrated fruits, vegetables, and meats (all free and courtesy of our wasteful food distribution system)? I eat it, and then I replenish it! It’s food, that’s what you do with it!

So, Bob and his older daughter want to get some weapons training. She starts out with throwing knives, which is like throwing your baby into the deep end of a pool; she says, “But my videogames make it look so much easier!” Knife-throwing has a ridiculously high learning curve, and even once you get the hang of it, I don’t think it’s a terribly useful skill. However, I am a big fan of hatchet throwing—which is more intuitive to learn, harder to miss, and should you hit your opponent, more mass = more damage.
Well, she wants to learn to shoot guns too, so daddy goes out and buys her a personal coach, a $4,000 tricked-out black rifle and a few hundred dollars’ worth of those 3-D plastic ‘bleeding’ zombie targets (for the record, single-use products such as those are inherently Evil). I just saw a program on the gun channel that showed how to make a cheap, easy, and effective human-sized target with a couple of cardboard boxes, some duct tape, and an old t-shirt. It was more realistic (the shirt means you can’t always immediately see where your shots are hitting), and more importantly, reusable! What’s wrong with that?

Never content with what he has, Bob wants to up the ante on his bug-out plan (you’d think with that ten-annual-salaries’ worth of food hoarded, he’d focus more on home security and bugging-in).
He says, “Nobody’s getting out in a car or truck, so you’ve gotta take it to a new level!” Ooh, now I’m intrigued. Is he going to redeem himself after the motorcycles, take it to a new level of sustainability, and show off a family set of matching all-terrain bicycles?
Nope, he buys a helicopter. Pricetag: $500,000.

So yeah. The experts tell him to think renewably and raise some chicken or rabbits. Bob says that the freeze-dried stuff he can purchase is good enough. The experts also tell him to think about his saltwater pool, and what he will do if his desalination equipment fails.  In which case, it’s ridiculously easy to make a simple solar still.

He gets 61 points (including only 11 out of 20 points for food? I don’t know how), for nine months’ survival time. Bob doesn’t believe it, and says that doesn’t factor in “business activities, barter, and his ability to live a longer time.”; I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean.