Over the past two years or so, TV reality shows have been featuring popular depictions of worldwide disasters, and those preparing for that possibility. As a result, far more people are taking the concept of a doomsday scenario seriously. This fact has not escaped the attention of the media – and that's not just the tabloids.
The New York Times wrote about this soon after the National Geographic Channel introduced the first of these shows — called "Doomsday Preppers"— in February 2012. The show was about people stockpiling, arming and otherwise preparing for some kind of apocalypse.
This was followed up a month later by the Discovery Channel with its own take on the situation, named "Doomsday Bunkers." Their angle focused on a company called Deep Earth Bunker, which builds underground getaways for the types of people seen in "Doomsday Preppers." While it's true that the NYT continues its reviews on a slightly less positive and even cynical note, it does not deny that programs like this cause people to pause and consider whether the possibility of a future worldwide disaster is actually a probability.
Indeed, the interest generated by "Doomsday Preppers" encouraged National Geographic to launch a spinoff show called "Doomsday Castle," which followed the activities of one family whose father set about building an enormous castle to protect his family against what he perceived to be a real and viable threat. He wants them all to know as much about sustainable survival skills as he does. The popularity of these shows, plus fictional programs and movies where a doomsday scenario occurs, show how an increasing number of people believe that such a thing could really happen.
According to a survey conducted for National Geographic Channel, nine out of ten Americans expect a world disaster to occur in the next quarter century – but 56 percent say they aren't prepared. The percentage of respondents in a survey of 1,040 adults who predicted catastrophes was astonishing:
- Significant hurricane: 58 percent
- Major earthquake: 53 percent
- Terrorist attack: 51 percent
- Financial collapse: 49 percent
- Widespread blackout: 33 percent
- Pandemic: 25 percent
- Nuclear fallout: 13 percent
For those who are willing to take a practical approach to dealing with disaster, help is at hand. A company, Food4Patriots, has created a long-term food survival solution. This consists of pre-packaged kits of high-quality survival food – rated to last for 25 years – packed in secure, lightweight, waterproof storage totes. Food4Patriots learned just how serious some people are about being prepared after launching their 72-hour, four-week and three-month emergency food kits last summer.
Since that time, the company has sold more than 13 million meals to people who want to be ready when the inevitable crisis strikes. Allen Baler, partner at Reboot Marketing, the umbrella company for Food4Patriots, said "We knew there was a market for emergency food, but even we've been surprised at the overwhelming response we've had to our emergency food offers. It just shows how seriously people are now taking the need to be prepared for any contingency."
The food in Food4Patriots emergency kits can be prepared in less than 20 minutes and requires nothing more than boiling water. Patriot Headquarters publishes articles, videos and news to help people to become more self-reliant.
Allen Baler points out, "Mainstream and popular culture have forever affected the way Americans purchase goods and services. The current level of potential disaster awareness is largely due to the popularity of these reality shows. Americans want to be prepared for natural disasters and there's no reason to not be prepared for something like that."