The Doomsday Preppers premiere episode for Season 4 aired on July 24. The new season appears to follow a more every man [or woman] approach to prepping. NatGeo says the preparedness series will feature a “Back to Basics” theme. Many preppers have a love/hate relationship with the show. If the tweet chat hosted by Survivor Jane during the first episode is any indication, this season preppers may lean towards a love/sometimes dislike type of feeling towards the show.
“For every person there is a moment when they realize that everything they hold dear can disappear,” the voiceover introduction at the beginning of the Doomsday Preppers season premiere says. While some viewers deem the disaster scenarios highlighted on the prepper reality as far-fetched, that might not really be the case.
Season 4 Doomsday Preppers will also dig more deeply into the shoe-string art of prepping, according to NatGeo representatives. Viewers should not expect to see elaborate bunkers, high-cost builds, and expensive security systems this season. NatGeo invited Survival Life to screen the Doomsday Preppers premiere episode and review the Season 4 opener and the new focus of the series.
Prepper and Shooter Magazine publisher Vince DeNiro shared his thoughts about the NatGeo reality series with Survival Life:
“At the end of each segment of Doomsday Preppers some statistics and facts are offered related to the specific disaster the featured preppers are concerned about. If someone said they were prepping for a super storm that would cause massive flooding and destroy billions of dollars-worth of real estate, disrupt all public services, and causes thousands of deaths, they might be considered nuts and living on the fringes of society – until Hurricane Katrina that is. An American concerned about and preparing for a terrorist attack on American soil would also likely have been ruled a nut case prior to 9/11. Most preppers approach self-reliance and preparedness from an educational mindset and view their activities as another form of insurance. We all have car and home insurance right?”
The “To Fail Is to Die” first episode of Doomsday Preppers Season 4 features Jimi Falcon. Jimi is prepping for a potential World War III.
NatGeo described Jimi Falcon this way:
“Because of dwindling resources and failing economies, Jimi believes a major world power will invade and occupy the United States. Venture out to the secluded stretch of land high in the Rocky Mountains where Jimi moved 25 years ago to begin stockpiling food, water and other resources. After learning about a family that nearly froze to death because of their lack of preparedness, Jimi built his home to withstand the extreme climate of Montana, where temperatures can get as low as negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, meet Cindy Stewart — she and her family began prepping for a foreign nuclear attack on the U.S. following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Cindy and her husband, Randy, sold their home in an Atlanta suburb and moved 100 miles away to an isolated community in rural Georgia, where they now run a taxidermy business. But these aren’t typical stuffed animals. See how the Stewarts use their taxidermy skills to create camouflaged improvised explosive devices to protect their property. Lastly, meet retired soldier Rod Godfrey and get a close-up look inside the military-style command and control center he built in his home to protect himself and his loved ones from apocalyptic superstorms. He believes that communication is the key to survival and shows off his 20-plus different radios and communications support equipment.”
Jimi moved to a location where he can maximize natural resources in order to survive. Falcon pans for gold on his water-rich property. He does not think the dollar will hold any value after the major disaster he fears. Jimi plans to use gold to barter for goods he cannot create or harvest himself. During the first episode of the new season of Doomsday Preppers, Jimi finds sizeable gold nuggets while panning in a creek on his land. He has also stockpiled a years’ supply of food as additional backup. “People get a little weird when the food runs out. Especially the mommas trying to feed children – they’re the dangerous ones,” Jimi says during the episode. Falcon has even trained his cats to hunt in order to bolster his food supply.
Cindy Stewart, who appears in the segment of the Doomsday Preppers premiere, is perhaps my favorite show participant to date. Although all of the folks who appeared on the show which I have interviewed have possessed substantial skills and likeable personalities, Cindy’s determination and drive to learn and perfect new skills and to train her children to become more self-reliant is something many other mothers across the country will relate to on a significant and emotional level.
Stewart and her family relocated to rural Georgia from Atlanta after the September 11 terror attacks. Stewart was deeply impacted by the horrific tragedy and felt compelled to change her lifestyle in order to better protect her loved ones. The at-home career she devises and the intriguing way the family incorporates taxidermy animals into their preps was extremely clever – and could likely start a trend in the prepper community. Any preppers searching for a way to make a living without leaving their own property and garner necessary survival skills while “on the clock,” might want to take notes when Cindy and her family are on the screen. She and her family use the “stuffed animals” as part of their self-defense plan. They are placed around the extended perimeter of the home and used as exploding targets to deter others from entering the area. While the squirrel did not pack much of a punch, the raccoon would definitely harm or halt anyone attempting to sneak onto the property.
Two of the scores in the first episode are likely new highs for preppers featured in the series. Scott Hunt of Practical Preppers is an extreme retreat consultant, and has lived a self-reliant lifestyle for many years. The debate of the scoring process and some shocked viewer faces when the figures were read during past seasons likely has less to do with Scott’s evaluation process than it does with access to the preppers featured. This season, Hunt has garnered more interaction with the preppers, which appears to offer a more thorough take on the extent of both the preps and the skills of those on the reality series.
A media release from Doomsday Preppers offers this insight into the new season of the popular prepping reality show:
“This is just good ol’ prepping. Take a closer look into who the preppers are, why they prep and how their prepping impacts those close to them and their communities. Every prepper has their own story and reasons for prepping. They come from all walks of life but share one common goal: doomsday survival. When Jack Houston was 14, his father, an avid outdoorsman and fan of Doomsday Preppers, died of a heart attack. Wanting to follow in his footsteps, Jack picked up when his father left off. The teen now trains his peers in wilderness survival. Rick Austin and Survivor Jane, left corporate jobs to prep full time. Now they both live on an Appalachian mountaintop, where they’ve developed a camouflaged gardening system to sustain them. Urban preppers are a rare breed. Jim Lebus is one of them. He is a scientific analyst living in Los Angeles, prepping for complete anarchy following a natural disaster or nuclear strike. Growing up on the Corriganville Movie Ranch, he developed an “every man for himself” mentality and is prepared to fend for himself should disaster strike.”
Survivor Jane also chatted with Survival Life about the Doomsday Preppers premiere. Before becoming focused on self-reliance, Jane was just an ordinary suburban woman going about her day oblivious to the dangers lurking around the corner and how such events could impact her life. In just a few short years, Survivor Jane has become a renowned preparedness expert and recently completed her first book on female-related survival and morale booster topics. Jane and Rick Austin work in conjunction with NatGeo to further educate viewers about preparedness builds highlighted on the series.
Survivor Jane had this to say about Doomsday Preppers:
“It looks like the new season of Doomsday Preppers is trying to get ‘Back to Basics’ – the theme to Season 4. However, what a lot of us seem to forget as we watch, is that this is a reality show not a docudrama. Reality shows requires a bit of quirkiness, to coin a phrase used to describe me recently. This is what drives the show. If you can look beyond the sensationalism you see people, much like you and I who have their focus in the right direction. Preppers are not like pantyhose … one size does not fit all. We all have our own unique and individual way of prepping. Quirks and all.
The second Doomsday Preppers episode of Season 4 is entitled, “Be the Prep.” In this episode viewers will meet three Americans preparing for societal or economic collapse.
A synopsis of the second episode of the prepper reality show reads:
“After losing his job three years ago, Nick Klein began prepping for an economic collapse. Nick has his own warren of rabbits that he believes will give him all the food, fuel and fertilizer he needs to survive. He’s developing a system to grow vegetables from the waste of his rabbits and he’s built a rabbit-powered flame thrower to protect himself. Patrick Troy began prepping for societal collapse caused by a catastrophic event after the birth of his only child. Journey to rural Virginia, where he moved with his wife and son to get away from the city and keep his family safe. To make his house less susceptible to rioting intruders, Patrick is building a multi-tiered perimeter defense system, all controlled by what he calls ‘the box.’ Retired Navy veteran Keith Ford is prepping for a second civil war that he believes will destroy American society. Visit the remote area of Missouri he moved to five years ago — 17 miles from the nearest town. Check out the rain collection system he developed to provide a steady supply of water, and the portable power system that gives him electricity anywhere. But his new wife, Amanda, isn’t quite ready to give up her city lifestyle.”
While watching the screener for the second episode I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I had previously interviewed two of the preppers showcased. Both were great selections for the show and have a plethora of survival skills and a lot of educational tips to share with the viewers.
“Shepherds and Wolves” the third episode of the new season of Doomsday Preppers features Roger Dougan. After losing his home in a fire sever years ago he has become entirely self-sufficient through prepping so that he never again feels helpless or reliant upon the power grid. Roger, like a growing number of Americans, feels that a power grid failure due to a terrorist attack, is imminent. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said a cyber attack on the electrical grid was a matter of “when” not “if.” A recently released government report about the health of the power grid also appears to validate Dougan’s concerns. The United States power grid fails more often than the systems in any other developed country. The American Society of Civil Engineers graded the grid with a “D+” in 2013.
NatGeo shared this insight into the third episode of Season 4 of Doomsday Preppers:
“Roger is stockpiling enough food to feed his extended family of more than 20 people and keeps a storage tank full of water. Curtis began prepping after the Y2K scare. Before the 2000 New Year, he bought a generator and stocked up on some food and water, but it occurred to him that if something serious did happen, they weren’t nearly as prepared as they should be — so he became a prepper. He believes the Earth will soon reach its carrying capacity, causing civil unrest. Curtis is creating a self-sustained ecosystem on his 35-acre farm in Missouri to feed his extended family of nearly 60. Karissa Baca lost her job during the 2008 financial crisis, causing her to realize how fragile the economy is. She and her husband moved out of the city to begin prepping for a second Great Depression. Every inch of their small home is used for prepping. They’ve been stockpiling their dog’s and goat’s hair in case they need to make their own blankets or clothing.”
What would you like to see this season on Doomsday Preppers?