When the doomsday dreads come, there are many people who are getting themselves prepared for an emergency. These people are stockpiling food, water and weapons. These people are called preppers. Preppers have become a new trend in American society. The number of prepper communities has increased over the past decade, but the question is what will the next crisis bring? This documentary series follows the lives of preppers to explore how they prepare.
As doomsday preppers, we’re paying for the supplies we buy. This means that the industries that benefit from our panic and anxiety about the future are also benefiting. There are many different supplies that can run into thousands of dollars, but we cannot flag them as prepper supplies. Nevertheless, these items are essential for our survival. So, what should we do? What doomsday preppers need?
The word “prepper” conjures up images of a militant conspiracy theorist, but the majority of today’s preppers are actually normal people. The common denominator is distrust of big government and a need to be independent. Preppers congregate in private Facebook groups and forums to discuss topics like homemade lamp oil, how long canned sardines last, and what to do if you must bug out. Many even go so far as to refer to the acronym “TEOTWAWKI” and read blogs such as Doom And Bloom.
In general, doomsday preppers show high levels of social learning and are more likely to see an emergency as a doomsday scenario than females. Men also showed higher levels of anxiety and IU than women and were more likely to interpret a pandemic as a doomsday scenario. These findings suggest that the psychological factors associated with prepping may be mediated by gender, personality, and the perception of danger.
As doomsday preppers have evolved, so has the nature of the crisis. While early doomsday preppers built bunkers to shelter from a specific threat, contemporary preppers are building for a much wider range of scenarios. The rise of globalisation, hyperbolic partisan media, and resource depletion have all contributed to this sense of fragility. It is the latter that should cause the greatest concern.