Who are the doomsday Preppers? US community prepares for ‘end of the world’ by stockpiling food

What will you do when you realise that the world is coming to an end, be it due to natural causes or man-made? While most of us are busy living our lives and facing day-to-day challenges, there are those are who are certain that “doomsday” will arrive sooner or later and have been preparing themselves quietly for it.

As part of a BBC One show, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes met people also known as the “Preppers” based in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, US. The ongoing unrest in the world, climate change and above all, the growing fear of terrorism, have all convinced the community that the end of the world is near and they have started stockpiling food, arms and ammunition.

“When I heard George Bush senior give a speech and use the words New World Order I got up out of my chair and said ‘Oh, my God’. From that moment on I became a Prepper and always had a backpack in my bag prepared for who knows what. I don’t know,” Heidi, a sales representative, told Miriam about her preparedness which she began in 1987.

“I have buckets of things buried in places for emergencies. I have MRE – meals ready to eat – which come from the military,” she added while explaining she has buried dry fruits and other ready-to-eat foods in different secret places that will prevent her and her family from starving to death.

She also flaunts her preparedness to get safe food and drinking water during an apocalypse. “This is a head net for bugs which doubles as a net for catching little fish. If something can only be used for one thing then it is taking up space. The most important thing is a water filter as I remember in Katrina there was plenty of water but it was not drinkable,” she said.

She said like her many others prefer to stay prepared and one of the most popular survival tools among the Preppers is a knife, which according to her, is ideal for “protection or hunting”. “They are for bush-crafting and we feel like any knife you take out you should be able to use to cut down a tree and skin a rabbit. You carry a knife on your belt. We sell the kind of sling that David used to kill Goliath,” she told Miriam.

The second episode of the docu-series Miriam’s Big American Adventure will air on Wednesday, 10 January on BBC One.


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