Doomsday Preppers: What Do They Believe In?

Doomsday preppers are individuals who believe that an apocalyptic scenario or social collapse is imminent and therefore spend a good part of their time preparing for it.

Doomsday Preppers: What Do They Believe In?

Doomsday preppers are individuals who believe that an apocalyptic scenario or social collapse is imminent and therefore spend a good part of their time preparing to survive. They could store supplies and ammunition, devise plans and infrastructures to defend themselves against others. The concept of apocalypse appears in a variety of contexts throughout history and popular culture. Doomsday preparers are worried about anticipating hypothetical scenarios that could bring about the end of civilization.

The anticipated causes of fatality differ markedly from person to person. These survivors or “preparers” often secure places of refuge and stock up on food, water, medicine, fuel, and sometimes weapons. Many preparers are part of an online survivor community. Despite the differences that may exist among preparers because of their personal visions of the apocalypse, they ultimately share the belief that there will be civil unrest and breach of law and order.

A doomsday preparer is a person who is convinced that an emergency, or catastrophic event, is imminent, probably in the course of their lives. In anticipation of this collapse of normality, due to the disintegration of political, social or natural structures and ecosystems, they prepare to sustain themselves during the crisis. This is usually achieved through the construction of bunkers, the storage of food, water, medicines and other supplies and, in some cases, also ammunition. They subscribe to the idea of survival and the glorification of self-reliance.

Some preparers also look to other survivors to network with them in search of comfort, safety and strength in numbers. Of course, there is widespread hope that collective action will help them to establish together a new world order when the current collapse. Yes, some trainers are individualistic to the point of being antisocial. Survivors of the right wing, in particular, are often motivated by paranoid, apocalyptic, and racist or conspiratorial beliefs.

A massive apocalyptic industry satisfies its fantasies with expensive survival supplies of dubious utility. So Michael Mills from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom decided to correct this gap in our knowledge. Mills went on an American road trip, spending time talking (and massacring animals with) 39 preparers in 18 different US states. Rather than rampant paranoia, Mills suggests, preparers are motivated by continued media coverage of natural disasters as well as by a government that encourages them to prepare for the worst.

In general, research on preparing for the end of the world is limited and more research is needed to understand the surprising increase in purchasing and panic reserves during the COVID-19 pandemic. But our knowledge of the inspirations, aspirations and motivations of doomsday preparers remains minimal or limited by media stereotypes. The preparers are ready to purify water to drink, hunt and butcher to eat, and scare anyone who tries to get a piece of their post-apocalyptic happiness, possibly through gunfire. Based on a three-year ethnographic research project with preparers, this article traces the activity of a single bunker builder who has built a technically sophisticated private underground community.

It is unclear to what extent this applies to doomsday preparedness and there is a lack of research examining the relationships between OCD-like symptoms and preparedness. Ethnographic research on preparedness dispels some of the unflattering media portrayals of the global community of preparers and suggests that many of its practices could be normalized in the aftermath of the disaster. To find out more about doomsday preppers' beliefs and motivations, Foster's book (201) Hoarders, Doomsday Preppers and the Culture of the Apocalypse was based on watching the Doomsday Preppers' reality TV show on National Geographic Channel. To the extent that one exists, the public image of a preparer is that of someone who is preparing for the collapse of society at which point money and electricity grids along with all things that depend on them will no longer be available.

Due to the unprecedented nature of such a pandemic in recent history there were no existing measures designed to assess end-of-the-world preparedness hoarding and storage behaviors as well as other forms of coping in context with a global health crisis. The coach from Texas Mr Wayne based his fears on a Chinese financial takeover and has prepared many ways to survive such events. Huddleston conducted ethnographic research with a small group of social-minded preparers in Missouri called “Zombie Squad”. It is important to note that regardless how popular these prep sites are they will probably also not produce a full cross-section of the preparer community nor will they select individuals based on their willingness to speak to a researcher.

In preparatory ideology faith in adaptation has supplanted hope for mitigation making contemporary bunkers more speculative than reactionary and more temporary than spatial. Businesses serving people who want to be self-sufficient for food water and energy have increased their revenues by about 700 percent in last decade and prep products are now offered in places like Costco Kmart and Bed Bath & Beyond The bunkers being built by trainers may reflect atomization but they are not terminal architecture they are social prism through which dialectical hope can be understood with fear.

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