by AMY SUAREZ on JUNE 1, 2012 - 9 Comments in self-sufficiency
“I am not going to be the father who, when something happens, has to hear his kids say, ‘Dad, I’m hungry.'”Ralston says. “My family comes first. I am going to do everything I can to keep them safe.”
Tucked inside his “bug-out vehicle” – what a survivalist would call the trailer parked in his garage, ready to go within minutes – is almost a year’s worth of food, from canned beef and turkey to powdered milk and hundreds of dehydrated meals.
There are firearms too,including handguns and a laser-sighted rifle. Because if there is one thing Ralston is sure about, people are going to get very angry very quickly when a solar storm knocks out the power grid. Or the economy collapses.
Ralston has now spent more than a decade, and tens of thousands of dollars, preparing for the worst, and he’s still not ready – at least not as ready as he thinks he should be.
That year’s supply of food he’s put away? That needs to be doubled.
But when society collapses, Ralston won’t be around if anyone needs to borrow a cup of sugar. There is still much to be done on the bunker. Then he needs to bury it, after figuring out how deep it must be to resist the effects of an – while suggesting that we might need more savings if that turns out to be wrong.
The TV show “Doomsday Preppers” featured Ralston, following along as he browsed for just the right metal shipping container to serve as his future bunker. They also caught the scene minutes later, when Ralston and his two adolescent sons are in the remote desert, snapping off rifle rounds in tactical training. Ralston’s most painful and embarrassing moment on the show came with a misfire that ripped a chunk out of his thumb.
He has since fully recovered, with most of his digit intact.
Each night Ralston spends time with books or online trying to learn at least one new thing that will help him survive. Recently he plunked down $3, 200 for a 40-foot storage container, which is now being assembled. When it is finished, it will be reinforced by Ralston and the five other members of his prepper group (a team that includes a doctor and mechanic, because Ralston wants to hunker down with people who have skills he lacks).
Lisa Bedford considers herself a turtle in the disaster-prepping race. Slowly, steadily, the Peoria mom has amassed the food, water and equipment necessary to deal with a disaster – not the “asteroid strikes Earth” kind, necessarily, but the sort that might force the family to live on their own for weeks and months.
Bedford is a calmer survivalist, cringing when she hears of people talking about super volcanoes or nuclear attacks or melting polar ice caps and the global flooding that will result.
“It (doomsday prepping) seems to hinge on fear-mongering,” Bedford says. “At the core, I believe it’s about common sense and an awareness of what’s going on worldwide, not just in America.” Prepping is not limited to natural disasters, Bedford said. It’s also about paying down debt and putting away money in case of long-term unemployment. Certainly survival plays a part, and the author of “Survival Mom:How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios” has a gun and knows how to use it.
Cody Lundin of Prescott is someone who knows well the cyclic trends of prepping.
When Lundin began preaching the value of self-reliance almost 30 years ago. He turned his beliefs into a business in 1991 as the Aboriginal Living Skills School. Since then, he’s taught thousands of people how to endure the roughest conditions.
But Lundin is having a difficult time bearing all the doomsday-prepper chatter. He shakes his head at the extremism espoused by those who want to store mountains of food and an arsenal of guns in a remote bunker.
“If your survival intentions are spurred by a knee-jerk reaction to fear, you’re screwed,” Lundin said. “Your lifestyle will be s—unless you learn to live in harmony with others.” Lundin believes in self-reliance.
But pushing “survival at all costs” over a rule we all learned as kids – “share with others” – sends the wrong message, he says. electromagnetic pulse.
Yet the one thing Ralston most hopes for is that his years of planning, and all the money he’s spent, will have been unnecessary.
“I want to enjoy life,” Ralston says. “I want to see my kids go to college. I want to see more of the world. I never want to see doomsday come.
“But if it does, I am going to be ready.”.