My Latest Netflix Addiction Is The End Of The World

Last week I was idly flicking through Netflix following a frantic Destiny session. I’ve reach the stage of knowing pretty much everything Netflix has to offer but was after something light, perhaps comedic. The last time I fancied an airy, carefree hour or so, I ended up going with Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ which is a perfect example of how I defy myself.

I plumped with ‘Doomsday Preppers’. Probably not the cheeriest subject but I was delighted to find a series on something that has fascinated me for a while now. It began airing in 2011 (so I’m a bit late to the party). Each episode follows three people who are prepping for a major disaster. To a lot of people they’re ‘crazy’ and I tend to agree every so often. One mother looms over her seven year old daughter each night before bed and grimly informs her “there WILL be a terrible disaster soon and she MUST be prepared”. The child stares back with large, horrified eyes and her mouth agape. There’s a balance between preparing a kid or educating them, and straight-out traumatising them for life. In my opinion, this parent is crossing that line. Some of the shows subjects are passionate and prepping is like a hobby to them, others are far more obsessed but perhaps they’ll end up having the last laugh one day.

The reason the program is so fascinating to me is because, I guess I’m a prepper too. A half-hearted one admittedly. Remember back in 2012 when we all joked about the Mayan calendar? That is what triggered it. I didn’t believe the world was going to end but, as we edged closer to December, it made me think. We all know humanity will be decimated once the zombie apocalypse begins but what about other less likely scenarios – A modern day plague? Our oil supply being cut off? An attack on the banking system? A devastating storm or flood or we’re buried in snow for weeks? I am a lone parent with two daughters to look after. It struck what may be a maternal, protective urge and I thought to myself, ‘I need to be prepared for shit to hit the fan’. Their father would try his hardest to get to us, and is a fellow prepper (crazy attracts crazy?), but he lives a couple of counties away so I can’t rely on anyone to help us, we’re sitting ducks. I could go out to brave the hoards and possible violence as supermarkets are looted or stripped bare but what if something happened to me while out? Perhaps these thoughts make me one of the ‘mad’ ones but I’m unashamed of my cautious preparation.

Being on a low income and living in a flat, I don’t have the time or space for an amazing, radiation-resistant underground bunker or years worth of food squirreled away. What I can do is start building up a little, hidden stash of food and water, so that’s what I began doing. I’m yet to have forked out for a camping stove so, for if the power ever goes out, I’ve focused for now on tinned food and protein bars that we can eat cold. I have a box with other emergency essentials – candles, matches, torch, toilet rolls, sanitary products, a first aid kit, face masks, alcohol hand gel etc. My goal is to have enough so that we could hole up for up to three months without having to venture outside.

In certain events, we may need to evacuate quickly. For this, I can make ‘bug out bags’, a rucksack for each of us with enough to keep us going for 72 hours. My children know what I’m up to but I don’t panic them. My eldest relished drawing up a table of the food we have and how long we could survive on it. They don’t live thinking their lives are in danger 24/7 and I keep any rare talk about it on the ‘joke-y’ side or focus on how we’ll be fine if there’s a long, bad Winter.

You may well be reading this thinking I’ve lost the plot. However, one day in the far future as you’re drinking radiated water out of a toilet or a zombie is chowing down on your arm, you’ll remember this blog and think, ‘Damn. Kat is cosy and warm, eating a tin of rice pudding right now’.

The probability of apocalypse soon cannot be realistically estimated, but it is surely too high for any sane person to contemplate with equanimity.” – Noam Chomsky

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