In practice, the process can be a bit tricky. Freeze-dried meals require that you have potable water lying around, which might not be the case in the event of a serious calamity (some Wise Company kits include water purifiers). The cooking instructions for the Wise products I tested call for using the entire four-serving bag at once, which means that you have to have a container on hand to store what you don’t eat, and a fridge to keep it from spoiling. Even at my office kitchen, the only way I could make it work was by pouring about a fourth of the packet in a mug, filling it with water, and putting another mug on top of it.

For Mike Mester, civil unrest is just around the corner and he aims to get everyone ready; Colorado computer programmer Preston White has collected over 11,200 types of seeds and plans for biosphere living in a Fukushima-irradiated future while friends Shane and others provide supportive help; Riley Cook spends his days working close to home and with the prepper society building underground structures.


I called a Silicon Valley sage, Stewart Brand, the author and entrepreneur whom Steve Jobs credited as an inspiration. In the sixties and seventies, Brand’s “Whole Earth Catalog” attracted a cult following, with its mixture of hippie and techie advice. (The motto: “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”) Brand told me that he explored survivalism in the seventies, but not for long. “Generally, I find the idea that ‘Oh, my God, the world’s all going to fall apart’ strange,” he said.

Why do our dystopian urges emerge at certain moments and not others? Doomsday—as a prophecy, a literary genre, and a business opportunity—is never static; it evolves with our anxieties. The earliest Puritan settlers saw in the awe-inspiring bounty of the American wilderness the prospect of both apocalypse and paradise. When, in May of 1780, sudden darkness settled on New England, farmers perceived it as a cataclysm heralding the return of Christ. (In fact, the darkness was caused by enormous wildfires in Ontario.) D. H. Lawrence diagnosed a specific strain of American dread. “Doom! Doom! Doom!” he wrote in 1923. “Something seems to whisper it in the very dark trees of America.”
“Next thing I see is, they hanged the colored boy, ’cause they caught him stealing. And they had established, I think, about 1,000 trees in the forest out in Mark Twain to hang people from if they catch them stealing or whatever. And I had a big dog—my dog died of bone cancer of all things two years ago. Buddy was half-Rottweiler, half-German shepherd. He was a dog, and he was with me in this. And I also have a police riot gun, a 12-gauge, that holds eight magnum shells. So I’m seeing all this stuff happening, and then I look around, and my dog’s gone. So I picked up my shotgun and went to look for my dog, and I found five men, and they were already skinning him to eat.”
Young’s observations rang true: Though the Wise Company meals would keep me alive in the event of an emergency, they were simply a lot more carbheavy, with a lot less animal protein and a lot fewer vegetables, than what I eat on a typical day (many of the Wise meals I bought substituted small globules of vegetable protein for actual meat). For the next two days, I supplemented my diet with freeze-dried vegetables, fruit, and yogurt I’d bought from another company, called Thrive Life, and felt the low-bloodsugar sensation dissipate. (Wise Company also sells individual ingredients, in addition to full meals, but I thought I’d diversify my sources.)

Most preppers don’t actually have bunkers; hardened shelters are expensive and complicated to build. The original silo of Hall’s complex was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to withstand a nuclear strike. The interior can support a total of seventy-five people. It has enough food and fuel for five years off the grid; by raising tilapia in fish tanks, and hydroponic vegetables under grow lamps, with renewable power, it could function indefinitely, Hall said. In a crisis, his SWAT-team-style trucks (“the Pit-Bull VX, armored up to fifty-calibre”) will pick up any owner within four hundred miles. Residents with private planes can land in Salina, about thirty miles away. In his view, the Army Corps did the hardest work by choosing the location. “They looked at height above sea level, the seismology of an area, how close it is to large population centers,” he said.

The stories of alcoholic beverages historically being safer to drink than unfermented ones are apocryphal at best; however, as any 17th-century sailor would tell you, the addition of some spirits to potable water that's been sitting around for too long will make it much more palatable. Liquor distillation was originally invented in part for medical purposes, and alcohol can be used as a solvent to dissolve medicinal herbs -- and also to knock out patients during good old-fashioned fallout-shelter surgery. High-proof alcohol can be used as an antiseptic, and it does a great job of cleaning wounds and preventing infection.
It’s bad enough being injured or lost in the wild but things really get bad when the weather closes in and you can’t get a fire started to stay warm and prepare food and hot drinks. That’s where Ultimate Survival Technologies’ Wetfire Tinder comes in. Developed specifically to help you get a fire going in the pouring rain if necessary it’s without a doubt essential survival gear.

Most preppers don’t actually have bunkers; hardened shelters are expensive and complicated to build. The original silo of Hall’s complex was built by the Army Corps of Engineers to withstand a nuclear strike. The interior can support a total of seventy-five people. It has enough food and fuel for five years off the grid; by raising tilapia in fish tanks, and hydroponic vegetables under grow lamps, with renewable power, it could function indefinitely, Hall said. In a crisis, his SWAT-team-style trucks (“the Pit-Bull VX, armored up to fifty-calibre”) will pick up any owner within four hundred miles. Residents with private planes can land in Salina, about thirty miles away. In his view, the Army Corps did the hardest work by choosing the location. “They looked at height above sea level, the seismology of an area, how close it is to large population centers,” he said.
Reverse imports: addhazard, aftgee, AICcmodavg, AIM, amt, bamlss, BayesCTDesign, baytrends, beanz, BeSS, BGPhazard, bhrcr, binequality, Biograph, BootValidation, BSGW, c060, cancerGI, carSurv, casebase, CaseBasedReasoning, CatPredi, censCov, CFC, cg, chngpt, CIEE, ciTools, clespr, cmprskQR, compareGroups, concreg, condSURV, controlTest, CoRpower, Counterfactual, coxphf, coxphMIC, coxrt, CP, CPsurv, CsChange, CutpointsOEHR, Cyclops, DDPGPSurv, DelayedEffect.Design, DPpackage, DStree, DTR, DWreg, dynsurv, EGRET, EL2Surv, ELYP, EMA, ePCR, Epi, epitab, epoc, etm, factorMerger, FHtest, finalfit, fmrs, fragilityindex, gamlss, gbm, ggquickeda, ggRandomForests, GJRM, glmBfp, gravity, greport, gyriq, hdnom, hds, hoa, hrIPW, ICcalib, idem, ilc, imsig, intercure, ipred, ipw, jomo, KMgene, kmi, landest, landpred, lava, lodGWAS, longROC, LTRCtrees, MachineShop, MAGNAMWAR, maxadjAUC, mboost, mccmeiv, Mediana, merlin, mets, mice, miCoPTCM, MIICD, mixPHM, mixtools, mlr, mlt, model4you, mombf, momentuHMM, moonBook, mpr, msaenet, msm, msmtools, mudens, muhaz, multistateutils, MXM, My.stepwise, nima, NNMIS, nparsurv, NPHazardRate, nsROC, numKM, obliqueRSF, OptimalTiming, orthoDr, pact, palasso, PAmeasures, party, partykit, pbatR, PDN, pec, permDep, personalized, Phase123, Plasmode, plsRcox, popEpi, powerSurvEpi, pre, prioritylasso, prodlim, pseval, PTE, pubh, Publish, PWEALL, quickReg, rankhazard, RcmdrPlugin.KMggplot2, rcure, regplot, ReIns, reportRx, reReg, rERR, riskRegression, RItools, rld, robustloggamma, ROlogit, rolr, rpsftm, rpst, rstanarm, Rsurrogate, RVFam, SCCS, scRNAtools, SEERaBomb, sensitivityPStrat, sglg, shrink, SIDES, simexaft, SimHaz, simPH, SIS, skpr, smcfcs, SMPracticals, spatsurv, spBayesSurv, spef, SSRMST, StatCharrms, stdReg, stpm, strataG, SubgrPlots, SUMMER, Sunclarco, Surrogate, SurrogateTest, surv2sampleComp, survAWKMT2, SurvCorr, SurvDisc, survidm, survivalAnalysis, survivALL, survminer, survRM2adapt, survsup, survutils, survxai, SvyNom, tab, TBSSurvival, TimeVTree, tram, TraMineRextras, TreatmentSelection, TSDT, TwoPhaseInd, TwoStepCLogit, uwIntroStats, valorate, VarReg, vennLasso, vpc, VRPM, WCE, weibulltools, WGCNA, WLreg, WRTDStidal, xpose4
Robert A. Johnson sees his peers’ talk of fleeing as the symptom of a deeper crisis. At fifty-nine, Johnson has tousled silver hair and a soft-spoken, avuncular composure. He earned degrees in electrical engineering and economics at M.I.T., got a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton, and worked on Capitol Hill, before entering finance. He became a managing director at the hedge fund Soros Fund Management. In 2009, after the onset of the financial crisis, he was named head of a think tank, the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Doug owns a rock hauling business in Tennessee and plans to bug-in with his family in his underground bunker. Doug, whose line of work has earned him the nickname "Rockman", also plans to use a hillside full of boulders as a defense to ward off potential threats. He is also stockpiling coins minted before the 1970s because of their higher silver content, which makes them useful for bartering. Jeff Flaningham is a single, Wisconsin native, who is looking for woman who will live with him in his decommissioned SM-65 Atlas missile silo located in rural central Kansas in the event of a catastrophic event. During the program, Jeff goes on dates with three women he has met through an online dating service. He then arranges a second date with one of them, Stephanie, to go visit his missile silo.
Reverse depends: AdjBQR, AER, AF, ahaz, AHR, AIM, anoint, APtools, attribrisk, Ball, BART, bayesDP, BayesMixSurv, bayesSurv, bhm, biostat3, BivarP, BMA, bshazard, carcass, cchs, cmprsk, coin, compound.Cox, cond, CoxBoost, coxed, coxinterval, coxme, CoxPhLb, coxphSGD, coxphw, CoxRidge, coxrobust, CPE, cr17, crossmatch, crrp, crrSC, csampling, ctqr, currentSurvival, distcomp, drgee, dynamichazard, dynfrail, DynNom, dynpred, eha, epiDisplay, epiR, FamEvent, fitdistrplus, flexPM, flexrsurv, flexsurv, flexsurvcure, frailtyEM, frailtyHL, frailtypack, frailtySurv, gamlss.cens, gamlss.nl, gcerisk, geecure, geneSignatureFinder, glmpath, globalboosttest, glrt, goftte, GORCure, greyzoneSurv, GSAgm, GSED, gte, gtx, HapEstXXR, HCmodelSets, Hmisc, iBST, ICBayes, icenReg, icensBKL, ICGOR, idmTPreg, IDPSurvival, imputeYn, InferenceSMR, InformativeCensoring, interval, invGauss, ipflasso, IPWsurvival, isoph, JM, JMbayes, joineR, joineRmeta, joineRML, joint.Cox, JointModel, JSM, kaps, kin.cohort, km.ci, kmconfband, lava.tobit, lcmm, LCox, linERR, LncMod, LogicReg, luca, MapGAM, marg, mexhaz, mfp, mhurdle, MiRKAT, missDeaths, mixor, mma, mmabig, mmc, MMMS, MPLikelihoodWB, MRH, mRMRe, MRsurv, MST, mstate, multcomp, multipleNCC, multistate, NADA, NestedCohort, nlreg, NPHMC, nricens, NSM3, optmatch, OrdFacReg, ordinalgmifs, OTRselect, OutlierDC, p3state.msm, packHV, paf, pamr, parfm, partDSA, pch, penalized, PenCoxFrail, peperr, permGPU, permGS, PHeval, PIGE, plac, plRasch, PRIMsrc, prognosticROC, PwrGSD, qrcm, qrcmNP, QualInt, RcmdrPlugin.coin, RcmdrPlugin.survival, relsurv, risksetROC, rms, RobustAFT, ROC632, ROCt, RPCLR, rprev, rstpm2, season, seawaveQ, selectiveInference, SemiCompRisks, seqDesign, seqMeta, SIMMS, simMSM, smcure, smoothHR, smoothSurv, SNPassoc, sp23design, speff2trial, SPREDA, sprinter, sptm, ssym, STAND, STAR, stepp, SubgrpID, superpc, surrosurvROC, survAccuracyMeasures, survAUC, survBootOutliers, survC1, survexp.fr, survey, Survgini, survIDINRI, survivalMPL, survivalsvm, survJamda, survMisc, SurvRegCensCov, survRM2, survSNP, SurvTrunc, tdROC, TH.data, threg, thregI, time2event, timereg, tnet, TransModel, uniah, uniCox, winRatioAnalysis, WPC, Zelig
×