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November 4, 2013

New Yorkers Prepare for The Next “Doomsday” Storm


After superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast last year, cutting off power and transportation for millions of residents, much is being done to prepare for the next storm. However, some people have taken emergency preparedness to the next level, learning outdoor survival skills in case of disaster.

“Preppers,” as they call themselves, were first made popular in National Geographic Channel hit show Doomsday Preppers, which profiled families and individuals around the country going to extreme lengths to prepare themselves against threats as diverse as global economic chaos and nuclear war. Their motivations range from fear of legitimate threats to the wildly paranoid.

However, while most preppers live outside high-density areas like cities in order to reduce potential threats, the NewsHour found a group of New York preppers who were interested in learning how to live in the wilderness in case the next storm made them flee the city. They were practicing “bugging out”, or quickly getting out of town fully prepared for anything to come, by spending a weekend in the Catskill Mountains in northern New York.

“I was there when Sandy hit. So I have seen people in lines — I have it on video, lining up down the block, Pampers, milk. And it’s like, hey, are you going to stand there, or you are going to do something?” said prepper Joe Suba.

But while these preppers may seem like they are in it for themselves, they emphasize community, not every man for himself, as the key to surviving doomsday.

Warm up questions
  1. What does it mean to ‘bug out’?
  2. What are “preppers”?
  3. Under what circumstances might someone ‘bug out’?
Discussion questions
  1. What are the risks and benefits to being a “prepper” in a crisis situation?
  2. Does your school have plans in place if an emergency should take place? Why is this important?
  3. Why is it important to stay with a group in the case of a crisis?
  4. Do you think the people in this video are being paranoid or are smart? Defend and explain your opinion.
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