Awaiting Armageddon, Part 4: Preppers

Megan Lynch (@MLynchOnAir)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Shortly after January’s presidential inauguration, the “Doomsday Clock” moved closer to midnight — a symbolic measurement of how close the world is to destroying itself.

KMOX’s Megan Lynch tells us, it’s not just a fringe element that’s gone underground in preparation for the fall of civilization.

Average Americans are becoming self-reliant in case something hits the fan.

They’re Awaiting Armageddon.

Mark stands in a basement storage nook filled floor to ceiling with backpacks, knives and other equipment.

“I’m just a common sense guy trying to hedge against the future.”

In another part of the basement, he points to an interlocking stack of blue containers for water. Next to that, a hutch. “We have easily the capacity to store three months of food here.” And in another corner, a gun safe.

“I started from a dark place, with a very negative, militant mindset.”

Mark says his fears were sparked by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Seeing so many people displaced with literally nothing to work off of other than government assistance, that really was an eye-opener.”

He started preparing out of anxiety.

“I ran out and bought an AR-15 and ran a thousand rounds through it.”

Over time, he’s focused less on hardware. Mark hopes he could barter his food stores, before he’d have to resort to violence.

“Our society has failed on so many more levels if you ever have to employ that against another human being,” he says.

Mark has spent the last year working on “bug-out bags” for he and his wife, and training in survival techniques.

“Everybody thinks they’re going to go tie that knife to a stick and go spear a wild deer, or a pig, and that’s just not the way it works,” he says. “It’s way easier to go break that rotten log in half and go find a handful of larvae.”

Mark received some of his survival training from Bo Brown, who teaches primitive skills and explains some of his focus: Shelter building, friction fire, making string and rope from plant fiber, making stone tools.

Brown tells KMOX the first time his Ozarks camp saw a surge in interest was right before Y2K.

Over the past five years, he’s seen another big influx of clients.

Most people want commonsense instruction on things like purifying water and foraging for food. He teaches trapping over hunting.

But Brown says others are seeking paramilitary training.

“I keep running into these guys that tell me about their, pretty much their arsenal … their bunker they’re building. And they’re so invested in this, that they really want it to happen. They would really like to push it to go there because they’re really sure they’re going to be on top whenever civilization breaks down.”

Other people want to go off-grid.

Brown chuckles as he remembers one couple who wanted maps of water sources and caves so they could hide from the government.

“Did you ever look at those maps? It says right there – USGS. Who do you think made those maps?”

“You’ve got paranoid preparation and you’ve got practical preparation,” says Matt Canovi of Canovi and Associates.

As our series concludes, some people are prepping for a few days, as others are Awaiting Armageddon.

Click here for a link to Canovi and Associates

Click here for a link to First Earth

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