Doomsday Prepper or Doomsday Fanatic? You Decide.


Is stocking 3 months worth of food smart or silly?

As the East Coast braces for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, many are frantically trying to prepare for floods, wind damage and power outages.

Frankenstorm (as they are calling it) will cause considerable destruction and the National Weather Service is predicting it as the worst storm this century.

The store shelves are empty of the essentials and if you haven’t picked up your D batteries, bread and milk you may be out of luck, unless you are among the 3 million Americans who are already preparing for the end of the world.

NBC’s Today Show broadcasted an unusual segment featuring a subset of Americans who are actively preparing for the end of the world. What does “actively preparing” consist of? For one Phoenix family featured in the segment, being ready for end times includes stocking enough food for a year to feed their family of five in case of a nuclear or biomedical attack, knowing they can turn their swimming pool into a fish pond as a food source and being rest assured that fresh milk would be provided from their backyard goat.

Sound crazy to you? According to the report, more than three million people are associated with the American Preppers Network.

“I’m sure people think I’m crazy,” one father said in the segment. “Everybody is entitled. I think they’re crazy for not being prepared.”

This story reminds me of the hoarding and fear associated with the new millennium that turned out to be no scarier than the calendar switching from 2011 to 2012. While I’m inclined to raise an eyebrow at these extreme actions, it appears that millions of people feel otherwise.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that all households stock a three-day supply of food and water, along with an emergency kit, in their home at all times—a far cry from the excessive measures highlighted by the Today Show.

As Catholics, we know that no matter how much we prepare, no one but God knows when our time on Earth will end:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:36-37)

More than 3 million Americans may be stock-piling food and other supplies for the end of the world, but the faithful can rest in peace that all of our needs will always be met. During this Year of Faith, let us prepare our hearts for a deepened relationship with God. He promises safety, comfort and peace for all who believe—no bunker needed.

CatholicMatchers, what do you think of these “doomsday preppers?” Are they being responsible or just taking emergency preparation too far?



  1. Peter-159452 October 31, 2012 Reply

    Being prepared is the Boy Scout motto, and it is a good one simply because you never know what is going to happen. In California when I lived there the phone company had a list of things people should consider in case of a natural disaster happening. Just basic things to get by on until relief services can be put into place. All good information.
    Can some get carried away with things? Sure, I know some who have, but I also know those that are prepared for those times when a natural or man-made disaster could happen with a 30+ day supply of basic items. No matter where you live, you should always have a backup supply that will allow you to get by until normal conditions can be re-established.
    When people were afraid of what might happen with Y2K ( turn of the century in 2000), a priest I knew at the time got very upset with those that were unnecessarily causing worry and concern, and he said that if you were not prepared spiritually, being close to God and having a strong faith in God, that all the material preparations would not do you any good because you would not be prepared to deal with the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of dealing with a disaster. So, have some things stored up but be in union with God and strengthen your faith, because that is what will get you by, zombies or no zombies.

  2. Helen-881220 October 31, 2012 Reply

    i was prepared for sandy, and we were lucky,we lost electricity for about 2 hours. i had just looked for my emergency supplies, matches ,batteries,and candles before the lights went out. i had just finished cooking dinner (electric
    stove) for the evening and the next day. . because of the economy, i have stored up canned goods,and peanut butter,water and dried milk.. one never knows until it happens that the Good Lord is taking us Home. so i am not a prepper, just a realist.

  3. Corinna-623958 October 31, 2012 Reply

    I think those “preppers” are really smart. Yeah we can pray and just ask God to take care of us but keep in mind that he gave us brains and bodies to be able to take care of ourselves too. It would be nice to be able to not have to prepare, just pray, and trust that your family will be fed tomorrow but things just don’t work that way. That family may only have a 1 year supply of food but a year into the “end of the world” is plenty of time to figure out how to survive in the new environment. And if it’s not enough then stock up on more food. Should we all pray for safety? Yes! Should we sit back and do nothing for ourselves just because we prayed? No!

  4. Chris-17332 October 30, 2012 Reply


    I think it’s very reasonable and responsible to prepare for events such as Hurricane Sandy. Living in Pittsburgh, we had our own small ways of preparing, especially if you don’t know if your electricity is going to be out, which means no cooking or heat! I made simple plans and am fortunate enough to have a sister and brother-in-law down the street who invited me to come over to enjoy their gas fireplace if I had no heat.

    As far as the end of the world, I feel that it’s not really in my control–it’s not for us to know, as Scripture says. My preparation is to keep myself fit spiritually, to live a life of loving in whatever way I can, and be grateful for every day we have to live well. I’m not going to make any practical preparations such as storing food, because we don’t know when this will happen–God will take care of that. There have always been predictions, and yet it could be centuries away.

    Live the best way you can spiritually, socially, physically and emotionally. Each day we live well, we are well–let God take care of the rest.


  5. Pat-5351 October 30, 2012 Reply

    God helps those who help themselves. I think if you have the means and the space, some level of “prepping” is a very good idea. Hurricane Katrina taught us we are 5 meals away from complete breakdown of our society and total anarchy. So yeah, better to have some stuff stocked up. It’s only prudent.

  6. David-774559 October 29, 2012 Reply

    Being prepared for emergencies, no matter what type is not only a good idea, but essential. You can always sit around with the mind set that, “What ever happens, Happens” and either die, or wait for someone to come help you, or you can learn to be self sufficient and not only take care of yourself, but your family, friends and neighbors as well. Right now the North East is getting ready to be slammed by this storm and I can tell you that the emergency services will be overwhelmed, just like we are every time we get a huge storm. If people have problems which they haven’t prepared to take care of themselves, the only other option they have is to sit around and wait. The moral of the story is that people who prepare for emergencies not only help themselves, but they also take strain off of everyone else by doing so. Preparing for the “End of the world” may just save their lives and those of others in any time of emergency. God will send us the help we need and right now what we need the most is to learn from the example set forth by these “Subset Americans” Remember, doomsday for you may not be the end of the world, it might just be a hurricane.

  7. Maria-846262 October 29, 2012 Reply

    So what are the folks in Phoenix going to do when a year is up and they run out of supplies? Will they then be self-sufficient if no one else is left on earth? How do they know their man-made pond (pool) in their backyard is not going to be affected by whatever catastrophe and all the fish die? How do they know the goat will survive?
    Hitler had a bunker that was unequaled for his time and was prepared for “whatever”. In actuality, he wound up committing suicide and thankfully his evil plot ended. I guess he wasn’t prepared for the Americans and European allies to walk right into Germany and put and end to his charade, but it would seem that was presumably what he prepared for, but cowardly took his own life and didn’t care in the end what happened to Germany and the people he so claimed to love.

  8. Maria-846262 October 29, 2012 Reply

    I’m neither a prepper, nor a doomsayer. I fugured the world is going to end only when God wants it to end and they bible says that we will receive certain signs before the end times. I leave it to God and what happens, happens.

    I do know that the Maya were accurate in their predictions, but I am not aware that just because their calendar ends on December 20th of this year, it necessarily means the world is going to end. The Maya were very knowledgeable astronomers and always followed the movement of the stars and planets to predict happenings, but I’ve never heard that they said the world would end on December 21st. The Maya simply stated that on that day, an uncommon alignment of the planets will occur – and people have taken it from there to say that it is it, the world is going to end. The Maya may have chosen not to write anymore after December 20th of 2012 for a variety of reasons, who knows. I don’t believe the world is going to end on December 21st this year, but I do believe that we are at, or coming close to the “end times”. But, I don’t worry about it and I don’t prep. I didn’t do it for the change of the Millennium either, which people had it all wrong anyhow. The millennium didn’t start in the year 2000. There was no year “0” therefore, the millinnium didn’t actually start until 2001, and the disruption of computers, etc. was neglegible, if it even happened, although I know many companies spent millions of dollars preparing for that eventuality.
    About the alignment of the planets and the Maya, it is said that such alingment will cause an immense magnetic force that will affect the earth and may cause it to invert its poles. Maybe, maybe not. This is not the first time in its history that the earth has been upside down, so to speak, and the oceans and continents rearranged themselves. And, yes, polar inversion would wreak havoc around the world, but the planet is not going to disappear, I don’t think. When Jesus returns, as is told in the Apocalypse of the Bible, then He will make the changes that need to happen.
    I wish very good luck to everyone living the the path of Sandy and I certainly hope it is not another Katrina, but we need to get used to the forces of nature, as they occur and have occured for millennia. Will there be a major earthquake in the San Andreas fault that will bring the coastline into the heart of the U.S? Will the “super caldera” (Yellowstone Park) erupt suddenly and decimate most of the U.S.? I don’t know, but living in fear of something ominous happening in our lives is not a good idea and planning a preparing for these possible eventualities is foolish in my estimation.

  9. Lesley-158563 October 29, 2012 Reply

    As someone in the midst of this storm didn’t care for the somewhat flip tone of the intro. Sometimes creative writing needs a bit more compassion especially when the lives of millions of people are being written about.

Post a comment