Preppers preparing for the worst say they’re normal and ready to tackle coronavirus

By Jonathan Rose
May 5 2020, 08.35

There are two main theories for the mass extinction of dinosaurs 66 millions years ago: a meteor thumped into our planet or molten lava oozed out of the Earth’s crust.  

Inevitably the human race will face a similar catastrophic end and a plethora of possible scenarios have been proposed by scientists and doomsdayers alike including nuclear annihilation, climate change, biological warfare or even a zombie apocalypse.  

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world, a group of people were ready – meet the preppers. 

From self-proclaimed normal people who are prepared for normal disasters to survival communities and bunkers, preppers are to be found everywhere.

A moderator on Reddit group of preppers boasting 165,000 members declared: “We are normal people who are prepared for normal disasters. We do not have bunkers.” 

Ben, 32, a married prepper from Bristol, explained: “We don’t store water or have large stocks of toiletries - it’s mostly food excess, brought about by fear of food disruption.  

“I have been keen on the concept since listening to a feature on Radio 4. The interviewer was just keen to portray this guy as a psycho who thought the day of apocalypse was coming – this was not the case. The idea is, that it is good practice to be able to provide for your family in times of hardship.” 

Father-of-three Rick Cox, 60, a retired United States Army NCO, is an expert prepper and co-founder of Fortitude Ranch which has several locations across the USA including two in Colorado. 

Members of the survival community prepare for one thing and one thing only – disaster.  

It would set you back around £800 per person annually to become a member. 

Rick, who joined the U.S. Army in 1977, said: “When I transitioned to part-time military service in 1985 civil defence was gone and hadn’t been replaced.   

“So I figured I needed to take steps to protect my family and became a prepper before the term was even coined.

“Humans often don’t like or feel threatened by things they don’t understand. They also dislike change and tend to resist it.   

“Non-preppers don’t understand why we prepare, they don’t want to think about bad things happening, and they certainly don’t want to plan for a situation that will usher in massive change to their lives.”

Surely a survival community is the ultimate preppers safe haven – think again. 

Welcome to Survival Condo Projects, an atlas missile silo in Kansas converted into luxury survival bunkers by developer and owner Larry Hall, 63.  

The site, which takes prepping to a new level, is located in the centre of the USA equidistant from both coasts and the silos were built to withstand a nuclear detonation within a half mile of the facility.  

Prices range from around £300,000 to £1.8 million and the facility includes a swimming pool, well-stocked armoury, climbing wall and cinema. 

Mr Hall, 63, said: “Our clients are successful people from all walks of life including doctors, business people, and professionals.

“Most preppers have families and are highly educated. They are people who want to have a plan for what they will do if a threat materialises and threatens the well-being of their family.”

Mr Hall, a married father-of-one who has two masters degrees in business administration and computer engineering, added: 

“I do not see a downside to being prepared for catastrophes. If there is a silver lining in this coronavirus, it is that many more people will now want to join the ranks of being a prepper.” 

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