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Doomsday Preppers

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"It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)," sang R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, and it's a proclamation that must resonate with the people profiled in this series. That's because they are all preparing for doomsday, whether it's caused by a natural disaster, a financial collapse or a nuclear winter, and their plan is to outlast and outlive any apocalyptic scenario. The series goes inside America's "prepping" subculture and introduces otherwise ordinary folks who are stockpiling food, water, weapons and whatever else they think is necessary in the event basic services should falter and society turns chaotic and violent. Also, each prepper's plan is reviewed by the consulting firm Practical Preppers, which analyzes its potential effectiveness in case the prepper's worst fears become reality.

Latest episodes

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Meet three Americans all preparing for some sort of economic collapse.
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Brian smith prepares for collapse of U.S. monetary system and fears the world's food supply will dry up.
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Larry creates luxury survival condos, and Becky is taking sharpshooting lessons from a sniper to prepare herself for a government takeover.
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The Coy family live in the shadow of Mount St. Helens; Bill Simpson has spent six years building a sailboat bunker to protect his family from electromagnetic pulses and any chaos that will occur on land.
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An economic collapse could mean total chaos. In Washington state, Steve works with a stern hand to prep his family for the potential threat. South Carolinian David Appleton is a comedian, but the idea of a devastating earthquake is no joke to him.
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Kevin and his family decide to move to Costa Rica because they believe an economic collapse will make America unlivable.
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Some preppers like Jeff Mann believe in safety in numbers, while others like Tony, who believe that an end of days asteroid will turn the Earth into ash, are independent.
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R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It" might be a good mantra for three individuals who are readying for the end of days.
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Mike and his girlfriend Freda fear that the current political tensions and economic unrest will lead to a world war; Mike Adams is anticipating a terrorist attack; Joe, has given up on modern living.
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A father prepares his family for dirty bombs; a retired police officer believes that China will bring about economic chaos; a man who has a secret underground hatch in his garage.
aired 169 days ago
Prepping for an economic collapse, Jeff is converting a decommissioned missile silo into the perfect bug-out getaway; with an online dating profile, Jeff is also searching for a special someone who can share his love for prepping.
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A woman creates a gourmet meal using only shelf-stable foods; a man who has trained his children to withstand a financial collapse.
aired 169 days ago
A man fears the economy's collapse and has built a bug-out dome in the wilderness for his family, accessible only by boat; a man from Hawaii who fears a catastrophic tsunami will strike the islands.
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A woman who fears a catastrophic New York City hurricane; a college student prepares for the meltdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant; a bond trader fears a terrorist attack in the form of a dirty bomb.
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Chad believes that a nuclear strike resulting in a genocidal siege is a real possibility. He is working on executing an escape tunnel from his family's house to a vehicle.
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Preppers gear up for the possibility of World War II, an explosion on the surface of the sun, and the collapse of the American economy.
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Frank, who owns a construction company in Maine, spends his golden years flying his private plane, staying fit with his wife, Elaine, and preparing for the upcoming economic collapse.
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A man who is preparing for the day when China will undermine the U.S. economy; a couple anticipate an economic collapse; a man is prepared to take his family underground.
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A man who fears a terrorist attack on nuclear power plants; a farming family prepares for a series of F-5 tornados; a couple fear the melting of the Greenland ice sheet.
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Curt and his family have designed a fortress deep in Oregon's back country in the event of an economic collapse.
aired 327 days ago
A man who has built spider holes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to survive the next Great Depression; a family that lives underground in a missile silo bunker.

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The old Dolly Parton hit "9 to 5" isn't a tune worth humming for the blue-collar pioneers featured in "Filthy Riches." The series spotlights ingenious Americans who skirt a conventional workplace in favor of making a living in the deep rivers, soggy mud flats and wild backwoods of the U.S. Ray Turner, for example, has been catching eels in Delaware for 30 years. He uses a self-made smokehouse in the woods to cook the critters and sell them. Billy Taylor and his sons hunt for prized ginseng root in the Appalachians. Taylor, a fully licensed wild ginseng dealer, promotes sustainability by planting its berries. In Maine, Jim Campbell and Andy Johns make the coastal mud flats their office, as they dig for valuable bloodworms to sell to fishermen. And Greg Dahl and Albert DeSilva are burl hunters. A burl is a hard, unwieldy outgrowth on a tree, usually at the trunk. Burls have value because of the spectacular patterns found in them when cut open.
When bears, wolves and foxes are your only neighbors, life can be pretty lonely. Add minus-60-degree days and a constant battle for the most basic necessities, and you have the daily challenges of people who live in remote corners of Alaska. This series takes viewers deep into an Alaskan winter to meet tough, resilient residents as they try to stay one step ahead of storms and man-eating beasts to survive the season. The closest neighbor to Sue Aikens is more than 300 miles away. Eric Salitan subsists solely on what he hunts and forages. Chip and Agnes Hailstone catch fish for currency in bartering for supplies, and Andy and Kate Bassich use their pack of sled dogs for transportation. Also highlighted is a time of year not always part of what viewers see in Alaska: spring! Ice is breaking, animals are waking, and residents face new tests before deep cold returns.
Mick Dodge is one with the woods, having left modern conveniences behind 25 years ago to live among the trees, caves and animals in Washington state's Hoh Rain Forest. It's not an easy life by any means -- he sleeps in tree stumps and has no easy access to food -- but each day presents a different adventure, and as the always-barefoot Dodge says, "All I have to do is follow my feet." He's walking in the footsteps of four generations of Dodge men who have called the Olympic Peninsula their home, and because the intensely private former Marine allowed National Geographic access to his world, this time viewers are welcomed to witness the primal life of "The Forrest Gump of Middle Earth."
Each year adventurers make Alaska's mighty Yukon River their home for five weeks. They float downstream on homemade log rafts to sell firewood and other supplies to remote villages. The reality-documentary "Yukon River Run" presents hourlong episodes tracking the progress of various crews. As harsh winter months approach and threaten both safety and success, stakes are heightened as rafters endeavor to cash out and escape from the cold.
Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman explores the meaning of life, God, and many big questions in between in an effort to understand how religion has evolved and shaped society. A different divine subject is covered in each hourlong episode, titles of which include "Creation," "The Devil Inside," "Afterlife," "Apocalypse," and "Who Is God?" To explore these topics, host and narrator Freeman visits nearly 20 cities in seven countries to see some of the world's greatest religious sites, among them Jerusalem's Wailing Wall, India's Bodhi Tree, Mayan temples in Guatemala, and the pyramids of Egypt, and he immerses himself in religious experiences and rituals. "In some places I found answers, and others led to more questions. The constant through it all is that we're all looking to be part of something bigger than us. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that we certainly are," Freeman says.
Money and goods mean nothing to the people in "Live Free or Die." The series depicts a trend called "rewilding" -- the undomestication of humans -- and follows those who've rejected a mainstream existence to live off the land, in simple homes without electricity or running water. Being self-sufficient is a constant challenge, as obstacles like brutal weather and depleted food stocks require quick, innovative solutions. Modern pioneers include Colbert, a former financial adviser now living in a Georgia swamp; Gabriel, whose California lifestyle alternates between the mountains and the sea; and Tony and Amelia, who turned a hillside in the Blue Ridge Mountains into a garden.
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Teamwork in a survival situation is of utmost importance. But what happens if the team consists of a mismatched husband and wife, trying to survive in harsh outdoor conditions while rarely seeing eye to eye? That's the scenario in "Man, Woman, Wild," which features former Special Forces survival expert Mykel Hawke and his wife, Ruth, a journalist, who are plunked in a remote location for four days and nights. From building a shelter to hunting for food to finding a way out, Mykel and Ruth must find common ground as he teaches her the skills to survive in the wildest places on Earth.
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Surviving in a remote outdoor location is no game, but elite outdoorsmen turn it into one in this series. In each episode, one of the participants is captured by the other four, blindfolded, dropped in a harsh, unforgiving environment -- think dense jungle, frigid glacier or rollicking sea -- and given 100 hours to find civilization, or the game is over. The other players monitor and comment on his progress from a nearby command center. The players include Terry Schappert, a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Special Forces; John Hudson, a U.K. Royal Air Force extreme survival instructor; Matt Graham, a primitive skills survivalist; former Navy SEAL Jake Zweig; and Casey Anderson, a wildlife tracker and conservationist.
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Discovery Channel takes the ubiquitous survival show theme to the next level by stripping it to its bare essentials. In "Naked and Afraid," complete strangers -- usually a man and a woman -- meet in a very unique way: They're stranded in a dangerous, desolate location, without food or water, and they're completely naked. Each episode follows the adventurers as they attempt to survive on their own with nothing but a personal item and the knowledge that the only prize is their pride and sense of accomplishment. Because there is no other choice, competitors quickly get to know one another -- and their surroundings -- and hope that their instincts, survival skills and intestinal fortitude serve them well.
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Back to the beautiful state of Alaska for another reality-documentary series, this one set in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area home to thousands of native animals... and a handful of people. In 1980, the U.S. government banned human occupation in the refuge, and only residents in seven permitted cabins are allowed to remain. The series depicts the daily rituals of four families living in isolation and contending with bitter weather, frustrating setbacks, and aggressive wildlife in an unspoiled and unforgiving wilderness. The nonconformists include Heimo Korth, the "godfather of the final frontier," and wife Edna; Bob Harte, who has spent 40 years living by his own rules; and young couple Bob and Ashley Selden, who admit that they've survived by trial and error, learning day by day the harsh reality of frontier living.