Archive for the ‘Real Event’ Category

Some folks out there aren’t just interested in post-apocalyptic events for the joy e.g. a great zombie movie brings. There is a growing community of those who prepare (thus named “Preppers” ) for unforseeable events of a devastating scale that might change everything from society to government, from consumerism to self-reliance, from order to anarchy. National Geographic is as always providing us with an interesting show called “Doomsday Preppers”. In each show they present three to four different preppers (or prepping families), their propable doomsday event and their strategy against it. At the end of each chapter “the experts” evaluate their preparations and suggest improvements.

In lots of cases it is quite impressive how creative they tackled the idea of prepping, whether it is concerning storage, producing food, fortification or training. In many cases though I thought (and the doomsday experts too) their chosen doomsday event is unlikely to happen…like ashes of a super vulcano suffocating New York etc. I don’t know for sure, but I always had the impression National Geographic “forced” them to commit to a certain event. I think most of them were prepping for several events and if it’s just the next snow storming threatening to take out the power for 5 days. Well, this is the feeling I get reading survivalist blogs.
I also found some background info which states Nat Geo cut the sequences in a way to make the Preppers look extremly nutty. Well this is television and they want their audience & viewing rate. Everybody knows what they get into messing with commercial tv.

So if you wonder now “Should I prep???” here is my opinion on the whole topic (and here the CDC’s opinion). I personally think being prepared is a good thing in general, but you always have to decide to which extend you feel happy with it. I don’t prep, but after digging into this topic and thinking back to events that happend in the past (my area had a snowstorm and power failiure for 5 days a few years ago), I do take care that I have supplies for two weeks in my flat (food, meds, tools, water, candles) and I am happy with it. Once you have this stockpile it is easy to maintain and if something happens you are prepared (am I a Prepper or what? 😉 ), but I think letting my whole life rotate around a scenario that is not too likely to happen would be too much. I enjoy seeing friends, going out and being self-employed takes a lot of my creativity & energy and I enjoy that 🙂 Now enough with this philosophical talk…enjoy the trailer!

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I only started researching on the whole Katrina situation and the anarchy that followed in the wake of the hurricane, but found a documentary already worth sharing. Since this is my first post on a real event I would like to remind everybody (including me)…this is real! People got injured or died, lost their homes or loved ones. No fiction. I don’t wish any of that to happen or to be disrespectful. On the contrary as you will see watching the BBC documentary about prisoners left behind locked up in New Orleans’ prisons.

While everybody tries to get out of the city New Orleans prisoners aren’t part of any evacuation plan. Some don’t even know a hurricane is about to hit New Orleans with full force. Soon enough the water levels are rising and the ground floors are flooded. In a haste prison guards lock up up to 8 inmates in cells laid-out for two. With failing electricity and backup generators obtaining control over the paniced prisoners and providing supplies becomes impossible. Some electric doors jam and seal off some cells permanently, meaning no fresh water or any food, no hygiene, medication or knowledge of rescue for several days. Other prisoners can free themselves and start to riot, revive gang wars or simply to breakout from the deathtrap.

On the outside civilians seek shelter near or at the prisons on elevated & reinforced structures. In one case it is virtually one remaining door seperating rioting prisoners from shelter seeking people, which luckily hold.

Some people might even say (like one prison warden): “They are criminals, it is their fault they were in prison the time Katrina hit New Orelans”. Please remember no one is guilty unless proven so. Many of the prisoners were either just arrested or there to serve a short sentence in New Orleans parish prison. a) In my point no one deserves to live through an event like this and b) the nightmare didn’t end after final evacuation. Since evidence, IDs or charges were destroyed some were imprisoned over 200 instead of 7 days, although not in water flooded prisons but in prisons flooded with inmates (5000 instead of 2000).

This documentary is a shocking account of one certain aspect of Katrina’s aftermath.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=7801085471711396755&hl=de&fs=true

There is also a book of the same name, “Prisoners of Katrina”, which I haven’t read yet…but it’s ordered already.

Many people prepare themselves for a SHTF-event by stocking up on supplies, planning escape routes and building a bug out location, but what plans has the government for instance in the event of a terrorist attack on Washington D.C.. A very interesting documentary on National Geographic just shows you what the U.S.-government has in mind for such a doomsday event. It shows the history of the doomsday plans, how they are being adjusted to new threats and how they worked in real events e.g. 9/11. Great thing, you can watch it for free on National Geographic.

American Doomsday

Survival shows have become very popular in the past few years and although some are quite dramatized you can actually get some valuable information out of them.

Survivorman is one of my favourites because I regard it as a very authentic survival show. While other shows have a camera crew, Les Stroud puts himself into survival situations without one, all the filming is done by himself. The scenarios he tackles are very realistic such as a winter plane crash, a broken down motorcycle in the desert or a day hike gone wrong. He has to survive 7 days before being rescued. With each scenario he’s provided with little supplies you would find in this situation e.g. a motorcycle to salvage.  A must see survival show!

In The Bush with Malcom Douglas is definately one of my favourite and the first survival show I have been watching. Malcolm Douglas (R.I.P.) used to be an Aussie by heart and wildlife documentary film maker, producing films for over 30 years. In his show he didn’t only show Australia’s magnificent flora & fauna, but also would teach you a whole bunch of survival techniques e.g. how to gain water from plants in arid areas, free your bogged down car or prepare “bush tucker” (food) the aboriginal way. Sometimes he goes fishing a lot 🙂 but the information is very valuable and Malcolm Douglas is a must see!

Man VS Wild (Born Survivor in the UK) is definately not one of my favourites and many will say “Whaaaat, Bear Grylls’ awesome?”. Here’s why: Bear Grylls has a lot of knowledge about survival and probably is quite a tough guy being ex-SAS, but apparently rather sleeps in luxury hotels with Wi-Fi and Blueberry Pancakes for breakfast than in his makeshift accommodations (read the full story here). So while the tips and techniques can be adopted in real survival situations it’s lack of authenticity leaves a very bitter taste.

Dual Survival is about two survival experts Dave & Cody. They give a strange survival couple as Dave is the military-expert kinda guy and Cody the minimalist/primitive skills expert. This provides on one hand side two perspectives on one survival situation, on the other side their different opinions and their nagging about can be annoying sometimes. Still nice to watch.

Man Woman Wild is about a real couple in survival situations and I am not quite sure what to think of it. Myke Hawke is former Special Forces and a tough guy while his wife Ruth is a TV journalist and…well not as tough. I have only seen three episodes on Discovery Channel so far and actually enjoyed watching it. Having someone in a survival show who’s not used to eating worms or embryo birds brings a new touch, but sometimes is a bit too much female attitude (don’t get me wrong, women can be tougher than men).

If you have a show you can recommend or a different opinion just drop me a comment. There are more shows out there and I want to know about them and share that info 🙂