Review of Episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers on Nat Geo

by David Morris on February 7, 2012

Episode 2 of Doomsday Preppers featured 4 more preppers, starting with David Sarti from Nashville, TN. David’s main concern is electromagnetic pulses. David does a regular preparedness video at

David has enough grain for 1 year for 7 people and, interestingly enough, he uses hand warmers as oxygen absorbers.

He lives on a farm where he can produce more food than his group can consume. In the financial realm, this is called “financial independence” or “retirement” and it’s something that almost everyone aspires to. Our family is on a quest to have significantly more food independence even though it will take a different form than David’s did and I encourage you to do the same.

One of the neatest aspects of David’s segment was him talking about how broken he is. His hand, back, and knee are all broken. He’s severely overweight and he just can’t do the things that people think of a traditional survivalist doing. That being said, he has his mind and he has his mouth and uses it to educate and encourage people on his YouTube show and over his amateur radio.

The next profile was Kellene Bishop. You might have known her before from In her interview, Kellene says that the disaster that she’s prepping for is an economic collapse, but her preparations are broad enough to work for any disaster.

Kellene is a self-professed “foodie” who stores flavor rich gourmet food. She also stated that a few weeks after a major disaster, she’ll be the only one who still has 100 pounds to lose. I really liked her energy, spunk, and focus.

The Bishops figure that they’ve got 3,000 pounds of preparedness food, including the equivalent of 700 gallons of powdered milk. They’ve got an assortment of freeze dried food, dehydrated food, canned food, canned (jarred) food, and more.

She makes a great point that if you love gourmet food, there’s no reason not to have gourmet survival food.

Two food preservation strategies Kellene shows are:

-Rubbing eggs with mineral oil to make them shelf stable for 9-12 months.

-Taking regular hard cheese from the store and coating it in hot cheese wax to make it shelf stable for 20-25 years.

The Bishops have their house set up so that, no matter where they are in the house, they’re no more than 20 feet from a firearm. I don’t think this is a bad plan, but I am not a fan of unsecured firearms in houses and think that it’s a much better plan to have a firearm, taser, pepper spray, or a knife on your person when you’re at home and to identify household items that you could use as effective improvised weapons in every room of your house.

Kellene and her husband practice clearing their house with firearms in the dark…a practice that I encourage everyone to get instruction on how to do safely. They also practice communicating with Morris code and speaking in Tagalog, which is a Filipino language.

Kellene and her husband Scott readily admit that their preparations are excessive for “normal” life, but are willing to be seen as a little “out there” now in exchange for being ready for pretty much any cause of civil order breakdowns.

One of the great things that Kellene and Scott are doing is training up people around them in firearms skills, empty hands fighting skills, and food preservation skills. The end result of this is that the more people they train up in their immediate area, the more stable that area will be after a disaster and the safer they will be, even though they’re publicly identified as preppers.

I’m particularly happy to see that Kellene spends time teaching firearms skills to women in a fun, effective way.

I also love the fact that she asks her female audience if they’re allowed to hurt, maim, or kill someone who is trying to rape them. It’s pointed, somewhat uncomfortable questions like these that are critical for people to address and get over before they find themselves in a life or death situation.

When she’s done teaching self defense classes, she invites the class over to her house for a gourmet dinner made with all shelf-stable food. Not necessarily the best OPSEC, but again, Kellene has decided that the getting out in public, educating people, and making a difference is important to her. It’s not what I’ve chosen to do at this phase in our lives, but it might very well be in the future.

Cathy and Bruce Harrison are the next preppers in this episode. Cathy is a sweet Yankee liberal with an enviable farm and lifestyle. Her disaster of choice is a New Madrid earthquake.

If a major New Madrid quake happened, it would cause major supply disruptions, including getting food from food producing parts of the country to the Northeast part of the country.

Cathy and Bruce have an extensive heirloom garden and use seeds from previous seasons. Harvesting, storing, and replanting heirloom seeds is a skill in and of itself beyond successful gardening.

A lot of their food storage is food that they’ve canned at home and Cathy admits to spending up to 8 hours a day canning during canning season. They can EVERYTHING they can, including meat.

Their plan in the event of a currency collapse is to use honey as a barter item…both as a food, wax, and for medical reasons.

They’re also learning and practicing woodworking, sewing, wheat grinding, bread making, and log splitting as barter skills.

Cathy and Bruce are very community minded and are betting that if they involve enough of their neighbors in their preparedness, they’ll have a stable base.

One big and, admittedly overstated, criticism is that Cathy and Bruce don’t have weapons and naively think that their unarmed community is stronger than armed thugs. Fortunately, one of their community members plans on drawing unsavory people in with generosity and poisoning them or slitting their throats in their sleep if necessary. This is a big debate in the Christian community as well…many Christians can’t imagine hurting someone who is trying to kill them and ignore defense as a result. Usually, but not always, another Christian like me assumes a sheepdog role, identifies them as sheep, and trains, practices, and sharpens skills in the dark arts to protect the sheep from the wolves.

I LOVE that Cathy criticizes our country’s entitlement attitude, is self-reliant herself and encourages self-reliance among her circle of influence.

Another big point that Cathy makes is that the fact that she has prepared for hard times has given her a foundation so that she can completely enjoy the moment today, during good times.

Next, we’ve got Dennis Evers, who’s primary catastrophe is financial collapse. He lives on a Colorado ranch and has a very neat setup.

Interestingly enough, the statistic that NGC showed to downplay Dennis’ concern was incorrect. They stated that the US monetary base was at $2 Trillion. It WAS in 2010, but is currently at $2.6 Trillion according to the St. Louis Fed.

Dennis has 5 adult children who have all bought into preparedness and who have all taken responsibility for different aspects of preparedness and post-disaster life.

Something that I loved about the Evers’ is that Dennis taught his daughters, Jenny and Ricky, to be able to take care of herself and be an integral part of their team. Jenny and her husband are in charge of wood procurement and processing and Ricky is a welder and metal worker.

Dennis’ son, Tim, made a neat improvised bow out of PVC and a fiberglass rod. Personally, I love that he did this, but I’d suggest buying a couple of inexpensive real recurve bows to learn and train with.

Again, NGC threw out closing statements to completely dismiss the preppers they just featured, which is sad and a true disservice.

Did you miss the episode 1 review?  You can read it now at:

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Sharon
February 14, 2012 at 7:49 am

Very good review of the episode. Only sour note: it’s Morse Code not Morris. (Named for inventor Samuel Morse). I really loved the segment about making eggs and cheese shelf stable. I just wonder how our hot Gulf Coast weather might impact the shelf life. Unfortunately, basements aren’t an option here as the water table is much too high. I plan to give it a try and see how long they last in this climate. Thanks for the review.


Vote -1 Vote +1Steve
February 15, 2012 at 5:27 am

A basement is not needed. You can craft something akin to a root celler. You can use a shallow trench in place of a deeper more traditional deep celler. You simply need to dig as deep as needed to break through hard pan eor only as deep as needed to see moistening soil. Build over this a sturdy wooden stucture and fill with sand. Do not use beech sand the salt content will rob you products of moisture. once you have this filled with sand you have a shallow version of a root celler. Remeber though you must have enough size that heat penetration is reduced. that is usally to a depth of 9-12″ best to build in a shaded area or close into the north side of the home. The egg trick is really old. It was used on a regular basis before refrigeration mineral oil was of course not always the available choice, any O2 blocking tasteless oil or light wax works well.


Vote -1 Vote +1Deanna
February 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

I loved Kellene’s methods of preserving eggs and cheese. I loved that she is a woman not afraid to take a stand to protect herself and others form harm. She has a very informative website called Preparedness Pro. Check it out! The more we can learn from others, the better we can prepare our selves!!


Vote -1 Vote +1JL
February 18, 2012 at 9:29 am

Good reviews– thanks. I wouldn’t be too hard on National Geographic. I am sure a bunch of lawyers are behind their negative statements (enough said?). I suppose they are afraid that if they support a disaster, and it doesn’t come, or is worse than expected, some clown would sue them for misinformation. I can see it now: “NGC said to buy 4 cans of beans and I needed six, so they should pay me $50,000,000.” I am just glad NGC is at least presenting the program. We are all old enough to draw our own conclusions.


Vote -1 Vote +1Doug
February 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Another way to preserve eggs is to dip them in boiling water for about 10 seconds, which seals the inner membrane similar to oil. Another old method was to submerge the eggs in sodium silicate (water glass). It is a good idea to ALWAYS place your eggs that have been stored in a pan of water…if they float, throw them at an enemy but do not break them over any food you want to eat. Spoiled eggs float, good eggs sink.


Vote -1 Vote +1GWC
February 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I just thought some of you might like to know that the first person on this episode, David Sarti, had all of his guns confiscated the other day after he went to the hospital complaining of chest pains. He refused the prescribed treatment, so doctors called the police, who then went to his house and took all of his guns.


Vote -1 Vote +1GWC
February 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Apparently he was deemed “mentally ill” because he refused treatment.


Vote -1 Vote +1jo meyer
February 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

What was said about the hand warmers.

I have seen a couple of episodes now and all thes people and their shelves of food. I had wondered if they just use the oldest and repalce as time goes by. Then I heard of the hand warmers and think now that is what they are all doing. Just want details of this.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mark J
March 27, 2012 at 6:23 am

one of David Sarti’s comments during this episode of Doomsday Preppers was that he can make antibiotics in his home. I would like more info on how to do that.


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