Bob Kay is a nutritional scientist who lives in Southern California and is prepping for a catastrophic earthquake. He describes the land under his feet as “Graham cracker crust” near where 5-6 major faults come together. Geologically speaking, if you live in Southern California and don’t prep, you might just be the one who is dangerously delusional.
As we’ve seen in graphic detail in recent decades, a major earthquake near large population areas can “pancake” overpasses and bridges, destroying roads and rails and leaving the affected area with severe bottlenecks at the most desperate of times. Bob’s plan is to turn his 2.5 acre property into an “oasis” where his family will have the supplies they need to ride out the chaos following a major quake.
Bob has six motorcycles of various types to get around regardless of road conditions following a major quake, and has spent tens of thousands of dollars in functional landscaping, from 300 types of edible plants and trees to thorny species that form subtle but effective barriers. He’s built a 35,000 gallon (concrete?!?) pool to use not just for recreation, but as a water source that he can filter and drink.
After ripping on prepper father Tom Perez for using his children to defend his $2 million compound in Texas, I feel obligated to talk about Tom Kay’s daughter, who is also armed.
Training makes all the difference.
Alexis Kay is a second-degree, Tae Kwon Do black belt who makes throwing knives look freakishly effortless. She also wanted to learn to shoot an AR-15, and her father spent a considerable amount on not just her rifle, but in hiring a professional instructor. There is a world of difference between Perez all but sacrificing his children as untrained foot soldiers to guard his property and Alexis Kay deciding of her own volition that she wanted to learn to defend herself and her family.
If all else fails, and the Kay family can’t survive a catastrophic earthquake, Bob has an ace up his sleeve in the form of a helicopter he purchased, along with the services of an on-call pilot. Completely practical. Why didn’t I think of that?
There has been a trend this season towards Doomsday Prepper Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and Bob Kay fits the mold. The unnamed vitamin supplements he created have made him filthy rich, and in this episode, he spends nearly $40,000+ just in long-term food supplies for his family of four. He seems like a genuinely nice man, and I applaud the preparations he had built to fit his lifestyle, budget, and (rationally) feared disaster. I wonder, however, what purpose the continued focus on wealthy preppers like some of those we’ve seen this season is supposed to serve.
Josh Wander is an orthodox Jewish father who moved his family from Jerusalem, Israel, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he is running for city council. He fears that a series of terrorist attacks against the United States is imminent and he is using his campaign for city council to educate his community about prepping.
There are lots of politicians who claim they want what is best for their constituents. Mr. Wander has the distinction of being one of the few people I’ve witnessed that became a politician because he’s seen horror in his homeland as a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He thinks he really can help save the lives of his potential constituents.
Josh is prepping to “bug in,” for at least three months.
An interesting complication for Josh’s family is that in keeping with his faith, he must find certified kosher long-term food storage items. It has taken him a considerable amount of time, but he has obtained a considerable amount of kosher MREs. It was amusing to watch one of his daughters react to him opening a cooked MRE and taking a bite: “It looks like barf.” I love kids.
Despite the great pains he has taken to make certain that his foods are kosher, his family raises rabbits as an emergency source of food. Their faith makes allowances for people to eat non-kosher foods to sustain life.
Like other preppers, Josh has trained his older children to shoot. Unlike most, however, he takes them shooting every week. The show doesn’t delve into the Wander family’s personal security plans, but with the two older children trained weekly to handle multiple firearms, I suspect they could hold their own in a defensive position against untrained mobs if things got rough.
While I never really thought of it before Josh mentioned it, Jews have perfected the “bug-out,” as chronicled in Exodus and in countless retreats from oppression in countries around the world. They’re still here, despite numerous pogroms and genocides directed against them. That Josh desires to share this hope for survival with his entire community is commendable.
Josh Wander was prepping for three months. The experts give him a year.
The Wander family feels the condition of the United States has deteriorated so much since the show was taped that they are considering moving back to Israel, a nation surrounded by enemies.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Ryan Croft lives with his wife and five teenage sons in the suburbs of Asheville, North Carolina. He is — like so many preppers — preparing for a financial collapse.
I’m not going to sit and wait for someone else to come up with solutions. I’ve been involved with government. Their solutions suuuuuck.
While many preppers have a bug-out plan, Croft is devoted to his community and plans to do whatever it takes to help people survive if the worst happens. That is a very tall order in the mountains of western NC, where the show says just one percent of the food consumed is grown locally. His solution?
Yummy, tasty algae.
Spirulina algae to be specific, which was cultivated by Mesoamerican cultures including the Aztecs in temperate regions; it was an ingredient in a tasty cake they called”techuitlatl” (according to Wikipedia, which never gets things wrong). The nutritional value of Spirulina is as a complex protein, but the cost effectiveness of raising a tropical algae in the cold waters of the Appalachian Mountains is, in my mind, questionable.
If a delicious glass of algae isn’t your, uh, cup of tea, Ryan has another idea for your prepper meal: earthworms. Ryan’s advice for an ingestion helper is something I’ve noticed holds true fairly universally.
Hot sauce goes a long way with helping you to eat things that you normally wouldn’t eat.
Depending on his unconventional foods, primitive survival techniques, and his Air Force survival training, Ryan has only amassed a 3-4 months worth of food. He believes that for long-term survival, you have to be able to live off the land.
And mice. Which carry tapeworms. Which you would have to eat 17 of a day. Yum.
Ryan also hacked together his own rifle, a Frankenstein’s Monster of an AK and AR platforms he designed as the ultimate prepper’s gun. Considering the apparent viability of his other ideas, I’ll let someone else test-fire it. He’s very innovative, though, and that counts for a lot.
So what did we learn this week?
We’ve learned rich guys can afford insanely expensive survival preparations, which means that they’ll probably outlive most of us, at least until the Reavers turn their liver into paté. We learned that you can indeed get Kosher MREs, and that Pittsburgh is so wonderful to live in that at least one resident would rather flee to a country where all his neighboring states have him targeted for genocide. And we learned that people will train to eat weird stuff without putting forth the effort to determine if that food source is viable for the long term.
Hey, at least nobody got shot.
****Check out the previous installments of Bob Owens’s coverage at PJ Lifestyle: