Doomsday Preppers Week 4: Fish and Firepower

John Adrain is an inventor living on a cliff’s edge in the Pacific Northwest. He has a variety of fears, including nuclear fallout, natural disasters, and biological terrorist attacks. He’s worried about a lot.


Now, as much as I like teasing our preppers/victims each week, Mr. Adrain addresses something at the very beginning of his segment that has been bugging me for two bleeping years.

I don’t quite understand bugging out. Where are you going to bug out to? Because if there was some sort of a panic, people think they’re just going to get onto the freeway and drive somewhere? I think there’s a lot of problems with that. You’re better off being prepared where you are.

On behalf of sane people everywhere, thank you, Mr. Adrain, for pointing out the common-sense idea that so many people on this show just don’t seem to grasp.

Adrain is serious about his home-defense prepping. Did I mention he lives in a house perched on a cliff? Natural geological defense worked against the rampaging hordes, and his home takes advantage of natural terrain. While he didn’t go for a moat, he did splurge on a military base-security-grade steel gate that will stop a 10-ton vehicle going (if I heard the narrator correctly) 50 MPH.

Then he tickled this gunnie’s heart.

On the chance that a vehicle does breach the perimeter, Adrain wants a weapon that will penetrate the engine block  or passenger compartment with equal ease. His cartridge of choice is the .50 Beowulf, a cartridge yours truly has fired on multiple occasions both in the recommended semi-auto and the absurdly entertaining full-auto, as shown on the next page.


Now, who does Adrain call upon to show him the Beowulf? None other than Bill Alexander himself, the soft-spoken Englishman who created the beast of a cartridge and founded Alexander Arms. Did I mention I’m a huge fan of this cartridge and Alexander’s other cartridge, the 6.5 Grendel, which I’ve used in one of Alexander’s guns to shoot 8″ plates from a quarter-mile away?  Okay, I’ll drop the fan-boy routine. For now.

From a trained German Shepherd attack dog, to facial recognition keyed doors, to the same sort of blast-resistant windows used on federal buildings and motion-sensor-activated pepper spray foggers of his own design that render his home uninhabitable to trespassers, the rest of John’s home defenses are stunning. He has two years’ worth of food and 5,000 gallons of water. I would not be surprised in the slightest if the cost of his fortress home runs into the millions of dollars. It is truly impressive.

The show’s experts give Adrain 16 months of survival time. But is living alone as Adrain does with nothing but canines for companions really a life worth living?

Jeff Bushaw lives in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife and two sons. He is prepping for the eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano.

From time to time, I give preppers crap for being scared of stupid things. In Bushaw’s instance, being scared of Yellowstone is not dumb in and off itself, as it would be a big deal for much of the country if the volcano ever blows. The fact of the matter, however, is that being 800 miles west of the super-volcano, he is quite close to being in the part of the entire world that would be least affected by any eruption. Read about the jet stream, Jeff. If Yellowstone is truly his only concern, he’s pissing his time and money away on something that would likely never directly affect him, even if it came to pass.


All that said, Bushaw is the best-prepared for what the community calls a “sh*t hits the fan” scenario. He’s hoarded a ten-year supply of toilet paper, which he got “for a really good deal.”

The opposite of Adrain’s “spare no expense” approach, Bushaw is trying to prep on a restricted budget. He has an interesting if hit-or-miss strategy for obtaining prepping gear, and that’s bidding on the contents of abandoned storage units at auction. In the episode, he won a unit with a bid of $500. That doesn’t seem like such a wise investment to my way of thinking considering the complete randomness of the approach. To each his own, however, and Bushaw seems to think it works.

That he has not done his research about his “favored” disaster is again shown when Bushaw reveals that if he does bug-out because of a Yellowstone eruption he’ll go by air. While the west-to-east flow of the jet stream suggests that it is all but impossible for the ash cloud to affect them in Washington, I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to read what volcanic ash does to aircraft.

The show’s experts give the Bushaw family 6 months to live if things go wrong. At least he’ll have enough toilet paper.

Country-boy Allen and hipster Franco live in southwest Missouri with their families. They both prep for the breakdown of the world’s just in time (JIT) food delivery model following an economic collapse.


Economic collapse — why does that keep recurring as a theme?

On one side of town, Allen is an electrical engineer who has been prepping for 30 years. On the other side of town, we have master electrician Franco, who has been prepping for three years, but who has spent nearly $20,000 in that time period.

Both men have invested heavily in what the narrator considers the “Cadillac of preps,” aquaponics. Aquaponics is a fascinating closed system where fish sustain plant life and the plant life sustains the fish. We were first treated to it in Preppers in the season 1 premiere, where we saw Arizona prepper Dennis McClung create an even more complex system that integrated chickens (and their waste) into the mix. In all variations of the system, the humans serve to balance the system and skim off the top, taking some of each to survive. I could watch an entire show just on their different aquaponics systems, but then, I’m a geek like that.

The entire episode was worth watching this week, but in my opinion the show was stolen by Franco’s adorable daughter and the expression on her face after he decided to eat some of what he was growing. Watch it, and you’ll know what I mean.

At the end of the day, I found it surprising that the show’s experts gave two men in the same area doing roughly the same thing radically difference assessments.

While there were surface similarities, Allen had more stored food, grew enough fish in his system for barter with other survivors, had a better water supply, and, most tellingly, had better security, i.e., guns and the skill to use them. Franco doesn’t own a gun, and has no interest in owning a gun. Because of these differences, the experts give Allen 16 months of survival, and Franco a measly four.


I’m guessing Jason Beachum eats Franco.

Is that wrong?


Check out the previous installments of Bob Owens’s  coverage at PJ Lifestyle:

The Nuts on Doomsday Preppers Wouldn’t Last a Week

Doomsday Preppers Week 2: How To Destroy Your Internet Marriage Without Even Trying

Doomsday Preppers Week 3: Child Abuse


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