You may have seen the National Geographic show "Doomsday Preppers," and wondered if it really is all that common. It turns out; there are preppers all over the nation, including central Wisconsin. And they're more in the spotlight than ever.
Superstorm Sandy left much of the East Coast scrambling for power, warmth, gasoline, even food. But preppers say they're ready for disasters - natural or otherwise.
Cheryl is one of them.” We’re different because we don't spend our money on gadgets. The newest smart phone and things like that. We put our money into things that we can use and keep, things that are enduring."
To get a rare look inside her bunker, we agreed to not use her last name, show her face or say where she lives. She’s been a preparer, as they call themselves, for years - 40 to be exact.
She’s been canning and stocking up food with her mom since she was a little girl. What she can't make, she buys. From canned foods, to boxes of nitrogen packed goods that will last decades, and through any natural disaster, Cheryl seems to have it all. She also has a stock pile of wood that will heat her home for as long as she needs.
Cheryl’s reasons for prepping vary. She says there doesn't have to be a major emergency on a national or global scale - it can be one right in their own household. "I had my own personal disaster a few years ago when I couldn’t go to work. That proved to me right there that I was really on the right track doing this."
It doesn’t stop with food storage, Cheryl saves rain water for everyday uses - including washing clothes. She also has chickens that lay eggs, and a horse that helps her haul tons of wood and can also be a great form of transportation if needed.
There’s another crucial need, Cheryl says her outhouse is one of a kind. "I have an outhouse with a 30,000 gallon tank underneath it."
While the supplies each preparer stocks may vary by their own tastes and needs, there's one thing they all agree on- keep your stash secret. Not only is it for security but it also stops others from judging. Cheryl can't count how many times she's heard that prepping is crazy.
"We are not out on the fringe. Were just common everyday people that see the possibility of what might be coming up the road, maybe even inflation.”
No matter what happens she is prepared to be ready. “It’s the best feeling ever knowing I can take care of my whole entire family."
Cheryl says she speaks with other preppers around the state every day, sometimes up to three times a week. She says the internet is a way many preppers learn new strategies and ideas for their storage.
If you would like to find out how to better prepare yourself, you can do so by visiting the Wisconsin Prepper Network by clicking here.