Escape from New York

The most popular show in discovery channel history, Doomsday Preppers, did a special a couple years ago in season two when it ran an episode entitled “Escape from New York.” It differs from other episodes in the series in many ways but mostly because it focuses on urban preppers, people who live and work in densely populated cities (in this case New York). The three preppers featured are all very different and it's worth looking back to examine each prepper's plan and seeing what we can learn from them. You can check out the promo for the event below:

 
 
 
 

  First, there’s Cameron a pre-med student in NYC who worries about a meltdown of the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor and how he would cameronescape such a catastrophe. His plan is to bug out at sea and he works with Aton Edwards to put his plan into action. On the night of his bug out plan Aton walkies him and tells him to use the fire escape, not the stairs, hinting that they may be crowded and unsafe. Over the evening, Cameron steals a bike, sprays bear-spray at would be attackers and is taught by Aton “He who hesitates is lost”. Cameron makes it across the Hudson in his raft and tells that camera that “I don’t think anybody can ever be prepared enough.”


  Doomsday Preppers, did a special a couple years ago in season two when it ran an episode entitled “Escape from New York.” It differs from other episodes in the series in many ways but mostly because it focuses on urban preppers, people who live and work in densely populated cities (in this case New York). The three preppers featured are all very different and it's worth looking back to examine each prepper's plan and seeing what we can learn from them. You can check out the promo for the event below:

 
 
 
 

  First, there’s Cameron a pre-med student in NYC who worries about a meltdown of the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor and how he would jayNext is Jay whose plan in the event of a terrorist is to get out of the city and meet his family (wife and 6 year old daughter) uptown so they can head up north to bug out. Jay works on Wall Street and vividly remembers the panic and chaos of 9/11. In the voiceover the narrator recounts how 9/11 actually led many to prepping and gun sales shot up 21%. Should a bomb or other terrorist attack occur while he is at work, Jay keeps a backpack stocked with survival gear should he need it on his route to meet his family. When he practices his escape plan with the help of Shane Hobel, he starts by rushing down the stairs of his office building, though it doesn't specify how high up he is. Steve shows him how to test the air to see the direction of the wind and other neat urban survival tips such as water filtration and natural medicine.


  Finally there’s Margaret, who is preparing for a major hurricane, not dissimilar to Sandy, which she already experienced. She is an intense Doomsday Preppers, did a special a couple years ago in season two when it ran an episode entitled “Escape from New York.” It differs from other episodes in the series in many ways but mostly because it focuses on urban preppers, people who live and work in densely populated cities (in this case New York). The three preppers featured are all very different and it's worth looking back to examine each prepper's plan and seeing what we can learn from them. You can check out the promo for the event below:

 
 
 
 

  First, there’s Cameron a pre-med student in NYC who worries about a meltdown of the Indian Point Nuclear Reactor and how he would margaretprepper who always carries a massive backpack filled with things she is later told are unnecessary. She enlists the help of a krav maga expert, Matan Gavish, who teaches her self-defense tactics that will be crucial for helping her flee the city on foot, as she plans to do. Matan instructs her that instead of her gigantic bag which only slows her down, all she needs is a lollipop and a water-bottle. He arranges for 2 attackers to mock-attack her in the park showing that she is unprepared for this scenario and teaches her how to get out of it. Matan puts it best when he tells her to “pray for peace, but prepare for war.”


  So as you can see, the episode focused almost entirely on the escape part of these preppers plans. One of the things that struck me though is that these preppers had extensive plans to escape the city, but no real plans to escape their offices or homes. Cameron is told to take the fire exit, which are usually not installed on newer buildings, and Jay, who himself worries about 9/11, is told to use the stairs. Another thing that really stuck with me is the importance of travelling light, something each prepping mentor stressed. Too big a bag will not only slow you down it will make you a target, so the key becomes how you pack only enough to get to out of the city, which also makes me wonder how the heck Cameron has a kayak with him!

To conclude, there are definitely a few things we can learn from this Doomsday Preppers special:
  • In a New York catastrophe that requires escape, you have very little time and will want to be ready to execute your bug out plan ASAP.
  • Millions of people leaving a cramped island will make anyone and everyone a target especially if you show a perceived weakness.
  • In a life threatening scenario it will be every man for himself, and that could mean stealing and harming others.
  • Money is probably better spent on a survivalist mentor as opposed to expensive bug out gear.
  • Finally, no matter where you are, always have a lollipop on hand, you never know when you’ll need one!