Preparing for doomsday
NATIONAL Geographic's new series documents the latest craze in the US, but it has nothing to do with fashion or pop culture.
Doomsday Preppers is all about those who go to extreme lengths to prepare themselves for the worst - economic collapse, natural disasters, a super volcano eruption and nuclear war.
Arizona father-of-two Tim Ralston is one of the show's most famous preppers after he nearly shot off his thumb in front of the cameras.
After his episode, rated as one of the most popular in the US, Ralston was made the face of the show for its international releases.
"It's doing fine," Ralston said when The Guide asked about his injury.
"I call it my midget digit now. I've had quite a few surgeries on it and it still works pretty good."
The former Special Forces member now runs a business inventing and producing tools for preppers, such as his multi-purpose "crovel".
"I figured it would be pretty popular in Australia," he said of the crovel, which is a mix between a shovel, axe and saw.
Ralston, who said he was a closet prepper before getting his family involved, has built an underground bunker in the desert for shelter in case of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack.
He refutes claims that preppers have a negative outlook on the world.
"Prepping is very calming," he said.
"Preppers tend to look at the glass half full. Where an emergency would happen, a prepper can handle those things with a lot more calm. The person who panics is the person who's not prepared.
"There's that normalcy bias that comes with life. People believe it will never happen to them, until something happens."
Raltson hopes the show will inspire viewers to take the basic steps towards being prepared for an emergency.
"My goal for doing the show was so I can bring more awareness. You don't have to go to crazy extremes," he said.
"Be your own first responder. The government and police can't be everywhere at one time. You've got to be able to take care of your family for up to seven days before help may come. I think it's the duty of every parent to prepare their family to those levels."