Survivalism is a primarily United States movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who actively prepare for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Survivalism also encompasses preparation for personal emergencies, such as job loss or being stranded in the wild or under adverse weather conditions. The emphasis is on self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and gaining survival knowledge and skills. Survivalists often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, and build structures such as survival retreats or underground shelters that may help them survive a catastrophe.
'You already own the most important thing you need to survive the apocalypse – the human brain. Unless you own a tank.'
It's also the basis for a new BBC sitcom Prepper, starring Doctor Who's Pearl Mackie and The Royle Family's Sue Johnston as two preppers creating a podcast to help people survive the oncoming apocalypse, whatever variety it might take, asteroid space, zombies rising, pandemic, Lorraine Kelly, whatever. Written by Raised By Wolves' Caroline Moran and Doctor Who. Torchwood, Primeval's James J. Moran (he's even written a comic or two.)
'There's always time for hand cream, apocalypse or not.'
The first three episodes are out right now and can be streamed for free, globally, right now.
Trump. ISIS. The Courgette Crisis. Signs of civilisation's fragility are all around. No wonder the Doomsday Clock just nudged closer to midnight. In this fearscape, more and more ordinary people are wondering how they'd cope if everything we take for granted (law and order, access to healthcare, iceberg lettuces in Sainsburys) was taken away.
Preppers – a large and rapidly growing global community – have taken this thought one step further. They're actively skilling-up, laying down supplies and readying themselves for the end of the world, in whatever form it comes. Indeed, a prepping shop just opened in Newquay. And if people in Cornwall are prepping, it's time to worry.
Imagine if Woman's Hour made a podcast about preparing for the end times. Prepper follows neurotic, debt-ridden Rachel and hard-as-nails 'Churchill in Spanx' Sylvia, working class Mancunians who prep and podcast, sharing knowledge with their community, and showing off just how Armageddon-ready they are.
Told through their podcasts from Sylvia's garage and featuring 'apoco-tips', 'end of days drills' and interviews with preppers from around the world, Prepper comically explores how two mismatched women live with the possibility of the end of days, and how they bond over their determination to survive. And fend off zombies.
You can listen to the first three episodes right here: