Their latest book, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, contains 400 pages of surprisingly comprehensive medical advice on everything from burn treatment to insulin shock. The guide contains a hefty disclaimer about how it's illegal to be one's own doctor, but it also imagines a world where that's the only option.

Their life after the hospital is calm and domestic, filled with old knowledge. Amy leads me out to the garden. Under the expansive screened-in pool area, a pepper vine climbs to the ceiling and a pump vibrates in an ornate stucco pond that's filled with tilapia. Tomato plants compete for sunlight nearby. Most things in the garden are edible, she explains, but they wouldn't sustain the couple for long in a true collapse. This garden is mostly for experimentation and instruction through their YouTube videos.

We sit down at the table on the patio where the couple hosts the weekly Doom and Bloom Survival Hour Internet radio show on blogtalkradio.com, speaking with call-in guests and sharing tips for gardening, medicine, and general self-sufficiency. Dr. Bones tells me that their library is filled with 19th-century medical books, from a time when people often had to take care of medical emergencies themselves.

Neal Wiseman has enough food to sustain his family for a year.
Jayme Gershen
Neal Wiseman has enough food to sustain his family for a year.
Chris Petrovich has been a prepper for 25 years.
Jayme Gershen
Chris Petrovich has been a prepper for 25 years.

"These things should just be normal," Amy says. "People who don't prep — I hope they're the unusual ones."

The couple seems very normal, actually, right down to their little marital idiosyncrasies. They are affectionately competitive and often cut off one another's sentences. But do they really, truly believe the world as we know it is coming to an end?

"No," Amy says. But, she adds, "a slow economic collapse is what you're seeing now."

"The likelihood of any particular disaster is very small," the doctor interrupts, "but what's the likelihood that none of them will happen in your lifetime?"

He pauses. "Our dream is to die at age 100 with our grandchildren whispering in our ears: 'Hey, Gramps, what the heck are we going to do with all these supplies?'"

When the shit hits the fan, not much will happen, because there will be no electricity to power it. So the filthy fan will just sit there in the rising heat, along with the rest of our old conveniences, rendered useless in a future that most of us have failed to properly imagine.

It might begin with something small and nonviolent: For example, the value of the dollar begins to tumble steadily. You go to the bank to get some cash so you can convert what savings you have into material investments. When you get to the bank, you see a long line of cars at the drive-thru. On the radio, you listen to news of impending war with a Middle Eastern state backed by China, an expanding global competitor in arms and trade. Oil transport routes have been closed off in the conflict. A few of the waiting customers have turned off their engines to save gas.

When it's your turn, you speak into the intercom, asking to withdraw your balance. The teller informs you that the bank has placed a $5,000-per-day limit on withdrawals. They're trying to keep some cash on hand despite its plummeting value. The teller offers you a high-interest loan instead. You drive off angrily. Most people with bank accounts are irate.

"If I really thought the end was right here, I wouldn't be here right now," Petrovich, the prepping evangelist, says as we sit on the patio next to the swimming pool at his house in Hollywood. He has just finished outlining something like the above scenario for me as we drink cold beers and eat rice and beans with gumbo. It's Mardi Gras evening, and he's having some friends and family over. We're sated by the good meal and talking quietly as the light leaves the sky. His mother stands in the doorway, watching as children run and laugh while circling the pool on a bicycle.

Petrovich has a sense of humor about his fire-and-brimstone scenarios. "If there is a zombie invasion, I hope it's the slow ones," he says, refusing to crack a full smile. His favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. He quotes Dr. Strangelove and has a robust library of mass-market paperbacks.

For him, as for most preppers, the thrill is in making oneself stronger. Like any obsession, it's endlessly demanding. The more you prepare, the more you realize how unprepared you are, so it becomes easy not to do anything. "A lot of people just sit there in place and die in place," he says. "Prepping will give you confidence. Besides, look at all the great things I've learned."

If a collapse really happens, Petrovich, who says he's been prepping for 25 years, will call the network of fellow preppers he trusts with his life and family. Then he'll go to the secret location where he keeps food, weapons, gas masks, and everything else he needs for more than a year.

State authorities will activate the Florida Interoperability Network, a coordinated system of state and local radio frequencies that can broadcast signals once the traditional equipment goes down. Local governments will use "several caches of portable radio equipment in various locations throughout the state," according to an official emergency plan, and fire up eight trailers with 100-foot antennas, generators, and broadcasting gear. Volunteers with ARES, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, will fire up their ham radios and tap into a government-sanctioned plan for disseminating information.

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24 comments
Jose Periut
Jose Periut

apocalypse, mayan calendar, jesus, when are you idiots going to stop believing in fairytales??

Ptruble
Ptruble

There is also the story of the bridesmaids who were told prepare for the bridegroom by getting themselves oil for their lamps. 1/2 did, 1/2 didnt, and when those who did not went begging to those who did they were sent away to get there own. They did not share, and they were not convicted by God for it. I find people ridiculous who believe what others have is theirs. That attitude will get you shot when your gubment fails you and own laziness and narrow-mindedness leads you to looting your neighbors. And by the way, the very government you will be waiting on to feed you is telling you to prepare with food, water, and a plan. Try ready.gov to get informed and stop spreading misinformation.

Tiptoethrutulips
Tiptoethrutulips

I find this prepping movement demonic. You look at your neighbors as enemies. you don't share what you have or give doing a crisis...you are hoarders. You should read the book of exodus and pay particular attention to Joseph. His generosity during the hard times famine fed not only all of Egypt but neighboring communities and nations...this the folly of chaos not the wisdom of God...even Noah invited his neighbors to join him...they refused...

Ptruble
Ptruble

Survivalists and prepping are defintely a growing trend, but i hope it isnt like other popular trends that rise to the surface and disappear into the shadows of our society. People shouldnt think of prepping as a means of preparing some improbable cataclysm, but instead should focus on those crises that are more likely to happen like a house fire, torbado, hurricane, job loss, etc... If you make an emergency plan that encompasses these disasters, then you are better prepared to happen the 500 year type events. Uf you are prepping, the Survival gear and supplies should be purchased at reputable dealer like www.patriotprovisions.com. Get help with planning from resources like ready.gov or other sources. Preparedness is insurance that is more important than any other.

 << Work at home, $35/h, link
<< Work at home, $35/h, link

When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.

Raylinx
Raylinx

The events of which one has not contemplated in any given scenario, even that of any given scenario, is most likely the one that will harm.

God is always the only one who is in total control. Trust Jesus Christ and believe.

All that can be done is that which one can do. So do that which you can and will do and keep it all through God and in His wisdom. Discourage not the good works of any.

Live, love, believe, pray, and prepare.

Ruth Barnes
Ruth Barnes

I hope DHS and the other agencies are investigating all these survivalist nuts... especially the ones on the TV show. I would not want them living near me. They should not have guns or children either, in my feelings. I believe they are unstable mentally and just cannot cope with real life, and seen doom around every corner.

Jesus Ridriguez
Jesus Ridriguez

Make peace w.Jesus C. and buy plenty of ammo,machetes and anything else you find.

Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris

12 21 12 it aint the end of the world .. ITS THE END OF AN ERA ... apparently people dont like reading history ... or just don't understand the Mayan Calender ... WE WILL BE ALIVE ON 12/22/12 ... so you all can welcome the new Era ... Wow people really just don't understand

Chris J Petrovich
Chris J Petrovich

We welcome one and all to join us on our southfloridapreppers meetup group or find me on my facebook and linkedin pages or on survivalistnow

To clarify, it wasn't Zulu Rebels, it was IFP Zulu Nationalists demostrating against Mandela's ruling ANC Party, and it wasn't a slit throat, it was a burning tire on the poor guy's head. They also omitted my best experiences from Angola, Liberia, Mozambique, Zambia, and Uganda watching the bodies wash up on shore from Rwanda.....while America's first Black President Bill Clinton ignored it, because it was an election year. 1 million people in 100 days.

Also, I am a plain Non-Hyphenated American........

myoleman
myoleman

There's a sure disaster coming soon, when the Yellowstone supervolcano explodes (we just don't know exactly when, but it is due anytime now). Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to protect yourself except to flee as soon as possible to the sourthern hemisphere in a plane. Hopefully theyre will be some rumblings and warning signs before the dire disaster. Much better to make your peace with Lord Jesus and secure a berth in eternal life in his kingdom.

runrandrand
runrandrand

GET A JOB----GET A LIFE-------GET SER-IOUS!!!!!!!

JakeValentine
JakeValentine

95%+ of these prepper articles attempt to paint preppers as crazy people scared of the Mayan calendar. I have never, ever met a prepper worried about the Mayan calendar. The vast majority are simply being responsible preparing their families for any unforseen natural or manmade disaster. It seems as though a certain segment of society takes offense at the lack of faith in the government post-disaster. Feel free to wait for help if a disaster hits your area rather than ensure your family can deal with the circumstances, but you aren't fooling most people with these hit pieces against preppers. The number of preppers grows every day.......

Chris J Petrovich
Chris J Petrovich

Obviously, you don't know anything about them...and it is all public...1. They donate their our food items for rotation to soup kitchens and the homeless, and They strongly believe in CHARITY, as in having extra for their neighbors.......So unless they let their kids starve so you can eat, they are evil??? Hoarders....????? So when a person spends their money collecting canned food instead of collecting Nikes', or spending all their money on booze-drugs-hookers-gambling, cruises, or season tickets they are evil?? you live in a Hurricane Zone and you don't have atleast 1-2 weeks worth of food and water??? YOU have every right to collect food and water as they do, and you choose not to because...they are supposed to be collecting food for YOU?? And since you won't spend your money on food and water, these people should be forced to give everything to you??? You live in an area that CAN NOT sustain 1/1000th of the population without the DAILY 1,000 trucks bringing in food, fuel, medicine, clothes, etc....Even the food warehouses here, only have a 2-3 days supply of food for the area...if you recall Joseph had put enough food away for Egypt for 7 (Seven) Lean Years, we have 2-3 Days ...period....Noah wasn't offereing food to starving unprepared people................YOU already look at them as enemies........and all they have done is invite you to join them, and have volunteered to help you for FREE.............

Ptruble
Ptruble

Wow. Have you ever read the Constitution or even know what it says and means? To each their own. I am certain if the govt ever fails to feed you in a crisis you will be first in line to steal and loot from those same well prepared neighbors.

Moonymaniac
Moonymaniac

Wow. They've done nothing illegal, are open about what they do, and you want the government to investigate them? You get to decide who can have children now do you? I doubt they would want a fascist like you living next to them either.

AllanDonald
AllanDonald

just as Brandon said I'm blown away that a single mom can get paid $7398 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this link

===>>> Just Click on My Name For detailsb>

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

Chris, thank you again for all your help with the story. We'll correct that information in the online version.

Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris

12 21 12 it aint the end of the world .. ITS THE END OF AN ERA ... apparently people dont like reading history ... or just don't understand the Mayan Calender ... WE WILL BE ALIVE ON 12/22/12 ... so you all can welcome the new Era ... Wow people really just don't understand

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

Hi Jake. I hope you will take the time to read the story beyond the first few paragraphs.

runrandrand
runrandrand

I HAVE A GIANT NICE CERAMIC MAYAN CALENDER PLATE/BOWL WE ARE GOING TO SMASH WITH THE SLEDGE HAMMER , AND DO FIREWORKS, HAVE A BAR-B-QUE, AND DRINK LOTTSA BOOOZE ON THE APPROPRIATE DAY AND TIME---THAT IS MUCH MORE POSITIVE--!

Chris J Petrovich
Chris J Petrovich

Oh man, Stefan......Can you find a better picture of me, not even my family recognizes me.......I would owe you one for that......and in a worst case scenario, that could be a very good thing for you.......worth more than gold.

Steve
Steve

Hope your sarcasm doesn't come back to bite you hard. Otherwise, you'll just be another dead zombie.

 
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