Scott Hunt, owner of the South Carolina-based emergency preparedness firm Practical Preppers, which audiences will recognize from the TV show Doomsday Preppers, is slammed these days. Calls and emails are coming from his regular clientele of people who are always stocking supplies in case of emergency, but also from people who don’t usually “prep,” as they call it, but are now worried about the coronavirus.
Doomsday Preppers, which ran from 2011 to 2014 on National Geographic, followed Americans who believed they needed to prepare for a major catastrophe that would end the world as we know it. Episodes centered on people stockpiling food and other supplies in an underground bunker or elsewhere in anticipation of the end of the world’s food supply, an economic collapse or the outbreak of another world war. National Geographic directed Yahoo Entertainment to the show's production company for comment but attempts to reach Sharp Entertainment were not immediately successful.
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Hunt appeared as an expert on the show and analyzed the emergency plans people put in place.
“There’s people, obviously, Googling, looking for food, long-term food storage, and masks and other items that are related to preparedness so that they can shelter in place if they had to stay home,” Hunt tells Yahoo Entertainment. “You’ve got to have water and food and medical supplies, masks, so we've got a lot more contact, of course, because of what is going on. That’s normal with any type of scare or economic downturn, it doesn’t matter, but this one has been the first time we’ve had to deal with no food available.”
Hunt is unable to help some of his customers because some of his suppliers of freeze-dried food are out of merchandise. The food section of the Practical Preppers website is largely cleaned out, although some items remain.
His advice now is to simply visit a local supermarket for long-term supplies.
“Don’t panic buy. Just buy things that you would use and just go to the grocery store and stock up. Don’t go crazy,” he advises. “We don’t want to break the bank or pull the credit cards out, but if they can do a three-month period of time, that’s pretty good to shoot for. If they had to shelter in place for three months, could they? And we just ask the question. No fear-mongering, no trying to scare them. They’re already scared because they're trying to buy food long-term.”
While we’re on the subject, Hunt, whose business also focuses on sustainable living design, is very aware of the stereotype of a doomsday prepper. He admits they sometimes “come across as crazy people,” so he never did care for the name of the reality series he appeared on.
“We hate the doomsday moniker at all, we don’t like that name. We just think this is practical,” Hunt explains. “What do people need? They need food and water and, you know, don’t wait until the last minute. Because if you already have the stuff, you’re not freaking out and you can actually help other people.”
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