18 photos of families across America prepping for the apocalypse

caption
Jeff Nice empties his boot of dried corn at his farm in Kinston, North Carolina.
source
Chris Keane/Reuters

An increasing number of Americans, ranging from Silicon Valley billionaires to Trump-fearing liberals, are preparing for doomsday.

For some, self-reliance is a philosophy for everyday life. They grow their own food, fortify their homes against attack, and learn firearm safety. It’s about providing their families with a level of assurance that they can withstand whatever catastrophe comes their way, whether it’s nuclear war, a viral epidemic, or a zombie apocalypse.

In 2012, Reuters photographers set out to capture the daily lives of several US families who consider themselves doomsday preppers. Take a look inside their homes.


Jeff Nice, a former government contractor, left behind the world of computers to work on his 13-acre farm in North Carolina. Most days, he’s chipping away at chores.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

These aren’t ordinary chores, however. On a typical day, Nice can be found planting grass, tending the livestock, or doing maintenance on his tractor to keep it in working order.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

He lives with his wife, Jeanie, and their animals — cows, chickens, and turkeys.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Oh, and bees. They help the vegetables, flower, and other garden plants thrive.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

The Nice family is well-stocked in the event a catastrophe strikes.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Shelving in the barn and two extra refrigerators provide plenty of space to store provisions. The farm also includes a 200-yard rifle range, where Jeff teaches gun safety.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Software engineer Phil Burns grew up in a self-reliant, or survivalist, family. The father of eight has carried on that tradition in his home in rural American Fork, Utah.

source
Jim Urquhart/Reuters

They live on a 35-acre farm at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, where the family has livestock and gardens. Their inventory includes handguns and “bug-out bags,” or portable kits that contain the items they would need to survive when evacuating from a disaster.

source
Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Burns — seen sporting an air purifying mask — is also co-owner and chief technology officer of The American Preppers Network, a national organization that promotes self-reliance.

source
Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Hugh Vail, an entrepreneur and co-owner of the American Preppers Network, keeps a meticulous inventory of his food storage at his family’s home in Bountiful, Utah.

source
Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Vail occasionally blogs for the organization, writing on topics as varied as the advantages of storing freeze-dried foods and how to make an “emergency sanitation facility,” or toilet.

source
Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Source: American Preppers Network


In Warrenton, North Carolina, Mike Holland (right) oversees a sort of preppers commune. He lives on the 13-acre property with his wife, four children, and three other men.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

The residents work together to ensure they can stand up to an apocalyptic event. In addition to livestock, they also have a greenhouse and trailers to hold food supplies.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Holland also keeps ammunition and firearms in stock. There’s a safe room where the family can flee in case of an emergency and a military-grade generator for power.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Surveillance cameras placed around the property add another layer of security. They send a live feed to a TV display mounted in the living room.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

Not all preppers can agree on what the end of the world looks like. Many more don’t care to speculate. But one thing is certain …

source
Chris Keane/Reuters

There’s no such thing as being overprepared.

source
Chris Keane/Reuters