OK, so maybe they’re a little bit…off. Like your cousin who presented you with a crossbow as a wedding gift.
But there’s little doubt the good folks featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers are firm believers in being prepared for the worst. Here is Nat Geo’s description of the program:
“Doomsday Preppers explores the lives of otherwise ordinary Americans who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Unique in their beliefs, motivations, and strategies, preppers will go to whatever lengths they can to make sure they are prepared for any of life’s uncertainties. And with our expert’s assessment, they will find out their chances of survival if their worst fears become a reality.”
Here’s my take: Thank goodness they don’t live next door.
They may be extreme, and heavily armed and possess an exorbitant amount of canned peaches, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn a few things from these folks ready to go all Mad Max if necessary. These preppers undoubtedly touch on some important survival strategies that certainly apply to the cyber-worlds where many of us live.
Here are some tips, inspired by those inspired to fill fruit cellars with ammunition and 40-pound bags of cous cous, which might keep your digital life intact in the event of a natural, manmade or otherworldly disaster. You might want to mark this down on your Maya calendar.
The Upside of Backup and Virtualization
There really is no downside to backing up your data using cloud-based backup tools for your desktop and mobile devices. The same goes for virtualizing, say, your small business. Once society begins to re-establish itself after the asteroid hits, it will obviously be a big reassurance knowing that all of your Microsoft programs will be there waiting for you, courtesy of virtualization via Vmware .
The cloud has huge potential to make an impact on disaster recovery and the amount of time it takes to get back up and running.
Bug Out Bag: Don’t Leave Home Without It
Doomsday Preppers often features the Bug Out Bag, basically a bag of gear that’s ready-to-go and filled with essentials, such as food, water, first aid kit, flashlight and 12,000 rounds of armor-piercing incendiary shells. Because you never know when those Canadian revolutionaries will want what’s yours.
But it really is a smart idea to have a disaster bag packed (say a few days before an expected weather event), and even take it one step further: Prepare a backpack with cellphone and laptop chargers and a flash drive filled with important documents, contact numbers and emergency information. Throw in some spare batteries and that old laptop collecting dust, and at least you’ve given yourself the chance to alert North Dakotans that the Canadians are coming.
News Flash: Invest in a Flash Drive
Light, secure, easy to disguise and having the potential to hold tons of information, flash drives are an easy way to ensure you have vital information at your fingertips, even as those Arctic aliens try to pry it from your cold hands.
It all comes down to security and providing you and your family with a sense of comfort and preparedness in an uncertain world. Security from a cyber-attack or well-disguised phishing campaign. Security from those afflicted with the zombie sickness. In both cases, vigilance is key. Pay attention to where a Google search takes you before clicking on a suspect link. Pay attention to where you choose to store your photos and documents – sometimes free storage comes with a big cost.
And, most importantly – and this cannot be overstated enough – pay attention as your neighbor’s daughter walks aimlessly, slowly and stiffly toward your compound. She is likely one of the undead.