Americans prepare for disaster
Nuclear issues have dominated the news in April. US President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new START treaty reducing the two countries' nuclear stockpiles by one third. In addition, this week President Obama is hosting nearly 50 world leaders in Washington D.C. for a nuclear security summit. While all the buzz seems to be about nuclear security, not everyone is convinced that the world is becoming a safer place.There's a growing movement in the United States of "preppers" – people who are getting ready in case a disaster strikes. Whether it's a natural disaster, like the earthquakes earlier this year in Chile and Haiti, or a nuclear blowout, the preppers aren't going to wait around for anyone to help them out. They believe that they can only rely on themselves in a catastrophe.
Many preppers are worried about the recession as well as the direction President Obama is leading the country. They believe the president is taking away their liberties and giving too much control to the federal government.
"They're starving, they're losing their apartments, they're losing their homes, and it's just not right," said prepper David Strachan.
Strachan and his friend Joe Parish are preppers who have worked to deck out a mobile home with food, homemade medicine, maps and anything else you could think of to survive for days or weeks at a time on their own.
In the past year, the United States has seen Joseph Stack, a Texan, fly an airplane into an IRS building after writing a suicide manifesto complaining about the US government. More recently, the FBI rounded up a group of militiamen in Michigan who were allegedly plotting against public officials and the American government. These incidents, plus the state of the economy and the country, have preppers believing that the possibility of major conflict in the near future is not too far fetched.
"It seems like the more you make the more the government takes away from us," said Strachan.
While there are no clear numbers on how big the prepper movement is, there is a chapter of the group in almost every U.S. state. They are organized with websites and blogs giving preppers across the country tips on how to survive if there is a major catastrophe.