Preparing for an apocalyptic event – or “prepping” – has been on the minds of thousands of people for generations. For some, it’s nothing more than putting away several weeks’ worth of water, food and fuel to survive a natural disaster.  But for others who take it WAY more serious, it’s all about being prepared for a cataclysmic event that could change life as we know it.

Imagine yourself in this scenario: terrorists – either foreign or domestic (think Jericho) – have set off a nuclear device on US soil causing the world as we know to spiral into chaos. The resulting Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) blast wipes out everything without a shielded circuit board – no computers, no cellphones, and most unmodified cars all stop working.

Think EMPs aren’t a legitimate threat? EMPs can be triggered by numerous events including solar flares. Solar flares, like the one that just missed the earth a couple weeks ago and the one scientists predict will hit in September 2013, are a major concern. How would you eat, drink, and survive if an EMP strikes? Well if you’ve been prepping for years for just such an event, like Brent Sr., you travel high into the hills and take refuge in your fortified EMP-proof castle.

Brent, Sr., along with five of his ten children – Brent II, Ashley, Lindsey, Michael and Dawn-Marie – have taken to the red clay-stained hills of Carolina to build a reinforced castle complete with booby traps, murder holes, an underground bunker, a trebuchet and of course, a drawbridge spanning a fire moat. National Geographic Channel has created a show, called Doomsday Castle, that follows the family as they work (and occasionally fight) together to finish building their father’s dream. Instead of following the exploits of multiple families as in Doomsday Preppers, the spinoff focuses solely on Brent, Sr.

THE FAMILY

Brent, Sr. – For the most part Brent, Sr. is a quiet man – that is until you talk to him about prepping. Senior isn’t ashamed or embarrassed to talk about building an enormous castle to protect his family against what he perceives to be a real and viable threat. Even though he’s essentially been working on the castle alone for 14 years, he now spends as much time with his children at the castle as he can. He wants them to know as much about sustainable survival skills as he does, in case an EMP disaster were ever to occur.

Brent II – Brent II, or B2 as he sometimes likes to be called, is the exact opposite of his father. He’s loud. He’s brash. He often does things without thoroughly thinking them through – which can sometimes lead to dangerous situations (see the battering ram incident of episode one). B2 hasn’t always gotten along with the rest of his family and was estranged from everyone until he started helping with the castle. Still, he has a lot of ingenuity and creativity brewing in his brain – and he’s eager to prove his worth to his father.

Ashley – Ashley is oldest of the girls working on the castle right now but the castle hasn’t always been the most important thing in her life. She’s got a beautiful singing voice (she and her brother Michael wrote a song about the castle), has interests in fashion and one day hopes to become a model or singer/songwriter. Being involved in “girly” things doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to buckle down and do what’s necessary to survive. She’s smart and easily adapts to changing situations – she’s also a master at smoking meat in the homemade smoker (a smoker she built).

Lindsey – Like her father Brent, Sr., Lindsey’s goal in life is to be successful in business and she recognizes the importance of knowing basic survival skills. She can easily identify many plants in the wild that have healing properties. She has a strong personality and will make it her goal to prove you wrong if you tell her she can’t do something. I told her she couldn’t give me $100 but I’m still waiting for her to prove me wrong.

Michael – Michael and his twin sister Dawn-Marie are the youngest members of the castle but no one buys into their father’s vision more than Michael. Just talk to him for a few minutes and it’s easy to tell he fully believes the castle is the right thing for him and his family. Michael is still learning a lot of the survival skills he needs from his father but his background in construction and trees comes in handy on a daily basis. Like his sister Ashley, Michael is a gifted musician who can sing, play guitar and even do a little rap-eoke.

Dawn-Marie – Dawn-Marie (don’t leave out the hyphen when writing her name or she’ll correct you) is the self-proclaimed “tough girl” of the family. She’d rather be roughing it in the castle or woods than anywhere else. She’s kind of no-nonsense and gets straight to business when it comes to prepping – and in that way she’s more like her father Brent, Sr. than any of the other kids. She’s quite handy with a crossbow and maintains the family’s sustainable garden.

Continue reading about the Castle and Its Defenses

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