After Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, it may seem normal for residents who were in its path to want to stock up on food, water and emergency supplies in preparation for the next big weather event, but one Virginia man is taking it a step further and preparing for his whole family for a "Doomsday" scenario.
Former Loudoun County Sheriff's Deputy Jay Blevins is what some would call a survivalist or a "prepper." He's part of a sub-culture of people in the U.S. who are obsessed with preparing themselves for a catastrophic event.
"As a prepper, we prepare for any emergency, whether it be a hurricane, an earthquake, any type of social unrest, an economic collapse. We wanna be ready for anything."
Blevins says he's been prepping for almost a decade, triggered by mass devastation he experienced after witnessing natural and man-made disasters from around the world.
"It was a combination of events. Things like the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina, the September 11th attacks, experiences I had as a law enforcement officer. And I just felt because I have young kids, I have a family, I just felt I wanted to e prepared for those types of things," says Blevins.
He now stock piles food, water and things needed for surviving in the wilderness in his Shenandoah Valley home.
"We've got about 6 to 8 months worth of food at our house, we've got canned food, jarred food," says Blevins.
He has also encouraged his wife Holly, to become a prepper, too. Mainly, she says, she preps by stocking up on emergency supplies.
"Yes, I have two bins full of things just medical things, like bandages, Epsom salts, medicines, Benadryl, all that kind of stuff," she says.
Have the Blevins gone overboard, or they extreme in a smart way?
"Ironically, though tragic and sad, we got a huge reminder of what can happen, without much warning," says Blevins. "In this situation, with Sandy coming through, there was some warning, there was a little bit of time to get prepared."
Blevins says he's also passionate about sharing his survival methods with his friends and neighbors. In an upcoming episode of National Geographic's second season of "Doomsday Preppers" he can be seen advising his neighbors on what to do in the event of civil unrest caused by an economic collapse, which is one of his admitted fears.
"I feel like the more people that would know, the more people that would be able to take care of themselves," says Blevins, who is also a minister. "Based on my faith, I would like to be able to help, I would absolutely help them out if I could, but really, I want to get the word out there so that folks can take care of themselves."
And part of helping others take care of themselves includes teaching self-defense in the case of civil unrest. Presenting to a room full of students before a table he set up to display an array of real-life weapons (everything from a stun gun to a police baton to a plastic gun) , Blevins asks his students at a recent class he taught:
And part of helping others take care of themselves includes teaching self-defense in the case of civil unrest. Presenting to a room full of students before a table he set up to display an array of real-life weapons (everything from a stun gun and a police baton to a baseball bat and a plastic gun), Blevins asked his students at a recent class:
While some students answered impulsively —"The baseball bat.. The Glock... The Gun..."
Only one answered correctly, according to the former cop.
"My mind, my wits."
"Bingo!," says Blevins. "The most important thing in this room is your mind. None of this stuff means a hill of beans if you don t have it up here," says says pointing at his temple. "Period."
Blevin's has also written a book, entitled "Survival and Emergency Preparedness Skills."