New Yorkers are preparing for "doomsday" in a way that doesn't involve guns, bunkers, or earmarked pages in Revelations, LiveScience reports. Survivalists at one group, NYC Preppers, are planning to safely flee the city in case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack. "They simply don't have the space to build a bunker," says sociologist Anna Bounds, who is studying the survivalists. She says they devise escape routes (including by kayak), keep the car filled with gas, and figure out which home appliances are likely to work in different emergencies. They also take long walks to practice carrying a "bug-out" bag, which weighs between 20 and 25 pounds and contains survival gear like water, food, face masks, compasses, duct tape, and water filtration systems.
Just who are these people? Their political views vary, but they tend to be people of color who have seen disasters like Hurricane Katrina and know how slowly governments can respond to emergencies. They're often into sustainability and local foods, which Bounds admits is a far cry from survival in nature: "What you have to understand about New Yorkers is we're used to convenience and we're used to immediate gratification," she says. "Roughing it, for us, is not having takeout." By contrast, the FBI says a Doomsday prepper in Florida has admitted to stockpiling weapons and creating boobytraps in preparation for a Biblical apocalypse, the Tampa Bay Times reports. In exchange for turning himself in, Martin Winters received Gatorade, fries, cheeseburgers, and dry shoes, says another Times article. (Read more doomsday scenarios stories.)