Somerville man prepares for nuclear armageddon with land in upstate New York, RV and new wife

National Geographic's "Disaster Preppers" featured Brian Murdock of Somerville, whose survival plan is to drive his RV west (with his new bride), away from the Boston area, because nobody else will think of doing that, apparently. Some disaster-prep experts, though, say he needs to up his efforts:

H/t Maureen Rogers for introducing us to this cheery show.



Free tagging: 


    Upstate NY

    Well, if you ain't ever been out of Somerville, I guess you might think that is "far away" and "way out in the boonies".

    Never mind that Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Montreal, Ottawa, etc. aren't too far away for people to steal your cache should it hit the fan. Not only that, but nuclear facilities - like the ones he would have to pass to get to his hideout - are likely targets in all out war.

    Armageddon is the least of his worries

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    He has a fiancee who says "I love you, but sometimes I want to kill you" and he's teaching her how to shoot a gun and "protect the perimeter".

    Paging Chekhov...

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    He has a fiancee who says "I love you, but sometimes I want to kill you" and he's teaching her how to shoot a gun and "protect the perimeter".

    What was that he said about a gun in the first act of a play?

    after the apocalypse

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    Are there voices in the media stoking the thinking that we need a plan B for after the apocalypse? I mean beyond fantasy drama on TNT.

    Does Alex Jones? Glenn Beck? Anyone know?

    Well, to answer you question.

    Well, to answer you question. I would guess that if the apocalypse hits, there will be plenty of cars with gas inside to siphon whose owners would be dead or abandoned.

    True, but after awhile ...

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    Won't he run out of usable fuel because gasoline goes bad?

    But I suppose, depending on where, exactly, in upstate New York he'll be survivalisting, he could do his own fracking and cracking.

    VERY few people have never been outside of Somerville

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    ...of course the other stuff you wrote about Montreal, Buffalo, Boston[!] not being far away is true. What exactly do you think would happen in the event of a major emergency like like a nuke war, EMP or biological attack or accident, natural disaster of major proportions, etc., here in the northeast? What would happen if society seriously started to break down? Do you think people will just hang around their neighborhoods? Would it be wiser for people to stay where they are and wait for help from the state and federal government? What if law and order collapsed? What would/should the average citizen do under such circumstances as, I don't know, Hurricane Katrina in NOLA?

    It is of course wise and prudent for people to be prepared for bad unforeseen [or foreseen] circumstances, and not expect to rely too much on outside help. Self reliance is a very good thing and should be strongly encouraged, along with a sense of community. It is wise for people to be prepared for anything from a rainy day to a regular natural semi disaster to a major disaster or situation.

    It's of course easy to mock 'preppers', many are crazy people, and of course the implication by default is they're also 'hicks', and conservatives, which is why they're so often mocked by progressives. Neither is necessarily true. As I stated above, there are many intelligent, cogent and rational reasons for being prepared. Whenever the SHTF you'd be well advised to not have to rely on outside help, especially government help. Ask people in NOLA, or Sandy for that matter. I understand many hardcore progressives don't like what I just wrote, but it's true, regardless of your political and ideological affiliations and beliefs.

    There's compelling reasons why many well off people have out of the way places in addition to their primary homes, why very wealthy by secluded islands or land and estates in South America, etc., And part of it is they know poo can and well happen, and that want someplace to hide out. They're intelligent and resourceful people. Why should the average person prepare likewise, within their means, of course?

    *rant off*

    It seems to me there's a

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    It seems to me there's a difference between preparedness for natural disaster and the paranoia the majority of preppers on TV perpetuate with their unnecessarily aggressive posturing.* Stereotypes exist for a reason, after all.

    Suppose the "end times" come and I'm "prepped" and (against all odds), I get my RV from Boston out to my secret cache in upstate New York. So then what? I've survived armageddon, or the pestilence, or the Communist gay Muslin socialist takeover, or the four horsemen, or whatever. So then what do I do?

    I'm not so sure I wouldn't just be okay going down with the whole shitpile.

    * FWIW, my thought is these "preppers" are a bunch of poseurs with narcissistic tendnecies. True prepping is not making yourself a target of those who will be in want.

    Hi, I wrote the post you were responding to

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    I agree with you...they also strike me as narcissistic posers, and/or have $ at stake with the so-called prepper movement. We unfortunately have A LOT of posers, shysters and similar types in our country, and they encompass all socioeconomic and ideological backgrounds. in fact you could extrapolate and say our economy is in general based on middle men and women.

    That said, I also think most people dislike [hate?] them because they consider themselves 'progressive', better educated, and for some reason I still don't quite understand, possess a phobia regarding 'aggressive' [READ: masculine .. aggressive in and of itself isn't bad or evil, but the implication when it's used by many 'progressives is it relates to un-metrosexual or worse un-pc males], although conversely celebrate female aggressiveness as being empowering. And the fact this guy here is a 'big' obviously 'aggressive' white guy [probably not college educated...clutch the pearls!] and looking down the barrel of a firearm in the pic, certainly is designed to convey to he should be automatically mocked and laughed at by more 'progressive' people, who of course know better. UNFORTUNATELY image means a lot and will be used and abused by many people with an ideological bone to pick or for marketing purposes.

    Explain how you get to your bug-out post apocalypse

    I don't think an RV is going to do so well getting out of the boston area if there is nuclear shit going down.

    Once out of the Boston area, he's going to have to pass by or near to some major dirty targets to get to his destination. As for other countries, you still have to be able to get there.

    If he were totally serious about this, he could do two things: move up there full time and work from his bug-out; or he could move someplace like Klamath Falls, OR where people like him and his wife would fit right in (large concentration and even communities of preppers and off-the-grid living folks), where there are increasing numbers of data center jobs, and where he would be as far from a major population center or nuclear facility as it is possible to get in the US - Not to mention upwind of the entire continent in terms of fallout.

    Planning to drive to upstate NY from Somerville in any meaningful interval with several targets and sources of fallout upwind and within easy atmospheric reach is not terribly practical. He'd be better off in a helicopter, and might not live long once he got there anyway.

    stop it with the pigeonholing

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    All of your rational for why it's important to be prepared for disaster completely makes sense to me, and I agree to an extent, but your analysis of "progressives" in this situation - what they think and how they might act in a disaster - is way off the mark. You should re-consider putting everyone who's progressive into a box that you totally made up. When you talk about progressives being sorry to hear that the government isn't going to come help them when there's a big disaster/all out war, you are jumping to conclusions about how a liberal-minded person sees the government and to what extent it can actually help people. I'm assuming you think progressives would expect the government would bail them out of a disaster because we believe in certain social safety nets - like health care and unemployment benefits. However, it would be completely idiotic for me to think that the government could help me out when we're being nuked. just, no. no one thinks that, especially not educated liberal folk. In the days after Sandy, the Red Cross and other beaurocratic entities were doing such a terrible job of getting help to people in need, so a lot of radical and progressive groups organized on their own, setting up their own organized groups of volunteers and collecting supplies on their own through Amazon registries and such. Were people prepared? no, not for the most part. But they worked together as a community to take care of each other. I can see why someone would want to be prepared on their own and not rely on their community or anyone else. I think it's a matter of how you prefer to relate to the people around you in a time of crisis. Progressive people don't look down on preppers because they're uneducated or masculine. I, as a raging liberal feminist (who is not aggressive, by any means), do not look down on people who are less educated or choose to have a totally different way of life than me. [note: masculine does not equal aggressive. someone can be masculine without being aggressive. an aggressive person is not necessarily masculine. someone can dislike aggression, but that doesn't mean they dislike masculinity]. I actually just would rather live more in the moment and spend my money on a lot of other things than these grand plans for hiding out the the end times. I think it's a little crazy to live life so extravagantly paranoid. I'm not sure I'd want to even be one of the only survivors in a world full of nuclear fallout and dead people rotting all over the place. If there's a major storm coming, am I going to prepare myself with supplies to survive for a while? yes. but I'm not going to build a bomb shelter and build a massive cache of supplies to survive some unknown future war. I've got life I prefer to live today.

    Also, this dude's plan will only really work under certain conditions. If he's got warning, then he might make it to his site. but if there's a sudden attack and the roads are destroyed or blocked, there's no way he's making the trip to his shelter. He should consider moving a lot closer to it, if he really wants to improve his chances of surviving.


    Sad thing is, he's pretty much the epitome of Middle American fitness.

    He may need it

    Lots of guns for security, but the experts rightfully point out that he doesn't know how to hunt or dress game.


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    Where in Somerville does this guy park this RV?

    Watch...apocalypse hits and his RV gets towed by Somerville Parking due to street cleaning.

    Preppers = bullshit, Murdock = slaver

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    Yeah, strong words - but true ones I believe. I watched the longer NatGeo preview of this episode several weeks ago - in it, Brian Murdock admits that he specifically went to the Phillipines to find a wife from a lower class community because she would be used to working hard and doing with less - and would have no recourse but to stick close to him once he brought her to this country.

    He never told Tatianna before he brought her to the US that he intended to immediately "leave civilization" and move to upstate New York. She thought she'd be living as the wife of a computer programmer in the Boston metro area. In the preview, she admits to feeling misled and lied to - but having no options other than to follow her husband's lead.

    He took advantage of her cultural and religious beliefs to get himself a slave.


    Wrt to Preppers show in general... As someone with a fair degree of first-hand experience about the work and resources necessary to provide sustenance from the land, I think that 9 out of 10 of the people who appear on this show would die within a year if left completely on their own.

    They're often delusional and paranoid/xenophobic to the point of psychosis. And they are typically in denial about the huge amount of shared and distributed effort that takes place between residents of a sustainable rural community. As a former country boy, I find it rather insulting actually - many of the people featured on the show are 'city slickers' who claim they'll be able to hunt or farm enough on a few dozen acres to keep themselves alive - in reality, I think many of them actually expect to murder and take what they need from others - but are just smart enough not to admit as much on camera.

    The 'survival tips' that the show's 'experts' offer are sometimes useful versions of well-known camping tips, and sometimes complete baloney.

    Fast Forward Ten Years

    They have kids, she is tired of her and the kids doing without to finance his hobby, and ends up leaving with the kids and her half of the property.

    Or God Forbid...

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    ... He shoots her and/or the kids in some sort of myssoginistic rage.

    You hit the nail on the head

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    "They're often delusional and paranoid/xenophobic to the point of psychosis. And they are typically in denial about the huge amount of shared and distributed effort that takes place between residents of a sustainable rural community. As a former country boy, I find it rather insulting actually - many of the people featured on the show are 'city slickers' who claim they'll be able to hunt or farm enough on a few dozen acres to keep themselves alive - in reality, I think many of them actually expect to murder and take what they need from others - but are just smart enough not to admit as much on camera."

    This is what happens when Hostess goes out of business

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    If you watch Family Guy, you know that all you need to do to prepare for doomsday is to know how to get to the Twinkie factory in Natick because Twinkies will survive the apocalypse.

    Damn you, Hostess!

    This is what happens when Hostess goes out of business

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    hope the "Preppers" do more than watch tv or they"ll all converge on the Natick Twinkie factory only to find it's become a Neiman Marcus. Perhaps there are edible parts of Jimmy Choos?

    Gun Control

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    And it is people like this that most represent the need for better gun control in this country.

    Anyone this crazy, is too crazy to own a gun legally.

    And besides being paranoid, delusional, and just plain stupid -- he's also a complete misogynist.

    This is where potential gun regulation gets fuzzy

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    It's so easy to say crazy people shouldn't own a gun. It's much harder to define "crazy."

    Statements like yours scare me because I'm mentally ill and have been under the care of a psychiatrist for years.

    That's all the information you have. I'm not going to say what I have, what medications I take or anything else. I have never been hospitalized, am no danger to myself or anyone else and you would never know I'm mentally ill if I didn't tell you.

    Am I crazy? Should I be able to own a gun?

    Oh sure!

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    Wanna just borrow mine? I left it at Starbucks in Brookline.

    Cottage Industry in Reality Freakshows

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    I wish these shows would introduce a person who would go in and challenge these people about their beliefs. Imagine like Dennis Miller...and in response to everything the people being profiled says, he just asks, "Are you F-ing kidding me? What if monkeys start flying out of your ass? Do you have a plan to deal with that?

    Dennis Miller?

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    uh....wrong annoyingly sarcastic and condescending comedian to pick. He'd probably be down with this guy - flipping through mail order bride catalogs and eating jerky. I think Bill Maher would be the more appropriate asshole in this context.

    As the preppers say, you'll

    As the preppers say, you'll keep laughing at them until the day comes, and then you'll $hit your pants. They've got basements full of food, medicine and the odd necessaries. They've got a case full of toothpaste, disinfectants to clean wounds, and filters to make water potable.

    The experts tell us that a few years ago, our economy teetered on the edge of collapse. The experts tell us that our financial system is so complex and unstable that the flap of a butterfly's wing could take it down. Did you pay attention? Preppers did. And they know that you didn't.

    Which is exactly why they're loading up on guns and ammo - they know that when it comes down to it, you'll be wandering the countryside expecting them - the stupid people - to give you the food and necessities of life you ridiculed them for putting away.

    Will things ever get that bad? I don't know. I also didn't know that Wall Street had poisoned itself with toxic debt. I do know that our national and state governments are screaming towards functional bankruptcy. There's no secret here, and there's nothing to debate - everyone who cares knows it. It's not even controversial among economists. There's no need of a nuclear war - we're doing it ourselves.

    Personally, I'd say that most preppers - not the ones they put on TV for ratings - are closer to pragmatic reality than the vast majority of college educated, progressive urban dwellers. Our society has become more fragile, not more resilient. And no, buying your vegetables from the urban farmers' market of your choice doesn't help.

    I've already decided

    I'm taking Ralphie and a couple of those old ladies that cook in the back at the Galleria Umberto and I'm taking them to the family cave in New Hampshire!


    here's the thing: I paid attention as I whiled away the hours in place with little effective government other than the occupying military I had the honor to be part of, no financial system worth the name, no utilities other than cell phones and religious nutters wandering city and farm urging blood, death and fire. It wasn't a field trip to Paragon Park but it wasn't the 24/7 Festival of Hobbes.

    Most people, even those we consider 'primitive' and who think they have reason to hate all 'othered,' aren't moved to be feral, even under serious deprivation. And the ones who are so moved are very often not competent at much beyond letting go of a dead-man's switch - which isn't, important tip here, something an RV full of canned chickpeas, Berkey water filters and boxes of .22LR can overcome.

    The SHTF scenario is not remotely plausible to me in this nation in this time, thus investing in a plan for it is not even marginally pragmatic. But if I were ever convinced that the North Shore could become the Korengal because of an election, a stock market dip or a mortgage bubble - and that kind of convincing, brother, would take tab upon tab of the fine acid the ULowell kids used to make - the first thing I'd do would not be buy a road-zeppelin that screams 'I've got lots of nifty stuff inside' and lurch down post-apocalyptic highways hoping I can gas up every few hundred yards while my resentful bride is on overwatch.

    God bless the boy, though. If it distracts him from getting the only open parking meter or buying the last warm chocolate-frosted, more power to 'im. I'm comfortable knowing that, even if the wet-prep-dream comes to pass and the world goes kablooey, I'm a far better shot and a damn sight smaller target.

    I ain't too worried

    I'm a trailer trash hick. Just because I'd rather buy farmer's market veggies and pay to have others do the dirty work of making food doesn't mean that I don't know how to fish, hunt, or garden. I can sew and make shelters, too. Those skills will mean far more in the long run than canned food, which you can loot out of a grocery store or delivery truck.

    I assume you'll bring your

    I assume you'll bring your gun to loot the store - and to fight off the others. And then how long will it last? I assume you've taught your kids to shoot as well.

    If there is nuclear war

    Pretty much everything east of the rocky mountains will be nigh uninhabitable, anyway. Fallout will spread from destroyed cities and our lovely nuclear waste pools, regardless of whether they are bombed or just blow up Fukushima style when the cooling water stops circulating. Winds blow west to east, and we are in the most densely populated zone.

    If I'm in Northern California or Southern Oregon, it might be worth making a living. Otherwise, its slow death from fallout one way or another. Upstate NY will be one of the most badly contaminated areas, with everything from Chicago to Toronto to Detroit raining down. Remember: if it gets pollution from upwind sources, it doesn't matter how rural it is - the fallout will follow the same track as any other particulate matter. It will be a slow and nasty death in a well-stocked RV.

    So go ahead: hoard and fight over canned goods and all that. I'll be packing up my bike trailer at a liquor store with a stop for just enough .22 ammo for every loved one to opt out when the GI symptoms hit.

    I knew you were delusional but yikes

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    Bet ya have a huge stockpile and a bunch of guns. Probably scared of urban black people. Nah, no probably about it.