In the ramp-up to the latest season of "Doomsday Preppers," National Geographic Channel unleashed the "War Machine" promo. And if you think you don't have enough to worry about from meth lab operators, gangbangers, drunk drivers, and the occasional loon going postal, just consider living in a neighborhood where the resident prepper is outfitted with an actual military-issue, fully armored war tank.
Such a prepper is Rodney Dial, an Alaska man whose version of doomsday is a catastrophic tsunami that reduces civilization to some quasi-apocalyptic nightmare state. So to prepare for such an eventuality, Dial purchased a used war machine, an armored -- and armable -- personnel carrier once owned and operated by the British military in their operations against the Irish in Northern Ireland. Dial calls it the "War Machine."
The "War Machine" is the ultimate tank, the ultimate bug out vehicle. ("Bugging out" is the term used by doomsday preppers to denote the act of leaving a location, usually one's home, for a more safe, secure, defensible location, usually in a sparsely settled and/or mountainous area.) Dial has added a second layer of armor to the hulking black armored vehicle, making it impervious to any known rifle or handgun round. It can also withstand a 20-pound land mine explosion and has gun mounts, not to mention a traditional turret, to make it an offensive weapon as well as a mobile defense position. And like the good prepper he is, Dial has stored up enough diesel fuel to be able to run the "War Machine" for two years. As he describes it, "it's about the baddest vehicle there is."
Dial isn't the only doomsday prepper with an armored vehicle in search of an apocalypse. In the episode "Prepper's Paradise" (which originally aired in January), Jim D displayed his 13-ton a all-wheel-drive truck he christened "The Behemoth." He designed the massive truck not only for defense but as an armored mobile home.
Jim D's particular doomsday fear? A catastrophic failure of the power grid, the repercussions of which will undoubtedly result in civil disorganization and collapse.
Rodney Dial and his "up-armored" ultimate tank will roll across America's televisions screens in the premiere episode (appropriately entitled "Ultimate Tank") in the latest seasonal round of shows exhibiting the fringe lifestyle of those who have taken survivalism to the point of obsession. Just add a plausible doomsday scenario and a big dose of fear and dread...
The new season of "Doomsday Preppers" will premiere on October 29 at 9 p.m. (EST) on National Geographic Channel.