Paul Range and Gloria Haswell have enough food, water, and guns to see the apocalypse through. And you're not invited.
Published: May 9, 2012
"Society, as a whole, is woefully unprepared for any kind of disruption," says Haswell. "I think it will be either food chain, oil supply, or both." Adds Range, "If it collapses, how many people know, for instance, how to wildcraft? To grow their own food? How many people could successfully make a wind generator out of PVC tubing and a car alternator? How many people even have their own source of water?"
Range and Haswell have installed wind and solar generation to power the compound, and two wells supply groundwater along with a suite of rainwater catchment systems. A herd of goats roams the grounds, along with geese and chickens. A methane digester near a hog pen that edges the gardens turns animal and human waste into odorless fuel used to cook inside. And in true prepper fashion, they often cook up to five meals a day, constantly canning and storing. Their massive pantry holds some 50,000 pounds of food, which they estimate could feed over a dozen people for at least a decade. "This is like our insurance policy," Range says.
It's an insurance policy for others, too. What Range and Haswell have envisioned is a "planned community" for when society breaks. Included are family members, friends with military backgrounds, and others they've met through survivalist training community gardening projects. Each has a specific role — there's a master grower, a master metal smith, as well as someone in the medical field, for instance. "We don't need cooks and philosophers, we've got plenty of both," Range says. "And don't just show up here with your appetite and your dick in your hand. We won't take you."
And if, once it hits the fan, the shit starts to rain down hard, Range and Haswell have designed a formidable Plan B: old school buses, decked out and filled with canned goods and supplies, designed to act as "bug-out vehicles." They routinely train with members of the doomsday crew to ensure escape, if needed, would go off without a hitch.
San Antonio massage therapist Lisa Marie (not her real name) is a part of that planned community. "Financial collapse is one of my big fears. … We're spoiled and we don't know how to grow anything on our own, how to rebound," she says. Visiting Range and Haswell on a recent Saturday, she worked around the property, readying the room where she and her loved ones will stay if society, as we know it, craters. If the end hits, each will wave the secret sign at Range's front gate, proving they're part of this select doomsday crew.
"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," she says. "But this is my insurance policy. I think it's a pretty damn good one." •
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