Have you ever been in a situation where a little extra preparation could have made your life a lot more comfortable? These scenarios can range anywhere from the mundane to the extreme. While mundane moments such as short-lived power failure and an inconvenient tornado might happen frequently in the United States, the television and movie industries tend to depict extreme emergency situations. Most likely we won’t ever have to experience these extreme emergencies, but they sure are exciting and, most importantly, can teach important lessons in preparing.
On March 11th, 2016, 10 Cloverfield Lane was released in theaters starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the story has a loose connection to the 2008 surprise hit Cloverfield.
The initial movie trailer first aired during Super Bowl 50 and the movie features a small group of people trapped in a bunker underground waiting out whatever apocalyptic event may or may not be happening above. Inside the bunker are loads of emergency food storage items, water, gear, and other necessities. They looked like they could live quite comfortably (as comfortably as a bunker can be with people and intentions you don’t know, anyway) for quite some time.
10 Cloverfield Lane is very entertaining if you are into movies with intense drama and lightning fast turns in the story line. From a preparedness perspective, the movie makes it evident that regardless of your motivations you can be prepared for almost anything. So, thanks to producer JJ Abrams for entertaining us and giving us food for thought on preparedness!
Did you see 10 Cloverfield Lane? Let us know your thoughts on the movie in the comments below!
Along with the release of the movie, an interview video was released in which the actors of 10 Cloverfield Lane discussed what they would like to take with them in a bunker in real life. See the video here.
Put yourself in their shoes. If you knew you were being forced to live in a bunker for who knows how long…what would you take? Personally, I’d make sure I had a load of board game. After all, things could get boring really fast. But what else? What are the necessities in your life that you just couldn’t imagine living without?
And why, then, would a big film company make a movie about living in a bunker if it’s so boring?
And that got us thinking: what is it about prepping that makes for such great entertainment? One reason could be because there are plenty of real threats that most people aren’t prepared for, so that adds an extra sense of drama. Or perhaps it’s about seeing if all that preparation was really worth it. Whatever the reason, producers of mainstream media have realized that this whole “prepping” or “survivalist” thing touches a nerve with the cultural sentiments and realities of our day. They then grow the story to levels they feel will trigger feelings or emotions that make the experience memorable.
As we rehash 10 Cloverfield Lane’s scenario over and over in our minds, we started thinking about other movies and TV shows that had a similar theme of emergency preparedness. Here are a few we came up with.
You, Me, and the Apocalypse first aired as a TV series in the fall of 2015. While not so much focused on the prepping aspect for the end of the world, You, Me, and the Apocalypse is a comedy-drama that follows different people during the last month before a massive comet – supposedly on an unavoidable collision course with Earth – ends all life as they know it. Even though the “stock up on food and gear” mentality isn’t entrenched in the show, the fact that they’re dealing with the end of the world shows us that it’s at least strong enough on their minds that they would make an entire TV series out of it. That being said, if a comet the size of Manhattan was going to hit Earth in 30 days, how would you prepare?
Zombies seem just about as likely to infiltrate our world as a super-massive comet striking our planet, but at least with The Walking Dead, the characters are in a survival setting. Civilization has all but collapsed, and those remaining must use their survival skills and instincts to keep from falling to the mindless zombies.
The entertainment factor is definitely there judging by the popularity and longevity of the show. There are also a number of things preppers find useful in this series, including survival techniques. The Walking Dead first aired in 2010 and as of this writing in 2016 is still going strong.
Similar to The Walking Dead, Falling Skies follows a group of survivors following an alien invasion that basically ruined Earth. The same survival instincts and techniques apply to aliens as they do to zombies, so it’s worth a watch if survival shows are your cup of tea.
Released in theaters in 2011, Contagion depicts the swift outbreak of a disease. As opposed to disaster survival and zombie shows, this movie makes viewers realize that we should be prepared for anything – including an epidemic. Catching a bad bug can be devastating to an individual, but If many people contract the same illness at once a society’s infrastructure can’t help but suffer. Taking note that not all emergencies are due to otherworldly influences it’s good to keep some balance in mind as we plan and prepare for the future.
A popular young adult dystopian novel, The Hunger Games films became box office hits. Following a young woman struggling to stay alive in a kill-or-be-killed arena designed to be a large, outdoor world, there are tons of prepping and survival tips. One thing that sticks out in particular is the main character’s realization that they need to stick close to a source of water. There’s a lot to be learned about survival when you’re running for your life in a game designed to kill.
Why is it so entertaining to see one man, alone in the wild, showing off his survival tricks? We generally watch it from our comfy couch cushions because we can. If ever there was an irony in watching these prepper shows, this might be it. But again, this is a widely popular reality TV show, something both survivalists and non-survivalists alike tune into on a regular basis. There’s definitely something enthralling about emergency situations and the skills used to survive.
Perhaps the most direct in topic, Doomsday Preppers highlights different survivalists and their preparations should civilization as we know it come to an end. While some prepare for economic collapse, others prepare for a polar shift, while others still prepare for urban survival. If preparing for an emergency is your thing, you might very well be interested in how these preppers go about their business.
These are just a few examples of a host of preparedness-related movies and television programs, many of which can be viewed on Hulu or Netflix. These programs may be entertaining and exciting, but perhaps that’s because they’re designed to be that way. By showing us extreme cases in which preparing is crucial (like fending off zombies), we are much more invested in what’s going on in the show.
However, in all my years on Earth, I have yet to meet a zombie, get lost in the wild with just a pocket knife and a will to live, or flee from a super-massive alien intent on obliterating everything in its path. These scenarios are exciting, yes, but real life just isn’t like that (for most of us, anyway).
The world is a relatively safe place. We have modern amenities that make life easier. When disaster does come, we’re usually able to rebuild quickly. But it’s the mindset behind these programs that stick with us. What if severe weather rolls in and knocks out your power for a few days? What if you unexpectedly lose your job? These less-apocalyptic situations are more apt to happen, and when they do, being prepared with extra food and gear can help life continue on as normal.