Jason Charles is another great example of the urban doomsday preppers. Living in the largest city in the USA has some serious implications and he has an interesting approach to them.
1. Yellowstone national park
We already know how preppers should feel about volcanoes. But is the Yellowstone Caldera a threat? I recently read an interesting article by a geologist about the likelihood of a disaster level event from Yellowstone.
Yellowstone is actually a series of three different calderas, with fault line and water driven types of eruptions. Another important thing to note is that there have been a number of smaller eruptions between the last supereruption 640,000 years ago. The author also doubts that even a supereruption would create enough ash to reach NYC. The last supereruption went as far as Nebraska (1000 miles) which would not disrupt the east coast directly but could definitely disrupt domestic food production.
2. NYC and urban prepping
New York city is one of the most populated cities in the world and would be a horrible place to be in the event of a global food crisis. Jason is wise to focus on defense first. New York is one of the toughest states to get a gun license in and does not issue concealed carry permits, but if I were living there I would certainly push the paperwork before I started paying Israeli guys for Krav Maga lessons.
There may be a point when it comes to staying hidden and fighting indoors. A gunshot would destroy any secrecy if trying to hide resources. Also, there is no telling where a stray bullet could go in an apartment building, especially important with family around.
3. Martial arts
Didn’t really go into it too much but Jason was seen strapping on a katana at the beginning and brandishing a knife with a bladed pommel that looked like it came out of star trek. For self defense and reliability it’s best to stick with a full tang blade or else your knife could end up splitting in two at first contact.
Krav maga is definitely a solid choice for functional self defense. It’s very well regarded in the private defense world, ex-Israeli soldiers with Krav experience are said to be some of the best in the world. There is something to be said for the teaching method though. Doing drills is good for getting form but without live sparring there is no telling how applicable any of these techniques will be.
Krav maga often has live sparring sessions which weren’t pictured in the show but anyone looking to join a krav maga school (or any martial art for that matter) absolutely has to look for a place that does sparring. Without it, you might as well be taking choreographed dance lessons.
4. The bug in plan
The problem with Jason’s bug in plan is that it is neither a good stocking plan nor a good bugout plan. With 100 gallons of water and 4 people in the family he can survive for about 25 days. His defense is great within the home but leaves much to be desired against an organized group. What would happen if a gang decided to go door to door? What somebody lit a fire to smoke him out? There are too many variables in the city like this for me to be comfortable.