Nicky Wolf reports for the Guardian from the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo in Florida, where “survivalists are ready to bug out (or in) with everything imaginable – from bowie knives to chainsaws”:
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It’s the night before Valentine’s Day, and the world is ending.
I am in Lakeland, Florida, for the weekend; a small, well-manicured town surrounded by strip malls and lakelets an hour outside of Tampa. The breeze is cool, but the air tastes of the tropics. There are alligators in the lakes, I’m told.
Tomorrow at 9am, the doors will open for the National Preppers and Survivalists Expo, the largest of its kind for people preparing to face the apocalypse, civil unrest, natural disasters or some combination of all three.
Some of them are preparing to “bug-out” (as in, run for the hills when the shit hits the fan) in large paramilitary units or tightknit bug-out teams. Others are preparing to “bug-in”: hunker down in bunkers with an appalling amounts of guns, ammunition and freeze-dried macaroni.