Source: The Denver Channel

Being ready for a major disaster is no longer the realm solely of Montana militiamen hidden in the mountains.The shaky economy and recent catastrophes are fueling a growing movement of soft-core survivalists, who could just be your next-door neighbors.If there were ever a disaster of any type in Frederick, Colo., the Douglas home is probably where you’d want to be

“From the outside looking in, nobody could really know,” said Ron Douglas.Ron and Heather Douglas and their six children are new members of a growing online network getting ready for the worst, the Colorado Preppers Network.Is it paranoia?”We don’t think so. We think we’re very normal,” said Ron.They point out that post-Hurricane Katrina, the government was criticized for not delivering food and water fast enough.”Even in Colorado, a couple of years ago, we had three or four feet of snow. People couldn’t leave their house,” said Ron. “We had neighbors that didn’t have enough food for three days.”But the Douglas family were preppers when preppers weren’t cool, starting years ago with 72-hour emergency kits for everyone in the family.Every child has a backpack filled with food, water and supplies for three days in case they needed to leave in a hurry.For staying home, they have three month’s water supply, a year’s worth of oil changes and a winter season worth of wood for their wood-burning stove.Their food pantry rivals a grocery store, with enough food to feed eight people for a year.”It can start as simple as just buying a few extra things at the grocery store when you’re there,” said Heather.They also stock up from their backyard garden.”I really like to can,” said Heather. “And so when we can grow a lot of it ourselves, it makes it so they eat more nutritious food, and we also can put it up and save money.”All this prepping has already paid off, Ron said.”I was off-roading in our vehicles, and I got stuck, and I was way out there,” said Ron. “I had the whole family with me.”The car’s emergency preparedness kit came in handy — the family camped, while dad hiked to get help.”I think it’s our responsibility to be prepared for circumstances that happen in our lives,” said Ron.They’re no survivalists. They live in the suburbs.But they say the Preppers movement is the reason they can feel carefree.”I think there’s some sense of freedom that comes with being independent and relying on yourself for things. I don’t think it could come any other way,” said Heather.The Preppers also recommend a financial reserve supply of at least three month’s living expenses in case you lose your job.

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