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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Houston 'prepper' ready for Doomsday - Houston Chronicle
Tom Perez thinks a dirty-bomb attack on the United States is inevitable. As it happens, the preparations he's made for such an event could be applicable to scenarios that may be more likely, such as a cataclysmic storm, or very less likely, say, a zombie invasion.
In Monday night's episode of the popular "Doomsday Preppers" on the National Geographic Channel, Perez takes viewers inside his plan to bug out of Houston with his family and hunker down six hours away at a compound he's spent more than a decade building and maintaining. It's a formidable place: two houses with protective gates, a high-tech security system, bulletproof walls, a blast-proof water cistern and a tremendous amount of ammunition. Typically, "Doomsday Preppers" features some far-out types, but with McAllen native Perez, there's more method than madness. He answered a few questions about his compound.
Q: How difficult was choosing a locale for your compound? It's above an aquifer, and it's remote. I assume you had a list of qualities you were looking for.
A: It was based on how easily I could get there and how difficult it would be for others. During the hurricane (Rita), most people headed north toward Dallas. Some toward San Antonio. I wanted a place where I could just keep going until I got to my own compound. It does have some setbacks, but ultimately I'll live there someday.
Q: Was this sort of evacuation something you considered prior to 9/11?
A: Well, I had the idea in place before that. But 9/11 really hit home. It still angers me, something like that could happen: so many lives changed and the way we live now, the way we think. My heart goes out to all the people who were lost and the survivors. But I took it personally. It was a wake-up call.
Q: Clearly you're not counting on the government to protect you. But self-sufficiency of this nature has faded some in our culture.
A: That's so true. For example, Steven (Perez's prepper partner, whose family will join Perez's at the compound) and I met yesterday. We do have these geese that pass through our compound. So we purchased the right ammunition, 3½-inch shells. But there are so many modern things we do that we take for granted. So we're trying to keep doing some of these older things that are part of our heritage, really. These are skills that people don't use. That they think are somehow only in our past.
Q: Some are likely to be squeamish about watching you and the young children slaughtering and butchering the goat. But you seem to have a pretty good understanding of how to make an animal into meat.
A: That's true. I tell my kids when they eat a burger, it's no different. That was a cow at one point. A lot of people don't look at it that way. But if you break it down into basic things, you're paying an extra price to have it prepared in a presentable way.
Q: And you seemed to make use of the whole thing, including Steven - whose family will join yours - slurping down the eyeball.
A: At the ranch I always say anything organic is fertilizer. We do try to use everything, though, that's so true. By the way, I ate the other eyeball. And it tasted good.