n. A person who goes to great lengths to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster.
Learning to grow your own vegetables and set aside seed to plant next year, to raise chickens, bake bread and make jam, to medicate yourself with aloe vera, knit a sweater, run a diesel engine on recycled cooking oil, collect rain- or well-water, make your log cabin energy self-sufficient — to most of us these are innocent, even heart-warming, activities. To "preppers" these aren't pastimes; they are skills needed for the dark days ahead.
"Haven't you seen 'Doomsday Preppers?'" I replied, referring to the National Geographic Channel show now in its second season and featuring normal everyday individuals (by their standards) who routinely train for natural or manmade disasters. After seeing one episode, I realized the heavy-duty flashlight I keep by the bed would not be enough to thwart an avian flu pandemic or ash from an impending volcanic eruption. Preppers are ready for these occurrences and more.
Greetings all you Y2K preppers!