What many people refer to as "Doomsday" is thought to be Dec. 21, 2012, their belief stemming from the ancient Mayan calendar, which ends its 5,200 year cycle on that date.
Dr. John Justeson, a professor at UAlbany who has studied the Mayans for 40 years, says while there is evidence their calendar is ending, there is no evidence that it won't just begin again.
However, there are still people in the Capital Region who are preparing for a catastrophe completely unrelated to Doomsday.
They call themselves "preppers," and while the idea may sound outlandish or extreme to some, some of these preppers may not be who you expect.
"I'm looking to prepare for a problem, a disaster," says one prepper, who asked for his identity to be concealed because of his $30,000 spent on prepping.
"If you think it's going to get that bad, what would you do to feed your family?" he says. "Somebody will go back who has this show taped and they will try to find out who I am and they will try to come and get whatever they can to feed their family."
His biggest fear is an economic collapse.
And "he" isn't who you might expect a prepper to be; a senior chief in the U.S. Navy, with forty years of military background.
"I have enough food for a year," he says. "Within my own family, I have kids who make fun of it, even if we start talking about it, they just close their eyes or get up and walk away. They just absolutely believe there is no reason for any of this, but I think they jump right to the 'Doomsday,' they don't even want to listen to it. But no, it's not about the Doomsday, it's about being prepared."
An emergency preparedness outlet in Gansevoort supplies much of the merchandise preppers believe are necessities, including warm, waterproof clothing, MRE's and compasses.
The owner, Dan Colon, says one of the most difficult things for him to keep in stock is ready-to-eat food, with a shelf life up to 25 years.
"I sell stuff I hope people never have to use, but if you ever do, it's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it," says Colon.
Of the many possibilities, Colon says in addition to an economic collapse, he believes solar flares pose the greatest threats.
"Our instincts are telling us something is wrong, but you can't put your finger on it," says Colon.
Another of Colon's customers who shares his thinking is Arnold Metting, who is also preparing.
"We have enough food for three people for two months," says Metting. "But we'd rather have it and not need it, then need it and not have it."
Metting says the people who are not prepared are the ones who have to worry.
"While they're standing in the bread line waiting for the authorities to eat, I'm going to have a full stomach," he says.
Whether it's an economic collapse or a catastrophic event, the one thing all of Colon's customers have in common is the belief something will happen.
"What do you say to people who say you are ridiculous?" asked NEWS10's Taryn Kane.
"The beauty of being an American is we are all entitled to having our own opinion," answered Colon.
If you have any interest in prepping yourself, even on a smaller scale, preppers suggest the best place to start is with some research online using the simple tool of Google.
Once you have some more information, preppers suggest starting to build at least a three month supply of food, and say there is no such thing as having too much.
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