A visit with the preppers next door

- Don't call them paranoid. Call them prepared.

Meet Mark and his wife Sue. For privacy they asked us not to reveal their last names, but you can call them the "Preppers" next door.

So what are they preparing for?

"You are preparing for any kind of crisis situation. From a car accident to a collapse in society, a zombie apocalypse who knows what," Mark explained.

Yes, you read correctly. A zombie apocalypse, but we'll have more on that in a minute.

Just an hour outside of Philadelphia, in rural Burlington County, FOX 29's Chris O'Connell drove down a very private quarter mile gravel road, and arrived at the family's heavily wooded compound.

"Sue and I have a debate like there's a line and one side paranoid and one side is prepared. So I kind of walk both sides," Mark said.

The couple showed us what life as a "prepper" is all about. That included growing much of their own food, from the family chicken coop for eggs, to the green house where citrus plants are now in full bloom.

The couple's large home, built by Mark himself sitting on 15 gorgeous acres, is not exactly a doomsday bunker.

His kitchen is straight out of Better Homes and Gardens.

A closer look reveals a stone pizza oven, powered by, just fire.          

They use food dehydrators for fruits, meats and spices.

Much of the food canned and caught by Mark himself.

"This is canned venison. Venison you got out of the backyard. That's farm to table. Farm to table. Eat local right," Mark explained.

You may not be a prepper, but mark says every family should have a two gallon food grade bucket on hand.

He fills it with rice, beans, canned tuna, chicken, instant coffee and matches. .

"So for about 15 dollars you get about a 60 serving bucket of food. Now it might get a little boring eating beans and rice for several days in a row but this will keep you alive," Mark explained.

Being prepared is quickly becoming a booming business. 

For $5,000- Costco now offers a 1 person, 1 year, 4,000 serving supply of food. Don't worry, it lasts for 25 years.

Other sites offer colored food dehydrators, sold alongside temporary greenhouses and geodesic emergency shelters.

"You don't have to think about it from the terms the world is going to end. You should think about it being prepared for anything," Sue explained.

For Sue, preparing is her career.

She works for a commercial insurance company assessing potential catastrophe's.

That opened her eyes to what could happen, because it has.

Like when Hurricane Sandy hit, their power was knocked out for a week, but this family never skipped a beat.

"When the storms come through, and we are 100% ready for everything. It makes me realize it's not silly what we do," Sue said.

One scenario they're also prepared for is a solar flare; an event that could trigger volcanos, earthquakes and disrupt the world's electrical grid.

That's why the family also has an older model car that doesn't use electronics.

Inside each of his vehicles lies, you guessed it, a survival bag.

"In here I have spare clothing, a first aid kit, some water, food," Mark explained.

Mark even has a message for those who think he may be going overboard.

They might have thought a lot of things were crazy before events like Sandy hit the east coast. Or 9-11 and some other horrible things that have happened to us that if people were a little more prepared it would have been easier to survive those situations," he said.

Mark says he could provide shelter and food for his family for a decade, not to mention fresh water from his number of purification systems.

Mark is also ready to protect his family. Mark works for a major firearms manufacturer and knows his way around a gun range.

The closest range is actually in his backyard.

"I am able to protect myself from hostile people. I mean let's face it. In a true crisis, you saw it in New Orleans, good people turn bad when they are desperate," Mark said.

When he's not prepping himself, he's teaching others how to prep.

Mark runs the "Zombie Survival Camp". A tongue and cheek name for a very real camp, where you spend a weekend learning survival skills like firearms training, shooting a cross bow and advanced first aid.

One question he says he gets all the time is whether or not he believes there will be a zombie apocalypse.

"And my response is, I'll be prepared if it happens. I'll leave it at that," Mark said.

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