Apocalypse Prep: Put On Your Gas Masks, Kids!

PHOTO: Dennis McClung of Mesa, Ariz., is prepared for Dec. 12, 2012 -- the end of the world -- with a closed-system garden and tilapia pond.
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Dennis McClung is like a Boy Scout on steroids preparing for the end of the world, which he predicts will happen Dec. 21, 2012.

After working a decade at Home Depot, the 31-year-old Mesa, Ariz., handyman can build just about anything. And now he has engaged his 25-year-old wife, Danielle, and their two young children in getting ready for the apocalypse.

The children, ages 3 and 5, make a game of putting on their gas masks and protective clothing in preparation for whatever natural or man-made disaster might strike.

"My son likes to put on the big nose mask, and my daughter likes to wear her elephant mask," McClung told ABCNews.com.

"I am sure there are a lot of people out there who think I am crazy, but they don't say it to my face," he said.

McClung, who hosted the first survivalist convention in Arizona, is not the only one preparing for the end.

He joins hundreds of other Americans who stock canned goods, buy gas masks, build bomb shelters and even hoard alcohol, just in case they have to barter their way out of a disaster like an economic melt down.

"I don't see us as fear mongers or even negative people," he said in an upcoming TLC special. "I think we are actually very optimistic people. We're just preparing for the worse-case scenario and hoping for the best."

Though these Americans may seem like eccentric hoarders, some have engendered goodwill among their neighbors and created a sense of "we are in this together."

Close-ups of these families can be seen in a one-hour special, "Livin' for the Apocalypse," which airs Sunday, Aug. 28, at 10 p.m. They are the ones who are taking the doomsday predictions seriously and preparing accordingly.

From rabbit-raising to meat-canning, no measure is too over-the-top when it comes to preparing for survival should the unthinkable happen: a Christian apocalypse, economic chaos, earthquake and tornadoes -- or even an alien invasion or meteor attack.

"Survival Doc," who is a St. Louis chiropractor, launched an Internet channel to share survival skills in case of a disaster. He raises rabbits, then kills them for their meat, which he stores.

His large warehouse of food and supplies includes alcohol, even though he doesn't drink, because "it's good bartering material."

"Obviously, you can't protect everything," he said. "There are no guarantees in life."

Peggy and Scott Layton have built an extensive and well-stocked bunker in their Manti, Utah, home where they can hunker down with their seven children if disaster strikes. The bunker is complete with kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and canned food and supplies.

Their daughter, who competes in beauty pageants, has only one request: that there be a cell phone and make-up ready for her in the bunker. Her other children, all of whom live in apartments in the city, are equally cynical.

Their root cellar is also a bomb shelter in case of a nuclear attack. They have a second home in the mountains, "high up," for radio communications and, in case of war, an ample supply of weapons.

"We won't go down without a fight," said Scott Layton, who is a plumber.

The couple pays for its survival efforts through Peggy Layton's book. She has published seven guides to emergency food preparation and survival skills.

She denies she is a hoarder.

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