Woman's 'Afrovivalism' movement trains for world's end

PORTLAND, Oregon (KTRK) -- More than ten years ago, Sharon Ross left her city life in Houston.

She thought the city was too much for her and it wasn't preparing her for what's to come.

She believes when it comes to surviving natural disasters, minority communities are the most vulnerable.

But Sharon, also known as 'the Afrovivalist,' wants to change that: creating a grassroots community of "preppers," preparing for the worst.

"I always think how am I going to survive next if something happens," said Ross.

ABC13's Chauncy Glover traveled almost 2,000 miles to the backwoods and snowy mountains outside Portland, Oregon, in the middle of the forest to check out what she's doing.

"We aren't prepared. I'm just preparing because I feel it deep in my soul and I get my visions from God. He keeps telling me to prepare."

Be it a natural disaster, a takedown of our entire electrical grid, the apocalypse, or simply if everything stops, the "Afrovivalist" is preparing for the worst. She calls her way of life Afrovivalism.

"It's now a movement. It's a movement for other people like me. People of color or anyone at that matter, just to get up and start being that outdoorsy person, start having a conscious mind about preparing for something," she said.

Ross says what played out in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria proved that when disaster strikes, minority communities are often impacted the most, and historically the government hasn't done well with helping them.

"Our government isn't looking out for 'We the People' anymore," she said.

Ross says she is looking out for herself.

"After Katrina, I just told myself I'm not going be like that, I want to be prepared for whatever it is to come, so I just started doing things," she explained.

By day, she's a corporate woman, working for the state of Oregon as a training facility registrar. By night, she's a bonafide survivalist.

"It's really weird, I go into survival mode and it's more like, 'Okay, what do I need off my list?'" says Ross.

Follow Chauncy Glover on Facebook and Twitter.
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