N.J. Man Gives Doomsday Hoard to Puerto Rico

Crash Boat Beach, Puerto Rico / United States: October 25 2017: Broken power lines threaten to fall on drivers on the road down to Crash Boat Beach. Sara Armas/Shutterstock.com

For Joseph Badame, the end of the world could wait. There were people facing dark days right now, the New Jersey man decided.

So Badame, who had been painstakingly stockpiling food and supplies for what he expected to be an inevitable apocalypse, donated his hoard to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.

"Those people are starving and they have nothing," the 74-year-old told the Washington Post. "I just can't sit by."

At least two blacked-out towns in Puerto Rico, which faces a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria, will benefit from his change of heart.

After all, you can only wait for the global economic meltdown for so long — in his case, about 45 years.

Perhaps, more importantly, Badame has already faced his own end-of-the-world scenario.

A few years ago, his wife died. The couple had been committed survivalists, convinced a global economic meltdown was looming. Together, they built their own private Xanadu — an 8,500-square-foot compound complete with its own power supply, a fallout shelter in the basement and, as the Washington Post notes, enough food to feed 84 people for several months.

But after more than 40 years of waiting for those end days, Badame experienced a different kind of collapse. His wife died, leaving him with a shattered heart. And medical bills. The bank foreclosed on his mortgage. The couple's Armageddon-proof estate fell quickly to the bank.

In late September, Badame met Victoria Barber at an estate sale he was holding. When he learned that Barber, who was born in Puerto Rico, was trying to help victims of Hurricane Maria, he led her to the basement of his home — and said she could take it all as a donation.

And so, one man's end-of-the-world despair became a ray of hope for an embattled island.

"He was very depressed over losing the house and especially the food, to see all the food go to waste. And that's when what I called divine intervention (happened), where he and I met," Barber told CBC Radio. "Because he had a greater purpose on this earth, and he was preparing for his wife and his family, but it's going to help an entire town in another part of the country. So it's just amazing."