Sunday 26 October 2014

"Preppers"? Isn't that the same as survivalists? Those guys are nuts! (The truth about emergency preparedness)

In "my day" (meaning, before I turned into an old fogey), we called them survivalists. Nowadays, the more common term is, "prepper".
 The thing they have in common though, is that, for many people, the words bring to mind a rather specific sort of image - paranoid, grizzly, scary looking mountain men packing lots of automatic weapons and hiding out in underground bunkers or high security compounds, cults, crazy cult leaders and mass suicides/homicides, meekly cowering multiple wives, children, and child brides, all waiting expectantly for  society to collapse.

Recently, there has been a renewed interest in what is now known as "prepping", and I think this is mostly a good thing (with a few caveats).

More and more websites are popping up, catering more to the everyday citizen interested in being prepared for ... well, whatever. Again, a
VERY good thing, IMO.

I never thought of myself as a survivalist, and I don't think of myself as a prepper now. I was just raised to always be prepared for anything. I've had a go bag and emergency supplies as long as I can remember. My parents taught me how to survive in the wilderness as well as at home without power, plumbing, transportation, etc. I learned a huge amount of what I know as a child, in Girl Scouts, Young Marines, and military school. I've been going out into the woods with only what I could carry on my person for a couple weeks at a time since I was 12. It was just normal.

I always thought the "survivalists" were just as crazy as most other people did, and was VERY clear all my life that I was
NOT one of "those crazies", despite the fact that I had a lot in common with "them".  The fact of the matter is, I was then, and still am a "survivalist/prepper/whatever we're calling it this decade", and so are LOTS of perfectly sane, level headed, everyday people!

It's all about mindset...

There are all sorts of things that can and do go awry in day to day life. Those things run the gamut from mildly inconveniencing to big time catastrophic, but even just a few actions, taken now, can turn many catastrophes into inconveniences, or at the very least, survivable situations.  You don't have to buy property in the boonies or stock up on all the latest survival gear to be prepared for life's curve balls. Now, I will admit that once you start, it's very common to get more serious about it, and you'll likely find yourself taking more steps to ensure your and your family's survival, and even comfort during a crisis of any sort, but even small steps will give you an edge and make your life easier when things go wrong! 

You're probably already doing several things all the time for emergency preparedness that you haven't even thought about whilst reading this post.
Do you wear a seatbelt? Do you wear or have a PFD on hand when boating? Do you have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home? Do you carry a jacket, sweater, or umbrella when the forecast calls for the possibility of rain or cold? Do you have jumper cables in your car?

All of these things are "just in case" measures. We aren't expecting a car crash or fire every second of the day, but we prepare for them anyway. "Prepping" is no different! 

If you read this entire post, rather than simply blowing it off as more paranoid rantings, you're already ahead of more than half of the population. Now, why not do some searches on emergency preparedness and see what you find? Focus on the realistic stuff. Don't worry about the stuff that doesn't apply, because, well, it doesn't apply!


  1. Suvivalism, Preppers, interesting -I m getting back in this stuff- when I was growing up, we called it 'just in case'. Why, simple really we got blizzards, tornadoes, floods, etc; sort of nice to have food, means of cooking it, shelter, water, etc. This was a given, everyone did it -now though- you re considered weird if you follow any of this. Sometimes I think that maybe an event happening would be a good thing, sort of clear the rift raft out. Then I remember that some of those were friends, the closest I could get them to consider was to ask if they ever had some food put back if we were in the winter or tornado seasons. Otherwise the were as if they were the sheeple of the world.

    1. Same here John, but something that occurred to me just a few days ago is that I always lived in small towns, on or adjacent to military bases. So everyone nearby was usually of fairly like mind about such things. It was only in 1984 that I first moved to a big city and was surrounded by tons of civilians, and city folk at that, for the very first time. That was when I started discovering that I was actually in the minority about being prepared "just in case". City folk and civilians both have long had the habit of simply assuming that local or federal authorities/government will take care of them in case of emergency.