Is preparedness just a “fad”?

The mainstream media is reporting lower unemployment, home sales on the rise – things are getting better. From my perspective – and yours may be different – things ARE getting better. Well, at least for now. 

I live in the Southeast and in my neighborhood home lots are selling like hot cakes. The company I work for which is influenced by the construction industry is doing very well. A lot of people may be seeing the same thing. Many of these same people entered the “preparedness” life-style back in 2008 when the economy started to tank. With things “looking up” – I believe many are exiting  preparedness. Simply – people are not feeling the “threat” anymore.

Additional information that back up my belief that people are just not as interested in preparedness anymore comes direct from those in the preparedness industry. I have heard from business owners that sales have really slowed down within the preparedness market. Beyond that – traffic to ModernSurvivalOnline is half of what it used to be.

So – for many getting interested in preparedness due to the events around 2008 or possibly watching apocalyptic TV shows – preparedness has just been a fad. For the rest of us – it is part of our lives because we understand that although the economy may not collapse in the next few months, and that massive hurricane may miss us this year – bad things happen and we just need to be prepared.

Preparedness does not always have to have huge, massive, wide-spread events in mind to make sense. Just this past weekend I went to the Uwharrie National Park in North Carolina driving some rather difficult off-road trails. There were four vehicles involved and approx 10 people. Prior to getting started everyone checked their cell phone to see who had signal. I did not. I gave the leader of the convoy a walkie-talkie and I held the other one. One in the group said, “Great idea. Who would have thought of that?

Half-way through we had to fill in a bunch of holes in a particularly rocky path that one of the vehicles could not navigate. A guy smashed his finger and split it open. Want to take a guess who had a first aid kit and and tended to the guy – cleaning up the wound, wrapping it in some gauze, and then having Duck Tape to secure it so he could keep driving?  Next – a question came up about what if their is a need to go to the bathroom? I am not talking just unzipping and urinating – but rather a need that requires wiping. I asked if anyone brought toilet paper. The answer was, “No.” I mentioned that I had some.

Preparedness may be a fad for some, but for me and many others it is just common sense.

Rourke

 

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18 Comments

  1. Interesting. I’ve thought the same thing. People hop on bandwagons and during tough times people see others that are taking steps to get their houses in order and decide they want to follow through.

    I compare preparedness (prepping) to working out. On January 1 you’ll see local gyms filled to the brim with folks working hard, dedicating themselves to getting healthy. By February 1 the gyms are empty and people are paying money for something they don’t use.

    Preparedness is for those that want to take control of their lives and are willing to suffer the pain of discipline to see it through…just like working out.

  2. I agree with Solomon in a lot of cases, but every week ther is more first ime unemploynent claims than jobs created, which lowers disposeable income. I tyhink many such as myself are still buying supplies but at slower rate due to thier finances. Rourke, I was a forklift tech on the road and serviced many builder supply companies and you are right, sales are up, but the intrest rates are still low and people who can afford a home are probably jumpg on the bandwagon before the intrest rates rise, John.

  3. A couple of days ago, the Fed mentioned that they were going to begin tapering off on stimulating the economy and the stock market dropped almost 400 points. We are living in another government manufactured economic bubble and, as they all do, it will eventually burst. Band wagon preppers may be inadvertently saving themselves, if they have accomplished enough during their panic buying. Those of us who take preparedness seriously will be the best off when the crisis comes.

  4. The numbers being hired still don’t equal the number of new workers coming into the market. Plus the majority of jobs will never be high paying jobs – how would you like to be a minimum wage worker at a super store for the rest of your life?

    As I write this the market is down 200 points, again. The markets are prone to wild swings in valuation just like it was in 2008, so I still have the same bad feel concerning what is happening.

    As you said, preparedness is as much about everyday possibilities as it is about worst case scenarios. How many of the vehicles had a way to patch a punctured oil pan? Spare oil? Commonly needed tools for ANY repair when something breaks, as they do when you push machines? I have been on the Rubicon trail and watched as major work was done in fairly short order to patch up vehicles then continue on the trail.

    What risk do you take when going home and finding roads flooded from something that happened hundreds of miles from your location? Do you have enough food and water in the trunk to sit it out for a couple days? Blanket or sleeping bag? Spare cash for that hotel back a couple miles, even though the power is out and the credit card swipe machine does not work?

    Just because the BIG thing doesn’t happen doesn’t mean the little things can’t add up.

  5. Things are really picking up here in Florida, but I suspect it will be very short lived. On I side note, anyone that doesn’t think there is a need to be prepared anymore let me know what they have to get rid of. I’ll pay 10 cent on the dollar for their equipment:)

  6. Forgive me, brother, but I disagree with your assessments of preparedness “petering out”, or the economy rebounding. In my observation, survival related television shows, sites on Facebook, YouTube and other internet sources are expanding. Although the continued ammo shortage is not indicative of the people’s SHTF fears alone, it does reveal a national concern of the government’s nefarious intentions. These morons in Washington are still borrowing 46 cents on every dollar they spend. A child would realize that this is unsustainable. For now, we may have avoided war in Korea, but we inched closer to conflict in Syria. The FED has devalued our currency to the point where our creditors are lobbying OPEC to deal in something other than US dollars. I believe that the few positive economic indicators are temporary. If the country was rebounding, more businesses would be opening up and the unemployment figures would show significant positive change. I think the “Prepping” community is growing by day. Any leveling off is probably motivated by financial reasons, or lack of financial resources. That’s my case, anyway. I don’t want to accrue any more credit debt until a few pending issues are sorted out.

    • Irish-7,

      I will forgive you 🙂

      In no way am I saying that there are few reason which o prepare – just that there is evidence that many that entered the preparedness realm have now exited as the reasoning for their arrival “seems” to have dissipated (at last to them).

      I think all the shows related to preparedness is nothing more than late arrivals to the party. The is also represented – again in my area – to the over abundance of AR=type rifles. The demand was there – and gun manufactures overproduced trying to meet that demand. The demand has fallen off and now AR’s sit on shelves and prices are cheaper than ever (in my area).

      Thanks – Rourke

  7. I’m not sure if it is loosing interest in prepping or people just getting used to the way things are. Here in Florida, we have not had a hurricane in around 7 years, so when I bought a new house and started getting window covers built and readied for a storm people had nothing but criticism for my wasting money. It seems that no one is prepared anymore and I can only imagine what the stores will look like if a major storm bears down on us. While I am installing my window and door covers, they will be out trying to buy non-existent plywood and other supplies. I think the thing that amazes me the most is people run out and buy plywood and other supplies when a storm is coming and then either throw it away or sell it for pennies on the dollar after the storm passes. Anyone looking for prepping supplies need look no further than Florida after a storm and everyone trying to get some of their money back.

  8. People and societies have been putting the surplus aside for later use since the beginning of time. As we have become better at storing food longer we have increased our chances of surviving floods, long winters fires, etc.

  9. I have seen some more Modern Sporting Rifles at local gun shops, too. A few months ago, they were flying off the rack at Cabelas, the largest distributor within a hundred miles. Right after writing my comment, I received bad news in the mail that will adversely affect our preparation efforts. My Social Security Disability case was remanded from the Appeals Council back to the same local court that denied me a year ago. I had been charging some supplies and ammo in anticipation of winning my case, and substantial monetary award. Not now. I am disgusted that Social Security pays billions out to the children of illegal immigrants living in Mexico, but denies a veteran already deemed 100% disabled by the VA. Personalities aside, our national priorities are skewed!

  10. I’ll trust in your observations Rourke, that prep interest is down… I have to wonder though as to why. I’m as optimistic as the next but I don’t see much to be optimistic about … course, I bet I look closer than most. It’s possible the daily struggles have taken their toll and nothing is left for lofty goals. There could be a sense of futilism (UNREMITTING FAILURE)causing our prepping mindset to transform into a hopeless shrug (I’m not the paranoid type, but even way out here I find myself feeling the need to “look over my shoulder”). It could be that the nation is now so full of “hope and change”, why bother with prepping, “it’s all good”…. though this, at least to me would seem out of place with reality. The government is good at few things, one of those things they are good at is convincing the masses that what they see, what surrounds them and effects them daily is not real. The truth, what all should believe above all else is what they are told is the truth by their caring, charitable and benevolent government. Hey!, it’s been working with great effect for a long time. Just look at the war on poverty, we are told that poverty is the result of social injustice, and the fix is for us to willingly suffer indentured fortitude. The poor have not failed to earn, but instead have been robbed of what is rightfully theirs. No choices were involved, the poor were locked to their path like a train to it’s tracks. They are the victims of chance at best and of prejudice at worst: prejudice against the lowly, the unwashed, the uneducated, the different, the poor. Such an attitude, of course, prevents them from reflecting upon their own contribution (considerable as it may be) to their predicament. But there is a connection between conduct and fate. Most poor are not the victims of the dictates of circumstance, The responsibility for their lot in life is theirs…… if not, then anyone of us, in the hands of a sufficiently sensitive therapist, might discover his/her own secret victimhood, absolving us of any responsibility for our life. Today we are in the warm glow of “The summer of recovery part 4” CAN’T YOU FEEL IT! The market is on a rocket ride (ignore the man behind the curtain leveraging $85 billion of our future resources a month). Sorry about all this…… I’ve been in a mood lately…. it started about the time the government designated me an extremist and an enemy of the state.

    Irish, sorry for your difficulties, If you were a “transgender” suffering “post traumatic stress” from your “sex change operation” you’d been depositing checks for some time now… it’s a damn shame.

  11. Irish-don’t give up. Sometimes it takes two denials before a person is granted SSDisability. YOU deserve help.
    Rourke – could you please share more about why you think there are fewer people preparing? Your back road trip looked rugged-good for you for being prepared.If a person ever wiped with the wrong leaf ( ex poison ivy or oak) that will always bring TP afterwards.
    I agree some people are faddists .For ex many went back to causal style living after Y2 K) For many of us it was a good start and we continue prepping as a way of life.
    I notice many new companies have joined the band wagon with emergency supplies. (opportunists?) Soon I will compile of list of exc books I read in the late 1990s
    for preparing whose titles I rarely see anymore)
    Here in upstate NY guns and ammo are still hard to get and quite expensive.
    Thanks for a super blog Rourke and for all the good comments from others. Arlene

  12. Rourke,
    I would bet a serious amount of money that the job market in 2014 is going to be significantly worse than it is now. The reason being is the TYPE of jobs being “created.” For instance, Home Depot has cut hours to 29 hours for part-time employees, with NO exceptions. The cap cannot be circumvented by store, district, or regional manages. The reason? Compliance with parts of the Affordable Care Act. To make ends meet, many are resorting to having 2-3 jobs because of hours restrictions. All of this goes into the “job creation” category. So while Home Depot is now hiring a dozen new workers, those positions have NOT come from increased profits/sales, but have come at the expense of existing employees. Several retailers in the Fortune 500 are doing similar restructuring. A paradigm shift has occurred in the job market. I simply do not see the job market being able to sustain even its current mediocre “progress” if the Fed’s printing presses stop. I will reserve judgment on whether this recovery is even close to real until we see the Fed stop the QE∞.

    “People are defiantly in denial about what we’re doing. . . . Nobody mentions the $85 billion a month we’re printing now [via Quantitative Easing] . . . . We’ve only printed about $800 billion in the last 100 years. We’re going to print more than that next year. So, literally 100 years of printing next year.” – Bob Wiedemer

    • I think you are going to be correct Jesse. Thanks for the info. This is truly a terrible time in American history and I suspect that looking back years from now people will question why something was not done to stop it.

      Rourke

  13. If memory serves me right, the were 21 million people on food stamps in 2000. Now there are 47 million. What do I know about this that I don’t understand? I don’t understand how Ovomit, who got his wish today on immigration, can talk about enforcing the law and still say we can’t possibly expel all illegals. Is it because his aunt is an illegal in NYC? Here in Iowa some towns are now over 50% Mexican, where they were not even seen 10 years ago. We had a governor who called them “New Iowans”, and set up 3 model cities for his program. And a shitload of welfare and other programs exclusively for them. How many car repair shops do we need? How many tire shops do we need? When is this going to stop?

    In 1986 the IDIOTS in Congress gave away the store when they granted Amnesty to 3 million illegals is the deluded hope that that would put an end to illegal immigration. How stupid can a human being get and still carry on basic life functions – beating heart, breathing, etc? It’s been 27 years since that fiasco, and now we are supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy by letting another “estimated” 11 million illegals, mostly Mexican, stay. That is nearly 4 times as many as the last time. In another 27 years are we going to be giving amnesty to another 44 million illegals from God knows where because “we can’t find them all”. B.S. We found Whitey Bulger through a citizen’s tip. We can sure as hell find those illegals the same way.

    And where are the people who are recovering from emotional or mental illness going to find a job? What about the people who will someday get out of jail? And who recover from disabilities or who yet have some but could work if Pedro and his old lady didn’t hold the jobs that the native born could do? The U.S. Census predicts that by 2050 America will be 50% Hispanic. These people do not share our norms, customs, values, or mores. Their culture is vastly different from the Anglo-Saxon culture that built this nation. Who among you can name great Hispanic Doctors, scientists, inventors, and other professions in the non-liberal arts world? Yes, they have produced great writers, singers, and artists. But none of that can be used by others to put beans on the table except by the artists themselves and their imitators.

    Fiat money? When it took a wheelbarrow full of 1 million mark bank notes to buy a loaf of bread in Germany they realized they had a real problem. Our money is backed by the faith and support-The FOOLS that took us off the Gold and silver standard knew that what they were doing was ensuring their own personal agendas, but I’ll bet you a nickel to a rail road locomotive they all had a large portion of their holdings in physical gold and silver. Mac and Cheese boxes have shrunk. Bread has more air in it. As a boy 60 years ago I paid 10 cents for 16 ounce Coke. Now they are at least $1.50. And still the Fed has the printing presses churning out dollars to loan to the banks to loan to people for what most want-a home of their own. But they don’t have a job so they can’t borrow the money because Jesus is doing the framing and Luis is doing the wallboard and Maria is the cook. I’m not proposing nor do I want a race war, but if Mexico is allowed to bleed off the excess people forever on us, there will be severe consequences. Juan and Esmerelda drive a new Tahoe while John and Mary have to drive a 15 year old pickup that is on it’s last legs?

    And let’s not forget the black people in this country. They are the ones who are really getting crapped on by a critter that is partially black himself. Those of us who are alive today are not responsible for the past, but we should try to make this society equitable to people whose ancestors arrived through no fault of their own and suffered mightily for. The Native Americans, the “First Americans”, as the archeologist C.W. Ceram so correctly put it, live as do most indigenous cultures who have been overpowered by a technologically superior cultures, on the razor’s edge between bare existence and extinction.
    Except for a few lucky one’s who landed in the right place at the end of The Trail of Tears. Who considers the drag on them posed by the illegals? Nobody, I expect.

    I heard it said on a television program about preppers that we comprise about 1% of the population. Not all of us will escape some evil event. But most people don’t have sufficient stores to last more than a few days. FEMA’s feeble recommendations are a joke. The New Guinea head hunters and cannibals who are thought to have made a meal of Jay Rockefeller when his plane went down over the island say that man is “long pig”, and that the flesh between the thumb and forefinger is best. Jamestown excavations have revealed definite marks of cannibalization. Brains are of course the most nutritious, followed by bone marrow and organs-liver, kidney, heart.

    I believe what we are seeing is the goodness of democracy being taken to unsustainable extremes, where common sense says no, the Courts say yes, The administration says maybe, and the legislature forms compacts with large corporations they will later join as advisors and administrators. Corruption is the name of the game–the recent debacles on Wall Street have resulted in few imprisonments or even fines, the common man has lost billions (we lost $45,000), and those with little at the beginning have even less now, except Pedro and Maria, who are holding our jobs and buying the houses we should be buying, if we could find a job.

    Like I said, I don’t understand all that I know about this, but I do know that I am getting sick and tired of illegals breaking into my country and using our resources for their purposes while our own do without. Enough Republicans voted today to let the illegals have amnesty. Tomorrow I will go to the voter’s registration office and become an Independent. I gave up on the Democrats after 25 years, and now after another 25 years I give up on the Republicans. My father always said they were all crooks, thieves, and liars. I’ll be damned if the Old Man wasn’t right. If the things they have done in the last 20 years and the things they haven’t done in the same time period don’t prove the Old Man right, I don’t know what can. Conner Out.

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