I recently was supposed to attend and talk at a Survival & Preparedness Seminar here in South Carolina organized by YouTube’s EastCoastPatriot. Unfortunately something came up last minute, and I was not able to make it.
My plan was to talk about “Why people prepare” – along with my own spin on “Why people should prepare“. Well – since I was not able to attend – I figured I would go ahead and do it here.
If you are reading this I think I can assume that you are a prepper or at least have some concerns. The possibilities are endless regarding at what kind of event that may disrupt peoples lives.
Lets look at a few typical ones:
Reason #1: Natural Disasters
“Mother Nature” must be really upset as recently natural disasters have been plentiful and extremely destructive. In just the last year – heck, the last few months – there have been devastating floods, tornado’s, earthquakes, and tsunami’s.
Recently, here in the South massive storms have knocked out power and caused severe property damage to hundreds of thousands of people. Hurricane season is fast approaching and is predicted to be very active.
Reason #2: Man-Made Disasters
Just look at the nuclear situation in Japan – although the root cause was from an earthquake and subsuquient tsunami – has been a terrible disaster.
Not much is being mentioned in the main stream media anymore – but the situation in Japan continues to be very critical with at least 3 reactors severely damaged and leaking. A nuclear accident could always happen in the United States – possibly in your backyard.
Reason #3: Disease / Pandemic Outbreak
Nothing to add here given there’s been so much talk about it recently. A new and more powerful virus or virus mutation could wreak havoc on a global scale. Fortunately, prepping for a pandemic is pretty easy.
Reason #4: Economic Collapse
This is the big one. I recently conducted a poll here at ModernSurvivalOnline and asked readers to select from a list of possible disasters what specifically they are preparing for. Although many people wanted to be able to select “All of the above” – only one choice could be selected. Economic collapse was the winner by a large margin taking in 72% of the vote.
Honestly – I agree that economic collapse should be major concern and many readers have a feeling that it is just a matter of time before an economic implosion. Of course natural disaster presents a more likely scenario. Many people focus on preparing for a worst-case scenario and by doing so – prepare for lesser situation in the process.
An “economic collapse” is not a cut and dry situation and not easily defined. I look at it this way – it would involve a significant and major change to everyone’s lifestyle.
Due to this overwhelming concern about an economic collapse – I want to try to make the case here why the concern and praparation is not an unwise thing to do. Here are several points to consider – just a few pieces of the puzzle.
Reason #5: Fuel Prices
Although there have dropped in the past few weeks – they still are historically very high. Paying “more” for fuel sucks the life out of an economy. If the average family with 2 vehicles pays on average $xx.xx per week – and then fuel prices surge 30% – this will mean that millions of American households will NOT have that 30% to buy food, clothes, school supplies, etc.
Add to this the fact that everything is transported using fuel – and those transportation costs will be passed onto the consumer with higher prices. Fuel prices have a long-lasting effect on the economy – more than many people think.
Reason #6: Food Prices
Food prices have been on the rise for more than a year. Staples such as corn, sugar, rice, salt have gone up dramatically. Many of these foods are also ingredients in other foods – thus as costs go up other products can be effected. Global demand for food continues to increase while production is struggling to keep up.
Massive floods in Australia as well as along the Mississippi have destroyed tens of thousands of acres of farmland. The bottom line is – food prices are the highest in history and the trend continues to be in a higher direction.
Reason #7: Government Debt
The United States government has taken on an incredible amount of debt – with no stopping in site. The government continues to spend WAY more than it brings in – printing more and more money with nothing backing it to ensure its value.
Due to the poor fiscal policy of the United States, the S&P downgraded their outlook for the United States – and stated that unless the United States makes serious effort in eliminating deficits and debts –they will cut their credit rating for the United States.
This would be a disaster as if this happens – other countries will not lend the United States money – or at least not lend at the current low interest rates. Higher interest rates will add to the problems – not help.
The US has overspent so bad that it now borrows from itself. Yes- that is correct. The Central Bank actually buys government debt from the government and then turns it into currency. The government calls this Quantitative Easing – it is really just “money printing”.
If you spend more money than you make – then you will have to borrow in order to apply all of your bills and expenses. Let’s take a look at it – lets say $2,000 per month but your expenditures are $10,000 per month – that is a huge deficit each month which you would have to borrow on (and pay interest) if you wish to meet all of your obligations.
Oh – by they way – I didn’t mention that your overall debt is close to $200,000 already and growing each month.
In order to fix this situation you would need to reduce spending and/or increase your income in order to get the amount of income and the amount of expenditures to be equal. No one citizen of this country can run their household like this – but this is how our government operates year in and year out.
The tipping point will arrive – it is just a matter of time.
Reason #8: Devaluation of Currency
My son asked me something to the effect that “If there was too much debt – why can’t the US Government just print more money to pay the debt off?”.
Well, I said that to a certain point that is what is happening already. The government has been over printing money for some time – which causes the US dollar to loose it’s value. It is really pretty simple – if there is more of something – generally the value of it will decrease (with consistent demand).
Reason #9: Politicians
Politicians are not doing much to help this country out – this is demonstrated by the ridiculous arguing over governmental budgets. This is virtually negligible – yet politics are put in the way of progress which could lead the United States and its citizens in the right direction.
Reason #10: Self-Sufficiency
You might be surprised to learn that quite a few peppers prep not for any specific disaster, but to be more self-sufficient overall.
There is something intensely satisfying about being the captain of your own soul, and the director of your own life. The ability to produce what you need and get by with what you already have and little else is an intensely soothing feeling, despite all of the hard work that it entails.
Plenty of folks in our modern world think they are self-sufficient just because they have the basics of their day today life nailed down in such a way that they are constantly going to pieces, but legitimate self-sufficiency is a far more radical lifestyle change than being a nominally functional adult.
Imagine what it would look like if you were responsible and able to grow your own food, deal with all of your own waste, raise your house, maintain your house, work the land, improve the land and maintain all of the tools, machines and devices that you rely on. Probably starting to feel pretty dizzying when you look at it that way, huh?
But there is freedom in it, and though no one is truly, genuinely self-sufficient unless they are living an extraordinarily spartan and austere existence, cultivating extreme capability to nurture this sort of radical self-sufficiency is reason enough for undertaking the prepper’s journey.
Reason #11: Reducing Dependency
Other preppers have a similar feeling to the ones mentioned in the previous section, but embark on a journey of preparation not so much for self-sufficiency but to instead reduce dependency. The concepts sound synonymous at first glance, but they really aren’t.
To be dependent on something, in our case the trappings of society, our government, and other people is to more or less have your fate and fortune tied up with theirs. In extreme examples, it is to be a slave.
The notion is just too much for some people to bear. The idea that they cannot get by, and determine what is best and right for them and theirs without all of the sinecures, busybodies, self-appointed rulers and functionaries in society having a vote or a stake in the matter is maddening.
To radically reduce dependency upon society, government and even civilization itself is a momentous act of rebellion. It is to declare oneself a barbarian and the classical sense of the term. “Barbarian” does not mean “savage”; it just means one who is not “of the State”.
These new barbarians are a sort of anachronism, a time capsule for the pioneer spirit that was so embodied by our ancestors and forbears who carved this country into the recognizable shape it is today. That sentiment is all but truly gone, lost to the ages and the ravages of modernity. But there remain a few, precious few people who still heed the call.
Reason #12: To Be a Good Citizen
It wasn’t so long ago that proper preparation, a hardening of oneself, home and concerns against threat or disaster was seen as a column of civic duty.
Hard citizens make hard homes, and a community comprised of hard homes is much harder to destroy, shift or meaningfully degrade. This in turn strengthens the fabric of a state, and from there the fabric of a nation. To be tough, to be gritty and hard to knock-out no matter what you were facing was an accolade.
Now it is optional, even ridiculed, as everything is provided by someone else, including our safety. Sure, it is easy enough to tell oneself the sweet, gilded lie that you are just enjoying the fruits of civilization by depending upon regular grocery runs, suppression of other civic services, but what you are really doing is outsourcing it.
When the fateful day inevitably comes and reality reasserts itself on you in spectacular fashion, go ahead and call those first responders. See if they get to you in time. Head down to the grocery store for supper. See if there’s any food left for you on the shelves. You are going to be disappointed, hurting and hungry.
But what if you took a different path? What if you took it upon yourself to accumulate the supplies and provisions you needed to survive a disaster, even a comparatively short-term one lasting only a couple of weeks or a month?
How much better off would you be, and how much better off would you be if you also developed and cultivated the skills that could help you endure such a situation, if not thrive? How many lives might you touch? Now imagine how much better things would be if everyone in your neighborhood did what you did. What if everyone in your town did that?
And so on and so forth. Communities containing many hardy, self-sufficient, persistent citizens will weather storms, literal and figurative, that would obliterate others from the map. Some folks believe that is an ideal unto itself that makes prepping worthwhile. They aren’t wrong.
Reason #13: To Provide for Family in Extremis
You’ll hardly talk to anybody with a family who is not routinely concerned with providing for their family’s future one way or another. Elderly parents will need nursing home rent. Kids will need money for college. And on and on and on. All of that is fine and indeed commendable, but all of those concerns are the concerns of modern life, not life in general.
But as it turns out, what we call life in the modern era is actually a very, very recent innovation and incredibly fragile, despite what assurances the government would try and sell you.
We are only one or two bad turns away from a major paradigm shift heading in the opposite direction as far as society is concerned. Then you’ll be forced to call upon skills that we today know as survival centric skills. Our grandparents and great-grandparents, not long departed, just knew them as living.
Prepping provides a way for you to provide for your family in extremis, and provide the things that are actual, genuine necessities when everything else is gone beyond all recall.
A warm shelter, a comfortable place to sleep, clean water to drink, nutritious food, security. These are the things that all living creatures require, actually require. Not wants. Not “nice to have”. Not perks. Necessities, the real kind.
You can always tell when you are dealing with a genuine necessity; once you go without it for a specific period of time, you die. Prepping is simply bargaining with yourself today to lay in these necessities for the future so that your family will not have to go without what is really most important.
Reason #14: To Save Money
As it turns out, prepping is a great way to save money, because it will insulate you against sudden and dramatic increases in all kinds of food and materials costs, as well as give you a ready reserve of supplies, knowledge and even parts that can let you take care of problems that would otherwise cost a small fortune to outsource and have them fixed for you by a professional.
Instead of looking for the best deal, clipping coupons and trying to figure out how you’re going to deal with anticipated or completely unexpected expenses a prepper will have long ago already penciled in this particular problem and planned for it accordingly just in case.
When “just in case” becomes “what do I do now?” a prepper will already have the answer to that question in mind, whereas a non-prepper is left to sit, sputter and fume.
One of the single, biggest expenses in modern life is the simple fact that everything is outsourced, and there are an increasing number of middlemen, support industries and outright graft that goes on to make all of our modern services, conveniences and utilities function.
The more people you remove from the supply chain, the cheaper the goods get, and conversely the more people that are inserted into the supply chain the more expensive they get. If your supply chain consists of you or you and one or two local direct providers, you might be shocked at just how much money you can save.
Reason #15: So What Does It All Mean?
So what does all of this mean? It means that you need to be aware of what is going on around you and prepare. Will we have an economic collapse? Who knows? Well – many of us do know.
So – a few suggestions for those that are thinking about getting started in preparedness –
- Start buying extra food – double or triple up what you normally buy with an emphasis on non-perishable
- Store away extra water and get a water filtration system – start off with several cases of bottled water and an inexpensive water filter to remove larger contaminants
- Get medical supplies – stock up your prescriptions and get a basic first aid kit at a minimum
- Protect yourself, your family, your supplies – buy a firearm of some kind to protect your stuff. A good starting point is a 12 gauge shotgun. Try to arm each member of your group.
- Light – Buy a couple boxes of Emergency Candles and some matches. Have at least a couple of flashlights and extra batteries.
- Other – store up some extra gasoline, toilet paper, antibacterial lotion, baby wipes – and more. Think about being without power for a couple weeks and what you may run out of.
So – why do people prepare? I’m not really sure if it is all that important as long as they do.
Take care all –