Is Prepping For Everyone?
Prepping is a phenomenon that has taken the world by storm! Some love it, some hate it, and others take it to extremes. But is prepping for everyone? You may be surprised at the answer to this question and find out that you are already a prepper!
The answer to the question “is prepping for everyone” is a definite yes! Prepping is for everyone because you are doing it already, maybe without even realising it! Prepping is part of our daily lives, part of our normal routine and you don’t have to take it to the extreme end of the scale for it to make sense.
What Is A Prepper?
Let’s take a look at what, or who a prepper is.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a prepper as “a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies. There’s no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminent.”
I disagree with this definition as it only describes a small sector of the prepping community, the sector that some may consider being the lunatic fringe of prepping. But as we will see, this idea is not as crazy as it may sound.
My definition of a prepper would be a person that is forward thinking, considers where he lives and the possible problems that may arise, and plans accordingly. Doesn’t this definition include you as a prepper? Still not convinced? Lets take a look at some everyday examples which may change your mind about including yourself in this definition.
Examples of Prepping
Many people thing prepping is a modern phenomenon, but it is a principle that is as old as mankind, and indeed even extends to the natural world. The only new thing about the concept is the coining of the name “prepper”, and here is why.
Cast your mind back to a short time ago where there were no shopping malls, no large chain stores and no supermarkets. Where did we buy our food, how did our parents live without these conveniences?
Guess what, they prepared!
In my childhood, we lived on the outskirts of town, in the suburbs. Most shops were located in town, a fair drive from where we lived. I remember my mother planning out (or prepping) a grocery list to sustain the family for a month! She would plan out the meals we need, cleaning supplies that were running low, clothes we would need for the coming month and then make a trip to the store to pick up these items.
You Are A Prepper Already
Consider your own life. We now have the convenience of shops on every corner or a mall in the suburbs that is easily accessible, but you still prepare. Go to your refrigerator and open the door. What do you see? Do you see food that will sustain you for a week, water or beverages for when you are thirsty? Isn’t this prepping, even though it is on a small scale?
Let’s take a look at what you wear. Summer is coming to an end and you go to the shopping for your winter wardrobe. Is this not preparing for winter and the cold to come?
These are some of the reasons that I say prepping is for everyone, and you are doing it already, even though you don’t realise it! The animal kingdom does it too! The squirrel stores up nuts for the winter, bears gorge themselves to build up fat reserves for their hibernation. Foxes grow their winter coats, ants store food underground, birds build nests for the breeding season!
Prepping is nothing new, and it is part of our natural heritage.
Our modern lifestyle and the conveniences it brings has lessened the need for us to store things for our survival ….. or has it?
What do Preppers Prepare For?
What our modern lifestyle has done is made us dependent on the conveniences we have become so used to.
The difference with preppers is they as the question “What if …” and prepare for that scenario.
Preppers prepare for many different reasons and many different scenarios. Some prepare for end of the world events, some prepare for economic collapse, or for food shortages due to climate change. You don’t have to have a doomsday mindset to be a prepper, just a realistic one.
A Real Life Example
Let me give you a real world example from my own life. I live on the outskirts of a large city, in actual fact on the outskirts of the suburbs. Our government has not maintained our country’s power grid correctly over the last 20 years or so, which brought our country to a crisis which caught a lot of citizens by surprise. For a period of about six weeks, we had rolling blackouts – load shedding the government called it, in an attempt to take pressure off the failing electricity grid. The government took these measures to prevent a total collapse of the national grid.
This left many people without electricity for extended periods, which led to many problems. This is when I asked the “what if” question. What if the government was doing too little too late and the national grid DID go down.
Here are some of the problems we would face.
- No water – the pumps that fill the reservoirs are electricity driven.
- Not able to draw cash at ATM’s
- Unable to pay at a supermarket with a credit or debit card
- Food spoiling in your refrigerator or deep freeze
- Unable to get fuel from a gas station – their pumps are also electric
- Shortages of food in supermarkets – their fridges will also fail
- Possible civil unrest as people take to the streets to take what they need to survive
To be honest, I considered myself to be a prepper to a certain degree, but when I looked at a theoretical situation that came very close to becoming a reality, I felt vulnerable. This prompted me to start preparing, sometimes in small ways, to make life a little easier should the situation arise again.
- We keep some cash available in the house
- A jerry can with some fuel is now stored in our garage
- We have made an effort to buy a few canned goods that have a long shelf life
- Vegetables have taken the place of ornamental plants in our garden
It is amazing how one’s perspective changes when you come face to face with a potential national disaster. It is time to do away with the ostrich syndrome – bury your head in the sand saying if I can’t see the problem then it is not there!
Why You Need To Be A Prepper
Prepping is for everyone because we need to take responsibility for our own safety and survival, basically being able to take care of yourself. Most people rely on the government or aid programs to come to their rescue in the event of a scenario that threatens your way of life, or your very survival.
Relying on others for your basic needs is a dangerous place to be, and makes you vulnerable should the government be unable to provide assistance, or aid organisations cannot get to you.
The whole ball game is changed if you have people who rely on you for their care. These could be people with disabilities, the elderly, infants, children or people with medical needs.
How do you take care of your loved ones in the example I mentioned earlier where the national power grid goes out?
Basic living needs become a priority. Something as simple as how to cook food for your family if the power is out for an extended period becomes thought provoking.
Our government was even encouraging people to stockpile water and food so that they have some supplies if the national grid went down. That is how close we came to it actually happening!
Prepping is for everyone to a greater or lesser degree. Taking a realistic look at the risks you face , depending on where you live, will determine how much you need to prepare. The decision on how far you want to take prepping, is entirely up to you, but in my opinion, we all need to be preppers.
To be a prepper is not to say that you are being negative and looking on the dark side of life, but rather that you are taking a realistic view of the current state of the world and taking measures to be able to continue with a certain amount of comfort for you and your family.
Should You Expand Your Prepping?
Whether to expand your prepping or not is very much a personal choice and something each of us need to determine for ourselves according to our needs and situation.
In my opinion, as a minimum, every family should keep enough food and water to be able to sustain themselves for at least a month.
Prepping can be an enjoyable hobby or an all-consuming obsession, but ideally you will find some middle ground in between the two.
If you have any real life events where you were suddenly faced with a situation where being prepared helped you and your family out, leave them in the comments below. We would love to hear your story and we can learn from each other!