(Official discussion) Rational reasons why you should be prepared
Skip the zombie hype. There are a TON of evidence-based reasons that you must take emergency preparedness seriously – like climate change and economic ruin.[See the full post at: Rational reasons why you should be prepared]
Sinan - April 16, 2019
This is a great article! I enjoyed reading it and believe it’s a very accurate analysis of the world’s current situation and the reasons why we may want to spend some time prepping.
John RameyStaff - April 17, 2019
Thanks! I hope to update it soon, as the world’s in even worse shape than when I wrote it in 2017 🙁
Mel - March 10, 2020
I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that have some really strong characters who just happen to be preppers and that inspired me to start research and begin my prep. Then comes coronavirus… now it’s more important to me than ever.
Thank you so much for this article! It was scary, but in a real world, eye-opening kind of way that is so necessary. No bs, no fluff, just straight facts and resources.
Can’t wait to dig in to the rest of the site.
David Dabney - March 24, 2020
David - April 24, 2020
Another thing to add to the list: EMP or other attack on the power grid. I know this sounds a bit tinfoil hat, but it’s really quite serious. I know people on the NERC board who are quite concerned about the grid’s vulnerability to this, and multiple congressional reports outline the risks.
I will admit that the assumption that (for e.g.) cars will stop working if there’s an EMP is unproven and subject to dispute, but after living through a few days of disruption to the power grid courtesy of PG&E, I can tell you a few months of disruption would be catastrophic.
Wilson Gulick - July 19, 2020
Emergency preparedness is how I grew up because it’s the nature of where I lived. I think it’s fantastic.
Note: This isn’t meant as trash talk. You guys seem to have done a decent job of not walking out into the fringe for clicks. However, I’m going to note a few things here. Try not to take this the wrong way.
I think some of this goes down a road where the answer is far deeper than “prepping” because in these cases all that does is buy a bit of time for the individual. The actual solutions require FAR larger efforts than individual disaster preparedness. They require an educated society to intelligently assess and then coherently respond to them. Currently we lack that and it has implications for the “prepping” world.
Here’s the thing about some of this stuff, such as a total breakdown of institutions or a “post-capitalism” economy; prepping won’t save you. You cannot learn enough or stockpile enough to cover for this kind of thing as an individual or even a town. This literally requires countries full of people working together to deal with. These are the reasons we have countries in the first place.
For example: The simple fact is that the concept of a “universal basic income” is a joke and a bad one. It’s been tried, albeit with other names, and it causes hyperinflation, mass poverty and death. A UBI literally cannot work because there is no value behind the money. Money isn’t magic, it’s a representation of something else and if that “something else” isn’t there then the money has no value and eventually people figure this out. Fiat money with no productive value behind it eventually crashes. Ask Argentina, the Wiemar Republic or Zimbabwe etc etc etc. I mean, why do you think Zimbabwe had a $100 Trillion note? Why did they eventually entirely abandon their own currency? Because of ideas like this which all come back to the same basic foundation: fiat currency with no work-value behind them. And no, gold won’t save you from this kind of magical thinking either. Only a majority of people ceasing to think this way will save us from such things. Otherwise you end up like I did in Africa, with a guy offering me a full crate of Russian made RPG-7 launchers and a case of the RPGs if I could get him… a few bags of rice. The difference is that we’re the ones begging for the rice.
Second example: A total breakdown of institutions is similar insofar as “prepping”. In that regard your “preps” should be focused on surviving long enough to GTFO and having an exit strategy. Past that survival is essentially luck. A “breakdown of institutions” is just another way of saying “fall of society”. That’s not something you’re going to “bug-out” from to a cabin in the woods or develop the skills to “make it through”. You’re not going to “suburban garden” an existence here. If we’re talking about this then the debate is about what to do if the country turns into Syria and there’s essentially a singular answer to that for most people: leave. The alternative is to die sooner rather than later. It’s really that simple for 99% of people. To be clear: We’re not actually discussing “institutional gridlock” or “institutional incompetence” at this point. We’re code-talking “total fall of society due to what amounts to a civil war”. It may start cold but it will go hot. That’s essentially guaranteed. This is the kind of thing were you should be thinking about how to get to and bribe border guards, or convince another country that you’re worth granting a visa to, not plant crops in your yard or do land-nav without a GPS.
Both of these things are, IMHO, pointless to prep for because you basically can’t. Prepping for these kind of things is preparation for avoidance of the scenario, which is to day educating yourself and others to avoid allowing them to happen at all because if they do happen you can’t really deal with them.
Is that possible? I dunno, but it’s not like we’re really trying at this point.
DonAByrd - August 9, 2020
I’d love to recommend this article to my wife, but there are a couple of statements in it she’d laugh at, and I couldn’t blame her for reacting that way. (1) “The smartest, most rational experts in the world are coming to the same conclusion — the next 100 years are probably going to suck.” Saying there’s better than a 50/50 chance things will go south is an awfully strong statement to make with no citations of statements by or even names of the experts, and it’s completely unnecessary! Just say “there’s a good chance” instead of “probably”. (2) “But until now we’ve never dealt with new frontiers like self-aware machines that are infinitely more intelligent, connected, and capable than humans are.” I have a PhD in computer science, and I spent many years in industry doing AI and AI-related stuff. Yes, AI is amazing and it has great potential to do awful things as well as wonderful things. But that’s not because machines are “self-aware” or “more intelligent” (much less “infinitely” more) than people! Please read Melanie Mitchell’s New York Times article “Artificial Intelligence Hits the Barrier of Meaning” (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/05/opinion/artificial-intelligence-machine-learning.html).
Joel - January 18, 2022
Great article – and – the Values Pyramid does not reflect Maslow’s profound insight in later years that the highest stage is Self-Transcendence – the awakening of selfless altruism and compassion, servant leadership, dedication to the good of all… This speaks to a rare “human resource” with profound implications for the Prepper community to keep in mind and aspire toward. May all be well))
Gideon ParkerStaff - January 18, 2022
Great points Joel. Many people choose to be prepared so they can obtain that level of compassion, leadership, and dedication to do good when faced with a difficult situation.
First you need to be able to meet your own needs so that you then can give of yourself fully to others and have the supplies and resources to do so.
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