Discussions

Hello from the East Coast! Some things are the same for me here, being new to prepping as well. I’m an apartment dweller in an environment that’s technically semi-rural but is basically suburban (there are a lot of small towns smushed together here), with some storage space but not a ton. The most realistic scenario is a protracted winter power loss. Water is something of a non-issue. I’m assuming I’m probably bugging in if a short trip to relatives’ houses in other parts of the province isn’t viable. I tend to be someone who gets fixated on gear and equipment for things, so I have ended up with some stuff that is slightly more wilderness oriented than I’ll likely need or, more importantly, be able to use. I’m struggling a little with how to shift to the less glamorous but more practical issue of having a decent amount of food in case of storm or supply chain disruption, etc. It sounds like you’ve done a better job staying focused on the key scenarios. Based on your post and the fact that you live in a place that actually has mass transit, I’m not sure if you have a vehicle, and it may be immaterial to bugging in anyway, but put some effort in expanding my winter car kit to being more of a year-round GHB, and I expanded the tiny medical kit I kept in the glove box into sort of an EDC/mini-GHB with a spare multitool, space blanket, poncho, N95’s, cash, notebook, etc. stuffed into a little plastic container from Dollarama. Solar is of course great, but depending on the layout of your condo and what a winter storm would likely entail, perhaps focusing on a portable power station would be more practical, although that definitely wouldn’t give you 14 days.

Certainly agree to disagree with you and Bill on some things, but even those of us who are quite sympathetic to MMT would agree that the stimulus packages weren’t exactly executed in the best way. Quite the opposite in a few cases… In terms of government action, no matter where anyone is on the political spectrum, it’s important to note that a big driver of inflation has been pandemic profiteering and governments should be stepping in. There have been a few (imperfect, grain of salt) new studies here in Canada that point to the corporate side. One calculated that over a quarter of inflation was profit-driven, and another pointed out an all-time low in corporate taxation and how much increased sales were driven by widening costs and margins, rather than passing down supplier costs. One can look at the incredible consolidation in certain industries like meatpacking and really see the confluence of a lot of issues that The Prepared‘s readers are concerned about–food security, supply chain logistics, COVID-19 (some of these behemoths treated their workers terribly and had massive outbreaks), and now inflation from profiteering. Pops, your last point about focusing on savings rather than acquisitions is really good and often underappreciated. As someone who has been getting more interested in preparedness over the course of the pandemic, the gear mongering and tool reviews, etc. are certainly a lot more ‘fun’ than focusing on the fundamentals of sound personal finance, etc.

I expect you’re very correct and that interest in prepping will or has increased quite a bit. There’s certainly been an uptick in some related skills, like canning.  On a personal level, I’ve had an extremely basic emergency kit in my car forever and I’d tend to buy a few extra dry goods before snowstorms (it’s Canada), but the onset of COVID-19 in January 2020 was what caused me to first start taking emergency preparedness more seriously.  As to your observation and “why?”, I think there are a few things: A worrying amount of the population (in North America at least) is unfortunately still living pay cheque to pay cheque and may not have the funds or time to devote to prepping. I would put a lot of emphasis on this. ‘sane prepping’/emergency preparedness is often less visible than doomsday prepping in the media, and can be associated with those on the far right. I only found the topic approachable once things like The Prepared came along (since I knew of Stokes from being a longtime Ars Technica reader). A lot of the population is very urbanized. If you’re an apartment dweller, it can be difficult to buy goods in bulk or store some of the extra gear that may be helpful only in an emergency situation. Or, when you think of typical emergencies (floods, fires, extended power outages), you know there are a number of nearby shelter options (fire department, community centre, etc.) that would be activated in case of emergency (or friends and family) and prepping doesn’t really occur to you as something that’s necessary or worthwhile. I’ve tended to feel this way myself.

Howdy, longtime lurker, but wanted to chip in since this has been a very sensitive subject and rightwing media and some international media are portraying it in some odd ways: The Emergencies Act isn’t “martial law” in the traditional sense. It broadens police/government abilities and can involve military usage, but it doesn’t suspend any elements of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s also capable of being overturned by the opposition parties in Parliament. So for example, this is not at all a case where freedom of assembly is curtailed, a curfew has been imposed, etc. across the country. I’m not a Trudeau fan by any stretch and I’m sympathetic to civil liberties arguments that the act wasn’t necessary because there were laws and injunctions on the table that should have given the police all they needed to do the job. The fact of the matter is the city and province were either dragging their feet or in totally over their heads. It’s really not an ideal response, but the feds were sort of backed in a corner to do something by the city and province’s ineptitude.  Some examples of possible implications given by the government, as reported by the Toronto Star: This includes powers to create no-go zones around critical infrastructure such as border crossings and downtown Ottawa, halt public assemblies that “breach the peace” in those red zones, commandeer tow trucks in order to remove big rigs blocking streets, and freeze or suspend protesters’ bank accounts and vehicle insurance coverage.

Hello from the East Coast! Some things are the same for me here, being new to prepping as well. I’m an apartment dweller in an environment that’s technically semi-rural but is basically suburban (there are a lot of small towns smushed together here), with some storage space but not a ton. The most realistic scenario is a protracted winter power loss. Water is something of a non-issue. I’m assuming I’m probably bugging in if a short trip to relatives’ houses in other parts of the province isn’t viable. I tend to be someone who gets fixated on gear and equipment for things, so I have ended up with some stuff that is slightly more wilderness oriented than I’ll likely need or, more importantly, be able to use. I’m struggling a little with how to shift to the less glamorous but more practical issue of having a decent amount of food in case of storm or supply chain disruption, etc. It sounds like you’ve done a better job staying focused on the key scenarios. Based on your post and the fact that you live in a place that actually has mass transit, I’m not sure if you have a vehicle, and it may be immaterial to bugging in anyway, but put some effort in expanding my winter car kit to being more of a year-round GHB, and I expanded the tiny medical kit I kept in the glove box into sort of an EDC/mini-GHB with a spare multitool, space blanket, poncho, N95’s, cash, notebook, etc. stuffed into a little plastic container from Dollarama. Solar is of course great, but depending on the layout of your condo and what a winter storm would likely entail, perhaps focusing on a portable power station would be more practical, although that definitely wouldn’t give you 14 days.

Certainly agree to disagree with you and Bill on some things, but even those of us who are quite sympathetic to MMT would agree that the stimulus packages weren’t exactly executed in the best way. Quite the opposite in a few cases… In terms of government action, no matter where anyone is on the political spectrum, it’s important to note that a big driver of inflation has been pandemic profiteering and governments should be stepping in. There have been a few (imperfect, grain of salt) new studies here in Canada that point to the corporate side. One calculated that over a quarter of inflation was profit-driven, and another pointed out an all-time low in corporate taxation and how much increased sales were driven by widening costs and margins, rather than passing down supplier costs. One can look at the incredible consolidation in certain industries like meatpacking and really see the confluence of a lot of issues that The Prepared‘s readers are concerned about–food security, supply chain logistics, COVID-19 (some of these behemoths treated their workers terribly and had massive outbreaks), and now inflation from profiteering. Pops, your last point about focusing on savings rather than acquisitions is really good and often underappreciated. As someone who has been getting more interested in preparedness over the course of the pandemic, the gear mongering and tool reviews, etc. are certainly a lot more ‘fun’ than focusing on the fundamentals of sound personal finance, etc.

I expect you’re very correct and that interest in prepping will or has increased quite a bit. There’s certainly been an uptick in some related skills, like canning.  On a personal level, I’ve had an extremely basic emergency kit in my car forever and I’d tend to buy a few extra dry goods before snowstorms (it’s Canada), but the onset of COVID-19 in January 2020 was what caused me to first start taking emergency preparedness more seriously.  As to your observation and “why?”, I think there are a few things: A worrying amount of the population (in North America at least) is unfortunately still living pay cheque to pay cheque and may not have the funds or time to devote to prepping. I would put a lot of emphasis on this. ‘sane prepping’/emergency preparedness is often less visible than doomsday prepping in the media, and can be associated with those on the far right. I only found the topic approachable once things like The Prepared came along (since I knew of Stokes from being a longtime Ars Technica reader). A lot of the population is very urbanized. If you’re an apartment dweller, it can be difficult to buy goods in bulk or store some of the extra gear that may be helpful only in an emergency situation. Or, when you think of typical emergencies (floods, fires, extended power outages), you know there are a number of nearby shelter options (fire department, community centre, etc.) that would be activated in case of emergency (or friends and family) and prepping doesn’t really occur to you as something that’s necessary or worthwhile. I’ve tended to feel this way myself.

Howdy, longtime lurker, but wanted to chip in since this has been a very sensitive subject and rightwing media and some international media are portraying it in some odd ways: The Emergencies Act isn’t “martial law” in the traditional sense. It broadens police/government abilities and can involve military usage, but it doesn’t suspend any elements of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It’s also capable of being overturned by the opposition parties in Parliament. So for example, this is not at all a case where freedom of assembly is curtailed, a curfew has been imposed, etc. across the country. I’m not a Trudeau fan by any stretch and I’m sympathetic to civil liberties arguments that the act wasn’t necessary because there were laws and injunctions on the table that should have given the police all they needed to do the job. The fact of the matter is the city and province were either dragging their feet or in totally over their heads. It’s really not an ideal response, but the feds were sort of backed in a corner to do something by the city and province’s ineptitude.  Some examples of possible implications given by the government, as reported by the Toronto Star: This includes powers to create no-go zones around critical infrastructure such as border crossings and downtown Ottawa, halt public assemblies that “breach the peace” in those red zones, commandeer tow trucks in order to remove big rigs blocking streets, and freeze or suspend protesters’ bank accounts and vehicle insurance coverage.