I am a prepper.
Prepper? ...What? ...Why? ...What sort of preparations? ...Make ready for what?
Not So Sticky Labels
All labels come with an amount of accumulated baggage. Taking upon oneself a label, implies that you also willingly take on the associated baggage.
We all know numerous other people that are more than happy to set us up with labels. We all do it. As soon as we look at someone, even a stranger, our innate tendency and not necessarily intentionally or even consciously, is to pigeon-hole them. Attaching labels of various kinds to them. Rightly or wrongly. It is often a subjective thing, not requiring a lot of thought. A snap decision instantly made.
We cannot control, though some go to incredible lengths to try to influence, the way other people perceive and label us. But why do we sometimes consciously do it to ourselves?
Why did I in the first statement on this new blog in a public online open arena, attach to myself the label of 'Prepper'?
I must have had a very good reason for doing that, as the term, mostly an Americanism, of recent lineage, already comes with an enormous amount of baggage. Some good. Some not so good. I imagine that many who read this will now label me with all sorts of name associations that go with the word 'prepper'.
Well, I do have a very good reason, and I don't do it lightly. I would have preferred to use some other label in order to dissociate myself from the more extreme aspects of preppery (if that can be accepted as a properly derived word meaning 'the common activities of preppers'), but there is no other contemporary label of similar meaning that I am aware of, which provides the sort of associations that I do want to take on as being part of what defines me at this point in time and for my current purpose.
So, I purposefully repeat, I am a Prepper.
I can sense that some long-time or deeply involved preppers might reason that statement to be a little presumptious given my current status, but nevertheless I am going to base this blog on that foundation and progress with it as far as I can, or am willing, to go. In the course of this journey I may determine that 'prepper' is not how I would like to be labelled and may consequently need to find or coin a more suitable label.
Let us start with first principles and perhaps answer some of the probing questions that I raised earlier.
There are other, less polarising word associations with the prepper concept. These are words like Self-reliance, Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and of course Preparedness. This group of words are what I will try to draw on for content, while perhaps touching on some of the other group, as necessity, for completeness, dictates.
As a starting point for this blog I want to take my simple definition of prepper as being 'one who makes ready' or perhaps it should preferably be stated in the plural as 'Preppers: Those who make ready' because any group of like-minded individuals is that much stronger than the sum of its individual parts.
That definition can encompass a huge array of possibilities and so we may need to tighten it up at least a little by assigning other co-labels to it if it is to have any fuller meaning within the context in which I wish this blog to unfold. I may even add a word or words to the blog title at some stage.
Why do preppers prepare? Or, perhaps the question should be restated as: Why do people become preppers?
Now, that's opening a whole can of worms but the way I look at it is this:
Historically, change and progression have always moved very slowly but in the last century or less, change has moved with increasing rapidity to the extent that today's conditions (where we now operate in a globally linked society that impinges on the daily life of every single person around the world) cannot be guaranteed to remain the same tomorrow in any locality, nation, continent or in fact globally.
Change is with us and change usually does not come peacefully or without someone or some section of society or geographical area getting hurt or disadvantaged in some way. Change most frequently arises out of conflict, catastrophe or by underhand manipulation.
Change most affects those who are unprepared for it or those who oppose it. Preparation can be the difference between personal tragedy and personal success. This is where preppers come into their own. Is that a sufficient reason to start to prepare for an uncertain future where things are not likely to be the way you have perhaps always known them to be? What would your reason be? If you think about that reason for a while, what does it really boil down to?
There are probably as many different reasons for becoming a prepper as there are preppers. We need to filter out these diverse personal concepts to derive a concise statement of reason. On this basis I have put together the following statement.
TheMy Prepper's Statement
Things are the way they are, but they haven't always been the way they are and they aren't likely to stay that way much longer.
We may like (or at least grudgingly accept) the way things are now but may not like the way they turn out to be, as they are unlikely to change for the better.
We are unlikely to have much of a say in the way things turn out or to wield much influence in altering that to something that we would prefer.
In the new way of things, our personal safety may be compromised, our freedom to act may be severely curtailed and our happiness not guaranteed. If we are sufficiently prepared beforehand we may be able to secure a higher degree of personal safety, freedom of action and happiness for ourselves.
Therefore we should make preparations to gain as high an opportunity for our continued personal welfare through whatever future changes that we may be required to face, as we are able or have the capacity to accomplish.
I think that is a sufficiently generalised statement that most preppers would be able to accept, as far as it goes. If you are already a prepper, your own statement (if you have one) may look nothing like this but if that is the case then I would suggest that you may be too focussed on a single, or maybe a limited few, of the tremendously large range of possibilities for events that could shape your future in ways that you may not have considered. Or you might be operating on something like my suggested concise statement below.
Note that the statement does not say anything about the current conditions that may influence, cause or drive future change, the nature of the change or of the actual future conditions that may result. Those things are deliberately omitted from the statement because there are far too many possible candidates for each category to be included in a concise statement, many of which are highly personalised in terms of importance to the individual and irrelevance to others, and because it cannot be predicted with any accuracy, which, several or all of them will occur first or simultaneously or are just figments of someone's imagination.
Note that the statement also does not make any reference to god, a prophet or any other figure of religious significance, a subject which I personally consider abhorrent, lacking in any form of validity and which therefore has no place in this arena. This is not to say that people of faith have no right to be listed among the prepper community. Indeed, many preppers are obviously and very openly, such people. It is just that it is nauseatingly sickening to have to put up with their constant references to their practice. As if everybody else should have the same interest in it that they do. You will find no further reference to such matters in this blog. If that offends, then there are plenty of other information sources available.
OK. That said, here is an even more concise prepper's statement.
Shit's going on.
Shit's gonna get worse and will one day hit the fan.
I wanna be ready as I can be when shit starts to fly in all directions.
...Make ready for what?
I am taking my original probing questions out of sequence now because the question of what preparations to make may not be fully answerable until it is understood what sort of conditions are being prepared for.
So, for what are preppers preparing?
This is the information I deliberately left out of my Prepper's Statement. I will try to give as full a description as I am able of the numerous possibilities open to future scenarios but I am sure to miss something. The list will be updated as items come to light. The list may also not be in order of importance or likelihood of occurrence. Such sequencing is highly subjective anyway.
- Social Networking Blocked or Banned (This is a joke, right? Not necessarily)
- Home Damage (Fire, Flood, Storm, Burglary, Terrorist Attack, Insects, etc.)
- Stranding (Temporarily/Permanently unable to return home)
- Others Seeking Your Personal Demise/Harm/Capture
- Local Banking System Crash........ ...............) I list these separately because the
- National Banking System Crash.................) causes, impacts and outcomes
- International Banking System Crash ) may all be quite different and call for
- Global Banking System Crash......................) different levels of preparedness
- Local Grid Power Failure
- National Grid Power Failure
- National Grid Permanent Power Supply Cessation
- Automotive Fuel Supply Interruption
- Automotive Fuel Supply Permanent Shortage
- Automotive Fuel Supply Permanent Cessation
- Local Food Supply Disruption
- National Food Supply Disruption
- Global Food Supply Disruption
- Invasion By Foreign Hostiles
- Invasion By 'Alien' Hostiles ) I imagine these must be on
- Invasion By 'Alien' Friendlies ) more than a few folks list.
- Invasion By 'Zombies'...............................) Who am I to deny them?
- Invasion/Clampdown From Within By Own Government Forces
- Invasion From Within By Wacko 'Patriot' Militarists/Paramilitarists
- Local Catastrophic Weather Event (Flood, Fire, Storm, Tornado/Cyclone, etc.)
- Local Catastrophic Terrestrial Event (Earthquake, Volcanic Eruption)
- National/Regional Catastrophic Climate Event (Extreme Heat, Extreme Cold, Sea Level Rise, etc.)
- Global Catastrophic Climate Event...........................................................ditto..........
- Local Catastrophic Extraterrestrial Event (Meteor impact, Solar Megastorm, etc.)
- Regional Catastrophic Extraterrestrial Event.......................ditto
- Global Catastrophic Extraterrestrial Event.............................ditto
- Local Pandemic
- Global Pandemic
- Local Water Shortage or Contamination
- Global Water Shortage or Contamination
- Local Nuclear Weapon Attack
- National Nuclear Weapon Attack
- Global Nuclear Warfare
- more to be added...
I am going to move on now but will continue to add to this list as entries come to mind or are provided from other sources.
It can be seen that the scope of potential reasons for at least some form of prepping is quite broad. I don't expect there would be many preppers who would entertain a list of reasons for their actions that would cover the whole range of possible candidates listed above and some may only focus on a single aspect of concern to them.
I think there is scope for literally everyone to conceive at least some of these disruptive threats as pertinent to their own situation even if it is only Home Damage or Local Power Grid Failure. Even many government bodies at various levels these days advocate some sort of preparation for short term emergencies. It would be wise to heed their advice, and perhaps even wiser to go at least a little further along this track. You might even decide there is a need to become a prepper.
My intention on this blog page is to expand each of these list items under another Tab with the aim of providing useful information to assist people in preparing for the particular crisis mentioned. Sufficient preparation, in terms of learning or honing skills and the gathering of equipment/supplies, will hopefully empower them to get through the ordeal should it occur or at least to give them a better chance of doing that than they would have if unprepared.
The general information to be recorded will further draw on specific entries under separate Tabs for Skills and Equipment. I may also include Tabs for such things as Advice or News. I haven't really thought out that far as yet and all this makes the project quite a huge undertaking. I don't have a good track record of completing large tasks either, at all or, very quickly, but focussing on this information which will inevitably be of use to myself, even if to no-one else, should give me the necessary impetus to proceed with it as far as I am able. It may never be complete but few things are on the internet.
I haven't yet determined whether I will allow comments on the individual pages. I don't want to spend my life in verbal stoushes with individuals who may have entrenched views on finer points or who simply want to display their vast knowledge. Such people are probably best advised to start their own blog. I am equally not looking for praise or affirmation of my views or writing. I will probably allow comments on this or some other post or find some other way for folk to air their views without cluttering up the basic information. I will of course take and include what I consider to be sound advice or information.
So, to my final original probing question and completion of this introductory post...
...What sort of preparations?
Hmmm, that's a good question. I can't fully answer it here, or that would make the rest of the blog pointless.
Let's just say that the actual occurrence of any one of the previously listed reasons for prepping will leave you, me, many or all of us in a situation that we are for the most part not normally accustomed to facing.
It could be as simple as the necessity to spend the night or a longer period than that away from our normal domicile, being without the normal comforts that sustain us.
It could be many more terribly worse things than that, even to the extent of resulting in a terrifying and seemingly unending maelstrom of death and destruction all around us wherein we are irretrievably torn away and separated from everything that we have known and loved.
...or, anything in between, that you can imagine, which might deprive you of life, liberty or those things that have real meaning in your life. By things that have real meaning I don't mean your house, your car, your boat, your golf clubs, your bank account or share portfolio or your job. Those things only have meaning in the current system of things. They may not have any meaning or value following whatever event or period of change that has occurred.
Thinking of some or all of the things that could happen and assigning to them a probability of their actually happening and a timeframe within which that probability passes a critical level for you to take some action, what do you think you should do ...and when... to provide yourself with a reasonable assurance that you will be able to handle and cope with that?
Who do you think will assist you? If your answer consists of any one of the following, you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment: The government, my bank, my insurance company, the police, the military, my neighbours, my doctor, my friends, my supermarket, my chemist, my local takeaway.
Depending on the severity of the disruption, most or all of these resources will not be functioning or will not be willing to share whatever resources they have. They may even prove hostile to your requests for assistance. So you may well find yourself thrown back on your own resources. A scary thing if you have not pre-planned and pre-pared for an event like this. Maybe not so scary if you have the necessary resources and skills to assist you.
Consider these things for a while if you have not taken time to think about the possibilities previously.
Then read on...