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Why We Prepare.

(Alternate Title: "What? Me Worry?")


Looking for a reason to begin your prepping journey? Maybe all we need to do is watch the news. Better yet, maybe all we need to do is watch the news and look for trends. Do things seem to be pretty much okay? Is everybody getting along okay? Are we seeing any civil unrest anywhere? Wild weather cropping up? Does the local/federal/global financial situation seem to be well managed and balanced? Anything raising any eyebrows?


Let's take some time to summarize the possibilities of "what could go wrong."

"Prepping," also known as Family Preparedness, or just Preparedness, is the practice of actively preparing for emergencies, disasters, crises or any unexpected situations in life. It means having access to supplies and skills and knowledge to increase your chances of survival and lessen the impacts of a disaster.


While many people may see prepping as being paranoid, the reality is that there are a lot of different reasons why people prepare for disasters. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few common reasons:


Natural Disasters


The most obvious reason people start preparing is the threat of natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires can all cause substantial damage and disruption. Being ready to evacuate (Bug Out) or to stay in place, store enough food, water, medical supplies and other survival essentials, can go a long way towards protecting you and your family during those difficult times. Just a simple plan of keeping a week or more supply of food, water, batteries, medical supplies and the sort, can increase your odds of survival in the event of a natural disaster.


Power Outages


Similar to Natural Disasters, and frequently walking hand-in-hand, are the dreaded Power Outages. While a common enough occurance, they can be caused by a wide range of different factors from storms and accidents to sabatoge and intentional attacks. See here for a short essay discussing the security of our power grid. If you have always relied on electricity to power and heat your home, then you may be in trouble during a prolonged outage. The prepper mindset can help you maintain basic needs like cooking, heating and lighting during these times. It might be good to diversify your energy platform at home. Some of this can be as simple as having a hot water heater and a fireplace that run on natural gas. If you have a wood burning fireplace or stove, you will want to keep a good supply of seasoned firewood on hand. If you have the budget for it, solar panels and back-up generators are a great back-up plan.


Political Unrest


"Oh, there's just no way that can happen HERE!" If this is your opinion, please allow me the opportunity to change your mind. In recent years, there have been numerous examples of political upheaval around the world, from coup d'etats and civil wars to riots and protests. While some would like to think that these types of events are isolated to other countries, the reality is that they can and have happened anywhere, anytime including right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

Given the rise in extremist groups on both sides of the political spectrum, we have seen a number of "mostly peaceful" protests turn violent right here in our own country. If you live in one of these metropolitan areas and have witnessed some of these riots, you know what I mean. If you live in a rural area and you think that this would never happen in your town, I urge you to think again. Having a prepper's mindset can give you the tools that you need to stay safe.


Economic Collapse


"Seriously??? Now, you're talking all 'doomsday' stuff." Well, maybe. But don't take my word for it, rather take a look around. How's that inflation feeling? Still able to get everything you need at the grocery store? Any shortages on things like baby formula? How 'bout the price of eggs these days? The banks are still solid, right?


Years of poor financial management, political instability, and other major events can (and have) easily destabilize even the most robust economies. Inflation with no end in sight can lead to hyper-inflation overnight. Keeping wealth in tangible assets (i.e. property, precious metals, durable goods) is one way to hedge against the very real possibility of a complete devaluation of a nation's currency.

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What we recognize as a civil society whereby most folks follow the rule of law is nothing but a very thin veneer. We have seen in other cultures that when you turn out the lights and people are unable to get their hands on the supplies that they need to survive, it is not very long before that society devolves into groups of scavengers who will do anything and everything to get whatever their neighbor has.


Are we there yet? No, not yet. Is this the end of the world as we know it? No. But you can see it from here.


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