The following article has been contributed by Be Informed, author of How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper. In part this is a rebuttal to the notion by some who suggest that preppers are socially selfish, morally depraved and even criminal. Moreover, the article serves to highlight the importance of why each individual, family and community must take it upon themselves to make preparations for disasters and unforeseen events.
The term sinister is defined as being morally terrible, and along with buzz word selfish, is being widely insinuated as a description for the dedicated individual that puts away food, water, and other necessities for extended periods of time should their families ever be faced with hardship. It would seem that when an individual puts away what they need for a short time, like a few days, this is socially accepted as well as encouraged. Conversely, however, when an individual crosses some arbitrary threshold of too much preparing they get tagged with being a hoarder, as well as some self-serving creep uninterested in the well being of their neighbors, community, state, and country.
Society has somehow slithered into this oddball conception that anything excessive, within their idea of just how much is too much, is not only selfish, but morally depraved. Gone are the days in which people were highly inspired to put away for tomorrow in the off-chance that things become lean and scarce. That kind of thinking has been replaced with the commercial paradigm of “living for the moment” and not thinking about what repercussions may come the next day. This has lead to toxic levels of phantom money floating around in the world of credit and debt for individuals and nations alike. All the while, a paradox exists insofar as how large of a soda an individual can get at their local convenience store or how massive a portion of food can be ordered at a restaurant. It is okay to spend and purchase excessively with credit cards because this is stimulating the economy, but putting away reserve food, water, and other supplies is “not accepted”!?!?
Prepping has fallen into a category in which the masses have come to feel is only acceptable in very modest levels. “Too much” in a person’s home is regarded the same as someone drinking a 64 oz. soda as opposed to a REGULATED maximum size of 12 oz. or 16 oz. for a person’s “own good”.
It is also felt in many communities that someone storing up too much food and supplies is so morally wrong that they have tried to enact laws against it. Normally these are based on health regulations which surmise that too much food breeds rats and other vermin. Code enforcement and health department agencies become involved. Of course this is total nonsense and nothing more than an excuse to further erode basic freedoms and make everyone blindly conform to what THEY deem socially acceptable behavior, even in the privacy of one’s own home.
Naturally, along with condemnation towards those that put away for months or longer, comes the expectation that committed preppers share what they have sacrificed for with everyone in the community around them after a disaster. This is true even with those totally ill-prepared who laughed and mocked the prepper.
For those “generous” individuals willing to share en masse, there is a big problem they need to be aware of. VOLUME. Even with years worth of supplies a family cannot feed an entire neighborhood or community. Check out this simply formula; you can plug in your own numbers to prove this.
Let x= the number of people you have in a survival group.
Let y= the approximate number of days of survival supplies you have.
Let z= the number of additional people equally sharing your supplies.
It goes like this: (x) (y) / (x+z), or x times y divided by x+z = the new number of days of supplies.
Now let’s see how quickly someone’s survival supplies dwindle when divvied up with your broader community – many of whom failed to prepare for anything. Assuming that about 1% of the people prepare, this means that somewhere in the range of about 90 to 100 individuals need what you have prepared for each person in your family. A family of 6 would therefore have to share what they have with 540-600 people that have nothing on the average. Just for argument’s sake, let’s say it is 500 additional mouths that require feeding. Your family of six has stored enough food and supplies for 2 years or 730 days.
x= 6 people, y= 730 days, z= 500.
6 X 730 = 4380.
6 + 500 = 506.
4380 divided by 506 = 8.66 days.
A family that has saved up and gone without commercialized luxury conveniences in order insulate themselves for two years now has not 2 years worth of supplies, but a little over a week’s worth of necessities left if the crowd of moochers continue to leech off of them.
This may seem dramatic (500 people), but even with smaller numbers of additional freeloaders a full house of food can evaporate in very short order.
Many would call it selfish not to share with everyone.
But it’s a principle of basic mathematics.
It’s akin to hundreds of people all trying to fit into a single life raft – it won’t work and everyone sinks, including the life raft.
It is interesting when those in the media and social networks continue to ridicule those who put away what their family may need “later” as having moral deficiencies. Yet those same people who openly condemn preppers put away monetary security in the forms of savings accounts, 401k’s, and stocks for an emergency or retirement. These people are not berated or expected to share what they have with those that don’t when it comes to money. When that same money is exchanged for Made In the USA food products and put away for when someone needs it, just like a saving’s account, the majority of people argue that it is wrong and morally selfish, especially when disaster strikes and they need access to those supplies.
Many individuals feel the only chance for the people after disaster is if the entire community works together as one unit. Unless MOST of them are fully willing to participate as a unit in some sort of mass food and necessities community storage program for dire times, this idealistic thought will fail miserably during INTENSE catastrophes. Without food you will have a bunch of people that won’t be able to function. It is not just storing enough food for the community at large for a week; it has to be for extended periods of time because most people fail to follow through on their promises to prepare individually. It is very unlikely that you’ll be successful in getting most people involved, and the subsequent lack of supplies will be all too apparent when a true disaster strikes.
A sad cynical viewpoint, but all too true about basic human nature, is that MOST PEOPLE ARE JUST ALL TALK.
To prove this about people becoming involved in the community, one only needs to see the actual number of individuals committed versus those who are not. Even in the best organized community, those committed to protecting the city or town at large usually hover at the same percentage as preppers, that magical 1%. Over-enthusiasm often blinds CERT volunteers to seeing the truth that most people just don’t care and will not be there to help. They will only be there to take. Few individuals and little resources in a mega disaster in proportion to dozens of times more people in need sadly becomes a wasted effort. There are exceptions to this and in those places they need to consider themselves to be very fortunate.
For the most part, however, this is a reason why depending on yourself first is the best course of action before, during and after a true disaster.
ANY town, county, state, or country can and will be completely overwhelmed by a true catastrophe. The simple facts are that emergency management in most communities is geared towards responses to “lightweight” SHTF events. Very seldom are plans in place for mega cataclysms in which stability might not be reached for very extended periods of time. Almost all aid organizations presume that outside help and rescue will come within days or a few weeks at the very worst. Throughout the history of civilizations, however, there have been episodes in which no outside help arrived for months or years because no one could. One example of this is WAR. Another is when someone is forced to remain as isolated as possible from the population because there is a very fatal and very contagious disease brewing. Exposure to others in the community during a true pandemic is suicide and usually reserved for those seeking some sort of martyrdom for themselves. Yet another reason why individuals dedicated to long term preparation for extremely difficult and very dangerous times are ALWAYS making a wise choice.
One issue that someone should take into consideration with a survival group or even a community effort is devotion to the cause. Trust is a huge issue here and a primary consideration for people you let into your survival group or those that help you organize some sort of community survival group. There are not too many people actually willing to self sacrifice by putting away much of which is spent on their everyday present pleasures, including their time.
To better illustrate this about true friends or allies, the number of whom you can usually count on one hand, ask yourself this:
“Will that person, at the barest of sacrifice asked upon them, make an excuse for failure to help you?”
“Is that person committed and consistently thinking and considering the survival group’s needs, even when those needs conflict with his or her own self-interests?”
These are difficult and painful questions, the answers to which most people are not willing to admit to themselves about others, especially if we’re personally involved in their lives.
Allowing the wrong person into a survival group of small numbers all the way up to an entire community response unit can be very damaging and hazardous. Humans require some social acceptance and will tell someone exactly what they want to hear, but bail out when needed or worse, turncoat on them.
A CYNICAL philosophy is often the only way to protect a survival group and should not be viewed as selfish and unwilling to allow others into a group. A better word would be ‘extreme caution’. Loyalty is rare and it’s a primary reason for why so many dedicated preppers do not often expand their own groups towards others. It is also a golden reason for why many community emergency organizations will prove to be near useless if and when a true disaster hits an area. TRUST is a very difficult commodity to obtain with other people and is another key reason why smaller survival groups, especially family survival groups, will have a better chance of survival in short and long term scenarios.
Okay you say, but what about actually using human selfishness to your advantage to form survival response teams in the community? The big problem with this is that unless an area has been devastated, the people are likely to lose interest quickly. Society today has far too many distractions and most people’s attention span is usually quite limited. Besides this, most people just don’t want to be bothered, because they feel it will never happen to them. Emergency management personal will scoff at this, but if they are truly honest with themselves and look at the actual numbers, there simply aren’t enough truly dedicated people.
People don’t take emergencies or disasters seriously. After all, they’ve been convinced that the government and FEMA can clean it all up and make everything like it never even happened. “Everything will recover and things will return to normal no matter what happens, because it always has in the past.” This type of thinking after a mega disaster will leave most in mass graves and statistics for some future history book. Anyone who believes the majority of the masses are dependable and will come to help is fooling themselves.
What, then, is the answer?
The individual and family has to take personal responsibility for making sure that they have a sufficient amount of what they personally require stored up to use when needed. They should ignore the ignorant social rhetoric about committed preppers being selfish and morally wrong just because they plan and save up as much as possible. The more survival goods you can obtain, the more security you will have during minor inconveniences, as well as events that are much, much worse.
Sharing of survival goods is a very personal choice when disaster strikes. After the work and sacrifice of saving, most preppers find themselves more apt to trade what they have for what they need rather than just giving it away. However, there is also strong belief in charity – even if it is anonymous – in the prepper community, and many take it upon themselves to store extra supplies in anticipation of this. Those who call preppers selfish are almost never the type of individuals that openly give what they have to everyone that is needy. These totally less than saints, hypocrites, usually cannot stand the humble life of the prepper/survivalist who takes the initiative to not fall into the commercialism of money spent on vastly overpriced junk that lacks any good quality or useful purpose. The prepper/survivalist usually avoids the flash and glitter and only purchases what is needed and functional.
I leave everyone with this thought about who is actually selfish and morally off:
Is it the person who demands sparkling jewelry and other trinkets, expensive gadgets, flashy automobiles, designer clothes and shoes that run in the hundreds of dollars, Christmas gifts (lots of them) in the most elegant wrapping paper – in other words a total superficial “look at what I’ve got” attitude?
OR, is it the prepper/survivalist who spends resources on food, storage units, self defense, everyday necessities, safe secure places to retreat to during emergencies, warm clothes and blankets, and practical items so their family will not have to suffer – in other words a lifestyle of simple pragmatic saving for tomorrow in which family members self sacrifice for each other out of caring for each other’s well being?
You be the judge of who in society is selfish and who is lacking in moral and spiritual character.
Also by Be Informed:
How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper?
The List: A to Z Survival for the Abysmal Times Ahead
They Will Take Everything If You Don’t Stop Them