Gerald Celente has forecast that survival gardens and micro farms would be a popular trend that gets going in 2010. Preparation for emergencies and distasters, or ‘prepping’, as it’s come to be known, is another offshoot of this trend. And it’s starting to go main stream, as evidenced by Newsweek’s recent article Rise of the Preppers: America’s New Survivalists.
Bedford is what you might call a modern-day survivalistor, as she describes it, a “prepper.” Far from the stereotype of survivalists past, she owns no camouflage, and she doesn’t believe that 2012 the final year of the Mayan calendar will be the end of the world. She likes modern luxuries (makeup, air conditioning, going out to eat), and she’s no doomsayer. But like the rest of us, Bedford watched as the housing bubble burst and the economy collapsed. She has friends who’ve lost their homes, jobs, and 401(k)s. She remembers Hurricane Katrina, and wonders how the government might respond to the next big disaster, or a global pandemic. And though she hopes for the best the last thing she wants is for something bad to happen she’s decided to prepare her family for the worst. “We never set out to go build a bunker to protect ourselves from nuclear fallout; I have no idea how to camp in the wild,” Bedford says, laughing. “But as all of this stuff started hitting closer to home, we [wanted] to take some steps to safeguard ourselves.”
Finally, a mainstream media article discussing preppers as “normal” people and not some whacked out conspiracy theorists.
“In fact, many preppers go out of their way to avoid the stereotypes that come along with the “survivalist” label they’ve made a clear-eyed calculation about the risks at hand and aren’t waiting around for anybody else to fix them. “I consider it more of a reaction than a movement,” says Tom Martin, a 32-year-old Idaho truck driver who is the founder of the American Preppers Network, which receives some 5,000 visitors to its Web site each day. “There are so many variables and potential disasters out there, being a prepper is just a reaction to that potential.”
Preppers, by definition, are not just preparing for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, but rather, are prepared for any far-from-equlilibrium situation like a hurricane, earthquake, terror attack, chemical spill, evacuation, or other unforeseen event. Of course, prepping as a hobby may eventually lead to research and skills development to handle even the worst types of possibilities, including hyperinflationary collapse of our economic system, political instability and wide-spread civil unrest, all of which have the potential toÂ lead to monetary collapse and food supply disruptions.
It took three days for the federal government to get water to the Super Dome after Hurricane Katrina. In the two days leading up to the Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike evacuations of Houston, Texas, traffic out of the city along all main arteries was at a near standstill, turning a 3 1/2 hour drive from North Houston to Dallas into a 12 hour ordeal for those trying to get out. There was no food, no gas, and no water along the route. And this was an emergency in just a single major city. Had this been a regional evacuation, it is likely that the outcome would have been much, much worse.
Don’t get us wrong, emergency responders like police, fire and medical teams do their very best in the situations described above, but when you’re dealing with millions of unprepared people whose only thought at the time is to survive and “get out,” the situation can detiorate quite rapidly. Preppers understand this, and have not just reserve food, water and fuel, but secondary and tertiary evacuation routes, multiple “bug-out” destinations where they can go if something happens, and are mentally, physically and psychologicaly prepared to handle the stress.
If everyone prepared in advance of the unknown, it would likely be much easier for the entire population to make it through an event unscathed. Newsweek concludes:
“Bedford knows it all might sound a little nuts and she’s careful about how much she reveals, and to whom. But she believes that in times of uncertainty, what she’s doing is simply common sense. As for the rest of us, isn’t it a little bit crazy not to prepare?”
Here at SHTF Plan, we agree with The Survival Mom — it might all sound nuts. But, in an insane world the sane person would be viewed as insane. We like to think we’re the normal ones.
Some of our favorite featured web sites and resources in the Newsweek article:
Other Prepping Related Sites on the Web:
Survivalism 101 Video: