Preppers, the new Survivalist
Have you ever the word “prepper“? I didn’t until very recently. A “prepper” is someone who prepares for their survival from a future event that may prove bad, by stockpiling what the individual prepper deems that either he or his family will need to survive a calamity where society breaks down. Sometimes the breakdown of society is defined as either “grid-up” or “grid-down”. Grid up means that everything is working in the world as it should. The way we have always seen the world work. Routine runnings. Grid down means that there has been a breakdown in society or its workings, and the situation is either going to be dangerous and deadly or it already is at that state being.
There are no “right” or “wrong” reasons for being a prepper. Back in the 70’s and 80’s a prepper was known as a “survivalist”, and was painted with the “kook” paintbrush. Today, the “survivalist” has enjoyed a resurgence along with a new moniker, “prepper”. There are websites, blogs, forums. There are some prepper groups that have seen men and women from among the white collar or professional career ranks either forming their own groups or jooining established groups, and mixing with other people from both the blue collar, and white collar ranks. This new era of survivalist is being driven by many factors. Back in the 70’s and 80’s it was fear of N.B.C. (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) contamination and war with the weapons of choice coming from the aforementioned stockpiles of the East and West. Hollywood also got into the act by releasing motion pictures that dealt with these fearsome subjects. How about the early “Twilight Zone” episode “The Shelter“?
( That one episode got me to thinking about my own survival and that of my family.) Remember “The Omega Man“? Remember the book “Alas, Babylon“? Perhaps the first book to deal with the nuclear war scenario and how a fictional family survives. Pretty tame stuff by todays standards, at least as the story line goes.
The Entertainment industry ran all sorts of the end of the world scenarios. “Damnation Alley“, “The Terminator” series, and many other books. Today we have the AMC series “The Walking Dead”. But these are just some Hollywood stories that gets you thinking in the short term. I mean, do we really have to worry about a Nuclear annihilation, or Biological warfare like we did when facing off with the Eastern block? No, I think what really drives people to this mentality, (and I mean that in a good way), is they look around, and they see that there is a distinct possibilty of a global economic meltdown, followed by the breakdown of society as every man, woman, family face the stark reality that any paper money they have is now, is just that, paper. Not worth a thing. Of course with the chaos that will follow when humans cannot or are unable to obtain the materials they need to live, will resort to every man (or woman) for himself attitude.
How about this scenario? There is a worldwide pandemic. It was only a couple of years ago the C.D.C. was warning of just such a thing. H1N1 virus. Remember. Now not much came of it, but what if there does become a virus that either mutates on its own accord, or is unleashed for malevolent purposes? Think the government has the answer? I suggest a good look at the Hurricane Katrina response. The Haiti earthquake, the earthquake and resulting tsunami in northern Japan Look at the response of other world governments to crisis in their own lands. The record is pretty dismal when it comes to government relief efforts. Are you willing to risk any of your loved ones at all with any government agency for your survival?
This scenario? The U.S. food supply is interupted, and the water supply is poisoned? How will feed your family? Where will you get water? Will you go and take it from your friends, and neighbors? Would you be willing to kill for it? Or die for it? What would you do to insure your family survives this calamity? Most experts agree that it will take anywhere from 72-96 hours without food, water, and government (including military) assistance before those people that have not prepared for the disaster will become violent enough to attack and kill others for their meager rations, shelter, foodstocks.
This is where the mindset of the “survivalist” or “preppers” resides. They reside in the “what-if” scenarios of the nightmare world, and are willing to make the best preparations ahead of time to insure not only their survival, but that of their children. I challenge any of you who read this blog, to do this for one (1) weekend starting on a Friday night. Go home turn off the water supply, electricity, and natural gas supply. See what the difficulties are that arise. See how your kids and other family members react when those 3 simple items we all take for granted are gone. I bet most of you will not even attempt this experiment. Doesn’t matter whether you do or you don’t. I will continue to write about this subject matter quite a bit from on. Feel free to comment. Until next time-Penrod