So, we know what ‘prepping’ is, but what are we ‘prepping’ for?
Keep an Open Mind.
There is no shortage of tv shows, YouTube channels and books which promote the notion of preparing for a particular event.
Once again, I don’t have to go further than American reality tv show ‘Doomsday Preppers’ for a great example.
At the beginning of every own segment, individuals featured on the program explain the particular event they are preparing for and why they think it poses the greatest threat. You will see people preparing for an EMP which will wipe out all technology; or an invasion by a hostile power; or a pandemic infecting the majority of the population; or a global financial crisis. The examples are near endless and to my mind, unbalanced. In my own experience, most preppers do not prepare for a single, or specific, event.
Now, who can say if these people are fed content by producers or if they are free to express their true opinions, but I think we must bear in mind always, that programs like ‘Doomsday Preppers’ are first and foremost created to entertain. It is true you may pick up some interesting and useful ideas of what to do or what not to do from other preppers, but we must remember that these programs are created to entertain, not educate. It is important to ask yourself, what motivates the individuals featured on the program? Why share their preparations with the world?
Let me give you an example of what I mean. On a recent episode of ‘America Unplugged’, I watched a profile of a couple in California who shared their fear and surety that it was only a matter of time before their state would be hit by a tsunami. Instead of leaving the state, or living at a ‘safe’ altitude, they chose to ride out the impending tsunami in an underground, unventilated bunker.
Hmm, an unusual decision but it’s not my role to dump on other people’s fears or life choices, so I kept watching, interested to hear their grand plan. It soon became apparent that this couple were in the business of selling underground bunkers and I heard the sound of a penny drop, or was it a CaChing!…
As for myself, I took their view on prepping with a healthy grain of salt. My advice to all those thinking of prepping or even well into your preps: keep your own mind open at all times.
Disaster Probability Vs Impact
The problem with preparing for a particular event is, of course, that it may never happen.
A person who has spent decades preparing specifically for an EMP which will wipe out technology, will eventually begin to wane, become disillusioned, embarrassed, or think they have wasted their time, money and resources. They may even abandon prepping and go back to their old ways.
So, let’s take a quick look at a sample of common disaster scenarios and consider their probability against their impact.
Road cut off, can’t get out for a week
Natural disaster or flood
I am sure that you would agree that many of these items have occurred in our lifetimes. We have all heard of these events occurring, or have experienced some of them first hand. These are events which we should have in mind when we are developing our preparations.
Then there are the events which could occur, and if they did happen they would definitely have a severe impact, yet the chance of their happening is very remote
Coronal Mass Ejection or a massive Electro-Magnetic Pulse
The events listed above could occur… yet I am sure you can agree that the chance of one of these events occurring is very remote. For example, it is very uncommon for a high fatality Global Pandemic to strike. The last one, according to the World Health Organisation, was in the late 1960s (called the Hong Kong Flu) where it killed up to a million people. Of course, most people know of the Spanish Flu from 1918, which is reported to have killed between 20 to 100 million people.
All these events can occur, yet planning for the events with the least chance of occurrence is not intelligent.
I believe we should live for today, but plan for tomorrow. Keep the mental and practical aspects of your planning balanced and be realistic. Planning for the more likely events will lead to being better prepared for the less likely ones. The steps we can make towards preparing for the likely events can enrich our lives and allow us to live a more balanced life.
Don’t forget to live your life. If you do it right, your lifestyle can be enriched by the activities of preparing. For example: gardening; fishing; breeding animals; basic construction; or even just reading.