Why Bother with Prepping
Updated: May 18
Take a quick inventory and ask yourself if you have any of the following:
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
A Savings Account
A Pension/Roth IRA/401K
Of course, this list isn’t all-inclusive, but I think you see the pattern. While car insurance of some sort is a legal requirement everywhere, the other items on the list all have two things in common: 1) you’ve made a conscious decision to prepare for a future financial event and, 2) you take monthly action in the form of paying insurance premiums or monthly contributions to a pension or some type of retirement account to ensure that you’re prepared. Calling you a Prepper might be a stretch; however, I merely wanted to point out that most of us engage in regular, monthly planning for our eventual retirement- the ultimate form of prepping!
Given that most people are used to taking regular action to prepare for a future event, ensuring that you have food and water in times of crisis is not only prudent, but also the only way to ensure that you’ll have what you need when you need it. Prepping is a lifestyle based upon a desire to be prepared for virtually whatever comes your way. You acknowledge that your comfort, safety, and security are your personal responsibility. If you can’t imagine a time when the store shelves are empty or the government fails to or can’t respond in a timely manner, harken back to Hurricane Katrina, the national COVID-19 lockdown on March 15, 2020, or the Great Texas Freeze in February of 2021.
To be clear, an element of politics significantly factored into each of these crises. That’s a discussion I have neither enough crayons nor the stomach to indulge. Instead, I’m calling attention to the societal disruptions, human suffering, and loss of life that in some cases could have been prevented.
The federal government has had plans to ensure its survival since the 1950s. Local governments and corporations are similarly prepared. The fact that FEMA recommends that private citizens have at least a three-day supply of food and one gallon of water per person, per day for at least three days for drinking and hygiene sends a clear message. The new guidance is that you should have a minimum of fourteen days’ worth of food and water on hand.
You’ll be on your own for a time and it’s in your best interest to be as prepared as possible. Again, the government won’t come rushing to the rescue right away- they can’t. Increasingly, survivors must manage on their own for a week before help arrives. Careful, focused planning can make the difference between life and death; security and uncertainty; comfort and hardship. Marginalized populations are at risk in normal times when resources are plentiful, and people have the veneer of civility and tolerance. In times of crisis, civility and tolerance are the first casualties.
Any conversation about my inalienable rights must also include my personal responsibilities. How do I get the things I need to be comfortable every day? In a crisis, am I safe from the predations of my desperate neighbors? How do I ensure my safety and security? Whom do I call if I need help?
Obviously, it’s possible to survive man-made disasters and extreme weather events and most people do so every day with no advanced planning, specialized skills or training. Luck; individual toughness; the grace of God, call it what you will. By working together and recognizing the humanity of others, we become badass.
You can say that you’ll take what you need from others and elsewhere when the time comes. Others will have the same idea and, the “haves” will do all they can to avoid being victimized by the “have-nots.” Critical decisions are rarely made easier by delaying action. Similarly, it’s extremely difficult to make good decisions during a crisis. In the end, you’ll do what your conscience allows you to do. We do a masterful job of setting ourselves up as noble, long-suffering victims but, there’s a better way to live. I suggest you get after it with careful, focused planning.