Are You a Prepper?

What image does the word “prepper” conjure up in your mind? Do you imagine a wide-eyed fanatic crouched in an underground bunker, surrounded by bins of unappetizing dried food? You wouldn’t be alone. Television has encouraged that stereotype, and (hopefully) we all know that television is not a particularly accurate source of information. On anything.

L1020832You are Already a Prepper

Don’t believe me? Think about it. All prepping means is having enough supplies on hand to get you through a time those things become unavailable. Look in your pantry- do you have enough food in there for a week, or even just a few days? You are prepped for that period of time, in case you don’t want to go to a store, or can’t because of illness, business, or car trouble. Do you have a first aid kit? Some extra boxes of ammunition? Spare batteries? The question isn’t if you prep; it’s only what you are prepping for and how thoroughly you do it.

Well, I’m not a Crazy Prepper

The definition of “crazy prepper” seems to be “anyone who preps more than I do.” There is a large range of prepping styles, and wherever you fall on that spectrum seems normal to you. Everyone more prepped seems extreme, and everyone less prepped seems naive.

Reasons People Prep: What’s Your Level?

Prepping involves everything from food and shelter to medicine, firearms and ammunition. For now, let’s just consider food. Why prep? Well, maybe you just hate shopping. It’s boring, or the store is far away. Buying enough food to last a while makes sense for you. Do you want a higher quality of food than you can purchase? Gardening for fruits and vegetables and raising your own animals for meat are both good options if you have the time and space. Is your income variable? Extra food supplies can get you through a lean financial time. Have you ever experienced a prolonged power outage? Many years ago an ice storm in my home state knocked everything in my area out for six weeks – most stores as well as homes. Being prepared for an event like that is certainly reasonable.

Let’s Get a Little More Extreme

Remember the flu epidemic of 1918? Probably not. Almost everyone alive in 1918 has since died…and a staggering amount of them died that year. 500 million people got this flu, and as many as fifty million of them died worldwide. The epidemic lasted over a year. Viruses are constantly changing and becoming resistant, and if something even close to that magnitude crops up again, it would be wise to stay in your house for as long as it takes for the epidemic to run its course.

How about civil unrest? That gets stirred up by political events, social tragedies, and even power outages in populated areas, and can last for days or weeks. Not a good time to need to run to the grocery store. Can you wait something like that out?

And of course, on the far edge of possibilities, we have nuclear war, alien invasion, and the zombie apocalypse. I don’t believe in two of those things, but if I’m wrong, I’m not hiding in an underground shelter for decades. I just figure my time here is up, and I’m moving on. I know where I’m going and I’m cool with it. Besides, I’ve seen “Blast from the Past”…lesson learned. But some people prepare for things this massive, and knowing what to store and how to store it makes it possible.

In Conclusion

Don’t be afraid of the prepper label – it means different things to different people. Do your research, find your level, and don’t worry – someone out there is crazier than you.