Doomsday Preppers, zombies, TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, OPSEC, market collapse, food storage, water storage, bug-out bag. If you know what these terms mean and practice some of them then welcome to the loony bin. You are crazy, maybe even subversive. We all know that if you step outside the narrow range of what society considers normal you will likely be labeled. If you break the law you’re a criminal. If you dance on your roof naked you might be called crazy. There are certain ways to act and not to act around your fellow human beings and depending on what society you live in these things can change. In our society if you talk about the world as we know possibly ending then you might be called strange. If you act on it you might be called crazy. You might be tagged as a survivalist, which conjures up images of guys in camo and high powered weapons and shifty eyes who come to town once a year for supplies. Or lately you might be called a Doomsday Prepper thanks to T.V. Worse yet you might be labeled a subversive or even a terrorist by the government. Here are eight reasons we are crazy:
- We do things outside the norm.
Yep. We plan ahead. We put away food and water just in case the power goes out. This doesn’t have to be from a CME, terrorist attack or a nuclear war. I’ve dipped into my water supply at least five or six times now because of storms knocking the power out. Imagine that!
Instead of not having water to do anything when the power went out I went downstairs grabbed enough water in every bathroom to brush teeth and wash up. I put enough water in the kitchen to make coffee, cook, and wash up with. People who don’t store water don’t appreciate how much they depend on it until it’s not there.
2. Planning for an event that others don’t see as likely.
At some point most of you reading this looked around at our world and thought to yourself, “Man, this whole thing is a house of cards and could come crashing down at any minute.” Maybe it’s a market crash. How long can we keep pumping 80 billion a month into the market and getting market highs before people figure out that our fiat money isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on? Maybe it will never happen. Maybe people want to believe in the illusion so badly that it will stay propped up. Then again, maybe it won’t. If it does come crashing down and there’s a period of time where your dollar bills are only good for wiping your backside with, then it might be smart to have some extra food and water kicking around.
You know all the scenarios. CME, terrorist act, societal collapse, asteroid. If you’ve watched Doomsday Preppers you know society can collapse in any number of ways. Exactly how likely this is to happen is a matter of debate.
3. We think of guns as useful tools instead of weapons that scare the hell out of people.
Most of us Preppers are pro guns for different reasons. We believe in the right to bear arms. We believe in the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We realize if society ever does collapse or there is a major disaster having guns for self-defense might be the only way we make it through with our lives and the possessions that could keep us alive intact.
There are many people out there right now that would like to take our guns away. These people would be happy to give up their rights so that we might be protected by the government. Personally, I’d rather be in charge of my own well-being. The idea of relying on someone to feed my family, clothe us, and give us shelter makes me queasy.
4. The media likes to make us look crazy for the entertainment value.
The media is a double edged sword. If you keep in mind that they are in it for the money, you might be able to deal with them and not walk away looking like an idiot. I admit to watching a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers, but I’ve got to say that the way they were set up and the shows were edited were mostly a turn off for me. Maybe there were some really good episodes, but I just preferred not to watch it after awhile.
Example: There was an episode of a guy here in Maine who has an outdoor school. I’ve met him in person and he’s really quite a guy. Smart, articulate, likable, and he’s probably forgotten more about wilderness survival than I’ll ever know, but the media made him look foolish. I was really disappointed in the way they edited the show for him.
5. We practice OPSEC.
Operational Security. It’s important. As you well know this basically means don’t go around blabbing about how prepared you are and where your secret bunker with two year’s worth of food, water, and ammo is located, because if and when things actually do go south everybody you’ve told – and everybody they’ve told – will be knocking on your door wanting a piece of the pie. It doesn’t matter that they had the same opportunity as you to get prepared. Hell, they may have laughed at you for wasting your time and money on prepping. It will be a moot point then because all they’ll want is to make sure their families are fed and protected. And you’ll be their ticket to staying warm, fed, and dry.
Are you ready to turn friends and family away if it comes down to it? Have you added more preps to help take care of the overflow of people that might show up on your doorstep?
If you don’t want to handle a large group of people the best way is to practice good OPSEC and simply not talk about what you’re doing with others.
I’ve had people come into my house and remark on the stuff that I have. Invariably they’ll say, “Well, if doomsday ever hits I’m coming to your house.” My response is, “You better bring some mad survival skills with you ’cause there ain’t gonna be a free ride!”
6. We tend to be a little paranoid. Not necessarily because we’re afraid people will come steal our preps (well that too), but because we don’t want to be branded as crazy.
Have you ever been at a party and used a phrase like, “Hi, I’m a doomsday prepper!” just to break the ice? Of course not. Neither have I. My experience is that people who don’t understand the need to prep tend to think we’re crazy, foolish, stupid, subversive or even dangerous. Or a mix of all five.
For that reason I don’t usually talk about it at all. Now, if someone brings it up I’m willing to engage in a limited conversation. If you want to meet like-minded people you have to. It’s just that sometimes it’s harder to meet another prepper than it is to meet another bird watcher. Preppers and bird watchers are both avid at what they do. Bird watchers might occasionally be called a little strange because of the lengths they’ll go to to spot a certain rare bird, but Preppers will be called crazy and I’d just as soon forgo that title and not draw attention to myself.
7. We believe in being self-sufficient.
This encompasses some of the other points made here, but I believe it’s an important concept to bring up. The whole idea behind prepping is to survive any kind of situation as self-sufficiently as possible. I’ve found in many situations when I’ve had to rely on others to get things done I’ve been disappointed. You’ll get a half-assed effort or no effort at all, others won’t take it as seriously as you do, they might get sick or just plain not show up, whatever. If it comes to my survival I don’t want someone else to be in the position to screw me over, either on purpose or by accident.
8. We talk about the zombie apocalypse.
This would almost be kind of funny except people don’t realize we’re talking about them. I’ve heard people talk about shooting zombies, that horde that comes out of the cities looking for food, water and shelter, after a major catastrophe. It’s easier to talk about killing a zombie than it is a real, living, breathing human being. A real zombie apocalypse will never happen of course. Here’s a helpful tip, if you’ve got a ton of ammo put away for shooting real zombies it might be a good idea to re-task it for a different purpose. However, a flood of people streaming out of the city after a major catastrophe is a possibility. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying to shoot innocent people fleeing a disaster. I’ll be as compassionate and giving as I can without putting my own family in jeopardy.
Questions? Comments? Sound off below!