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Why Do You Prepare?

Are preppers doom and gloomers?

“Don’t you get tired from all of that worrying? All that doom and gloom stuff just wears me out.”

If you’ve ever shared your thoughts on prepping with a close friend or family member, you’ve probably been asked a similar question.

Many non-preppers believe that as preppers, we sit around all day worrying that the sky is going to fall. They mistakenly believe that we are in a no-win situation, that we are only happy when we are in a near depression or panic over some state of disaster that we fear is approaching.

Are they right? Do you agonize over the news? Are you continually fretting about the European financial crisis, the constant erosion of our personal rights and freedoms, or potential loss of a job?

While many preppers are concerned about these and other things. I don’t think that most are paralyzed by them. In fact, I think most preppers do what they do to alleviate worry and fear.

Feeling Unprepared Causes Worry

Have you ever had one of “those” dreams. You know the ones: where you show up for a final exam for a class that you thought you had dropped. You meant to have dropped it, but somehow you forgot all about the class and now the final exam is upon you.

Or maybe you’ve had the other version of the dream, the one where you show up for school wearing only your underwear. How embarrassing!

school lockersI’m not much for dream interpretation but some people claim that both of these dreams are common among the populace and that they typically represent a feeling of being underprepared about something.

I don’t know about that. Makes sense I suppose.

I do know that when I feel unprepared for a work-related activity, it creates stress in my life. When I don’t have a good sense of what is left to be done on a project, I feel stress. There’s an expectation that has been set for my performance and I’m not sure where the bar is. That creates stress in my life.

So, feeling unprepared can create a sense of worry and stress.

A Prepper’s Piece of Mind

Preparedness is the antidote for stress. With being prepared comes a sense of peace and calmness. It’s not that you are looking forward to an unfortunate circumstance, but you have the assurance that if adversity happens you have a backup plan.

For example, you’re driving down a long stretch of highway. It’s after hours, getting dark. The needle on your fuel gauge is past the E. You’re running out of gas and there’s not a gas station in sight. That knowledge can put you on edge, can make you anxious and nervous. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

But what if you have a 5 gallon container of fuel in the back? What if you’re prepared for just such an emergency? You’re less nervous now. You have a backup plan. You don’t want to run out of fuel before finding a place to fill up. But if you do, you’re covered.

That’s the feeling that being prepared. It brings a peace of mind and a sense of assurance.

It’s a nice feeling to know that if I lose my job tomorrow, my family has at least 6 months of food stored so we won’t go hungry. It’s a nice feeling to know that if the power goes out for an extended period of time, we have the ability to cook and heat our home. It’s a nice feeling to know that whatever happens, we’ve prepared as best we can.

Don’t misunderstand, though. We’re not finished. We haven’t arrived yet. We’re still preparing. We’re still adding supplies, learning new skills, and practicing the skills we have. But we’ve started down the path and we’re a lot further along than we were 2 years ago.

That’s why I prepare.

What about you? Why do you prepare? Share your story in the comments below.

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32 Comments on “Why Do You Prepare?”

  1. Mike Says:

    “All that gloom and doom stuff just wears me out” I have to admit that is does. I follow closely the events in Europe and the ever increasing preparations our government is taking for what I see is a total police state. It weights heavily.

    I would like to be optimistic but I can’t find any reasons to be. We are headed for a cliff….the collapse has already begun……in slow motion

    But my family is prepared; a years worth of food, guns, ammo, get away plan……..so we try to maintain some semblance or normalcy. keep prepping my friends……

    Mike

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      I agree, Mike. I believe we probably have reached a point of no return. At least the stomach of the American people is not such that we can make the changes necessary to get off the course we’re on.

      I try to follow the philosophy of not worrying about things I cannot control. I cannot control anything related to the European finances. The closest I can come to control US politics is voting. Etc.

      So I control what I can and prepare as best I can for the consequences of those areas I cannot control.

      Easier said than done, though.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Joe

      Reply

  2. WLK Says:

    I don’t worry too much…only that I am not as “prepared” as I would like to be but that is no one’s fault but my own. I would like 30-90 worth of supplies and a means to cook off grid. If it all fell down tomorrow we would be hosed, but I think I have time. I think being a prepper does help eleviate the stress…I can’t control the weather, the politics or the banks on wall street…I can feed my family and learn to grow my own food and use solar ovens, etc…

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Thanks for the comments, WLK.

      I’m curious. How much time do you think we have? The question is not meant to be a challenge or provoke a response. I ask it in earnest.

      My take is that I’m really not sure. It could be that I lose my job tomorrow, or that a natural disaster strikes next week. The economic collapse seems to be happening in slow motion.

      I don’t prepare for a single event. I take the approach that I need to be prepared for whatever happens.

      Thanks!

      Joe

      Reply

      • Mike Says:

        Joe, I think we will see a life – changing event before November. My prediction is that Obama, being the dictator he is, will not be removed from power by the voter. An economic collapse will allow him to tell the people he is here to save us…….but its not happening fast enough.

        Therefore I believe we will have a manufactured false flag event that will send the people into turmoil.

        Mike

        Reply

        • WLK Says:

          What is a “manufactured false flag event”? By the Gov’t ? or the People ?

          Reply

          • Mike Says:

            Have read from a DHS insider that a attempted assassination would occur….send the population into mass rioting

            Reply

        • Joe Says:

          I’d agree that Obama is likely to be re-elected. In the end, though, I don’t think it really matters. Neither candidate, neither party, has the stomach to make the difficult decisions that will be required to reverse course.

          Are you talking about some kind of Wag the Dog type event?

          Joe

          Reply

      • WLK Says:

        I think we will be able to “float” this economy through 2016…we will make it past this election, but the next one is when the house of cards will fall. I do not point fingers at either political party as this was 20-40 years in the making. Both sides have caused job loses, currency devaluation and neither have done enough for infrastructure and alternative energy. All new builds should be energy efficient. We have as a country gotton soft since WW2. As for natural disasters of job loses…that could be at anytime. We are striving to be debt free and living off grid in the next 4 years. (Which we will still have to pay taxes, med insurance and other insurance)…I think if I have enough to sit in place for weeks – or to live off grid for weeks – that will take care of most natural, weather disasters….and that is what we are striving for now.

        Reply

        • dee Says:

          I so concur wuth your beliefs!. This strain on our economic system has been a long time coming. Not the blame of one administration, etc. We have to learn to come together and compromise, and stop accusing another of being “unamerican”, etc. Some of our kids and adults has become lazy, and dependent on today’s technology, override their need to learn self-reliance and putting away fo a rainy day.

          Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Makes sense, WLK, though I’m not sure about the timeline. On the one hand, I can see that it very well may coincide with the next election. However there are far too many unstable factors involved and the global economy is far too fragile right now. An event that would have been minor 20 years ago could be enough to push us over the tipping point.

          And as I’ve said before, we prep for a wide variety of events, everything for a job loss to a local disaster, to a regional disaster, to national or even global event. That’s the nice part able prepping. Prep once and be prepared for multiple types of disasters.

          Joe

          Reply

      • dave Says:

        we are prepping for what ever may come, we add food to our stock, ammo when I can find it an others items as money warrants, but we are also planning an prepping for retirement, still save money, buy silver an stocks, 401k an Roth..
        we plan to stay put if the shtf until the dust settles an see what is going on an if we need to move we do have our 4 acres to go to.

        a little money each week, a can of this or some of that an it adds up

        so if the shtf we will get buy, an if it does not we will get by.

        as the saying goes it is better to have it an not need it that to need it an not have

        Reply

  3. Lance Says:

    Be safe! Be prepared! Be ever vigilant!

    Between natural disasters , rising fuel prices, food prices, inflation, crime, soon to be food shortages ( due to colder than normal weather , and
    transportation problems ) then the fuel and food riots… time is almost up
    to get even your basic supplies ready and a plan of action. Equally as
    important is finding other like minded people you trust as close as possible
    to you. There is strength and safety in numbers. So check the below links to
    find those close to you and network

    Prepare by making essential preparations for yourself and your family to not just survive, but to thrive, if and when things get very difficult:

    Prepare food, water, clothing (especially for growing children/grandchildren) & shoes, fuel, essential drugs & medicines/vitamins, toiletries, medical supplies, guns, ammunition (when you run out, your guns are useless, and if you don’t have enough, you can’t keep your skills honed, so buy plenty), specie (gold & silver), and other essentials. If you have the resources, acquire enough for friends, relatives, neighbors, and other peers.

    Get your house in order, if it isn’t already. Prepare temporally and spiritually. Ensure that you will be part of the reason that God will side with us, because we’ve chosen to side with Him!
    All you can to is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Of course
    putting your trust and faith in God.

    Good people, families , moms, dads, grandparents, normal people, just
    preparing for what we see is coming. We are willing to help others, in our
    communities but we have to work together. Preparing both spiritually and
    phsyically. “Every Race, Every Tribe, ONE AMERICA!”

    If you havent prepared for yourself and your family yet… do something
    now… time is up!

    Lance

    Reply

  4. AdamR Says:

    I agree that time is just about up. If you havn’t prepared …get going. It can be a bit overwhelming but you just need to do ONE thing a day. My wife sometimes jokes and says that prepping has become our new hobby! We stocked up on food a few months ago and got a lot of freeze dried food at http://www.srmarketplace.com. No need for refrigeration ever and a 25 year shelf life. See the writing on the wall and start prepping TODAY!

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Thanks, AdamR.

      Incremental steps are a good way to approach prepping. I recommend sitting down, making a plan, and then following the plan. That includes budgeting and prioritizing purchases. But it also includes making decisions about learning and practicing new skills etc.

      Joe

      Reply

  5. dee Says:

    I have been “prepping ” for over 30 years, try to use said food storage frequently during the week. Have very little debt, and just purchased a a “humless generator” to take care of low level refigeration, light , computer.I am not a doom and gloom gal. I believe all things are relative. The same strifes we had 20 years ago, are the same today, but on a more sophisticated level. We have the tweets, internet, etc that make knowledge of a sneeze in Bangaladesh instantaeous. I prepare for stressors, but not the TEOTAWKI. Having had a hubby lose a job twice, it makes you feel more in control, if we have breathing room. That is what preparedness is for. We can’t prepare for every contingency.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Good point. The nice thing though is that there is a certain commonality to disaster planning. If you have stored away 6 months worth of food and other supplies in case your husband loses his job, the same stockpile can help out during a natural disaster or a economic downturn.

      Reply

  6. Darlene Dollins Says:

    I prepare as a part of my venture toward self-sufficiency! For the past 4 years, I have been developing a five-acre hobby farm that includes dairy goats, chickens, ducks, pigs, and an extensive organic garden. I prepare because my “gut” tells me that society is on the brink of a severe financial collapse. Having lost confidence in the markets, the Fed, and corporate America, I prefer to invest in my ability to take care of myself and my family. I prepare because I enjoy returning to a simpler existence, not so dependent upon the money-hungry outside world. Grinding grain, making bread, roasting coffee beans, canning meats and vegetables are peaceful, enjoyable, and FUN. I prepare as a responsible wife and mother and grandmother who wants to provide comfort to those I love in good times and in bad. I prepare because the Bible tells me to put aside during days of plenty. I prepare because it is my new “retirement plan”! Buying today in bulk saves money, and storing food properly for the long haul will feed me when I’m 80. I prepare because the world is going crazy and I feel the need to protect my loved ones and my property should it hit the fan……hubby is in charge of the bullets and I’m taking care of the beans. Blessings to all, and keep prepping and praying.

    Reply

    • WLK Says:

      Thank you for your comment. A five acre hobby is my dream! And the fact that you are a Grand Mother is inspiraring too! If nothing happens..then prepping is our retirement plan too. We know we will eventually have a drastically reduced income and food prices are never going to go down. We have started growing our own food and learning about canning. Best of luck!

      Reply

      • Joe Says:

        There’s really no downside to prepping. If things go badly, you’ll be prepared. If they don’t, you’ve had the peace of mind knowing that you were prepared. Not to mention having bought food, etc, at lower prices.

        Joe

        Reply

      • Darlene Says:

        Yup, a five-acre hobby farm is heavenly, including the good sweat I get each morning by 9 am. I am truly blessed to be out there daily! People who see the place can’t get over “how much WORK” it is! I just laugh and tell them: “It’s my gym for exercise; it’s my tanning bed; it’s my hairdresser that gives me NATURAL highlights; it’s my grocery store providing milk, eggs, fish, fruit and veggies; AND it’s my church, providing spiritual peace and communion with my Lord.”

        If I didn’t have 5 acres, I would probably just till up my yard in “suburbia” and turn it into an edible lawn, plus hide a few chickens on the property someplace! :o)

        Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Amen, Darlene.

      Reply

  7. Meagan Says:

    I definitely feel that my prepping makes me feel a lot more secure. I started prepping while I was pregnant with my daughter (she is 19 months old now) and while I am a stay at home mom who doesnt have a ton of money, I have been able to make quite a bit of progress. I have at least 6 months of food for me, my husband and our daughter, put away. Only 4 months of tp, so I have to work on that :), but a years worth of other hygiene stuff. Because money is limited, I read A LOT about prepping and sustainability. But I also manage to find a lot of items at thrft stores (books, board games, kids clothes), as well as glean free stuff from friends’ gardens such as 4 zucchini that made 3 batches of zucchini pickles, 2 batches of zuchini jam and 2 jars filled with shredded, dehydrated zucchini. Last week a friend from church taught me how to make and can apple cider and applesauce. Inspired, I bought 2 apple trees yesterday and hope to have them in the ground this weekend. Next week come the raised beds and hopefully some potato towers. Our house sits on only 1/3 acre but a lot of my research has given me good ideas about saving space while still having a good yield. Next month hopefully the rabbit hutch will be in. :) It took me a while to get my husband into prepping, but he has embraced it as everyday he reads about the world situation in the news. He is more into the guns and gear side, so he handles that while I handle food stuff (don’t get me wrong, we were both in the Army and I can handle a gun and love my Ruger sr9, but he has more fun buying that stuff while I get excited for trips to the LDS cannery for wheat and powdered milk). We are prepping for anything, and when I try to convince my extended family to put a little food away, I just tell them how much more secure I feel. Whether my husband loses a job, we have a particularly hard winter, pandemic, emp, whatever, I know that I can take care of my daughter and she won’t go hungry and that is the best feeling in the world!

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      That’s FANTASTIC Meagan. You’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Well done. I’d love to hear more about preps.

      Joe

      Reply

  8. Jamie Says:

    I never considered myself a prepper until recently, i started shopping in bulk because it was cheaper, i usually have between 3-4 months of food on hand at any given time. While at work i earned enough “points” to purchase 2 led flashlights. Good for if the power goes out i thought. I used the money i saved on groceries to pay bills and will be debt free by the end of 2012, or so i thought. The company i worked for closed down and no income. I’m still looking for work but my wife and I are well fed, and in good spirits, before the layoff i doubled by food stock. Glad i did. I’ve done a lot of online reading since this has happened and i discovered prepper websites. Once i’m back to work i’ll be restocking and adding other things i didn’t think of before and put together a year of food stock. Do i think the world is going to end soon, no i don’t, each decade has had its own fears and end of the world doomsayers. I’ll continue to do my best to prepare for what I can and if the end of the world comes in one way or another i’ll thank those who shared in my life, especially my wife who really makes my soul complete. In your quest for prepping don’t forget to prep the most important item not found in stores, your love of life and family. Stay happy, prepped and loved.

    Reply

    • WLK Says:

      Jamie, I hope things work out soon. It is excellent that you had a stash to fall back on. I wish more and more people would do that. Even if doomsday does not come, buying before prices go up or while you are flush is always a good idea.

      Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Jamie – I hope you find work again soon. In the meantime, it sure is comforting to know that you won’t go hungry for quite some time. There’s simply no downside to preparing for the future. The end of the world may not happen but life’s little emergencies will certainly continue to happen.

        Thanks for sharing your story. And let us know how it goes.

        Joe

        Reply

  9. Deron Says:

    I just stumbled across your site. Great blog.

    It’s simple prudence. Prudent preparation is no different than saving money or buying insurance for your house and car. When I get the fear and ignorance reaction, I simply ask them if they are hoping for a car accident, their house to burn down or their spouse to die (in the case of life insurance).

    I think a lot of people are threatened by those who do prepare. They actively wish to ignore the danger of the fragile supply chain and economy. People who prepare are and uncomfortable reminder of that vulnerability and the denial others are using as a coping mechanism. The hostile and sometimes near-violent reactions used to puzzle me but it make more sense once you realize that our simple prudence is a rebuke to their worldview and and uncomfortable reminder of how destructive their choice is to cope through denial. Therefore they lash out.

    Reply

  10. David C. Says:

    I prepare because I see myself as a survivor and a thinker. Over the past 3 years or so, I have gone from prepping for being snowed in for weeks, to being prepared to survive a long term disaster (SHTF). I recently began my own group if like minded people and we all have a common interest: Staying alive and being self sufficent and be able to rely only on ourselves. We are preppared for a variety of scenarios, whichever one occurs, may it be a civil war, or a NBC attack or solar flare; we plan on having to live off the land, off the grid, for over 5 years. Expanding our skills so we can blacksmith, farm, and do anything we need without help from the establishment. We all have our own dedicated skills such as, in my case gunsmithing and advanced medical treatment (I’m an EMT). Some of us prefer MREs for nurisment while others will hunt and trap.
    Prepping is a strategic thing that requires planning and practicing often. All of us are self employed so we get together almost 40 hours a week. One day its sitting in my basement, going through gear and watching Youtube videos, the next day its a 48hour trip in the woods. Why do I prepare? Because it would be stupid not to.

    Reply

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