Poll Results: Why are You Preparing to Survive?

Here is the second round of responses to this question: Those who are well educated enough to see a societal collapse of some sort or another in the making fall into two groups, the merrymakers and the preparers. The merrymakers don’t see life worth living post-SHTF, so they live it up now. We on SurvivalBlog are the preparers and have chosen to survive, but why? Our children? To rebuild civilization? Because the collapse will only be temporary? Because we can and we’re stubborn with a stronger than normal will to survive? The following is the second batch of responses. A few of the following poll responses exceeded the one paragraph limit, but they had substance so I decided to post them, regardless:

The survival seed was planted at when as a young boy I entered our Ohio basement “fruit cellar” and noticed the stock of canned goods, candles and other necessities. My mother explained that we might need the items if the “weather turned bad”. We never did need those items in the 1950s but the idea stuck.

For my family [living] in Alaska, it just makes sense to provide yourself with comfort items should the SHTF. We have a self sufficient setup which is accented by a complete, mobile camping outfit and further enhanced with ultralight backpacking gear. We are experienced in the use of this gear.

Silly as it may sound, if hard times come we do not want to be inconvenienced. That is the simple answer. And that includes begging others for help and standing in line to ask that the government do something.

Most important, we have incorporated preparedness into a normal enjoyable lifestyle. And it just plain feels right.

Life is tough. Challenges abound. Success is a drug that there is no anti-dote, only garbage that clouds the “vision” to succeed.
Why prepare? When reading the responses to this poll, I noticed a common reference to a “near term” disaster such as “Katrina”. This truly is a short term disaster. There is no reason that most of us can’t survive any short term disaster. Let’s look back to the late 1920s and early 1930s, or better yet, back to the original settler’s challenges, those were Longer term, affecting several generations. Why do we make reference to the near term problems rather than the historic obstacles? I think it is a protective mechanism that allows us to relate to “recent history” rather than “necessary history”. Imagining a multi-generational collapse I admit is not in my thinking, (to protect my fragile mind). But the labors of my grandparents and their grandparents are not to trivial to be memorialized. History repeats itself.
In the late twenties, a vast percentage of the population was “semi-self sufficient” and lived in the rural area’s trading with neighbors for the items needed that they did not produce themselves. Fast forward 80 years and a scary few minorities produce the knowledge to be productive and have the land to do so. Our forefathers could plan and survive even though difficult at times, they did it. How will we as city dwellers with no productive skills for the basics survive a similar economic tragedy? History repeats itself.
If more of us do not prepare, the likelihood of reverting back to the wagon train era is inevitable. If we can do more now, it is prudent to the survival of this great nation. This Nation is deserving of all of our love, and the things that we don’t agree with can be politely demonstrated against, or we can use the power we wield by voting for change. History repeats itself.
This country feeds the world, yet we squander it away in the pursuit of riches by greed. What a disappointment to our forefathers to have what others want, move it at all costs to further one’s pocket book, and not hold enough back to help our family and friends. If everyone in this nation had a year’s supply of food, then the vulnerability of this nation would greatly lessen, (see the history of the noose that was placed around Russia and the tens of millions that perished because of such starvation) After a “collapse”, our productivity would be multi-generational leaps rather than microscopic advance, if in fact we had the basics squared away. To get this great country back on her feet, we need to first, take care of our needs so if the tragedy of life happens, our focus can be productive, focused, and our return to glory inevitable. History repeats itself.
Am I am optimist? Am I a pessimist? Am I aware of how things really are so delicate? Do I love the country I live in enough to help bring her to her feet?
Be part of the solution, not part of the problem,…. An old saying is: “…problems always work themselves out…” I don’t want to be “worked out”, I want to help re-build, and not stress in the basic needs of my family and friends, I want what I have now, the ability to do much, and hopefully be surrounded by like minded friends no matter what the economic situation of this country is. I love this country, I love my family, I love the teachings of history even though history repeats itself. I love what I have learned, and pray for what I have not. God Bless the USA.

It occurs to me as I read the responses to this question that while I share most of the reasons I am reading, including it is kind of fun, I also fear that I have within myself the capacity to do great evil if the need to provide for my family in times of trouble comes and I am not prepared. In fact this is one of the questions I ask people whom I approach when they tell me something vague about being okay. I ask them if they will really be able to sit by and watch as their children starve? I get interesting looks and statements.

I first became interested in the whole survivalist concept as an ER doctor, early in my career in the late 80’s. What I saw is that the government cannot help people prevent problems, it only “cleans up” and tallies data. The police are the best examples of this (call the police when a burglar enters your home and they will gladly come and take a picture of your dead body). Although I had hunted since childhood, I only became interested in concealed carry, etc., after seeing case after case in the ER where people died or were maimed, while hoping/waiting for the cops to come. The cops did come, but always after the bad guys had done their deed. So much for that.
Over the past decade, my lack of faith in government “Helping” has grown more pervasive (in part due to working as a DOD doctor during Desert Storm I) and now focuses on Peak Oil (about which the government will never inform you in any truthful way until its too late) and the US Dollar (which the government and its goons (e.g. Kudlow et al on CNBC) say is just fine, along with the economy as a whole). There will be no functional oil by 2030, and by 2015 (that’s just 8 years away), we’ll see $10 per gallon at the tank, if we’re luck and if China/India do not grow any faster than they already are.
All h*ll will have broken lose by then, as nearly everything we use comes from oil or is related to it (think antibiotics, clothing, food, not to mention our incessant “happy motoring” to go to work and take kids to/from school and other activities). We will not be able to depend upon transport of veggies from 1000’s of miles away and may have trouble even getting water, depending upon where you get yours, just for starters. The sheeple, as another writer on this forum pointed out, will become wolves. The goal is to be a better prepared wolf, with stores of food, medicines, farming and mechanical equipment, guns and ammo.
Oh yes, the US Dollar (USD); it has dropped about 30% in the past three years. Yes 30%! China has announced that it will diversify out of the USD, as has most of OPEC, Russia, et al. Only Saudi and Japan continue to support the $USD for oil scheme, and that won’t last much longer. When the USD drops below 80 on the USD index, that’s it; we’ll see 30 or 40 within a year or so, and that will be a 50%+ devaluation from present levels. If you look at every country in the world that has had its currency devalued (always, BTW a sure result of over use of the printing press), social degeneration has followed. Ordinarily, governments become totalitarian when that happens, but I suspect that the Peak Oil situation will prevent our government from doing anything but jawboning. Cops won’t be able to enforce anything at $10/gallon gas.
Peak Oil + USD devaluation = total social/economic breakdown. And, BTW, I agree with other writers who have pointed out that its “pie in the sky” to think we’ll “simply return to 1890 and live happily ever after.” 1890 technology could not support a highly urbanized, work challenged and bloated population like ours. 10,000 BC is more likely, only with pockets of technology, and ammo, and a much smaller population. The only question left is when, not if, and when is likely within a decade.

Because no one with any sense of self respect likes being a loser.

Hi Jim,
My family prepares for bad times because it is inexcusable not to prepare. Bad things happen all the time – job loss, illness, accidents, etc., – as well as all of the possible natural and man-made
disasters that could occur. Preparation is insurance that your family will get through a rough time. Not preparing is a deficiency of character and neglectful to your spouse and kids. Being able to
survive more easily through bad times will greatly improve your physical and mental situation if it happens. In addition, you will be in better shape to help others should you need to. If nothing ever
happens in my lifetime I will be thankful and will enjoy having a bit less stress in my life because I did everything I could to keep my family safe and protected.

Beside the fact that I’ve read the last chapter in The Book (Revelation), there’s peak oil & the coming die-off as petrochemical resources become scarce, population stresses, a government that seems hell-bent on totalitarianism of one flavor or the other (I keep praying that cooler heads will prevail, but the past couple decades’ experience doesn’t build much hope.), external political & economic turmoil, pollution, terrorism, a resurgent Russia, Chinese war drums, froggy dictators with nukes, a weakening dollar, the list goes on and on. The worst part is each one of these either feeds off or feeds into the others. I’m betting that my children & grandchildren will live in a much different world than the one I grew up in. My prayers are that it will be a better one — but I also realize (and in some cases, I’m very thankful for the fact) that sometimes God says “No!” So, I prepare — and I attempt to prepare my sons to live in a world that looks more like their Grandparents’ world during the Great Depression than the one I grew up in. Keep a stiff upper lip & watch your Six!

First off, I love your novel “Patriots”. Regarding the survey: We prepare because of the core morality we have: that we aren’t victims and we don’t want to depend upon the government for our welfare since that would make us slaves. I believe every other political view we hold comes out of this core belief, be it regarding the 1st and 2nd Amendments, welfare reform, public education, taxes, business regulation, Federal Reserve policy, etc.

As to your query about why planning and striving to survive. At first I paused and asked myself that same question…Why Survive? For what purpose? What will I do when/if I do,
and when will I know that I have “Survived”. I guess that initially it came down to personal and immediate family survival. Our extended family is fairly large and we are, what I consider to be, relatively “close” as a family unit.
Although my immediate family considers me “alarmist” and “extreme” I have still been planning and stockpiling as best that I can (afford) for all of us when the SHTF. (Whether the next “emergency” is natural or man-made.) My personal survival is only to ensure the safety and well-being of my daughter and to stand as a resister/witness against the “Anti-Christ”.

National survival (the sovereignty of our Constitutionally-based government) is doomed by the fact that the globalist cabal have already (over the last couple of centuries) put into place people, politico-financial-industrial networks and the military might to enforce their will, that resistance will be short lived and futile. Our best effort will be to resist honestly and honorably being witnesses against the evil that is closing its trap upon the unsuspecting mass of sheeple. Although, conceptually, I can understand their reasoning, I cannot in good conscience support their end result.

Survival, not just being a biological instinct, but in humans – a choice, we are presented with not only mere physical requirements and consequences, but also moral and ethical repercussions as a result of our choices. The faculty of conscience, whether intact or corrupted, is a characteristic of God imbued into mankind to act as a “moral compass” to influence and guide one’s actions. Our mind’s/personality/character’s (the soul’s) decisions and consequent actions are the basis upon which we shall be judged. So survival is not just a matter of how we achieved it, but also how well we achieved it.

Survival isn’t just to get by, but to be able to provide the basis by which our “way” of living (hopefully by the freedoms outlined in our Constitution) continues into (at least) the next generation. We must do as much as we can and as long as we are able. My personal “religious”/”reality” views are that we all will “survive”; (continue on as beings) and that our further existence will be far greater than that which we experience now.

I prepare because I am responsible for my family. I also realize that even if our government is able to respond, they will not be able to do so immediately. Just look at the response times for police and fire departments. Three to ten minutes is not unusual and that is when the phone system is working and there is no snow storm or other disaster such as [Hurricane] Katrina.

I will survive because I’m too mean to die. Survival is a choice. Many people choose to die rather than suffer the hardships that survival often requires. In the next 10-to-15 years, the world population will almost certainly decrease by 3-5 billion people for various reasons (mainly famine related to Peak Oil). I plan to be one of the people who live. I don’t have much interest in religion, and I have no interest in leadership. People want to be sheep: let them follow someone else to their doom. I will do what is necessary to survive and hopefully enjoy the process as much as possible while I quietly duck away from trouble others feel compelled to fight head on (and die in place). If you die for a cause, you have failed at survival. Always remember that.

Because when I first heard the story of “The Three Little Pigs” I got it. Make you house strong so the wolf can’t blow it down. Do it right from the beginning and the wolves wont get you. I have had a Survivalist mentality since as early as I can remember. I think people have to be blind and deaf to all around them not to catch on to the obvious, our lifestyle in America is not stable. And no culture/society has ever been stable. All the great ancient cities failed, USA is no different. 1 year or 1,000, USA will end. I am 30 years old and have seen many Third World countries. I do not want to end up like that! I wish I could get everyone to see what the real world is like and what we stand to lose. Incidentally, my wife is from one of those Third World countries. So in the end, a hand dug well, no toilet paper and a dead 42 inch plasma TV suits us just fine because we know we can take care of ourselves. Being a Survivalist is the closest thing to being stable, a Survivalist community is the closest thing to a stable society.

I was in the Coast Guard during Hurricane Hugo and I saw how few people were prepared, it made a huge impact on me. People were driving one hour for ice! I also know that is my God given responsibility. Reading your book only reinforced these thoughts. Thanks for all you do to wake up the sheeple.

In response to why I am planning to survive. Is there any other rational choice? I am preparing from a personal sense of mortality. Selfish as it is it is my survival and hat of my immediate downline that I am concerned about.
Being the victim of a massive Stroke several years ago that left me partially paralyzed on my left side, and disabled from my corporate America job. My earning capacity went from $100K per year to less than $36K, in a stroke, yes pun intended. With more time on my hands I see many many ways to do things differently. Our nation is an anchor to world events and I see that we are on a downward spiral. We feel that we as Americans have in our scant 250 years of existence gained the knowledge and expertise to control the whole world, by debt. I see the collapse coming, and am in survival mode right now as to go from $100K per year to less than $36K per year requires retooling. I think that much more retooling will be required in several years when we mostly all go from Dollars to Skills and actual work. The one who owns a shovel can get some one to operate it for him, If you don’t own the shovel, then you will be the one shoveling for me! Shovel long enough and I will let you shovel it a while for yourself.. That is the way it is supposed to work.Real work for real value. This is the legacy I am intending to leave for my kids.

Because the prophets have said to. Because [LDS] President Gordon B. Hinkley and the 12 have said to. Because I know it is the right thing to do. Because the Spirit tells me it is the right thing to do. To protect my family and loved ones from the storms that will rage and be poured out without measure. And because I want myself, my family, and others to hopefully make it through all the tribulations in order to see the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior!

Like one of the previous writers – I grew up in the 1950s when Nuclear Was and bomb shelters were the norm. My dad made sure we prepared ourselves for survival back then and I took over that responsibility after he died in 1967, as the sole surviving son in our family. It was ingrained in me and taught as a responsibility – and it’s one that I take seriously. I am now an ordained minister and believe that God has called us to prepare ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically for whatever comes our way in the future.

As I prepare my family for TEOTWAWKI or whatever else may come, I am also preparing to share with others in need. As I buy, make, grow or otherwise acquire I put aside extra for charity and barter. I hope each and every survivalist, preparer, and/or provider will do the same. Preparing to survive is not just so we can live while others suffer or die; it is a duty and responsibility we have been called to by our Creator. And, besides, it’s so much fun!

I choose to prepare so my children will have a chance to live a full life. By “full life” I do not mean a materialistic, consumption driven competition to amass “more”. I do not wish to ever have to look at them and say there is no more food, I do not wish their lives cut short because I chose not to prepare for what I know is coming. Many may think I am “strange”, but ever since I was a child I have always been drawn to acquiring knowledge of natural food sources, survival skills, etc, and I have always known a time would come when you can’t just go to the grocery store when you need something. I believe things will get very bad, I don’t know for how long, I also believe that “we” shall emerge at the end of that time, (after what I’m sure will be an enormous “die-off”), and begin to put together a new society. I prepare so that my children will have the chance to make it through the worst times, become self sufficient, strong, and capable of building a new future for themselves.

There are a myriad of reasons why my family prepares, and most of them have been mentioned (Religious leaders instruction, Boy Scout motto, seeing the writing on the wall, American self-reliance) and all of them have a great deal of merit. Although I don’t think any of us can totally prepare for TEOTWAWKI there is a great deal we can do to prepare for the end of electricity/oil/food/water as we know it.

I have few axioms that I live by that have served me well.
* If you are not prepared to care for yourself, be prepared to rely on the generosity of others.
* I would rather have it and not need it. Than need it and not have it.
* You can never have too many knives or flashlights.
* Preparation is cheap insurance.
I love your site and have derived a great deal of information from it that I pass on to others. Thank you for all of your hard work that you share with others.

I guess many reasons, most likely though it was triggered when I was going through a hard time in 1998 and Y2K was coming. It just got me to thinking more about the future then the present. Then I happened to come upon “Patriots” and it started to motivate me to do more, then 9/11 hit and Like everyone else I got a bit excited and started doing all sorts of things for prepping. There are many other reasons too but those were my first ones. Namely now I do all I can to get my mom and myself ready, mainly for a Bugout as we cannot survive in the urban place were at. I also have taken up a bit of time with posting flyers with a small 3 day kits explained and priced, by just going down to the local Dollar store. Lastly, I want to die from old age not starvation or an injury or by [be killed by] a nut, post-SHTF.

Back when I first heard of survivalism, my first reaction was not “They must be crazy!” like most of my fellow liberals, but “That’s a good idea.” I realized that prepared people are our nation’s life insurance: if America falls apart, the survivors will revive it. I still had faith in the government, but I admired independent people. After the Oklahoma City bombing, I realized that if the government can’t even protect its own workers from a single man, it’ll never be able to save us in a true disaster; I had to prepare for disaster myself. When I learned that McVeigh was a survivalist, I saw that thinking “the survivalists, whoever they are, will rebuild after I die in the collapse ” was as naive as thinking “the government, wherever it is, won’t let anything bad happen.” Our nation is only as good as the people in it. If some evil people will survive a collapse, then I have to make sure that the good people who survive will outnumber them. I prepare because I want to be one of the good survivors. It’s my God-given duty to be a part of this great nation, and if America breaks down it will be my duty to rebuild it as an even better nation.

Our founding fathers created this great Republic to be a beacon of hope for humanity. Every day that we exist we prove their point that when government is small people are big – then miracles happen.

When you see the rain coming, you take an umbrella. When it rains, you open it. How can I not prepare to survive with so many storm clouds clearly visible: economic maladjustment, hedonistic society, government growth into incompetency, and imminent crop failure, both in the US and abroad? Sticking my head in the sand is a death warrant. Period. Maybe not all of the storms will hit but all have the potential to be nasty…very nasty. I have a chance with a plan and some extra supplies. Without a plan, I would wander aimlessly or panic, becoming easy pickings for the predators that will certainly arise. With a plan I have fortitude of spirit and the knowledge that most of those I interact with in troubling times will not have a plan, leaving me with an advantage. Maybe a slim advantage, but that may be all I need to come out alive. I pity the countless souls that will come to a sad end because they didn’t or wouldn’t pay attention to the gathering storm clouds.