Letter Re: The Eyes of A Prepper

As I go through life, I see the world through the eyes of a Prepper (Survivalist was the term used before I joined the ranks.).  I’m also a Type A personality with light to moderate obsessive-compulsive disorder. What this means in practical terms is every action I take in my daily life filters back to preparing for a disaster of some sort.  And I want to try and wake-up as many people as I can.  But at the same time, I don’t want to freak out everyone I come in contact with. 

My wife and I started prepping in August of 2009.  At first we were very hush, hush about what we were doing.  At first we were frantic.  We thought the world had maybe 6 months to a year left.  Here we are in mid-March of 2013.  Now I think the world has a few weeks, maybe a few months left.  But, I was wrong back in ’09, so who knows. 

What I do know is that the people I meet are divided into four categories. 

The first type would be the American Idol, Jersey Shores crowd.  They know nothing of the world beyond pop-culture television and current fashion.  If I start taking about politics or disaster, their eyes glaze over faster than Bill Clinton accepting an invitation to a female intern convention.  This group I generally don’t talk with directly about my concerns.  Usually if it is a cocktail party or work water-cooler setting, they may be nearby and overhear me talking to someone who may actually be interested in this subject matter.  My hope is that through serendipity they may begin to wake up, but I haven’t seen it happen yet. 

The second type of folks are, for lack of a better way to put it, the Obama maniacs.  These people know only what they are told by the White House Press Corps and the Mainstream Media (I know, these days that is kind of the same thing.).  They cannot comprehend the coming storm because the sources that they get their information from are assuring them all is well.  For the first few years of my awakening, these people drove me nearly insane.  I now watch them with a detached sort of amusement.  I know when it all comes crashing down, somehow us evil Conservatives will still be to blame.  But, they can blame me all they want while I am at my retreat and they are trying to decide if the storm-drain water is safe to drink.  Needless to say, I don’t waste any time on this group.  It is worth noting that there is a sub-group in this category.  They are liberals who won’t go all the way to the mat for Obama, but still feel more positive than negative about him.  They also get all their news from the left.  But often, the current situation has hit close to home.  Either they or a spouse lost a job, a home, etc.  I will work with this group in trying to get them to see the light and prepare.  But I will avoid political talk, as I don’t want to alienate them.  You can’t really help someone you’ve offended.    

We all know plenty of people who fall into the third type – “Yeah, I know I should probably prepare, but….”  You can fill in the blank as to what their excuse is.  No time, no money, ultimately the government will eventually get things squared away, this list continues ad nauseam.  This group can be more frustrating than the first two groups.  At least with them you know when to cut your losses and move on.  But these guys fill you with hope, because they seem to know, or strongly sense, what is going on.  But then your hopes get dashed like Charlie Sheen waking up from a blackout bender alone in a dry county.  All you can do with this group is try to gently remind them, as year after year goes by and they do next to nothing.  Although once in a while, a breakthrough will occur.  I had a fellow who fits in this category call me and asked about gun advice, the upcoming gun show in our area, that sort of thing.  So I felt good that he was at least doing something.  And it felt good that when he had a question, he thought to call me. 

With this group (and the next one I’ll talk about), there is another thing you have to consider.  If they call you during the collapse (and you know they will) will you let them into your retreat, or turn them away?  I have talked to my tribe about this, and we’ve decided that we will let some of them in.  Our reasoning is, we are only eleven people, and can accommodate a few more.  While we have the cat herder (me), the camp cook (my wife), the ER nurse, the mechanical genius, the electrician, the combat vet, and three adult children, we still wouldn’t mind having a few more folks to help with gardening, fence building, standing watch, etc.  And we already plan on making them work a little harder to make up for the fact that we did all the heavy lifting and they just came waltzing in.  And when they call in panicked desperation, they will be made aware of that fact.  And I have no doubt they will agree.  They’ll be as scared as Donald Trump on a windy day without hair spray.  But their penance won’t be forever.  Maybe just a few weeks or a month.              

The fourth and final type are the fatalists.  I’ve met more than one person who has said, “Well, if everything falls apart, so be it.  I’ll just die.  I wouldn’t want to live in that kind of world anyway.” 

This is an easy thing to say with bravado while things are relatively normal.  But the people who say that obviously have not thought it out.  For one thing, very few of us could put a gun in our mouths and pull the trigger (not to mention that it is a sin in many religious views).  The survival instinct is much stronger than these people realize.  And what if a wave of rioting comes through your neighborhood and you become a victim of unspeakable atrocities before you can even react?  Then there is the thought of dying of starvation and or dehydration.  These people push such horrible thoughts out of their mind with the “well, I’d just kill myself” mantra.     

In Summary, while the endgame seems as obvious to us as Paul Krugman filing bankruptcy, it can be painful to watch others we care about not getting in the game.  But your best bet is to figure out which group they are in, and treat them accordingly. – Mountain Man Virgil