Letter: Justifying Preparation

I am relatively new to prepping, and while I understand that some level of preparedness is prudent (i.e. three day’s worth of food and water on hand, hand tools, more than a 1/2 tank of fuel in vehicles), I sometimes wonder about the “bigger” preps.

I read SurvivalBlog fairly regularly (3-4 times per week) and the links to current events and trends seem to point to an inevitable breakdown of the economy, banking system, and society as a whole. However, when I talk to other people that are a number of years my senior, they point out that there have always been predicted calamities and that none (at least in America) have come to pass. An example that’s given is the predicted Soviet nuclear attacks of the 1950’s and 60’s. Many people spent large sums of money on shelters and supplies that ended up going to waste. While there have been tough economic times throughout our country’s history, Americans have always bounced back.

My overall question is how can I justify continued “preps” beyond a few day’s worth? I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say that for all of the concerning headlines, couldn’t we say that there are a lot of intelligent people running “the system” and that there will always be some way to prevent a significant breakdown of any part of it? I read several articles about the “financial crisis” of 2008 and how the economy was “teetering on collapse”, yet we pulled through. Sure, there was a downturn, but there have always been downturns and recessions. Shouldn’t that serve to bolster our confidence that there will always be “a way out” of the problems? Again, I am just playing devil’s advocate.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! – M.B.

Hugh Replies: Yes, there have always been predictions of major calamities. However, this age is somewhat different. Never in the history of mankind has every major currency been a fiat currency. Only in the last days of the Roman Empire can you find parallels to today’s moralities and economics. To truly study the economic and moral events of today and then declare that there is no probability of demise is just plain foolish. The fact of the matter is that people who do so are in denial. They can’t bear the thought of not having the pleasures of their current lifestyle, and therefore they just plain refuse to believe that it can happen. What they fail to realize is that truth is always truth. It really doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not.

In addition, if you truly believe that intelligent people are running the system, then you haven’t been paying attention to what has been happening over the last 10 years. I won’t go so far as to say they are “dumb”, but they are certainly selfish and self-seeking, with their primary thought being the next gain for themselves. They are not operating for the good of mankind but only for themselves or their own power gain.

Putting that aside, is a major economic collapse the only reason you would “prep”? I would certainly hope not. What happens if you loose your current job? What if you fall ill and cannot provide for your family? These may not be major crises for the larger community, but they are every bit as large to you, when it befalls your family. The very same preps that would help carry you through a major economic upheaval in society will also help you feed your family while you look for a new job or ease the move to a new community.