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Reaching Out to the Un-Prepped, by Mark C. – Part 1

If you are reading this and you have a high interest in prepping but maybe someone you know or someone close to you does not, read on. You’ve tried to reason with them, but the result is the same. Whether it’s your passion or persistence, they get overwhelmed and simply glaze over. Or, maybe they become unsettled or scared. Either way you lose them, and that frustrates you because you feel time is running out. If they would just read Patriots [1] or survivalblog.com! Right? Well, print this out and give it to them.

Now, if you’re reading this because you’re the one that won’t read Patriots or survivalblog.com but you promised someone that you would at least read this article, please read on. This person cares about you. They might be overzealous or overbearing, but they really believe it’s in your best interest.

Prepping Has Become Trendy

In the grand scheme of things, prepping has become increasingly more popular. It has heightened the awareness of millions of people. However, with viral popularity comes an onslaught of commercialism and exploitation. From con artists to stand-up comedians and from vendors to television shows, everybody wants to get in on it. While all of this has heightened awareness and even increased knowledge, the result (as with any booming popularity) eventually seems to drift toward negative connotation. The fashionable becomes unfashionable. In short, to some prepping has started to become more of a joke than a positive trend, and so finding legitimacy may be difficult.

If you were one of those that took interest early on but then fell away, it’s likely you did so after exposure to these negative influences. They twist reality and embed doubt. Ultimately, the popular becomes unpopular. Like disco music and bell bottom pants, no one wants to be affiliated with something they can be criticized for or be the brunt of a joke. We all danced to it, and we all owned the pants. You may be too young or too old to have been part of the disco era, but you understand the concept. Think for a few moments and you will relate to something similar; instead, do you relate to low-hanging pants?

The thing is, unlike trendy fashions or passing fads, prepping is a very serious endeavor. First, if you prep for something that never happens, you’ve wasted time and money. I get that. Who has extra of either? However, if you don’t prep and something really happens, you and your family will likely perish. Please understand my intention is not to scare you. There are a number of studies conducted as a result of isolated or regional incidences that have prompted emergency services and National Guard units to create “canned plans” in order to respond effectively. Riots [2], blackouts [3], and natural disasters [4], are some of the motivators. Of course, these are isolated to a particular area or region, but recently FEMA joined with Homeland Security to create facilities located across the United States that are designed to support responses to these types of events as well as those much larger in scope. Some citizens are very upset by this, as “FEMA Camps” have been equated to internment facilities similar to those used for Japanese citizens during WWII. I don’t know if these facilities are meant to go to that extreme, but I will admit concern over FEMA/Homeland’s purchase of billions of rounds of ammunition [5], , as well as a presidential executive order to establish “martial law” under his signature alone to include forcing citizens into uncompensated labor, redistribution of food from all sources, and quelling civil unrest. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/16/executive-order-national-defense-resources-preparedness

We’re talking about American citizens inside the United States. What kind of natural disaster or riotous event requires control of the entire nation of citizens and for what purpose? I don’t know exactly, but the point I’d like to make here is that if the U.S. government is preparing for an event of that magnitude, what should we as individuals be doing?

Logical/Practical Prepping

So let’s start small. Those of us who live in areas that are affected by hurricanes or snow storms already prep in some fashion, usually in the form of keeping a full pantry, bottled water, extra gasoline, propane, firewood, and so forth. We know that loss of electrical power is a real possibility because we’ve already experienced it. The level of preparation in these circumstances starts with basic survival needs and extends out to being very comfortable. It depends on the individual really and can include everything from flashlights [6] to generators and ice chests [7] to window air conditioners [8]. What do you consider essential? Is toilet paper essential? It’s definitely on my list!

Certainly your location and circumstances merit consideration of customizing your own preparations, but having a plan may also be required. For instance, living in a coastal city in Florida doesn’t just require preparations and supplies; it also requires an evacuation or “bug-out” plan. You only needed to watch the news during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to know it wasn’t a good idea to stay in New Orleans and weather out the storm. Consideration as to where you will go, how you will get there, what you’ll take with you, and how you contact relatives are all important. Why and when will you decide to leave are critical, too. Maybe you don’t live in a hurricane zone. Maybe you live with tornadoes or blizzards or near a potentially flooding river. The lesson is the same—don’t be caught wanting or needing, and you definitely need to have a plan.

Have you ever taken a CPR or First Responder course? This is a different category of prepping—the accumulation of knowledge. Serious preppers know this is arguably more than 50% of the entire effort, but it’s also the most neglected. Desperately needing to know something that requires a time machine is not a good place to be. A choking child or an electrical shock victim needs immediate attention from someone who already knows how to respond. Google isn’t going to cut it, and a 911 call is too slow when immediate attention is required.

So, you can see that you already prepare for life’s curve balls. Prepping is not foreign to you. Yet, you may take exception with foolish preparation or hoarding—those things that clearly demonstrate obsession or craziness. So do I. However, then you need to ask yourself, what is enough? Where do you start? What should you prep for?

You may want to look to the government for that answer; do you remember the FEMA camps or the Presidential Executive Order, dated March 16th 2012, that I mentioned before? These were created in anticipation of an event or events on a national or even global level. While we all agree the government doesn’t always spend our money well, they believe it to be serious enough to spend billions of dollars. They have conducted studies and practiced responses; they have observed microcosms, like natural disasters and riots, and have employed many government agencies or entities in these studies to include the Department of Defense, Center for Disease Control, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Reserve, as well as National Guard and police departments, just to name a few. Each of them have contributed by providing expertise, that when compiled, creates a scenario that is realistic, probable, and I believe inevitable. I can’t go into the detail here for reasons of brevity, but you can certainly find much more information at survivalblog.com. I will, however, give a brief synopsis of a scenario from the point where, regardless of root cause, all preparation should stem—that being the loss of the power grid.

Where’s the Juice?

Regardless of the cause—solar flare, Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), terrorist attack on the nine critical substations [9], disease pandemic, or economic collapse—the result is the same; it’s a loss of the power grid. That’s where we are the most vulnerable, by nature of our technologically-advanced dependencies. Here are some examples:

There’s much more I could list, but the results are the same—there is no juice, and these situations have already been observed on a municipal or regional level. That’s when it gets a lot worse, and that’s what our government is planning for on a national level. This is what you should plan for too, so let’s look at why.