We’ve Been Doing Preparedness Wrong For A Long Time- Part 1, by Old Bobbert


The word “emergency” was first known and used circa 1631 and is defined as follows:

1: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action

2: an urgent need for assistance or relief the mayor declared a state of emergency after the flood

We, the happy members of “the never well united and non-governmental superior order of universal disaster response practitioners”, are proud to be recognized as “ the perpetually persistent preppers, or the “three peas in the prepper pod”. However, we are also very often guilty of preparing for the wrong event, at the wrong time, with the wrong intents, and finally with the wrong tools.

I do not worry about or prepare for an emergency. Never. Because we have town people who are our local professionals, and they are well trained for almost every type of emergency anyone could ever think of. We know them personally.

Please look at and then think carefully about the dictionary language concerning the word “emergency” shown above from an analytical or usage viewpoint, as is often used by your good buddy, myself, Old Bobbert.

What An Emergency Is Not

By any definition we may choose to use an emergency as a single defined event, not an ongoing world-changing condition or serious problem. An emergency is not now, and will never be, an enemy EMP attack or a solar flare event. They are forever more than just another emergency.

An emergency is not, and will never be, a tsunami wave drowning 25 million east coast people who are too stubborn to heed the 20-22-hour global wave warning caused by an erupting volcano that created a landslide in the east Atlantic canary Islands. That is always much more than an emergency.

We are not preparing to deal with an emergency. Rather, it’s going be more! It’s going to be terrible and horrendous with millions of deaths. That is never just a emergency.

There will be no way to lesson the damages. We will all have to deal with the SHTF event in our own circumstances as best as we have prepared for. So deal with that fact!

Why It’s Not An Emergency

You may be unknowingly masking a presumed dangerous conditional statement within your chosen wordage of asking, with all the trusting confidence in the world, “ Why is it not an emergency?”.

Why not indeed. The answer is short, simple, easy to understand, and possibly too simple to ever gain its rightful language positioning. You see, words are important. And in our minds and hearts, there are ingrained prejudices against not having workable solutions readily at hand.

We all know from training, from word of mouth, and from many years of successful experiences, that there are always usable solutions to any emergency. They are usually without regard to location, severity, death statics, dollar costs, or any other condition you may conjure up to satisfy a very humane leaning toward the much less acceptable concept of “there ain’t no way to fix this situation and we are forever doomed.”

You are not “Doomed”

We just don’t think that way. In normal times and situations, that’s why and how we can somehow manage to get things done. It’s what enables us to deal with tragedy and danger long enough to survive until the professionals can arrive and take control of the problem, as is the usual remedy to an emergency.

As an overriding generality, our minds are not programmed to accept or believe that “we are doomed!”. You see, an emergency is always an event that has been completed, and now someone else is working diligently to repair, replace, re-design, recover, and let us go back to our normal lives. We can start to deal with an emergency, because we do not doubt that there is a professional solution in route to our problem, and we know it’s going to be what those ever-ready professionals are doing for us. But we know that the rescue professionals will never have to stay at home to take care of their own emergencies. They are our trusted solution. They will be here with their fully equipped trucks and superior training.

Not Going To Happen To Us

For most of us, an emergency is an event that is not ours, not now or ever. It’s not occurring wherever we happen to be located. An emergency is never world shaking or a world event. It is always “somewhere else”.

Ask your elementary school age children for their very own definition of an emergency. Do not show surprise at their responses. Gently correct as may be necessary.

An emergency is ”somewhere else” happening to “someone else”. We can donate money or materials or prayers and then feel good about ourselves.

Someone somewhere will schedule a solutions committee meeting immediately. There is always a solution, right? I am sure that there always be a solution on the way, right? I am counting on it being on the way. I’m sure it is, right?

Our Innocent Wrong Thinking

As a terrific example of our current, innocently wrong thinking, we never think of parts of Detroit, Atlanta, sections of east St. Louis, the West End of Cincinnati, or some areas of rural Alabama as being sort of like a “third world country”. But that is only because we do not experience that lifestyle. It’s really because we do not live there and don’t want to know it really is a third world life for many of us, isn’t it? They are third world in their lifestyle already, today!

Our Prepper Mission and New Beginning

We preppers are most usually trying to survive a total change in our real-time environment, our everyday world of working to provide protection, shelter, food, education, companionship, and especially mutual support. These are our especially relevant goals, missions, and pursuits of realistic preppers. We are the future winners, leaders, teachers, and providers. This is true, provided that we can successfully prepare our minds to deal with huge incidence of mortality everywhere and can successfully re-teach ourselves how to provide a vastly different emotional environment for our families. We’ll need to make a new beginning that will give them the necessary time and conditions to correctly react to those elements of a grandly reduced lifestyle and life expectancy.

Change Is Required

The single most important change we must make is also the most difficult; we must change who we are as a person. Our new person must automatically see the many sides of every decision necessary to support our families and groups in our new old world. Yes, there were greedy pioneers and there were loners. Yes, there were those who preferred to steal rather than work. The mid 1800’s had their share of misfits and the lazy. Our new old world will have the same problems but in smaller numbers and with.better response methods. We will not tolerate slavery or child abuse nor abide with wife beaters or human trafficking.

We will learn again to revere the wisdom of our elders. Teachers will once again be held in great esteem. They will again be among the strength of our communities. We will also protect every person’s innate right to worship who and how they please. Never again will we allow anyone to force a religious principle upon others.

Our Constitution Is Divine Literary Work

Those among us who have studied our national history can assure others that our constitution is truly a work of literary divine origin, not withstanding the huge realm of proven truths borrowed from the Great Lakes region of the Iroquois Confederacy, a proven Native American democracy, as was said to be the work of Benjamin Franklin.

Deaths of Mothers and Children in the Mid-1800s

In 1840 the largest cause of adult female death was clothing fires caused by accidents while cooking in a fireplace, dressed in long sleeved tops and with skirts and multiple petty coats. Think about that sad fact a bit. In 1840 a great many new moms died in child birth. Complications and deaths were expected. And then the new baby often joined mom in their final repose, together again in death. In 1840, about one child in five died by age five. This was their normal family situation. The death was an expected newborn and young mother tragedy. A terrible fact of the 1800’s everyday life was that people died young in those forgotten days.

Walk though any old cemetery from that era and read dates and the names of mothers and children lying next to one another, just a few days apart. It is an enlightening and yet also a sad experience. We can, and must, learn from those dates and family names. We can do better now, even after a SHTF event. I must also strive to do better and to be better. It is not optional! You can do your personal necessary data verification for yourselves, as I have done. See my random search engine results concerning childhood health care below. With proper preparation, this will never again be our living history.


According to an article entitled The History of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, “By 1840 scarlet fever had become the leading cause of death among the infectious diseases of childhood in the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe.”

In looking at diseases and epidemics of the 19th century on Wikipedia, I read about three previously encountered diseases and one emerging infection. The posting, “Throughout Spain, cholera caused more than 236,000 deaths in 1854–55. In 1854, it entered Venezuela…” It goes on to speak of cholera and say, “…20 to 60% of all the people that were infected died and 80% of all the children with the infection (smallpox) also died.”

Tomorrow, we will take a look at what preppers should and can do to protect against this from repeating again.


See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and

Round 72 ends on September 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. Just a question… lets say I wake up in the middle of my sleep time to my fire alarm. Does that constitute an emergency? If so, should I just call 911 and wait for the trained professionals to deal with it? Or would it be better to call 911, then get my family out safely, if possible grab important documents and maybe some cash, then go outside and turn on the hose and cool down what I can (either my house or my neighbor’s house) until the fire department shows up?

    If the later, then is (having a family evac plan in place, important docs all in one place to grab in a hurry, maybe even a plan to try and suppress the fire as best I can until the pros show up, etc) not considered prepping?

    1. Yes, of course it would be prepping. And that series of personal well planned specific responses would be exactly the correct action on your part. Having a correct & well planed situational response to a particular dangerous incident is exactly what every prudent person should ave ready for implementation when needed. Once the plan, and any required tools or important items, are made ready for future use, your get-ready activity is done, You are ready. there is no real need to do more ,Intros example, You most likely would have fire insurance protection ( all mortgages require that specific in an amount necessary to cover their lien on your house ) that will provide partial financial assistance for new clothes, temporary shelter, and possibly a rental car. And because you were prudent and farsighted and responsible, the deadly house fire would be a serious incident, but not for you, wold it be an emergency. at the same time the exact same incident may well have beeb a serious emergency for your less prudent, less responsible neighbor. hood residents.

      I had not though about the possible incident you have envisioned as being a true act of preparedness, but it surly is and it would be appropriate for everyone to have such a plan in place.
      I do appreciate your question and I hope that you have caused other preppers to think in these lines.
      May I suggest that you consider finding a way to encourage your neighborhood to talk about each having such a plan in place, From there you may help them to do as you have done.
      Good lock
      Bob Kelly

  2. I found this article hard to wrap my head around at first. I almost quit reading it as it saw just not coming together for me. I’m glad I didn’t. By part two, you pulled it all together and I want to thank you. You have changed my way of thinking.

    My God Bless you and keep you, may he make his face shine upon you, and give you his peace.


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