Generations of Americans have been vigilant in the past about doing what they believed would provide for their families in times of need. There has always been a large variation in the types of preparations and the extremes each would go to in these measures. Why? Because we are all different people with various backgrounds, influences, upbringings, ethnicities, education and finances. Some people have lived through the Great Depression, or just hard financial times for that matter. Living through this has instilled a belief upon their families to “put a little away for a rainy day.” This could mean putting some extra money in a savings account, keeping your pantry stocked in case household bills get tight, preparing an education fund for your children, or any number of things. Many of us have been taught about the virtues of self-sufficiency and how this can help you in life. Many of us have been taught about the virtues of hard work and learning skills that will help you do things for yourself when the time may arise. These have been values that have made the people of this country so successful in the past. Oh my…how times have changed. There was a time in this country when these ideals and beliefs were engrained into the very being of the majority of our citizens. We have now become the minority and it is a sad state of affairs. As the minority we have now become stigmatized as extremists, outcasts and possible terror threats to our government. Who puts that label on us, and why?
I personally believe that we as preppers have done a great service to our families and communities to help prepare for disasters of almost any nature. What exactly are we preparing for, and is it enough? We have been preparing for any number of events that could be problems. In recent week, we have had significant tornadoes in parts of our country causing damage to houses, neighborhoods and even whole towns. We have encountered earthquakes and wildfires in other parts of our country causing significant damage to property. Floods, droughts, blizzards, ice storms and other “natural disaster” events regularly put our citizenry at risk. We also encounter factory closures, loss of industries, layoffs, medical issues and other financial factors that have unraveled the lives of individuals, communities and whole towns. These are all relatively short-term issues that can be made less life-changing events if you have prepared for them the best you can. If your preparations have fortunately brought you through the event unscathed then you can go on to charitably take care of your family, friends and community in times of need. Having supplies of food, water, wood, fuel, cash or precious metals, firearms (for protection and hunting) and emergency medical supplies can make the difference between a disaster and an inconvenience. There is a great distinction between the two that we as short-term or long-term preppers understand. I consider the people who prepare only for the one week to one month events I’ve just described to be short-term preppers. I also respect them for at least having the foresight and caring to prepare at even that level. I do not consider the “72 hour FEMA -recommended supply”-following people to be doing anything beneficial to help themselves. This is because after three days to one week they will be looking around with their hands out complaining nobody is helping them when they should have been helping themselves.
The events that I’ve described can be understood by just about anyone. Turn on the television, read the newspaper or browse the Internet and everyone can understand and see these events for what they are. If you speak with the waiter or waitress at a restaurant about the horrible tornado that just the day before ripped a whole town apart, then everyone wants to talk about it and you are “normal”. So why is it then, when you want to discuss an event that will cause long-term significant changes to how our civilization lives you are a “nut-job” because these events “can’t happen” in our lifetime. They seem to imply: “Take off your tinfoil hat and stop talking nonsense and did you see what happened on The Bachelor last night? Did you hear what movie start just got arrested for…blah blah blah.” My reply: No but I did read about solar storms and their significant threats on the NASA web site. It discussed the entire province of Quebec was in darkness on March 13, 1989 due to a solar storm. Also discussed often by scientists is the Carrington Super Flare of 1859 and the devastating affects it would have in our technological era we are now living in. (Google is your friend for researching both of these events.) Scientists, astronomers, and many other people would greatly enjoy discussing these events with you but your average citizen not nearly so much. We could add to the list of events that would cause long-term disruptions to our current lives that most believe certainly could never happen. Let me go through a few potential disaster situations:
Nuclear War – They prepared for that back in the 1950s to 1970s and it never happened so we don’t have to worry. Asteroid hitting the Earth – The government would shoot it down with a missile or Bruce Willis would blow it up. Supervolcano? – Never heard of it. You mean that there are ones under Yellowstone, in Indonesia, in California and many other spots on our planet? I didn’t hear about that on my local news. Then perhaps you should watch Discovery Channel occasionally. Long-term affects from these types of things could be devastating. The majority of our citizens do not fully understand how vulnerable our power grid is or the 3 to 5 day cycle of food supplies and deliveries to our supermarkets. Our long-term preppers take the time to educate themselves on the possible events that could disrupt our lives as we know it. Most of these people store food for a year minimum for themselves and family or group they plan on helping. The Mormons consider 1 year food storage a minimum for all of their followers and try to practice and preach self reliance. It is a good practice that all people should think about doing if financially prudent. Did you notice the word people is starting to replace the word preppers in this writing. The stigmatism of preppers does not belong as it is just normal everyday people looking to become self-sufficient in time of need. We as these people need to become the majority again.
By this point in this article you must be saying I have no idea what the title means. You can also see that this is also not a descriptive “how-to” article that would fall in line with giving the writer and advantage in some contest. I think it is pretty clear that we would have no chance in preventing any of the aforementioned events from disrupting our way of life and we would just do our best to endure and thrive in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event. There is one very large issue that we can prevent but only if our citizens decide to make a significant change in how we allow things to be done in our country. If you mention that our government has become too large, unmanageable and destined to fail unless it is fixed you will again be looked at like a “nut-job”. Our government is too big to fail and we are the most powerful country in the world. It could never happen, right? In history we have seen that the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the USSR were all deemed too big and powerful to fail. Eventually even the largest forest fire burns out.
Let us go back to the beginning of this article and answer the question: Who puts this label on us, and why? These labels are put on us by our government and by opinion leaders in he media and in the general population who the government has cultivated into a herd of followers. The government figured out a long time ago that if we just keep the masses lulled into a happy existence then they will not want to meddle into their political doings…especially if it were to have any affect on the comfortable lives we live. Politicians also figured out that if they can give money to those who choose not to work (as we know there are a significant number of these people) that they could count on getting voted in at the next election. Great for the people who can now make more by not working than if they had to get a job, great for the politicians who want to stay in power and great for the everyday hard working American because it never affected their comfortable lifestyle. This has worked out great for the last few decades because everyone seems to be perfectly happy. The government found they could take money from hard working people and give it to lazy people to win votes and nobody said they couldn’t or shouldn’t. Well, if we can do that then why can’t we take away even more resources and the cherished liberties from our citizens? The politicians are thinking: After all, we the few know what is better for our country as a whole than the populous does right? So once the politicians gained control of the majority of our citizens, then those who believe they “know what is better for us” , then our rights have slowly been eroded. But you are asking, “Isn’t that Against the Constitution?” Who cares because it is for “the safety of everyone.” But you are asking, “Isn’t that against your right to protect yourself and your family?” Again, Who cares because it is “for the safety of everyone.”
I live in the state of Massachusetts where the criminal who breaks into your home has more rights than you do, to protect your family. I can not have a pocket knife shipped to me in the mail by mailorder companies because the Attorney General in Massachusetts threatened lawsuits against companies who do so. There is no law stating that shipping pocket knives or ammunition is illegal in our state but companies will not ship because they do not want to pay the large legal fees in court against our Attorney General’s office. Does this sound right or legal? This is yet another example of what I just outlined: Who cares because it is for “the safety of everyone.” These types of rights violations against our citizens are happening all over this country by various government agencies, at all levels. Now we have government agencies that have been able to violate our rights with impunity, tax as much as they choose so they can keep the whole system (failing system at that) afloat and everything is just going to keep on going without change because it is working so well.
Oh wait…our current National Debt is $15.5 trillion which is roughly stating that every US citizen is responsible for roughly $49,500 of this debt. Please try to explain this to most people and they don’t quite understand because it does not immediately affect them. We have a very good chance of making our US Dollar almost worthless at some point if fiscal responsibility is not adhered to. I once read a very good article by John Silveira in Backwoods Home magazine regarding hyperinflation and how destructive it can be, titled: A quick tour of hyperinflation and the possible consequences for America. Most people do not understand the hyperinflation concept. (And in fact I did not fully understand it until after I had read his article. Please read it if you have time. . Financial woes of our government will only be solved by reform or more taxes for the working public. You can choose which you would like to see.
We have one preventable disaster that we can and should be doing everything we can to stop. Please do the prudent thing and prepare for any natural or unforeseen disaster that you can because it is the right thing to do for your family Please do the prudent thing and prepare for the preventable disaster by getting involved in your government, knowing your politicians and what they stand for and voting the ones out who will not change things that are not working. Take the time to tell them they will not receive your vote if they keep infringing on your rights, taking away your ability to protect your family, taking your money to give to others who do not deserve it and spending more than we have as a country. This is something you can do that is the right thing for your country. Become an educated and involved citizen. Do not be afraid to tell your government what is not right in your eyes. Remember one thing as well: Our founding fathers gave us the Second Amendment right to bear arms not only to protect ourselves from our own citizens but to protect ourselves from the government! Bring the majority back.