The preparedness movement in America just got a huge boost with Hurricane Sandy. In effect, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy vindicated America’s once marginalized survivalists and preppers. It is one thing to talk about major disasters abstractly from a distance, but quite another to live through one yourself. Heretofore, mainstream media reporters have tended to ignore societal fragility and vulnerability issues. But now they’ve felt the impact personally. Our friend Tamara, over at the View From The Porch blog astutely observed that New York City is “the navel of the news media universe.” And the greater New York City region was hit hard by Sandy. So, unlike Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast in 2005, I predict that the Hurricane Sandy experience will spur mass media reporters to cover preparedness topics with greater seriousness.
I was just interviewed by a USA Today reporter and I noticed a pleasant change. He showed no trace of the incredulity, snobbishness, and bemused detachment that I’d heard before from East Coast reporters when discussing preparedness. They have now seen the elephant.
In the coming weeks, I hope to see much more complete and earnest reporting on preparedness from news outlets like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. (See, for example, this recent piece: Dining Through Disaster.) And if you thought that National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers was popular before… Well, in my estimation they’ve just been handed assurance of a multi-season renewal.
While Hurricane Sandy didn’t turn everyone on the East Coast into preppers, it has most assuredly reduced the the teasing and taunting of preppers. And if nothing else, it will raise America’s preparedness quotient–at least for a little while. (There will probably be some bargains on “like new” backup generators in about a year, as Mr. and Mrs. Mundane lose interest in disaster readiness.)
Addenda: Just after writing this, a reader sent me a link to an editorial piece by Mike Adams of Natural News that echoes my observations: Liberal media, White House owes preppers and survivalists a massive apology in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy