Letter Re: Killer Survivalism

Dear JWR:

I would add a thought to the advice from the writer of “Killer Survivalism“: Don’t neglect your current responsibilities in favor of your preparations for TEOTWAWKI.

A relative of mine had a “prepper” mindset but was not very stable financially. He had chronic problems with credit card debt, could have used a better automobile, and constantly put off repairs to his house. Upon his sudden death from a heart attack, I helped dispose of his estate and found that although he was chronically short of funds, he had spent a large amount of money on stored food and other preps, which he kept in his home and in rented storage units. He also had a sizable quantity of “junk silver” coins squirreled away. I pointed the supplies out to his heirs and made sure they didn’t just roll up the coins and sell them at face value. I think they will make good use of all his “goods”, so his efforts won’t go to waste, but the stress of his preparations and the related debt may well have contributed to his death.

I sometimes counsel friends on preparedness but always advise them not to go overboard. A well-thought-out plan executed in a methodical way will get you prepared without undue financial hardship. Of course, world events may take a sudden turn and justify an accelerated plan. You can be the judge of what’s appropriate in your situation.

Incidentally, whenever somebody laughs off my own warnings of potential hard times ahead, I share with them a motto: “Paranoids are rarely taken by surprise. On the other hand, people who live with their head in the sand are often surprised by everything.” – R. in TN