Hello Friends and Family,
I wanted to share with you some very important thoughts about the idea behind being a "prepper", doomsday or otherwise for small scale disasters.
Before I do that I would like to share this Link to my New Childrens Book (click here). It is a way to instill preparedness into your children from a young age without being scary.
Okay now that is out of the way, let's get into the subject at hand.
I want to discuss being a prepper in a socially responsible way.
The simple fact is no, not everyone is financially or even physically able to practice any serious degree of emergency preparedness. Although I must caveat that there are many free or next to free things people who are disadvantaged can still do.
-picking up a single extra can of food once and a while
-recycling bottles and filling with free water for emergencies
-make a plan for if XYZ occurs
-ask for help
-get educated, gain skills.
-take advantage of free resources, foraging, donations, etc.
That is just to name a few.
All of that said the level at which each individual can be prepared is on a spectrum of ability and I want us all to first acknowledge that.
I think many would say that prepping somehow is selfish to those in need around you. To a degree that is partially true. Certainly you could take all the money you put into prepping into donations to those less fortunate.
I think however that it is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect people to put their own families safety and security behind strangers.
The answer, as always, is balance between the two.
I want to make the case that charity IS PREPPING. Putting resources and effort into helping those less fortunate in your community, lifting them up, makes your community stronger.
I always say that desperate people will do desperate things. If your child or yourself is starving I think more people than you think would be willing to cause harm to others to meet their needs. That is just human nature.
So while being able to defend yourself is important that ultimately is a totally insufficient solution to the issue.
Let us instead work towards helping people be less desperate. The fact of the matter is poverty has a direct link to crime. If you can lessen poverty you also will lessen crime. It is actually a really high return on investment opportunity.
While it helps so very much In todays world, giving the less fortunate the chance at being in a better position today will serve you and your community well in a disaster big or small.
There is a statistic that most Americans only have 3 days worth of food in their home. What people don't understand about that is that the number is skewed. There are so many people who are food insecure that have much less than that. This tilts the average. It also means that for a relatively low food security investment the average can skew much higher than it is.
That would be a good thing. It buys everyone in your community time during a disaster before the human factor gets really bad.
That is my point as well. The more prepared for disaster a community is, the more likely it is to survive it. It means it has more time to sort things out and try to restore order.
So helping the less fortunate is great now but let's talk more about you, a prepper who has the proper means to do so.
Let's look at the middle class and upper class of your community. They now have the resources to become extremely well prepared for disaster. However the vast majority make no effort towards this end.
What does that mean?
It means when disaster does strike(and it will ) that they will be sharing in the limited relief efforts/and supplies available.
Another way of saying that is because they choose not to get prepared when they had the ability to those less fortunate who couldn't get prepared will have less much needed supplies and relief.
Let's play this out...a major disaster, say a hurricane strikes a large area.
FEMA brings in 5000 days worth of food and water for a community of 1000 people.
If none of them were Preppers with their own supplies that means FEMA has 5 days worth of supplies. That is 5 days before the people starve/ attack eachother for supplies.
Now imagine if just 20% those people were able to prepare Ahead of time and did not need to draw on the limited emergency aid. That buys the community, including the well prepared 20% and extra day of order to try to get more supplies or return to normal.
Don't get too hung up on the exact numbers here, this is just an example. The same logic could buy a larger town an extra week it all depends on the situation.
Let's take it a step further. A lot of the members of that prepared group may be "over prepared" for the exact type of disaster they are experiencing. Perhaps they have enough food to feed a family of 10 for 2 years after a nuclear war, but currently they are just experiencing the after math of a hurricane. I think it is quite reasonable to assume they many of these people will come to mutual aid of their extended family and neighbors further alleviating strain on the relief effort.
I think back to the great blackout of 2003. Somehow our home never lost power although many in my community and extended family lost power for a week or more. We having had power were able to offer refrigeration for my aunts insulin supply. Had this been in the dead of winter we could have offered many warmth and shelter in our family's powered, heated home.
Now we were lucky to have power at the time, we weren't Preppers with back up power.
The same logic applies, if just one person on your street has a generator than they could do the same in a short term grid down emergency.
Don't get me wrong I don't expect everyone to be this altruistic, but many will. I also don't expect this to be as true if the disaster is so major that people don't see an end or return to normal in sight.
The point of this post is that this kind of thinking can help ensure, or at least make more likely, that return to normal will come.
You will need to use your judgement regarding how much or little to help during a large scale disaster but for short term ones, if you can, you should.
Another thing I want to touch on is how you buy your supplies. Many of you will remember the toilet paper shortage of 2020 or the other shortages that followed suit.
Many people were accused of hoarding, and many did. (I didn't participate in that because I was prepared with that supply long ago)
Here's the thing, that's natural. You can avoid being part of that problem by buying/stocking up when supply is abundant. That actually helps a ton. Not waiting until it is in short supply.
Moreover inevitably you will feel the need to buy, even stock up on, items that you need but are in short supply.
You aren't a bad person for doing that within reason.
Good rule of thumb is never clear out a shelf just because you can. That doesn't mean you can't buy a few extra. It is totally reasonable for a person seeing an ongoing shortage, not knowing if it will even be available at all next time, to want to stock up a bit. Just like I said before the key here is balance.
There is one more key thing for you to do if you can. During times of shortage people who are less fortunate economically are disproportionately impacted.
The most economic option is the first to go out of stock, every time.
The only option for many people is the first to go out of stock.
If you are financially well I highly encourage you to spend the extra money on the more premium product when you stock up on a item in shortage.
Especially for essential items like during the baby formula shortage.
If you can, then do, that helps those who the cheap option is all they can afford tremendously.
Another helpful tip during those shortages and something I did during the baby formula shortage was to take pictures of the stock levels at various stores I happened to be at. This allowed me to share on social media what stores had stock so mothers wouldn't have to go to a million stores.
This post is already quite long so I will wrap it up. I could go on for a long time about ways to be a responsible prepper, but I hope those who read this will look at prepping in a new way.
The more prepared for disaster your community is the better off everyone in the community is-the more likely it is to endue a disaster that otherwise would have been the end.