Prepping

Stop Demonizing Preppers

There's more to this subculture than the media stereotypes suggest.

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My friend Ceredwyn Alexander lives on a homestead in the mountains of Vermont. She and her family raise a lot of their own food, from chickens to cabbage, and they heat their home with wood they chop themselves. (She won't live anywhere, she tells me, "without supplemental heat that operates without electricity.") They worry about peak oil. They try not to buy things on credit. They always keep a great deal of food and water and other supplies on hand. If everything goes to hell tomorrow, they want to be prepared.

People who say and do such things are often called preppers, and Ceredwyn willingly applies the term to herself: It's a decent label, she says, for people who try to be prepared for sudden, disruptive emergencies. If you've been absorbing the recent portraits of preppers in the press, where they've been depicted as doomsday-fearing right-wing paranoiacs stocking up on guns and canned goods, you may think you know all there is to know about Ceredwyn. But before you use your stock of stereotypes to fill in those blanks, here are a few more facts about her.

Her politics are liberal and feminist. Her family's firearm collection consists of a single shotgun, which they own in case a four-legged predator passes through. (As I said, she lives in rural Vermont.) She speaks disdainfully about survivalists who spend their time "waiting for the Mutant Zombie Bikers to come take their guns, drugs, and women away." Ask her about survival strategies, and she doesn't start spinning fantasies about a well-provisioned family fending off looters. "When the shit hit the fan during Irene," she says instead, "neighbors were everyone's best resource." Preparedness, she says, requires "learning skills and community involvement…not freeze dried food and razor wire." To those ends, she has joined the volunteer fire department and become the town service officer.

As far as the mass media are concerned, America's preeminent preppers are the Alabama kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes; Nancy Lanza, whose son raided her gun collection before he carried out the Sandy Hook massacre; and the people who appear on the National Geographic TV show Doomsday Preppers, who might charitably be described as "colorful." Dykes "is described by neighbors as 'very paranoid,' anti-government and possibly a 'Doomsday prepper,'" the New York Daily News reported. The London Independent called Lanza a "so-called 'prepper,' a part of the survivalist movement which urges individuals to prepare for the breakdown of society by training with weapons and hoarding food and other supplies." When the liberal historian Rick Perlstein wrote about preppers in The Nation this month, he headlined his essay "Nothing New Under the Wingnut Sun: 'Survivalism.'" After invoking Dykes and Lanza in his lead, he talked about the right-wing survivalists of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, linking them to the preppers of the present by describing the lot of them as "Americans who fear change, fear difference, fear you and me, fear everything falling apart. So much so that they organize their lives and politics around staving off the fear—which often entails taking political action that only makes America more fearful and dangerous for everyone; which destroy the trust and love it takes to sustain communities; and who reinforce one another in their fear to such a degree that the less crazy among them surely play a positive role in spurring the more crazy to the kind of awful acts we see around us now." (Speaking of fears that people who are different are making the world fall apart.)

In fact, the prepper community includes a lot of political and cultural variety. If there is right-wing survivalist DNA here, there is also the DNA of the Whole Earth Catalog and several generations of bohemian back-to-the-landers, plus a fair number of families whose inspiration isn't much larger than the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared." Tour the online prepper communities, and you may well run into people who have embraced the long-lived conspiracy yarn in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency is plotting to put us in concentration camps. You may also encounter FEMA itself, which currently has an advertisement on the front page of the American Preppers Network. The ad asks, "Do you meet President Obama's minimum Prepper Standards? Are you 'FEMA Ready'?" Talk about all-encompassing diversity.

There may be even more diversity in the scenarios these people are preparing for. Ceredwyn got her family on board with her prepperdom about 12 years ago, when an ice storm hit their then-home in Shreveport. "We were out of power for 10 days," she recalls. "No heat, no water, no stove, no phone. Couldn't leave the house for three days due to ice. Could have been completely awful, but we had everything we needed, including a propane heater and stove I bought." Her own interest in preparedness began earlier, when she was working for an abortion clinic: "Nothing like being the possible victim of terrorism to get the survivalist juices flowing," she recalls. Or maybe it was even earlier than that: In an essay for her blog, she writes about

the day I told my mom that my dad had a girlfriend. My mom's carefully wrought denial came crashing down around her ears. She then found out that my dad had drained the various savings accounts. She filed for divorce the next day….In short order, we went from the sort of people who gave to charity, to being the sort of people who had to choose between eating and paying the light bill.

We got through it, obviously, but my mother never enjoyed upper-middle-classdom again. I am left with a fear of empty cupboards and a clear understanding that, at any moment, the bottom could drop out of my world.

Disasters, she concludes, come in all shapes and sizes, and they strike people every day. "It's always interesting to me that people talk about collapse as though it's in the far off future, and as if it will hit everyone, everywhere, at the same moment," she writes in that essay. "Many, many people are already living in a state of collapse. It doesn't matter if the rest of the world is going merrily on when you've been evicted, your kids are hungry, you have an infected tooth you can't take care of, and you're trying not to let anyone know the family's been sleeping in the minivan." It's a class-conscious take on poverty, disabilities, and other issues that might not come up much on Doomsday Preppers but obviously aren't absent from preppers' minds. When the American Preppers Network lists problems to prepare for, it explicitly includes "the loss or major injury of a breadwinner, loss of a primary job, extended sickness, accidents and other personal calamities."

OK, you say, so preppers aren't all nuts. In the future, when I want to make fun of people holed up in a suburban fortress awaiting a zombie attack, I'll use a more specific term. But so what? Does it really matter if some of the stories I've seen in the last few months have been too sweeping?

Yes, it does. It's always worthwhile to push back when a subculture gets scapegoated, whether it's Goths after Columbine or preppers today. It's especially important when those attacks are embedded in our political debates, skewing the ways we see the world.

Consider one of those divisions within the prepper culture, the one that separates the people engaged with their local communities from the people preparing to go it alone against the lawless zombie hordes. (A member of the Zombie Eradication Response Team, a group that does survival training, told a reporter last year that "'zombie' is really just a palatable metaphor for some guy trying to take your stuff.") This division also exists, and is much more important, in the world of official disaster preparation. On one side there are emergency workers and social scientists who understand that looting and panic do not usually break out after a disaster, that spontaneous cooperation to solve problems is the norm, and that the real first responders, as the saying goes, are the calamity's victims themselves. On the other side there are officials whose first instinct in a natural disaster is to get ready for a riot and who think they need to withhold information to prevent panic. In other words, officials afraid of the lawless hordes. If they imagine a post-disaster world filled with trigger-happy survivalists, that's just going to reinforce their fear of the public.

Anti-prepper rhetoric is affecting the debate over gun laws in a similar way. There are those who perceive the people at the scene of a crime as informal first responders, and who thus see widespread gun ownership as a neighborly civic virtue, and there are people who are wary of any approach to crime control that doesn't depend on the police, and who thus see widespread gun ownership as a recipe for a Hobbesian nightmare. Now, the social science on gun ownership is more ambiguous than the research on how communities respond to disasters. If you rely on the National Self Defense Survey, you'll conclude that firearms are used defensively much more often than they are misused; if you follow the National Crime Victimization Survey, you'll say successful self-defense is less common; and of course there are scholars who think the truth sits somewhere in-between. With the data disputed, political imagery becomes all the more influential. And the image of the anti-social survivalist feeds the impression that gun owners, particularly gun owners interested in more than just sport shooting, are yet another lawless horde.

So the gun owner is envisioned as a prepper, and the prepper is envisioned as a frightened survivalist. Neither real-world gun owners nor real-world preppers are well-served by these stereotypes. And neither is anyone who isn't a gun owner or a prepper but who wants an accurate image of the world.

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238 responses to “Stop Demonizing Preppers

  1. Fear-haunted leftists projecting about a subculture that runs from self-sufficiency Earthmothers to militia-types with their guns and their Wal-marts.

    Preppers push a lot of leftist buttons, but is it the guns and bunkers they hate, or are they just railing against the apostates running from Divine Government?

    1. It’s the same reason they hate homeschoolers and anyone else who willingly separates themselves from the “collective”. Deep down these insecure fucks take it as rejection, and become hurt and offended. Why don’t you want to be part of their societal contract? Is it because you think you’re better than them?

      1. To answer your last question, yes.

        Many times I have been accused by statists of thinking that I am better than them.

        Anarchists are better than statists as we are morally superior. By definition, if one does not condone aggression, one is better than one who thinks it is okay.

        1. What definition are you referring to?

          I see a lot of people saying “by definition” like it’s some sort of argument clincher, but it’s often not clear which word’s definition they’re talking about.

          1. The core definition of anarchy / libertarianism is the NAP.

            The core definition of statism is acceptance of aggression / theft / violence provided if it is the king and his thugs doing the aggressing, thieving and killing.

            Thus, by definition, those who subscribe to the NAP are morally superior to those who do not.

            1. Except the definition doesn’t say anything about moral superiority; you’re assuming the NAP is morally superior from the getgo.

              1. you’re assuming the NAP is morally superior from the getgo.

                I’d say that is a perfectly acceptable assumption.

                Unless you’re making the case that there is something moral about using coercion and violence to get your way.

                1. Forget it, sarc. It’s Tulpatown.

                  1. This thread has gotten very Tulpical all of a sudden.

                    1. Don’t blame me.

                2. Except the NAP justifies opening fire on shipwreck survivors swimming onto your beachfront property, throwing overboard a pilot who ejects from his doomed plane and lands on your boat in the middle of the ocean, and withholding life-saving medicine from a person who needs it unless they pay 10x what it’s worth, and other moral mostrosities.

                  It’s a nice rule of thumb, but it’s just that — a rule of thumb. Leaving aside the practical stability problems with a society entirely based on NAP.

                  1. This may come as a surprise to you, but just because the NAP justifies something doesn’t mean one is required to do it.

                    derp

                  2. No, the NAP does not justify opening fire on shipwreck survivors swimming onto your beachfront property or throwing overboard a pilot who ejcts fron his doomed plane and lands on your boat in the middle of the ocean.

                    In both of the examples you set forth, you appear to be misconstruing the NAP. Neither the swimmers nor the pilot are putting your life in danger. Neither the swimmers nor the pilot have aggressed against you.

                    1. Tulpa? Intentional obtuseness? Surely you can’t be serious.

                    2. Tulpa’s just playing the gadfly.

                    3. I hope it’s not a “gadfly” position to dispute the superiority of anarchocapitalism here.

                    4. Of course they have, unless you’ve abandoned the idea of private property and trespassing. I had no idea you were a socialist anarchist, LM.

                    5. You know that I am not a socialist anything.

                      Have I supported the notion that the swimmers will have a lifetime free pass to sojourn on your beachfront property? Or that they get to take it from you?

                    6. If trespassing doesn’t count as aggression, then the NAP says you can’t stop them from living on your property forever.

                      If trespassing does count as aggression, the NAP authorizes the property owner to use force against trespassers. And as Jayne would say, it’s nonspecific as to how.

                    7. Tulpa said:

                      If trespassing does count as aggression, the NAP authorizes the property owner to use force against trespassers. And as Jayne would say, it’s nonspecific as to how.

                      Yes, but this doesn’t imply that any and all forceful response is deemed appropriate. Justifying violence only for self-defense does not imply that all acts of violence in self-defense are justified.

                      A lot of these problems are addressed by refining the definition of what it means for something to be wrong. Does it mean that one must never, ever perform said action, or does it mean that, if said action is performed, then one owes damages?

                      For example: if I’m starving and steal a loaf of bread, was I in the right just because I was starving? If not, then, must I not steal the bread?

                      I prefer a third option. I am wrong for stealing the bread, and this implies that, when possible, I owe damages to the person who I stole from.

                    8. The beach is a commons to the high tide line. That is the way it is now and that is the way it will stay in MY common-law Libertopia. There is more custom and common law about aiding shipwrecked mariners too.

                    9. We’re talking about the NAP, not common law. Common law has some serious anti-liberty aspects to it, like asset forfeiture and executive privilege.

                    10. Yeah. I don’t think that simply wandering onto someone’s property with no malicious intent is aggression. I’m not justified in shooting someone who wanders through the woods behind my house. I am justified in shooting someone who breaks into my house.

                    11. You just made one of the classic blunders, Zeb. Never listen to Tulpa when death is on the line.

                  3. As for withholding life-saving medicine from a person who needs it unless they pay 10 times what the medicine usually costs, I would submit that the person who so acts is A FAR SUPERIOR moral actor than the goon who claims the power and the right to kill others so that the sick person is given the medicine.

                  4. Except the NAP justifies opening fire on shipwreck survivors swimming onto your beachfront property, throwing overboard a pilot who ejects from his doomed plane and lands on your boat in the middle of the ocean, and withholding life-saving medicine from a person who needs it unless they pay 10x what it’s worth, and other moral mostrosities.

                    I don’t think so.

                    Statism does justify homicidal acts against hapless rice farmers (Vietnam), pot smokers, and a multitude of other non-threats.

                  5. Tulpa said

                    Except the NAP justifies opening fire on shipwreck survivors swimming onto your beachfront property, throwing overboard a pilot who ejects from his doomed plane and lands on your boat in the middle of the ocean, and withholding life-saving medicine from a person who needs it unless they pay 10x what it’s worth, and other moral mostrosities.

                    Right, and by the same straw man logic, if you believe in a right to self defense, then this implies that it’s OK to shoot someone in the head if they slap you, and you can nuke another country if one of their airplanes flies into your airspace. Also, if you believe in taxation, it’s totally acceptable to tax at 100% and treat everyone as slaves.

                    Yep… there’s no concept of proportionality with the NAP at all. It’s justifiable homicide and death right out the gate.

                  6. I have some idea of what NAP entails, but not being a lifelong follower of Libertarian philosophy, I really don’t understand your contention that it justifies opening fire on shipwreck survivors and your other examples. Surely you Libertarians are capable of exercising a little common sense.

                3. I think it depends on context to a certain extent. There’s a time and a place…but on the other hand I agree with you almost 100%.

                4. So how do you keep people who don’t follow the NAP from using coercion and violence to get their way?

                  The only answer consistant with dogmatic libertarianism is: you don’t. Any other answer brings up too many messy real-world inconveniences.

                  So, off to Somalia with you.

              2. Yes, I am.

      2. ^^This.

        It’s sort of astonishing how much many average people despise homeschooling. And then if I try to say that I was homeschooled for a few years, their instant reaction is to use that as proof for why no one should be homeschooled. “You were homeschooled and you have weird ideas and act strangely (read: not the desired norm) in public so therefore no one should be homeschooled.”

        I don’t understand why anyone would want to send their kids to the indoctrination centers known as public schools, but I do know that any kids of mine won’t be attending those prisons.

        1. I was homeschooled for a few years

          Nya nya! Everything you know you learned from your mommy! Nya nya! Loser! Nya nya! Momma’s boy! Nya nya!

          /libtard ad hom

        2. I went to public schools and they taught me weird ideas… Like principals can’t handle simple time-indexed causation. Like teachers know less history and political philosophy than a 16-year-old with a lot of rainy Sundays and a library card.
          Somehow they don’t reach those same conclusions about public schools.

          1. Teachers cannot handle the students either.

            Teachers cannot touch the little snowflake.

            Parents cannot handle the little snowflake either, because cannot touch the little snowflake.

            The little snowflake is belong to the state.

            You didn’t build that little snowflake!

            1. “All your snowflakes are belong to us!”

            2. parents and teachers should bust an unruly kids ass when needed.There wold be a lotless bullshit happening in the world. FUCK THE GOVERNMENT and what they say !!!!

        3. I know a kid who was so messed up from homeschooling, that he went on to design and forge Heimdall’s sword for Thor.

          1. You see! Without the constant supervision and guidance of state approved employees, he went on to only think about violent weapons, that kill people! We have to ban home schooling!

          2. I want to be that guy’s friend…and I want a sword.

        4. They fear the realization that they got a worse education than you did.

          I think progressives are seriously insecure about their intelligence and hide it behind a mask of pseudointellecualism. Most of them couldn’t hack the math to make it in a hard science, so they took a humanities degree, or went into music or art instead. So they spend a lot of time making up for it by reading NYTimes Nonfiction Bestsellers, Zinn, Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and other such trash so they can “prove” how smart and sophisticated they are. Which is amusing because none of that shit is taken seriously by people who are actually in the respective fields. It’s pop-non-fiction, but to them it’s “serious reading”.

          1. I can’t imagine that you think they try to hide their insecurity about their intelligence. Well, maybe the insecurity part.
            They proudly display their lack of intelligence on a regular basis.

            Sorry for slightly twisting your meaning, but I had to make the comment on the lack of intelligence.

    2. We’re all in this together! Greedily stockpiling food and other goods, unless they plan to hand it out to anyone who asks, goes against the collective and is thus plain evil!
      I mean, they’ve got guns to protect their stockpiles! There’s no way they’re planning to share with the less fortunate!
      What part of “We’re all in this together” do they not understand?

      What’s mine is mine and what’s theirs is mine too! Fuck! Aaargh! Damn selfish conservatives!

      1. What part of “We’re all in this together” do they not understand?

        The part where “together” gets smaller once “we” includes “you”?

      2. come try and take what i have earned,built and stored !! you should’ve got off your lazy ass and done for yourself!

      3. We are not all in this together. I have no intention of sharing anything with the idiots that allowed this crap to happen.

        Decisions have consequences.

    3. How dare they have no use for our God! Why they claim they can survive without God. Burn the heretics!!

    4. but is it the guns and bunkers they hate

      Yeah, I think it is that, mostly.

      Who knows what they are doing down there? They could be eating soup with too much sodium!

      It’s more difficult to save someone from themselves when they have fortified themselves up in a bunker and have scary guns. Someone could get hurt trying to save them.

    5. They hate anyone who is actually self sufficient. They’ve spent so much time and energy trying to convince everyone that they “need” the benevolent hand of big daddy government that they hate anyone that can take care of themselves because it flies in the face of their worldview.

      Just as they would rather people die with a phone in their hand waiting for the police to come and save them than live with a gun in their hands; they’d rather people die of starvation while waiting for FEMA or the National Guard to come rescue them than survive on their own.

      1. Nobody is actually self sufficient, excepting maybe feral children raised by wolves. No one can make canned food, guns, ammo, bunker building materials, etc. Even the simplest thing on that list takes thousands of people to make when you consider all the inputs.

        I’ve got nothing against people who want to prepare for the worst, but they are sure as hell not self sufficient.

        1. I’ve made canned food. I grew tommatoes and canned them at home last summer. I still have about a dozen jars left.
          Also some pickles and jam.

          Lots of people can their own food.

          1. You didn’t make that can!

            Also, that’s awesome. I’ve killed more tomato plants than I can count. I’m generally jealous of people who do not have a black thumb.

            1. Do you smoke tobacco? If so make sure you wash your hands before touching tomato plants. Tobacco mosaic virus is nasty. Though blight is more likely the reason your tomatoes don’t work, and that is harder to avoid.

              1. Not a smoker, I’m just bad at follow through. Our yard has awful soil, and I haven’t blocked out time to build up some planters. Maybe another season of the cardboard that is the commercial tomato will kick my ass in gear.

                1. HUGLEKULTURE for the lazy gardener.

                  bury large chunks of wood…plant shit on top of it. Profit.

          2. My point is that of “I, Pencil” you didn’t make the can (well, jar), and you probably couldn’t if you wanted to.

            I do lots of things for myself, including preserving food. I just built my own house. I heat with wood that I cut myself. But if I wanted to be close to self sufficient, I’d have to spend all of my energy on that.

        2. No one can make canned food

          Oh really? Canned 2000 quarts last year.

          guns

          Done this too.

          ammo

          And this.

          bunker building materials

          Have dirt and trees?

          Granted, this includes the use of things that I cannot myself readily construct or procure. But this presupposes no degradation in lifestyle. The more primitive one moves, the less reliant on technological society (and therefore by default, the Unseen) one becomes.

          You should check your premises. I haven’t the skills to entirely do it with confidence, but I do know people who have survived in the wilderness for years with zero factory-made implements. One such fellow I went to high school with and after he left the Army (Special Forces) he hiked into the Kobuk Valley National Park with nothing but the clothes on his back and compass. Rescuers searched for him but he wasn’t found until 5 years later by some USGS guys. He had knapped his own tools, built a dugout shelter, made clothes and rope, had the makings of an edibles garden, and had constructed a bow and several spears.

          1. I bet you can’t make the steel you need to make the guns. Nor the glass jars you need to can food.

            I’m not saying no one can do a lot of things for themselves that most people don’t do these days. Just that preppers aren’t really self sufficient. Division of labor is a good thing. Yes people can survive with only the raw materials available in a particular area, but they won’t have much time to do anything but survive (especially in a place with winter).

            So you are right. It is not completely impossible. But it is not what the preppers are doing. But I’d bet that most of them won’t claim that is what they are doing either. I’m not trying to attack the idea of being more self sufficient and knowing how to do things for yourself. I think it is a good idea.

            1. This family was certainly self-sufficient, but their QoL was severely degraded because of it.

              Russian family cut off for 40 years

        3. Nobody is actually self sufficient…

          Right. That’s why they are called preppers. They are preparing for the future when they can’t rely on buying a can of beans, plugging in the hair-dryer, buying ready made clothes, etc.

          1. That’s pretty much my point. People don’t hate preppers because they are self sufficient. They hate them because they don’t have faith in government/society/whatever to always provide what they need.

        4. iNobody is actually self sufficient…

          Perhaps instead of “self sufficient” I should have used a different phrase. “Unreliant on government to help save their worthless asses in a disaster scenario” might be more accurate, but that takes too long to type/ say. I know what you’re saying though, none are truly 100% self sufficient/ division of labor/ it takes a village/ yada yada.

          My overall point still stands though. Progressives hate anyone who don’t rely on and are skeptical of their beloved big government. It’s just another example of them demonizing anyone who doesn’t share their worldview.

        5. you’ll starve when shit hits the fan with beliefs like that.

        6. Yes capitalism is amazing like that. We would certainly be hurting without it, but you can be economically self sufficient and use that to buy yourself a temporary shelter if you will.

        7. Even the simplest thing on that list takes thousands of people to make when you consider all the inputs.

          Technically, you’re kinda right. Which means you are practically full of shit.

          It could also be said that before those thousands of people could “make” anything, they must first create the universe.

        8. You are perverting the term “self sufficient.” Would you feel better if we call it “more self sufficient”?

      2. ^This.

        Preppers threaten them with the idea that it’s possible for individuals to not be hopelessly dependent on society for their well being.

        If we’re not all helpless babies without society then it undermines a ton of their arguments in favor of social welfare programs.

        1. ?Preppers threaten them (zombies) with the idea?

          The thing you got to understand about zombies is they are not threatened by ideas or anything else. They just go on and on until stopped by a severe head injury.

      3. Agreed !!

    6. as Rachel explained I’m shocked that any one can earn $8460 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this site link… http://www.ace60.com

      1. well if Rachel explained it SIGN ME UP!!!

    7. “Fear-haunted leftists projecting about a subculture . . .”

      Gonna resist pointing out the irony here and just say that many of us “leftists” are more amused than afraid (or hateful.)

  2. Tim Thomas, the former Boston Bruins goalie and Stanley Cup champ, has been ridiculed by many in the Boston sports media for his prepping ways.

    One such critic is Joe “Mutton Chop” Haggerty of the Boston Herald and frequent contributor to 98.5 The Sports Hub. He has lampooned and ridiculed Thomas as a “doomsday survivalist” and a “prep nut”.

    1. BTW, Haggerty is an out and out statist though he probably does not understand what a statist is.

      He is a big fan of Obama.

      1. You would pretty much have to be an out and out statist to be a big fan of Obama.

        1. Or to live in Massachusetts.

          1. Don’t you live in California?

            1. Well, yeah…

              *slinks away*

            2. ZING!

  3. I don’t have much food in the house right now, but we could stay drunk for a very long time on the mead and wine that I have made.

    1. I’ve got probably twenty gallons of beer downstairs right now. Plus five gallons of blackberry wine. That would last for a few weeks anyway.

      1. My IIPA will only yield 4.25 gallons once the I take it off the trub. I did pick up a 750ml of Ardbeg the other day though (already down to 650).

    2. Probably not a good idea considering alcohol dehydrates you.

      I’m with Captain Picard — it should only be used for temperature regulation and disinfecting.

      1. Standard practice in the middle ages was to mix wine with equal parts of water. The primary purpose was to make water safe to drink, not to get drunk.

        1. Ah yes, now I remember that. That was the original purpose of beer, right?

          But we have better “in the field” water purification methods now.

          1. Define “better”

            1. Fewer/less adverse side effects.

              1. Some of us like the side effects, so fuck off.

                1. Psh, you first rummy!

                2. You like being dehydrated and more susceptible to infection?

                  1. Good to know that if you are dying of thirst that you would refuse my precious beer. Not that I’d share with you anyway.

                    1. If I were dying of thirst my standards for what I’d put in my mouth would lower, no doubt. Doesn’t mean I’m storing bubble gum soda in my bunker.

                    2. If I were dying of thirst my standards for what I’d put in my mouth would lower, no doubt.

                      Say “Ah!”

                      8===D

                    3. Your balls are tiny, dude.

                    4. Your balls are tiny, dude.

                      They’ll fit in your mouth just fine. You can drink my sweat.

                    5. my standards for what I’d put in my mouth would lower

                      Maybe Ke$ha will share!

                    6. Maybe Ke$ha will share!

                      Not if $park? has anything to do with it.

                    7. I can see $park? being pretty aggressive about defending his Ke$ha’s gold claim.

                    8. Plus alcohol is the last thing you want to drink in a dehydrated state.

  4. Nobody Pauline Kael knew was a prepper. That’s why they need to be demonized by all Right-Thinking People.

  5. I think a lot of liberals are afraid of self-sufficiency.

    It’s a lot like their fear of freedom.

    If all these self-sufficient types out there aren’t really so dependent on the government, then how do we control them? We can’t have them just running around doing whatever they want. That’s just…scary.

    1. Liberals feel that theft is fine as long as they vote on it first.
      Preppers defy this. Thus preppers are evil.

      1. Yeah, it is harder for the “democratic” majority to justify doing whatever to the minority if the minority isn’t really participating in whatever process.

        It’s Obama’s old, “You didn’t build that!” You have no right to do as you please because you’re dependent on us. And if you aren’t dependent on us?

        Then that’s really scary! So we better demonize you.

    2. Lefty political systems require all to participate, otherwise the system breaks. THose not participating need to be demonized, marginalized and criminalized.

    3. I think a lot of liberals are afraid of self-sufficiency

      They are absolutely terrified of it. But they are even more terrified of not knowing exactly what you are doing, and being able to control it.

      I remember back when I first joined the dark side. When I first realized that I was a Libertarian, back in 2007.

      I was having a conversation with a friend of mine in MD(typical MD democrat) and somehow the conversation turned to politics. I disagreed with her on the topic, and said that I am a Libertarian and she absolutely freaked out and went on a tirade about how you just cannot let people do whatever they want to!

      1. Ah, someone else from the People’s Republic of Maryland. My wife (who thinks she’s a Communist) and most of my friends in the area trend center-left, definitely statist, but most importantly Democrat. Supporting the Home Team is more important at the ballot box than considering principles. To that end, identifying as a Libertarian makes me almost like a “safe” conservative.

        “Really? Your husband didn’t vote for Obama?”
        “Yeah, but he likes gay people and pot and stuff.”
        “Oh, well…I guess that’s ok.”

    4. To be fair, there’s a whole clan of counter-cultural lefty DIYers. They tend to be more on the anarchist side than the statist side though.

  6. It’s a race against the clock, to see if these assholes can get fully prepped before I can finish my doomsday device. And they made the mistake of showing me their progress on the TV.

    1. Ethan ‘Bubblegum’ Tate: We need some kind of Doomsday device to create an implosion like that.

      Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Doomsday device? Aha! Now the ball’s in Farnsworth’s court.

      [pulls on a lever; a platform appears with several Doomsday devices]

      Professor Hubert Farnsworth: I suppose I can part with one and still be feared.

    2. Who are you, Blofeld?

  7. The criticism (if that’s the right word) I have about most of the people I have seen on that show is that they seem to believe they will be somehow alone and isolated. Despite what the Tulpas and Tonys of the world would have us believe, “collapse of government” not same as “collapse of civilization”.

    There was one guy who at least appeared to have a vision of himself as proprietor of some sort of frontier trading post. Whatever other conceptual flaws there may have been in his plan, at least it makes more sense than thinking you’re going to spend twenty years living in a fucking section of culvert buried out in some field, eating dried rice and playing hearts.

    1. The criticism (if that’s the right word) I have about most of the people I have seen on that show is that they seem to believe they will be somehow alone and isolated.

      This has not been lost on the prepping community, we’ve noticed it too. Which is why most of those on the prepper blogsphere and discussion boards hate the show.

      I suspect that their are two possible explanations for why these people are on the show:

      1. NatGeo is intent on finding the wackiest, off-the-rails nutjobs in the prepping community and then selectively edits the hours of footage they shoot to make these people look even nuttier so as to make the entire subculture look bad and therefore dissuade the “normal” people from doing what should be common sense shit in their own interest.

      Or:

      2. Because preppers are distrustful of how they are usually portrayed in the media (namely as dangerous wackos) the only people who are forthcoming in this show are really just that crazy and delusional.

      1. Well, some of the people who’ve been on the show have later said that NG tries to make them do more crazy shit for the cameras than they would want to do, so I’m leaning toward #1. But it’s probably a mixture.

        Anyone who talks about their preps nonanonymously to a general audience is going to be sorry when/if they need those preps, that’s for sure.

        1. I think that encouraging the subjects to be crazier than they normally would is pretty standard practice on “reality” shows.

    2. Hearts is fine, but if it’s 20 years, I’ll go back to bridge.

      1. Pinochle. Double deck or racehorse.

        1. OMG Double deck pinochle is the best card game EVAH!

  8. BTW, somewhat related… If you haven’t already, you will soon encounter the fresh term of abuse from the left: NORMs

    Non-minority
    Older
    Rural
    Males

    Have fun being stereotyped.

    1. That’s a pretty awful job of acronymization. Using a “non” should be against the rules.

      It’s especially strange since that demographic contains the gun owners most likely to support an AWB and magazine restrictions.

      1. Why should the use of the prefix “non” be against the “rules” of acronymizataion?

        1. NORM!!!!!

          Evening everyone.

    2. Older than what?

      1. Older than the person using the term, I would guess.

    3. I’m disappointed that the prefix cis- didn’t find its way in there.

      1. And of course “males” is acceptable nomenclature, but “females” would not be.

        1. Are you sure it isn’t some kind of reference to Cheers?

          1. Boston is rural?

            1. Haven’t you been to Boston Common?

              1. It figures you watched a shitty show like that.

                1. How dare you imply I would watch an NBC sitcom! This insult will not stand.

                  1. What channel is Community on?

                    1. It’s amazing how easily you fell into my little trap, NutraSweet. I’m actually disappointed in you. Community isn’t a sitcom, and is specifically designed not to be. No laugh track, fully mobile cameras, unlimited filming locations, and being actually funny? NOT A SITCOM.

                      You should thank me for educating you.

                    2. No Alison Brie pictures? Fuck you.

                    3. There is no true sitcom here.

                      Mobile goalposts aren’t a trap.

                    4. Your failure again disappoints me, NutraSweet. All you had to do was point out that Cheers was in fact on NBC and you would have had me, but no.

                      (shakes head)

                    5. Boston Common was also on NBC, doofus.

                    6. NutraSweet, just stop. You’re only embarrassing yourself at this point.

                    7. Let us not forget Taxi.

                    8. Just like Parks & Rec and 30 Rock!

      2. I thought the same thing! damn The Org. Chem

    4. Why not:

      White
      Older
      Rural
      Males.

      Since we’re stereotyping and all.

      1. WORM is good, but NORM is such a dirty word for them already that it’s extra naughty.

      2. I need a new ball cap. That should work just fine.

      3. I take that they’ve never met the NORWs or WORWs. They can be worse than the men.

      4. Heh! That makes me:

        White (mostly)
        Older
        Rural
        Female

        Take that to Gre’Thor squishy liberals!

    5. I fucking hate the way “minority” gets used. Older rural males are a minority, fuckers. White males as a whole are a minority. Fucking say what you mean, racist fuckbags!

      Fuck it. I’m probably not old enough yet, but I’ll proudly be a NORM if that’s what they want to call it. I like guns and chainsaws and not seeing my neighbors from my house. Suck it.

  9. I don’t get it. What’s wrong with wearing Ralph Lauren or Izod shirts and wearing topsiders?

    1. Besides that they’re back in fashion for the frat boys?

      1. Beats the heck out of what’s passed for style the last decade or so.

        Of course, I prefer classical garb, like the formal toga.

        1. The Byzantines had a nicer selection of colors though.

    2. Other than everything, nothing.

      1. You’re a sartorial moron, so I think I can safely discount your opinion. I bet you’re wearing your tie-dyed overalls right now, aren’t you?

        1. Don’t be absurd, they’re not tie-dyed. They’re corduroy.

          1. Oh, right, so people can hear you coming. I forgot about that creative restraining order you got that one time.

          2. Now I’m going to be imagining you like this Epi.

            1. Well, I laser now, so that picture is out of date.

              1. Yeah, I’m offended on your behalf. If Warty wore overalls though. . . .

                1. I had to shave recently after I fell into a port-a-john. Here’s what I look like now.

                  1. Not nearly hairy enough to have “bear” in the filename. Also, needs more chaps and a leather chest harness.

              2. My mistake, I had it in my head you were just lasering your bikini zone. I will update my mental image accordingly.

                1. It’s an ongoing process.

  10. They’ll mock the prepared and self sufficient, but then you also hear a lot of “If something happens then I’m coming over to your place.”

    1. “If something happens then I’m coming over to your place.”

      Hope you like the sweet taste of lead.

      😉

      1. “If something happens then I’m coming over to your place.”

        Hope you like the sweet taste of lead.

        What? That’s an outrage! I’m entitled, and if anything bad happens, you better give me your stuff, we’re all in this together! You didn’t build that stuff!

        If you don’t share, I’ll call the local government office, and… ohh, they’re closed because they don’t have any money and the city is on fire… Ok… well, let me in, or I’ll call you bad names, you big meanie!

        1. The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

          The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

          Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

          CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

          America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

          Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not EasyBeing Green’. Occupy the Anthill stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the SEIU group singing, We Shall Overcome. Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper’s sake, while he damns the ants.
          President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper’s plight.

          1. Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti?Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

            The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the GovernmentGreen Czar and given to thegrasshopper. The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn’t maintain it.

            The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

            The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.

            The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

            1. Is this yours, Tulpa? I like it and would like permission to repost it (with proper credit given) elsewhere.

              CB

      1. That reminds me of a Mormon family I used to know. A good Mormon wife should have a year’s supply of food for when the end-time come. My thinking is that when the end-times come, the best course of action is to raid Mormon homes.

        1. And I’m sure the Mormon’s thinking is that, when the end-times come the best course of action is to kill people trying to steal their stuff.

        2. Mormons are usually really well armed, and given their history, don’t have any compunction about killing people who fuck with them.

          So, uh, you might want to reconsider your plan.

          1. It’s not like I’d show up unarmed. Or without a team of similarly armed people. Mormons are a very small percentage of the population. When the hoards are starving and someone yells, “THE MORMONS HAVE FOOD!” they won’t be able to defend themselves indefinitely.

            1. At some point it becomes safer to eat the conveniently-shot-by-Mormons dead than continue your raid.

          2. I’m not Mormon, but I live in a Mormon town, and we have end-times bunkers around town. Sometimes I take the kids there, and we pretend the zombies are coming.

        3. Yes that’s occurred to us and now I’m more nervous! Need to buy a bigger gun…

  11. they organize their lives and politics around staving off the fear?which often entails taking political action that only makes America more fearful and dangerous for everyone; which destroy the trust and love it takes to sustain communities

    Mmmmh hmm. And your mother; how did you feel when she abandoned you?

  12. The ad asks, “Do you meet President Obama’s minimum Prepper Standards? Are you ‘FEMA Ready’?”

    You know who else believed in keeping rope, tape, and sheet plastic handy?

      1. Nice try but the answer we were looking for was: Who is Patrick Bateman.

        1. Try getting a table at Dorsia now you bastard!

          1. +100 shots from a nail gun.

    1. SugarFree?

  13. http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/phpr.aspx

    Zombie apocalypse posters from CDC.

    1. For once, tax dollars well spent.

  14. On the other side there are officials whose first instinct in a natural disaster is to get ready for a riot and who think they need to withhold information to prevent panic. In other words, officials afraid of the lawless hordes. If they imagine a post-disaster world filled with trigger-happy survivalists, that’s just going to reinforce their fear of the public.

    And if some citizen gets into a shootout with a cop who shows up at his door in the midst of some natural or man made disaster and tells him to surrender his weapons (as if that could ever happen in America!), the National Association of Chiefs of Police will advocate full scale disarmament of the civilian population instead of asking themselves why they are so remorselessly evil.

    1. To be fair, I imagine a post-disaster world filled with trigger happy cups, which just reinforces my fear of public officials.

      And my desire to be in a position to defend myself.

      1. Also to be fair, imagine a post disaster world filled with many well prepared citizens, not just guns but preparation that creates self sufficiency. As an ‘official’ my fears are much reduced and the road back to some of the beneficial complex systems we all enjoy is much easier.

  15. A great resource for stuff like this is a guy called ‘nutnfancy’ on YouTube. Look him up!

    1. Yeah, whenever I’m thinking about purchasing a firearm, I always check out the nutnfancy review of it first.

      1. Yeah, whenever I’m thinking about purchasing a firearm, I always check out the nutnfancy review of it first.

        Oh Jesus fucking Christ. Nutnfancy is an idiot. He “reviews” guns and gives nods on reliability to weapons he’s never shot.

        And his stupid acronyms and “philosophy of use” horseshit….

        Do yourself a favor and ignore whatever that fuckwit has to say about firearms or “survival” gear.

        1. Seconded. Please don’t listen to him. The gun videos I like the most are hickock45s. But there is no substitute for shooting the thing. A gun is like a car: an expensive item you will own for a long time. If it is at all possible, test drive it.

          1. While we’re on the subject of youtube bloviators, I’d like to note that Yankeeprepper is neither a “Yankee” nor a “prepper”.

            1. He’s from Vermont and doesn’t eat pie for breakfast?

              1. Well that, in addition to being a giant windbag asshole.

          2. hickock45 rules, a lever gunman after my own heart.

            1. I have a serious lust for a Marling .45-70 right now.

  16. i agree with matt and trey about mormons (good neighbors on the whole, and easy to make fun of mythologies) and one admirable thing that is part of their system/religion is that they are preppers in a sense.

    every mormon is supposed to be responsible for “food storage” which entails setting aside a bunch of freeze dried etc. food such that they could survive on it for several months if supplies suddenly dried up. they get together for canning sessions, etc. and there are companies with catalogs full of “storage food” as well as equipment for making your own. they are responsible for rotating their stocks so stuff doesn’t go bad, of course as well.

    iow, their viewpoints about self-sufficiency and preparedness are very prepper-like.

    they took so much abuse from govt. etc. that they have a kind of cool self-sufficiency streak, not just with the food storage but with their own self-contained welfare system involving food distribution, etc. that is of course financed by their tithing.

    1. oh, i see somebody else mentioned this above. should have read all the comments before posting.

    2. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DIE, ASSHOLE.

  17. And she spoke again, saying know, my child, that there is no devil seeking to corrupt the hearts of men.
    No evil, save blind faith, ignorance, and the desire for the unprepared to blame others for the devastation left in the wake of change.

    Puscifer – Sour Grapes

  18. Tour the online prepper communities, and you may well run into people who have embraced the long-lived conspiracy yarn in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency is plotting to put us in concentration camps.

    I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy theory so much as a reasonable extrapolation from past events.

    1. I don’t buy it, but I sort of hope that is what they are plotting. Because if they are, they are bound to fuck it up.

      It would be far more likely just to happen with no real malicious intent. You really think FEMA is competent enough to pull off a massive evil conspiracy?

      1. Oh for Christ’s sake…they’ve already told us what they plan to do.

        It’s just a matter of when.

  19. “If trespassing doesn’t count as aggression, then the NAP says you can’t stop them from living on your property forever.

    If trespassing does count as aggression, the NAP authorizes the property owner to use force against trespassers.”

    I think you have a unity of the virtues problem here.

    Yes, the NAP does in fact justify doing all the things Tulpa describes above.

    But all cultures have always ascribed some name or other to the virtue that consists of not always asserting every right due to you under pure justice. Sometimes they call it “mercy” and sometimes they call it “charity”.

    So you could say that the person who pushed the pilot off his boat had the moral right to do it, but that the person also utterly lacked the virtue-of-multiple-names described above.

    Helping the pilot and handing him a towel and a beer would not be morally required, but would be morally salutary if you chose to voluntarily do it, despite the utter absence of any obligation on your part to do it.

    That’s got to be how it is, because I can reduce any other position on the matter to obligatory total altruistic self-destruction in about five minutes.

    1. I file this concept under “reciprocity” or “not being an asshole”. You have every right to be an asshole, but if at some point in time you need help (and everyone eventually does) if you haven’t been an asshole, people are more likely to help you.

  20. Don’t want to threadjack but read this:

    http://americamagazine.org/iss…..-amendment

    This is where the left is headed. If there were enough to vote for Obama a second time, there are enough to repeal the 2nd amendment, and then it really goes downhill.

    Wish I could buy some goddamn ammo….

    1. Well they stopped caring about the constitution long ago so I doubt they would bother trying to amend it. Just get one more Supreme and then viola! No Second Amendment.

  21. Seriously, man. You told us her name was “Ceredwyn” and she lives in Vermont, so you did not need to tell us that is she is liberal/feminist and disdainful.

    1. Now, wait a second. As a Vermonter I can tell you that that name could just as well belong to a Renfair trollop who sells homemade jewelry on Etsy.

      1. Do you eat pie for breakfast Fluffy?

        1. Pie for breakfast is actually more a New Hampshire / Merrimack River Valley kind of thing.

          I’m originally from Long Island, which makes me a bagel guy, or a bacon egg cheese and ketchup on a bulky roll guy.

    2. And worked at an abortion clinic, so she knows all about terrorism.

      Because so many people have been killed in abortion bombings over the years. What , 10?

  22. “fear everything falling apart.”

    Katrina. Sandy.

    Have you been to Detroit lately?

    The biggest spending government in the history of the planet can’t keep the lights on, can’t build levees, and can’t keep clean water flowing.

    1. Well, we spend about twice as much on healthcare as any country and probably 20% of the country has to rely on charity hospitals/clinics or do without healthcare, unlike pretty much every other country in the world.

      1. When I can get a surgery done same day that a Canadian has to wait 5 months for, he is pretty much doing without healthcare.

  23. Thanks for destroying my positive opinion of preppers by telling me about this Ceredwyn crap wad.

  24. Every one of these idiots will be toppled just for the challenge or the lols.

  25. “They try not to buy things on credit”

    If you’re preparing for the end of the world, why wouldn’t you try to buy as much as possible on credit?

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  28. “The core idea of the show is preparing for a major disaster like economic collapse or a gigantic storm, which was common sense. But now anyone preparing for a disaster is considered unhinged. This show is designed to marginalize a group of people. They take the most extreme cases of people from the group who believe in being self-sufficient. . . They take the more eccentric types and use these as an example of why it is just nonsense to prepare for anything.

    A message is planted in the viewer’s mind: It is not okay to prepare independently. It is not okay to preemptively prepare for a disaster with angels of FEMA are on the case! So, if you desire to save food, precious metals, or keep a cache of weapons then you are transformed into the paranoid lunatic looking for black helicopters (Note that having over 7 days worth of food storage could make you a terrorist; http://tinyurl.com/crrh3m4). . . . Hence your thoughts and behavior have been modified to satisfy their ends. It is a form of external self interest. Basically the illusion you are looking out for yourself, and making decisions for the best when in reality you are influenced by an external source which provides a template for your thoughts; a ready-made mold of values and opinions is laid out for you to select. “They’re a part of the prepper movement,” you’re told. This clever suggestion of a movement separate from the norm is another way to marginalize anyone who steps out of the conventional.”

    1. The demonizing of prepper’s isn’t unique.

      It’s the solution of preventing the very idea of self-sustainability and suppression of rational dialogue in the media. They’ll never put a reasonable prepper on air for an interview and will likely look for the most unstable possible in order to further perpetuate the stereotyping and demonization of a group who might inspire a rational dialogue.

      If we bring rational conversation back to politics, rather than emotional pandering, social control is severely restricted.

      1. Agree with Lincoln, it’s the purpose and result of the show. You can say it’s for entertainment, but as a tool for entertainment they marginalize and make fun of the preppers.

        I know a lot of people who might be considered marginal preppers, they have food, water, and cash in case of an emergency. Most also have some guns and ammunition. They are suburban city dwellers, professionals, with active social lives, and average personalities. So they’d never make the show, since there is no circus element.

        Personally, I say, go preppers, do what you want with your life and prepare to whatever extent makes you happy.

  29. 200+ posts and nobody has said it, really?

    h I’m a peepper He’s a peepper
    She’s a peepper
    We’re a prepper
    Wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too!

  30. A person who is tired of political hypocrisy might become a real-world prepper and try to survive with less outside interference. Many preppers are accused of being racists because of their stand against a multi-cultural lifestyle.

    1. The socialist PC pressure from the left has set back multi-culturalism by decades. The idea that we can’t critique a culture the same way we critique other aspects of a multi cultural society has deeply damaged America. Cultures have ethical standards and norms, as well as accepted behaviorial standards, family value systems, religuous dynamics, and the list goes on. What makes up culture is just about everything about human interaction between people of a self identified group. So when the Left decided culture was off limites for discussion, they took off the table almost everything worthwhile to discuss. Evolution and cross polination of the best in cultures (the natural selection of cultural evolution) has been short circuited. So cultures(both majority and minority cultures within a society) with issues that negatively impact the individual no longer exchange culture attributes that could improve the attributes. We are in a society were only the negative aspects of a cultural are encouraged to be adopted, while positive attributes are not allowed to be discussed. If you want examples, just ask.

      The further issue is the related issue of race itself. A single race can have many cultures, multiple races can adopt the same culture. Race relations have also been set back decades by the socialist PC agenda. Look what they did to Laffer.

  31. Once upon a time in this country it was considered patriotic to be prepared. If you read home mechanics or such magazines from pre and during and post WWII you will find all sorts of stories about how we all should build our own bunkers and stock them, especially if you live in tornado country, but also in preperation for other disasters to the worst case scenario of a nuclear war. The magazines also talk about learning how to use a gun and if your neighbor doesn’t know how to shoot then teach him. BTW Utah one of the most financialy stable states, is run by Mormoms and all good Mormons are to keep a pantry supplied for 6 months, that makes them preppers. For disclosure I have a relative who was a Mormom and my grandfather made a nice living in the 50’s & 60’s building bomb shelters as a child we were always told not to tell anybody where they were. My Grandfather was no right wing nut either he was pro union and I think a little bit of a puritan.

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  33. Usually, after a disaster that shuts down civil authority and other services–electric, ext.–you have a sweet spot of 72 for authority and order to assert itself before things do break down into real chaos such as looting and rioting. So, the prepper’s role is with survival items and firearms is to hold down the fort.

    In fact, you’ll probably see the leadership coming from the ranks of the prepared in these situations. It’s self-selecting since foresight will be the one of marks of those characteristics to step up and lead.

  34. The problem is not with the “prepper” lifestyle, it’s with their image, brand, and rhetoric.

    They should start talking about self-sufficiency in response to emergencies, not about “prepping” for Doomsday, zombie attacks, and other far-flung scenarios that they’ll have almost no practical ability to withstand. The term “prepper” fundamentally lacks an understanding: what are you prepping for? Do you really think you could survive nuclear holocaust, or that you would want to?

    It’s sensible to want a secure home off the grid security in the case of severe weather. What’s not sensible is where “preppers” dramatically shout “Bring it on! I’ll have mine and I’m prepared to kill all looters!” any time someone makes a fleeting reference to the fall of government or a nuclear blast. In the wake of such a trauma to our society, I think it’s that kind of paranoid individualist-survivalist who is the least able to rebuild society because they are least able to understand when to trust people, how to share with other human beings, and what to prioritize when rebuilding. I.e., unless you’re prepped for inbreeding and polyamory, you cannot rebuild the human society with your family alone.

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