Prepping 101 | What is Prepping?

I have found that it’s common for people to ask “What is Prepping?” at some point in our conversations. Most people that I talk to that have heard of prepping think of the National Geographic Doomsday Preppers TV show that ran a few years back. For those not familiar with the show you can find episodes on YouTube.

My opinion of that show is that it was heavily edited trying to add drama and also was slanted towards making the people look like they were crazy. The general attitude seemed to be “if you don’t fully rely on the government and corporate America then you must be nuts!”.

So I usually ask if they have car insurance, renters or homeowners insurance, health insurance, etc. They generally look at me like I’m crazy – “of course I have that.”

“Then why don’t you have insurance on what you plan to eat” I’ll ask.

The reactions range from “there’s plenty of grocery stores” to “why would I get insurance on food” to “what do you mean, how can I do that?”

I’ll remind them of the famous President Reagan quote about the scariest words in the English language – “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I’ll mention the latest food recall like the recent Jif peanut butter recall. That one is fresh in my mind as I had 4 jars of it in the pantry and I definitely got sick from eating some of it. I hate to throw things out but that crappy (pun intended) peanut butter went straight to the trash can.

I’ll explain to them that by putting a few extra items in the cart every time they go to the store they are protecting themselves against price increases and they are giving themselves options in case of an emergency like a bad storm. Most people don’t keep more than a couple of days worth of food on hand so they are depending on the “system” to feed them.

I’ll talk to them about expanding their pantry out to a week, then a month, then 3 months. Most start to realize that it really does make sense. Some still think it is a stupid thing to do – they trust the “system” to take care of them. Those are the people that you see on the TV news shows after a disaster screaming that someone needs to take care of them. I have no intention to ever be in that position.

For the people that get it I will usually get follow up questions about freeze dried food, dehydrated food, how long items will stay good if stored properly, etc. Sometimes they’ll ask about water storage or filtration, heating and cooling options for food storage, how they can have lights if the power is out and many other questions.

Nobody has all of the specific answers to those questions. Every situation is unqiue to the person – what are their skills, how quick do they think on ther feet, what do they have at their disposal ,etc.

So to me, prepping is just putting myself in the best position to survive anything that comes my way. It may be inflation, job loss, unexpected repairs or replacement of an expensive item…in short, anything that could impact my wallet or my way of life.

I’m going to expand this Prepping 101 article over the next few weeks with some of the things that I am doing or plan to do so that I am prepared in case of a disaster. Here’s a list of some of the topics that I plan to cover:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Power
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Health/Medical
  • Gardening
  • Livestock
  • Tools
  • Self Defense
  • Transportation
  • Clothing

I’ll add more topics as I have time to think about how to properly discuss them without giving away anything that is too specific about my personal situation.

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About the Author: Red Neckistan