Preppers: It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

So, with the North Korean nuclear threat menacing the west coast, climate change-induced hurricanes battering the Gulf Coast, and a social meltdown between left/right, black/white, cops/blacks, Robert E. Lee statues/antifa soldiers, etc, is it really crazy to consider what you might do if the power goes out or Wal-Mart closes for a protracted period?

I came across this in the NYT, no less. Which is kinda spooky in itself.

“Prepping” doesn’t always mean for the end of the world or collapse of society, anyone who lives on the Gulf Coast should be a little bit prepper for hurricanes. When Ike or Harvey came through my area, I wasn’t desperate for fuel or Fritos, I just rode it out and watched the news of people standing in line for 6 hours at the grocery store for rations. That’s my level, a generator for a couple weeks of power, food for a few more, and an AR-15 in case of criminal attack. Not that I expect to be Mad Max, but it doesn’t hurt to be capable of saying “No, go away” at 3002 fps if necessary.

And yeah, there is a wide range of preppers, so ymmv, some may seem irrational to you, get over it. There are obsessive, paranoid people at Star Wars conventions -shrug- so it is not limited to people who are interested in planning and self-reliance.

The chances of America sliding into anarchy, being nuked, or sustaining a pandemic are slim, sure, and I for one don’t spend a lot of $$ or time worrying about it. I don’t carry a snorkel in my car in case I run into a canal. But the subject is interesting and it’s not a terrible hobby. It can be a little wearying when someone claims to have all the answers or is an authority on survival, but for the most part (for me at least) it’s like hunting or camping–getting a setup to deal with something out of the ordinary.

First, I wouldn’t worry about the “breakdown” between “left/right, black/white, cops/blacks, Robert E. Lee statues/antifa soldiers”. TBH this sounds like something from Fox News and I would check carefully the sources of information you’re listening to.

Let me assure you social collapse is not a real risk that you need to “prep” for; not the least of which reasons, if there “is” social collapse of the kind you’re envisioning, you’re not going to prep your way out of it. If you seriously think social collapse has a real chance of happening:

  1. buy land in New Zealand
  2. buy a private jet with some friends. Be sure to setup the pilot and his family a spot in NZ as well or
  3. buy a large sailing yacht and be prepared to head out to some deserted island while the world falls apart. Hording 223 ammo isn’t going to save you.

Natural disasters are something the government advises you to prepare for though.

This is Texas’ own Disaster Supply Checklist.

And the Emergency Supply Checklist from FEMA

On some level it’s nonsense. On another, with the constant paring back of government and the government more or less admitting it’s not going to be able to help (I don’t know how many people the Cajun Navy vs the Sherriff’s Dept. boat rescued out of Houston, but it was a lot), it sort of makes sense.

Both state and federal governments tend to recommend having three days worth of non-perishable food and water on hand. That’s not too difficult to manage.

The question then if you’re a “sensible” prepper is what to buy. What I would do is buy, say, 100 cans of various stuff, and then donate that stuff every year to the local foodbank before it expires, and then buy a 100 more. Or, buy lots of freeze dried camping foods. Get some white gas stoves, things like that. Stuff that you can turn around and use in RL and not sit in your “bug out bag” waiting for the world to end.

The problem is that now “prepping” is as much of a lifestyle with crazy people and a fun shopping adventure. I watched some random guy explaining what sort of cans of soup he had bought for his “prepping” on YouTube - he had like 10 cans of soup, and about 3 ammo cans worth of ammo. He was buying like 3 boxes of ammo for every can of soup. That’s what I think of, when I think of prepping. So don’t be that guy. Buy some nonperishable stuff, maybe some camping stoves/flashlights. Maybe some of those solar chargers if you really want to be cool. But don’t waste your money and time.

I buy hurricane supplies, but that is about it. If American descends into civil war and/or anarchy, the only real prep you can do is not be here. Id love to move to Australia, in that eventually, but I am not actually doing any kind of ‘prep’ for that.

If civil war broke out, if the front line was far away, Id ignore it. If my area was in danger of war, Id move to somewhere that wasn’t. If the entire country is hosed, then Id buy a one-way ticket to Australia or anywhere else. If flight is not available, I guess I would be boned.

I do not think it will come to that, but then again, for most people who find themselves in that situation, they do not think it would happen to them either.

Sorry, I was being jocular about the “civil war” aspect I led with, wasn’t entirely serious about that. If there is a civil war in this country it probably wouldn’t last long. I’m more concerned about economic stability. When I first visited Moscow in 1993, they were struggling with hyper-inflation, and people were lining the streets selling stuff. I returned home with about $200 of rubles in my pocket. When I went back to Russia 8 months later, those rubles couldn’t buy nearly as much (I don’t remember the exact value now but I remember the mild shock). It was crazy, and outside of the comparatively tame inflation of the '70s, was my first exposure to currency inflation. Maybe that cannot happen in the US, I don’t know. If it does, though, I can imagine the shock the average guy will be in for.

It’s not that it literally cannot happen, but you’ve got to think about the circumstances that would lead it to happen in a place with the governance system and economy of the US. Hyperinflation doesn’t happen by accident.

I’ve worked in a bust or boom industry for awhile now. To prepare for things like hyperinflation / severe economic issues, probably the best thing to do is not have any debt. When the economy goes down the drain the first people to bust are the overleveraged. That in and of itself is a hard enough goal - it’s not just a goal but a lifestyle and a commitment to living a settled, relatively stable life, paying off debts and not accruing new ones.

Hyperinflation is most frightening if you have lots of cash or investment assets however. In that case, buying up tangible goods/property is almost certainly the safest place to squirrel away your life savings. The problem is that online you have all these goldbugs and silversharks hawking the idea that real estate is a “bad investment” and buy gold gold gold! because you can literally cut gold into pieces and use it to, i dunno, buy a Fanta. Eh.

Technically, hyperinflation or even just strong regular inflation is great for debtors. Obviously there’s a point where overleverage makes you vulnerable in any sort of economic shock (not least because interest rates tend to skyrocket in an inflationary environment). But assuming wages keep up to some extent with the inflation, as they tend to, the real value of your debt plummets and it becomes easier to pay off.

That’s true, but the average schmo is more likely to lose their job/lose real wages in hyperinflation, and therefore will suffer more than they will gain from debt depreciation. Especially as in most Western countries it only takes a couple of months of default before creditors can start repossessing. Other goods and services increasing in cost might cause servicing even fixed rate debt difficult depending upon the person/families finances.

If otoh you’re “paid off” and you don’t have the risk of having home or auto repossessed, you’re in a better position to ride out or take advantage of inflation. And if you’re rich, survival isn’t the issue, and hyperinflation might make you money.

I have a lot of flashlights all over the house. There’s a stack of bottled water in the garage. I have a lot of dry goods and canned food in my pantry and garage shelving. I have a large first aid kit (not just band-aids and antiseptic) in the den.

Both cars have stocked first aid kits, blankets, roadside assistance flares and reflectors, and some food like granola bars and a few MREs in the trunks.

I do have a “bug-out bag” packed. There’s some food, a utility knife, a good flashlight, matches and fire starter, solar blanket, paracord, camping mirror, water purifying straw, chemlights, hand warmers, a light jacket, jeans, a couple t-shirts, socks, and a pair of boots in the bag.

That’s it, really. On the prepper readiness scale, I’m probably at a 3. If a Mad Max style apocalypse happens, I guess I’m screwed, but I figure I’ll welcome the sweet release of death before the cannibal rape-gang gets hold of me.

Preparing for emergencies is good. I like to think of it as smoothing out the pain and inconvenience that comes from being unprepared. (Standing in line at retail is a fate worse than death.)

For an EMP or collapse of the banking system, 80-90% of the population will be dead in a few months. If the semi-trucks aren’t rolling, people won’t be eating. I think if you want to survive this, you have to go super hardcore. I’m content to skip that.

Most of my neighbors are old and fat so I should be pretty well set for the apocalypse.

I lost the only flashlight we owned outside of our cellphones.

Then again I’d throw myself of a bridge within 6 minutes of society breaking down cuz fuck starving to death. I have exactly 0 useful skills in that scenario :)

Having supplies in you live in say a hurricane or earthquake prone area isn’t crazy, it’s fairly rational really.

Being able to maintain for a week or two without power or going to the store is a fairly reasonable situation to prepare for in those sorts of areas.

Yeah I always have food and water for at least a week, for two. (MREs) Batteries and a battery powered radio. Several powerful flashlights and a camp lantern. Full first aid bag. Couple handguns and ammo. After Irma I’m seriously considering a generator.

Edit: Actually more food than that. The MREs alone are a week for two. There’s whatever else is in the kitchen, maybe another week. And two bathtubs filled with water as well as bottles. The more I think about it, the more a genny sounds like a good idea.

A generator’s primary use is to keep the freezer going until you eat all the food out of it.

Unless you go whole hog, they typically can’t power much - so nix any type of oven or stove.

Then you have the problem of fuel - in a doomsday scenario, despite what you may think you learned from Mad Max, the only gas you’re going to get is what you siphon out of your cars or what you have in storage - and gas only lasts ~6 months, so you need to store it and refresh it periodically - two things that most people will never do.

I have a diesel powered tractor with a PTO mounted generator - and diesel is where you want to be as you can run almost any fuel through it including cooking oil. It lasts longer - a year or so.

I live in Portland, OR and feel mostly prepared for the big earthquake that could happen - decimating the i-5 corridor from Sacramento to Vancouver, BC. I figure you need at a minimum 2-3 weeks of provisions before any type of help is here in any measurable way.

Yeah, generators are cheap now. Like Tman said, the main need is to keep from losing a freezer full of food. I have a 3400 watt gas/propane that will keep the lights, computer, fridge and freezers on for a couple weeks. That buys enough time to consume the food and hunt up some more fuel.

That diesel tractor PTO setup sounds awesome, though.

I thought this thread was about peppers, and really hot ones based on the thread title. I’m a bit let down that it is not.

To add to the thread though, if any of you NC folks get into trouble on doomsday, head my way. I have weapons and access to a cabin in the woods. All we need is someone who is partially crazy and an extra hatchet or three to take to the cabin with us.

Jeeze just @ me next time man.

I have to let you live up to your role by volunteering, it makes it more roleplay-like that way.

“What’s with that crazy guy in the back?”
“Oh, he’s just here to help us cut down on our supply needs.”
camera focuses on Armando staring at the hatchet

Alright I’m in but only if you let me bring my deep fryer. I ain’t riding out the apocalypse without tempura fried rad-mutant spines.