Up until recently, most of us have felt fairly secure in the comforts provided to us by the nation in which we live. We drive our cars, earn paychecks, receive medical treatment, eat more food than we should, and live each day as if all the others will be just like it. But, over the last two years, that has begun to change. Tense political scenes, civil unrest, riots, natural disasters, and a worldwide pandemic have torn the veil of invincibility and shown that we are not insusceptible to events or situations that would make a stock of items helpful, if not absolutely necessary.  

Even still, the idea of a “prepper” conjures up certain less than flattering images in our head. When we hear the word prepper, most people think of the recluse out in the boondocks with his bomb-proof shelter full of guns, ammo, and enough food to feed North Dakota for a year. Whether it’s a Chinese invasion, the Zombie apocalypse, or an EMP attack that knocks us back into the 1800’s, that guy is ready.  He leads no “normal” life, lives in a constant state of paranoia, and revolves his world around all the things that could happen someday…

But, is that what being a prepper is in 2021? Is it still the fringe “crazies” preparing for anything and everything that could possibly occur?  

Or, has it become a far more mainstream and sensible movement based on an understanding that life may not always look like it does today?

Is it possible that today’s preppers don’t stock food, medical supplies, and other items based on fear but on the desire to handle emergencies with freedom and self-reliance instead of dependance on what ol’Uncle Sam is willing to hand out?

What if prepping today is born from a sense of responsibility to support and provide for your loved ones in any situation, even when the mass-hysteria clears out the grocery store shelves?

And, what if those who are prepping today understand that it isn’t just being ready for hordes of Zombies or an ultimate act of judgement from God?

When news of the Covid-19 outbreak started to heat up and our country began to realize this wasn’t something we were going to watch from afar, millions of people flooded retail stores to prepare for whatever was about to occur. Those who got there first filled their carts with towers of toilet paper, food, and massive quantities of other things they deemed necessary (most were not). Those who were a little late to the party went from store to store in hopes of finding enough to get them through the week. We saw similar things occur as the Polar Vortex approached the southern part of the United States earlier this year. These massive, macro level situations are what people typically think a prepper is readying themselves for. And they should be preparing for those huge events, and so should you…those of us with food, water, and other essentials ready for something like Covid were able to make decisions in that time with significantly less stress and more freedom. We could go to the store, but we didn’t have to. Finding an empty shelf may have been inconvenient, but it wasn’t panic inducing. Hearing words like “lock down” didn’t mean we needed to scramble in order to have essentials in place. We had options, we had freedom, and we had a less scary road ahead. No one knew what the future held, but we at least knew we had the things we needed for ourselves and our loved ones.

But, prepping isn’t just about being ready for the macro level state or country impacting events.  Prepping provides the same freedom, self-reliance, and stress reduction for personal financial emergencies. Whether it’s the loss of an income, an unexpected medical bill, an expensive home repair, or one of the other countless things life can throw at you…they’re never as significant when you’ve planned for the unforeseen.

Your company downsized and you lost your job. That’s a painful situation to be in, no matter what…but, if you knew you’d prepared for the unexpected and were still going to be able to keep your house and feed your family, wouldn’t that make it significantly less stressful? Wouldn’t that allow you to be more selective in the next job you took? Would that not move it from the “holy crap, we’re screwed” category to the “this hurts but we’re going to be fine” category?

When we think of prepping, we think of being ready for the major things; hurricanes, floods, terrorist attacks, EMPs, declines into Orwellian/1984 style government policies, etc. And, while no one should live their lives in fear, these are all wise things to be prepared for. But, unfortunately, most preppers never mention the impact that their stock will have if and when they go through a personal financial emergency. It’s an overlooked yet significant benefit of being prepared.

At it’s core, prepping is about self-reliance. It’s about freedom. It’s about ensuring you’re never in a position where you’re entirely at the mercy of someone or something else. It’s about knowing that, no matter what life brings, you, your spouse, and your children will have food on the table.  

Whether it’s something that affects the whole world, like Covid, or something that just affects your household, like the loss of a job, being prepared means being able to take a breath, look around, and think before you act.

WAIT, Before You Go

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