If You Haven’t Guessed by Now, I’m a Prepper.

This is probably opening a #10 can of freeze dried worms, but if you haven’t gathered by the subject matter of my posts, I’m a prepper.

When people discover this fact about me, one of three things usually happens:

  • The laugh
  • The side eye
  • Actual curiosity

Now before too many assumptions are made as to whether I am literally wearing  a tinfoil hat, let me explain a few things.

Still of Giorgio A. Tsoukalos from the History Channel's "Ancient Aliens" that reads, "I'm not saying it was aliens.  It's actually FEMA camps."

I have only been doing this for a year or two and I’m still building up my useful tools and supplies, but in that time it’s amazing what you can learn for free. I’m not preparing for a specific disaster. I don’t think Obama is creating FEMA camps to take our guns through mind control hidden in our vaccines. I was raised in a scouting family with grandparents who taught me to enjoy growing and catching my own food, and I try to take measures within my means to ensure if the shit hits the fan, we’ll manage. I also believe that there is a tremendous amount of privilege in the prepper movement, which I’ll talk about in depth in another article (oh yeah, there’s going to be more of these. GET READY). I think it’s one of the major things that rubs people the wrong way, and it’s a totally valid criticism. Any episode of those bullshit Doomsday shows (preppers or castle, pick your poison) shows preps that are akin to a new form of wealth porn, and I hate it so much. I’m pretty sure if you google the term “hate watching,” you’ll see me flicking off my TV as Doomsday Castle plays.

Animated gif of a man sprouting extra arms, all of which are giving the middle finger.
This is literally me watching the show. It fills me with so much rage I actually grow more limbs.

You’re probably wondering why I’m even writing an article like this. To be honest I’ve been hesitant because of the possible backlash an article in support of prepping would be. But I feel very strongly that rich white men have cornered the market on being prepared, and I think it’s bullshit. Having enough food in your house to last through an emergency (a serious financial emergency counts here, such as losing a job, a medical disaster, etc) shouldn’t be a luxury. This knowledge should be for everyone to have at their disposal. The fact that you have to comb through mostly hardcore right wing websites to pick out the kernels of useful facts or troll through garage sales and resale shops for useful books on the subject makes the whole endeavor challenging for many. As is tradition with my posts, I shall be your vulgar and useful condenser of what I spend wayyy too much time reading and doing around my home. I hope to produce nuggets of information for you to squirrel away for a rainy day.

So then, why am I practicing preparedness?

It started with our garden. At the time, my partner and I  were really not well off financially and the garden was a source of food even when we otherwise might not have been able to feed ourselves much of anything other than ramen. It snowballed into an intense interest in homesteading, which in turn snowballed into prepping. It stems from that gut panic when you see the negative bank balance or the empty fridge…what the fuck am I going to do now? No matter what else was happening, we had the option to walk behind our house and pick dinner. That alone is so fucking freeing, knowing that no matter what other bullshit is going on, you have dinner growing in the back yard.

I personally believe that we have infinite demand for finite resources, and at some point in the coming years, we will have to change our lifestyles to accommodate this fact. I also believe the choices we are making now personally and also in our policies (or the absolutely infuriating lack of progress regarding them; as Republicans in Congress vote to repeal Obamacare for what, the 40th time now?) are making it harder for us to live sustainably down the road in regards to our recourses and energy options.

I also believe that a natural disaster can effect your ability to care for yourself no matter where you live, and being prepared in some form may help make a devastating emergency manageable, if not actually save your life. It also means that emergency resources can help more people if you already have what you need.

I don’t have a safe room full of *seriously overpriced* MRE’s or freeze dried luxury meals, but I have managed to build up enough food that until recently, we probably could have lived off of it for possibly six months (you better love rice) and I have the capacity to store over 100 gallons of water should a crisis arise.  But my pantry was put to good use. I found out a friend lost her job and was literally rationing her food because she couldn’t afford to feed herself and her pets, so she chose to feed them. My months of slowly building up supplies of discounted canned goods, various mixes and bulk products actually came in handy as I was able to give my friend some reprieve from her bullshit circumstance. I was really happy I had the ability to help her, but had I not been prepping the best I could have done was offer her the petty cash I had in my wallet, which would have been a fraction of what I was able to buy beforehand. That alone makes prepping worth it to me, knowing that if something really fucked up happens to me or someone I care about, at least no one will be hungry. Our circumstances are actually changing for the better with new careers in both of our futures, but I will never stop prepping.

Hopefully in the next few articles, you’ll find something useful or interesting, if not you can always enjoy the memes.

A person and a cat have their heads wrapped in tinfoil with a caption reading, "Chemtrails"


8 replies on “If You Haven’t Guessed by Now, I’m a Prepper.”

This is going to be interesting!
I like that your perspective isn’t the “we gotta be prepared for when the FEMA death camps and Scary Brown People start blowing us up” variety of prepping, but the “hey, crazy shit happens, like hurricanes and sudden unemployment and eating a dry cup of rice for each meal for a month really isn’t a good plan” variety.

I’m in central North Carolina, and there have been hurricanes this far inland. I’ve been in the mountains of VA, where there have been week-long power outages during the middle of the winter just due to the wind (not even snow). And then there are earthquakes and tornadoes and the zombie apocalypse. I’d hate to only have a bit of rice and some ramen if everything goes to hell in a handbasket. Or if I have a month without a paycheck.

I think all the time about how long I would survive if the permanent blackout/zombie apocalypse/Republican presidency occurred. The answer remains: I wouldn’t. This is very welcome to me. I don’t want to start hoarding, but I would like to know that I have some options if I go through a few very rough months, for example.

Lol at the Chemtrails picture.
I have to say this was very informative and I really enjoyed reading it.
I am glad you aren’t a crazy doomsday prepper. I got a flyer in the mail today about some church that opened up close by my house had all the secrets to survive the impending apocalypse.

I’m also looking forward to more posts on this topic. I’m not a prepper per se but I do live on a small farm with husband & kid and we have a homesteading kind of mindset. We are slowly gaining the ability to be self-sustaining, should it ever become necessary. It’s hard to find discussions that doesn’t come with a heaping side dish of wackaloon wingnut!

Yay! It would be great to hear about prepping from a non-rich-white-guy-far-right type person. I’ve admired the concept but been put off by that slightly crazy image. I don’t live in a natural disaster zone and my government doesn’t have any preparedness recommendations (well, they sent us all iodine tablets that one time, but that’s a longer story than I can tell here). However I am an independent person who lives alone so I don’t feel too tinfoilhat-esque when I take a few small steps to be… I’ll call it organised rather than prepared. After all, it doesn’t have to be the zombie apocalypse for you to need to fall back on your reserves. As you mentioned, a personal problem like losing a job (or illness, or freak bad weather) can mess you up pretty bad and can strike at any time.

I didn’t know there was anything negative associated with being prepared for emergencies. (Unless that includes the ‘black helicopters are coming to get us!’ crowd.)

I am a very (very very very very) lapsed Mormon but I still follow their advice to store two years of food and supplies. Not that I have two years’ worth (apartment living = no room) but I could survive for a good three/four months if the zombies come to get me.

I’m looking forward to this series. I live in an earthquake zone and while a catastrophic event is unlikely, it’s always a possibility. I’ve discussed stockpiling with my husband, but I feel really overwhelmed, which always makes me feel a bit silly-our local government advocates being prepared for THREE WHOLE DAYS! Who can’t store enough food for three days? But, expiration dates! And animal food! And medical supplies! And the old lady down the block! And plywood (in case of zombies)! And what if I get bored of beans?!?

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