In the article ‘Who Are Preppers‘ we showed that everyone is a prepper, to a greater or lesser extent.
But clearly there is a divergence between the person who keeps a flashlight and some spare food in the pantry at one end of the scale, and the person with an underground bunker, umpteen weapons, gas masks, and several years of food supplies at the other end of the scale.
Where does prudence become paranoia?
Normal people will say ‘For thousands of years, civilization has survived with no major problems, why should we worry that tomorrow will be any different’.
There are two answers to that question. The first is to dispute the accuracy of the statement, the second is to point out that our world today is massively different to what it was 100 years ago, let alone thousands of years ago, and we can’t predict the future in our very different world from conditions in the massively more simple past.
Let’s look at the first statement – that there have been no disasters in the past. Civilizations and empires as well as countries, regions and races have regularly faced all manner of disasters; either natural or man-made, and people have died in the hundreds of millions. Choose a decade – pretty much any decade in recorded history – and you’ll be able to find some type of disaster that befell some part of the world.
Just in the last few years, and in addition to the ‘usual’ mix of wars and rebellions and ethnic cleansings and whatever else, we’ve seen earthquakes (closest to home in Haiti), tsunamis (South East Asia then subsequently Japan), droughts and famines (all around the world).
In the US itself, we’ve had so many disasters that they almost cease to be news. Here’s just one article with a long list of problems that occurred in the first nine months of 2011.
The good news is that none of these disasters have overwhelmed our national support resources, so far. But they have, at times, strained the ability of helpers to come to assist affected communities, and for sure, the people in such areas have had some very unpleasant experiences.
Maybe some prepping can help insulate and cushion against some of these problems – what do you think?
We’d like to close this page with one key thought : Our modern society, rather than becoming more disaster resilient, is becoming more disaster sensitive. To understand the how and why, it is helpful to trace through how society has changed over the centuries, and why it is we are now more vulnerable to disasters than ever before – a situation quite the opposite of that perceived by most people.
The next article in this series – A Quick Economic History of the World from a Prepper’s Perspective – explains how this has occurred.
Return to An Introduction to Prepping
Please click the link to return to the main Introduction to Prepping page and for links to other pages in this series.