I get asked this question a lot. Which is surprising because I’m not particular open about my preps to those outside of my inner circle. To me, “why be a prepper?” captures only a small piece of the puzzle.
- I’m a prepper because I’m a fan of living my life on my own merits.
- I’m a prepper because I don’t want to rely on anyone for handouts.
But most importantly, I’m a prepper because I want to ensure my family is taken care of, no matter what. It could be the end of the world (very slight chance), or something that hits harder much closer to home. This year we’ve seen extreme flooding that drove many people from their homes, along with wildfires that burnt out forests and sent people fleeing in all directions from the flames.
I never want to be caught off guard. And I certainly don’t want to be unprepared for a crisis that would put my family through tough times. I’m not a big fan of the word “prepper” because the media uses this to describe all gun-toting crazies under the sun. Perhaps a pragmatist is a better word. Or a survivalist. Maybe even a realist.
All definitions aside, there’s a few key reasons why I’ve chosen to be a prepper. And for the most part, all of my preps are done under the radar. From the outside, all anyone would see is a normal American family. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to show off all their preps to the world on a television show like Doomsday Preppers, it’s like painting a “GET YOUR SUPPLIES HERE” sign when a real crisis hits.
In my experience, these people are at the extreme end of the spectrum.
My family is much more normal. Much like all the other preppers in my circle. Our kids lead normal lives, and we don’t spend all of our free time planning for the end of the world. We’re living ordinary lives, but with one exception.
We’ve chosen to not let fate rule over us. Being taken by surprise is a feeling I never want to have when it comes to the safety of my family. I know just how tough it’s going to get when a real crisis hits, so here’s my reasons why I believe being a prepper is a smart idea.
Why be a prepper?
You could lose your job tomorrow
After the global financial crisis, many families were left devastated. People had worked their entire careers for a single organization, only to be let-go when the SHTF. I have been let go before, and believe me, it’s not a fun feeling. Seeing your bank account drop week by week, as you’re furiously applying for any and every job under the sun. These days, I’d be much more comfortable if I lost my job. I know there’s plenty of food in our stockpile, and my emergency fund has more than enough cash to get us through the next few months without dipping into our savings.
Why be a prepper? So I’m not freaking out if I lose my job.
You may not be able to work anymore
This is a much more frightening scenario, because it’s far more likely. What would happen if you were in a car crash later tonight, and you lost your ability to work. Sure, you may get disability payments, but these are going to be a fraction of what you’re capable of earning now. For me, a broken wrist means I cannot type, and would put a serious impact on my ability to do not only my day job, but side gigs like writing this blog for you here. Sure, it’s temporary, but after a bad motorcycle crash late last year, I’m only just getting back to 100 percent now, and it’s been a number of tight months in between.
Why be a prepper? So I’m able to keep providing for my family, no matter what.
You could face a natural disaster
I love the outdoors, but Mother Nature is fickle, and it only takes one crisis to push your neighbors into a state of chaos. Our communities work while everyone is fed and happy, but as soon as you take away their ability to eat, desperation will quickly take over. Maybe a flood has isolated your town. Or an earthquake has shattered the local infrastructure. Recent history demonstrates that within just a day or two, people will start committing crimes and looting to keep their families fed. Having a stockpile means I won’t need to venture out into a potentially dangerous situation to find my family’s next meal.
Why be a prepper? So I can ride out whatever natural disaster that comes.
You could suffer a home invasion
What’s scary to me is that there are some very bad people in the world. Home invasions are a real threat, and a very scary possibility when you’re living with a young family. Part of why I am a prepper is to ensure my family is safe at all times. We’ve taken steps to fortify and secure out home, and also have the means to defend ourselves by whatever means necessary. Of course, firearms make up part of this planning, and don’t forget to sign up and take professional classes to learn the right way to use your guns. It’s almost a guarantee that crime will skyrocket once a disaster strikes.
Why be a prepper? So I have the abilities and tools to properly defend my home and my family.
You can’t rely on the government
Now don’t get me wrong, the government provides a huge support network whenever there’s a crisis. But they’re not all powerful. Of course the authorities are going to do everything in their power to keep the country safe, but what’s concerning most for me is that “for the good of us all” is not always in line with what’s best for you and your family. Perhaps there’s problems getting rations delivered to your area after a crisis. Or no soldiers present to keep the peace. I’d love to be able to rely on the government, but there’s just too many examples that prove even the U.S.A. isn’t safe. The only people you should rely on are your immediate family, and the others in your survival group.
Why be a prepper? So I’m not waiting in line for yet another government handout (that may not even come).
You can save money
I’ve chosen to be a prepper for many years now, it’s a lifestyle choice that now influences almost everything that I do, and all the decisions that I make. In addition to the savings we get when making bulk purchases, I’ve also become accustomed to “making things work.” Recycling with a heavy injection of do-it-yourself ingenuity has seen us achieve everything from turning old doors into a chicken coop, to stockpiling almost a ton of hand-grown organic fruits and vegetables from our orchard. The key is to think creatively, and to maximize the impact of every dollar you spend.
Why be a prepper? It’s rather cost effective once you learn how to do-things-yourself.
You need a plan for the little things
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that a global or even country-wide pandemic will hit in our lifetime. It’s just common sense. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a whole pile of little things that can go wrong. And the worst part, is they’re much more likely to happen. Thinking through the different scenarios you may face in your life is good practice, and ensures you’ve got the supplies, experience and abilities to deal with whatever situation comes your way.
Why be a prepper? So the little things don’t take you by surprise.
Here’s a couple of examples of why I’ve chosen to be a prepper:
Each year, we experience a couple of blackouts during big storms. Heavy snowfall in winter knocks out our local grid, and even during summer when it’s windy the power can also go down. If I chose to forget about these times, I wouldn’t have a backup generator ready and waiting to go. I wouldn’t have a shed full of firewood to keep our house warm. We may not even have batteries for our torches or candles to light up our home at night.
We’re also a little bit isolated. And working on our property things can go wrong. I was working in the orchard when my wife rode past on the mower, and hitting a rock broke one of the blades off. The trouble was, it went flying out and found a nice soft landing point. In the back of my calf. Being about 2 hour’s drive to the nearest hospital, the fact we were prepared with a fully-stocked first aid kit at home meant we could dress the cut before heading off to see the doctor.
So now when people ask me, why be a prepper, it’s an easy one to answer. Because bad things happen. It could be an accident, or it could be something much more nefarious. The real trick is to be ready. Being ready for anything is what gives me peace of mind, and is the real reason I’ve chosen to be a prepper. I can’t see what the future holds, but I’m confident we’ll be able to put up a good fight no matter what. Because money can’t buy peace of mind. The only thing that will give you that is being prepared.