Preppies and Preppers

Being raised in the fifties and sixties, I knew a lot about living in fear. The “Red Menace” seemed to impart enough of that to go around and many people who were most afraid actually built these funky little things in their backyards called “fallout shelters” where they could live in relative discomfort for a couple of years until the radiation from the nuclear holocaust had diminished enough for them to emerge and, hopefully, survive.

Yeah, been there, done that. Not that our family had the wherewithal to build a shelter in the first place, but Dad never succumbed to the fear being spread like wildfire.

Come to think of it, we lived so close to Washington, D.C. that if the bombs came, we would be history anyway.

But that was then and this is now. Today, we do not have that huge fearful cloud to live under.

No, today we no longer have the Red Menace to worry about, unless you include the fear of the other “red” states (& I am not talking about the difference between the red states and blue states for election purposes) Iran, China, and North Korea.

Besides, today we are far too busy worrying about other things to worry about that political expedient or even the fear of Al Qaeda. More than nuclear attacks, people are more afraid of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse weapon.

Our fear today is of a more cosmic nature. Black holes, meteors, comets, nova events, cosmic radiation bombardments, and the like. It seems the universe has a plethora of goodies in its arsenal to keep us in fear for a good many years to come.

And, of course, there are the people living in fear of what is going to happen on December 21st, this year. No, I don’t think they’re afraid of a golden enlightenment coming, its the other stuff predicted. Yes, the “bad” stuff.

One has only to check the Mayan writings to see that they were talking about earthquakes. And we all know, that can’t be real good for a stable, secure lifestyle.

So these moderns are trying to get a plan in place to avoid the pitfalls of surviving in a world AFTER the infrastructure collapses.

When the things that make our daily lives so enjoyable vanish, how are we going to survive?

You will no longer be able to run to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread. So these people have started setting aside a few things to help them until civilization can regroup.

These “few things” amount to a couple of years of food and water, a heat source other than electrical, and (of course) enough weapons and ammo to keep everybody else’s hands off their stuff.

Yes, we have a whole new brand of hoarders around us. And if you think there is no money to be made, look at the number of websites selling pre-packaged Ready-to-Eat foods for just this sort of thing.

It is easy to see why the sale of guns has been increasing the last couple of years. And some of these people have an arsenal large enough to take on the army of several smaller countries.

Yes, they are PREPARED.

I was looking over one of these survivalist – or “prepper” – websites and read some of the tips they freely share, I suppose so in the brave new world we will only have other preppers as neighbors.

On one Q&A board, a fellow was trying to rig up some way to heat up the water for his showers. He needed about six gallons of water, he figured, and it needed to be at least 120 degrees or he did not really feel refreshed.

At least the woman running the board was very pleasant with the fellow, and thanked him for presenting the solution to several of the problems he encountered.

I would have simply asked if the fellow was in his right mind. After all, when you are having to struggle for every drop of clean water in survival mode, who would think of using vital resources for such pandering?

But then, I suppose, we each have our own definitions of survival.

Personally, I think storing several years of foodstuff is not the proper response either. What if the earthquake or whatever just happens to hit where your storage facility is. What if all the time and effort has left you with nothing?

In the ancient world, people lived on what was around us. Before agriculture, before hunting herds to extinction, people knew what they could eat around them.

I think learning how to live off the land is far more important than stockpiling foods that may not actually be available for too long. And what do you do when the foods run out but civilization has not re-booted?

People need to revisit older skills and techniques from the far distant past in order to truly survive any major calamity.

And forget worrying about getting a nice warm shower. That may be some time in being viable.

Oh, and also do NOT live in a large city (which 55% of our population does nowadays) as there will be a lot of walking to do before you can get back to nature.

Central Park just ain’t going to hack it, folks.

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