Let’s face it, for many the idea of preparedness isn’t exactly attractive. They think it is foolish, that it is a waste. They think that there are better alternatives already in place via national organizations such as the Red Cross, FEMA, and others. They may also think that the potential benefit isn’t worth the up-front cost in time and money to acquire skills and gear. For a select few prepping on a large scale may indeed be too expensive or simply not possible owing to the restrictions where they live, but for the rest it is often a few common myths that keep them in the dark. Let’s shed some light on these false “facts” that commonly stand in the way of being better prepared.
#1: To Prep You Have to Become a Hardcore Survivalist Hermit
The typical “survivalist” picture in most people’s heads is the dude with a beard reaching to his knees cradling a shotgun in his hidden bunker full of food and weapons. While those people do exist in some places, they are hardly representative of the average population of prepared people. The average prepper is the soccer mom, the lawyer, the businessman, the college kid studying and working a minimum wage job to pay his way…you know, regular people. Preparedness doesn’t require reclusiveness or insanity, it merely requires seeing prepping as another form of insurance no different from the policies taken out for your car, your home, or your health.
#2: Prepping is Expensive and I Have to Focus All My Funds On It
This myth is kept alive by the preppers who, by choice or because they panic start pumping their 401ks and college funds into a sudden mad dash for prepping supplies. The truth is that preparedness for most people is mainly just another line in the budget right next to “going to the movies” and “replacing flat tires”. If anything preppers are often very frugal people, looking to expand their capabilities and stocks as cheaply as possible without sacrificing overly much in quality and nutrition. Buying in bulk saves money, learning to repair things for yourself saves money, exercising and being physically fit saves money…the cost in stored food is hardly comparable to the other benefits possible from the preparedness lifestyle.
#3: Prepping is Depressing, Pessimistic, or Defeatist
It can certainly seem that preppers, obsessed with the best foods or tools to survive everything from a thunderstorm to a meteorite strike are a pessimistic bunch. Why not enjoy the sunny days and happy times, rather than obsessing over terrors in the future? Of course, what most tend to miss is that preppers do enjoy those sunny days and happy times. Being prepared is not obsessing with the negative, it is trying to ensure that you can enjoy the happy times now and make it through the disasters that may come. Indeed, being able to see that you’re reasonably secure in the long view rather than just the short-term can actually make you all the happier, allowing you to relax somewhat without being foolish. You don’t prep to lose after all, but to win!
#4: The Government/Charities Will Take Care of It
Indeed the vast arm and financial power of the government and the sheer number of charities that arrive after each disaster can make it seem that prepping is ridiculous. After all, vast stocks are there specifically so that you do not need to have your own! What is not often seen is the difficulties that an organization of any size still has to overcome just to reach people, much less to help and feed them. Ruined buildings, live power lines, ruptured gas/water lines, and broken roads all block the way for responders during fairly localized disasters like tornadoes, and that is exponentially applied during major catastrophes like hurricanes. Until they arrive, organize, clear the way for ponderous supply trucks, check people in so that everyone gets a fair distribution of food you may well be reduced to eating that fruitcake in the back of your pantry if you’re lucky. Furthermore, by being prepared with your own resources you ensure that the people who truly need that help get it in full measure rather than being another leech on the system.
#5: It Can’t Happen Here! ‘MURICA!
While I agree that our modern world is full of wonders and marvels and that we have all manner of resources people of previous generations did not have…what happens when a hurricane occurs? Whole cities get flooded, people’s homes are destroyed, and it can take years to recover. How many wars have laid waste to vast areas of land over the past century? Have weapons become less destructive over the course of time? Finally, are you and your neighbors more resilient and independent than those whose lives were devastated before, or are you actually more vulnerable owing to your dependence on electricity and technology? Rather than relying on technology and our immense resources as an excuse not to prepare, why not take advantage of them to be better prepared than our ancestors could ever have been?
Have you heard these myths before, or perhaps were you even one to believe them? Let us know in the comments below!
This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Top 5 Myths That Keep People From Prepping