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For most of us, preparedness is second nature. Since being a boy scout and learning the basics of the wonders of survival I have been exploring the world of survival, preparedness and emergency response, only to find out that most of us are preppers in one way or another.
In fact, I took a look at a lot of my friends and family members, who, for the most part, I wouldn’t consider as survivalists or preppers by any stretch. But in that consideration, if we look at the basics of what it means to be prepared and seek alternative methods to supplement daily functions as a backup source, then yes, pretty much everyone I know is ‘prepared’.
The only difference between my family, friends and work colleagues, in comparison to the social view of what a prepper is, is that they are not preparing for an EMP to wipe out an electrical grid, a financial collapse or a societal breakdown, they’re just preparing for the things that happen in everyday life. The things, that based on past statistics, actually can and will happen.
So how can we define a prepper? I have been writing about preparedness for quite some time now, and have been referenced as a prepper in a number of media sources. But in the manner of easily explaining what preppers are, I have been thinking of the following acronym of eight words as an apt description:
Sounds about right, doesn’t it? But these aren’t just some words tacked onto the letters that make up the word ‘PREPPERS’. In my writings, projects and own preparedness projects, I have always been thinking about why I do things, not just because I am thinking of how to generate my own power, or my own gas, but more so about the psychology of survival.
In thinking about those approaches and methods, I have chosen each one of those words that build up the acronym of PREPPERS specifically because they represent a field, or subject, that every prepper can identify with, from the prepper that is preparing a first aid kit in the home, to the one that is generating off-grid power.
When it comes to being a prepper, there is a lot of stigmatism attached to the association of conspiracy theorists, doomsday thinkers, and general crazy ideas. Sure, it’s unconventional for me to say you need to make your own preparations for a natural disaster if they happen in your area, but not so unconventional if I told you that your government’s emergency services provider holds a ‘preparedness month‘ every year encouraging you to become more aware of emergency basics. You will be quite surprised to see that most emergency agencies promote preparedness awareness.
So let’s take a look at each one of those subjects individually, and see if we can shed some light on the perennial question: what is a prepper?
While preparedness has a number of example definitions, the one I like to use is from Humanitarian Response, which is:
‘the ability of governments, professional response organizations, communities, and individuals to anticipate and respond effectively to the impact of likely, imminent or current hazards, events or conditions’.
This definition provides that the level of preparedness, if we were to consider it on a scale, would be the difference in saving lives and reducing suffering. Basically, if you were to maintain an appropriate level of preparedness, it would ‘increase the value for money of relief action and ensure that scarce resources are directed to where they will have the greatest impact’.
So why is preparedness important for preppers? In looking at the above definition, I can say, that as preppers, we maintain a level of preparedness to ensure
Risk-assessment is usually a term more used in the business world where middle and upper managers would identify hazards or problems that could adversely impact an organization’s ability to conduct business and maintain a level profit or safe pattern.
The idea that risk-assessment fits into the lifestyle and occupation of a prepper is quite simple. Sure, there’s no business involved but the idea is the same, only, instead of considering an organization’s financial survival, preppers look at the possible hazards or problems they, and their family may face.
And yes, finance is a big part of that. When it comes to the financial value of the assets of anyone, whether it be a house, car, vehicle or any other property, there is always the need for ‘asset protection’. And part of that family asset protection is to first, identify the potentials risks that may cause damage or harm to those assets and plan for it.
In the business world, risk-assessment can easily be done in five steps, those steps are also very applicable to preppers and preparedness. They are:
The environment is a crucial part of prepping for a host of reasons that are all equally important for survival and understanding the world. Let’s think about some of those:
For me, the environment is a big part of prepping as it goes with the work that so many of us put in to move toward an off-the-grid lifestyle and create a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle. This is done through so many different ways of living off the land, urban gardening and urban farming, alternative energy generation and limiting your external resource use.
Privacy is a contentious issue that has two limbs:
I am on the fence with these issues. There are members of the prepping community that would rather keep their homes and methods private for the pure fact that they feel it could be a potential hazard if it were to be known that they were preppers.
For me, I speak quite openly with family and friends about preparedness, current issues, survival methods and emergency relief and I have always done so. My issue is to spread the idea of preparedness. This is why I started writing The Prepping Guide, as a means of furthering the awareness of safety and preparedness.
You may identify privacy in your area as a potential hazard, or you may prefer to speak with your neighbors, friends, and family about preparedness and build a community with them, this is the prerogative of the individual.
Every good process has the concrete foundation of a plan. That’s what prepping is about, planning for the worst and hoping for the best.
When it comes to planning, there are several plans that are regular for preppers, such as:
These are only a few plans you will come across when you are looking at varying levels of preparedness. But most importantly, have a plan. Think it out, write it out, research it and critique it, then put it into action.
Since I started taking up preparedness a number of years ago, I never thought I would learn so much. There are so many topics with sub-topics that are encompassed by the umbrella of prepping.
Enterprising is defined exactly that:
Some of those topics (that strike me as enterprising) have been:
All of these are just some of the enterprising feats I have come across, and have since done myself. But even now, once I thought I knew everything about preparedness, there are still new methods coming out every week in the prepper and survival community that are new and innovative ways of doing something or a new technology or concept.
There is a certain level of responsibility when choosing to learn more about preparedness, the biggest of which is to start accepting the responsibility for your own safety, survival and life, rather than relying on the services of emergency crews and government agencies to help you out.
Not only that, but a lot of preppers maintain the responsibility of their family and friends by spending the time and effort into making survival kits for their kids, first aid kits for their teens for when they leave for college, or finding alternative food and energy sources for their family’s consumption habits.
These are all managing the responsibility of survival for yourself and others. But when it comes down to it, in a natural disaster or emergency, your responsibility ensures that you have removed yourself and your family from danger or any potential risk, so that emergency services can direct their efforts to help others. That’s responsibility.
Survival is key in this world. We don’t want our lives cut short by something that we can plan for. And when we are faced with that event, whether it be a small wound, a car crash, or an entire flood, we want to, and will survive.
When it comes to the foundations of prepping and survival, there are five rules to self-preservation to keep in mind:
These are what keep us alive, so when we are prepping, and looking at our risk-assessment plan, these are some things that may arise in the potential hazards to ourselves and our families.
When you are starting your preparedness plans, or you already have them in full swing, think about the application of this acronym, and how it might work to help you in your plans, as well as a way to explain to others what prepping is about, so that they too, can start taking responsibility for their own safety and survival.