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To prep or not to prep: the possibility of an apocalypse

Updated on April 29, 2015
The early stages of the "Grab and go" shelf.
The early stages of the "Grab and go" shelf. | Source

The preparation movement

Contrary to what some of us might think, "Preppers" are not a new group. People have been preparing for catastrophic events for years and years. Unfortunately, many of those preppers were considered to be paranoid/obsessive/delusional and/or just plain crazy.

Today, prepping is quite a popular practice around the world. People from all walks of life are getting prepared for what they perceive as a possible end of the world scenario. Some of these possible catastrophes include flu pandemics, EMPs (electromagnetic pulses), chemical warfare and nuclear warfare and a complete economic collapse. These are just some examples, there are more possibilities and the scary part is, most of them make sense.

These possible doomsday scenarios are not the rantings of raving lunatics. Almost every possibility has tangible evidence to support it.

Most preppers believe it is better to be prepared than caught completely off guard. This means storing food, water, first aid, weapons and fortifying their current residence. Many even have at least one location they can evacuate to in the event the fertilizer hits the fan, and staying home is not an option any more.

Some of these preppers are going the extra mile to help their friends, neighbors and complete strangers learn how to prepare. Books, online tutorials and in person classes are available to teach people the "how to's" of survival once society breaks down.

Hidden "Bug out box"
Hidden "Bug out box" | Source

Life with a prepper

Life is not easy for many of us as it is, let alone thinking about after an apocalypse. We struggle day to day, week to week just to put food on the table and keep the bills paid. Many of us do not really understand just how good we have it right now.

I did not jump onto the prepping bandwagon when it first went mainstream in the media about a decade or so ago. I admit to thinking those folks were a bit...extreme. I have always understood the concept of being prepared for a total societal meltdown, but did not actively participate. I felt that prepping was more or less another fad along with the soaring popularity of vampires and zombies.

Now, I live with a person who has apocalyptic concerns. I decided to try to keep an open mind and actually hear him out. He has shown me documentaries that can be taken a couple of different ways. You could say that they are just trying to cause fear and panic or you could say that they are...extremely...informative and eye opening.

He already has begun his prepping. He has a weapons cache, the start of bug out bags and is working on food and water stores. Of course, as seems to be the rule with most preppers, I will not reveal all of his preparations. The photos in this article are of some of his prepping gear. Together, we have picked out an evacuation location. We are learning about growing our own food and how to make our own purified water and electricity.

Living with a prepper is not always easy. To me, it's like living in the future and to heck with life now. I do not have children to worry about, nor do I have much family left, so the future is not something I really cared to think much about. That is until now.

He has opened my mind to the possibility that something could happen. If it did, what would I do? Could I manage to survive without any type of preparations? So far, we are not doing any type of drills or even weapons practice (knife usage for example). I think he is letting me come to terms with things in my own way before pushing much on me.

I still cannot honestly say that I am a prepper. I will say that I am beginning to see reasons for at least having some knowledge and supplies at the ready. I call him my angel because you never know, some day his prepping might just save my life.

Gas mask hanging from a meat hook
Gas mask hanging from a meat hook | Source

Apocalyptic possibilities

As mentioned earlier, there are several possible ways society could break down. The collapse of the economy could spiral us into another depression that we cannot recover from. A flu pandemic could wipe out half the world population, leaving us without people that do important jobs like farming, truck driving, running utilities and even doctors. An electromagnetic pulse could wipe out electricity and that would make the world grind to a halt.

My own growing concern is an illness of some sort. Whether the common cold, flu, chemical warfare or radiation, illness is something we all deal with in life. Certain illnesses claim lives at alarming rates. The spread of germs is unavoidable, it happens everyday with a handshake or by simply breathing.

You know those zombies that are a smash right now in pop culture? Well...what if a virus/illness really did cause such a terrible thing to happen? Could you stab/hit/shoot your loved ones in the head (for example) if they became infected? Just looking at the words, even now, I still feel a bit silly for thinking about it. However, I know illness can be devastating on many levels.

No matter what the apocalyptic scenario, the outcome would be the same: a fight for survival by the people still standing. Consider this: even the Christian Bible talks about an apocalypse causing the end of the world. Most religions have an apocalyptic scenario. If you aren't particularly religious or spiritual, then just sit down and watch the world news for a few days. It'll scare you to pieces if you are not even somewhat prepared for what you see and hear.

Guide to edible plants
Guide to edible plants | Source

And the winner is...knowledge!

I am not going to try and convince anyone that they should or should not prepare for the possible break down of society. I believe that is a choice each person must make for themselves and their families. What I will say is that it cannot possibly hurt to educate yourself in basic survival.

I do not want to think about chaos and murder or sickness and suffering. I like my life just fine the way it is now. I write because I enjoy it, I sip coffee because I enjoy it. I watch my favorite television shows, I love cooking and baking and holidays. A hot bath is relaxing after a long day. I enjoy playing around on the internet and texting on my cell phone.

My point? Simply this: imagine not being able to do any of those things. Running water, electricity, heat, all gone. No food left in the stores, no hospitals for the sick. No more internet or cell phones. Your best friends are desperate for food and supplies and are threatening you for yours.

Grim and seemingly over dramatic? Maybe, but what harm is there in at least arming yourself with some real life survival skills? As they say, "Knowledge is power".

© 2014 Tammy Cramblett

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    • Tammy Cramblett profile image
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      Tammy Cramblett 3 years ago from United States

      Hi Ana. Thank you! You just never know what can happen. Anything from catastrophic storms to an economic collapse is possible. While it is impossible to prepare for absolutely anything and everything, having knowledge and some supplies can't hurt a bit.

    • Ana Koulouris profile image

      Ana Koulouris 3 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Very interesting. I like that you made it clear you enjoy your life the way it is, but it couldn't hurt to be prepared. Well done.