By Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM
Backwoods Home Magazine
Issue #136 • July/August, 2012
The interesting thing about being a “prepper” is most preppers don’t want anybody to know they are one! No doubt many fear they will be ostracized by friends and neighbors, whose only knowledge of preppers is based on “hit-piece” documentaries spotlighting only the extreme fringe elements of the preparedness movement. This beltway journalism spotlights those few who really do think this country is going to crash at any moment, as they are photographed in their camo outfits with an AK-47 slung over their back. Although there are estimated to be more than 4 million preppers in the United States, the actual number may actually be far higher, as the general public is becoming less and less confident that our government can feed, shelter, and protect them during a real emergency.
I think another reason we may be surrounded by preppers and don’t know it is their fear that if it’s known they have a basement full of emergency supplies, their house will be the first place everyone heads when a disaster does strike. Remember the story about the ant and grasshopper, or Noah’s neighbors when it finally started to rain? Ever see photos of a well-stocked grocery store in a heavily populated area just days after a major power outage? When bad people want what you have, or when normally law-abiding citizens suddenly have young kids to feed and disaster strikes, things can get ugly fast for those without basic food and water. Do you live in the rural country and think these things only happen in a crowded city? Theft of expensive farm equipment is already so common that there are now national serial-number tracing centers just for stolen farm equipment. There are plenty of bad guys to go around, and disasters just bring them out in force no matter where you live.
Over the years I have provided solar power systems for the true survivalists and I really do admire their dedication to living a self-sufficient lifestyle. Although these people may be near the more extreme end of the prepper movement, as they say — just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean someone is not following you!