Are "Preppers" Whack Jobs or is the World?

Some are; yes. Enough said? No.

Zealots and extremists exist for every opinion in the world. Outsiders look at these and twirl their finger around their temple to gesture "CraaaZeee". In most cases, it's really a matter of perception, not fact. I don't consider myself an extreme prepper but some of my acquaintances consider some of what I do and say "gibberish".

I grew up in a very rural area. I was in the cub scouts and boy scouts. I love the outdoors and I seek ways to enjoy the outdoors without too much "civilization" creeping in. I lean towards television shows and demonstrations that might enhance my "uncivilized" enjoyment of the outdoors. Naturally, I encounter those who feel there will be a sudden polar shift (north and south poles swapping) in 1-2 years that will cause major earthquakes and weather changes (the last one was 800 million years ago so I guess we're due another one soon :-\), or that a major volcanic eruption will cover the earth and send us back to the ice age or some such other extremes. I don't have a crystal ball and there's no indication they have one. I'm not God and I know, for sure, they aren't. Who am I to say these things are, or aren't, going to happen? Life happens; dangers and joys.

I don't consider my emergency preparation activities to be an obsession but a precaution. To save money and sanity, I try to temper my emergency preparations to things, I consider, a bit more realistic; things that I have witnessed and experienced (like major, long-term, power outages in extreme temperatures) and others that seem, to me, to indicate something is heading down a bad road that could get ugly (just listen/watch the news for any length of time). There have been near-pandemic outbreaks; active shooter situations are not that uncommon and there is always a war somewhere in the world. To think "that won't happen here", and not prepare, seems unrealistic and irresponsible. We have insurance, locks and alarm systems to protect against the obvious. But, those "obvious" threats are not the limits of our risks. People get blind sided all the time by things that weren't that obvious.

Quite honestly, I don't want to survive a major, cataclysmic, earth shattering event but if I have no choice, and I do manage to survive, to what extent will I be prepared? I'm thinking that there is just so much the average person can pack away in storage. After that, and if the emergency lingers, basic survival techniques need to kick in.

Even animals store things to prepare for hard times, whether it's nuts in the ground or fat on the body and FEMA suggests at least 3 days of emergency supplies. Until a disaster, preppers may appear to be whack jobs. After a disaster, they may be considered geniuses. In the volatile world in which we live, maybe the real Whack Jobs aren't those who plan but those who fail to plan.

The nature of a prepper is thinking out of the box and preparing for the unexpected so they may not be easy to shop for. If you have a favorite "whack job" in your life but think they have everything, think again. Chances are they have a lot and asking some probing questions may put them on the defensive but asking them for "advice" on a topic may reveal something they don't have. But two things to consider, when tring to find a gift for them, are (1) their very nature to avoid anything that relies on technology and others and (2) the need to stockpile supplies. Here are a few links that provide some suggestions:
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Helping Others to Understand the Need to Prepare