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. Animals store things, and humans get insurance, to prepare for hard times. In the volatile world in which we live, maybe the real Whack Jobs aren't those who plan but those who fail to plan. I don't consider myself an extreme prepper but some of my acquaintances consider some of what I do and say "gibberish".

Boy Scout Before Prepper:
I grew up in a very rural area. I was in the cub scouts and boy scouts; in fact, my entire family participated in scouting. The Boy Scout Motto is "Be Prepared" and I have taken that literally. Like most of you, I have experienced unexpected, unpleasant events. Life happens; dangers and joys. But, whatever happens, I prepare to survive the next occurrance with less surprise and panic. My usual post-event response is to prepare so that, if a similar event occurs, I will not be as affected by it the next time. I evaluate what happened, how it played out and what I could have done to deal with it better. Then I plan and acquire what's needed for that event. This process has served me well with power outages, food shortages, water contamination/loss and other, then-unexpected, events.

I really didn't consider the term "prepper" until a friend brought it up in a conversation we were having about solar panels/power. After that conversation, I started to envision, and plan/prep for, scenarios that I haven't yet experienced.

I believe that many who experience an emergency event focus of getting through it but never learn from it. A "prepper-type" person not only learns from the experience but takes action to deal with the "next emergency". I believe I have that prepper thought process because of my family, scouting and rural-life background; things were not readily available to me anytime I needed something. Many times, I needed to think on my feet and create solutions.

I don't consider my emergency preparation activities to be an obsession but a precaution; proactive vs. reactive. 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.

I know some people who tell me they will just come to my house if something happens. I tell them, they better bring some supplies with them and be prepared to work. I know of others that say they will just take from, even kill, others to get what they want. These are people I consider "Whack Jobs". Watch out for, and be ready to defend yourself against, them.

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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Preppers, a Growing Generation of 'Crazy'?
Helping Others to Understand the Need to Prepare