Rise of the Preppers: Fear of Catastrophe Spawns Resourceful Subculture

The year is 2012.  Not since 2000 has there been a year that has given rise to such a visceral reaction among doomsday prophets, end time enthusiasts and apocalypse panic.  The Mayans say that this is the year when everything comes to a head.  Harold Camping’s followers have set a new date for the end times in 2012.  Many evangelical Christians believe there are signs in the Heavens and in the Earth that are warning of the impending return of Christ.  People everywhere are taking note of our precarious Geo-political climate and our increasingly erratic weather patterns.   From earthquakes to wars and rumors of wars, something is brewing and people are taking notice.

how many xanax can you take a dayIn these uncertain times, a growing number of people are starting to take precautions and make sometimes radical decisions in order to increase their chances of survival in the event of some catastrophic circumstance that would render the populace otherwise helpless.  We saw some of them cropping up in the lead up to Y2K, but the trend is now becoming mainstream.  Churches are urging their parishioners to have adequate rations of bottled water and canned goods.  The CDC has issued a guide on how to save environment essay, which really was just a weird way of telling people to prepare for disaster.  Even Sesame Street has made public service announcements showing kids ambien addiction treatment.

Meet up groups and Craigslist ads across the nation are advertising the banding together of like-minded citizens in their respective communities to form disaster plans and share preparedness ideas.  This increasing trend shows no sign of stopping.  It has launched the dawn of a new era;  and these forward thinking folks are now being called “preppers”.

A couple of years ago, I wrote Surviving the Apocalypse: An Extraordinary Guide.  The idea of the article was to encourage people to have a survival plan in the wake of some sudden calamity.   I broke the piece into four main categories of preparedness that everyone should consider;  Part 1:  Items for your bug-out bag.  Part 2:  Learn a Marketable Skill…Now!  Part 3:  Learn about herbal remedies.  Part 4:  Items to buy now that you’ll be glad you have then.

Most of the material in that article still stands as useful.  It also contains a library of books you can purchase on topics ranging from how to thrive in a hostile post-disaster urban environment to how to successfully build a complete survival garden.  I’d recommend that everyone take a moment to check out the post and perhaps even bookmark it for future reference.

American surivor skills were tested in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

There are many ways that society could collapse.  Some of the most pressing concerns right now involve a complete monetary collapse wherein our economy goes belly up and those without means are forced to fend for themselves, an electromagnetic pulse from the sun or in the form of a weapon could knock out our power grid rendering our creature comforts useless and quickly sending us back to basics, nuclear or biological war that destroys much of our infrastructure and taints our resources or a natural disaster in the form of a mega quake or something similar.

Each of these scenarios presents unique challenges, but the bottom line will be food, water and survival skills.

It should go without saying, but making sure that you and your loved ones are on the same page is vital.  Most disasters don’t give us time to organize our affairs.  The shift from “lights on” to “lights out” will likely be brief if not instantaneous, so making sure that your family and friends have a cohesive strategy will save lots of headache and heartache.  For the really ambitious families and groups, running a few drills wouldn’t hurt.  Everyone should know where their survival bag is, every bag should be full and ready to rock and everyone should know where they’re going.  If the disaster we face ends up being of a magnitude that wipes out much of civilization, survivors will need to “tribe up” in order to carry on.

In Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s classic Rime of the Ancient Mariner he laments, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”  This could easily become reality in the wake of massive devastation.   Water is life and without it we don’t make it.  If municipal supplies are cut off, or if our rivers and streams are tainted it will be those with the fresh water that stand a fighting chance.  Making sure you have an adequate supply of bottled water is smart, but those supplies are finite and if you’re on the move, carrying heavy rations of water won’t be practical.  What you will need is some way to filter contaminated water and make it drinkable.

A portable filtration device is paramount.  In my previous survival post, I indicated that the Berkey Portable Water Purifier Surviving the Apocalypse: An Extraordinary Guide is an excellent choice.  They can be purchased for around $20 and will be a wise investment.  On a larger scale, the HTI water filtration products are top of the line.  They’ve been tested by NASA and were capable of turning urine into drinkable water.  Using forward osmosis filtration, HTI products are already in use by the military and would be able to take the most tainted water supply and create sustainable hydration for you and your family.

If you don’t have access to this type of technology, make sure you know how to use practical and primitive means to filter your water.  I would recommend that you keep one or more of the following items in your bug-out bag:  Iodine (liquid or tablet), chlorine tablets, potassium permanganate, or halazone tablets.  All of these things are readily available at any outdoor supply store.  Add the additive to your water and shake well, then wait a minimum of twenty minutes.  Quick tip:  one or two tablets of iodine can clear up a quart of water.  Go get some.  Click here to learn how to make a primitive but effective water filtration system using items from nature.

A great tip is to learn the location of natural springs in your area. Throughout the U.S. there are areas where undergroud aquifers release their groundwater into pools and streams. This water will be much safer as it comes from below the earth's surface.

A final tip I will share with you is something that came as a surprise to me.  If you’re living off of the land or in an off the grid environment, illnesses are bound to happen.  Aside from the obvious things like disinfectant and bandages, what happens if someone gets sick and requires antibiotics of the prescription variety?  Well, I recently learned that you can obtain perfectly sound penicillin from veterinary medical supply stores without a doctor’s approval.  The penicillin is exactly the same as that which is consumed by humans, you’ll just need to adjust the dosage.  Vet penicillin is commonly sold under the names Combiotic,  Pen-Aqueous, and Penicillin G Procaine Aqueous Suspension.  Read the label and adjust the dosage for your weight.  Learn more about using veterinarian supplies for survival here.

Any steps that you take to further your chances of survival in the wake of disaster are to be commended.  In the not too distant past, people who were into survival skills were scoffed at.  No so anymore as there is a growing sense of something looming around the corner worthy of being prepared for.  Thus, we have the rise of the preppers… are you prepped?

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