Tag Archives: Federal Emergency Management Agency

Billionaire Survivalists? Prepping isn’t just for poor hippies anymore

Preppers are assumed, often, to be paranoid losers. However, contingency plans are smart, not dumb. A lot of smart people think so:


An aerial view of the flooding near downtown N...

An aerial view of the flooding near downtown New Orleans. The Superdome is at center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Disease experts tell us we’re overdue for a devastating world pandemic.


Economics experts tells us we’re no safer from economic collapse than we were in 2008. None of the the banksters who cratered the economy and stole billions went to jail. They’ll do it again. (Can we even afford to bail them out again or next time will the money go to people, not banks? Will we do the smarter thing and do what Iceland did and send the bad guys to jail? I hope so.)


Despite what Exxon tells us, they’re preparing for global climate change disasters, along with the UN, FEMA and the Pentagon.


Climate scientists predict extreme weather patterns will continue.


You don’t have to believe in a zombie apocalypse or become an NRA member to be a prepper. You believe in weather, right? In case you missed it, the destruction of a good chunk of New Jersey happened recently. Much of New Orleans is still a shambles. Expect more trouble as the planet continues to heat up.


Oh, and then there’s a bunch of billionaires who are spending big money to get ready when the poop hits the ceiling fan. Read about that on Salon here.


Only in the mainstream media, it seems, is being prepared for emergencies seen as a paranoid delusion.





To prepare for the end, start with a new beginning

English: Schematic of a deadfall or cage trap....

English: Schematic of a deadfall or cage trap. The schematic was based on a schematic found in the book “SAS Survival Handbook” by John Wiseman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last episode of this season of The Walking Dead captured the problem perfectly: If you’re going to survive, you have to depend on other people and bring them together. The notion of the lone survivor is a dangerous and common fantasy. Preparedness has greater value than toughness. Community will save you and being a loner will kill you.

Sure there are mountain men out there who do survive alone…sort of. The problem with the lone survivor model is first you have to eliminate the psychotics and schizophrenics who are running around in the woods, but not really out of a rational choice they made. Next cut out the people who don’t slip in and out of civilization for supplies and rely on technology (bullets, radios, canned food, MREs, etc.,…). Those animal traps last forever, but unless you’re fashioning a wooden trap, somebody smelted the steel somewhere and at some point you might want to use a little WD40 instead of beaver skin grease.

Who does that leave? That family in Russia who spent generations out in the cold eating bark and didn’t know about World War II. Not optimum for most people. Still think you’re a tough guy? Who’s going to do the hunting and gathering when you twist an ankle or come down with a fever?

I think I’ve established how we need people, but what does emergency preparedness really mean?

Start with yourself: How’s your cardio? Can you change a tire without getting winded? Do you know how to do something useful other people don’t know how to do? One of my favorite post-apocalyptic novels is World Made By Hand. The hero is a musician (so he can provide entertainment) and but he’s most valued as a carpenter. The novel chronicles the conflicts that rise when a community is forced to go it alone, pool resources, trade and adapt to changing times in a world without an oil supply. (Check it out. Lots of interesting ideas in there, including the benefits of an outdoor kitchen when summer heat waves come.)

One of the lessons my family of survivors in This Plague of Days learns too late is that they’re better off working together, not just among themselves but with whoever else is left. Instead of defending just your home, you’ll do better and live longer working collaboratively to defend a neighborhood. The SAS Security Handbook has it right: the young and the very old are good for watching for strangers and dangers. Everyone else is on patrol duty. Instead of spending thousands of dollars fortifying your home to make it safe for a short time, get to know your neighbours, establish a sense of community, get some exercise and develop skills. Become a person of value to your community. When your wood stove burns your house down, you’ll have somewhere to go.

In building a network of friends and allies, you’ll be healthier. One of the predictors of a long and happy life is to be embedded in a caring, compassionate community. When one of those lone survivors shows up looking for supplies and trouble, he’ll be met with a group. And instead of shooting him, maybe he can show why he should be taken in. You don’t build a future out of endless violence. That’s civilization falling, not getting back up.

~ I’ve written eight books. My post-apocalyptic/plague/coming-of-age/Aspergers thriller, This Plague of Days, will be published soon.

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