Survival. Survivalism. Prepper. Different words that can mean the same thing, but each contains a stigma that can be hard to break. So what does it really mean to be prepared for survival? And if you are a prepper, does this mean you are as extreme as the characters you may see on National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers? While the words may evoke visions of people consumed by End of Times scenarios, the reality is much different. In fact, most people will do some sort of prepping. You may have a kit for essential tools and supplies in your vehicle to prepare for potential emergencies while on the road. Or you may have flashlights and candles to be ready for a power outage. In either case, you have prepared some type of survival kit.
As with anything, there will by varying levels of preparedness. One person may choose to only prepare when there is a direct threat of disaster (think images of people buying all the bread and milk when there is a winter storm warning issued). Others are preparing for a global pandemic or disaster and have years of food and supplies stored up. Some may be overly paranoid, and allow prepping to get in the way of their social life. However, despite those who give survival and prepping a bad name, they are actually a imperative skill to have. Most of us live in an area that is prone to some type of disaster. At the minimum, you should have the supplies on hand to deal with the potential disasters for your area. Putting together a kit, such as our basic survival kit, is a good place to start.
How far should you go when prepping, and is it possible to go too far? The answer: It depends on you. Ultimately you are in control of the situations in which you want to be prepared. It takes time, money, and commitment to prepare. If you are just starting out, you should begin with common local disasters in your area. We offer emergency kits for a variety of these potential disasters, such as earthquake kits, tornado kits, wildfire kits, and hurricane kits. These kits are made to get you through 72 hours. You can then move on to preparing for longer term disasters. Most people will understand when you tell them you are prepping for these small-scale local disasters. However, you are likely to get a different reaction if you tell them your are prepping for a wide-scale disaster.
So how can the stigma attached to survival and prepping be broken? It starts with education. Teaching people that knowing how to survive certain disasters and being prepared is not about being paranoid. Help them understand that having a plan and being prepared can save your life and others when the inevitable disaster does occur. The reality is that it is human nature to want to survive, and we all prepare to an extent. It is important to understand that preparing for a disaster does not mean that you believe it is inevitable, guaranteed to happen, or that you must forego all social relationships. Many people buy term life insurance, but do not expect to die in that time. The same can be done with prepping. Start preparing in advance, start preparing for multiple scenarios, and help destroy the stigma that being a prepper equates to being an paranoid extremist.