February 23, 2013

The Prepper Paradox

Commenting on the image of "survivalists" and FEMA's own advice for short-term survival, Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds comments, "I think it’s funny that if you do what the government recommends — have several weeks of emergency supplies on hand — you’re a crazy anti-government extremist."

The fact is, "preppers" are a very diverse group. 

You won't learn that from the mainstream media, though.
As far as the mass media are concerned, America's preeminent preppers are the Alabama kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes; Nancy Lanza, whose son raided her gun collection before he carried out the Sandy Hook massacre; and the people who appear on the National Geographic TV show Doomsday Preppers, who might charitably be described as "colorful." Dykes "is described by neighbors as 'very paranoid,' anti-government and possibly a 'Doomsday prepper,'" the New York Daily News reported


YOYO. Remember that acronym. It stands for "You're on your own." I learned it a couple of weeks ago from a woman who works with animal rescuing and sheltering during disasters such as hurricanes and forest fires.

But I had already figured it out. Even when government works, you're on your own for a time. Looking at recent disasters, I would estimate  it takes 24 hours for local government agencies to deploy when they function at peak efficiency. It takes a week or more for the feds to get rolling, and we know what lumbering beasts those agencies are.

Meanwhile, you're on your own.

You want food and water? Store some. You want electricity? Have a generator or maybe solar panels if they will work for you. (I have one solar-powered lantern, that's all.) Have alternate ways to cook, bathe, shit, etc.

And get to know your neighbors.

Jesse Walker, writer of "Stop Demonizing Preppers," writes how his "liberal and feminist" Vermont friend Ceredwyn Alexander joined the volunteer fire department because preparedness requires "learning skills and community involvement . . . not freeze-dried food and razor wire."

Not a bad idea! Want to find an organized, service-oriented, group of people who know how stuff works, who lives where, and have the radios to communicate? If you can handle the job, join the volunteer fire department. (Something like 70 percent of American firefighters are volunteers.) Most departments have some auxiliary roles beyond fire-fighting too.

I cannot speak for all departments, but I suspect that my fellow vollies here are well-armed for the zombie apocalypse as well.


Paul Vertrees said...

Right on, Chas! A great post! It's good to know (and I suspected) that I'm not such a nutcase after all. ;)\

Federico said...

I have always posed that to create the perfect society, something that would make everybody happy from both right and left, they easy thing would be to:

1) draft everybody aged 18 for 12 weeks. No way out. Teach preparedness stuff, such as firs aid, how to drive a car, a motorbike, how to deal with fire, emergencies and whatnot for 12 weeks. After that people choose some service they like (say, army) and spend 4 more weeks training for that.

2) everybody is recalled for 3 weeks a year, one week 'refresher courses', two weeks service in whatever they chose/is needed. After pension age to death people are recalled just for refreshers.

3) people volunteering more of their time will get extra pension/holiday/whatever.

This way you achieve a population where the random person is reasonably ready in case of emergency, able to help others if so needed, and generally more empowered to deal with life. it will also foster a much stronger community. What's not to like?