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Preppers: Now Is Not the Time to Let Your Guard Down

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There are many reasons why people start prepping. For me I had growing sense of the fragility of the social and economic fabric that weaves our daily systems together back in 2005. Call it a gut-check that was caused by impulses I am still not even aware of the source, but I felt an urge to take steps to protect my family. From what? From all manner of normal, everyday events and tragedies that affect people all over the world and have since the beginning of time. Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, famine, disease, war, economic downturn, zombie invasion, pandemic, loss of a job, drought, flood. The list goes on and on but I began a journey back then that continues, almost without ending to this day to be prepared for just about anything that can happen.

Many of my other prepper friends though seem to have hinged their motivation for prepping on a political urgency. Their own reasons for prepping stemmed almost directly from the recent political climate and actions taken by one political party or another. The fear of regulations or rules coming down from an abusive, tyrannical despot drove them to prepare for a loss of rights, confiscation of firearms or riots in the streets. But after one election cycle, the urgency has waned for these preppers. The fear of gun confiscations is gone because one man left office and another woman failed to become his successor.

Now, instead of burning up the comments on many of the more popular prepping blogs out there calling for everyone to take steps now, it seems that so many preppers who were in full swing a year or two ago have relaxed and stopped worrying about the need to prepare. Has this happened to you?

When you stop prepping

Now don’t get me wrong, my urgency to prepare has highs and lows and I have myself gone through periods where I prepare with more vigor than other times. This can be for a lot of reasons. For some preps, I spend a little more money and if the finances aren’t where I’d like them, I scale back. The months before Tax Day usually slow things down in that respect. Other times, when I do have the finances and want to purchase some prepping supplies, I go after it a little more enthusiastically. Sales have a great way of motivating me too.

But the difference is that I have never felt in the entire time I have been prepping, that everything is OK. That I don’t have anything to worry about and all that was wrong in the world has been repaired. Never. Not even once. Perhaps some of that boils down to what I think some of the major problems are and what I am more concerned with. After the basic level of preparedness for life’s curve-balls, my big worry is economic collapse. That to me is the big one to get concerned about because trigger reasons aside, if that happens, we could easily see rioting, disease, mass death, wars, etc.

Additionally, I have been slack in some of my every day preparedness occasionally and I end up smacking myself for letting my diligence slip. For example, we recently completed a trip out-of-state to see family. We didn’t take my vehicle which has a pretty complete vehicle survival kit and a lot of other supplies that would enable us to survive for a good while with nothing else. Instead we had my wife’s vehicle, which is less stocked. Usually, I would move everything over as I packed and make sure we were covered. This time I was lazy and although nothing happened to us on the road, I thought about the lack of supplies the entire trip. Some days I leave the house without my concealed carry weapon and I worry that this will be the day when I find out I needed it. Fortunately, that has never happened.

Now is not the time to let your guard down

These are minor fluctuations that happen to everyone based upon life. I haven’t abandoned my other preps and I will redouble my efforts on my next out-of-town trip so that I am more prepared for whatever life throws my way.

But some people think that just because one person won an election, that the need to prepare is lessened, if not removed altogether. For those people who were prepping solely because of the political environment they saw as a threat, the words coming from the new boss are different, more aligned to what they believe, their own principles and morals – so the urgency has gone away.

Now is not the time to let your guard down

I wrote a post back in 2013 titled Misplaced Hope: The Futility in Picking Sides Politically where I basically said my own personal belief is that it does not matter who is in charge politically in the grand scheme of things. Our government isn’t truly representative anymore and your interests are not placed above the interests of those in power. This doesn’t change really no matter which side is in power so believing that just because one side wins all your problems are solved is folly. Your mileage may vary.

To those preppers who think that now since the last election, our economic issues are over, that government will stop spying on people, that your freedom will increase, that the world as a whole will be a better place and people will start to reason and get along. Those who think we will never have conflict with another country, that our health and prosperity will continue forever… You’ve got to get your head out of the sand. The man behind the podium doesn’t control the economy, the banks do. The Deep State doesn’t care who is in power because they don’t have to answer to anyone and besides, you freely give your privacy away to any one of dozens of companies already.

Prepping is a Marathon, not a sprint

I could go on, but the point I am trying to make is that you shouldn’t stop prepping because your team won the last big game. Things can change and one election doesn’t alter the course of history typically. I maintain, that each of us should keep our heads down, our eyes peeled and continue to prepare. Maybe you spend less time arguing with people on Facebook, but your journey to preparedness shouldn’t stop because you think the reasons you had for prepping have gone away. Elections happen every 4 years and even outside of that, major events happen that change things in ways you could never have imagined. Look at 9/11 and what that did to our view of the world and outlook on many things. Surprises do still happen.

So to all the preppers who stopped and all the new preppers from the other side who are just as worried now as some of us were before November 8th and who are now prepping with an urgency many on this side have lost – don’t let your guard down! We should be prepared for anything. Don’t let what is happening in the media from day-to-day dictate whether or not you are taking steps to protect your family. Look at the larger picture, to history and keep making strides day by day to learn new skills, to set aside food and water, to get in shape and obtain training you could need one day.

Prepping is a Marathon, not a sprint and the race is far from over.

37 Comments

  1. Leftcoastlarry

    February 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Well said. My initial foray into prepping was the early 70’s; inflation, gas lines, a criminal in the White House, Real Estate run amuck, the Savings and Loan debacle. I had bags of silver dimes, I bought a house to stabilize and insure my monthly housing costs, I banked six months living expenses in the bank, we planted a garden and bought food in bulk.

    My current prepper push is no longer driven by national challenges (I now understand that neither Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or Trump can truly harm this country) but by growing global instability; economic, environmental, political, and climatic. The bags of dimes are gone but I do have cash stashes, I have food and water stores (need to institute/increase cistern/grey water storage), multitudinous edge weapons, and my ever present/living in the now attitude – BE PREPARED/SIT TIGHT.

    The simple question is this (especially poignant with The Golden State careening from The End of Life Drought to The Water Is Still Rising!) if the world around you stops and I’m talking specifically about the world that YOU touch and that touches you back; power out, water supplies impacted, shelves empty, ATM empty, your basic “we interrupt this program” kind of stuff.

    12 hours – eat the ice cream, drink the beer, etc.
    48 hours – frig empty, candles gone, “did you ever get that 12 pack of water, the liter size?…WHAT?!@#%
    120 hours (5 days) – “the Franklins gave us a couple cans of stew and a bag of rice.” “Oh good, because the food giveaway was done by the time I got to the front of the line. Thank God the water is finally back on, although they said to treat it for at least 3 days. It looks ok to me.”
    2 weeks – “I’m sorry I just can’t seem to keep anything down.”
    1 month – local LEO, “we found two deceased, one within the last 24 hours, the other looks like a week or so. Looters have been through it already, looks like 2 to 3 days ago. Yeah pockets turned inside out, the whole deal. Do you want me to wait for the coroner…ok, see you then.”

    I won’t seem real, until your right in the middle of it. Then you’re surrounded.

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Thanks for reading and your thoughts @disqus_uoO4nNTXDY:disqus !

    • EgbertThrockmorton1

      February 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Sitting tight is an excellent idea.

  2. Bill

    February 25, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Pat Henry; So true. Just when we begin to feel comfortable is when the wheels come off.. We still have Iran N Korea, ISIS. Its the same players we had before Pres Trump. Keep your powder dry!!!

    • paul crosley

      February 25, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      True. We also still have Fukushima pumping out incredible amounts of radiation. China and the US are in a pissing match over the Spratly Islands.
      Republicrats and Demopublicans are 2 sides of the same coin. Puppets of the Deep State.

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:52 am

      Those are the things I keep an eye on Bill. Local/National Politics seems to be window dressing. The really scary stuff is behind the curtains and we don’t want to look at that. There are so many other forces at work here that need to be considered.

  3. JD

    February 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Great article Pat, right on the money. I agree when you mentioned how at certain times you tend to prepare with more vigor than others. I’ve slowed in terms of buying food and supplies as I’ve pretty well got those areas covered. For me, I feel the biggest possible shtf problem Iots of us may have to face could be an isis attack or some type of attack on a soft target. Now, I’m a training junkie to begin with, but these days, my focus is laser like in terms of practicing of some sort everyday, concealed carry every time I leave the house with 2 spare mags on the belt. I refuse to enjoy doing things with my family like going out to a nice dinner or to the movies etc. I’ll be damned if something happened and I was in no position to do anything to protect my family or myself. Folks, if you have a concealed carry permit or your state allows constitutional carry, carry your weapon. And just as important, have the skill to be able to run that weapon to its full potential.

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:55 am

      Thanks so much @disqus_JFofwvftK7:disqus ! Training is something I don’t think anyone can ever have enough of. I know I need more and I am going out this weekend with the family to get additional training and practice.

  4. Linda S

    February 25, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Good article. Because of an unexpected move last summer I had to borrow money. Now until that is paid back (June).So money is tight & we’ve been living off our preps. It pains me to see my food supply diminish, the freezer empty, etc. but this is my own personal shtf & I’m thankful I have the stores to do it. Thanks for the pep talk – I’m looking forward to gardening season.

    • Vhm

      February 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Good training Linda! We never know what comes ahead of us.All difficulty comes for a reason.

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Thank you for reading Linda! I know what you mean about using your stores, but I am thankful you had them to use. Hopefully you will have a bumper crop this year and can replenish.

  5. Jeremy

    February 26, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Superb article, and well said. On a personal note, I especially agree with the sentiment regarding who/what party is in power. To quote a line I heard once on TV, “It’s the same dance, it’s just a different tune.” I believe sometimes that it’s so easy to get caught up in the “us vs. them” mentality of politics that we do forget that our government hasn’t been truly representative in a very long time.

    I also appreciated the candor about growing lazy, for want of a better term, in your prepping, as that is something I struggle with myself and am endeavoring to overcome. Thank you for that honesty!

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Thank you very much @disqus_Wzrc3wDyy8:disqus! We all need encouragement, even me and that’s what this site strives to do every day. I don’t mind sharing my mistakes – made more than a few as that can help someone else out.

  6. The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

    February 26, 2017 at 7:46 am

    A good and timely article!
    In many ways I’m actually MORE concerned now than I was before the recent election. We have the left coast loonies talking succession, we have elected officials stating in open forum that they will ignore the law as written, we have off the reservation intelligence agencies openly conspiring to destroy a duly elected President, on and on..
    The powers that be Want a Balkanized USA – smaller units are much easier to manipulate and/or conquer.
    Truth be told I think a Carrington event could actually be the best thing that could happen vs the “limited” nuclear exchange some of the talking heads are babbling about today…

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Thank you @disqus_WFMElcgytp:disqus. I am right there with you about the threat level. It isn’t going away in my mind, only moving closer to some event that will set the wheels in motion.

    • EgbertThrockmorton1

      February 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      DCDV!
      Excellent analysis and analogy. Balkanizing us all, is precisely what my wife and I think is the real endgame from the political pimps in office actually is.

  7. The Blue Angel

    February 26, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Awesome article Pat. Before the election, I focused on guns and ammo. While since still accumulating, I have switched gears to an extent and focused on med supplies, food storage, etc. I also got a Mavic Pro drone for forward surveillance to uncover pockets of civil unrest. I may write an article on how the Mavic is by far the best prepper drone in the market. Bottom line is that the election has allowed me to be more well rounded as a prepper. Regards. Blue Angel

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 7:01 am

      Much appreciated @disqus_lw4l00j7Al:disqus! I’d love to have some articles about drones as I am considering a purchase for myself. They would make an awesome recon vehicle that could give you a huge edge.

    • JD

      February 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Thanks for sharing about the Mavic Pro. I have been wanting a drone and that thing looks awesome! I really like how it folds up compact and even the controller looks great. That model seems to be everything I want in a drone. Hopefully this summer I’ll have one!

      • The Blue Angel

        February 28, 2017 at 11:13 am

        JD, look for an article in the next few weeks. I am in the process of writing it. The Mavic continues to impress me with its capabilities. Regards The Blue Angel

  8. Bolofia

    February 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    A well presented and thoughtful article. I agree completely that “everything isn’t okay,” and that Preppers shouldn’t go into cruise control mode just because there is a new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    It is certainly true that our prepping energy and resources vary over time, regardless of what’s happening in Washington or elsewhere, but there is always something that we can be doing to advance our knowledge or skill set, even if we cut back on the acquisition of supplies or gear for a period of time. There is a wealth of information available at our fingertips, and it’s free to anyone if they just have the curiosity. Whether you want to learn more about a particular firearm, the comparative ballistics of two rifle calibers, or how to recondition a cast iron skillet, Preppers can (and should) remain engaged every day. Stay sharp!

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Thank you @Bolofia:disqus! Just had to recondition a cast iron skillet a few weeks back. We keep it in the back of the cabinet and somehow water had gotten inside – probably from a dish not dried well enough (or at all) that was placed on top. The inside of the skillet was covered in rust. Just a little steel wool and some oil and a trip to the stove and it’s as good as new. Not one of the more glamorous subjects I know, but when you don’t have the option to go purchase a new object anymore, we all need to know (and practice) making what we have last.

      • NRP

        February 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

        @ Pat Henry

        Interesting you & Bolofia mention Cast Iron and reconditioning of such.

        I personally would rather have a full set of Cast than most any other cookware.

        -The stuff is 99% bullet proof, meaning you can’t destroy it.
        -It cooks a LOT more even that this new fandangle Super-Aluminum.
        -YA can toss it right into the campfire and cook on it, without melting it.
        -It cleans up vary easily, if ya know how
        -You can “recondition it, try to put a new surface on the new “stuff”
        -It’s very hard to scrape off and eat the Teflon Coating.
        -On and ON

        I don’t care much for the newer Lodge Cast Iron, it’s wayyyy to rough, but give me a 100 year old frying pan and I can do magic with it ….HAHAHA

        Just some food for thought.
        NRP

        • EgbertThrockmorton1

          February 27, 2017 at 4:26 pm

          We are huge fans of cast iron, with one exception…..as toilet seats!
          Very cold in the winter. And in the summer….fuggettaboutit.

      • The Deplorable Cruella DeVille

        February 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

        I love cast iron, even more so than my wife’s super-duper All-Clad stuff.

        But the base subject there; fixing what you have vs buying new. I will always try to fix or create instead of purchasing some over-engineered cheapo junk if I can. Example: My air compressor died. I tracked it down to a burned winding in the motor itself. A nick or some such in a single strand of the stator winding had opened up. So silver solder it back together, paint it with motor varnish, and it’s good to go for a another ten years. I hope.
        Not everyone can fix an electric motor, nor a gas or diesel either. But try to learn new skills while you have the time.

  9. NRP

    February 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I don’t comment on this Blog much, mainly because if ya say the wrong thing you get blasted fairly hard, and who needs that added to the rest of the “stuff” going on ???
    BUT, This is a particular good article, so I though I’d just kinda tough it up some and say so….
    For anyone that happens to think TSHTF will not occur magically because Trump is the new President/Commander and Chief ya had best get back on your medications…. FAST.
    Never stop preparing, it’s important.
    NRP

    • Robert black

      February 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      I agree 100%. I started prepping in the 80’s when I knew Ragan was a war hawk idiot. (seems weak now) Nothing changed through Obama. Take guns, UN takes control, Economic collapse with a democrat in charge, EU will flip to soviet model… All lies and BS fears. Now we have a total idiot in charge with a shadow government behind Bannon. Your preps and skills need to be as up to date as ever!! And in 4 years we change the TV rich moron/lier for a bearded socialist we’re still 20+ trillion in the hole and more hated around the world then ever. All Trump can do with his nationalist/populist is dig us further in the ditch (military outhouse) than we are now and make us less safe with his muslim ban. I prep to survive Ragan and Bush,…. Clinton and Obama and now the greatest threat we have ever seen.

    • Pat Henry

      February 27, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Thank you very much NRP! Hopefully you know your comments are always welcome here.

  10. Thomas Paine in the butt

    February 27, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Testify!

    I started prepping, without knowing what prepping was, literally a few weeks before losing my job which was right before the economy went in the toilet in ’08.

    There have been times when I haven’t had resources to the “stuff” side of prepping, now is one of those times. To throw myself under the bus, in the past I haven’t always used times like these to develop skills over stuff. Now, I’m taking as many free courses as time will allow. I know FEMA is the equivalent of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, insert despot here all rolled into a cuddly T-Rex suit. But why not use the courses they offer, and your taxes paid for.

    We should pay attention to what the knuckleheads in government are doing. Don’t let “your people” being in charge fool you. They’re still knuckleheads.

  11. EgbertThrockmorton1

    February 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    My wife and I recently “celebrated” our 40th wedding anniversary, by increasing our bulk purchases from Costco, (dog food for the four legged alarm systems (plural), and a sumptuous dinner at In-N- Out. We have simple tastes, in my case quite simple and very basic,but, we feel blessed we can still help our adult children and their families prep even more efficiently, through the “Gifts of Preparedness”, we give for Christmas and for every birthday. We try to be the “fun grandparents”, while maintaining a sense of realism about what we strongly feel/know is coming to all of us in history Republic.
    I don’t like not being able to sleep from “worrying” about things I cannot control, massive market crashes, Carrington or EMP events, Mother Nature and her “events”, terrorism(man made disasters-caused by terrorists or our idiot politicians), and all of the things we are told to concern ourselves with.
    Love this site, and enjoy reading all of the posts here regularly.
    We are trying in earnest to go completely “grey” for anonymity, and personal safety as we get “more experienced”.
    As with all of history, things are fixin’ to git interestin’….

  12. christopher

    February 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

    My take… i find when things are calm, this is the BEST time to prep. Prices are low, equipment is avaliable, and companies are competing with each other for your business and dropping prices. As a prepper,( just like being in military) you cant be on Red alert 24hrs a day and 7 days a week. we all need down time. That isnt saying you need to forget about prepping, but its pushed to the back burner. If your new starting out, this is time you want to gear up when things are calm. if you have been prepping a while, you can slow down a bit and not burn yourself out. we are humans and not machines, we still have to live our lives and be happy. nothing may happen for 10 years or you could have a earthquake, flood or nuclear meltdown at a nuclear power plant near you tommorrow.. step by step and you will build up your supplies.. keep your goals and punchlist handy and knock them out when you can!

  13. Nailbanger

    March 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Good piece, thank you,
    NOTHING has changed, the government is not our friend period, everything is still screwed up, the slide continues,
    Who is John Galt!

  14. Wendy Kaubisch

    March 3, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I certainly didn’t become a Prepper because of one party or other in power. I became one because I looked at our society’s dependence on the huge mechanism of technology and little self dependence of simply basics: shelter, food, water. Too many of today’s basics to even adequately list(here’s a start): heat, cooking, transportation,education, . . .I grew up knowing how to butcher meat, grow our food, right? But I still had the Niceties enabled by electricity. If shtf, lack of electricity will bring our nation to its knees in a hurry. So, that’s what I prep for!

  15. Huples

    March 5, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Almost no nation state anymore is a democracy. War or banking collapse will be used to support the elites as and when they feel like it so right on Pat.
    From a lefty view some of the right thinking that Trump is their saviour is almost, but not quite, as insane as those nutters on the left who liked Clinton and support immigration by the unskilled.
    The world is literally mad and near eight billion people. Clearly something horrible has to happen. I’m prepping harder now Trump is in. He’s a useful idiot to distract the masses and be blamed when it gets messy

    • Pat Henry

      March 5, 2017 at 9:00 am

      I have similar thoughts Huples, thanks for reading.

  16. Efficient Pilgrim

    March 6, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I agree that the left wing and the right wing are attached to the same dirty bird. Had one of the other Republican candidates been elected, it would be business as usual. This guy is different, he’s a threat to the elite rulers AND the Weebee’s (we be here today, we be here tomorrow). The bureacracy feeds and protects itself and every so often sprouts new branches like the EPA and DEA under NIxon, Dept of Ed under Carter, Dept of Vetran’s Affairs under Reagan, CHIP under Clinton, DHS under Bush2 …

    Then you have the poor elitists (on both sides) who can’t help but expose themselves in their panic. Is it just loss of power, money, or is it the possibility of jail time? I have been aware of the division in the ranks at all levels since listening to G. Gordon Liddy on talk radio back in the mid-90’s. Watch the elections in the European countries and tell me there’s not more than one wheel coming off this One World Wagon. The big question is … Will someone at the top do something outlandish to maintain power? Maybe the better question is will it be war or the economy?

    Christopher said, “My take… i find when things are calm, this is the BEST time to prep. Prices are low, equipment is avaliable, and companies are competing with
    each other for your business and dropping prices.” This is absolutely the case! Gun dealers stocked up expecting HRC to wil the election and now those anticipated customers are throwing money at the stock market and singing “good times are here again”. Firearms and ammo are on sale all across the country.

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