Because survival is one of the most base instincts that an animal has. Humans are animals, regardless of whether or not you believe that. It is deep within us to want to survive.
Prepping is an insurance policy that you will in fact survive. You buy health insurance, life insurance, auto insurance...why not buy survival insurance? Food, supplies, shelter...these items are your survival insurance. (Thank you HT members for giving me that inspiration!)
Let's not think in terms of TEOTWAWKI, let's think in shorter terms...terms that many beginning preppers can cope with on a comfort scale. Think of an ice storm hitting this winter and wiping out your power supply, slicking the roads so badly that getting out is virtually impossible. You are stuck, in your home, with no hope of rescue for 48 or more hours at the least. Don't think it can happen? My dear friend Ms. Ruth would wholeheartedly disagree as she and her hubby were trapped on their not-so-remote property for a full week last winter. Snowed in and, because they do not live on a county road, at the mercy of Ma Nature because not a soul could get in or out.
Being diabetics, they had health concerns to keep them on their toes. Being older, they had age to give them wisdom. Ms. Ruth is a prepper, though she wouldn't call herself that. But she is. They have backup heating in a wood furnace, food stored in her inability to NOT can any vegetable that doesn't move and entertainment in her sewing and his reading. Prepping does not have to be totally giving over to the dark side and readying yourself for the inevitable.
Baby steps in the form of prepping for simple things like a bad month at work (ie construction, lay offs, etc), weather related issues (ice/snow storms, flooding rains that block your exit routes but don't flood you out, etc) and like me, a mild case of OCD that demands you have extra on hand, just in case.
Worried about taking the plunge? Build yourself up to it. Take your first step by buying an extra week's worth of non-perishables along with your regular grocery purchases (if you can afford this without putting yourself at risk with late bills). Learn to make bread, cook a dinner completely from scratch with what you have on hand (pretend there is no store to run to for whatever you don't have), buy a non-electric heating source as a backup (kerosene is pretty good for this if like us you are in a rental...doubles nicely as a cooking implement) and make sure you have fuel for it. Baby steps.
If you find yourself still unwilling to commit, think of what exactly would happen if you were trapped in your house for a week, snowbound like Ms. Ruth...would you be able to eat? Would you have heat? Would you be able to take care of yourself until help came...if help even knew you needed help?
This is where most preppers get their start. Planning for something little then working up to making sure that they can survive the somethings big. Does this mean that you should run around grabbing up things in a panic? No.
It means that one should seriously consider re-learning how to care for themselves and their family WITHOUT the aid of others. Friends, family and neighbors are wonderful to have but you must remember that they have to take care of themselves as well. Emergency services cannot help everyone in record time...there simply aren't enough hands to go around. Believe me, knowing that you can care for your family and yourself for a week without being able to get out to "civilization" for anything will give a bit of relief to the stress you might be feeling.
Think there is nothing to plan for? There is always something to plan for. Prepping is some folks' way of planning, buying insurance for their own survival in the uncertain future. And things are most certainly uncertain now.
Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul. ~Victor Hugo
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