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The Prepper Thread:

So since tonight is the premiere of the new season of Doomsday Preppers on National Geographic I thought I'd see if anyone here on the wonderful TV Tropes website considered themselves a prepper.

I find that it's an interesting hobby, but some of these "Doomsday Preppers" make my meager stockpile of canned food and ammo look like last week's leftovers. I definitely want to beef up my stock, though, and eventually move on to a dedicated water filtration setup in my house instead of just storing water.

So, anyone here preparing for the end of the world? Or do you just keep a kit in case of a natural disaster?

Note: "Preppers" are self-described individuals who take active steps to prepare for survival in disaster scenarios. The term "survivalist" used to be used until it developed negative connotations as conspiracy theorists and right-wing militia nuts. Preppers may be preparing for the end of the world, or common natural disasters in their regions, or severe emergencies that have wide-reaching effects throughout the country by stockpiling food and water, and oftentimes other equipment such as weapons, survival gear, or barter items.

edited 17th Nov '12 7:07:55 PM by Shepherd

 
 2 Best Of, Sat, 17th Nov '12 10:49:14 AM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
Please add a definition of "prepper" in the OP.
Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
Is that cake frosting?
Not really. I travel around far too much for that to be feasible. And to be honest, I am not terribly concerned with "end of the world" scenarios to begin with (not only I find them unlikely, but in most of them I'd be toast no matter what I do, so why not devote my efforts to things I can control)?

Still, I guess that it would be a good idea to at least take a basic First Aid course and have a simple first aid kit in my home: after all, that could come useful in a variety of circumstances...
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 4 Fighteer, Sat, 17th Nov '12 12:12:02 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I find that the majority of so-called "preppers" are doing so as a political statement, whether overt or implied. After all, if the world isn't going to be plunged into a post-apocalyptic wasteland by some catastrophe, then why stockpile survival gear?

And for the record, I don't mean keeping water, flashlights, batteries, fuel, radios, non-perishable food, etc., handy in the event of an emergency — after all, we just had a major storm disaster on the East Coast that people are still recovering from. Nor do I mean having a storm cellar if you are in tornado country. These are just common sense measures.

But some people just take it way too far, apparently out of a belief that the world is GOING TO END in the immediate future. While there certainly are existential threats facing humanity, averting them is something we need to do together, and hiding out in a bunker in the mountains stocked full of guns and canned beans isn't going to help anyone.
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 5 Barkey, Sat, 17th Nov '12 12:21:43 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I definitely see plenty of people take it too far, though personally, I wouldn't mind having a bunker in my backyard just as an awesome mancave.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Euo will do!
[up]It certainly beats a tool shed. smile
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 7 Drunk Girlfriend, Sat, 17th Nov '12 1:04:30 PM from Castle Geekhaven
Yeah, I don't really see a problem with it. A certain degree is a good idea, and the people that take it way too far are generally harmless kooks.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]Well, unless you're the poor sod who has to deliver their filthy, government-tainted mail. I think there've been a few injuries and deaths from that.

edited 17th Nov '12 1:22:37 PM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 9 Drunk Girlfriend, Sat, 17th Nov '12 1:28:19 PM from Castle Geekhaven
[up] I haven't heard of any, actually.
"I don't know how I do it. I'm like the Mr. Bean of sex." -Drunkscriblerian
 10 Tuefel Hunden IV, Sat, 17th Nov '12 2:06:08 PM from Wandering. Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Watchmen of the Apocalypse
The over the top types are not necessarily harmless. To themselves or to others. Heightened paraoia and distrust of others does bad things for human interactions and mental states. Not to mention heightened stress levels.

Reasonable preperation is good for emergencies and possible disasters. In any end of the world scenario most of these preppers are going to be living on at best borrowed time.

There are quite a few groups, individuals, and companies who stoke their panic to make big bukcks. Some websites actively feed this fear while offering materials for there use.

The most interesting are the vault like bunkers that will "House the best of society with enough food, water, and air to ride out any possible disaster." Or have this kit to keep alive in all cases. Prison Planet for example is notorious for stoking paranoia and at the same time the site is smattered with ads and offerings for "survival goods and necessities"

edited 17th Nov '12 2:06:20 PM by TuefelHundenIV

"Who watches the watchmen?"
Sometimes Preppers get real political, but I think there's no harm in preparing for disaster. I live in tornado alley and I'm aware that the economy could easily take a turn for the worse in my region if not in the country as a whole so I've made it a hobby to "prep".

Really, I think it's mostly an excuse to amass that collection of guns and ammo and military uber elite tactical gear that looks so cool. There are reasons to be prepared for bad situations, I think, and I have a bit of fun doing it.
 
 12 Fighteer, Sat, 17th Nov '12 9:10:01 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
It's only harmless if it does not divert effort that could be used more productively towards other ends. It also tends to reinforce already existing feelings of isolation and paranoia, which at best makes you a grouchy neighbor and at worst turns you into one of those crazy bearded hermits who shoots at mailmen.

Also, those Crazy-Prepared types are always the ones who die in the End of the World as We Know It situations to leave room for The Power of Friendship to save the day.
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
 13 Barkey, Sat, 17th Nov '12 9:22:41 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Yes. Because the power of friendship and stupid mistakes by the protagonists is much more effective than being prepared.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 14 Fighteer, Sat, 17th Nov '12 9:28:37 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
I'm just throwing some humor into the conversation, Barkey.

I associate the "prepper" mentality with the "you can pry my guns from my cold, dead hands" mentality, coupled with a violent distrust of government, which to my mind leads to shit like Waco. You against the Feds = you lose. In the type of world where there is such a void as to imply total societal collapse, a private armory isn't going to solve any problems. It might prolong your inevitable death, I suppose...
Ironically, the pursuit of the definition of happiness does not appear to be a happiness-maximizing behavior.
Preppers represent a wide range of people and concepts and ideas for getting through disastrous situations. I'm not preparing for the end of the world, though I make zombie jokes, nor are many others. In fact, networking and establishing connections with other preppers and encouraging other people to be prepared is something a lot of preppers find to be as essential as storing food. One of the things I like about the show Doomsday Preppers is it shows off preppers as being a diverse sort. Some are weirdos, some just take the hobby to the next level.
 
 16 Barkey, Sat, 17th Nov '12 9:35:36 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
It could certainly aid in the rebuilding of a community, something I wish was occasionally stressed more when prepper types are on the scene in media that talks about such situations.

Then again with the world climate being the way it is in such a setting, I suppose such a level of distrust isn't that unbelievable, it's having that level of distrust before that all happens that is strange.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
I always think of it in terms of Hurricane Katrina. Imagine how much better things would have gone for everyone if more people had been prepared for hard living following the hurricane. So many people wouldn't have been trapped at the Superdome waiting for government aid that took too long to get there. Communities could have banded together to share supplies and aid each other in security until the government stepped in and put things back in order. A good deal of damage done in Katrina was due to a lack of preparedness on the part of the government and the people of New Orleans.

EDIT: As I said, I live in tornado alley, and a few years back a small town nearby was completely decimated by a tornado as was another one in a neighboring state. A lot of people in my city don't think to be prepared until the tornado warning goes out over the airwaves. Stocking up food and water - and guns and ammunition should I find myself needing to provide my own security - is just common sense, I would think, but too few people share that line of thought even in places where they know they are vulnerable to catastrophe.

edited 17th Nov '12 9:42:31 PM by Shepherd

 
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
[up]Of course, that assumes they were preparing well. Preppers, by definition, are amateur survivalists, and that both leaves you open to a lot of dumb mistakes (like preparing for a flood by hiding in your underground bunker) and leaves you less likely to trust the trained professionals in a crisis (because you know what you're doing, and don't need the dumb gub'mint to tell you otherwise).
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
I do have some supplies and equipment, but not for end of the world type stuff. I'm thinking of natural disasters or other smaller scale crises. I've got a BOB ready in case I need to leave my house in a hurry for whatever reason. (aliens, terrorists, extra-dimensional shapeshifters, etc.)

edited 18th Nov '12 3:32:21 AM by Talby

 20 Nohbody, Sun, 18th Nov '12 6:14:12 AM from Somewhere in Dixie Relationship Status: Mu
Just zis guy
When I saw the ad for DP, my first thought was that the featured people are going to be among the first to die if/when the shit goes down.

Not necessarily because of any error on their part, though. By going on the show, they've pretty much announced to everyone "hey, I got stuff you might want in a disaster, and you know roughly where to find me. Please steal my shit." tongue
@Iaculus: That varies from person to person, too. A big reason why Katrina ended up being such a horrible situation was because a whole lot more people stuck around than the government was expecting despite being urged to leave and given means to do so. Keep in mind these were people who were not Preppers, so their mentality was hardly one of amateur survivalist. I would assume that if one expected to survive a common natural disaster threat they would be aware of what they should do to protect their things. I would never store my tornado supplies above ground, for instance.

Anyways, even if all these people had was a Bug-Out Bag to keep them going for a few days then they would have been far better off than they were. Being a Prepper doesn't mean you sit on a pile of food and water and fear the government and think that everyone is out to get you. That's a common, if reasonable, misconception. In reality, we're people who live in or have experienced disaster situations that could have been mitigated if we and others had been prepared. Again; I'm not sitting with my supplies waiting for doomsday, I'm just preparing for the event that I have to keep myself alive either for the short term or the long term.

@Talby: Do you mind sharing what you keep in your BOB? I've been toying with the idea of making a few for myself and my family but I'm not entirely sure what I'd want to put in it aside from food and water.
 
 22 Barkey, Sun, 18th Nov '12 11:00:51 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
When I saw the ad for DP, my first thought was that the featured people are going to be among the first to die if/when the shit goes down.

Not necessarily because of any error on their part, though. By going on the show, they've pretty much announced to everyone "hey, I got stuff you might want in a disaster, and you know roughly where to find me. Please steal my shit." tongue

Assuming people who watch doomsday preppers are taking notes on where all these people live if they are anywhere nearby, and going to remember that if the shit hits the fan, as opposed to being regular non-prepper types watching it for entertainment.

I wish more people would show sane preppers in the media. I mean I don't have anything extreme really. I have a fully stocked backpack in my trunk, which is full of odds and ends that are good for camping/exercises/survival, along with my armor, because I'm a Guardsman. But on top of that I've got two of those palletized things of water bottles, and a duffle bag filled with MRE's, and a shotgun with some ammunition. If I had to abandon the car, I could easily just dial that down to armor, shotgun, fill extra backpack space with as much water and MRE's as I can, and then get out there on foot. That pretty much covers all the real bases of surviving a disaster. With that kit I can survive in the wild for a long time, even if I can't get back to my car, or I can hole up somewhere for a time, or at least have enough food and water to travel to my guard base(which is only maybe a 4 hour walk away, slower if I was worried about danger, but still plenty of rations for several days)

Don't particularly need a bunker or tons of ammunition or any of that. I figure sustenance, a well stocked first aid kit, generic camping gear, and a shotgun with about 50 shells is good enough to deal with whatever I have to deal with.

edited 18th Nov '12 11:06:49 AM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Euo will do!
[up]Warmth: fluffy, vacuum-packed blankets are worth their weight in gold. And, can be used as bandages at need. <shrugs> Basic first-aid kits are also golden.

edited 18th Nov '12 11:02:03 AM by Euodiachloris

"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 24 Barkey, Sun, 18th Nov '12 11:07:49 AM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Yep, got those in the backpack. Also my alaska-grade sleeping back, which pretty much means for california weather I'm covered. I can sleep outside and tuck into that thing in even the coldest season here and not worry about getting exposure or being cold. When I go camping I usually just climb a tree, strap myself and my gear into the top of the tree, and I'm snug as a bug, even if rain hits.

Protip: Extra socks. Always have a package of them.

edited 18th Nov '12 11:08:34 AM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
I have a box of canned food I keep around in case of emergency. I have a few cases of MR Es from the local surplus store. I eat those, though, so I don't really consider it a dedicated prepping item. I have a few odds and ends (first aid kit, flashlights, batteries, tools, bags) that aren't necessarily prepping items but can be kept for that purpose. I also have a growing collection of firearms and ammunition, but that, too, is stuff I would have anyways. Prepping is sometimes an excuse I use to get things I think are cool that I probably wouldn't get anyways, especially when browsing around the military surplus store.

Finding good water storage is hard, though. The dedicated survival stuff is expensive and the cheap options were meant for consumption not storage. That's why I want to set up a water filtration system (probably just a simple charcoal filter) in case an emergency makes fresh water hard to come by.
 
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