Over the years I have heard a lot of debates and questions asked towards preppers but there is one question that I have heard above all others.
“What are you preparing for?”
Depending on what crowd you are listening to there will be one of two answers. The first is very general and goes something like, “I prepare for emergencies,” or “bad times.”
The second answer though comes from someone expecting a more specific event and sounds more like, “I am preparing for an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse),” or “a solar flare,” or “a pandemic.”
I was thinking about these two different answers and two different perspectives the other day and for what it is worth, I thought I would add my two cents to this idea of what you are prepping for.
Overview of General Prepping
As I mentioned above, someone who is a general prepper anticipates that something bad can happen and in fact, they do all the time. Every year there are natural disasters, extreme weather, vehicle accidents, job loss, etc.
A general prepper takes all these frequently occurring emergencies and hedges their bets against them by stockpiling basic needs such as water, food, health care supplies, skills, knowledge, and other physical items they consider assets.
There is an emphasis on broad knowledge, skills, and supplies rather than focusing on a singular event and its aftereffects.
This allows the general prepper to be ready for a wide array of outcomes without sacrificing objectivity.
Overview of Specific Prepping
A person who is preparing for a specific event does much of what a general prepper does. They too will have much of their basic needs accounted for but there will be the addition of supplies or knowledge geared towards a very specific event.
Benefits of General Prepping
I will admit that I am a bit bias on this topic because I lean towards general prepping being the better course of action for most people, with one exception.
There is a difference between preparing for a specific event that is frequent versus preparing for one that is not all that common. Let me give you an example.
It makes sense for a person who lives in tornado alley to spend money and time creating an underground bunker/shelter. The threat of a tornado in the area that they live in is high, so using resources to that end makes sense.
On the flip side, creating an underground bunker for other reasons, say to escape roving bands of zombies, doesn’t seem all that logical. Again, I am not saying doing so is wrong, it just may not be the best allocation of resources when you take into account the frequency of an event in your area.
And this is the central theme to why I believe general prepping is more realistic and usable. General prepping deals with events that are highly probable and low to high risk whereas preparing for a specific event is generally high risk and with a low probability.
Even if the probability of the event is low, it certainly doesn’t mean it cannot happen nor is it a threat. Let me give you a personal example regarding an EMP or similar event.
At the time of writing this article, I am by no means prepared for an EMP type of event. If it were to happen right now I would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle, as I think most people would be.
So then, why am I not prepared for it in the least?
In my perspective, and I could be wrong, if an EMP were to occur all the gear that I would need to protect and to continue my current way of life would need to be extensive.
That gear would also depend on other items such as fuel or spare parts that I would need a lot of. I would need years’ worth of everything I would ever need for those tools on hand and they too would need to be protected. Not only would that take up a lot of storage, but it would be a huge expense. Not to mention, being the only person or one of the few people in an area that has power, is going to pose a big security issue.
There are other aspects to an EMP to consider that I will not go into in this article but by using that specific event I hope you start to see where a person could go wrong when focusing on it.
Primarily, less time and money may be spent on retaining basic needs and resources that a person would need to survive long term because they are focused on one particular part of preparations for an event.
This doesn’t just apply to an EMP but other specific events such as a total economic collapse, WWIII, nuclear war, biological threats, Yellowstone Super Volcano, and even alien invasion.
Again, I am not making light of any of these events nor am I suggesting you shouldn’t prepare for any of them in some manner. Some of them have happened in the past and may have a decent probability of happening again.
The unfortunate answer that no likes to hear is that you can’t be prepared for everything, but by focusing on one infrequent event, I feel we lose track of the bigger picture and thus are not as prepared as we could be.
Shelter, water, food, medical needs, ways to defend oneself, and common survival skills and knowledge are the absolute basic necessities one requires to survive almost any emergency or disaster.
The purpose of this article is not to discourage you from preparing for a specific event that you deem as a threat. I genuinely want people to be as prepared as they can be for whatever may come your way.
However, from my experience, I have heard and seen things from people preparing for specific events that I believe to be detrimental to their overall preparations.
I do not want you to get lost in the shuffle of mainstream fear and jump on the bandwagon of trending topics to the point that you lose focus on what is important.
Once your general supplies and knowledge bases are covered, prepare for whatever your heart desires.
Thanks for reading and keep your basic preps ready to go.
What are your thoughts on preparing for specific events versus general and frequent events? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!