What’s Driving the Prepper Survivalist Movement?
What’s the Prepper Movement All About Anyway?
The once fringe element of survivalists has gone mainstream and it’s happened right under everyone’s noses for the most part. Being a Prepper isn’t a new idea, there has always been that sort of fringe element out there that has an unusual view of society and some pretty low expectations for how things are going to be in the future. What’s new about the Prepper movement is that with the recent natural disasters, the recession and news of ever increasing government intrusion into the average citizens personal life, the idea that society is headed toward some sort of significant game changing event has gotten more and more traction with regular middle class Americans.
Preppers have gone mainstream and the concept of camouflage wearing, gun toting “backwoods baboons” has fallen by the wayside in spite of how the mainstream media wants to portray them. The Prepper movement is made up largely of upper middle class regular folks. These people are no longer society’s outliers, they’re your co-workers, your colleagues, even that PTA mom at your child’s school. Today’s Preppers are your next door neighbors and they’re quietly preparing for any number of possible eventualities whether you’re aware of it or not.
What’s Behind the Prepper Movement?
It’s a little tough to pinpoint exactly what’s driving the Prepper movement. For some folks it was the widely discussed “end of the world” scenarios that began in the late 90′s and have been repeated several times since then. There have been various cultural phenomenon such as the Christian “Second Coming” belief, the Mayan Calendar predictions of 2012 and the continual threat of significant terrorist attacks. Add to this a general sense of dissatisfaction and mistrust of the government after the real estate crash and economic meltdown of 2008 and an openly divided electorate after the 2008 presidential elections and you have a veritable cornucopia of reasons that could be seen as the driving force of the Prepper movement. Regardless, this is no longer just a crazy idea out there on the fringes of society, it’s become a significant part of our social and cultural awareness.
Are Preppers Crazy or is There a Legitimate Reason For Us To Be Concerned?
Lets face it, doom and gloom predictions about the collapse of society have been around since the dawn of civilization. Whether you choose to get on board with these ideas is just that, a personal choice. There are legitimate reasons to be prepared for a disaster and they don’t all boil down to extreme views of society. The truth is, if you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes the idea of being prepared for a catastrophic event doesn’t really sound all that crazy at all.
Consider two recent catastrophic events, hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. These two events were enormous in scope and demonstrated just how unprepared local and national governments were to respond to a disaster of such magnitude. The fact is that for many people in those areas life has not returned to any sort of pre-disaster normalcy and this is especially jarring when you consider that the Katrina hurricane occurred almost 8 years ago as of this writing.
The biggest selling point of the modern Prepper movement is that some things have become glaringly apparent. First and foremost people have seen first hand that relying on the government or some other organization to provide a safety net in times of disaster is a poor strategy. While the government rescue machine may eventually show up in some fashion, it’s probably not going to be what you need right when you need it. The truth is that even if you’re going to rely on the government safety net you probably still need to be prepared to fend for yourself and your family for awhile until that safety net shows up.
This ultimately is the driving force for the modern Prepper movement. It’s about ensuring that you are prepared for any number of possible eventualities, most of which are natural disasters. Nowadays these are regular, hardworking people who have decided that they don’t necessarily subscribe to the more radical dystopian fantasies that are common in today’s entertainment. They do feel that it’s perfectly reasonable to have a plan and practice putting that plan into action in the event that something goes significantly awry. Modern Preppers carry on with their every day lives just like everyone else but they are secure in the knowledge that if something does happen they are ready at the very least with an escape plan and short term survival strategy that will carry them through until some semblance of order is restored. For many Preppers this is as simple as having a “bug out bag” prepared with vital equipment and supplies capable of lasting at least 72 hours and having a location to assemble at with other like minded people that is safe and secure during an emergency. Modern Preppers typically also have basic medial knowledge, emergency storage and training in the use of firearms and self defense. More advanced Preppers may have skills in animal husbandry and finding and growing their own sources of food in the wild should that become necessary during a prolonged period post-disaster.
The bottom line is, if something disastrous does happen, your family is going to be relying on you for leadership and advice in that situation and who doesn’t want their loved ones to be safe in a bad situation? Regardless of your opinion of Preppers, the Prepper Movement is now heavily ingrained into our society and will be an interesting topic of discussion for years to come. With political upheaval, the threat of global pandemics, and seemingly more frequent pace of natural disasters it’s no surprise that a previously fringe movement has been gaining steady traction and has become more mainstream.