The Prepping Community Grows Concerned About the Future

Months of protests, looting, attempts to defund the police, and the growing chasm between the those with socialist/communist leanings and those in favor of capitalism and the free market are causing preppers to worry and to step up their prepping activities.

Riot police in Washington, DC. Photo by Ryan Kosmides on Unsplash.

As a long-time prepper, I have had my finger on the pulse of the survival community long enough to become pretty attuned to things.  I have learned to sense the “buzz” and predict how people will react simply by reading posts in forums, articles and comments on blogs; viewing vlogs, and seeing what people posit on social media.

Right now, I am sensing a level of fear and a desire to prepare that nothing compares to since the weeks after 9/11.

Just to be clear: I believe the prepping community has never been more concerned about the immediate future in the past 18 years than they are today.

For those of you too young to remember, here are some examples of how people panicked:

  • After the World Trade Center was destroyed by commercial aircraft on September 11, 2001, people who worked in other sky scrapers wanted to buy parachutes so that they could jump out of their buildings in the event of a similar emergency.  The fact that they had no experience in the difficult sport of base jumping didn’t even enter their minds; they were simply panicked and grasping for any solution.
  • Similarly, people working in New York City wanted to buy inflatable boats so they could paddle off Manhattan if the tunnels and bridges were closed.  No worries about your boat being swamped by other panic-stricken survivors or of drifting out to sea before you could row across the Hudson.  It was a blind, emotional desire to escape that overwhelmed their otherwise logical minds.
  • After the anthrax scare, which started in October 2001, even though the first letters were mailed on September 18, everyone rushed to buy the antibiotic Cipro and gas masks.

It’s Not that Bad, Yet

The good news is, things aren’t as bad today as they were right after 9/11. 

The bad news is many people fear for our future.  Right now, there are nervous, scared people worried about their individual survival, about survival of our society, and even about the long term viability of our system of government.

In response to this fear, people are prepping, often like they have never prepper before.  They are working hard to put up food, to save money, to buy ammo, and to make arrangements to bug out with friends or family because they want to be prepare for whatever happens.  And while new preppers are being created every day, the mass of humanity will still be caught unaware and unprepared.

Civil Unrest Unsettles Many

I think the widespread civil unrest that has rippled across the nation is the root cause for the fear many are feeling.  It creates a sense of unease that goes beyond the coronavirus.  The idea that protesters could show up in your neighborhood, loot and burn down the stores where you shop, block the road you drive on, and tear down the statue of your town fathers is something that shakes people to their core. 

Protesters shut down a bridge in Portland.  Photo by Toto Texidor on Unsplash.
Protesters in Portland, OR, where protests have been raging for more than 70 days in a row, shut down a bridge. Protesters shut down a bridge in Portland. Photo by Toto Texidor on Unsplash.

For much of America, we look at these young socialists, and we wonder, where did their parents go wrong?  How did their schools fail them?  Why don’t they realize that the free market is the solution, and that nothing worth having is free?  Hard work and American ingenuity used to be what made America a powerhouse on the global stage. How can they turn their backs on that?

Protesters are seen as a threat to our very way of life.  And when the newscasts show young men and women wearing helmets, armed with shields, throwing rocks at the police, and setting fire to buildings, it becomes clear to all but the blindest of mayors that these people are prepared for battle.  And that makes the rest of us want to prepare for battle, either as active participants to defend our way of live, or simply to sit on the sidelines without starving or getting caught up in a battle.

Defund the Police – WTF?

The idea of defunding the police is also a threat to anyone who believes that the rule of law is the only thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy.  Just the threat has been responsible for the sale of millions of guns and a shortage of ammunition that is expected to last at least another year.

The fact that liberal city councils and mayor in some of our largest cities are jumping on this band wagon and cutting budgets, reducing the number of cops, and prohibiting the use of pepper spray, rubber bullets, and other non-lethal responses is astounding to much of America.  It is also causing the rich and middle class to flee the cities, potentially cutting their tax base and reversing the renaissance that many cities have experienced in the past 10 or 15 years.

In response, good cops are retiring or resigning.  And you know what is going to happen to those good cops with five or more years of experience?  Hey are going to get snapped up by the police departments in smaller cities and rural county sheriff departments.  I’ve seen it happen.  I’ve seen a corporal work eight years in a large department and move to a smaller town where he became a lieutenant, got paid more, and had to deal with fewer dangerous situations.

Protesters want to defund the police
Protesters who want to defund the police have probably not given much consideration the unintended consequences of such a move. Photo by Erick Zajac on Unsplash.

In response, good cops are retiring or resigning.  And you know what is going to happen to those good cops with five or more years of experience?  Hey are going to get snapped up by the police departments in smaller cities and rural county sheriff departments.  I’ve seen it happen.  I’ve seen a corporal work eight years in a large department and move to a smaller town where he became a lieutenant, got paid more, and had to deal with fewer dangerous situations.

We need more law enforcement, as liberal cities will quickly learn, much to their chagrin.  Good luck to all the social workers that are going to be hired to “replace” police officers.

The Country is at a Crossroads

The dichotomy between competing values in this country seems to be growing daily.  It’s not just the socialists/communists versus the capitalist.  It’s the rich versus the poor, the working class versus the welfare class, and the self-sufficient vs the dependent.  The “give me more” folk want more, more, more while the folks that work for what they have are getting tired of forking over a chunk of their salary to pay for someone else’s large-screen TV. 

Social media is exacerbating our differences.  It is also making it easier to organize flash mobs and looting sprees.  The majority of social media companies appear to exhibit a bias and censor what many consider to be valid and legitimate views.  Banning a contrarian view does make it go away, it just drives it underground, leaving those left behind to shout into an echo chamber.

The traditional news media is no longer trusted and unbiased, and print media is dying.  There is no Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley speaking to 10 or 20 millions of Americans at once.  Instead we have cable news networks that reach just a couple million. That is costing us social cohesion and eroding the shared values that were once a pillar or America’s strength.

The Future

Most preppers want to be prepared by November because of fear that the election results may result in greater social unrest.

No one can predict the future, but when more and more people start worrying about it, you probably should, too.  Whether you consider it “wisdom of the crowd,” or just common sense, you should probably consider upping your preps. If you have not yet done so. 

The easiest and often cheapest way to prep is to buy dried and canned foods that can keep in your pantry for a couple years.  Even if you can only spend an extra $20 a week, stock up on food that is easy to prepare. Don’t neglect white rice, pasta, beans, potato dishes and other meals you can prepare in a pot of water.  If you have not eaten for a day or two, that 25-cent packet of ramen will taste like a feast!

For more useful info on how to prep before the world as we know it gets knocked askew, check out these articles:

Author: The Pickled Prepper

Pete the Pickled Prepper lives on an isolated homestead on the side of a mountain deep in in rural America. He has been preparing for the end of the world for more than 25 years.