When Headlines Scream, Remain Calm

Yelling into a microphone
Strident voices sometimes backfire.

I’ve been a prepper for decades. During that period, I’ve followed many of the websites. As YouTube became popular, I’ve followed quite a few YouTube video preppers. I’ve never seen these folks more strident about the dangerous situation we are in and the need to prep than they have been in the last few days.

Here are just a few examples:

Patara Gets Forceful

This is about as forceful as I have seen Patara from “Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara” get with her viewers. She drives home several points about the importance of being prepared, including that while a small garden is better than nothing, it cannot feed you. You can tell she’s worried, for herself and her audience.

Alaskan Prepper Tells it Like it Is

AP points out how it is likely the U.S. will export natural gas, oil, and food while Americans pay more, get cold, and grow hungry. He makes a nice parallel to what happened during the Irish Potato Famine. He also seems angrier than normal.

Warrior Poet Society

Although this is a channel dedicated to guns, tactics, self-defense, and the “Warrior Poet ethos,” John’s producing videos on the top ten items to get “while you still can.” I think it’s telling that non-prepper channels are producing prepper-oriented videos.

Bombarded by Headlines

Even though I also watch beekeeping videos, homesteading videos, some woodworking and building videos, and general outdoor videos, the algorithm keeps showing me new prepping and end-of-the-world videos. I’m tired of titles screaming that “WORLD WAR 3 IS COMING!” and “Buy this before it is outlawed.” I’m not even going to include a video from the Canadian Prepper because he has turned so negative lately.

I’m sure there are times I’ve appeared strident, but I try not to be over the top too often. (Sometimes it is difficult to show restraint when I’m worked up about something.) As our faithful readers know, I’ve been stressing the need to stock up and prep since this blog debuted more than two years ago, but I try to encourage it rather than demand it. When I write an article on an issue, I try to include why this new is important to preppers and some common-sense things you can do to counteract it. I also try to do my part to educate and advise, to help people prep or think about the world with a prepper perspective.

How Often have we Faced the End of the World?

I’ve lived through many disasters that were going to destroy us all, starting with the Cold War and Y2K, yet I’m still here. My parents survived the last inflationary period and still retired in comfort. I think that we, as preppers, have to be careful we don’t overdo or predictions of doom like we’re dime-store preachers looking for a soul to save. Nothing will turn people off to prepping like the aggressive marketing of a disaster that fizzles out. When that happens, we lose credibility.

Maybe we will all die in a blaze of nuclear fire as Russia and the U.S. wipe each other off the map, but I think there is a much bigger chance we’ll see more inflation and food shortages. I also believe the chances of a recession are high, and if you’ve paid attention in past recessions, you know people will lose their jobs, their cars, their houses, and will have to declare bankruptcy and move back in with their parents. Recessions suck. Nuclear war sucks more, but recessions are far more frequent.

Yep, the next couple of years look ugly, but with any luck, they will pass. With some planning and prepping, you’ll make it through with flying colors. That’s the goal of prepping.

Go Easy on Non-Preppers

Except for a very small number of like-minded people, I don’t talk about prepping. When we have company, I close and lock the storeroom. If anyone asks, and no one has, we’ll tell them that’s the utility room. In other words, I don’t proselytize to non-preppers. (I save that for the website). In part, this is because I think deciding to prep should be a personal decision, and in an even greater part because I don’t want people showing up at my place uninvited if there’s a disaster.

Sometimes, I’ll make subtle suggestions and feel people out. I’ll say things like, “Wow, have you seen how much food prices have gone up? I think I’m going to put some chicken in the freezer before this bird flu thing drives up prices even further.” If the other person talks agrees and enthusiastically talks about stocking up, I let them convince me, rather than vice versa.

Be careful who you talk to. I’ve run into plenty of preppers who see it as a competition and want to wow you with their preps. Preppers who talk too much are the last people I want to know about my preps. They’ll blab it to the world.

If you’re trying to get a friend or loved one to prep, gently encourage them to take a small step, like buying some extra pancake mix or canned food at the store. Make prepping sound like common sense – because it is. Don’t embarrass them or put them down because they are not prepping. Most importantly, don’t let the fact that you are prepping and they are not ruin a relationship.

It’s an Ugly World

The list of bad things just seems to get bigger. More murders and shootings. Bigger robberies. Terrorists crossing the Southern border. Rising gas prices. Bird flu spreading to new flocks. Empty shelves at your local store. Supply chain problems. Another wave of COVID-19. I could go on and on.

Don’t let yourself get carried away. Plan, prepare, and then relax. Don’t let the people yelling at you on YouTube or elsewhere, possibly including this blog, get you so worried you can’t enjoy life. Use your common sense. Spend time with people you love, and don’t let the possibility of bad news distract you from the small joys of everyday life.

Prepare, and then rest easy knowing you are in a better position to survive a disaster than 90 percent of the populace.