Make a New Year’s resolution this year that could end up saving your life or keeping your friends and family safe in the face of disaster: Become a prepper.
Mainstream media and popular culture often portray American preppers as anti-government extremists who are stockpiling guns and freeze-dried foods in anticipation of societal collapse. This mischaracterization of what it means to be prepared could prove to have deadly consequences for many people who don’t want to risk being labeled a fringe wacko and, therefore, refuse to take seriously the benefits of comprehensive disaster preparedness.
While there is a fringe element to the prepper community (as there is with any group), the vast majority of preppers are normal Americans who simply enjoy the security of knowing that they could provide for themselves in the event of a short- or long-term disruption in the conveniences of civil society. That could mean a tornado, snowstorm or other weather event that wipes out power for a long period of time and makes buying food and other basics impossible in some circumstances. Or it could mean economic calamity (a very real possibility given the current state of affairs in Washington) that suspends basic public services most Americans take for granted.
Whatever the scenario, knowing what steps to take to stay fed, protected and relatively comfortable under trying circumstances is responsible and reinforces a basic human survival instinct. If you or someone you know has bought into the media misinformation about what it means to be a prepper, New Year’s would be a great opportunity to look into it for yourself. You may be delighted to learn that not only is it crazy to not pick up some prepping skills, but also that becoming more self-reliant is a rewarding and empowering experience.
Here are a few good places to start learning more about becoming a prepper:
- Personal Liberty’s “On Your Own” section is updated weekly with valuable information related to everything from disaster preparedness to self-defense to cooking. And you don’t need to wait for next week for a fresh survival story, check out the “Survival and Self-sufficiency” archives and brush up on your preparedness skills.
- Also on the Personal Liberty site is a selection of books written by Personal Liberty Media Group Founder Bob Livingston. Livingston’s books — written with the motto “Living independently healthy and wealthy for the rest of your life” in mind — are filled with information that anyone working to become more self-reliant could benefit from. Check out the books and special offers here.
- Founded in 2008, the American Preppers Network provides multiple online resources to help preppers come together and share ideas, techniques and experiences with each other. APN includes self-sufficiency advice that could benefit the most extreme preppers and casual preppers alike.
- YouTube is an excellent resource for preppers who want to learn about becoming more self-sufficient. While you may have to use common sense and wade through a few not-so-good videos, a simple search on the site for “prepper” can yield hundreds of results from Americans doing a valuable public service by sharing what they’ve learned in their pursuits of self-reliance. The everyday Americans putting prepper videos on YouTube are a welcome departure from the outrageous reality show preppers featured on television.
- Personal Liberty contributor Brandon Smith is the founder of the Alternative Market Project, an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for barter and mutual aid. His website is Alt-Market.com.
Don’t make the mistake of believing mainstream media’s portrayal of America’s preppers. Instead, do your own research and get to know some people involved in prepping this year; it might save your life one day.