What Motivates a Prepper?

So my wife finally asked me the big question. She wanted to know about my return to prepper and survivalist interests. I was studying this stuff as a kid, but kinda let it all go for the last 25 years.

“Why are you doing this?” That was the question. She also asked if it was all based on fear. It wasn’t a hostile question. She just wanted to understand what was driving me.

For a second or two, I questioned my own motivation. Was it fear? Am I afraid of some conspiracy theory-based, fear-mongering, gloom and doom garbage from folks who might have skipped their meds? Well, for a second I thought… Maybe.

That question made me think back over the last year or so, and remember my original reasoning.

The way I see it, I am running with the same motivation that Noah used. Preservation, protection, keeping the family safe from an impending danger.

See if this makes sense…

Imagine your phone rings and you hear your neighbor frantically describing what he believes is a burglar sneaking around your house. What is your first thought?

“This guy is an idiot. I don’t believe anything he says. He’s just trying to trick me.”

Something like that? Maybe you just hang up and flop back down in front of those reruns and wait to see if he was right. I guess if your back door got kicked in and guns waved in your face, you might also think that maybe you should have listened.

A better option would be to ask him if he is sure, what did he see, or which way did he go? Get the facts, analyze the threat, make well-informed decisions about how you are going to get through this.

If your mind gravitates towards the second train of thought, you probably have something or someone to protect. You might also be the kind of man that actually means it when he tells his family that he loves them. The guy who literally values his family over his own life. Heck, you might even get a chance to prove it.

It doesn’t mean that you actually have to run off to the woods and build an ark or log cabin. It means that you do your homework and determine the possibilities. Think about what could be a credible issue and how to avoid a threat to your family.

For those who have been keeping up, we just dealt with the most unusual event in human history… A hurricane in Florida. That never happens. Right?

Seriously. If you watched the news, you saw an exact repeat of what they showed you during the last one. Gas lines, empty grocery stores, traffic jams… All over again. Why? Because even living in a state that practically dares natural disasters to attack daily, most folks here live in complete oblivion until it’s too late.

Knowing that hurricanes hit Florida with ridiculous regularity, they still don’t take the initiative to have an exit strategy or a plan for riding it out.

Noah spent a very long time building that ark. He told folks why he was building it and what he believed was coming. The popular vote said that he was a moron. The general population mocked and ridiculed him. He worked extra hours and made sacrifices to finish his task. You know the story. His family survived while others were lost because they waited until it was too late.

I am not prophesying that our economy will collapse, even though we are around 20 trillion in national debt with a government that has no idea how to stop the bleeding.

I am not declaring that another world war is imminent, even though there are some striking similarities to events leading up to World War Two.

I am also not saying that we are facing a potential blackout from a power grid failure, even though we live with such dependence on electronics that it seems like a prime target.

None of that is what I am saying. I am saying that a wise man watches for impending danger and avoids it. Even something as common as a refrigerator making weird noises should trigger preparation to buy another one, or at least plan for repairs. But even those things tend to be ignored until it happens.

We seem to have a tendency to see the warning signs and still wait for the inevitable without a plan.

I do believe that we are approaching some dramatic events that will affect our way of life substantially. The upcoming elections, the problems with Germany’s Deutsche Bank and it’s potential threat to our banks and stock market, the ongoing issues over terrorism and the never ending wars… They all give me a reason to watch the world around me and remain vigilant against anything that might cause my family to suffer.

We obviously can’t prepare ourselves for every single potential threat, but it only makes sense to gas up the car, grab some extra groceries and some candles as soon as the word hurricane starts being blasted at you.

Don’t ignore every warning. Use some discernment and consider the issues. Prepping can start by paying off debt, building up savings, stocking the pantry and developing some type of defense and exit strategy.

Use a little common sense, mixed with an awareness of local, national and global issues. Keep your family’s best interests as a high priority.

Again, learn to think for yourself. And you might want to start soon.

M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.

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