The concept of ‘prepping’ has been around for a long time. However, with the increasing number of natural disasters and a general sense of insecurity, more and more people are becoming interested in preparing for worst-case scenarios. These people are called doomsday preppers.
Who are Doomsday Preppers?
Doomsday preppers are individuals who believe that there is an imminent danger in the future that could disrupt everyday life as we know it. They prepare themselves by stocking up on food, water, medical supplies, weapons, and building shelters to protect themselves from harm. Preppers can be divided into two categories: those who prepare for economic collapse or natural disasters and those who prepare for major global catastrophes such as nuclear war or pandemics.
Reasons Why People Become Doomsday Preppers
Financial loss due to a job loss or stock market crash can happen to anyone at any time. The Great Recession of 2008 is a glaring example of this kind of event. For many doomsday preppers, preparing for an economic collapse means having sufficient food supplies and bartering goods like cigarettes or alcohol.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires can strike anywhere in the world at any time. Living in areas prone to these kinds of catastrophes makes people more vulnerable to them. In such cases, preppers have everything they need to survive without depending on anyone else.
The fear of terrorism is another reason why some people become preppers. They believe that major attacks like the 9/11 could happen again on a larger scale leading to food shortages and riots among other things.
SHTF (Sh*t Hit The Fan) events are some scenarios that fall under the purview of doomsday prepping. These include bio-terrorism attacks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strikes which can wipe out all technology and infrastructure, war with other nations, pandemics, and others. Preppers who prepare for these events stock up on medical supplies and have a plan to isolate themselves from the rest of the world.
Statistics on Doomsday Preppers
According to a survey carried out by National Geographic in 2012, 28% of Americans know someone who is a doomsday prepper. Furthermore, by 2014, it was estimated that there were at least three million preppers in the United States alone. The popularity of doomsday prepping has spawned reality TV shows like ‘Doomsday Preppers’ which aired on National Geographic Channel from 2011-2014.
Criticism Of Doomsday Preppers
One of the criticisms leveled against doomsday preppers is that they are paranoid and weird. However, as natural disasters continue to ravage parts of America and terrorist attacks intensify worldwide, people are beginning to see the rationale behind being prepared.
Another criticism is that prepping could lead to hoarding which means less supplies available for those who need them during times of crisis. However, most preppers focus on having enough for themselves and their families without forgetting the needs of their neighbors.
Doomsday prepping might appear extreme or paranoid to some people but it’s ultimately about being prepared for whatever comes your way. It’s better to have supplies you don’t need than needing them but not having them. As Hurricane Katrina showed us in 2005, those who were not prepared suffered immensely while those who had taken steps to prepare survived while waiting for help or rescue. Being a doomsday prepper isn’t just about stockpiling food or building bunkers; it’s about being ready when disaster strikes in whatever form it may take.