What would you do if a violent social revolt broke out in your city? Would you know what to do in the event of a nuclear disaster? How would you react if a solar storm broke out and the entire power grid collapsed (including technology)? These situations, which would catch most of us unprepared, are by no means a problem for a very special group of people: the preppers.
Some may still not be aware of the large number of publications focused on the theme of survival in the case of the most varied disasters. On Amazon, for example, you can find up to 300 books on the most incredible disasters and how to deal with them.
Food, bunker construction, psychological preparation… These are all growing themes, but in reality they have been of great interest for many years.
For example, National Geographic in 2012 made a documentary about preppers (individuals or groups of people who prepare daily for the arrival of a catastrophe) that has been very successful.
Even then it was evident how much the fear of a great catastrophe is a constant in the human being. With the only particularity that there are many who make this reality their lifestyle.
The arrival of the pandemic meant that many more people became preppers overnight. Behind this phenomenon, there is a culture and a social movement worthy of analysis.
And you… are you ready for any eventuality?
The prepper phenomenon is not something new. Think, for example, of the anguish experienced worldwide between 1947 and 1991 with the Cold War. The end of the fear of a possible nuclear disaster has given way, in the new millennium, to other concerns.
It can be said that the transition from the Cold War season to the era of modernity took place in the year 2000 or Y2K. And it is in this period that a more sophisticated fe was born.
Preppers have grown in numbers over the past two decades and use new technologies, forums and internet groups to exchange information. In all this time, numerous events have occurred, which have made the list of people prepared for any catastrophe grow more and more. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, fear of climate change and, inevitably, the current pandemic.
Living with the idea that many disasters can occur can make us think that this way of life is more subject to continuous states of anguish. But is not so.
In fact, the simple fact of knowing how to act in adverse situations gives you a greater sense of peace and security.
Who are the preppers?
Preppers lead (at least apparently) a normal life. They study, work, have a family, their hobbies… However, many of them share the fact that they have lived through a more or less complex experience that made them reflect.
Having suffered a natural disaster or having experienced an electrical blackout for hours or days can make them think about how to be prepared if it happens again.
And this is how when looking for information on the web, they can come across the term prepper and everything behind it. It’s like starting a new religion, a survival master, a new way of seeing and conceiving the world. .
Prepper, rational people and far from conspiracy theories
It is likely in imagining how people focused on preparing for a catastrophe could be, the typical lone conspiracy lover might come to mind. None of this:
- Preppers are men and women between the ages of 25 and 45 who enjoy culture, social events and living in urban areas.
- They don’t believe in conspiracy theories.
- In prepper groups and forums it is forbidden to talk about politics.
- They are well aware of the system’s unpreparedness in the face of catastrophes, health, environmental or any other type.
Bradley Garrett, a social geographer at University College Dublin and author of the book Bunker: Building for End Times estimates that there are around 20 million preppers worldwide. And the number is constantly growing.
Desire for security in an era marked by uncertainty
Preppers are well aware of one fact: no one knows how to act 100% in the event of any catastrophe. Of course, we don’t know what kinds of events climate change can cause.
Nor do we know if the future will bring us a new virus or if indeed the disappearance of bees will lead, as many say, to a disaster of epic proportions.
Well, preppers try to prepare for all events in different ways, to reduce uncertainty. And while it is true that we can never know what can happen, developing some action strategies can be of great help.
For example, many of the members of this movement were already in possession of masks to protect against viral agents against a possible pandemic.
How are the preppers prepared?
Some have a bunker. However, most of them, as already mentioned, live in urban centers, where it is not easy to build a construction of such proportions. In general, they prepare for events in the following way:
- They report their status in the forums with the following tag: ready for 4-6 weeks. This statement indicates the amount of food stored and its duration.
- They know which foods to choose to meet basic nutritional needs.
- Many grow their own vegetables.
- They exchange information constantly.
- Most of the preppers are people who have studied: medicine, engineering, physics …
- They psychologically prepare for adversity.
- They learn new skills : water purification techniques, construction of electrical devices without access to the electricity grid, basic medical care, etc.
In conclusion, as surprising as the argument may seem, there is a fact. Disasters are part of our reality, much more than we think. Being prepared is not an excess of alarmism, it is completely normal. The problem, of course, is to make this restlessness a way of life.