Why Prep, Part 2 Historical & Current Examples

Why Prep, Part 2 Historical & Current Examples

Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.

Last week in Why Prep, the Introduction we briefly discussed the fragility of the status quo and clarified that preparedness is not about getting ready for the ‘end of the world’… it’s about building the skills, resources and resilience to endure the transition periods following dramatic financial, environmental, societal or individual life changes.  If you haven’t read the introduction yet, I recommend that you read it before continuing by clicking on the hyperlink near the start of this paragraph..

Today we’re going to take a look at some current and historical situations and events that are/were much more survivable (financial and otherwise) for those that took the time to prepare.  For brevity’s sake I have chosen a small sampling of the historical examples available and have chosen not to include many areas of perpetual warfare (Cyprus, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Palestine/Israel, Northern Ireland, etc.).

Note:  The links included go to articles or preselected internet searches (to make results more timely) in case you’re interested in doing additional reading on that subject.  For convenience, these examples are listed by continent although many of the events/situations spanned multiple continents.



North America:

  • US Civil War & Reconstruction.  Originally started as a battle over states’ rights…does this remind you any recent national dialogs?  While slavery was a central issue for many, the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t issued until two years into the war.
  • Mormon Persecution of the 19th Century.  Can you imagine your entire church denomination having to leave ‘civilization’ and head off into the frontier?
  • Mexico’s current lawlessness.  Kidnapping is now a major national industry
  • Recent Mexico / US Border Drug War making large areas of the U.S. along the border extremely dangerous (even worse south of the border) and some parts of the U.S. even posted as ‘off limits’ to U.S. Citizens
  • Canada’s forced adoption of indigenous children (happened in Australia as well)
  • Forced relocation of U.S. indigenous populations following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  An example of the results was the Trail of Tears.
  • Great Depression & Dust Bowl
  • Gulf Coast immediately following Hurricane Katrina
  • 2010 Haitian Earthquakes and the resulting cholera outbreaks
  • New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812 which were felt up to 350 miles away.  Three earthquakes estimated to be of Magnitude 7.5 or higher.
  • Galveston Hurricane of 1900.  The deadliest hurricane in US history.
  • Hurricane Andrew of 1900.  This is the Category 5 storm that destroyed Homestead Air Force Base, Florida city and parts of Miami.
  • Panama from independence in 1977 to the US invasion in 1988
  • Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919.  A worldwide pandemic which infected 20% of the world’s population and killed 3 to 10% of the world population.  It was especially disturbing that this strain targeted the young and healthy.
  • Hunger and starvation in all of the Northern Hemisphere following the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia…known as The Year Without Summer
  • 2011’s Joplin, Missouri tornado
  • 2012’s Colorado Wildfires
  • Severe Storms, summer and winter
  • The 1859 Carrington Effect, Solar Storm/Coronal Mass Ejection(CME) which if it happened today could return us to the technology of the 1800’s in the blink of an eye.

South America:

Africa & the Middle East:

These United States are an exceptional Republic.  However, American exceptionalism doesn’t make us immune to nature’s fury, mutant microbes, political mismanagement, acts of war, or the laws of economics? Modern society has provided us with wonderful systems to help us live longer, more comfortable lives but the very systems that help us create our wealth also make us incredibly vulnerable and dependent.  We now rely on food and water from hundreds or thousands of miles away, manufacturing and distribution techniques that rely on Just-in-Time inventory (Kanban) systems as well as massive government intervention and debt to protect favored political constituencies.  In fact, our financial system is now so interconnected that we’re in danger from our own automated triggers for buying and selling stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives.

Join Prepography next week for the third part in our series ‘Why Prep’ when we’ll discuss Triggers and Stressors that individually or in combination can create situations as bad or worse than those listed above.

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One Response to “Why Prep, Part 2 Historical & Current Examples”

  1. Christy says:

    Looking forward to the next installment. Very interesting!!!!


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