Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.
Today we present the first of a series of articles designed to answer the question… Why Prep? This series was originally written as a single essay solely for the consumption of my parents, my sister and her new husband. In many ways the writing of this essay served as the genesis for this website.
Question: Why Prep…why become more self-reliant?
Answer: Because it’s the only reasonable and logical response to an unknown future and even a cursory study of history.
I came to the conclusion while serving in Iraq that civilization is essentially an idea held in our collective minds. When a certain percentage of any country or region’s residents lose confidence in its institutions (executive, legislative, judicial, bureaucracy, banking/financial, etc.) and common courtesies then there is a radical shift in group and individual behaviors that initiate The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). A side note before we continue, TEOTWAWKI is prepper-speak for dramatic change…this isn’t the ‘end of the world’ but could be a radical shift in how society operates…as in ‘as we know it.’
This dramatic change can take many forms…but one of the factors that these potential changes have in common is the potential rapidity of the change once it begins. As an intelligence officer and student of history I have studied this phenomenon in both contemporary and historical failed states as well as seen the effects firsthand during my travels and deployments. Those of us lucky enough to live in the United States know that we live in a great nation… but thinking that our country is so great that the laws of nature, physics and economics stop at our shores is foolish and shortsighted.
Given enough time, many of the scenarios or perils I explore in Section II of this article become not just possibilities….but eventual probabilities. Will any of these scenarios occur in your lifetime? Some likely will, most probably won’t … but if the choice is between making reasonable preparations and wishful thinking…I chose reasonable preparations. Additionally, your increased self-reliance will serve you and your family well… not only in the event of a natural disaster or major world/societal change but also with the life changing or shattering events that plague individuals and families even in the best of times (job loss, illness, loss of a loved one, victimization by criminals, etc.). I call these individual calamities The End Of The World As You Know It (TEOTWAYKI).
Will your preparations be in vain if nothing happens? Not at all… even if you never use your preps you will reap a number of tangible rewards from your journey towards self-reliance. Two benefits that readily come to mind are the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that you are ready and the example your actions will foster in your children and grandchildren…who may experience a TEOTWAWKI or TEOTWAYKI event…even if you don’t.
The Next installment of Why Prep is here.