Prepping Going Mainstream — Is This A Good Thing?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple years, you’ve no doubt noticed prepping has become much more commonplace. The CDC late last year began their Zombie Apocalypse campaign to increase awareness. Books on top of books about survival are selling like hot cakes. Heck, even Chevy got into it with an ad running during the Super Bowl.

While I’m all for educating folks about disaster readiness, I do sometimes wonder if all this increased media focus is a good thing. Back during the run up to Y2K, thousands of people got into the prepping mindset and bought tons of equipment, freeze-dried food, and bottled water. Then, when nothing happened, their interest died. I know several long-time survivalists who made a killing buying up all those goodies from the people who just wanted to get rid of the stuff they didn’t think they needed anymore.

Is the same thing going to happen again at the end of this year? I really don’t know how many people out there truly believe the end of the world is going to happen December 21st. I certainly don’t. But I have to believe there is a large percentage of people out there who are buying up the survival manuals and stocking up on toilet paper now who are going to falter with their preps when nothing major happens at the appointed hour.

My own philosophy about prepping goes something like this. If you are prepared for an end of the world scenario, then you are almost certainly prepared for an event that falls short. By that, I mean if you are truly ready to survive, say, an EMP burst that takes our country back to medieval technology in a heartbeat, then you are probably well prepared to handle a two day power outage due to an ice storm.

With that said though, there are so many potential threats that could be totally life-changing to our society today. EMP, solar flares, New Madrid fault, Yellowstone caldera, nuclear launches, the list goes on. To my way of thinking, it is folly to believe nothing major will ever happen. Might not be in my lifetime, might not happen in my eventual grandchildren’s lifetimes. But history has shown nothing lasts forever, right?

My sincerest hope when it comes to all the media hype about prepping is that at least some of the people who catch the bug now keep with it in the months and years to come, should such time be given to us. Like I’ve said, it is just common sense.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

One thought on “Prepping Going Mainstream — Is This A Good Thing?”

  1. I hope that I two or three three week power outage because of an ice storm is the most that I have to prepare for I wish that volcanoes and earthquakes or wars did not happen.
    Wishing and hopeing is not good planning so I guess I’ll go ahead and keep on preparing for anything that I can think of I hope and wish others do the same but it’s not something I plan on. Have a happy Valentine’s Day see you later

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