This Sunday’s Dilbert cartoon shows Dilbert talking to Alice about he concerns about a potential financial meltdown. He’s stocked up on food, water, batteries, flashlights and gold coins. Alice’s preparations is knowing Dilbert’s address and noting his lack of defensive weaponry.
Two things stuck out from that comic. One is that the whole prepper culture has hit high enough common recognition that it’s possible to make a cartoon about it for main stream publication. The second is that if people know about your preps they’ll use force to come and get it.
Dilbert makes two common mistakes. The first is telling Alice, who’s known for using violence to solve her problems. “Must control fist of death!” The second is prepping for a single event: financial meltdown.
Having basic preps is just a good idea. Having the basics of life to sustain you and your family during an emergency is only prudent. It might be a financial meltdown, but is more likely to be a job loss in the family, or a hurricane, flood, or any other disaster, both natural and man made. If you prepare one event and the threat of that event fades, the preps are used up, given away, or sold. That’s why there was such great deals on generators when Y2K fizzled out. The same guy who sold that generator may have been sitting the dark later on during a blackout.
In the real world, most preppers have defensive weaponry. Raiding for supplies is a high risk game. An individual will sooner or later meet someone quicker on the draw. An organized group like a gang stands a better chance, but that only works as long as they can keep their followers supplied and happy. A group big enough and organized enough to do it long term tend to become the government. Where do you think all that Middle Ages royalty came from in the first place?
One of the best survival options may be living in the right community. For example, everyone around me is armed, but I’m not worried about it. They also tend to have more than 3 days of food stored up, and many have gardens. Extended families and good neighbors, make barter and gifts better options. In a community, being able to help each other increases comfort and survival chances for all.
A Mormon friend of mine had an unusual food storage idea. Their religion recommends at least one year’s food supply. His supply was in the form candy canes. After Christmas, candy canes can be had pretty cheap. He knew the rest of the community had stored up on plenty of staples, rice, wheat, and beans. After a few days on that diet, something sweet would be worth plenty in trade goods. He knew his community.
Goes to show you can learn something from the papers -if you read the comics.
Fantasy and Reality
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