It’s a common objection to prepping, to point out that one disaster scenario or another, for which we prepare, has not occurred. So if we talk about preparing for economic disaster, due to the budget crisis and debt ceiling, and the problem is resolved by Congress, the objection is that we prepared in vain. And the same thing might be said about preparing for a major hurricane. The year 2013 (so far) has not seen a major hurricane strike the U.S. Many non-preppers will point out this fact, that we prepare for events that don’t occur, as a way of portraying prepping as useless or as a waste of time and money. It seems to them that we were “wrong”. We prepared for a disaster that did not happen.
But the reply from serious preppers is simple and compelling: sooner or later, one disaster or another will occur. No one believes that the U.S. will never again see a major hurricane, or a major snowstorm, or a major earthquake. And most economists continue to warn that the U.S. is headed for eventual economic disaster, if we don’t do something about excess government spending and excess debt. We preppers might seem “wrong” in the short term, in any particular case. But in the long run, in a sense, we cannot be wrong — because eventually some disaster will occur.
Most preparations that we make are not “single disaster” preps. So if I have stored food, in anticipation of an economic disaster that disrupts the food supply, that food is useful if there is a Superstorm Sandy and I can’t get to the supermarket for days or longer. If the power goes out, it does not matter too much why. Lots of different disasters might knock out the power. But many of my preparation will be useful regardless of the reason that the power is out.
On the subject of Superstorm Sandy, I should point out that this blog and many other prepping blogs were following that storm early on, and we were repeating the news media reports that it could become a superstorm. We prepped for a particular disaster, and it did happen. It was a near worst case scenario. So when we anticipate a possible near-term disaster, sometimes it happens in the near term. But that type of disaster will happen, or at least something similar will happen, sooner or later.
I should add that much of the popular opposition to prepping is based on misconceptions. The mass media and certain TV shows (like Doomsday Preppers) have chosen to sensationalize prepping by portraying all preppers as if they were preparing for a literal end of the world scenario, a complete collapse of all society, one step short of a zombie apocalypse. To the contrary, most preppers are taking prudent reasonable moderate steps to prepare for the more likely types of disasters, like storms, power outages, limited disruptions to the food supply, and substantial economic problems short of total economic collapse. Severe disaster scenarios are possible, but less likely.
I have made some preparations for the more severe types of disasters. But most of my efforts focus on the more likely and less severe possibilities.