I remember when this humble blog first hit the net, in 2012. There was, at the time, an increase in interest in prepping. The show “Doomsday Preppers” capitalized on that interest, and also helped to spur it on. Over the next couple of years, 2013 to 2014, quite a few new prepping blogs had their start. And some other prepping- or survival-themed shows sought an audience. But then interest waned.
I suspect one reason for a surge in prepping for 2012 was the now-discredited claim that December 2012 was the end of the Mayan calendar, and therefore — by a giant leap from one premise to an almost entirely unrelated conclusion — the end of the world. Or the end of days. Or such. Well, that didn’t work out.
I think another factor in the downturn in prepping is how safe people feel. Has there been a major natural disaster recently? How is the economy doing. Do we face any imminent threat of war? When people feel less safe, I speculate, they are more likely to prepare. And when they feel more safe, despite knowing that future disasters are unpredictable, then are less likely to prepare.
Sure, the hardcore preppers keep prepping, little by little, every year. We know that some kind of disaster is inevitable, though we don’t know which disaster or when it will strike. But when things are pretty good, prepping tends not to spread too quickly to the general population.
Will Prepping Comeback?
A few different things could bring prepping back to a new heyday. A substantial natural disaster could be the wakeup call that some people need. I don’t want disasters to happen, but they are inevitable.
Another possibility is an economic disaster. Financial uncertainty can lead people to a desire to prepare, so that they can withstand economic hardship. My opinion is that the U.S. economy is more fragile than ever before. So anything from a recession to another great depression is possible.
The third big event that might wakeup future preppers is war. Not a small war, far away. A major war. If things reach a head with North Korea, a surgical strike won’t do it. It will be a major war. Another possibility is a war in Europe, against Islamic extremists. If they ever stop fighting among themselves and unite, we should worry.
A major SHTF disaster could come out of left field, some very unexpected event, like a solar flare. I know we talk about solar flares from time to time, but so far they haven’t been severe enough to make a dent in our infrastructure. What else? A hacking apocalypse. It could happen. Or what if there were a breakdown in law and order? It wouldn’t take much. Economic problems along with social unrest could overwhelm the justice system.
Sure, I wish that prepping would have a resurgence without anything bad happening first. But that’s too pie-in-the-sky. In the end, I think we won’t see an increase in interest in prepping, unless there’s a major disaster or a major imminent threat.