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What is prepping?

Simply put, a prepper is one who will store food, water, clothing and other essential items (by prepping or preparing) for a disaster.

The stereotypical prepper is one who has a "bomb shelter" in their back yard, filled with dried or canned food, water, etc and would live in it for weeks, months or years. A bomb shelter came about from the fear people had in the 50s and 60s of a nuclear exchange between the US and the then USSR.

All around the world, the unsettled nature of weather, rise in earthquakes and threats of volcanos errupting, would be reason enough, but many people are waking up to the fact that the economy is behing held together tenuously and when it collapses, could cause widespread infrastructure and social devastation. Prepping for disaster is being alert to what problems may come and to minimize its impact.

Types of disasters

Anyone who is alert and willing to observe the problems around them, is acutely aware that disaster could come from any number of sources. Before running off in a panic to prep, it's a good idea to think about what could happen and what the damage may be. It's also a good idea to think about how much prepping is too much and why.

Personal disasters

The most devastating of personal disasters comes in the form of one's home being destroyed through fire, flooding or tornado. If it should happen to one of your neighbours, they would be quite grateful for some clothing, personal hygene items (toothbrush & toothpaste, soap, etc).

Environmental disasters

Environmental disasters can come in many forms. Power outage, lack of water, hurricane, volcano, tornado, etc.

Electrical

An electrical disaster can be as mundane as the following scenario:

An unusually hot summer, widespread across an entire contient can place a burden on the electrical grid beyond its ability to withstand, causing rolling blackouts, spontaneous blackouts, even an overload of the electricial circuit breakers, which in turn forces the power plants to perform an emergency standby or shutdown.

Bottom line, the power goes out. While an over-burdened electrical grid can cause rolling blackouts, spontaneous blackouts can also happen. A good example of a spontaneous blackout occurred in 2003 and power was not restored to some for nearly a week.

Other environmental disasters can be more annoying like the North Americal ice storm of 1998 where some people in rural areas still did not have power restored 3 weeks later.

Which one is worse? Not having power for a week in summer or not having power for three weeks in winter?

It depends how you heat your home in winter. Whether it is natural gas or fuel oil using a central forced air furnace, the power requirements to run it are fairly light compared to some other appliances.

If the power goes out in winter, depending how cold it gets, storing your frozen food in a detached, non-heated garage should be quite sufficient. Refrigeration is a bit more tricky, with its narrow temperature range, but can be accomplished with a thermometer, some vigilence and by swapping out stones from outside, periodically to cool down the refrigerator.

A power outage in the summer can be more of a problem due to the reliance on freezers and refrigerators. One would not have a natural freezer in the summer.

Having a propane powered range suitable for camping can be quite invaluable in such situations.

With the use of a camping stove, having a modest power generator should be sufficient to keep the freezers/refrigerator running when it's warm enough outside or the furance if it's cold enough outside.

Water

Speaking from personal experience, having no electricity is far less stressful than having no water. An unexpected lack of water for many should only be a low concern, as many live in cities are are provided access to water through their municipality.

For those in the country or who have their own well, getting access to clean drinking water can be difficult during a power outage, so getting a portable water purification system, might be a life saving device. Unless polluted, most sources (including creeks, ponds, rivers, etc) could be used in emergencies by boiling the water.

Direct or indirect geopolicial disasters

What could a geopolical disaster look like? Right now Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Iran are major players in a conflict in Syria. Effective Feb 27, 2016 (at the time this is being written, tomorrow), there is a so-called cease-fire planned. Some nations have voiced they don't plan on honoring the cease-fire, but time will tell what happens. For now, it's a "conflict". It could very easily erupt into a bona-fide regional war, if not world war 3. What would happen then? Saudi Arabia is still a signficant contributor of crude oil to the world, so if they are more busy fighting a war than selling oil, that will cause the price of fuel go up, maybe even create a fuel shortage.

What would happen if there is a fuel shortage? Much of the world's food supply relies on gasoline and diesel fuel (big delivery trucks and small delivery trucks). The world has destroyed its food independence and most grocery stores around the world have enough stock and supplies to normally last a few days. Add a sudden fuel shortage and you'll find out quite quickly what it's like to not have tomatos, oranges or salsa for your nachos, or your nachos.

Financial disaster

Most people were not aware of the financial meltdown in 2008 until it already happened. Financial disaster can happen at a moment's notice, leaving anyone truly unprepared. As the 2008 crisis showed, we rely so much on so many others that it is very much like a row of dominos and when a few key industries start to falter or collapse, the ripples will create a wide swath of devastation. It's hard to imagine a crisis in the shoe industry to affect the economy, but if people struggle to buy food (for example, a drought causes the price of food to go up), the few dollars they would otherwise have had would not go towards all the other things like clothes, cellphones, etc, and that could cause a chain reaction.

All around the world, governments have been creating huge deficits in an attempt to stabilize the economy, but it's not working. There is a growing gap between the rich and poor that is only becoming wider and wider, and the economic models simply cannot work. The economy is being held together artificially by adding non-existent money to the system, and like any bubble, when it finally "corrects itself", everything of any value will either become worthless or so expensive that no one could afford it.

A financial disaster could be quite hard to deal with, and prepping a little bit for all contingencies may not be enough for a long drawn out financial collapse.

Civil unrest

Whatever the trigger may be, anyone who is observant can recognize that civil unrest can happen with the slightest provocation these days. Whatever the trigger, whether it is lack of food, lack of electricity, a group who feels they have been wronged, when riots ensue, civil unrest could be dangerous and deadly.

A world out of control

Even more deadly and more dangerous than civil unrest would be a tyrrant who rises to power to "solve a problem" and then stay in that position of power, abusing their authority and creating their vision of an ideal world (which would be nothing but death and hell for most people).

A global disaster can very easily lead to a worldwide tyrrant, which would be a description of the antichrist in the bible. The rise to power of the antichrist will happen and when it does, few will be untouched.

When the antichrist does rise to power, people will be hunted, rounded up, excecuted and/or persecuted. In terms of disasters, having to flee an area with only what you can carry is the worst case scenario, and yet scripture tells us it will happen. This will be a time when people will have to forget about the superbowl,  who has some particular talent, or even what trinkets bring fulfillment to their lives.

Preparing for this type of disaster is as much psychological as it is physical.

Ok, so what to do?

The first things to ask yourself is, "what really is important?", "What is absolutely essential and what is a luxury?" and "what is enough?". Suppose you feel you need to prepare by storing enough dry food for yourself and your family for 2 years, in the event that some undefined disaster strikes and there is no food for weeks. Then what? Hungry people are quite capable of committing some very barbaric acts. When those around you notice you're not getting nearly as thin as they are, your two years food supply will not last as long as you anticipated. You can choose to have pity on others and give your food away, or they may well take it from you by force.

If your house is the only one with lights on after a week without power, you may one day find your generator mysteriously grew legs and walked away.

No matter how much you prepare, when something quite significant happens, your preparation will not be enough.... at least, not in the natural world.

Prepping from the biblical perspective

For an example of common sense preparation, Joseph convinced the pharoah during the 7 years of abundance to save up all the surplus grain and other food supplies for the 7 years of famine that was to come later.

The bible also has many examples of God supernaturally providing. When Jesus offered the two fish and the five loaves of bread in thanks to God the Father, they were supernaturally multiplied to feed 5,000.

There is a very real difference between the natural and the supernatural. In the natural, it is our nature and our desire to hoard everything for ourselves, to be selfish. In the supernatural, God wants us to give freely so it will be given to us. It is such a simple, yet so difficult spiritual lesson, that some don't learn it, most struggle with it and few master it.

There is a very real and palpable feeling of doom looming on the horizon, and many people are beginning to see it. It cannot be an accident or coincidence. Financial, Environmental and geopolitical disasters are all converging, ready to strike simultaneously. No matter how well you prepare, or how well you hide from those around you, it cannot and probably wil not let your ride through it unscathed.

The explanation can only mean that Jesus is about to shake this world and draw as many as He can back to Himself. Every person on earth will be forced to examine their beliefs and choose where they will place their faith. Putting their faith in themselves and their ability to ride out any catastrophe is the pinnacle of pride and pride precedes a fall. Putting their faith in others will also lead to disappointment as it becomes apparent that others cannot truly be relied upon.

Jesus is about to shake this world that whoever turns to Him can learn how much He wants us and how much He wants to supply our needs and to be the only one worthy of our faith.

If we are to trust in Jesus, why prep at all?

The bottom line is this. What we think of as a disaster should really be considered a temporary inconvenience, and there is nothing wrong with preparing for temporary inconveniences. Truly earth shattering disasters that alter human history are beyond anyone's ability to prepare. When something of that magnitiude strikes, it's usually a sudden series of events that quickly spiral out of everyone's control.

At times like that, having a small supply of food and blankets may not seem enough. But, would it not make for a great witnessing tool? Did Jesus not tell Clare du Bois that certain food stores would never empty? That stores would never run out of certain supplies? For those who are left behind and come quickly to trust in the Lord, they can reach out to their neighbours and say "Have this bowl of rice. In the name of my Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, He has supplied for my needs and yours". the Lord provided for His people before, why can't he do so again?

Consider saving up a few weeks worth of rice, peas, beans, oats, various pastas, some canned foods and other basic food items that have months, even years worth of shelf life. As mentioned in the personal disasters above, think about non food items too. a firstaid kit, spare clothes, towels, blankets, toothbrushes, soap, etc.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring. When people are ready and the time is right, miracles will happen.