Monday, August 27, 2012

Two Solitudes

As moderator for the International Preppers Network Forumand the Canadian Preppers Network Forum, I have had the opportunity to interact with preppers from across the country and around the globe.  In fact, I have been so lucky as to have met some of them face to face.  Thy come from all walks of life...professionals, blue collar, farmers, and home makers.  For whatever reason, they all share a common goal; to be prepared to take care of themselves and their families in the face of disaster.  So just what constitutes a disaster?  This question is loaded with opinions as far apart as the sun is to the earth.  For some, it could mean a weather related event...winter storms, tornado, flooding, the list in this category goes on.  For others, the biggest worry is financial issues ranging from job loss to a global economic collapse.  However, I have noticed a sharp increase in the number of preppers that claim to be preparing for a globally destructive event of biblical proportions.  Be it a meteor hitting the earth or a super volcano darkening the sky with ash so thick that all life as we know it would be threatened into extinction, or even perhaps global nuclear war, sending an elite few into underground fallout shelters to await and partake in the rebirth of mankind. 

Now, not being a scientist or even a fortune teller, far be it from me to say weather they are right or wrong in their beliefs.  One thing that is certain is that these two opposing opinions of what one needs to be prepared for is causing a rift in the prepper community.  The less, shall we say, extreme prepper views the other as an over paranoid, conspiracy theorist, hoarding more bullets and beans than actual brain cells.  The more extreme prepper views the other as naive, under prepared, and self doomed to death in the face of the future.

True it is, that once a person begins to prepare for life's littlest emergency, it is easy to get caught up in the "what if's".  What if an earthquake destroys the west coast.  What if a solar flare of unheard of intensity destroys all technology, thus tossing us back in history to the industrial revolution or earlier.  What if an asteroid the size of new york were to slam into the earth causing mass extinction?  What if mankind really is an alien experiment and the aliens come back to "close up the lab"?  OK, admittedly that last one is a bit far out there, but you get the idea!

Recently, and in my opinion in part due to a television show called Doomsday Preppers, a new term has been coined...DOOMERS.  Doomers are the extreme preppers if you will that have prepared for biblical level events that until recently were only thought of for the purpose of science fiction.  Weather or not any television show is responsible for creating such a group is neither answerable by me nor relevant.  It simply exists, and the divide between doomers and preppers is widening.  As a forum moderator and member to many prepper forums, I see almost daily how these two groups of people go at each others' throats at the drop of a hat.  Both side of the spectrum grow more angry with the other daily as they both seem to feel that the whole being prepared movement is threatened in reputation by the other.  Is it perhaps time to divide these groups in order to define the different beliefs that each holds?  Maybe it's time rather to find a way to bring these two groups back together.  Either way, their goals remain the same...protecting themselves and their families from disaster situations.  Be that a hurricane or Armageddon proper.