Sunday, April 24, 2011

End of the world as we know it?

And yet I feel fine....

Again this week, the predictions of doom and gloom abound. Financial collapse, government control, The End Of The World As We Know It is being proclaimed as being at hand. Preppers are urged to ramp up their programs as the need for your bullets, beans and band-aids is right around the corner. Or is it?

Something to remember about the whole prepper/survivalist movement is that by and large, it was and is a movement largely centered in the United States. Somewhat fuelled by the myth of rugged American individuality, it is also partly driven by Cold War sensibilities (few other countries felt as at risk of an apocalyptic war as did the USA) and is mixed in with the unique American fear of their own government. Topped with a sprinkling of homesteader/ self - sufficiency wistfulness, it remains on the whole something of a navel gazing exercise that rarely looks outside the borders of the continental USA.

Most of the major commentators in the field are American, and if you read many of the blogs, it appears that the end of civilization is at hand. This of course is an American-centric view, and most of the bloggers seem to think that the rest of the world will disappear, wait on hold, or collapse right along with the USA. I’m interested to think that a small unstable country of 111 million will go on ‘hold’ and not have an effect on American events in a collapse. Likewise, I find it interesting to think a large, inherently stable country like Canada would necessarily collapse if the US did.

As the events that have occurred since 2008 have proved, we are not necessarily bound to follow the US down the tubes. We have largely weathered the economic storm of the last few years, and in fact have one of the healthier economies around. That doesn’t mean that events south of the border don’t or won’t affect us, as they have and will. Heck, events in Japan are having an effect here.

But remember that the US, Japanese, European situations are not your situation. Your preparations need to be driven by three factors:

1. Your immediate personal situation: By this I mean what risks you face locally, whatever form that those risks may take. Almost all the bad news you see in a day will never have an effect on your life, but an event that is a mere footnote in the news could be a world ending experience for you.

2. Provincial/ Country situation: Here you are looking medium to longer term. Look at the economy, taxes, political scene, energy supply, food and water situations. How are they likely to play out and affect you in the coming months or the next year or two? What are the possible likely consequences?

3. Long view/world view: Finally, you need to try to see long term trends. This is far more difficult, but should inform your decisions on short and medium term matters. Global energy crisis? Political instability? Crop failures? How will these things affect Canada? And how will they affect you?

Remember that in prepping every situation is unique. While world events or events next door are often worrying, they may or may not affect you. Observe, analyze and then make the decisions you need to make based on your situation, not some one else’s. Keep in mind, prepping should reduce your anxiety, and while there are some possible 'black swans ' that we all face (Carrington event, anyone?), every person needs to find the unique solution to fit their situation.


  1. One thing I feel should be mentioned:

    Doing something is generally better than nothing, but doing too much can put enough strain on your budget to cause a personal SHTF period...

    Prep each to their ability and judgement and we will all be better off when the time comes.

  2. I've been noticing the panicky prepping on blogs and message boards lately as well. I think overall Canada is more stable at the moment
    however rising food prices is very real. That is going to be very difficult for people already just getting by or depending on food banks. Many people don't know how to cook inexpensive but healthy meals. Outside of the prepping community I don't hear anyone talking about preparedness or worries about a collapse of any kind.

  3. Travis: Absolutely agree. Even if you think the worst you'll ever face is something like the Quebec ice storm, as you say:" we'll all be better of when the time comes."

    Foxglove: I think the inflation in food prices is very worrying. And the ability to 'scratch' cook is a rare skill these days. Stored food lets you buy on your schedule, not the retailers, and as you point out, being able to do more than microwave a pop tart leave money in your pocket

  4. i am a 46 yr old american looking for a group to become apart of for security and well being,i am preparing myself and and arming my self and have the nessecary supplys to bugg out if anyone can help me or steer me to a group to become apart of please email me at