Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

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Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by propdoc » Tue May 26, 2009 1:03 am

Came across this...maybe we're not all crazy.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090525/ap_ ... rvivalists" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Crisis spurs spike in 'suburban survivalists'" by Gillian Flaccus

SAN DIEGO – Six months ago, Jim Wiseman didn't even have a spare nutrition bar in his kitchen cabinet.

Now, the 54-year-old businessman and father of five has a backup generator, a water filter, a grain mill and a 4-foot-tall pile of emergency food tucked in his home in the expensive San Diego suburb of La Jolla.

Wiseman isn't alone. Emergency supply retailers and military surplus stores nationwide have seen business boom in the past few months as an increasing number of Americans spooked by the economy rush to stock up on gear that was once the domain of hardcore survivalists.

These people snapping up everything from water purification tablets to thermal blankets shatter the survivalist stereotype: they are mostly urban professionals with mortgages, SUVs, solid jobs and a twinge of embarrassment about their newfound hobby.

From teachers to real estate agents, these budding emergency gurus say the dismal economy has made them prepare for financial collapse as if it were an oncoming Category 5 hurricane. They worry about rampant inflation, runs on banks, bare grocery shelves and widespread power failures that could make taps run dry.

For Wiseman, a fire protection contractor, that's meant spending roughly $20,000 since September on survival gear — and trying to persuade others to do the same.

"The UPS guy drops things off and he sees my 4-by-8-by-6-foot pile of food and I say 'What are you doing to prepare, buddy?'" he said. "Because there won't be a thing left on any shelf of any supermarket in the country if people's confidence wavers."

(article continues)
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by the_klenzer » Tue May 26, 2009 1:24 am

Damn, you beat me to posting this. :)

I was going to title it "Stupid survivalist tells whole country who he is, where he lives, and how much food he has" though.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by hatterofmaddness » Tue May 26, 2009 2:12 am

I just read this article. The_klenzer has it correct, guy was pretty forthcoming with his details. I disliked the article using a picture of the guy with his gun collection instead of maybe his food, gear, family. I think there is enough relation with survivalists and guns, maybe it's just me hoping for some real journalism. I was also taken back the monetary numbers the author dropped of what one person spent stocking up, $20,000. They drop a number like $20k worth of kit, and don't have that as a main picture, suck. I liked that the article was written in a tone that doesn't make survivalists out to be total bunker digging paranoids, though they did use the term "bunker" in the article. They did note why some people were getting into preparedness, and the main one stated was the economy, which I found interesting. I would say that if it encourages even a few people to take interest in preparedness, then it's a good article.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by hague720 » Tue May 26, 2009 3:01 am

Its getting more mainstream now because of one reason only ......

Get people worried that there is a "Big One" on the way , and it will generate mo money

Consider the amount of preps stuff that was bought by General Pop in the year preceding Y2K

It will die down after the thermonuclear war with North Korea......... :roll:
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by TheGunslinger » Tue May 26, 2009 3:10 am

Man, dropping 20k on preps in a few months?

And only has a 4 foot pile of food? With 20k, I'd reckon I'd have most of a room completely full. Top to bottom, no worries.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by blueblue » Tue May 26, 2009 3:56 am

Mostly I think small incidents that are personal have greater impact.
Power strikes, storms. droughts, floods, bushfires etc.
Then you go and look up the govt advisory pages and they say stock supplies like...so there's a fair amount of info that is being given that says we expect everyday people to do this.
Job loss is a probability. Making do with less is a probability.
Its hit mainstream.

Some media coverage is probably prodding away at people longterm. But yes, I think you're right about the trend.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by charlie505 » Tue May 26, 2009 8:31 am

TheGunslinger wrote:Man, dropping 20k on preps in a few months?

And only has a 4 foot pile of food? With 20k, I'd reckon I'd have most of a room completely full. Top to bottom, no worries.

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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by TravisM.1 » Tue May 26, 2009 9:30 am

hague720 wrote:Its getting more mainstream now because of one reason only ......

Get people worried that there is a "Big One" on the way , and it will generate mo money.
I'm surprised you haven't gotten a "boo-hoo, people aren't animals" response yet.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by mtnfolk mike » Tue May 26, 2009 9:53 am

that was an intertesting article.... i also think that emergency/survival preperation is getting much more popular....
20k in a few months is a lot of $$$... i still don't understand why he would give his name and where he lives.. if the SHTF folks are going to be busting his door down... also, why would he choose to be pictured with his guns, as apposed to his food cache..
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by Murph » Tue May 26, 2009 10:05 am

Why am I the first to say that I think this is a good thing that more people are getting involved with preparing for taking care of themselves?

I may not agree with how everyone does it, but everyone's situtation and needs are unique.
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by WoG » Tue May 26, 2009 11:20 am

This is such a weird phenomenon. Naturally as a survivalist, you're going to at least be dipping a toe in the isolationist pool. On the other hand, the purpose of communities like this one is to help others become more self-reliant and prepared. We want to tell people about what we have prepared, but we kind of feel weird about telling people around us our details. I think that's ok, as long as we make sure we support people experienced or not that want to learn more. Teach a man to fish and all that...

I think you need to look at the name on the tag to get what survivalism is all about. Your goal is to survive. Ask yourself for every action, every relationship, every situation - will this help me survive? The variable that scares most is people. We can handle power-outages, will be more prepared than most for natural disasters, but people are scary. Desperate, scared, uninformed people do things we can't predict. For this reason you need to be guarded with your relationships with neighbors, strangers, etc. Will spending 20k on gear all at once and going on TV about it help you survive? Maybe. Will the unprepared toolbox a block down from your house remember you were on the internet because of all your gear someday? Without a doubt. I think this part - this unspoken part - is one newcomers don't grasp until later. Showy displays of hoarding and new, visible gear is not a good idea. In a disaster type situation, you don't want to be noticed. You want to fly under the radar - help whoever you can, and protect your family. Survive.

This "ramping up" kind of reminds me of the "Green Movement" - except there isn't governmental fear (at least not directly :) ) fueling and backing this industry.

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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by Kelvar » Tue May 26, 2009 4:45 pm

Overall that was a decent article. I also wish they had shown the guy's food or something instead of his guns because it does tend to reinforce the stereotypes. Guns can be important--if you need them, they're vital. But the picture tends to undermine the text.

Also, I wonder what the effect is of mentioning that someone spent $20,000.00 on preps. I hope unprepared people don't read that and think that's what they would have to do. We all know how expensive this can be, but there are also a lot of things that can be done on the cheap. Like just getting a bottle of water and a couple of extra cans of food or a bag of rice every time you go grocery shopping. I hope folks don't read that and get discouraged.

Oh, and "boo hoo, people aren't animals". Calling people "people" isn't productive, in my opinion. Just because they don't prep doesn't mean they are stupid. Maybe they are just uninformed. Maybe they've never really sat down and thought about what their risks are. Maybe that's where we come in. Try to spread awareness, perhaps?

If only there were some not-for-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of emergency preparedness... :wink:
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by AgentBlack » Tue May 26, 2009 5:46 pm

He checks survivalist Web sites for advice at least once a day and listens to survival podcasts.
ok,which one of you is it?? :lol:
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by spacecase0 » Tue May 26, 2009 6:19 pm

AgentBlack wrote:
He checks survivalist Web sites for advice at least once a day and listens to survival podcasts.
ok,which one of you is it?? :lol:
not me, I give advice...
I passed the point of seeking lots of advice from others years ago...
and "at least once a day", that really does not sound that devoted.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by mantis » Tue May 26, 2009 6:30 pm

Interesting article. One of our local Toronto papers carried it (see link below). The thing that caught my eye were some of the comments at the end of the article. Some of the people commenting are in complete denial of the need to be prepared for a disaster and go to lengths to heap scorn on those who are prepared. Others are equally unprepared but seem to have a sense of entitlement anyway. One in particular (That I responded to - posting as Mantis) seems to be of the view that the government should steal supplies from "evil hoarders" (what he/she really means is those of us who are prepared) and giving them to those who didn't prepare at all. If nothing else, it's a pretty good indicator of the mentality of some people out there.

http://www.thestar.com/article/639973" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This was one of my comments in response to the individual pushing the idea of "community preps" over personal preparedness:
That's an extremely utopian view given some of the comments seen below. It's quite obvious any any "community attempt" would simply not work. There is no need for such a community effort anyway if everyone simply takes personal respoinsibility for themselves and their family. It doesn't require a great deal of money to be well prepared for a disaster. You can construct a basic family emergency kit for very little money and keeping the pantry stocked with extra non-perishables requires only the purchase of an extra can or two per week. Being prepared isn't about hoarding supplies. It is, as I said, about personal responsibility. it's about recognizing that pie-in-the-sky community efforts and government efforts will be ineffective and largely useless in the face of a real disaster. Those who take such personal responsibility are not hoarding, they are simply looking out for the only people that they have any obligation to - themselves and their loved ones.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by Jeriah » Tue May 26, 2009 6:38 pm

I grew up really near there (Mission Beach is just south of La Jolla, both of which are parts of San Diego). The only really constructive thing I have to add is, that guy's got to go pretty far from home to practice with those rifles, like several hours' drive IIRC. I wonder how often he does so.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by shrapnel » Tue May 26, 2009 6:53 pm

mtnfolk mike wrote:that was an intertesting article.... i also think that emergency/survival preperation is getting much more popular....
20k in a few months is a lot of $$$... i still don't understand why he would give his name and where he lives.. if the SHTF folks are going to be busting his door down... also, why would he choose to be pictured with his guns, as apposed to his food cache..
Because he gave his name and location, and doesn't want folks busting down his door should SHTF? :D

But I agree, it seems a little bit silly to give out your information like that. And goddamn, $20,000 on preps? That's more money than I make in a year (poor college student)- yet he's only got a 4 foot pile of food. Maybe it's all very very flat food, or perhaps it's in a very wide pile... :roll:

What the fuck did he spend all that money on? A water filter? I hope it's a hell of a filter. Does he have a water collection system in place for it? San Diego isn't exactly the rainiest place around. A grain mill? Where does he plan on getting the grain for it? Will he grow it in his backyard? Does he have the seeds, fertilizer, and sundry tools needed to grow stuff? I really hope the person who wrote that article just focused on the biggest, sexiest, most expensive preps that guy has, because otherwise, he's likely to be a bit fucked come the apocalypse. "Man, I am so prepared- I've even got a grain mill!" "So, uh, where are we going to get the grain to put into the mill?" "D'OH!"
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by phalanx » Tue May 26, 2009 7:28 pm

WoG wrote:The variable that scares most is people. We can handle power-outages, will be more prepared than most for natural disasters, but people are scary. Desperate, scared, uninformed people do things we can't predict.
This is almost a carbon copy of a conversation I had with my fiance yesterday. We both got into prepping about the same time (we both went vegetarian for a month too, hmm, I'm seeing a pattern...), but I have always placed a nearly equal emphasis on food, gardening, and firearms. She didn't get the "firearms" emphasis until yesterday when said conversation took place, and I pretty much told her what WoG said above. There will be two kinds of people in a PAW: the prepared and the unprepared. The unprepared will be scared, hungry, and keeping their eyes peeled for things that meet their needs. I feel that firearms have their place in any survival situation because of this fact, and this line of thinking made her a little more comfortable with my guns and ammo tucked away.
On topic, I never would have given that interview if I were that prepper. Nothing good came from it but short-lived notoriety.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by herbalpagan » Tue May 26, 2009 7:57 pm

I thought it was a fair article. I hope the press keeps posting stuff like that until the government think we are hiding behind every tree and shrub! Maybe they will finally get scared and run...naw, we couldn't be that lucky!
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by Hatch » Tue May 26, 2009 8:04 pm

TravisM.1 wrote:
hague720 wrote:Its getting more mainstream now because of one reason only ......

Get people worried that there is a "Big One" on the way , and it will generate mo money.
I'm surprised you haven't gotten a "boo-hoo, people aren't animals" response yet.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by FanaticalModerate » Tue May 26, 2009 8:26 pm

well, as a noob, i ought to type in all small caps :) ...but i'm going to say that Wiseman is a hero. hero: someone who does something self-destructive (or at least something that i wouldn't do) that helps the whole unit make it.

I don't know what his motives actually were, but he may have done more for us than we realize, in the long term. By coming out of the bunker, so to speak, he provides a face that may help convince others do a little prepping. ...And we need lots of others to do that prepping... it seems like many threads end up semi-advocating an individualistic form of survival, and a great concern for either begging/whining/lazy non-preppers or armed looters/raiding gangs. Every can of Spam set aside in someone's garage is a step towards being a little less paranoid at the door in a PAW, and I like that.

Articles like this (and in my paper, the picture is him with a handful of grain) may open the door to others and invite them in a little. --but +1 that the 20k will intimidate some people too much-- ...Just as the idea of defending against zombies helps a diverse group of people talk maturely about emergency preparedness. As is frequently mentioned, every little bit helps when starting out.

And again, I hope I don't sound hypocritical... I'll admit: better him than me.
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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by StrangeLove » Tue May 26, 2009 8:42 pm

mantis wrote:Some of the people commenting are in complete denial of the need to be prepared for a disaster and go to lengths to heap scorn on those who are prepared. Others are equally unprepared but seem to have a sense of entitlement anyway. One in particular ... seems to be of the view that the government should steal supplies from "evil hoarders" ... and giving them to those who didn't prepare at all.

Geez. I mean, really. Geez. The number of people without basic common sense is dwindling by the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ant_an ... rasshopper" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by StrangeLove on Tue May 26, 2009 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by WoG » Tue May 26, 2009 8:52 pm

mantis wrote:...If nothing else, it's a pretty good indicator of the mentality of some people out there.
That's an excellent point. We're not even in a disaster mode, and these people are already demonizing "hoarders". That's pretty scary. This kind of justifies my theory on survival. Once a disaster hits, you do not want to stick out. You've got to stay low and blend in. No carrying around an AK, or transferring skids of food around to other BOLs. This means weeks/months/years BEFORE the disaster hits. Minimize risk. Help family and friends, spread knowledge, but be discrete and smart.

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Re: Everyday People Getting on the Survival Wagon

Post by phalanx » Tue May 26, 2009 9:03 pm

WoG wrote:
mantis wrote:...If nothing else, it's a pretty good indicator of the mentality of some people out there.
That's an excellent point. We're not even in a disaster mode, and these people are already demonizing "hoarders". That's pretty scary. This kind of justifies my theory on survival. Once a disaster hits, you do not want to stick out. You've got to stay low and blend in. No carrying around an AK, or transferring skids of food around to other BOLs. This means weeks/months/years BEFORE the disaster hits. Minimize risk. Help family and friends, spread knowledge, but be discrete and smart.
+1

I'm all for my community being prepared, ready for the worst. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let the world know what I have available to me.
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