How to Prep Without Being a Prepper

Carried over from the discussion about the underground bunker, I’ve created this thread to talk about disaster preparedness in general, and specifically about any increased realistic or unrealistic threats to safety that result from the election of DJ Trump.

So to kick things off, answer one or more of the following questions;
What domestic (US) civilization threatening disaster is more likely to happen now? Nuclear? Biological? Financial? Natural/Environmental? Or…?
What disaster are you preparing for?
What’s your disaster kit or plan consist of?


Well living in an area where there may be a big ass earthquake we have a basic red cross bag with foodbars, first aid kit, blankets etc. It is a big heavy beast but is supposed to last the few days you may need before things get organized.


Ice storm and flood are the most likely to hit me where I am- I live on a marsh in New England. I am worried about a financial collapse or biological threat- but those drift further into “underground bunker” level stuff.

So realistically, I need to prep for either being trapped in the house or not being able to return to the house for a week or so, and to be able to survive if my car goes off the road and I’m not found for a couple days.

I have a car kit, and I am assembling a bugout bag. For sheltering in place, I’m not so sure how well prepared I am, except that I have a week’s worth of canned/dry goods, and a roommate that was an Army Ranger for 22 years, so I’m wagering that would help.

Car Kit:

  • Good, solid outdoor knife (the Morankniv), leatherman tool, a couple lighters, duct tape, rope.
  • Military surplus sleeping bag rated to -50 below, wool socks, gloves, and polar fleece shirt.
  • Rain poncho, small retail first aid kit, handheld flashlight with a hand crank, radio, compass, and usb charger.
  • A couple of these Indian MRE things and rice that I actually keep on hand to bring for when I forget my lunch at work (the meals are $2.50 each at the Indian grocery, and rice is $1.50 each at supermarket), some granola bars, and two 1.5 liter bottles of spring water.

Also, and this is key, I know how to survive in the woods in New England, even during winter. Drop me in the New Mexico desert or Florida swamp and I’d probably be dead in a day and a half, but on my home turf, with the outdoors experience I have, I trust myself to survive for a week with a knife, lighter, and a bit of string.

I’ll post about the bugout bag when I have more time.


I’d reevaluate that situation. In case of emergency, that guy will probably eat you. Possibly before he eats your week’s worth of canned good.


As another person in an earthquake zone, I have emergency supplies (food, water, toiletries, camping gear, extra ammo, etc.) that I check on and replace on a quarterly basis. I’m considering expanding the scope of what’s on hand, though, considering the current situation.


The Chana Masala variety (spicy garbanzos) of the “Indian MRE” is awesome. I buy that one all the time at Indian grocers or the Trader Joe’s equivalent to them.

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Tell me more about this. I have the same feeling, but I can’t tell if I’m crazy or not.

How do I know you’re not from the gubmint, and this is just some trickery to get me added to the list?



Hahaha, I’m kidding.



Or not. I can’t tell any more.



In all seriousness, I’m carrying around a feeling of… dread, I guess, not unlike what I expect a lot of other people are experiencing. I don’t know how to articulate it better than that.


If I were the gubmint, you’d already be on my list.

I think for me it comes down to whether there’s any increased chance of disaster;

  1. terrorist attack in my city? Yeah, probably.
  2. natural disaster that the government fails to respond well to (i.e. Katrina, Sandy)? I’d say yes.
  3. nuclear attack? Remote chance, but maybe
  4. financial collapse? Probably not, though I think dire financial impact on lower incomes is probable.

So what do I do about it? Buy a bunker and an M4? Motorcycle and machete? Land in New Zealand?


I’m of two minds when it comes to the end of the world. I’m not sure if I want to die quickly in the first wave of whatever happens because I have chronic illnesses or survive to use the survival skills I’ve built up over a lifetime.

I’m thinking climate change is going to get us. Nukes are sexier and quicker, but I think climate change is going to keep pounding us with natural disaster after disaster until we can’t keep up.

I’ve never understood the movie mentality of trying to find a better place. I’ve always banked on staying put and being valuable to a community. I’ve got a basement and cold cellar full of food that’d last the family several months. We have a garden in the back yard that produces more than we can eat. I know how to can, dry, salt, pickle, and otherwise preserve food. I know how to forage, fish, trap, dress kills, and survive in the woods if I have to (but really, I’d rather sleep in a bed with a solid roof over my head). I have basic first aid, chemistry, biology, engineering, home repair, cooking and improvisation skills that I can make due with whatever is around.

I also have a library full of how to and scifi books, because I like that sort of thing. I am quite patient and like to teach, so I can pass my skills along.

If it came down to having to leave it would be better to kill me off quickly because I can’t walk far, but if I can stay in my domain I am confident I would do well in a small community.

I think the best thing anyone can do to prep without being a prepper is to gain skills that will help a person survive without electricity, because things can be found, but knowledge and ability will help you make the best of what you have.


This thing is -the best-

I got one about 5 years ago, and it’s epic for camping. Also came in handy when I was remodeling a place, as i’d really need a cup of tea once in a while and could grab a handful of scrap-wood and heat myself up a small pot in minutes. The playing with fire aspect is just a bonus. Also good for a bugout kit.


I’d like to think a general attitude like yours is the third leg of that stool. We are going to need community if things go upside down, on whatever scale that happens.


Internet outage:

Also, a polaroid camera so I can at least put photos of my food on lampposts.

In all seriousness though, two of my biggest preps are having family around me and living in a country that I trust to provide good disaster response. Low gun ownership and universal healthcare are other important considerations.

I really wouldn’t make a good prepper though; I get the feeling that some people relish the idea of the breakdown of society to a certain degree. Maybe it’s just my impression from the internets, but it seems to be a libertarian style fantasy where all of the government welfare disappears, everyone is forced to defend and feed their own family and individuals have to prove their worth to survive. I do believe in personal responsibility and resilience, but I would look more to the community level for mutual support (which is one reason that I don’t want to be surrounded by paranoid gun owners, even though that means that I won’t be able to use a gun to defend myself).


I think some people (me included) relish the breakdown of society because then my hobbies become relevant to my survival rather than exercises in self reliance. It is satisfying to build a solar cooker or know how to purify water, but not really needed with all the convenience and options available to us right now.

I think another part of the prepper mentality is the want to feel superior to the rest of the sheep out there. It’s like being ready for the biggest “told ya so” although when the shit hits the fan all the prepping in the world will not help you against being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Yeah, that’s one thing that’s always bugged me about living in So Cal and putting together the emergency supplies for “the BIG one”. How will it help me if I do it and the building I live in collapses or catches fire, destroying all that great emergency stuff I amassed? What if I’m nowhere near home and it happens?


I’m investing in a supply of Jim Bakker’s buckets.


Just ONE?


Short term. Trump has his finger on the button.

Long Term. Antibiotics stand between us and the next great plague.

Realistically? Expulsion from the United States, despite citizenship, on account of being too brown.

A technical degree from an American university goes a long way in other parts of the world. Or so I hear. And a laugh at the taxpayers who expelled me, for what would suddenly become a free education.


Here in Northern Greater Toronto, the supermarkets carry similar. I like to keep a few in the cupboard because they usually have a ~1 year shelf-life, cost between $2-$3, are quick to prepare in a boil-bag (similar to a Canadian Individual Meal Pack bag).

At home. they make a great side dish for two with some breaded chicken and rice when you want something fast but not sub-par. The dozen varieties are all rated mild, but the spices are rich and leave a nice after-glow that’s perfect after a day’s hike before rolling into the sleeping bag. As a main course, it fills a soup bowl, and you’d probably want some kind of bread to go with it to get all the sauce. If you heat it in a pot rather than the bag, other things can be mixed in if it’s not enough by itself.

If traveling by foot, there is a weight cost over dry mixes and dehydrated food. (Assuming safe water is available along the way.) Thumbs up!


How much is a backup shack in the woods within reasonable driving distance?