Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guilty Pleasures: Doomsday Prepping

It started innocently enough with a minor obsession: The Zombie Apocalypse. I’ve never been much of a horror person so it was surprising just how much zombie literature and movies became a beloved genre of mine. Once I was thoroughly entrenched, I started thinking about survival. Would I be one of the ones to survive the initial outbreaks or would I find myself quickly zombiefied and looking for fresh brains?

I started justifying survival to myself. At first, it was simple things like, “Living on the second floor gives me an advantage…I can destroy the stairs. Bam! Survive!”

Then it morphed into, “How much Jell-O Pudding and butter can I stockpile. Clearly, that will give me an advantage.”

Somewhere along the line though, it became more real. I invested in survival manuals and how-to guides. I researched escape routes and the best places to lay in a cache of gear.

A few years ago, right around the time of the economic collapse the History Channel and its companion channel H2 started ramping up their shows about all the varied ways the world could end; shows about prophecies and viral outbreaks, about super volcanoes and death from the skies. And suddenly, zombies didn’t worry me so much.

I started paying attention to shows like Man vs. Wild and researching predicted rises in sea level - flooding is always a worry in Florida anyway. I tried to always have at least a months worth of food in the house. It might not have been food I wanted to eat…but it was there. Just in case. I read survival blogs like this one. I made plans for evacuation. I made a list of needed supplies for my bug out bag. I learned the steps needed to go off the grid. I developed a healthy fear of technology and made a list of all the old school skills I needed to develop in order to help my family survive.

When we moved into the new house Scott began encouraging my prep work. The girls got bows and arrows for Christmas and leaning how to shoot guns is on the horizon. Hunting, gardening, canning and raising livestock are all on our list of things to learn. I took over a section of the hall closet for food storage and have an easy time of it with all the fantastic BOGO deals at Publix. It isn’t much, but it is a start.

I consider myself relatively normal. I’m not a hoarder (unless it’s scrapbook supplies and then holy moly! do I need help!). I’ve always been an idealist – maybe that’s why I keep obsessing over survival: I want the human race to survive! Personally, I’d like to be one of the ones who do survive in a disaster. And living in Florida, disaster is a six month window every year. So I proactively prep. I’d rather have a plan in place and know what to do then all of a sudden have to react.


  1. There's a certain window each month when I get paranoid. Somewhere around ovulation, I think. Anyway, during that window, I tend to go on obsessive idea-cycles about things like getting a storage unit somewhere above ground level and close enough to reach on foot if it comes to that. Which leads to BOGO shopping, and squirreling away one of each BOGO in that unit. And that leads to a post-apocalyptic scenario in which I have all the soap and deodorant, and people are coming to me for supplies, and I make them be nice and rebuild society if they want them.

    Long story short, I think I'm an idealist also. I think we can make it, we just need to be more useful. I've learned how to weave, how to grow food, how to make butter and cheese, and I also know how to use a bow and arrow, though I don't own one yet. If the end comes, I want to be useful enough that someone stronger and bigger than me will find me valuable enough to protect from marauders. Ha!


    1. I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I do the BOGO thing as much as I can, but with limits on our storage space I can't pack it away like I want. Also, I really have to make sure I'm checking myself because I don't want being prepared to ever creep into hoarding!

      And I like your idea of forcing people to return to civilization in order to get soap! That's the ticket!!