I can’t say I’m much of a television girl, but lately I’ve been sucked in to National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, a documentary series chronicling the lives of of people uniquely focused on preparing for a myriad of possible disasters.
The families on the show are prepping for a variety of reasons (some, in my very humble opinion, more likely than others), and have a variety of strategies, but what quite a few of them have in common is that prepping has consumed their lives. They’ve chosen to live in specific locations, spend thousands of dollars, and perform regular drills and practices for something that may or may not happen.
Now, I’m certainly not saying I don’t have a bit of a prepping streak. I am actively trying to produce much of my family’s food, and I want to have stocks of canned goods and provisions for unexpected winter storms. We’re even considering building some lo-tech faraday cages for some of our spare electronics to protect from solar storms (here’s a link to NASA’s information on solar weather). But I don’t want prepping to interfere with the life I live now, with the way I want things to be. I’ve worked quite a bit as an adult on my own little happiness project and I’m not sure thinking about a disaster every day is going to make that any better.
I’m much more fond of Kathy Harrison’s strategy, affectionately called the “Doris Day of Doom”. Watch this two minute video to learn a little about her (please ignore the odd shirtless neighbor):
Kathy also wrote the book Just In Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. I can’t say I’ve read it myself yet, but it’s on my wish list and I hear good things. I like that she is building community, building resilience. She also smiles and appears to be having genuine fun. I think the key is to shape the world around you into somewhere you actually want to live now, and that can withstand future catastrophe. I want to live now and in the future – I can’t afford to put the present on pause.
Full disclosure: the book link is to Amazon, and if you buy anything after following that link, I get a (pretty small) commission through Amazon Associates.