I’ve been around the survival and preparedness community since about 2003. During that time, I’ve heard many objections to very idea of preparedness (actually, just excuses for their own lack of preparedness). Here are three of the more common objections, and how I answer them:
Objection: Preparedness and self reliance are selfish.
Answer: Self-reliance and preparedness are not anti-social or selfish. They do not mean shutting yourself off from your friends or community. It certainly doesn’t mean heading for the hills and hiding, heavily armed, in a secret compound having no contact with the outside world until after some dread doomsday comes to pass.
If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don’t say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.
Likewise, we will be of little or no help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance and being prepared may be among the most generous things you can do.
Objection: Preppers and survivalists are failing to trust God.
Answer: Ever hear a minister or other person of faith give this objection? I have. One way to answer this objection is to point out the hypocrisy of the person making it. Do they have insurance? Do they have a spare tire in their car? Do they have smoke alarms in their house? Do they own a first aid kit.? Do they have an IRA or other type of retirement account? Have they taught their children how to call 911? Well, I guess they are failing to trust God, too.
However, the best way to answer this objection is by pointing out all the many passages in both the Old and New Testaments in which God calls for his people to prepare for difficult times in the future. Here are just a few of the passages that deal with preparedness:
“A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.” — Proverbs 27:12 (NKJV)
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” — Proverbs 21:20 (NIV)
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” — 1 Timothy 5:8 (HCSB)
“Then He [Jesus] said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” — Luke 22:36 (NKJV)
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” — Hebrews 11:7 (ESV)
“And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” — Genesis 6:21
A host of other verses could be quoted also, including Genesis 41:47-57 (food storage), Exodus 22:2 (self-defense), Psalm 144:1(self-defense training!), Proverbs 6:6-11 (look to the ant’s example – constantly prepare for the future), 1 Corinthians 16:13 (stay alert, be brave, be strong), 1 Thessalonians 5:6 (stay alert, situational awareness), and Matthew 25:1-13 (the wisdom of the five prepared virgins compared to the foolishness of the five ill-prepared virgins).
The Bible makes it clear that preparedness (both physical and spiritual) is not only prudent, but in fact is commanded by God.
Objection: Nothing bad has happened yet, therefore nothing bad will ever happen.
Answer: It is true that predictions of societal doom and even the collapse of America and Western Civilization have been around for a long time. Blood moons, 9/11 anniversaries, Jade Helm 15, Y2K, Shemitah, the end of the Mayan Calendar, and rumors of Planet X/Nirubu, have all come and gone, without TEOTWAWKI. Obama’s reign ended, Hillary was avoided, peak oil hasn’t happened, and the 2nd Amendment seems safe (for now). All this has lead many people, including some former preppers, to dismiss the need to prepare for any major events.
“Nothing bad happened, therefore nothing bad will happen” is an example of normalcy bias. It is also an error in logic involving the improper use of inductive reasoning. Just because the Minnesota Vikings have never won the Superbowl, does not mean that they can never win the Superbowl. Just because major society altering events haven’t yet occurred, doesn’t mean that they can never occur.
Pay attention to the news. Its obvious that we live in a dangerous world. There are many flashpoints and potential disasters, both politically and economically, as well as the slow and purposeful eroding away of our freedoms and privacy. And we haven’t even mentioned the many possible natural disasters that await. It is not really a matter of if a major SHTF event happens, but when.
When it happens, whatever “it” may be, our modern world may collapse like a house of cards. Just consider the interrelated, fragile and unsustainable nature of our infrastructure, power grid, industrial agricultural system, and just-in-time inventory and delivery systems. Or the false nature of our current global economic system, with its foundations of fiat currencies, massive government, business, and personal debt, and centralized controls set up to benefit the global elites to the detriment of the other 95% of the world’s population. A house of cards, indeed.
Besides, preparedness is about more than the end of the world. It is also about being ready for life’s everyday emergencies. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, house fires, car accidents, household injuries, a job loss, financial difficulties, unexpected illnesses, and even unexpected deaths, are just some of the many potential disasters that befall regular folks every single day. Every one of us will face these everyday disasters at multiple times in our life. Preparedness and self-reliance will help us survive those disasters, as well as the zombie apocalypse.