You may have heard the term "prepper" used to caricature certain people living isolated in the woods, carrying shotguns, growing their own food, and sporting a beard (men, that is). That's the wrong perception! Moreover, a prepper is not to be confused with a “preppy,” a subculture term for a student in an exclusive university-preparatory school.
In the most positive sense, a prepper is a very normal person who wisely prepares for survival during difficult, uncertain, or catastrophic times.
Preppers are in good biblical company. Among others, Noah was a big time prepper. He spent the greater part of his life being the laughing stock of the populace while building a ship, at God's command, for a torrential flood—at a time when the world had not even experienced the climate phenomenon of rain. He was so obedient to God that perhaps he would have bought flood insurance, if it were offered.
Joseph was a political and economic prepper. His dream from God catapulted him into a high leadership position to stock up grain so Egypt would survive seven years of famine.
Jesus told a parable about the ten wise virgins who prepared extra oil for their lamps while waiting the uncertain time for the arrival of the Bridegroom. These are all commended and taken seriously.
Some people poke fun at preppers stereotyping them as paranoid people or religious extremists who are forever warning, “The sky is falling!” and that the world is about to end soon. These are incorrect representations.
To prepare is not a lack of faith or trust in God's providence. It is exercising the gift of prudence and common sense in cooperation with God.
Most preppers are not crazy or delusional; they are ordinary people with a healthy sense of responsibility who choose to care for and prepare their families for a crisis.
They believe it is their duty to protect their families should their daily lives be suddenly disrupted. They use the skills and knowledge and resources God has given them to gear up for the unexpected.
Although reading the signs of the times, most preppers do not focus on one specific event that might disrupt their comfort zone but keep themselves ready for anything they might face including natural disasters, cosmic or man made events, and other uncontrollable circumstances including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, and economic collapse. Society tends to put a negative spin on what motivates preppers, but there is nothing wrong with accepting the reality that things do not always go the way we have planned.
Life itself is unpredictable. Man proposes, plans, sets goals, and attempts to order his life. All well and good, but God is the One in control. In his New Testament letter James warns in chapter 4:13-15, “Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" Nothing is sure. Change is the only constant.
Preppers are not people who hoard up secret goods for their own pleasure and build bigger barns to hold their surpluses so they themselves can live long in luxury, according to the story which Jesus told about the man with his priorities askew. By being prudently practical, preppers are able to sustain the lives of their family members when weather conditions or other calamities limit their resources or the availability of life-sustaining commodities. They are able to adapt to uncertain situations with safety and security. Preppers are ordinary but wise people who make sure they have sufficient food, water, and supplies to endure if misfortune strikes.
The daily TV news exposes vivid scenes of catastrophes in other countries. We deceive ourselves that it can't/won't happen here. Our government can't always be counted on for emergency assistance; there is no guarantee that aid will reach our families quickly. If the entire country is affected by a crisis, help may not make it to our family at all. Nor may there be any communication system to reunite our family members.
It is no secret that the economy of the United States has become increasingly rocky over the past several years. For many people that is good reason to become a practical prepper and to see that our loved ones have knowledge of basic survival.
No one wants to be caught off guard. Bad things happen when you least expect them. If we prepare for a worst case scenario and it doesn't happen, thank God. Nothing will be lost; our continuing preparedness will still be the greatest tool we can possess.
There are ample resources available online to help anyone begin even the most basic preparation for coming uncertain times. If you need to begin from scratch, simply Google-search “Basics of Prepping” and select from the practical articles whatever is best for your family. A prepared family could be the difference between life and death.