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Is Prepping Worth it? What if Nothing Happens? Is it all a Waste?

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Is Prepping Worth it? What if Nothing Happens? Is it all a Waste?

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survivalbookEarlier this year, I ran across an blog post on the Directive 21 site that asked the question:  What if Nothing Happens?  The context was that of prepping.  You know what I mean: the time, the expense, the worry, the whole shebang.  Is it worth it and more to the point, will all of this effort be wasted?

Now I happen to know that a lot of naysayers out there will point to the year 2K brouhaha as an example of why prepping is folly.  Myself, I like to think that I bring a very unique perspective to that particular time since, as an old COBOL programmer, I knew how the computer code of old would blow up with the turn of the millennium.  I also know many people who were frantically involved in code conversions and even I provided a bit of consulting to the telecommunications industry in that regard.

So why was Y2K a non-event?  I would say that the diligent preparation on the part of governments and businesses played a huge role in insuring that utility companies continued to work, the ATM machines continued to function and that daily life continued without a hiccup.  (That is not to say that I did not have $5,000 in small bills hidden under my mattress, however.)

Coming back in to the present, we have six more months for the Doomsday 2012 events to unfold.  And now that the end of the Mayan calendar has pretty much been dispelled, what is left?  Well let me see:

  • Hurricane season is coming up
  • Wildfires are spreading in the South and Mid-West
  • Shoot-em-ups of innocent bystanders are occurring in our cities
  • Underemployment and unemployment means more and more citizens are living below poverty
  • Governments around the globe are facing bankruptcy and the potential for total collapse

So gee, have a nice day too, right?

But if a list of potential disasters and economic calamities is not worrisome and you – or more likely your friends and relatives – groan at the effort of prepping, let us ask the question: What if nothing happens?

Jeff, the Berkey Guy and his sidekick David articulate the answer well.

What if Nothing Happens?

That’s exactly the question I’ll ask you.

You, the prepared individual. You, the prepper who purchases food to have in the event your employment situation loses its revenue temporarily, or a minor movement of the earth closes local markets and grocers. You, the healthy student of nutrition. You, the responsible parent who works to provide the necessities of life for your children and grandchildren and works to secure those ongoing needs. You, the involved citizen who talks with your neighbors and cares about the safety of your neighborhood. You, the owner of a vehicle who pays auto insurance for security against an undesired vehicular event. You, the purchaser of health insurance for a family whose health is fundamental and essential. You, the ardent securer of water storage, just in case another 5-day boil-water-alert happens this month. You, the consumer who also produces constructively while others are socially-secure thanks to your payroll contributions. You, whose money is lent to banks whose bail-outs secured enormous pensions. You, whose income tax returns without interest.

What if not one thing happens this year to drastically – or even minimally- inconvenience your lifestyle?

In the event that your storage of food, water, medical, and other resources remains unmoved out of necessity, then count yourself fortunate. This is what we hope for, although we’d be willfully ignorant to discredit the vulnerabilities of our current environments, local and global!

If your application of primitive or pioneer skills finds use within recreational or standard homestead practices instead of emergent necessity, then continue enjoying their practice in peace. Please carry on and experience the following in your endeavors to be self-reliant:

  • the joy of cultivating your plants and harvesting the literal fruits (& vegetables) of your labor
  • the satisfaction of knowing basic skills to make many of the leisurely staples such as flour, pasta noodles, sausage, buttermilk, cheese, bread, and so much more
  • the stewardship of slaughter & butchery
  • the responsible care and maintenance of firearms and useful weapons/tools
  • the autonomy of filtering and purifying water for all-things-related to its supply and use
  • the comfort of attending to basic medical issues, affording you the avoidance of over-crowded emergency waiting rooms, and unnecessary exposure to other contagious pathogens
  • the peace of mind that your food is not unnaturally grown and crammed into compact living conditions
  • the security that comes with protection against a failing economy and currency, through precious metals
  • the integrity of enjoying life’s experience as a perpetual learner, an ever-studious pupil
  • the unmatched fulfillment which attends precious family moments of teaching, learning, and sharing
  • the limitless advantages of perpetual personal progress

Natural disasters are going to happen as part of life. Adverse events are somewhat out of our control, so we prepare for those things which we can control: having something rather than having nothing. Knowing-by-doing rather than not knowing and doing nothing.

And if nothing happens, we have the satisfaction of having prepared for when it does.

. . . David SafeWater at Directive 21

The Final Word

From time to time we all need to be reminded that all of our efforts to prepare are not a waste of time, money or energy. Both mother nature and human nature tend to send us curve balls- both large and small – all of the time.  Some are bigger than others but regardless of the magnitude, these burps in our lives and in our normal routine can be disruptive if not disastrous to those that do not prepare.

As so well said by David in his article, there is a certain inner peace and sense of satisfaction that comes from being self-reliant.  As a prepper, you can stand with your head tall and be proud: self-reliance is a grand adventure of the highest magnitude.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Gaye Setting Up BerkeySpotlight:  The article What If Nothing Happens? originally appeared on The Berkey Guy Blog in March 2012.

The Berkey Guy has been a sponsor of Backdoor Survival from almost the get go.  He introduced me to the Royal Berkey water filter which I have to tell you, is far far superior to any my old pitcher based Brita or refrigerator PUR system.  The filters in the Berkey last a really long time making this an extremely economical source of healthy drinking water.  According to my math, 6,000 gallons from two filters = less than 2 cents a gallon (this is exclusive of the cost of the unit itself).

For more information, visit Directive 21.

Spread the Word – Tell you friends:  Share Backdoor Survival with your friends. All you need to do is click here to send them a short email. Thanks!

From the Bargain Bin:  Today I highlight a selection of water storage and filtration options.

55-Gallon Barrel Combo:  Check around because prices vary on this combo.

water distallationPotable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.

waterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage:  Have you considered storing water in your bathtub?  The Water Bob is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing.

NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle:  These water bottles have served me well.  I fill them up with water from my Royal Berkey and keep one bedside, one at my desk and another in the bathroom.  Keep in mind that price-wise, some colors will be more expensive so if color does not matter, go with the cheapest (currently the green version).

Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifier: The Sport Berkey is perfect for your Survival Kit since it is so lightweight.  As with the larger Berkey’s, the sport bottle reduces harmful microscopic pathogens as well as unpleasant tastes.  Unlike purchased water, these bottles can be refilled over and over again.  Did I mention they were light weight?

Colloidal Silver Medical Uses, Toxicology & Manufacture:  If you are interested in learning more about colloidal silver, this is the book to get.  It is written by John Hill, the same author of How to Live on Wheat which I reviewed awhile back in my article Why Store Wheat – Wheat 101 for Newbies.

Sharpie Permanent Markers:  The ubiquitous Sharpie pen is great way to mark your water with the date so that you have a reference when it comes time to rotate and replace.

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water:  I have written about dehydration in the past and for years, I did not drink enough water because I feared the dreaded “water retention”.  These days I drink a lot of water and other than the fact I have to run to the potty frequently, I feel a heck of a lot better.  This book points out that water can be a common sense (and dirt cheap) solution to a variety of woes.

Mountain House Sale: For the month of June, Emergency Essentials will be offering all Mountain House products at a discount of 20% to 25%. Shipping cost is $6, $9, or $12 depending on the size of your order and never more. (And you know how heavy food items can be.) Be sure to check out the Freeze-Dried Mountain House Pouches which offer a great way to sample the various food items before investing in the larger #10 tins.

Want to support Backdoor Survival? Your purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

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13 Responses to “Is Prepping Worth it? What if Nothing Happens? Is it all a Waste?”

  1. I never understood the people who think it’s a waste of time. In the process of prepping I plenty of camping gear (which my family and I use consistently). I have plenty of food in case of blizzard, unemployment, or any other ‘minor’ inconvenience that may hit my family. On top of that I enjoy doing it; it’s my favorite hobby. Whether I’m working out, hiking, or learning some new obscure skill I always have fun with it.

  2. what if nothing happens? well, there has always been something happening on this planet through out
    its history, and nothing the naysayers can say will convince me otherwise. Just in the U.S. alone, there was the civil war, that was a really bad time for people, or the depression of 1929-1935, that was another really bad time, and lasted longer than the civil war. so… something WILL. happen again, only a matter of time. the longer it takes, the harder it will it us commoners. I may not be where I wish to be as for my goals,but I will fair better than millions who are complacent, or better yet, apathetic. I feel fortunate that I have a few friends to be in touch with in case it does. I only hope I can be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.

  3. What if nothing happens? This is like saying what if nothing happens when you have car insurance or homeowners insurance or health insurance. You prep as insurance against something bad just like you have other insurance against something bad. The difference is you never get anything back from the other insurance unless there is a problem. You can always eat your preps,your vegetables drink your water or use your barter items. I think what if nothing happens is just a stupid question.

  4. I really Haven’t done a lot more than I always have ,being prepaired,for what ever.I rotate my food stock,so nothing has gone to waste.
    I just concider it all smart to be prepaired for any Disaster.
    keeb in southern Va.

  5. logically…what can you learn to live with?
    first scenario…you prepare and nothing happens.
    ok, so you spent some money, might look a little stupid and added some stress to your life, but i learned a hell of a lot and i have become a much stronger, more capable human being.
    can i live with that? yes.

    second scenario…you didnt prepare and the shit hits the fan.
    oops, i just died.
    can i live with that?…the answer is rhetorical.

    so, LOGICALLY, better to be safe than sorry!

  6. in 1999 I was actually hoping for Y2K… Not for the damage it would send, but for the knowledge it would cause people to learn again… i stocked up on canned goods and I canned a backyard full of veggies as well as meats on sale…(lots of chicken.. 13 cases)… all the prep i had done fed my family ..(11 people) for over 2 1/2 years… i figured it out …with inflation I saved about 6K in food ciosts per year… like i told a troll on the web one time. they didnt call our ancestors doomsayers , THEY CALLED THEM SURVIVORS… NUFF SAID

    • Amen!

      There is a nice feeling of security when we look at our food storagpantryty and know that we could survive a long time without having to spend a dine.

  7. What I usually tell people (on our blog and in person) is:

    But what if you’re wrong? What if an emergency never happens? What if you gather these supplies and never need them?

    So what? Consider yourself fortunate. You were prepared for the worse and the best happened.

    At a minimum, you were able to sleep better at night, secure in the knowledge that you would have food on the table regardless of what happened in the world. I wouldn’t consider that a waste of time.

    Additionally is good to remember that prepping is not just for one event such as an EMP. It’s for everything. From a job loss or the loss of a loved one to an economic collapse to a comet smashing into the earth.

    Good post, SW.

  8. What if nothing happens? Oh god I hope nothing bad happens. I am prepared to bring my 4 kids and 7 grandchildren into my home and share my preps with them. They like most in the world are not prepared for the worst or even something far less then the worst. But I don’t want to see their lives turned upside down and see them suffer if TSHTF. I don’t want to see another great depression first hand. I don’t want to hear a hungry crying child or send out my sons to scrounge up food and maybe medicine. I don’t want to see my nieghbors and fellow countrymen suffer. I don’t want to see 300 million mostly innocent people pay for what 600 or so politicians have done to our economy. I pray nothing happens. I will give my preps to the food bank if nothing happens. Please, please. let nothing happen.

  9. We have a fire extingeutuer in case of a fire, we have extra food in the house for a back up it the weather turns bad, we have extra blankets (it might get cold but not enought to turn on the heat), I have an extra pencil/ pen in case one breaks.. I have a lot of extra stuff, JUST in case.

  10. Even if there is no disaster, my preps still pay off:

    * The camping gear is good for at least one or two vacation trips each year
    * The guns are fun to shoot and were a hobby long before the prepping
    * My tools and shop have lots of uses and are constantly in use
    * My medical kit regularly is used to treat common injuries and bugs even if I’m not treating more serious problems
    * We still eat food and my food storage represents both savings (paid less thanks to inflation and buying in bulk) and non-standard wealth
    * My silver has still provided a 24.4% annualized return — not too many other investments have given that return over the past 6 years when 10 year treasuries are under 2%
    * My trailer mostly gets used hauling stuff

    • I feel that prepping has brought a useful dimension of both fun and security to many individuals and families. There is a certain calm when a storm is brewing – knowing that we have done our best to weather the worst.

      Of course, like many, I hope that the worst storm of all – SHTF – will never happen.


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