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What pushed you to start prepping?

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Lights Out, a book by Ted Koppel, was my moment of epiphany. Based on thorough interviews with generals, intelligence experts, heads of utility companies, etc., it's a very journalistic (cool, dispassionate, fact-based) non-fiction book about what might happen if the country's power grid were to go down - what exactly would that look like & what's our capacity (or lack thereof) to restore it within a reasonable amount of time? Eye-opening! You might even say it was chilling... in a sense, it packed more punch than a novel because it was actually real. I got to the last page and thought: we are woefully vulnerable, particularly as a heavily energy-dependent nation. And that leads any reasonable person to the next logical thoughts: if the country is vulnerable, and I am living in it, then I am vulnerable, too. So, who are I going to rely on in a situation like that?... The morons who failed to adequately plan for it in the first place? Ummm... no! I've got to rely on myself as much as I possibly can.

What really burns me is this: all of this "free" infrastructure money being tossed around... I'd be willing to bet most of it will end up thrown away through corruption, another big share will end up building some stunning, palatial new schools, fancy-ass dramatic-looking new airport terminals or other window-dressing-type projects, but probably damn little (or none) of it will be used to harden our critical infrastructure against a catastrophic event (whether it be by a natural cause, physical attack, cyber attack, etc.). 

Anyway, 2 thumbs up for the book! 

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Very interesting.  Why did you pick up that book?  

One of my concerns is cyber warfare.  I believe we are woefully behind the ball on this, as the lion share of the money goes to real warfare buckets.  China has been working on being able to shut our grid down.  

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5 minutes ago, ESB said:

Very interesting.  Why did you pick up that book?  

One of my concerns is cyber warfare.  I believe we are woefully behind the ball on this, as the lion share of the money goes to real warfare buckets.  China has been working on being able to shut our grid down.  

I actually saw the title here on NJGF (referenced in a few different posts) and I ended up borrowing a copy.

I agree... we are lagging on cyber security. Heck, even what happened to that pipeline company not that long ago... the one that was "held for ransom"? That should have been a major "lightbulb" moment for our government... but again, I have ZERO confidence that they're staging an appropriately robust response.

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18 minutes ago, Mrs. Peel said:

Lights Out, a book by Ted Koppel,

 

18 minutes ago, Mrs. Peel said:

Anyway, 2 thumbs up for the book! 

Agree 100%. Step down transformers the almost irreplaceable weak link in the grid. Never thought about them until I read the book.

I advise everyone to read it.

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I hid a few political comments. Because this thread was started in "NJ Prepping" and NOT the "1A Lounge"... let's try to restrain ourselves and not spew politics all over it, shall we? I know sometimes it's hard... but find another way. Thx!

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I always liked to have some backup food on hand but experiences really highlight the need.

We once had a storm in my neighborhood that knocked out power for two weeks, and fallen trees basically blocked every road away from my house. We had enough food and a gas range, thankfully.  We also had clean water via RO.

A couple of months ago our RO system failed due to worn parts. It took a LONG time for us to get the parts, due to shipping delays. We keep a lot of bottled on hand. I thought it to be an excessive amount, but in that month or so we went through a few cases of water. It goes by fast!

After more recent storms with flooding and power loss, I opted for a dual-fuel generator. Even though we didn't experience it, I don't want to be caught without it. I also bought a Jackery rechargeable battery, which is powerful enough for things like an instant pot and holds charge for months.

The cyber security is a real issue. The golden rule is: passwords are crap. Use MFA on everything you care about logging into. Your most personal information is always for sale on the dark web.

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I don't consider what I do "prepping" with all the weird TV shows folks and those acting like they are waiting for the zombie apocalypse. It's more like I've been though several large hurricanes, 9/11, more power outages, flooding, etc and I am taking prudent actions to ensure my family is able to live though those sorts of events.

I am doubtful that anywhere in the tri-state area we would have a WROL event that would last more than a few days to a week until the feds came in full force and locked everything down. The only way that doesn't happen is if we are in a full blown North American land war and at that point all bets are off as to how long even the most ardent prepper in NJ would be able to hold on to what they have.

That said, making sure we have heat/food/water/power for a week or two without the grid or stable outside grocery or fuel sources just seems like something any reasonable person would/should do to reduce the effects of any storm, flood or other event that causes major disruption.

Having stock for longer periods or more people can only be helpful as in a short term events like flooding or hurricane, which are the likely scenarios, there will likely be others around you that need assistance. In that sort of scenario, you take care of your neighbors.

I hate these guys that act like they are going to hid in a spider hole for 30 years until the radiation dies down or something and come out into Zardoz :)

 

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What makes one a "prepper"?  Is there a threshold?  

I consider myself "half a prepper".  No specific incident really started me prepping (if I even am one).

Growing up my family always had a stocked pantry of plenty of canned foods.  And a seperate freezer in the basement full of frozen meats.  My fathers was almost always a DIYer.  He would fix things when others would be calling a plumber, a handy man, etc.  We often had vegtable gardens.  We had candles and flashlights in case we lost power.  We had a decent sized kerosene heater for quite some time.  Did that make us "preppers"?  I dont' think so.  I was also a Boy Scout when I was younger.

As an adult I also now have a stocked "pantry" (basement really) of canned veggies, some canned meats, lots of soup and many boxes  of pasta.  I have a chest freezer I purchased when I started deer hunting.  It's generally full of frozen meats.  A few cases of bottles water.  I have firearms.  What some may consider as a "stock pile" of ammo (what ever that is).  I hunt, but am far from an expert.  Some years I have a vegtable garden.  Some years I don't.  My family has a back up location and a plan to move our frozen meats if we ever lose power for an extended period of time.  It's a location that has an entire house generator and is high above any possiblity of flooding.  It's only happened once during Sandy.  Our town, surprisingly, loses power very infrequently.

If I tell some people the above they ask what I'm prepping for and consider me a prepper.  Others just laugh and say "That ain't prepping."  

I think the definition of being a "prepper" is somewhat subjective.  I guess it all depends on what one is preparing for?  I'm not really preparing for a specific incident.  I guess I like to be prepared for what most would consider the "basic" inconveniences in life and maybe a little more.  

So I don't really consider myself a hard core "prepper" but I also consider myself better prepared than many.  
 

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I guess there is a difference between prepping and being a "prepper".  I'm just talking about getting into prepping and whatever initial threshold that may be.  Lets say making a conscious effort to be able to survive more than 3 days on your own without notice. 

Most people aren't always that prepared.  They have to run out and stock up items every time there is a threat of a storm.  I'm not talking about people like that.  

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1 hour ago, ESB said:

I guess there is a difference between prepping and being a "prepper".  I'm just talking about getting into prepping and whatever initial threshold that may be.  Lets say making a conscious effort to be able to survive more than 3 days on your own without notice. 

Most people aren't always that prepared.  They have to run out and stock up items every time there is a threat of a storm.  I'm not talking about people like that.  

I've never understood people who couldn't survive or go more than a few days without going to the store for necessities.  

Sandy was a bit of a wake up call for me.  I think it was a jolt for A LOT of people.  But many of them just hit the snooze button and went back to their life as it had been withouth making any real changes.

My wife started thinking more along the lines of being prepared after Covid.  I started building up our stock around Dec 2019 and into January 2020.  She was aking me what I was doing.  I explained to her what was going on in China and that it may be well head our way.  She half didn't believe me.  Then around the second or third week into March she called me while shopping and said, "I just got the last package of toilet paper on the shelf at Target.  The shelf is bare!.  People are freaking out."  I said I know.  THAT"S why I've been buidling up our supplies.  She got it then.  Since then she buys two or three of something when we need it instead of just one.
 

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Much like my getting into firearms and self defense, I can't point to any one event or trigger that has caused me to Be Prepared.  It's been a very natural progression over the last 2-ish decades.

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As silly as it may have seemed, the y2k scare was probably the starting point for me.  It showed me how ill-prepared I was for just about anything.  There have been other things over the years, including the Spanish and Greek economies coming close to shutting down their banking systems and how "too big  to fail" still has a chance at failing.

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For me it was a combo of being in the scouts as a kid, but the catalyst was definitely the riots of 2020, calls for defunding police which lead to less policing, bail reform that release violent criminals which seems to be encouraging more crime and violence, early shortages during COVID, and now the rampant inflation and supply chain shortages, and then looking back to Sandy and Ida, as well as some big snow storms.  After reading some stuff on here it helped me figure out what I should do so I started.  

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I had never really given it much thought in my many years until I started on these boards 11 years ago.  Coincidentally, the TV show The Best Defense did a season on prepping around that same time, and I stumbled onto the books and blogs of David Morris about the whys and hows of being prepared. 

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It was Sandy...not that my family was affected but many around us were. We had water, lights, a way to cook. And then I remembered back to Katrina and the superdome and how no one is coming for awhile....As I looked back my Dad stored stuff quietly....So I started asking what if and then started prepping. Being in NJ is not the place you want to be if something really goes down but in the meantime I will prep with where I am and what I can...

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