Being prepared for any degree of self-sufficiency has picked up a strangely kooky reputation. Prepare too much, and you're bordering on being a "survivalist," and we all know they're crazy, right? But of course, the funny thing is, we all want to survive. We all want to live, mostly in the manner that we've become accustomed to. Or better.
Survivalists got smeared a couple of decades ago by the truly bizarre among them, who made it clear that they looked forward to the day when society comes crashing down, and they could be one-eyed kings in the land of the blind. I personally think those kooks were the minority, but it certainly tinted negatively the public view toward anyone who would identify himself as a "survivalist."
While I agree that there's a point where one puts more time and resources into preparing for the possible than dealing with the present, I think that it's wise to prepare. I put on my seat belt whenever I'm driving, but I don't want to get into a car accident. I lock my doors but I don't want to have my house or car attacked. I put in smoke alarms, but I don't want a fire. I carry a gun but don't want a shoot-out. I do some contingency planning.
When a large hurricane hit my friend's county in southern Florida, the local police came to his house to take showers and charge their radios and cell phones, because he had taken the relatively minor steps, when building his house, of installing a medium-sized underground diesel tank and a generator, and of putting in a large propane tank for his heat, cooking, and hot water. When rolled into the cost of his house, these were very minor costs for him. He also had plenty of clean fresh water, and fuel for his SUV, which even fairly poor person could fund. In short, he was prepped to bunker in place.
At any rate, on Friday, 02/13/2009, at 11:00 PM CST, my pal Mark at Blog Talk Radio is going to be interviewing the guys at Alpha Disaster Contingencies, who think a lot about these concepts, and spend a lot of their philosophy debunking the whole "bug out" concept of survival.
Give 'em a listen.