With the popularity of Doomsday Preppers, here’s a reality TV show that would get big ratings—“Preppers vs. Self-Sufficientists”.
Picture a quiet street in a small suburban town, Somewhere, U.S.A. On the left side of the street live the Self-Sufficientists, community-minded folks who believe that being self-reliant in the event of whatever disaster or hardship may come is good for everyone. The right side of the street is reserved for the Preppers, people who mind their own business, look after themselves, and are armed and ready to defend the freedoms they hold dear. The show would focus on each group’s unique approach to something we should all be thinking more about these days—emergency preparedness. Although the show may never become a reality, here’s a look at some of the things we might learn from tuning in to the season premiere of “Preppers vs. Self-Sufficientists”.
-Self-sufficientists are big on long-term food storage to sustain them in the event of an economic crisis, natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstance. Their pantries will most likely be stocked with bulk foods and ingredients to meet their long-term needs. They will rotate items that have shorter shelf-lives by using them in their daily meal preparations, trying out various recipes to make sure the foods they store find favor with all family members.
-Preppers have a more paranoid approach to emergency preparedness than their self-sufficientist neighbors. While their pantries might also contain some bulk foods, the main focus is on short-term needs. That’s while you’ll find an ample supply of freeze dried and ready to eat meals or MRE’s. They’re also big on camping gear and grab and go or “bug-out” bags, all designed to transport their emergency supplies quickly and easily in the event of an emergency situation such as Armageddon.
-Self-sufficientists are always looking for ways to get off the grid in case of electrical failure or disaster—the greener the better. They lean toward power solutions such as back up solar power for their homes or solar powered ovens and other appliances.
-Preppers are more concerned about having enough gas for their cars to enable them to flee to safer ground. And so they will take precautions to store extra gas, which, even under the best situations can be potentially hazardous.
Use of Space
-Self-sufficientists are big on planting gardens in whatever space they have available. Many have mini farms with chickens and other animals that allow them to be more self-sustainable. Along with foods, they look for safe places and ways to store seeds for future planting. Self-sufficientists are always looking for ways to become more self-reliant. By the same token, they are willing to share their knowledge and skills with others to help them become more self-sufficient as well.
-Preppers are always on the lookout for a safe place to store guns and ammo. They may also raise and train guard dogs for protection against desperate outsiders who did not prepare and may come looking for precious food and water in order to survive. After all, to a prepper, when disaster strikes it’s every man for himself.
-Self-Survivalists are typically cost conscious when it comes to emergency preparedness. They like the cost savings associated with buying items in bulk and recognize being self-sufficient means that they will not be subject to paying sky-high prices if and when commercial food supplies become scarce.
-Preppers are more concerned with amassing everything they need to sustain them during a disaster than with what those items might cost. They are typically willing to pay more for freeze-dried foods because they like the variety, convenience and ease of storage that they offer. Plus they want to be able to rely on them when they need them.
-Self-sufficientists are big on improving their all-around survivor skillsets. For example, they may learn ways to purify available water, rather than having to rely on hoarded water as their sole supply. In addition, their long-term mindset makes them more about maintaining or rebuilding a disaster ridden community than their gun-toting prepper neighbors.
-Preppers, at least those portrayed on Doomsday Preppers, will go to extreme measures to increase their odds of survival. Hence the guns. After all, it’s Armageddon anyway.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nick Briggs is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and freeze-dried food.