It is mostly fear driving the increase in the number of what are called “preppers,” people who build safety shelters and stockpile supplies in the event of a disaster, according to recent research. What drives their fear varies by individual.
British criminology expert Dr. Michael Mills looked at preppers in 18 U.S. states to understand what is propelling more people to consider the unthinkable. Some fear pandemics, some economic collapse, some are afraid of terrorism, environmental disasters or cyber-attacks. What most have in common is the fear that regardless of the cause of civilization’s demise, the government will not be able to provide for public safety and it will be up to people to fend for themselves.
Paul Range is a well-prepared Texan and self-described prepper. He says he was introduced to the prepping world in 1963, by his father, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. “But it wasn’t until I built my container house near Floresville that I really got into it in a big, big way,” he tells KTRH News. “Currently we have about 56,000 pounds of food, which is enough to feed 22 people for maybe 15 to 18 years.”
Range says if anything he’s driven by a fear of not being able to provide for the safety of security of his family whatever may come. “I don’t really have a fear. It’s like an insurance policy,” he suggests, detailing the potential impact of an electromagnetic glitch capable of bringing modernity, entirely dependent on electricity, to a halt.
Range says that the vulnerabilities of the food supply chain are evident in the expiration dates on staples: a few months at most. “I think a lot of people are thinking, ‘If it’s that short of supply chain what happens if we have a little glitch.’ And historically, we’re kind of due for a little glitch,” he says.
The author of the study says in a release: “Fear is now deeply entrenched in modern American culture and is the principal reason that so many citizens are engaging in prepping.” Businesses that provide products for prepping have seen a 700% increase in business in the past ten years.