Preparedness & Fear: Prepping without giving into Fear

A woman in Fear

Talking about preparedness is often a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the last thing we want to do is run around like a bunch of Chicken Little’s screaming “the sky is falling.” On the other hand, pretending that evil, natural disasters, and a wide range of threats don’t exist is not only dangerous, but it’s also probably a bit delusional.

Is a Hurricane Alert fear mongering?

When people say that Preppers are just giving into fear, or accuse survivalists of being a bunch of fear mongers, I usually ask them something like, “Is a Hurricane alert fear mongering?”

The fact is bad things happen, evil exists, and disasters are part of life; ignoring the realities of the world that we live in is not living a life free of fear, it’s living a life unprepared to face those fears. In fact, I would argue that the people who ignore these dangers are the ones that have the most to fear from fear.

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
FDR

What a powerful quote, and how true it is. In my opinion, people who are preparedness minded – call them preppers, survivalists, or any other term you want to give them – are the ones who are going to be immune to the adverse influences of fear. They’re the people who aren’t going to have to worry how they’re going to feed their families in the aftermath of a disaster.

During a catastrophe, it’s those who prepared that are going to have the least amount to worry about. They are ready because they used fear as a motivating force. Those who mocked them are the ones that are in for a world of hurt; they are the people who are going to have to deal with the negative consequences of fear when they can least afford to do so.

Is Fear Really a bad thing to begin with?

When I first started this website one of my biggest concerns was trying to help people better prepare themselves to face threats and disasters, but I wanted to do that without having to frighten them, or add a bunch of unnecessary stress into their lives. I absolutely despise companies who turn every tragedy into an opportunity to make money

Unfortunately, we live in a country where 99 out of 100 people refuse to do anything to prepare themselves for the very real threats that are out there. The only time they do seem to take action is when a crisis hits too close to home, one that scares them into acting ­– and even then most people quickly forget about the dangers that are out there.

Apparently, some people need a little bit of fear to act, but that might not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, fear can be a great motivator, and in certain situations can help us take the actions we need to take to keep ourselves and our loved ones out of harm’s way.

Fear can be a powerful ally.

Fear is a primal instinct that was given to us for a reason, and if we use that fear as a motivating factor ­– instead of a weight that drags us down ­– then we take something that’s usually thought of as a negative influence and turn it into a powerful ally. The problem with fear is most people simply don’t know how to react to it; they’ve become desensitized by a culture that uses fear as a way to control and tear down, instead of as a motivating factor to do something to help our situation.

The key to turning fear into an ally is examining where our fear comes from and then using that information to take action. It’s this action, and rising above our fear that puts us ahead of the unprepared masses who will succumb to its devastating effects.

  • Fear can bring clarity and help us realize what threats we need to prepare for.
  • Fear, if used as a motivating force, can help us gather data, plan & prepare for future problems.
  • Fear should be channeled into something positive; the action that helps alleviate those fears.

Removing the effects of Fear from disasters and crisis situations:

While aspects of fear can be helpful under certain circumstances, if you don’t learn how to how to properly control it, it can be a debilitating killer. In a survival situation, the last thing you want to experience is a significant amount of fear during what is an already a stressful situation. Preparedness is the antidote to that fear.

In his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, author Dale Carnegie gave some of the best advice ever written on worry. One quote from the book that I think is particularly helpful in regards to preparedness is,

If you have a worry problem, do these three things:
1. Ask yourself: “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.

I think that advice is exactly what preparedness minded people do by preparing for disasters, and it’s exactly what’s going to give them the advantage when things go bad. By mentally preparing for the worse, excepting it (if it’s likely to happen), and then figuring out ways to not only survive but thrive during the crisis, you can defeat the negative effects of fear.

Like Carnegie says in his infamous book on worry, “Get the facts. Let’s not even attempt to solve our problems without first collecting all the facts in an impartial manner.” Preparedness is about knowledge, and knowledge is power. It’s also the key to survival.

3 Comments

  1. mark
    September 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    It’s only fear if you consider insurance for your body, house or car fear mongering. Don’t let the Bolsheviks intimidate you.

  2. Steve
    September 10, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Fear leads to the dark side.
    Fear leads to anger.
    Anger leads to hate.
    Hate leads to suffering.
    Yoda had it right. Being prepared is not a reaction to fear. Its a reaction to life. Until the last 50 years or so, everyone prepped or they didnt eat during the winter!!!

  3. old soldier
    September 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    The Army taught me its philosophy: worse case the scenario when planning a mission. If you are prepared for the worst that can happen you are prepared for anything. Fear is a positive motivator. The problem there isn’t enough of it in the US. That’s why every time there’s a snow storm forecasted there’s panic buying.

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