Why to be a Prepper: 8 Realistic Threats you should be Ready For!

Are you prepared?

Do you consider yourself to be a prepper? Are you ready to defend your house, protect your family, and protect those you love from danger?

Over the years preppers have got a bad rap. Often portrayed as tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists waiting for the end of the world, the mainstream media has done a serious disservice to those who are just trying to protect the ones they love from the very real dangers that are out there.

If you have given up on prepping, or think it’s only for those who are preparing for some end of the world disaster to strike, you need to consider these eight very real threats that everyone should be prepared for.

Prepping for a Loss of Income

paper currency

One situation that’s not often talked about in the prepping community is a job loss or loss of income. While talking about zombies and asteroids slamming into the earth might be good for a website’s traffic numbers, the fact is, in terms of likely prepping scenarios a loss of income is something that everyone should be preparing for.

It’s not exciting, and it’s not something you’ll see on your favorite survival T.V. Show, but it is something that is likely to happen to you at some point in your life.

  • Make sure you have an emergency fund. An emergency fund will help see you through these types of events and is something you need to have.
  • Start moving towards self-reliance. The more self-reliant skills you have, the better prepared you will be to survive a job loss, a loss of income, or any other preparedness threat that might come about.
  • Stockpile long-term food. Having a stocked pantry goes a long way should you lose your job or face an economic emergency. Your number one goal should be building up a 3-6 month supply of food so your family doesn’t go hungry during an emergency.

Prepping for Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters

No matter where you live in this world, you are susceptible to at least one type of natural disaster hitting your area. From wildfires and flooding to earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados at some point, you are going to have to deal with the consequences of one of these types of disasters.

Things to consider:

  • Do you have a bugout plan? When it comes to bugging out, natural disasters are often on top of the list of reasons you may have to evacuate and leave your home. Make sure you have a solid evacuation plan.
  • Do you know how to shut off utilities inside your home? During some disasters, you may have to temporarily shut down power, gas lines, and water into your home. Make sure you know where these main utility shutoffs are, and make sure you have the tools to shut them down when you need to.
  • Do you have emergency supplies to see you through these short-term disasters? Often time’s people will tell you to have 72 hours’ worth of supplies; I call BS on that number! You need to have a minimum of two weeks’ worth of food, water, and emergency supplies on hand at all times.
  • Go Through our Natural Disasters Checklist.

Prepping for Crime, Assaults and Home Invasions.

Guy getting ready for attack

In 2012, the latest date the government has released numbers on, the FBI estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide. From criminal assaults and car-jacking to riots and home invasions, dealing with possible criminal attacks is at the top of the list of potential threats you will face.

  • Prepare for social unrest. We live in a time where people are looking for any excuse to cause trouble. Riots, looting, and large-scale assaults are becoming more common — even in areas once considered good neighborhoods.
  • Make sure you know how to defend your home. Home invasions are one of the most common crimes we face today; make sure you, your family, and you home are ready to face the threat.
  • Consider learning how to use a firearm and carrying one for protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy who has one and knows how to use it.

Preparing for Fires and Floods

Flooding during Storm

When we start prepping it’s easy to get caught up in a worst case scenario mentality. While preparing for the worst is a good thing, it can sometimes cause you to overlook the smaller disasters that can be just as devastating to your livelihood.

Fires and floods are one of the most common disasters a person will face in their lifetime. Unfortunately, it’s a threat that receives very little attention.

  • Conduct Monthly Preparedness Drills. One of the best ways to prepare yourself and your family for disasters and threats, as well as discover any holes in your plans, is to conduct periodic emergency safety drills.
  • Get a Fire Extinguisher. When thinking about survival gear people often overlook the fire extinguisher. Knowing how to start a fire is a great survival skill, but the ability to put one out can save your life!

Preparing for Economic Disasters

Money on Fire

With the United States now clocking it at over $19 trillion of debt — and that’s not even considering the over $220 trillion in unfunded liabilities the government keeps off the official debt record — economic problems are a very real problem that you need to be prepared for.

Preparing for Social Unrest

Socail Unrest

After the riots in Baltimore and Ferguson and a countless number of large scale gang attacks that received very little attention from the mainstream media, there is no denying the chaos that’s spreading through the streets of America and throughout the world.

Preparing for Terrorist Attacks


Since President Obama was sworn into office, there have been seven major Islamic terror attacks in the United States. The worldwide number of annual terrorist deaths has more than quadrupled since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

While these attacks are often ignored by the media, or classified as acts of workplace violence so the government doesn’t have to admit we were attacked, this is one threat that is not going away. In fact, future attacks will likely be bigger, cause more death and destruction, and could shatter an already troubled economy causing us to spiral into a place where nobody wants to go.

The Aftermath: Post-Disaster Threats.

Police Taking Guns after a Disaster

With all of these events, you need to not only think about the dangers associated with the event itself but also what will happen in the aftermath.

We live in a world where people are looking to take advantage of bad situations, and with all disasters will come a number of threats that could catch you off guard should you ignore the possible aftermath. From criminals looking to take advantage of people who are already desperate and off guard, to terrorists who are waiting to strike once we are already down, there are people out there who will target people after the initial threat seems to have passed.

Just look at what happened during large-scale disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy; thousands of people took to the streets stealing, looting, assaulting people, and even raping innocent women who were just trying to survive the storms aftermath.

So why prep?

When people think of prepping, they often think of people preparing for some end of the world situation or Hollywood doomsday scenario. But the truth about prepping is it’s not about preparing for some statistical anomaly, but instead preparing for the real life challenges that we are all going to face at some point in our lives; the kind of situations that feel like the end of your world if you’re not prepared.

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  1. Very good article with realistic reasons for prepping. As I began to be more prepared my wife constantly argued with me about things like building bug out bags and stocking up on food. These are some of the reasons I gave to her to get her to see the real world threats as opposed to the unlikely scenarios most people discuss. Well done.

    • Kinda having the same problem. My soon to be wife does not care that I prep. She just don’t see the joint. I think it’s just one of those gens that think the stores will always be stocked. But if something were to happen then she’ll really see why i store our food in a climate contraled storage. Tell then it’s just gonna be a rocky road.

  2. This is what my family preps for. We have had many disasters in our area from power outages to financial problems due to work loss. The last one we had was both a power outage and a water main break at the same time in Jan last year. no power for 5 days or water for 3. But we had the supplies on hand to keep everyone warm and hydrated. Yes I think about things like pandemics and war, but I prep for the everyday. And this also makes us prepared for the major possibilities.

  3. There are prepper sites that sell everything under the sun based on concern.
    There are so called, “Patriot” sites that will sell you information and.. everything under the sun.
    There is No patriot network, No logistics, No quick reaction force ready to swoopin set up ooperations and protect your rights from overbearing, anti-Constitutionalists and Alphabet Government Agencies! No Government warning system alarm in your community to let you know “the government is comingc the government is coming!”
    So you all need to prep, more than likely you will need to bug in, Cause you wont know when they are working in and around your area, until they are kicking in your door.
    prep, get close to your family and freinds, meet your neighbors, band together, set up and work out a plan. Communications, walkies, ham, CB, smoke.. whatever you use but communication is key. You need to rely on your community to make the ultimate sacrifice for the community. That includes you and your family!
    People are making lots of money to scare you and sell to you.. crap. Misinformation and fear mongering sells big.
    Self reliance and tight community saves.

  4. Thanks for all the great advice.
    One thing caught my attention specifically, and that was “the loss of income”. One of the great desasters that comes to mind is the death of the breadwinner in the family, especially when young children are involved. I am Not an insurance salesman, but this is something that can’t be put off. The local Church family is a great blessing and help at this time, but long term, we need to prep for it, and that also involves living debt free.

    • When discussing loss of income what is often not addressed is access to your money. If a disaster strikes that takes out the power grid cash will be king, but the king will be in prison if it’s all in a bank. Plastic will be useless and so will all of your money in the bank if you can’t get it out.

      Most banks keep very little cash on hand and they have withdrawal limits even at the teller window. If you want more than a certain amount you actually have to place an order in advance and many banks under FED pressure are requiring you to fill out a form explaining why you need so much!

      They already require you to show ID when depositing cash into your own account and if they “suspect” you should not be depositing so much cash they will report you to the FED’s who might then freeze and seize your account forcing you to prove your innocence. This is called civil asset forfeiture.

      Some banks will not allow you to deposit cash in someone else’s account either.

      Enough of that. The bottom line is you need access to cash and a lot more than you think. Most supplies still available for purchase may get ridiculously overpriced as they get in short supply. Most people keep less than $200 on them. We have become too reliant on our plastic. Almost considering it an inconvenience.

      Now I can’t tell you how much cash you need, but a good start is to add up all your monthly non utility expenditures. Anything you pay cash for or swipe a card for. Then triple it. Best not to keep cash in anything larger than a $20 bill and make sure to have a lot of fives and ones because if the seller can’t make change you are either going to have to overpay, buy more than you need or do without.

      Some people say to keep gold and silver on hand. I would not over do that. Most people know nothing about either or what they are worth. Gold and silver coins might seem convenient, but their face value is not their melt value. Still think it’s the way to go? Here is a simple test. Take one of your coins or even mini bars if you have them and go try to buy something in most any store. Other than a jewelry or gun store you will likely be laughed out of store.

      In a longer term situation you will need to think beyond cash to physical items of value you can barter with. Eventually when things are in short supply cash and even gold will be of little value. Key items to barter will be water, food, fuel, medicine, cigarettes and alcohol. You will need to either have these, be able to acquire them or produce them.

      You will also need to be able to hide and or defend all of your stuff because in a SHTF scenario, once others know what you have they will try and take it from you. They may even band together to come for your stuff.

      There will be those that try to appoint themselves as some kind of community leader and then there will be calls for everyone to turn over all their supplies to the community to share from. These calls will of course come from those that did not prepare themselves and have little or nothing of their own. They will try to make it sound like they are doing it for the good of the community when in fact it will really be about saving their own butt. Those that go along with them will also be those with nothing of their own. They may even try going door to door to demand to search your home. You need to be prepared to use deadly force to stop them.

      You will also need to hide your stuff from the government. In times of national emergency FEMA and other agencies have the authority (albeit unconstitutional) to go door to door and seize anything they deem necessary for the good of the community. You could go from being fully prepared for 6 months to having just enough for 72 hours.

      Your ability to hide and defend what you have will be greatly influenced by where you live. The more rural you are the better your chances. If you live in some apartment or condo in the city and do not have a secondary place to bug out to then you may be in deep manure. All the prepping in the world is of no use if you can’t defend your stuff.

      Speaking of apartments, condo’s and townhomes you really need to know the building codes for your city. Most apartments are allowed to be 100% wood frame construction. Many states require condo’s and townhomes to have concrete firewalls that separate the units. Why is that important? Because in a SHTF scenario you would much rather have concrete walls surrounding you than sheetrock. Sheetrock isn’t bulletproof.

  5. Here’s a scenario for you…you wake up one morning and the power is off and it is not coming back on ….ever… What do you do ???? think about it…

    • Sounds like someone has been watching the Canadian TV show “Revolution”. The entire series is based on that.

      Well barring some technology run amok you will still be able to produce your own electricity and should be prepared for that. Depending on where you live will determine your options. Obviously living in a house presents many more options than an apartment or condo.

      In a house and depending on where you live you may have the option of solar, wind and even hydropower if you have a running water source such as a stream that runs through your property.

      Tesla now offers a home Power Wall battery unit that uses the same battery technology as the car. It can store all your excess daytime power generation for use at night or on cloudy days and windless days. They are not cheap, but if you can afford it, it’s a good thing to have especially if you already have some kind of home power generation. You can read more about them here on Tesla’s site. https://www.teslamotors.com/POWERWALL

      • Sorry …all my bases are covered…..But you are missing my point…..WHAT is the first set of things are you going to do when you realize the power is off….say over a four week period……you got to have a plan and a back up plan and a redundancy for that as well…for example….I wake up …NO power….the first thing I got to do is make me a cup of coffee…then after 3 or 4 hrs. no power I drag out my battery packs for my emergence communication ( ham ) and see how far the black out spans …so on an so forth —->>my point

        • I got a nice 9K diesel generator that purrs like a kitten and is as quite as a church mouse with a 500 gal storage tank full but it will not last forever that’s where the solar panels come in at.. thought out and plan for on my part ya see I know what’s next….

  6. I’m the guy who got caught up in a financial crunch and my preps saved the day between jobs. The preps needed rotating out anyway because some had expiration dates that had just passed but were still viable.

    The only food purchases I had were for fresh veggies and fruit during this winter. Everything else I had on hand out of my prepper stash. Now that I’m back to work I’ll replenish my cache with new food and can up a bunch of food from my gardens just in case this financial disaster ( or a disaster of some other flavor ) comes along.

    It’s all about planning and when ‘A ‘ fails you move ‘B’ and if that goes south you move on to ‘C’. Redundacy is a Preppers best friend!


    Snake Plisken

  7. I agree with being prepared for job loss. Cars break down unexpectedly. Spouses leave unexpectedly. Bills, taxes, traffic fines come out of nowhere, or so it seems. And only the most naive and or foolish hasn’t set aside a few dollars.

    I once read that the more intelligent a person is, the more likely they are to create a “cushion” for themselves and their families. If it takes fifty thousand a year to pay the bills, a smart fella sets out to make more than fifty thousand so he isn’t living on the edge. Unfortunately, too many people waste whatever they have and nothing motivates them but a crisis.

    • You are correct and unfortunately for them if they wait until the crisis hits to get motivated it will be too late. They will then become the potential looters and home invasion types the rest of us will have to defend against.

  8. I had to quit my job to become a single dad about a year ago. Having the freedom to do that because of my financial and simple life-style prepping has taken what would have been a nightmare scenario and turned it into a wonderful year to spend time with my son (while I retool my work situation to work from home). Because I don’t have to be worried about paying the basic expenses and putting food on the table, I’m sure I’ve been a better dad during this time because I’m not stressed out of my mind. Great article – it’s important to remember the less-sexy reasons for prepping.

  9. I say this sincerely, this is one of your best articles; and they are all great so that is really saying something! Great! My husband lost his job back in 2008 and was unemployed for a full year and underemployed for an additional three months after his UE checks stopped coming and he literally had to take the very first thing he could find to avoid complete financial ruin. We were not prepared in any way for that reality and got a very quick crash course — selling a vehicle and moving a lot of things around to survive the long challenge. People seem so naive about Loss of Income. I am especially grateful it was your No. 1 topic. :) Have a great day!!

  10. I have a second income and now using most of the back garden for food production. Waiting for my solar panels to be installed. than I’ll stockpile meat and fish and go off grid. I can’t wait

  11. Really good article, I’m looking at stocking building supplies along with medical, more food/water, and home defense items.

  12. Communities prep for disaster as well. One of the best ways to participate is in joining volunteer fore departments. You can stay connected to the heart of your community, train with others to prepare for SHTF sotuations, better judge best responses.
    Often these departments will provide training in exchange for a commitment of one or two years…mine was teo and while it is over, I still believe in the department mission…theyve retrained me at firefighting and trained me in EMT…invaluable.
    They dont just need firefighters…many departments need ems personnel, functions committee members for fundraisers, other volunteers…my original commitment was as the cook at functions. And they would have been happy with that.

  13. Perhaps the number one thing that will surprise people in a disaster is how hard it will be to use credit cards or even get cash at the ATM. Have at least $500 cash on hand at all times.

  14. About 35 years ago I decided to never be in debt. Yes, most think it can’t be done, but it can. #1 is to work hard and save, save and save. Best thing I ever did. with proper investments and education, I was able to retire at 52 with lifelong income. Never bought a new car, no new house, Always buy used, hit garage sales. No $6.00 Starbucks latte’s, Make coffee at home for about $.30 cents a cup. It’s about behavior. When using all cash, your decision making is different, It becomes hard to part with cash, making purchase decisions simple, do I need this item or do I just want it?. Make a budget and stick to it. It can be done, have an emergency fund, things break, refrigerator, furnace, but it’s not a crisis with an emergency fund. Don’t be like everyone else, most people are really stupid about financial issues, they are living paycheck to paycheck and making payments ON EVERTING! Why? mostly because that’s what their parents did and they were stupid too! Most families can’t cover a $500,00 emergency, how pathetic is that, but hey they are driving a new car that they don’t own and live in a house that they can’t make the Morgage payments. Learn how to do things, Plumbing, Electrical, car repair, ETC, you will save thousands.
    Be prepared, just imagine one day, your credit card won’t work, the gas card won’t work and no one is answering the phone, you go to your bank and find the doors locked, no one inside and no one answers the phone. Oh, and you have no cash on you or at home. Yea, Good luck. You fail to plan is a plan to fail!

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