For those who consider themselves to be a ‘prepper’, or ‘preparedness-minded’, or whatever title you would like to assign, was there a time in your life when you had that ‘ah-ha’ moment or when your mindset changed to start preparing for uncertain times?
Was there a particular event or series of events that set you off in the direction of preparedness?
Even those of you who consider yourselves to always have been preparedness-minded, was there something that kicked it into a higher gear?
It should be interesting to discover each-others reasoning as to why we are now preppers…
When and Why did you take the ‘red pill’?
So, for me, I would say that my awareness towards preparedness occurred in several stages.
I recall many years ago during the time leading up to the ‘dot com’ bubble, I recognized the ridiculous frenzy of the stock market when investments kept on skyrocketing with the latest new ‘start up’ high-tech company. Seemingly every day there were new IPO’s on Wall Street whereby everyone was apparently getting rich off of the investment mania – regardless of the foundation of the new company itself. You just couldn’t lose (it seemed). While I too had a hefty portion of my 401K monies in that area, I specifically recall ‘knowing’ that this could not last. The bubble was going to burst. I then redirected all of my 401K into ‘safe’ funds and then watched as it all came crashing down. Got out in time…
This was the first time that I really realized that such systemic risks existed – and that to recognize them ahead of time was a very important thing! My risk awareness went up…
Y2K. While it was hyped up to be a world-altering event (I suppose no-one really knew for sure), I did start actively prepping for this. I didn’t go ‘over-board’, but I did purchase food storage and other supplies for ‘just in case’. I suppose that this threat is what actually got the wheels in motion for me.
When 9/11 happened, it really hit home (obviously). I’m sure that event affected you as well. It felt like the nations ‘security blanket’ had been removed. We had been living under a somewhat false sense of security, and were now vulnerable. Time to prepare some more…
Then there was ‘the housing bubble’. Again, the over-inflated frenzy of making a quick buck. It seemed everyone was flipping houses and making the big bucks (I never did). Everyone around me at work kept ‘trading up’ to the bigger house. Refinancing. The McMansion. I stayed in the same house (glad that I did!). Before the peak, I just absolutely knew that it was going to crash. When it did, I was exceedingly glad that I resisted participating and that I still had my same manageable mortgage which I eventually was able to pay off.
By this time I truly recognized many of the systemic risks out there and realized how the vast majority of people follow the herd into the next bubble-bust syndrome. Like Lemmings over a cliff… I knew that I was different, and would not be walking over that cliff with them.
During 2010 a life-threatening health event (not my own) really hit home. It really affected me and how things can drastically change in a very short period of time. ‘Normalcy bias’ became very real, as this event and subsequent period of time shook the concept to its core. It led to a decisive and complete uprooting from where we lived, and the beginning of an entirely new life, which has been the best thing we’ve ever done… That’s when I started this blog. And I’m glad I stuck with it.
In summary, I suppose that I could go on and on with countless examples of the things that I began to see as the curtains were pulled back further (or as I peeled back layers of the onion). It was not a single event for me – although Y2K was the first motivator to begin prepping for real. It was a series of events and eye-opening realizations that kept reinforcing my strive towards independence. This led to a goal of breaking away from ‘the system’ to the extent that I could, in order to become more self-reliant and more insulated from some of the major risks that we face today in our uncertain world (putting it mildly ;) ).
What about you?