Prompt: Prepping Edition

A couple of years ago I wrote a story about a young couple, Jonah and Lily, whose first year of marriage centers on his prepper instincts. They move to the middle of nowhere and begin stockpiling goods. I revised the piece a couple of times and think I’d like to return to it soon.

I started the piece from curiosity about the prepper community. I’m fascinated by people who make preparation for catastrophe their end. Google any combination of:

off the grid
food stockpiles
shelf life
water purification
more guns
also bullets

Okay. I’m making fun with the last few. But guns seem to be a part of the prepper population. And if you want to go down a rabbit hole, go ahead and Google what everyone is prepping for:

world financial collapse
nuclear war
(do the above three go together?)
biological warfare
chemical warfare

Okay. Making fun again. I’ll be begging for their tinned meat in twenty years. And my only stockpile is chocolate bars.

I started thinking about Jonah and Lily again because of the current coverage of Ebola. Pictures of DIY hazmat suits and coverage of the U.S. congressional freakout about borders make light of the greater, truer tragedy in western Africa. And though religious and environmental reasons may play into a prepper’s motivation, a primary ingredient of the lifestyle is panic. If not panic for the present, then panic for what might happen.

Because what might happen can take its time, there are websites posting expiration of dry goods and hosting forums about whether you can eat mealy flour.

Go write about prepping. The world ends in fire or disease or war and you’ve got a year’s supply of dry beans, chlorine tablets and flares. If you’re a really good prepper, you’ve got more than that. Go explore the prepper lifestyle.

If you’re a prepper who found this post hoping for a tutorial on boiling water using a piece of tinfoil and a cloudy sky (and that last joke didn’t completely offend), please post your blog or recommended sites in the comments. I often write about what I don’t know to learn it.