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Friday, May 11, 2012

Preppers are Prepping for the future, living more self-sufficient and less dependent


They call themselves "Preppers" they are preparing for the worst

Off-Grid Preperation A large and growing number of people are stocking up and purchasing equipment with the anticipation that our normal day to day lives could be disrupted or changed forever sometime in 2012. They call themselves "Preppers" and some are preparing for when Sh@# hits the fan. (SHTF). What SHTF you may ask? Well it's a large number of concerns that have all seemed too accumulated as potential issues for 2012 and beyond.


Some are deeply concerned with the economy, increasing violent crimes, hostile countries, terrorist attacks, and what they see as a potential accumulation towards a possible total economic collapse.


The large consensus of people are just having to live with less or are in fear of losing a job and have chosen to live a more frugal self-sufficient lifestyle.


Many are just fed up with corporate greed, problematic food chain contamination issues, use of pesticides and increasing importation of foods and other products from countries less concerned with passing on harmful chemical and toxins than making a profit.


Some are very concerned with their carbon foot print, and are seeking less dependency on oil and grid power.


Before jumping to conclusions and writing off certain groups as being radical or just crazy, you may just want to consider the facts and begin to also prepare for some type of disruption in your own life or begin to live a more wholesome self-sufficient lifestyle.


There is an element of people in our society who do believe and have pointed to the start of 2012 as the beginning of the end of the world.


Setting that phenomenon aside, there are plenty of other issues driving people to be genuinely concerned.


Many are preparing for another Y2K, whereas again believing the computers that run virtually every thing we depend on are at risk, from solar storms, or some other event.


Let us investigate what is driving these fears and how you may also want to become better prepared.


It is projected that solar storms will become more active and could possibly create some blackout or disruption in communications and computer equipment in the future. The debate ranges from being just a few seconds to an extended period of time.


Regardless if these are real threats or not, we do know the country is being impacted by some of the most brutal storms that have ever been recorded. These are not inconvenience storms, where power can be restored in as little as 24 hours. These storms are devastating communities, and in some cases wiping out entire towns. It is taking weeks and months to rebuild the infrastructure of power lines needed to deliver grid power back into these wide spread devastated areas. Those living in or around can attest that being without power and communications is a real issue that they were not prepared for. If it is not a storm, just the stress on the grid during peek periods bring rolling black outs and cause power plants to drop off line.


Just take a look around at the increases in computer technology that has occurred over the past decade, since Y2K. It is a fact that we have become more dependent on computers; even homes are now being equipped with computer controlled smart meters. So if you are preparing to stock up on candles, oil and battery lights in case of an extended power outage, you are already "Prepping".


There is no denial the economy is creating more crime. People have been unemployed for extended periods and are desperate to support their families. This desperation leads to an attitude of taking from others whatever they need to survive. It is a fact that crime is up and criminals are becoming more brazen in taking what they want at any time of the day or night and in places that you wouldn't have thought could be dangerous just a few years ago.


2011 gun sales were one of the hottest trends ever for a Black Friday. Gun sales continue to be a leading indicator that people are taking self protection measures more seriously. The sales of guns to females are a large and growing trend amongst total gun sales. If you have joined the ranks of purchasing a gun for self protection, you are "Prepping".


The economy and the threats of new terrorist attacks linger on every ones minds. The uneasiness of foreign struggles and financial meltdowns are a real issue. Could the country face a total economic collapse or another deeper recession is the debate.


We know people from around the world are planning daily to somehow attack, disrupt, or the American economy, sabotage our computers, and cripple our infrastructure, such as attacking the gird either physically or by the computerized systems that run it.


We often just don't realize how dependent we have become on computers. This dependency on computers now drives functionality. Stores can no longer do a cash sale without a computerized system, banks can no longer do transactions without a computerized system, and every level of transportation we now use depends on computerized systems to either run the transport or control the directional systems to get us from point A to B. So what would happen if just for a few days someone shut off a switch to every computerized system in our lives? If you are keeping a little more cash around and stocking up on some basic necessities just in case, then you are probably already "Prepping".


An aside to the Prepping discussion, people are just becoming more skeptical of the safety of the nations food supply chain. It is a fact that more and more recalls are occurring because of contaminated food entering our food supply. And then people are becoming more concerned with the additives, preservatives and the processing techniques of foods that maybe also causing more unhealthy lifestyles and diseases.


To counteract these fears people are again turning backyards into garden spaces to grow their own fresh vegetables. Others are turning back to the land to raise livestock to either produce meat, or milk and eggs. Hunting is regaining in popularity as a concern for necessity more than just being a sport. If you are turning back to the land to raise your own vegetables, livestock, or hunting to stock meat in the freezer you could be either prepping or just searching for a more wholesome and healthy self-sufficient lifestyle.


It could also be frugality, a desire to just live more green, or both. Those with a passion to lessen the impact on environment by decreasing the amount of waste they send off to the landfills are finding repurposing, or recycling a new way of looking at the products and the supplies they purchase. Plastics are becoming less attractive to consumers, not only for the landfill aspect but the carbon foot print dependency on oil to produce them. Plastic shopping bags have been completely banned in several areas.


Both preppers and environmentalist are learning to turn what would have been junk into products that they can use to live self-sufficient, as well as save some green cash. Plastic drums are being turned into compost machines and rain barrels to store rain water. Solar heating collectors are being built from aluminum cans, and other discarded sheet metal objects. Discarded glass windows are turning into green houses and covers for solar panels. 12 volt car parts are being converted to daily household products to run off batteries charged by solar or wind generators.


As history goes we may look back on all this preparedness and say it was a good time for our country. In all this chaos people are actually enjoying the purpose of learning to become more self-sufficient. They are beginning to learn new skills, get a little fresh air, more exercise and feel an accomplishment of doing something more for their families.


In the middle of disasters, Americans pull together to help common strangers, make new friends meet neighbors for the very first time and forget all about economic social classes.


Changes in attitudes change purchase patterns, which in turn reprograms the entire business cycle. If companies can't sell their toxic dependent products they will soon be forced to change to the consumers demands or go out of business. People are already turning products over to see if it is from such places as China, and if so pass on by. Many are looking for the sustainability and seek out to purchase recycled products. A shift is even beginning to occur away from the mega corporate owned chains to come back to the small downtown single owner shops that will still stop to shake a hand and say thank you.


In the preparation for Y2K many people flocked to the self-sustaining Amish communities to find off-grid equipment and supplies. Just like then companies who brought those same products to the general market became very popular as a one stop self-sufficient shopping place.


Whether you consider yourself as a prepper, a seeker for the simpler self-sufficient lifestyle, or an environmentalist, Cottage Craft Works probably has you covered with all types of back-to-basics self-sufficient off-grid products.


Stores such as Cottage Craft Works provide a wide network across many Amish communities and other small cottage industries that still make the old time products used before the grid reached some of the most remote country side areas.


It would take years of traveling the back roads to find some of these products; in fact that is how Cottage Craft Works began. With a passion for living self-sufficient, the owners have spent over 30 years traveling the back roads to find self-sufficient products. Over this time they developed many business relationships with the Amish and other small business and cottage based businesses. This network of cottage based vendors is what makes them so unique, providing some of the highest quality durable products that can be found anywhere.


Take a look at this unique online old time general store. People often remark visiting Cottage Craft Works is like taking a tour of

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