4 Reasons Why I'm (Kind Of) A Prepper

My mother and I lived with her parents throughout my childhood, which exposed me to lots of stories about The Great Depression, World War Two, and the evils of unnecessary personal spending and debt.


Their generation came of age in the midst of a world coming undone with no certainty of reprieve or resolution. The Great Depression and war years constructed a one-way door of sorts. Once their world collapsed it couldn’t be unsmashed, and there was no pretending otherwise. They had a way of telling us to live simply and be prepared without giving away the worst details of the source of this certainty.

The economic collapse of 2008 exposed my generation to its own season of tumultuous uncertainty and widespread destruction, but it’s the pandemic and various international threats to peace and prosperity that have me thinking of my grandparents all the time.

No alligators were harmed

To be clear, I haven’t installed a drawbridge with an alligator moat and electrified fence. Michigan winters are too harsh for gators, and with my luck the drawbridge would get frozen in the least useful position, but I have taken a few steps.

I’m not here to spout conspiracy theories, urge you to buy precious metals and food dehydrators, or buy shares in a deluxe family-sized bunker. But I am here to encourage you to do what you can to stay as happy, healthy, and well fed as possible. These days, that means being honest with yourself about the challenges we’re facing.

I’ve been here before

My household was caught in the midwestern regional blackout of 2021. The greater Detroit area-where we live-was especially hard hit. We sheltered in place when a strong windstorm caught us out shopping. At first, it didn't seem like a big deal, but we spent 6 days without power. We lost all of our perishables and ended up lugging 7 bags of rotting trash and ruined towels out to the curb.

We have very specific needs

We need food that’s low-carb, anti-inflammatory, and diabetes friendly. We cannot abide laundry detergents and toiletries that irritate the skin or stink. And don't even get me started on the copious supply of towels. In the grand scheme of things, nothing on this list makes us divas, but needing something doesn’t mean it will actually be in the store.

My perspective

My family’s ties to the retail world and my education in public administration have helped me understand (some of) what we’re facing. I would love to be wrong, but the trends point toward ongoing serious difficulties in the international and domestic supply chains, continued social unrest, and agony throughout our healthcare systems.

Why am I telling you this?

Arthritis patients and our families already face enough adversity, we don’t need any more surprises like we had back in 2020. The benefits of your self-care and treatment plan are maximized when you have what you need. Please consider how you might best prepare for any upcoming emergencies or shortages.

So yeah, I guess I’m a low-key prepper now. Sigh.

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