I must admit, a few years ago when I first learned that the Affordable Care Act was to include pre-existing conditions, I thought – this really isn’t insurance. If it’s not required that one prepare BEFORE the medical need arises, one could wait until there’s a medical problem and then have the government pay for it. Seems like an upside-down world to me.
It's kind of like trying to get auto insurance after you're in an accident or home owners insurance after your home burns to the ground - life just doesn't work that way.
But then I started thinking about how great this approach would be for food storage. Since food storage is really nothing more than food insurance – providing coverage in the event food isn’t available at the grocery store – when I need it, is there a plan where the government would just provide it?
I think we all know the answer to that question. The government will not save us in time of need. We need to be personally prepared to feed our families and loved ones in the event of a collapse.
I really like the idea of thinking of our food storage as food insurance. These days, you can buy insurance on pretty much anything, from smartphones to cars to vacations. When you buy insurance, you agree to pay a certain amount of money, whether in the form of a lump sum or as semi-frequent payments, to a company that agrees to give you money should there be damage to whatever you insure.
This is the popular way of ensuring our possessions and even ourselves (think health and life insurance). You hope that you never need to cash in on your insurance, but you're very happy that you have it when you do.
However, many people don't realize that there are a number of other ways you can insure yourself and your possessions besides making payments to an insurance company. What if there was another way to insure yourself that was a bit more proactive? Well, you’re in luck - there is! It’s called being a Prepper.
What is a Prepper?
While the pop culture view of Preppers paints a picture of someone who is hiding in a cave paranoid about an impending doomsday event, most Preppers would find this to be highly inaccurate. Although there are certainly people who are concerned with an apocalyptic disaster, many Preppers are more concerned with being able to deal with day to day issues or larger scale natural disasters, power outages, or the like (common sense stuff to most Preppers).
As was just mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to describe all preppers in a single, concise, definition. However, most preppers are just like you and me, who have seen or heard about disasters, like a house fire or earthquake, and have thus taken steps to be more prepared to deal with such a situation, should it happen again.
We might all have different reasons for being Preppers, but fundamentally, all Preppers want to be prepared for something. Generally, Preppers make sure they have the tools, supplies, training, and knowledge to deal with a multitude of situations, but the specifics of these things will vary from person to person.
Prepping as a form of insurance
Think about this - when you're a Prepper, you make sure you have the right tools, supplies, training, and knowledge to deal with a variety of situations. Instead of giving your money to a company who promises to help you out financially in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster, being a prepper is a more proactive form of insurance. If you buy supplies and tools and invest in your own training and knowledge, you're setting yourself up to better respond to an emergency that affects you, your family, or your friends.
Sure, this doesn't necessarily replace the need to financially insure you or your possessions, but it does help you and your family be better prepared to react appropriately to emergency situations. Plus, while traditional insurance is really only helpful after something happens, being a prepper means you can deal with a situation while it’s happening.
How to start prepping
Although prepping is often considered a fringe activity, it's really just about making sure you can handle many of the emergencies that can come your way. It’s important for everyone to consider what can happen where they live and how they might best be able to address these situations. To start prepping, considering the following things:
1) Your current situation is (i.e. if you have a family, where you live, what your financial life is like, and what possessions you have)
2) What kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect you, such as a hurricane, snow storm, earthquake, or more
3) What you would need to do to protect or prepare yourself, your family, and your possessions from these potential emergencies.
Once you understand what your assets are and what potential threats they face, you can start to consider what you might need to do to protect your assets (including family). Every Prepper - and every Prepper's strategy - is different. Thus, it's important to figure out what your unique needs are so you can formulate your own action plan.
Now, you can start to think about your next steps, which are to determine what you need to do to create your own ‘prepper insurance plan’.
Becoming a prepper doesn't have to be difficult. You can make things as simple or complex as you like. But, at the end of the day, most preppers will generally have the following things in some capacity:
Emergency supplies at home
A solid every day carry kit
A bug out bag
With these three ‘systems’ you can be prepared to deal with minor day-to-day happenings, large-scale disasters, and short-notice evacuations of your home.
The best part about these three prepper essentials? They’re customizable to best meet your needs. Instead of purchasing a premade bug out bag or emergency supply kit, you can make your own so that you have everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
Plus, many of the things that you include in these kits are multi-purpose by design, so you can also use them for fun activities, like hiking or camping.
At the end of the day, being a Prepper is about being prepared. Whether you’re prepared to deal with minor cuts and scrapes at a soccer game or you’re ready to hunker down at home for four days during a blizzard because you made a great emergency supply store, prepping can be a fantastic form of insurance.
While prepping might not result in a large insurance payout, prepping can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you can reasonably handle what's thrown your way. Instead of waiting for a check after a disaster, you can go into any situation prepared with the right kit, knowledge, and skills to stay reasonably safe and happy given the circumstances.
We all have assets that should be protected, and being proactive and prepared is one of the best ways to insure yourself during an emergency!