The Tide is Turning – Prepping is Becoming Normal — 80 Comments

  1. Hi Jack,
    I’ve been listening for about 6 months, since about show 570. The wife and I have been working towards getting out of the rat race for about 12 years, and we’re 49 days away from moving to our “bug out” house. Ironically, we’ll be near you in Booneville, AR on 30 acres. Great minds think alike, I guess.

    Love your show, and I’ll be joining the TSP Brigade in a few minutes.

    Mike and Tish

    • @Mike and Tish,

      You are welcome at the AntHill or the TSP Homestead any time. Look me up when you settle in and we can burn some beef and enjoy some beers on my deck.

  2. So true, Jack. I’m seeing similar things. I no longer feel like a freak. I feel like I’m … wise. (Is it lame to say you’re wise? Don’t really care.) I’m getting as many friends prepared as possible. I tell them to listen to TSP.

    • @Heavy G and I know that means you personally have come a long way, not in being a prepper but in talking about it. Good on you brother.

  3. What you’re doing is amazing work, and it’s helping a lot of people, myself included. Your message also trickles down a lot more often than you might even realize. When I talk to people I know about prepping and survival training, a lot of people don’t get it. To them, this has always been the province of tinfoil hat wingnuts or political/religious extremists. I ended up starting my own blog to talk about my own experiences to try to “normalize” it and encourage other people to give it a shot.

    On another point… despite what you’re saying about the government discouraging prepping, consider this: a friend recently pointed out how odd it is that the CDC is encouraging the “be prepared” message through their zombie campaign. Maybe they’re trying to tell us something….

    • @Jackie thanks for spreading the word. The G-men are sending a mixed message, yep prepare, they have sites to help you, then they say those that prep are terrorists. Read the report yourself. Here is the key as I mentioned in my article the government wants you prepared for what, 3 days, not much more.

      They want you to stay in the gerbil wheel and have a three day or so reserve, long enough for them to repair the wheel if it stops. They fear that many of us will actually get self sufficient and get off the wheel all together.

  4. I guess the message is to be prepared for three days so that if a hurricane or something hits, the government doesn’t have to worry about you. But they don’t want you to be self-sufficient over the long-haul which means, among other things, not constantly feeding the system by buying crap and going into crazy debt.

    • @Jackie DING DING DING DING we have a winner. You have now officially awaken to the duality of idiocy practiced at all times by big government. Tell them they are free while enslaving them, tell them to be prepared but not too prepared, etc. Tell them to not be racist but feed them reasons to judge race, tell them to be charitable but tax their ability to be charitable away.

      “Divided people are easily governed, united people control their governors.”

      Now there is a Jack Spirko quote for ya!

  5. People are waking up Jack. It’s the big cities with lots of political pull that are still dragging their heels and don’t want to admit that they are unprepared for most events. But once the majority of smaller cities and communities start “doing for themselves”, it won’t take long for the big cities to lose their power hold and their political pull as well.
    It’s going to take smaller communities going back to the old ways of everyone helping each other, loosing their selfishness and embracing their neighbors no matter who they are or what job they do.
    Sharing and caring for one another. Keeping families together and teaching our youth the skills that will get them through life, and teaching them good old common sense.
    If the world crashes and burns, we will need communities like this to rebuild our nation to its former greatness!

  6. Right on! Guess it’s hard to not have riots in London break through the haze. Or a 2 day almost 1000 pt slide in the market.

    I’ve found just keeping my head down and working my plan is the best attractant so far. Those around me can’t not think about how unprepared they are when the power goes out and I throw a party, because we’re not going to work, right. Then I gently throw in a “yep- a free day of fun; or if this were the real thing, I’d be living like I always do and you’d be up shits creek, cold and starving”.

    Then a low key offer of help and support. And a reminder that if the day comes, they will not be welcome here without enough gear/food to keep themselves plus 1 alive for 3 months.

    A few have started to move forward. Less I’ll have to worry about someday.

    Keep it rockin! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  7. Having gone through Department of Homeland Security provided CERT training I always find this a bit confusing. CERT goes over having not three but atleast seven days worth of food, water and medical supplies in reserve. They repeatedly drill into you to not rely on the government for help and that you need a backup plan.

    Even has resource that you can use to prepare and at the same time other branches of the government are saying anyone that is prepared is a potential terrorist?

  8. I knew prepping was becoming more accepted when our local Walmart started selling long term storage food. The tide is turning. Keep up the good work.

  9. I grew up in a small town during the 60’s (I’m currently 57), and lived about a mile away from my grandparents. They lived on a normal sized city lot, and had turned most of the backyard into a garden, that provided a good portion of their food. My grandmother canned most of the produce, and stored potatoes and carrots in a root cellar below their house. They took care of themselves and others, and didn’t expect Uncle Sam to help out. To have that lifestyle today put you in the position of being considered a terrorist, is such a sad statement on how much we’ve lost as a people.

  10. Thank you Jack for your wisdom.
    As a former backpacker whom relied on one’s self sufficiency on the trails, it made sense for me to cross over into the real world with the same self sufficient attitude. Listened to your show for everynight on my IPod for the past 1 1/2 year and enjoyed every minute of it. I was an MSB member last year but will rejoin again later this year.

    Downloaded the archived most important episodes last year from the MSB forum, made a custom CD for my brother and he liked your philosophy on being self sufficient. Last time I was at his house, he showed me his on-going food storage project. Got a convert there!

    Thanks for all you have done and you got our continued support!

    By he way, my screen name “island1” is aptly named because I feel i’m the only “1” on a island away from the sheeples on the mainland…..

  11. I’ve been a prepper for 4 yrs. now. Still a long way to get it all together. My main concern is the “new world order”. I believe most of our govt. has been & still is prepping for a one world govt. The ” ” is about to hit the fan & I wish all preppers good luck & GOD BLESS.

  12. People are more receptive since they are already starting to think about what if… Keep it up Jack, it gives us somewhere to direct those who need to hear that more people think this way and we’re not alarmists, crazy or clad in tin foil.
    My wife bought a small dollhouse at a 2nd hand store for our granddaughter. One of her first comments after the intial delight was “where’s the garden?” Train ’em young!

  13. Well said brother. This is one of the best things you’ve ever written, everyone needs to read this!

    Looking forward to our upcoming fishing trip!

  14. Right on the money Jack. I have sent a link to this blog post to several of my family and friends as a worth reading subject …. maybe one or more will want to know more and hoepfully it will help awaken them.

  15. I found you through I told my husband about you and he said, “I have been listening to the podcast at work.” We started prepping when we found out we were expecting our first child last summer. We knew that we had to be ready for more than just the two of us now.

    Anyways, I received a free subscription to Parents Magazine(where most articles are laughable), in this months issue they have an article called “Are you prepared for an emergency?” They discuss many different ways to be ready for an emergency(they are thinking natural disaster) but suggest having a 3 day emergency kit, always having at least half a tank of gas, knowing who your neighbors are, and even having an out of state resource/point person. It is a very basic “bug out” guideline for mainstream families. They even suggest getting extended family to get ready too! At the end of the article they have a letter written by a mom for her preschooler to tell them how to be brave during an emergency, this may be a good idea to have parents do this. Not just a “how to be brave” but also have all the info in it that they would need to help them survive. Then make copies and give to all their teachers, relatives and care providers.

    I am encouraged to see even this little bit going mainstream. Keep up the great work!

    ~Erikka, Peter and Griffin

  16. Jack – Been listening off an on since you were first doing the show in your car, Never signed up on the forums but love what you do and share it with others. A woman on the internet I tried to link to you who is very like minded said she probably wouldn’t check it out because she can remember “survialists” being vilified back in the 80’s. Personally I’m to young to really remember the 80s but I find a lot of the same concept in the “zombie apocalypse” groups where I met her. With the CDC posting zombie stuff the government was seen as sort of gave a green light to be able to discuss some preparation in that regard. Keep up the good work Jack even some of us that aren’t confirmed on forums or tsp members are listening too. Not sure how you figure your numbers but we’re out here. 😉

  17. I have been a “prepper” since I got out of the military in 1991. During the big SF quake in 1989, I was an MP on the Presidio and saw firsthand how disorganized and overwhelmed our municipal, state and federal bureaucracies were. That was a very localized catastrophe that had a much more severe and lasting impact because residents were not prepared or self-sufficient and were relying on the gov’t which was equally unprepared.

    It was a major wake-up call to me. The preparations people made for Y2K were a step in the right direction, but because there was no catastrophe, they were later characterized as being “chicken littles,” which is unfortunate.

    Now, we are being told by FEMA that the old 3-day supply is inadequate and people should prepare to be self-sufficient for 5 to 8 days. Meanwhile, those that have decided to heed the warnings, wake up and make themselves more self-reliant, are being profiled as dangerous/radical extremists. As a proud military veteran, I am already considered a threat/risk to the country (according to Czar Napolitano), apparently for no other reason, than the fact that I have willingly taken a solemn oath to defend and protect the Constitution.

    These are sad times we live in.

    I will be out in Hot Springs in July 2013 for a convention. I’d like to share a few beers with you then, if possible.

    Keep up the good work. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  18. I agree totally with all you said. Wake up People, the time is now! If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will , the government? I’m a Vet and love our country, The United States of America. I swore to uphold the Constitution against ALL Enimies be they foreign or domestic. This oath did not end when I was honorably discharged medically. We have the power to make a better world for our kids and their kids, and so on. Today is all we have for tomorrow is not promised to anyone! Stand up and be heard.

  19. Awesome piece Jack. I “woke up” after Katrina. It’s amazing to see the transformation over the past 12 months. I have had so many conversations lately (initiated by them) with people and family members who I know wouldn’t have been concerned with these issues even year ago. Gives me hope.

  20. Right on Jack! I’m a relatively new listener, and finally had “the talk” with my wife last weekend about the need to prep. I had put it off for a month or so because I was afraid of what she’d think. To my surprise, she was and is 100% on board!
    The tide is turning!!

  21. OK, this is driving me crazy….Jack. The FBI says in the link you mentioned that purchasing an item referred to as a “night flashlight” is worthy of suspicion. Maybe you can explain to me what a “Night flashlight” is, and tell me what alternative purchase I might make (perhaps a ‘day flashlight’?), that will not arouse the suspicion of the FBI.


    • @Shannon by night flashlight they mean a flashlight designed to preserve night vision like with a red filter. Or some more advanced lights that would light up the AO for a person with NVGs or other night vision gear but be undetected by the naked eye.

  22. Well guys all the way from Brazil I can tell you that this is true, although my country isen’t going through the same hardships prepping is slowly becoming a reality to discuss, having large comunities of farmers and has such not so tech dependent made that change actually easier. Always a faithfull listener of TSP I give you thanks and keep up the good work.

  23. Hey Jack,

    As your post aptly points out, the time is definitely ripe for a significant societal shift toward the prepper mentality. That said, I hope you know how important you are in providing a voice of sanity and hope during this otherwise potentially chaotic transition. In my opinion you are doing great things for the image of prepping, and the way things are going I believe you are only getting started.

    I know that I am not alone when I say “thank you for all that you do!” Not just for myself and preppers in general, but for my kids and everyone else whose lives you directly or indirectly help with the spread of your message.

    Great write up, and keep up the great work!


  24. “The world has ended many times before and it will end many times hence, for in ending a world, it is not the planet earth that ends, but our perception of it, of how things work. For growth demands we examine again the path we walk, lest we become irrevocably lost in the wilder”

    I have no idea where that quote came from, but …

  25. Absolutely great blog post.
    I want to post it with a link here on a couple of other forums I frequent. It puts what I have been feeling into words.

  26. Has anyone seen this PSA from the US government, on a mainstream television channel? I have seen it on the left-leaning Halogen channel (Sorry, I love Food Jammers, the show about 3 young Canadians that make crazy contraptions to cook food).

    Wouldn’t doing what this ad suggests make everyone a prepper-criminal?

    • @Curt, nope that is what they want, 3-7 days and a kit, be ready to go where FEMA tells you to. They do not want you able to care for yourself long term especially when there isn’t a disaster just garden variety misery. Listen to your master, make a 3-7 day kit and you are a good drone. Set up the ability to survive with no support for 3-6 months and you are a a potential terrorist.

  27. “Liveral media” .. “socialist Utopia” etc. Give me a break, you redneck hillbilly nutjob.

  28. Great points, have to agree with you!
    We cancelled cable and now get our entertainment from Netflix and Hulu. My mind feels much less cluttered now that I don’t get my news from the mainstream!
    I decided to start my own blog on homesteading and self-sufficiency to help spread the word. I have noticed a lot more of my friends and family starting to grow their own food and trying to be more self-sufficient. They are now asking me for advice here and there, love it!
    Keep spreading the word and we’ll do all we can to help!

  29. I agree about the mixed messages; it comes from the media, too. They run stories on people raging through grocery stores when a storm approaches, but don’t suggest prepping in advance. The Discovery Channel shows disaster scenarios, but rarely portrays preppers as “normal”.

  30. Jack , Love your show been listening for a while now off and on . Finally got the wife to turn the corner last winter when we were buying vegi’s for a rediculous price when we could have raised them ourselves. Listening to todays show had to send a message in regards to your comments about the TURDS! I am the unlucky one that has to live next door to the TURD . Hopeing to buy him out in a couple years just to get rid of him. Thanks for all you do, for all of us.

  31. Right on!

    I started listening a couple months ago, and have listened back to Episode 500. Thank you for helping me WAKE UP! Since I started listening, I have harvested my first pepper, started storing the third precious metal-copper jacketed lead, and shelf stable foods, and finally convinced my wife to put away our credit cards once and for all! For the first time in my adult life I have a plan, and a picture of wherevI want to be in the future. I am sharing the Survival Podcast with my friends who are of the same preparedness mindset, and opening the eyes of my friends who never really thought about it. Keep spreading the word! I know I will!

  32. This is great to hear. These kinds of things would be a cool show, I always like on the listener feedback shows when people write on how prepping has helped them.

    This is definitely harder to see when I talk to people. They are curious at what my family is trying to do and think permaculture and some prepping is interesting. Even half the people see worse days ahead but just don’t want to do anything. Oh well, that’s the Pacific Northwest, I guess, a bunch of people that think the big G will always provide for them ;( If the weather wasn’t so nice with instant Ocean access ….

  33. Really great post Jack. There are many of us in the law enforcement community who are preposterous and we agree with a lot, if not most, of what you say.
    Myself and other cops I know HATE the southern poverty law center. They are nothing but a left-wing hate group along the lines of the thought police ala Big Brother.
    Please keep doing what you do and know the are a lot of police officers who love your show!

  34. Guys, I live in Greece and we all know what that means: Since 1974 every single politician and government official made sure we’ll end up in the mess we are today and we, the people, kept voting for them thinking that “such things can’t happen” and stuff like that. I’ve been into a “being prepared” mentality ever since I first watched MacGyver back in the early 90’s (that was when it was first broadcasted here and then, never again) and as a result of that I made sure to KNOW things and know them well for knowledge is as the saying goes a weapon – THE weapon if you ask me.
    Obviously, I’ve always been a thinker and as it turned out, I ended up being a science geek (that didn’t really helped much with interpersonal relationships of any kind). To my great surprise though, even after all that has happened recently, people here still look at me as if I’m an alien: the guy who knows a bit of first aid, is in decent physical condition, knows how to shoot (regardless of the law now allowing rifled-barrel firearms of any kind to civilians – a law that dates back to the dictatorship of late 60’s), can write decent code (software), speaks a couple of languages (in addition to greek), is good with machines, etc… And when I say “people” I include those close to me, friends, etc… I don’t mean any harm; I just want to make sure I can deal with whatever chance might bring my way and stay in one piece and if necessary (and assuming I can) help others too. To do that, I need tools – we all do. The law says that these tools are controlled or are illegal. OK. If THE most inefficient state on the face of this planet can guarantee my safety (and they can’t – period), I will stop worrying.
    Regarding unemployement, the saying here is that if you need to get anything done, you need money, connections or (pardon me) pussy (or any combination of the three). In greek, all three words begin with an “M” so it’s called the “3M”.
    Anyway, what I don’t “get” is this: Every constitution (including our own here) says that the people have rights including the right to protest. Somehow though, when we do protest the police -sooner or later- end up beating the crap out of us while letting the criminals go. In theory, police is a civilian’s friend. In the above example, is it the enemy? Yes, they are folloing orders but what if these orders are illegal? Don’t these officers have a mind of their own? Are they just robots? Machines? Are they unable to tell the difference between a criminal and a civilian? I guess this is the “Second, it is violently opposed” stage…
    Anyhow, the bottom line is that I am confused. I don’t know what to believe and I’ve decided to believe only what I see with my own two eyes, live in front of me and even then, only if I can crossreference the information and verify it. Other than that, I just mind my own business, read my books, try to get a job, the obvious stuff… And I try to nurture the hope that there is hope… That someday things will become better… Somehow… And that I’ll be around to see it…
    Good luck to us all, everywhere on this planet…

  35. I believe it. Our small prep group that meets monthly to talk, practice, and learn together has gotten 3 new families in the last 6 months alone and there are so many wanting in that we can’t vet them fast enough.

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  37. (Just mailed my 3 year renewal to MSB. Thanks Jack!)
    I woke up in 2002 as my former life was collapsing. Realized I needed to redesign my life such that when the money stops I don’t cease to exist. Which I almost did. Literally counting pennies…

    But I regrouped and became a Long Haul truck driver. Abandoned the credit mentality and became a cash customer. It took 6 years of living in trucks (low $ overhead) to become debt-free. Made peace with the IRS, paid them off too.

    Discovered you last year and suddenly all the disjointed pieces of thinking I had already going on fell right into place. Thanks Jack for helping me to get my bearings and achieve warp speed.

    (Partnered up with my 85 year old dad, living in his house now; a win/win…)

    Most of my family still thinks I’m nuts for being a Prepper.
    God willing, they are right.

    Grant in Ohio

  38. My wake-up call came when I realized what my parents and grandparents had done to my generation with this social security beast.

    My grandfather has now been retired and collecting longer than he ever actually worked. His rationalization is that he payed into the system, that was the deal he entered. He payed them when he was working, they pay him when he retired. Except “They” really means “Me”. I pay him to honor an agreement that was made between him and a government that NEVER represented me. An agreement made before my birth. Their generation’s prosperity was made possible by stealing prosperity from their children.

    He is a slave. He consistently votes against his own morals and beliefs, because he fears that if he doesn’t support a liberal candidate or policy and keep them in power, some “radicals” will cut off the monthly checks, energy subsidies, tax breaks and health care he now depends upon to live.

    I have no problem with kids helping to support their elders. That’s only right. The worst part is not that I have to support them. It’s not even the bloated government system that’s hijacked an otherwise ethical tradition. The worst part is: He’s actually beginning to wake up now and realize that he’s traded his integrity, beliefs, and morals for an income he could have provided himself. Everything he had to offer, essentially his whole life has been marginalized.

    For example, He’s a devote Catholic, absolutely opposed to abortion. Yet his vote ensures that he, and subsequent generations will continue to engage in what he views as the killing of babies. If he doesn’t vote that way, the “reform” word gets dropped, and he has to worry about how he and his peers will get their food and medicine. He sees he sold his soul, not to the devil but a government bureaucracy, and he’s terrified.

    They’re all terrified. They know what’s coming. And you couldn’t be more right, there will be a violent backlash as we pull the plug on the life support, remove the feeding tube and let this failed, perverted social experiment wither and die. Their legacy is not going to be the Utopian world they though they were creating. It will be remembered as a tragedy, a cautionary tale for future generations. Everything the government has done for the last 150 years will be unraveled by the simple guiding principle: Be responsible for your self.

    If that message is taken to heart, it undermines not just social security and welfare, but our education system, our economic and energy policies, our military organization, criminal justice system, the tax code… nearly the entire structure of government is jeopardized by those five words.

    I will never be my grandfather, and I will suffer no system that destroys the minds and souls of people as his have been.

    • Wow. Your post must have been hard to write. You probably care very much for your grandfather and the truth/reality you just described is so heart breaking. Thank you for your candid and well written description of a family member who many of us can see in our own families. You’ve decided to strike out on a different path… We’ll see you on down the trail.

  39. Great post Jack. I do have one gripe with it though, which is the drunken sailor analogy. As a Marine(active 96-01) I have known a lot of sailors and all the drunken sailors I knew stopped drinking when the bank account hit 0, they didn’t spend more than they had, unlike the government.

  40. You are absolutely right that the fear and opposition to a shift in mindsets of the enslaved present instability to the comfort of the oppressors. It is the responsibility of the awakened to roll out of bed and wake your neighbors before we are slipped another dose of sedatives. Carry on with the good fight Jack!

  41. Jack,
    I see a link to re tweet what you blogged, but I would love an actual dedicated link to send this out via email. This post was friggin awesome, and needs to be spread!

  42. RIGHT ON, JACK! I’m officially doubling my efforts to get the word out about prepping, and to keep up on my own!

    PS: PLEASE come to the SLC preparedness expo, I’ll bring my whole fam!

  43. “I don’t care if you are a liberal or a libertarian a republican or a centrist, plant a garden and store up some food to be ready for hard times you start to change your thinking.”

    Truer words were rarely written.

    While I disagree with things like “liberal media” (I’d call them corporatist, not liberal) and “socialist utopia” (I doubt that any of the ISO-types I used to travel similar circles with would call what’s happening now “socialism”), those are nitpicks based on the different starting points that we come from compared to the overall importance of this message and how much I agree with it.

  44. Jack,

    Even in my personal conversations with firends and family the reaction to prepping used to be met with some odd looks at me to now tell me more… I tell people to tune in to you all the time and have referenced your show on Boston talk radio when I call in the hosts always say great call there’s a guy who obviously knows his stuff and all I do is parrot you! Question though- why did you nix my orignal post on this thread? Content NSFW?

    • @Mahk, many hours have passed I don’t even remember what you said. In any event odds are it wasn’t acceptable for this post. You can email me what it was if you want a better answer.

    • @Mahk, never mind found you in the trash. Simply put calling attention to typos in the comments section of a blog is just plain rude. If you want to help in such situations, email me. Saying stuff that points to a typo in a blogs comments is like yelling to someone across a crowded room, “hey buddy your fly is down”.

      No harm done but I always delete such comments.

  45. Does the US Government have contingency plans?
    Does the US Government have plans for sever weather?
    Does the US Government have Supplies stored to deal with any situation that is out of the ordinary?

    If so doesn’t that make them Preppers as well?

    • Your right Nathan, the US Govt. is a prepper but they are prepping for themselves & the “elete” ones of this nation. The main terrorist that I fear are in D.C. So much info is available from truthful internet news outlets. Getting more freedom people to check out these news site is a great step in maintaining our liberty.

  46. Hey Nathan, I think your right.
    I guess since they call preppers terrorist, so that makes the US government a bunch of terrorists too, right?
    Funny how it’s OK for them but not for us.

  47. Awesome post Jack! You nailed it. We’d already started prepping when we first found your site, you were still recording from your car, around episode 11o I believe, but you gave us a tighter focus on what we were doing. We’ve learned a lot from you, and your podcasts have saved me from terminal boredom during my commute to work. The time just flies now.
    You’ve told us how to be aware of what’s going on around us and to watch for the signs of the coming collapse. Holy Crap, we’re now seeing them everywhere!
    Prep like the wind my friends, prep like the wind!


  48. Amen brother preach it. I tend to curse myself daily for getting into the credit/collections/garnishment nightmare. Well, we still have the Bumstead homestead, still got the grid, got the garden going again, but there’s so much to do, so little time left..

    It seems like us older baby boomers are not going to survive, but maybe we can set things up to help others.

    My major concern is to make sure my kids and grandkids get a long term prepper / independence mindset, and stay free of the eat/drink/be merry/tomorrow we die attitude of the sheeple. If they figure it out, there’s hope.

  49. What is striking to me is the sheer magnitude of responses to this particular podcast! 🙂

  50. And it will be even more “normal” after this next psycho-thriller movie about the bird flu mutating comes out! I would bet at least 10-20% of viewers make sure they have a month of food in the house.