Potential Societal Brekke Wagoner, a resident of North Carolina, envisions disaster looming as hurricanes and climate-change-fueled storms threaten the Eastern Seaboard. Her concerns extend beyond the storms to the potential mismanagement of humanitarian responses by an ineffective federal government, especially under leaders like the current Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump. Wagoner, aged 39, is part of a growing segment of “preppers” on both sides of the political spectrum preparing for a societal collapse post the 2024 election.
Prepping Trends Among Millennials and Gen Z
In the past year, Finder.com reports that 39% of Millennials and 40% of Gen Z have invested in prepping activities, reflecting a broader trend of increasing preparedness among younger demographics. Prepping expert Brad Garrett notes the diverse fears motivating individuals, ranging from concerns about authoritarianism to worries about societal breakdown, as witnessed in events like smash-and-grab robberies, riots, and protests.
Trigger for Prepping: Perceived Government Failure: Potential
Chad Huddleston, an anthropologist at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, emphasizes that the trigger for prepping is often a perceived failure of the government. He distinguishes between those who see emergency preparedness as a civic duty and those eagerly anticipating societal collapse, noting a growing number deliberately preparing for crises linked to political events.
Climate Change as an Existential Threat
Wagoner sees climate change as a worsening existential threat, particularly if a Republican administration is in power. This perspective challenges the traditional association of prepping with libertarian apocalyptic scenarios and aligns with the younger, more liberal demographic critical of the Trump administration’s responses to events like the 2017 hurricane season and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shifting Attitudes Towards Preparedness
Reflecting the profound uncertainty felt by many Americans, recent polls indicate that 67% believe the country is facing significant challenges. As concerns about the nation’s future intensify, prepping takes different forms, with some stockpiling weapons and supplies in armored bunkers and others advocating for community preparedness.
Extreme Prepping: Fortitude Ranch: Potential Societal
At the extreme end of prepping, Fortitude Ranch, led by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Drew Miller, prepares for a full societal collapse due to war, nuclear explosions, or civil unrest. Miller’s compounds, strategically placed across the country, offer members a retreat for up to a year, armed and isolated. This reflects the defensive, isolated approach some preppers adopt.
Political Ideologies and Prepping: Potential Societal
The prepping movement, often associated with political ideologies, has witnessed an uptick among liberals, particularly younger individuals shocked into action by events like the pandemic and the government’s response to the George Floyd protests. The upcoming presidential election further sharpens these concerns.
Balancing Preparedness and Community: Potential
As prepping gains popularity, it reflects a shift towards preparing for routine disasters, steering away from extreme scenarios. While some preppers anticipate societal recovery, others envision seizing business opportunities in the aftermath of widespread urban deaths.
Brekke Wagoner’s Approach: Responsible Prepping
Wagoner exemplifies responsible prepping, emphasizing affordability and community survival. Rejecting the fear-based approach of “dread merchants,” she encourages people to gradually build non-perishable food stockpiles and think about how prepping can benefit their communities. Wagoner asserts that being prepared doesn’t need to be expensive, emphasizing the importance of supporting one another during crises.