Is Prepping Selfish? Fish Oil, Heart Attacks, Christmas Gift Ideas

3 Dec

David Nash at TNgun wrote a rebuttal to an article on emergencymgmt.com

David took exception to a statement that said preppers were selfish. He correctly said that when we store supplies for an emergency, we’re reducing the burden on emergency rescue workers. (Both David and the author of the article are professional disaster response professionals). Reading some of the responses from other preppers, this comment definitely hit a nerve. So I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts on the topic.

First, this was just one person’s perception of preppers based upon the wildly popular TV show Doomsday Preppers. Rather than attacking the article’s author, we should ask why this TV series has generated this perception in some people. I think it stems from the preppers on that show projecting a definite “us versus them” view. In every episode, preppers are shooting away and talking about how they’ll need to kill people when SHTF. They’re boarding up their homes against the hungry neighbors and figuring out how best to effectively ambush them as they attack. That’s not exactly good prepper PR.

Dealing with armed attackers is the easy scenario. Who can blame us for defending ourselves when faced with violence? I remember a comment on a do-it-yourself website discussion a while back that somehow turned into a discussion about prepping and preppers. A lady posed a powerful scenario and not an easy one at that. She asked: What if a small starving child shows up at your bunker and knocks on the door and asks for help. What do you do?

Are you going to turn her away? And, if you help, what happens when the next starving child shows up? How long will your supplies last then?

These questions are a true sticky wicket for a Christian or anybody concerned with basic morality. What is the generous thing to do? What is the selfish thing to do? How do you balance protecting the needs of your family with helping others in distress given your limited resources? How will you be judged and how will you feel about yourself based on the decision you make?

I can’t give any answers to these questions. But it’s what came to mind when I read the comments about prepping and selfishness.

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Here’s an article about a new study about heart health, fish, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Americans spend a billion dollars a year on fish oil supplements because we believe that they promote heart health. We believe this because people who eat a lot of fish tend to be healthier and live longer. I wrote about this in the book.

This new study says the fish oil might not be what helps. It might simply be that when you eat fish, you aren’t eating less healthy things! The lesson: Eat fish. I’ll still take Omega 3 supplements because I don’t think it hurts and we can never fully trust the results of one study. I’ll keep an eye open for future studies.

Talking of heart health, it’s that time of year when it’s good to remind people who don’t get a lot of exercise to take it easy shoveling snow. Actually, here in Minnesota, it’s fifty degrees and raining lightly in December! Not one flake of snow on the ground.

When shoveling a lot of snow and not using a snow blower, when the mounds of snow are high, I pick up a shovel full of snow and carry it to someplace to dump. The arm muscles aren’t moving as it’s carried and I wonder if this raises blood pressure. It’s partly an isometric arm exercise.

Isometric exercises are known to significantly increase blood pressure. ‘Iso’ means ‘equal’ and ‘metric’ means ‘length.’ Isometric exercises are ones where the “length” of the muscle fibers aren’t changing. More accurately, the fibers are holding a fixed position. They aren’t contracting or releasing. When the muscle fibers are in this fixed position, it is known that they don’t accept blood flow. It’s just like having a powerful pump pushing liquid through a hose and then blocking off the hose. The pressure increases. Here’s a discussion of the effect with regard to a car’s oil pump:

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This is a basic article about responding to an environmental crisis, like a toxic chemical spill.

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Christmas Gift Ideas For Preppers

1. Sears online ordering is awkward and some tool orders are canceled driving customers nuts. Customer service works best if you speak multiple languages. This is why I’m putting Craftsman tools at the top of the list. In the book, I write (probably too much!) about made-in-the-USA tools. Some analysts have predicted that Sears will be out of business in a few years. Their craftsman socket set tools are still very good and most are still made in the USA. We’re running out of options for value-priced American made socket tools. If you want American-made Craftsman tools, I’d purchase them now. For Christmas, Sears has free shipping for tool orders over $49. Stock up or miss out.

2. For those who can’t get to a gun range easily, keep your shooting sharp with a quality air gun. For a pistol, look into the Beeman P3. For an air rifle, check out the Daisy 753. Expect to pay $300 to $400 for the Daisy.

3. Books. You can never read too many good books! For serious preppers, I recommend my own book, of course, The Prepper Next Door. Jim Cobb’s new book Prepper’s Home Defense is out now and is a steal on Amazon for only $10. For a gift idea for friends and family, I like The Prepper’s Pocket Guide, which is a gentle introduction into prepping. And, for an after-Christmas gift for yourself: David Nash’s forthcoming 52 Projects for a Self Reliant Life.

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