Moving Abroad

Four Important Issues For Preppers

Photograph of Zabrisky point overlooking Death Valley in Death Valley NP
Death Valley - Photo Credit: Michael Froehls
Written by Michael Froehls

Yesterday, I made the case that prepping, despite its bad rap, can a very rational exercise, if we use frameworks that economic and finance theory provides to us. Those frameworks, however, do not relieve us from facing four issues if we want to prep for our future.

What exactly do you prep for?

If you want to prepare yourself and maybe your family for a major negative event in the future, which one is it? You also need to forecast the impact of such an event and its magnitude. For example, if you like to guard against civil war in the US, you need to make a judgement call where this war will break out and where it will be fought. If in the cities, bingo, get yourself a self-sufficient hut in Colorado or in the Nevada desert. But what if the fight is over food?  In that case, you might be safer in a city instead of facing militia that is roaming around on the great Texas plain.

What is the probability of the event?

Once you forecast (or make a guess on) an event, what probability do you assign to it? Let’s leave aside the issue of forecasting the wrong event (a biblical flood arrived, not the expected civil war.) You need to estimate the likelihood of an event as this will determine how much time, money, and energy you want to invest in counter-measures. While mathematically not easy to calculate (there are various strategies how to “correctly” make decisions under uncertainty), generally speaking, your investment in protection will mirror the impact of a risk event multiplied by its probability.

Is your prepping sufficient?

The next question to answer is whether your prepping really makes you safer. The problem might be that you correctly foresee an event, its impact, but random events or the madness of the crowds still wreak havoc with your plans. You correctly predicted that California would drift into the sea after the St. Andrews fault shows its ugly side, and on time you made it to your little house outside Las Vegas, which now has a beautiful beach on the horizon. Unfortunately, you were not the only one forecasting the event, and you are out of water as Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are now controlled by the Governor, the head of a local militia. Ooops.

Can you get to your bolt hole on time?

Bloomberg recently published a little comic about how billionaires could face trouble making it to New Zealand, unless they promised shelter to the pilots of their planes, once there. And, of course, airports would have to be operational. Still, these billionaires are on the right trail. A bolt house outside your country might be a safe choice, as long as you can get out in time. The problem is even more acute, if your hidden prepper hangout is in your country and you do not have a plane, a private army, or your own militia available. Watch any Hollywood doomsday movie and you know why – clogged interstates, broken down cars and buses, looting, plus the occasional alien bombardment. It’s tough to flee faster than your neighbors and get to your sanctuary in one piece.


We have looked at the four issues for preppers. Before that, we have already said that the idea of prepping is very sound. Just because a risk to your life and well-being is low, does not mean it cannot occur. You might want to put some resources into defense. The biggest issue is the difficulty of forecasting events and their impact, as well as how much time and money you should spend on prepping. Moreover, any prepping needs to incorporate an early warning system that allows you to reach your hide-out in time before the routes to get there are blocked.  On our blog, Go Global Be Happy, we will help define sensible strategies about how to do exactly that.

© 2019 Michael Froehls – All Rights Reserved

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