The MicroPrepper Project
About the Author
Hi there! I’m Bret. I’m a data professional living in Louisiana, and I’ve been involved in the emergency preparedness community for about eleven years. I’ve been writing articles for various preparedness blogs since 2019.
I have a Bachelor’s degree focused heavily on the use of open-source technology in worker collectives, forest ecology, and subsistence farming. For my thesis project, I created an open-source educational computer game called Anarchist Love Songs, which featured a collection of interesting characters living on a collectivist farm and learning how to be self-reliant in a post-civilization world.
Prep For Tuesday, Not For Doomsday
The primary focus of this project is to address getting – and staying – prepared for events that could happen on any day of the week: losing one’s job, being hit by a tornado, evacuation from a hurricane or wildfire, earthquakes, facing homelessness; not for fantasy scenarios. There are plenty of forums and online message boards that talk about zombies, aliens, nuclear annihilation, or abandoning your friends and family to live in a bunker full of guns, and you won’t find any of that here.
I’ve found that by getting and staying prepared for short-term hardships, people can reduce the amount of daily stress they’re under by a significant degree, but there’s a catch. Once they start fixating on anything that could possibly go wrong at any point in time, hoarding supplies, or spending more time worrying about protecting their stash than actually using it to live, they tend to become more stressed out, paranoid, and depressed.
MicroPrepper focuses on the ‘Micro’ by thinking about preparedness in terms of SMART goals: your preparedness goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Bound. Being prepared for disaster is good. Hoarding more resources than you can keep track of, maxing out a credit card on Mountain House #10 cans, or falling into the trap of constantly trying to prepare for a mysterious event in the distant future? Not so good. The goal of MicroPrepping is simply to eliminate stress.
Politics in Emergency Preparedness
When I started this project in 2020, I wanted to keep it impersonal and apolitical. I’d post under a pseudonym, keep the themes vague, and try to be as neutral and unbiased as possible. My goal was to create a space where ‘the everyman’ could come to receive common sense advice on how to better prepare for natural disasters without all the fear-mongering nonsense and trigger-happy Dale Gribble types. The problem is, the concept of the everyman is a complicated one, because to some extent, everyone sees themself as an everyman, but often we don’t offer the same courtesy to others.
In the time that I’ve spent with this community, I’ve come to realize that many people, especially preppers, don’t see me as the everyman at all: I’m quite left-leaning, falling somewhere on the philosophical spectrum between Murray Bookchin, Tove Jansson, and Bernie Sanders. I’m openly queer and (somewhat less openly) intersex. I’m on HRT. I’m also neurodivergent. While my preparedness goals fall under the same general umbrella as most of the preppers I’ve spoken with, I don’t have many of the same luxuries. I cannot ‘bug out’ to a randomly selected rural area and assume I’ll be accepted by the community. I can’t assume the police will take my side if I encounter a dangerous situation. I need to employ significantly more situational awareness on any given day than the average person, and as I’ve gathered through several hurricane evacuations, that applies doubly to disaster scenarios.
The emergency preparedness community is already highly political and has been for decades. Preppers tend to lean very far right/libertarian on the political spectrum, and the community of blogs, subreddits, and forums surrounding the topic clearly cater to that demographic, often by feeding into fear about the realities of a changing world, and by pointing fingers at ‘the left’ and various minority groups. Many preppers, online or otherwise, are not at all quiet about the sort of world they’d like to see after a civilization-ending event, and it’s almost always a hyper-capitalist hellscape run by armed militias who rule with an iron fist.
In addition, the very real threat of climate change is often ignored in favor of catering to more fantasy-oriented threats like an alien invasion, meteor strike, supervolcano eruption, or my (least) favorite, zombies. That’s not to say that these events are impossible (except for the zombies), but they’re highly unlikely. Clearly, there’s a bit of a bias on what constitutes an emergency.
On Affiliate Links
Sometimes I’ll find something particularly awesome (for example, my Viair portable air compressor) and want to share it with you. If you buy anything linked from my site, I might get a commission, or I might not, depending on what the item is.