Home » Why be a prepper & 38 disasters to prepare for

Why be a prepper & 38 disasters to prepare for

People will say you’re bat-shit crazy if you start prepping. Really, who cares what other people think, why not be a prepper? Don’t be embarrassed, plan for emergencies because it is prudent to store food, water, and equipment for emergencies.

Be a prepper, and prepare for whatever disaster, catastrophe, or family emergency comes down the road, indeed, job loss, family disturbance, natural disaster, or civil unrest are much easier to endure with a healthy supply of food, water, and equipment on hand.

Why be a prepper? Let’s take a look at 38 situations that warrant prepping food, water, and supplies.

38 Disasters to Prepare For

Bad things happen, and they are unpredictable. It’s true, there may not be a huge emergency event with everyone running to the bunker, but that isn’t what most preppers are preparing for. Losing your job or long-term health issues are just as important as a societal or economic breakdown, and they are more likely.

Next up, look at the list of 38 disasters to prepare for.

#1 Flood

flood, stoplight ahead

Floods cause extensive property damage and loss of life. The degree of damage caused by flooding is dependent on the volume of water and how long it takes the water to recede. Also, flooding often accompanies other natural disasters, such as storm surges, hurricanes, or tsunamis.

#2 Flash Flood

One of the scariest things about flash flooding is you can be standing in perfect sunshine with no rain and have a massive river of water come out of nowhere. Consequently, this hits close to home because when I lived in the high desert of Arizona, a little girl was playing in her backyard and a flash flood came down from the White Mountains 100 miles away. Sadly, the little girl was taken.

#3 Thunderstorms and Lightening

Lightening can cause massive blackouts and fires and is accompanied by other natural hazards like flash floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and power outages.

#4 Hurricane

Take note, when hurricanes hit land, they create massive wind damage and storm surges that push ocean water ashore. In addition, the heavy rains accompanying ocean water rise can cause catastrophic flooding. Also, a Category 5 hurricane can sustain winds of up to 200 miles per hour.


#5 Tornado

The higher the wind speed and the larger the tornado, the more damage a tornado will cause. 

#6 Heat Wave/High Temperatures

Heat waves and high temperatures can cause crop failure, widespread power outages, and deaths from overheating.

#7 Winter Storm/ Cold Temperatures

Freezing weather, snow, and ice can incapacitate entire regions by shutting freeways and knocking out electric power. This kind of storm causes property damage, water supply loss, and heat source loss.

#8 Earthquake

Earthquakes cause massive damage to property and there is commonly loss of life, moreover populated areas are hit hard because of falling debris and damage to infrastructure.

#9 Volcano

Believe it or not, suffocation is the #1 cause of death from erupting volcanoes. Also, volcanoes trigger other natural disasters such as flooding, power outages, mudslides, water contamination, and fires.

#10 Landslide and Debris Flow

Debris flows can occur miles away, growing in size as they accumulate trees, boulders, cars, and other materials. Moreover, after a forest fire water moves much quicker so flooding and landslides are more likely. In addition, giant landslides in the ocean may cause tsunamis.

#11 Tsunamis

A tsunami (tidal wave) is a series of waves caused by earthquakes, underwater landslides, or undersea volcanic eruptions. In addition, tidal waves can be massively destructive to life and property, additionally by the time tsunamis reach the shoreline, they can be traveling up to 100 mph.

#12 Fire

A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns forests, grasslands, or prairies. Wildfires are usually started by humans or lightning. In addition, the aftermath of wildfires can cause a chain reaction of destruction, such as flooding, power outages, and transportation disruptions.

#13 Pandemic/Epidemic

A pandemic occurs when a disease like influenza spreads throughout an entire country or worldwide, conversely, an epidemic is an increase, often sudden, in the number of cases of an infectious disease in a specific area. Definitely, prepare for both.

#14 Civil Unrest


Prepare for situations where you can’t or don’t want to leave your home. Undoubtedly, it sounds a little crazy or post-apocalyptic, but that was before the riots in Minneapolis and Seattle.

If you live in an urban area, start prepping food, water, and some kind of personal protection.

Imagine being one of those people living in the 36 square block area of Seattle or Minneapolis, MN, with a distinct absence of police or emergency services. Without a doubt, buildings burned to the ground and private citizens were attacked. Undoubtedly, not a great time to be walking around outside.

Why be a prepper?

What if you lived in an area with civil disturbance and didn’t prep food and water? You will have to go out and get supplies. Maybe you’ll hit a roadblock or an angry mob of berzerkers bent on anarchy. What will you do with the kids, your wife, or the people in your survival group?

There are scenarios where there is no cavalry to save the day like during Hurricane Katrina when the police just left the city.

#15 World Events

Negative world events or emergencies are more common because modern countries depend on global supply chains. For this reason, jobs are lost if they are dependent on materials or products that are embargoed or cut off or if there are major swings in the global economies.

Also, an international event like war could lead to a trade disruption or lack of supplies, and technological changes may make certain skills obsolete.

#16 Health Issues or Disability

You never know if you or someone in the family will come down with a long-term illness. Rising medical bills, lost work hours, and increased attention to aid and assist family or loved ones. Having a long-term food supply in this scenario would be a great piece of mind.

#17 Job Loss or Long-term Unemployment

From CEO to factory worker, you don’t know daily if you will have a job tomorrow. If you find yourself out of work for whatever reason, it’s good to know there is a year’s food supply in the pantry.

#18 Economic Decline

Prices go up, availability goes down, and jobs are lost, so be a prepper, so you don’t have to stand in a depression-era soup line.

#19 Friend or Family In Distress

Are you in a position to render aid to friends or family? If not, a stockpile of food is something to work on, and food can be shared even if there is no money to give.

#20 Reduce Your Fear and Anxiety

A food stockpile reduces fear and anxiety of the unknown. Prepare, and if things go south for whatever reason, you have the time to devise a plan of action, and even if you are living out of a car, food is to be had.

#21 The World Economy is Unpredictable

Prep because anything can happen on a global scale. Consider for a moment the fluctuating value of the currency and the stock markets, two things we cannot control, but that affect our financial well-being and the cost of everything.

#22 The Thin Veneer of Civilization Crumbles

In the western world, clean running water, overstocked grocery stores, quick shops, gas stations, and the instant availability of just about everything is an expectation. What if, overnight, it all comes to a grinding halt?

Don’t discount how quickly things can head south. It doesn’t take much to destabilize infrastructure; the food chain, local government, and law enforcement are not a foregone conclusion.

#23 Supply Lines Fail

Shipping lanes, national trucking services, and supply lines are based on many moving parts. Something as simple as an increase in fuel price can cause inflation and a lack of goods.

#24 Police and Emergency Response

The governor of a state or the president can call in the national guard during riots, but it takes days to get logistics in place. Lately, political maneuvering has put residents at risk, and it will probably get worse over time. Civilization is a thin veneer that is easily disrupted.

Woman on a skyline

#25 Self-reliance

Being self-reliant is good for your sense of self-worth and how you move through the world. Something is uplifting about having the ability to take care of you and yours when no one else can. Gardening is good for what ails you, and it’s good for your family

#26 Early Retirement

Start gardening, and canning, learn homesteading skills, pay off debt, and retire early. If you are producing a majority of your food, your expenses go way down. Reducing debt and being self-sufficient also reduces stress and gives you more freedom to live the life you want.

#27 Historic Precedent

Prepping didn’t use to be the exception. It was the rule. My grandmother was a depression-era survivor. She knew what it was like to go to bed hungry. Every year I went to her house for the summer and saw how much work she did to prep and harvest her garden and preserve her bounty. This kind of work ethic and thinking was how everybody did it. If you want to eat in winter, can vegetables in the summer.

#28 Quality of Life

Imagine working in the garden, outside in the sun. Keep physically fit. I just finished moving a dump truck full of wood chips with a pitch-fork and a wheelbarrow. That’s exercise. Learning new skills and spending time with family outdoors. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables grown with your own hands.

Improve what you eat, and maximize skills like cider making, food canning, and seed saving. Strengthen bonds and friendships by working closely with others. Knowledge is power when it comes to survival. The more you know, the safer and freer you will be.

Hazardous Fire.

Prepare for technological hazards in your area. You never know when federal agencies will tell you to move out of your area. I’m surprised we don’t see more emergencies caused by technological hazards.

#29 Hazardous Material Incidents

Prepare for emergencies caused by accidents involving hazardous materials like explosives, flammables, poison, or radioactive materials. These emergencies can happen anywhere along the supply chain, from production to disposal.

#30 Transportation of Hazardous Cargo

Transportation of hazardous cargo is another good reason to become a prepper. Be prepared for accidents caused by train derailments or truck crashes. Every day hazardous cargo is being moved all over the United States. Chemicals like chlorine can turn to Phosgene gas when heated (train wreck.) Methyl isocyanate, which killed 2,259 people in Bhopal, India, is regularly transported via rail.

#31 Dam Failure

There are approximately 84,000 dams in the United States that hold back 17% of the river water in the country. Many of these dams are small and don’t pose a huge risk if they fail.

#32 Munition Factories

The total number of munition factories is unknown. If you live by a big one, you probably know it. What happens when a factory that makes bombs or munitions blows up? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m guessing it’s pretty bad.

#33 Petroleum Refineries

There Are 135 petroleum refineries in the United States. U.S. Energy Information Administration

#34 Chemical Plants 

There are approximately 13,500 chemical plants in the United States. Environmental Protection Agency

#35 Natural Gas Farms

There are 1,793 Natural Gas electricity plants in the United States. Washington Post

#36 Power Plants

There are approximately 9,719 power plants in the United States. U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Nuclear Power Plant

#37 Nuclear Power Plant Emergencies

There are 96 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States and 58 nuclear power plants. U.S. Energy Information Administration

#38 Terrorist Acts That Lead to Disaster

Explosions: Using explosive materials to commit acts of terrorism

Bioterrorism Intentionally releasing biological agents to kill or harm humans. Agents can be bacteria, toxins, or viruses. These agents are simple to make, inexpensive, and spread quickly. 

Chemical Threats The use of chemical toxins to harm humans, plants, or animals. Agents can come in the form of a gas, liquid, or solid. 

Nuclear Blasts: Explosion of an atomic bomb or an Improvised Nuclear Device (dirty bomb).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Get Your Household Ready For Pandemic Flu click here

To get started prepping food, go read the comprehensive article, 35 Top Tips For Food Storage and Mistakes to Avoid, click here.

To get started prepping water go, read the comprehensive article, 21 Surefire Ways to Store Water. Click here

Video Summary of 37 Reasons Prepping Is Not A Waste of Time

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