Is Prepping Stressful?

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I meant to write this post last week but I held off until I got a chance to ponder it a bit.   I was at work around mid-morning a few days ago when the power went out all of a sudden.  First the computers turned off, then the lights and air conditioning shut down and emergency backup lights turned on.  It was not weather related as there were no storms in the area and the sun was shining.  People around me started asking “What’s going on?”  The elevators were not working and I started wondering if I would be able to get out of the building.

Immediately my mind started racing.  What if it’s an EMP?  Is it a solar flare?  Attack on the power grid?  Then the planning mode/self check started:   Comfortable shoes for walking… water bottle…  energy bars…  cell phone…  Then I thought, wait a second, is the cell phone working?  YES!  I looked outside the high rise window and saw cars were running.  In a few more minutes the power went back on.  Strangely enough, the heater started running full blast, even though it was close to 100 degrees outside.   The building maintenance crew came and said there was an electrical problem on our floor.  Whew!

It was a small event that triggered an emergency response within me.   Is this caused by obsessively reading everything you can about things that could possibly go wrong?  Yes, it can be.   Rereading Lights Out and One Second After a few months ago kept me up a few nights worrying.   It can be stressful if you keep thinking about not having enough supplies, skills and time to get it all done.

At the same time, the constant influx of bad news during this difficult period can also throw anyone in a hyper mode, prepper or non-prepper.  By the time the lights turned back on, I already planned out my route to get to the school to pickup kids, as I was closer to the location than my husband.  I already knew what items in my backpack would come in handy for an emergency.  If something did happen, I would rather be ready.

What to to if you are getting too stressed out

The key is to not let yourself get too obsessed with negative events, and take a break from the constant stream of bad news.  Just for a few days, stop looking at news reports about North Korea and their nuclear testing, don’t worry whether Venezuela is about to implode, stop thinking about the latest crisis.   Get some exercise.  Play a board game.  Watch a mindless movie for a change.  As for me, I am giving my mind a break.  I started reading Remains of the Day, which I have been meaning to read, and will be watching a DVD of Moana with the family.

If you already started on your path to being prepared, trust that you are doing all you can with what you have right now.

You can always go back to it next week.


© Apartment Prepper 2017


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  1. When I first moved to LA, the thought of earthquakes at any time really stressed me out. It does help some to be prepared as you can be, but I do know there may be very little warning no matter how prepared.

    1. Hi Deb E, I can remember being stressed by earthquakes in LA. The lack of warning makes it difficult to be ready. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Prepping definitely is stressful, but the benefits easily outweigh the stress for most. I always jump to worst case in my mind. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised when it’s just a bad situation but not the worst one. Prepping just changes your perspective, I guess.

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