I lived in an apartment that had toxic black mold that shredded my lungs. That's where my aches and pains started, and they've progressively gotten worse. I also had a neck injury after falling and basically did a pile driver on the stairs. A rare side effect of the steroids they gave me was avascular necrosis. That's what happened to my hips, and my knees are shot, too. They replaced both of my hips, but they said there's no point in doing the knees. I haven't worked full-time since 2004. I've been struggling ever since, and I know how it can be when you're worried about how you're going to eat. Since I haven't been able to work as much, I've read a lot. I've read some of the Mayan and Hopi Indian stuff, which is interesting, but a lot of people misinterpret their prophecies as the world coming to an end. Really it just says that a great purification is going to happen, and the next phase of life will be one of enlightenment. Even the Bible has Revelations, and there is scientific proof that the world has been destroyed before — all ancient cultures talk about a great flood, and then there are aquatic fossils in mountain regions, where they shouldn't be found. I'm not into religion whatsoever, but cataclysmic events have happened here before, and I believe they will happen again. So I believe in the six Ps: "Proper planning prevents piss-poor performance."
My mother is finally opening up to the uncertainty of the future. I'm probably the only liberal in this place. She watches Fox News and thinks Barack Obama is the worst and he's probably going to destroy the country. I don't care what it takes to get her into preparing, because she has the finances to do it. I'm selling my watches and not going out to eat so we can make sure that we have everything covered. And since I've been getting into it, I've noticed that it's kind of a movement that's catching on. Not everyone who does it is conservative, but it's ironic that the Republicans are the ones who are shitting all over the Bill of Rights. The "evil" ACLU is the only one that's fighting for our privacy.
My wife is from Kenya, and I've learned from her experiences of what the rest of the world is like. In 2008, there were 39 countries that had food riots. The difference between them and us, is that we're heavily armed. Whereas they're throwing rocks, we're going to have a bunch of rednecks with thirty-ought-sixes going crazy, especially here in the South.
In Third World countries, prepping is part of daily life. If a drought happens here, like what Somalia and Northern Kenya have had these last couple of years, and then you have a group like Ansar al-Sharia, which is pretty much like an Al Qaeda, they take away all of the aid that we send over, it never gets to the people it's supposed to get to. You'll notice that there are a lot of ex-military people involved with the prepper movement, because they've seen how the rest of the world acts. But really, the kind of things that happen elsewhere in the world could easily happen here. The U.N. just put out a report that says 2013 will make 2008 look like nothing in terms of food scarcity, and the majority of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. If your food prices jump up 50 percent, you're not going to be able to meet that gap and crime will go up.
• 34-year-old prepper Justin S. believes in the six Ps
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