Are there liberal doomsday prepping resources?

November 18 2015 | offbeatbride
Doosmday preppers macabre gas mask pendant by Etsy seller CastawayCove
Doosmday preppers macabre gas mask pendant by Etsy seller CastawayCove
Confession time: I'm interested in disaster preparedness, self-sufficiency, and urban homesteading. All of these interests are often grouped together and referred to as "doomsday prepping."

But most of the prepping sites I've found are very conservative politically and socially, and I'm about as liberal as they come! Do you know of any liberal doomsday prepping resources? -Bettie

Good question! We've talked about some emergency prepping topics such as:
* How much water do I need to keep on hand in case of emergency?
* What I learned about disaster planning and response during the Colorado floods
* Make an emergency candle out of toilet paper and butter
* Do I need this solar power generator?
* The 5 not-at-all-essential things you should prepare for your home in case of a power outage

But that's not enough to satisfy a full-on doomsday prepper. I get it. So let's ask the Homies…

What are some liberal disaster preparedness, self-sufficiency, and urban homesteading recourses?

  1. For me, I've stuck to pinterest for finding this kind of stuff, that way I don't have to sift through all the other stuff on the websites.
    Also, I've found searching for homesteading tends to lead to less politically intense findings

    20 agree
  2. Try searching for the term "collapse" instead of "doomsday." The liberally-minded folks who are learning off the grid skills tend to use this instead. Also, you might want to reach out to some intentional communities that offer educational courses and print resources. Places that use words like "sustainability," "ecovillage," or "permaculture" are often great sources for networking with folks who are into self sufficiency. I've visited both Dancing Rabbit and The Ecovillage Training Center on The Farm. Both of these places could put you in contact with people who are actually taking real steps towards decreasing their reliance on modern systems and conveniences.

    26 agree
    • It may also be called "rewilding" or "green anarchy" for intentional removal from society prior to a catastrophic event. You can find lots of information on those subjects at The Anarchist Library.

      2 agree
    • The older Mother Earth News issues were very "hippy counter culture" and by far more upbeat than today's mags. I was fortunate to be gifted with 20 years worth of old issues starting with #1, but the whole shebang is available on disc now.

      3 agree
  3. My advice is to check into the local chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism. Politically, it's more diverse than mundane life- I've had my 4 year old explaining that her best friend in the SCA has a mommy, a daddy, and another mommy in her family- to the youth preacher. Most popular mommy award goes to me….

    And, because so many know things like how to butcher their own meat, make their own candles, etc and interests that branch into all sorts of cooking/food prep/food preservation they have a robust set of zombie survival skills.

    Also, check into the local farmer's market as that's another diverse group who has tends to know more about off the grid living.

    17 agree
    • I'm going to second the SCA thing! I know a woman who raises goats and makes butter and cheese from their milk, another person who has chickens, someone who built their own house, a blacksmith, and people who make their own fabric from scratch, just in my local group.

      6 agree
    • I would also encourage the SCA, but with a caveat.

      The SCA is good if you're looking to learn some skills but not ALL the skills. The SCA is built around all of us (I am a SCAdian) coming together and teaching each other. The culture is communitarian in a basic sense.

      Great community to have during "The Big Collapse", but no one person can really learn all the skills. Even if everything just completely goes to shit in real life, we will still need our communities, despite what the radical, doomsday Libertarians think. "No Man is an Island" after all. 😉

      6 agree
      • I'll agree – my current doomsday plans involve finding my SCA friends because they fill in my knowledge gaps nicely. Many of them are also hunters and have valuable skills beyond that (I know several nurses/EMTs/firefighters, as well as martial artists, fibercrafters, and farmers – all SCAdians). Not to mention, most SCAdians are big on the ideas of community, thriftiness/repurposing, and loyalty.

        Hey, maybe I should learn something new for an Arts & Sciences project that would tie into this too…

        3 agree
  4. Hi, I left this on the Facebook page, but I thought I'd leave it here too. I grew up in the second wave of the Back to the Land Movement that is pretty open politically speaking with most people being left leaning if not down right leftist. It doesn't really focus on prepping which is seen as an anxiety fetish more than a strategy. Instead, if focuses on building skills and capacity that can be applied in lots of circumstances. The most recent 3rd wave BLM focuses on urban settings instead of just rural ones. Check out Mother Earth News which has great resources. As well as the books, New Pioneers: The Back-to-the-Land Movement and the Search for a Sustainable Future, and Continuing the Good Life. Hope that helps. http://www.motherearthnews.com/

    7 agree
    • Also, just to clarify when I say that prepping is seen as an anxiety fetish I'm not talking about basic disaster preparedness. If you live in a flood zone you should know your risk and have the things you need should a flood arise. A lot of localities will have info on what to do in an emergency. Separate from that a lot of "prepper culture" isn't really about preparing for real possible threats to your safety but dealing with fear of an uncertain world and changing politics. Why are so many preppers ultra conservative? Not because they fear their lives are under threat, but their power and social authority is under threat and this is how they cope. Liberals have similar fears but present them a lot of the time with the joke/focus on Zombies. Scarry stories are how society vents its fears. The Walking Dead is a 6 season long therapy session in community anxiousness. The Zombie story has changed over the years and now address our issues with social collapse, climate change, globalism, and epidemics. In the past it has been racism, white panic, consumerism, and nuclear inhalation to name a few. While laying in a bunch of supplies makes folks feel better in the short term it isn't really addressing their issue. So if you need basic disaster preparidness check out government sites, if you would like to improve your capacity and be more adaptable and less reliant on the system in a liberal community I suggest the BLM, and if your interest in prepping is anxiety focused then maybe along with the other things you are doing look into better anxiety coping strategies.

      15 agree
      • I love that you bring up the Walking Dead. I honestly never had any social-collapse anxieties until I started watching that show (and even more so its new spinoff Fear the Walking Dead). I don't know what that says about me. While watching, I can't help but think "what would I do . . ." if there was complete societal collapse.

        1 agrees
        • I think it says that you are human 🙂 and it is hitting a nerve that maybe you didn't even know you had or couldn't express. Social collapse is scary and it is ok to get the feels when you think of it. Unlike a Zombie doomsday however, we have a great deal of power to decide how the post-industrial/tech age goes. Will we meet our challenges head on or will we fall apart? Personally I have a lot of faith in humanity. If a small band of plucky humans could survive the start of the Holocene Epoch with rocks and sticks, we can survive the end of it, but we need to change our thinking, our lifestyles, and also not retreat from society. No wo/man is an island. The balance of society sits on each one of our shoulders. The continuity of humanity lies with each one of us. One of the things I don't like about homesteading and prepper cultures is there is a sense of opting out, of no longer participating in society. We can't do that. When people start opting out is truly when a society collapse. You might want to read Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jarred Diamond (it is an amazing book) and The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph Tainter (which is more academic). To summarize, 1. Shit gets hard 2. The environment gets fucked 3. Rulers are unresponsive to the people and the situation 4. People lose faith in the system 5. The system falls apart to collapse, conquest, assimilation, or reformation. But what is important to remember is step 6. A new system forms. So a better question to ask then “What would I do if society collapsed is, What am I doing to keep society going and make it better” 🙂

          4 agree
          • I love your response. I feel pretty confident about the ways that I am (hopefully) making society better by teaching college students to be critical thinkers in my job as a professor. I will definitely look at those resources you mention, probably the academic one since academic reading is what I do anyway (though I love a good popular nonfiction book, as well)

            2 agree
  5. My husband and I have been slowing putting together an emergency kit because we live in Oregon and are overdue for a 9.0 earthquake which could happen at any time. Our local radio news station began a series of stories called "Unprepared" which highlighted how Oregon is not equipped to deal with the quake and how to put together your own emergency kits. I don't think the information is liberal or conservative. When the quake hits that won't matter. One interesting thing that they did is have people live off their emergency supplies for a week so that they could see if they really had everything they needed. I recommend that everyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest check this out and get ready.
    http://www.opb.org/news/series/unprepared/
    For more information about the earthquake check out this New Yorker article:
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    2 agree
  6. In terms of disaster preparedness, you might want to give some serious thought to what the most likely disasters are you'll be facing in your area, and then try to come up with plans for them. So, for example, here in Montreal I don't really need to worry about tornados, hurricanes, massive earthquakes, civil unrest, etc. Here are a list of some "disasters" I consider most likely and that I have put plans in place for:
    – Wallet and/or phone stolen
    – Computer failure
    – Unexpected and acute health problem (for myself or my husband)
    – Car accident
    – Fire in my apartment building
    – Prolonged power outage
    – Heavy snow storm
    – Ice storm

    These are the sorts of situations I consider myself most likely to face. Most other disasters are the sort of thing I figure I'll have at least a few weeks of notice to see coming. (Government collapse and massive war doesn't happen without some warning signs, for example.)

    For most of the situations I listed above, the planning is massively different than you'd find on most "prepper" or "homesteading" sites. None of the above situations will really be helped by knowing how to raise chickens or forage for food in the wilderness. Sure, it might be handy to have some water and maybe a camping stove on hand for emergencies, but it would be even more handy to have redundant, multi-location backups of my laptop and my important documents.

    That's not to say to avoid looking into homesteading and self-sufficiency resources, of course. Some of those skills are definitely useful and transferrable! It's just to say that if you really want to have a good disaster preparedness plan, understand the types of disasters that are most likely to affect you.

    17 agree
  7. Yesss thank you. I'm in the same boat.

    You can find a lot under the "homesteading" concept – the idea of being off-grid, sustainable, etc tends to resonate with a more liberal crowd. Liberals love canning.

    5 agree
  8. I've been running across the same thing lately and I've started following some preppers on INSTAGRAM whose feed isn't run over in political or religious postings. So far that's worked out good for some stuff but all the info/feedback here has given me some new leads to follow up on. Thank you all so much for the comments and info!!! <3

  9. Oh my gosh, thank you. I've been ruminating over the same thing lately. Everything in the news, coupled with my recent penchant for dystopian literature has me thinking it's time to start prepping in a way that isn't extreme, but still makes sense. Looking forward to reading through the suggestions.

    4 agree
  10. Thank you for this! It reminds me that I need to keep learning just so that I can take care of myself with real life skills. My Grandma grew up killing and dressing chickens – my knowledge is limited to watching it on tv or having a couple of books that explain it step by step. I would not be able to take care of myself very well if I had to!

    2 agree
  11. Look for disaster preparedness. Look into joining your local CERT (community emergency response team) or talk to them for tips. My local CERT (and I am in the Pacific Northwest so it could be airbone liberalness) is actually pretty liberal but still covers the basic preparedness along with disaster medical responses. Even though it's a community team, their one rule is to protect and prepare yourself and your family first.

    3 agree
  12. Oo this is my jam. I recommend looking up permaculture resources, starting with
    http://permaculturenews.org and then scroll right to the bottom to search by tag
    You'll find heaps on what is usually called 'appropriate technology' which is stuff like solar cookers, rocket stoves, wind power, whatever; anything you could possibly want to know about living with animals including harvest, so much about gardening and soil health whether you're in an apartment or 50 acres; everything about water; preserving and storing food, just everything. There is some stuff in there about peak oil and that, definitely a lot about being offgrid. I would say the vibe is more about sustainability and increasing both self-sufficiency and community than doomsday but in a lot of ways the end is similar

    I definitely second the mention of animal mineral vegetable above – it's one of my favourite books ever.

    And I also suggest you search solarpunk on tumblr

    I'm super happy to see homesteading pop up again on here 😀

    6 agree
  13. I grew up on a homestead farm, and my parents are decidedly prepared for the coming apocalypse. Some of the resources I valued most from my childhood were books that covered a wide variety of topics. I recommend getting a set of plant and animal identification field guides, for not just "edible" things, but everything. It's as important to know what you can eat as what you should avoid, or other valuable properties. Another important guide is a first-aid or DIY healthcare guide. There are many to choose from, even first-aid "survival" guides. Go to the library and check out a few to get a feel for the style – the info contained is likely to be the same.
    Some more entertaining guides like "The Worst-Case Scenario Guide" and "The Zombie Survival Guide" include disaster scenarios, not just skills.

    1 agrees
  14. For informational stuff along the lines of gardening, farming, food safety and preservation, university extension offices can be good. My library links to Ohioline from The Ohio State University on its resources page for this. I just got to it from home without having to put in my card number or ZIP code, so I think it will work for everybody:

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/

  15. Something I just thought of —
    As a cultural tenant (to my understanding) of the LDS Church, there is a commitment to preparedness. While many Mormons do lean conservative, the information for what they have for material goods would still be solid.

    The Latter-Day Saints organize themselves in "Stakes." I would find your local Stake and see what information they may be able to give you. There will be a heaping helping of Mormon theology, but I would feel confident putting my trust in a group of people who were literally chased out of several states to then settle, and thrive, in the middle of a desert.

    At the very least, they would be able to tell you the best stores for having some extra supplies in case of emergency without breaking the bank.

    3 agree
  16. Does anyone else have a partner who thinks prepping is unnecessary? Any advice on persuading?
    (I may just quietly make go-bags and get some water to have on hand regardless of what he does…)

    2 agree
    • Yes, quietly start doing disaster preparedness by yourself. He will appreciate you when the power goes out in the next storm and you have candles ready as well as food that doesn't need electricity to prepare.

      As for longer-term things such as gardening, making your own wine, etc., don't even call it disaster preparedness. Call it a hobby. What could he object to?

      3 agree
      • Keep a scoreboard! Note down what you are doing, how much it costs, and how much you're saving. Putting a monetary value on your efforts seems to make it more appreciated (and it can help with budgeting too).

  17. If you look into the rewilding movement (the cultural movement, not just ecological rewilding) you might find some things that interest you. It's all about undomesticating our way of life and learning traditional skills, but the folks I know that are involved are all very socially liberal, and many people in urban areas explore how to incorporate as much rewilding as possible into urban environments. Basically not just learning how to "survive," but how to live comfortably as a part of nature. Foraging and preparing wild foods, fibers, and medicine, local herbalism traditions, making and using bow and arrow and stone tools, fire by friction, basket weaving, food storage (fermenting, drying, smoking, salting), hunting or raising animals, processing animal meat and hides, felting and fiber crafts, and making my own leather shoes are all things I've come across within the rewilding community.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewilding_%28anarchism%29

    2 agree
  18. Oregon Public Broadcasting recently aired a program on preparing for a Tsunami and/or massive earthquake. The program was mainly about community preparations (or lack of), but they said their website had more info at opb.org – I'm guessing they will have info/links for individual prep. FEMA, State & Local Government websites as well as the Red Cross also offer recommendations for disaster planning including general prep & prep for specific situations like fire or flood. For learning self-reliance skills, I'd recommend the "Encyclopedia of Country Living" by Carla Emory and "Living on an Acre", (which I think is published by the US Dept. of Agriculture). Both are good resources. Your local extension office and Master Gardeners' program (if in the US) are also good resources for info on identifying wild edibles, gardening & preserving foods.

  19. The Centers for Disease Control have some resources on preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse: http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm

    The Land Grant Extension system has great resources, and you can also check with your local county office. Every state has an Extension system, and almost every county has an office: http://articles.extension.org/floods
    http://articles.extension.org/pages/59588/recovering-after-a-disaster-using-the-family-financial-toolkit#.Vk9pLL_Uvm4
    http://articles.extension.org/pages/59588/recovering-after-a-disaster-using-the-family-financial-toolkit#.Vk9pLL_Uvm4
    http://articles.extension.org/category/preparedness

    Join the local fire department, search and rescue, emergency medical services, or local disaster relief groups. If anything happens, you will be the first to know and will be tied into the system. Then you can be an asset to the community instead of a liability!

    • Thanks for sharing guys. After 71 mph winds and days without power I am definitely upping my preparedness. So I am taking notes from all your information and recommendations!

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.