|photo courtesy of fotojet|
Sweden's Crisis Preppers
Sweden is often cited as the country that is doing "it" right. The country that provides free health care and free education. We all should follow this example, my friends and acquaintances tell me. Then I learn that the citizens of Sweden being sent literature encouraging them to prepare for crisis or war via "prepping".
Yes. The citizens have been sent literature from their government explaining how they should prep. This video interviews a couple of citizens who are prepping, and who have received the literature (but I believe both were prepping prior to the literature). The video also shows persons who are involved with Sweden's government, military, home guard, and civil emergency agency.
What I learned was that this video highlights "one of the world's most peaceful countries preparing for the worst" by educating students and citizens about prepping and decision-making during emergencies.
I learned that in the early 2000s, the defense spending was slashed. And a military of 700,000 is now only 50,000. And half of that number consists of the Home Guard. The Home Guard is comprised of citizen volunteers who train for military and medical emergencies approximately twice a year.
I learned that the defense knowledge was lost because people thought they were safe. Currently, the government is slowly increasing the investment into military defense. But the current plan, if war occurs in their country, is to "get other countries to come and help us".
Swedish preppers know that if something happens "you can't depend on the government to bring you food or get you water. You have to do it yourselves." It seems that this thinking is validated by the literature that was sent to the citizens and by the government deciding there is a need to rebuild their defense.
I do feel the need to say that I've never viewed anything by SBS Dateline prior to this video. I know nothing of their typical reporting styles, trends, or biases. Here is the Youtube version of SBS Dateline's Sweden's Crisis Preppers if you'd like to watch.
My Idea of Prepping
Preppers are often viewed as outliers. There is a stereotype that preppers are only a handful of fringe people who are a bit off. The recluses that want to live as hermits and are a bit paranoid.
In my opinion, there are some extreme preppers who are a bit over the top. A bit more extreme than I ever could be. But overall, I think there is something exceedingly important about being prepared and self-sufficient.
There have been portions of my life when there has not been enough food to eat. I had relatives who were impacted by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Though they did not talk about it, I knew that was why they were very frugal and saved many items because they "might need that later." I was a teenager during the midwest blizzard of '78 and we were cut off from anything for days. And now I live in Maryland, where hurricanes can cause some damage and power loss. These experiences have given me a desire to be able to take care of myself for at least a few weeks at a time.
I think prepping has a very personal definition for each person who prepares. For me, prepping means that I'd love to have a large, well-stocked pantry. I'd also love to go into retirement at The Shack with the skills to feed myself with the food and animals I've grown. For me, I believe these skills help to keep a healthier me and a healthier environment. I do not think my goal is to be 100% fully self-sufficient. I don't know if that is possible for many people and I'm certain it is not possible for me.
I do know that I don't want to depend on the government to take care of me. I don't trust that will happen. Especially in light of this new knowledge that not even Sweden is prepared to care for it's citizens during a crisis event. The video, Sweden's Crisis Preppers has only reinforced my desire to continue to increase my prepping and self-sufficiency.
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