Meet the Disaster Preppers

The world is a scary place. Some people think about this more than the rest of us, and take action, meticulously planning for a variety of disasters, both natural and manmade (think governmental collapse or widespread labor strikes). These people are called preppers.

When they aren’t stockpiling water and freeze-dried and canned goods, packing their bug-out bags (backpacks or duffles with enough water, food and supplies to last 72 hours), tending their gardens—some people have even accumulated weapons—preppers log into the American Preppers Network, a national forum with subforums for each state. Island preppers have the Hawaii Preppers Network, comprising dozens of members, some more active than others. There they discuss food storage, tsunami threats, guns and, yes, there’s also political commentary.

HONOLULU tried numerous times to reach out to these folks, even joining the forum, but had no luck. So we decided, instead, to excerpt a few of their posts, in which they detail how they’ve been preparing for when TSHTF (the shit hits the fan). These have been edited for length, spelling errors and capitalization, but are otherwise unchanged.

RE: “Food Storage Plans Anyone?”

By korilla808
… I use pork and beans as my base prep. I guess it all depends on how long you are prepping for. Some prep for a lifetime, which I find near impossible in an apartment. But I make do the best I can. I am also finding other canned foods that make a lot of sense: Vienna sausage for me is a great idea, it’s eight bucks for a case at Sam’s and it goes well with [peanut butter]. Plus you don’t need to heat it either. I also stock canned chili for some variety and other canned veggies … I try to eat the same foods for a few weeks on end to get used to eating the same old boring thing day after day. I usually do it for just one to two meals a day but it works. I have trained myself not to be so needy when it comes to variety in a diet. I guess you could call it a little training! Keep on prepping!

“Water Prepping Gifts for Christmas”

By dr_prepper101
Because my immediate family procrastinates prepping, I will be giving them 55-gallon drums as part of their Christmas presents. I have given 20-pound bags of rice in the past and cases of Spam, etc., but they still lack saving water like they should. They all have houses and can easily convert their gutters to harness this life-saving resource, but it seems they are still one can short of a six pack when it comes to the seriousness of storing water ... Are any of you giving the gift of prepping to your loved ones this Christmas season? I hope you do, especially if they procrastinate like mine. If not the gift of water storage units, anything in the spirit of prepping will be good.

RE: “Hawaii Preppers Roll Call”

By Aloha2U
… [I’m] saving much needed funds for preps. [I] have also been putting back some funds but not in the bank, [but] instead in a secure place. [I’ve] also been investing in wheat pennies, silver and not quite gold but I have [gotten] rid most of my gold jewelry and liquidated them out for cash since the price of gold is high. I realize that I will not be able to eat my jewelry so that was a deciding factor in itself. It was very easy for me to “let go” of this because I won’t be able to eat it. Food is the most valuable commodity in my book.

RE: “Ah, Finally, Tigers With the Same Stripes”

By BigdogMD
… I did not realize how much the [Latter Day Saints] church advocates prepping. It’s absolutely fantastic! I don’t know if you’ve already downloaded it, but it’s called the LDS Preparedness Manual. It is an absolutely fantastic and comprehensive manual for prepping, and it’s absolutely free. Just Google it. I do have a few LDS friends whom I discuss prepping with and whom I have invited to my house should the SHTF. My doctor friends just laugh at me, calling me paranoid. I tell them, do NOT come running to me when poo poo starts going downhill, I warned you ... It is absolutely not a question of if, but when. The manual discusses “normalcy bias,” the notion that even in the face of great peril, most people believe that everything will be okay, everything will return to normal. After all we live in the United States, it’s 2013. That’s the mindset we preppers have to battle.

RE: “Aloha from Honolulu!”

By LE23
… We have restarted our garden, buy in bulk at Costco and dehydrate or can, my husband is brushing up on his fishing skills, and we stock up on stuff every week (usually we look for the sales). We have also started storing rice and beans in our old protein powder cans (No. 2 plastic). I feel a lot more prepared as the weeks progress, and we have become way more organized and careful about our purchases. We are trying to be prepared without appearing like hoarders LOL. We are also very careful about who we tell about our prepping.

RE: “Goal Zero”

by korilla808
…I live in the city so my plans are a little different. As far as lights go there is no way I’m keeping a light on at night. Even if I blacked out my windows I wouldn’t trust being the only [one] with [a] light on. It’s like drawing moths to me. If you live in the country—different story. Good call on all the hand tools … I’ve stocked up on hand tools, too. I still use the electric ones, but I keep them at my folks’ place. For [my] survival info, I like the Kindle but maybe [I’ll] start printing that stuff out. I got all my home repair books and garden books put aside. Also, I print info off the net and put it in a binder. Then [I] make a small note paper and laminate it of all the important info if you need to run. I have no lights in my kits. When it’s dark it’s time to sleep … A flashlight sticks out like a sore thumb. I’m in a small [apartment], so moving around in pitch black isn’t too hard. I’ve practiced with my eyes closed a number of times.

Hawaii Preppers Network member BigdogMD keeps an extensive supply of food, gear, medicine and guns. Here’s a partial inventory, based on the forum post, “Ah, Finally, Tigers With the Same Stripes.”


• An AR15 semiautomatic rifle in .223
• A Remington 870 in 12-gauge shotgun
• A Ruger 10/22 rifle
• Handguns in 9mm and .22-, .40- and .45-caliber

Contents of Bug-Out Bags

• Fixed-blade survival knife
• Machete
• 20-inch camp axe
• 5-pound sledgehammer
• 15-inch flat crowbar
• 18-inch bolt cutters
• Saw
• 8-foot fishing pole with kit
• Swim fins
• Mask and snorkel
• Three-prong spear
• Clothing
• Eton Scorpion wind-up radio (it’s also a flashlight and cell-phone charger)
• Respirators
• Fire starters
• Flints
• Zip ties
• Ponchos
• Tarps
• 200-foot parachute cord
• Fasteners
• Emergency blankets
• Ammunition
• First-aid kit containing: Bandages, sutures, antibiotics, betadyne and scalpels for emergency surgery, anti-clotting agents, Israeli bandages, splints and tourniquets
(Each family member also has their own bug-out bag.)

More: Could Hawaii Feed Itself?