You know that prepping has gone mainstream when the popular financial magazine Fortune has a positive write-up about the wisdom of being ready for whatever may come.

Columnist David Z. Morris attended a preparedness expo called Life Changes, Be Ready! in Lakeland, Florida last week, where he discovered that our concerns are the same as those of the average American. ”LCBR gave an immediate sense of one big way that the preparedness crowd isn’t marginal at all – economically.” He wrote:

More and more Americans are spending money to get ready for an uncertain future — gathering food, water, tools, and skills to help them weather anything from a hurricane to a pandemic. Contrary to images of deluded or gun-obsessed “lone wolves,” many preppers are average consumers reacting to concrete worries, and their way of thinking is spreading, fueling an emerging lifestyle trend. That lifestyle is generating demand for a broad spectrum of products offering survival — or even comfort — when large-scale systems go down…

…The diversity and type of products on offer was also remarkable. Egger’s seeds, for example, were prominently labelled “Organic” and “Non-GMO” – and so were all the other seeds on sale at the show. Those are distinctions you might not think were important to the same crowd in the market for a crossbow, but according to Egger, “you don’t have to explain to people anymore” why eating organic matters. That was just one element of the unique mix of gritty survivalism, back-to-the land self-sufficiency, and outright hippie dream-science on display at LCBR. There were earthworm farms and beehives for sale, and two different companies dealing in essential oils. In a back corner, Mike Mah, or “No Stress Mike,” offered $30 pain reduction sessions using his “Hoy Chi” energy healing techniques. Mah’s flyers proudly advertised that he attended every Tea Party event he could, and he manipulated the spines of dozens of willing customers with a pistol tucked discreetly in his waistband. (source)

Morris’s article pointed out that education was a large part of the expo, and that many of the mainstream stereotypes about preppers were not necessarily accurate. He cited the non-threatening atmosphere and quote vendor Jim Egger. “If you go to the speaking engagements, you won’t hear any racist crap, you won’t hear any discriminatory talk. We don’t allow it.”
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