Does One Have to Be On the “Fringe” to Survive a Disaster?

Attendees at a presentation about emergency first aid (Credit Steve Hebert for The New York Times)

Attendees at a presentation about emergency first aid (Credit Steve Hebert for The New York Times)

NEW YORK TIMES: Disasters happen. It is a fact as certain as income taxes. And when a solar flare erupts or a flu pandemic hits, there is only one question that will matter: Are you, or are you not, prepared? One could have found an answer — actually, many answers — here over the weekend at the third annual National Preppers and Survivalists Expo. A trade show catering to those with an apocalyptic bent, the two-day exposition was an opportunity for vendors of calamity swag to meet their clientele. “We tried to gear our event this year to the ordinary person who wants to be ready for any situation,” said Ray McCreary, who organized the conference for the trade show company Expo Inc. Applicable situations, Mr. McCreary said, could include anything from an EF5 tornado to an economic collapse. Ever since Isaiah, someone somewhere has been talking about the imminent demise of civilized society. Still, one could argue that today’s connected world of globalized supply chains and multinational banks is especially susceptible to a catastrophic failure. This is not the exclusive opinion of the fringe groups of society: Just last month, a study financed by NASA found that, because of financial inequality and environmental problems, the industrial world could suffer “a precipitous collapse” within decades. Read more here.

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