(NaturalNews) Back in the 1990s, the idea of growing food in the suburbs, getting "off the grid," and learning survival skills was thought to be something only militia members and lone rangers living in the woods would do. Today, a new type of survivalism has emerged in light of economic and political turmoil that people from all walks of life are embracing.
Sometimes called "preppers," people who prepare in advance for catastrophic events like natural disasters or social chaos are becoming more common in both urban and rural America. What was once considered to be paranoia is quickly becoming a popular social movement of everyday Americans who are trying to be self-sufficient and prepared for anything.
Tess Pennington a 33-year-old mother of three from suburban Houston is one such prepper that has been learning how to grow and preserve her own food. She is also taking classes to learn how to treat illness and disease with medicinal herbs, a skill that will come in handy should a major catastrophic event occur.
Prepper networks have been popping up all over the country as like-minded individuals are banding together to teach each other useful skills such as gardening, hunting, and self defense. Resources such as how achieve energy independence and live off the grid, how to dig and build a back-yard water well, and how to successfully grow and store food are available all over the place. Books, radio shows, internet blogs, and even conferences that address these topics and more are abundant.
Terrorist attacks, economic meltdowns, widespread corruption, and other social ills have all contributed to the growing awareness about the importance of self-sufficiency. Learning how to live independently is vital if one wishes to survive potential disasters that could disrupt access to food, water, fuel, and other essentials necessary for survival.
John Milandred, owner of a website called Pioneer Living, lives in Oklahoma and says he is completely prepared for any disaster. "If something happened, it really would not affect us," he explained in an interview. He hand-dug a water well in his yard, built an oven that requires neither gas nor electricity, is able to hunt for meat, and grows his own food.
"Prepping is not taboo, like survivalism," Pennington explained. "In many ways, our ancestors were preppers. It is just going back to being able to look after yourself." She is exactly right, and every American would do well to seek out ways to become more self-sufficient.