What are "preppers" really preparing for? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

What are "preppers" really preparing for?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Some people imagine those who call themselves "preppers" are sitting around in tin foil hats waiting for the alien invasion. Or perhaps they think of people living in rural areas building underground bunkers to hide from the end of the world as we know it.

However, those who prepare say it is really much more practical than that.

They are looking ahead to any number of reasons that our way of life as we know it could change. They worry about the potential for a total meltdown of the economy, the loss of our electrical grid by an attack or a solar flare, or a massive storm that destroys our modern conveniences.

"Preppers are responsible people. They just want to take care of themselves and their families. They don't want to be free-loading or dependent on the system. That makes people mad because people feel entitled but preppers don't," said Scott Hunt.

Hunt runs Practical Preppers, he's devoted to teaching others the things he's learned about living a life "off the grid" if he had to.

"My goal was to do everything I need to do as a prepper infrastructure-wise with water and wood and so far so good," Hunt said.

On his farm in South Carolina he's learned to heat his home and water with an alternative outside stove. He grows his own food and can pump water to his home from various sources on his property using solar powered pumps, or hydraulic ones. He has even learned how to power a vehicle using wood to run the engine.

Bill Sterrett and his wife Jan are preppers too. They run Carolina Readiness Supply in Western North Carolina. Their goal is to sell people exactly what they need to start prepping.

"Our customers are rational people, really they are. I could probably prepare you for well under $1,000 for a year in food and water survival at the bare necessities," Sterrett said.

At the very least he says you should have rice, beans, cooking oil, spices and enough multivitamins to last you a few months. For those who want more there are expensive and inexpensive water purification systems and stockpiles of food that have a shelf life over 20 years.

Sterrett says there is no way to predict when a crisis will occur and he hopes there is never a need to use what he has stored. To do nothing, however, just doesn't make sense to him. Hunt agrees.

"People that live in urban area or city use it as an excuse not to prepare and that's wrong. You can always store basic food and water," he said.

Sterrett and his wife are hosting a Heritage Life Skills weekend to teach people some of the old skills like butchering, canning, tanning leather, making candles and soap. For more information, click here.

To learn how Hunt collects water and turns wood into fuel to power a vehicle, watch the videos attached to this page.

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