Doomsday Preppers: What propels a person to prepare?

For many preppers, being prepared doesn't necessarily mean you're scared.

“Say the power did go off. An EMP or a solar flare that comes in. Then you’re looking at not having nothing,” Dwayne Convirs predicts. “How are you going to feed your family? How are you going to feed yourself?”

Doomsday Preppers. While they prepare for the worst, their intentions are usually for the best.

Over the last 31 years here in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, Dwayne Convirs has become the prepper’s prepper.

“You have different events like Y2K that shock people and then they start thinking about that,” he says. “When 9/11 happened, that was a really scary year for people being scared to death like, ‘What’s next?'”

However, it’s not only in the wake of those moments of fear that surplus stores like Dwayne’s see a lot of first time customers walk in the door.

“It happens every day. Because once they start worrying about ‘Well, this could happen,’ and they talk to family members and they think they’re nuts. So they come in and kind of feel me out, and it’s a natural response. Next thing you know, they come in regularly and wanna talk about stuff. I’m glad to share my knowledge. I feel like it’s my duty to do so.”

That’s where he sees it as an opportunity to be proactive, not paranoid.

Sure, it could maybe help in the event of the most unlikely doomsday scenarios, but Dwayne reminds us that it can also prepare for the ones we see every year, and the ones we never see coming.

“We want to encourage people to be self-reliant as much as they can be,” says Keith Stammer, Emergency Management Director for the City of Joplin. “That varies from person to person.”

Stammer tells us his office encourages people to think in terms of everyday situations like floods, fires, and weather events.

“And to think in terms of 72-96 hours,” he says. “To have enough supplies in terms of food, water, medicine, clothing, radio, batteries. For that period of time because that’s about how long it takes to get ourselves organized, and figure out what happened to us, and what we can do about it, and who we can get here to help.

While the preppers in Dwayne’s world choose to store a slightly larger supply, he tells us his time in the military is when he learned just how valuable those basic items can be.

“You’ve never seen poor until you get into those types of areas – Central America is extremely poor. It enlightens you of how simple life can be if you just have a few things.”

Showing how a little preparation can mean so much.

“I would think in your soul, you just feel the need,” says Convirs. “You just know in your gut that you should prepare. That’s just the way it is.”

Click here for resources on Emergency Preparedness from the City of Joplin.