Prepping in the United States is definitely on the rise in recent years, but have you ever wondered if this increase holds true in other countries around the world?
In this article, we’ll give you a brief rundown on the current preparedness status of citizens in countries across the globe and how both individuals and government agencies are prepping for a variety of possible events such as:
- Economic Collapse
- Climate Change
- Political Conflict
- Natural Disasters
Increased Russian military movements and activity has Sweden officials, like Johan Norberg, of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, concerned. Norberg’s research indicates a surge in Russian military exercises which he believes indicates Russia is preparing for a large scale war.
While Norberg doesn’t know exactly who Russia’s intended target might be, the proximity of Russia’s increased military activity to Sweden is enough to convince Norberg and other Swedish officials that Sweden could be vulnerable in the event of large scale war.
In 2018, the Swedish government sent out a detailed pamphlet to every single household. The pamphlet was called “If Crisis or War Comes“ and it detailed what citizens should prepare for in the event of a crisis or war.
The government of Sweden, in response to near disaster in 2010, is once again preparing its citizens for “total defense”, which means readying the entire society to prepare for a time of heightened alert. Representatives from civil emergency agencies are in schools, preparing a cohort of students, those who have lived only in peace times, for crisis management in a time of war.
Sweden’s home guard is holding trainings at least twice annually to prepare volunteer citizens to defend the country.
According to Swedish Minister for Defence, Peter Hultqvist, Sweden will remain an unallied nation but will deepen cooperation with others and will invest in upgrading their national defense capabilities.
One of the steps Sweden has taken is to “reactivate conscription services”for both men and women in Sweden which was done effective January 1, of 2018. Between 2013 and 2017, Sweden became one of the societies least reliant on cash, with less than 20% of all payments taking place in cash and as much as 80% of retail commerce transactions using card payment.
But the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, on behalf of the Swedish government, is now advising citizens to stockpile “small amounts of cash in small denominations” in the event of an emergency from natural disasters to war.
According to a Statistics Canada report in 2015, an estimated 50% of Canadians were prepared with an alternative water source and only just over 20% had taken any other steps toward preparing for emergencies.
Public Safety Canada is primarily preparing its citizens for natural disasters or other emergencies. Here’s the three step preparedness plan they recommend:
- Know the Risks
- Make a Plan
- Get an Emergency Kit
Everyone prepare for 3 days of self-sufficiency (food, water, radio, cash, can opener, flashlight, etc.) There is more information on how the Government of Canada is recommending residents prepare here.
The site includes regional and provincial agency contacts as well as generalized “how to prepare” information for events such as severe storms, avalanches, pandemic, chemical releases, landslides, and more.
Economist, John Adams, other economists, and more recently politicians in Australia are preparing citizens for a looming global crash they believe will be caused by the artificial inflation of economies as a result of central banks using “quantitative easing” money printing policies.
The last time the Australian economy was in recession was more than 27 years ago. This means in Australia, residents under the age of 40 years old have never struggled through failing economic conditions. Most adults in Australia have no idea what’s coming.
According to this article in June 2018, the Reserve Bank indicated approximately 200,000 home loans in Australia, which were interest only, would roll over to principal plus interest payments. This would mean higher mortgage repayments of an estimated $7,000 annually for the typical loan recipient.
In November of 2017, nearly 80% of mortgages were variable interest rates. This means 80% of the mortgages could be at the mercy of sudden changes in international financial markets, particularly spiking international interest rates.
John Adams suggests Australians:
- Study history for clues on how to survive from previous economic catastrophes.
- Make managing personal cash flow a priority by reducing expenses and looking at self-sustainable changes to your home.
- Work toward lowering and even eliminating overall debt by selling off unnecessary assets to repay debts. Focus on paying off high interest or short term debts first.
- Consider alternative forms of money in case of runaway inflation or loss of buying power of Australian dollar. Alternative forms include official government currency, precious metals, or crypto currencies.
- Diversify skills and income source. Don’t rely solely on income from just one source. Consider a second job, start a microbusiness providing services or goods. Evaluate skill set with an eye toward labour market flexibility and competition.
- Get good at DIY including home repair, raising livestock, repairs to your car, mending of clothes, food preservation, and other tasks to improve self-reliance.
- Improve personal relationships with family and friends in order to create a reliable network of people who can support one another through tough times.
- Eat healthier, get fit, and rest well
Australia’s unique geographic position also puts the country in a position to focus a lot of resources on humanitarian aid for multiple countries.
In the UK
When it comes to the UK, the Brexit process has increased the number of people prepping. Theresa May is stepping down and the process of replacing her has begun and is anticipated to be completed in July.
There’s a Facebook Group called the 48% preppers who worked to publicize the message that a “no deal” Brexit, meaning the exit happens without a signed deal in place for trade and other details between the UK and the EU, could disrupt the supply chain and impact availability of food for families in the UK.
Just prior to the March Brexit deadline, Peter Ward, CEO of UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) indicated concerns are not unfounded. According to Peter Ward then, “the big risk is that 50% of food consumed in the UK is imported, 75% comes across continential Europe and a good portion of that food is produce that is not easily stored and any disruption in flow results in increased need for warehousing.
Even though the decision for the UK to exit the EU has been made, the details and timeline for how it comes about has several uncertainties. Some of the larger issues involve changes in the free movement of people, whether there will be a hard border in Ireland, how smoothly the transition will be and whether it can be completed in the time period initially agreed upon. The new hard deadline for Brexit is October 31st, 2019.
Although, from my research, it appears that officials intend to minimize disruption to daily life for residents, it’s clear that the possibility for food, medicine, and other shortages, not to mention the impact on the economy is a real threat, especially in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
While a “no deal” Brexit seems less likely now than it did earlier this year, the possibility still exists that Brexit could happen without an agreement in place as to how trade and other details between the UK and EU will apply after Brexit.
The continued threat of a “no deal” Brexit it seems has pushed many people to relocate in anticipation since the vote to leave, and has fueled an increase in prepping.
A February 2019 polly by iTV news indicated that 20% of Britons were considering stockpiling and 5% had already begun and that was prior to the final Brexit decision in March.
Co-founder of Emergency Food Storage, one online retail company serving the UK and Ireland, even rebranded one of their kits, the “Brexit Box” and sold record numbers in January of 2019.
The “Brexit Box” contained 100 meals, consisting of tinned food, meat packets, fire-starting supplies, and water filters and sold for around £295.
China is the world’s 2nd biggest economic power and with current military activity, it seems war with the U.S. looms large. But in contrast to other countries, the food most people rely on in China currently only travels about 100 miles.
Eating locally means a break down in shipping/transport due to war won’t be a huge game changer for most families, like it would likely be in other countries, especially the United States.
Families in China are also used to more diversity in animals they will eat and they tend to eat or at least use, all parts of an animal. In addition, many citizens regularly walk, bike, or use natural gas powered CNG) scooters for transportation rather than relying on gasoline powered cars.
Many Chinese do not rely on A/C or heat for their houses and instead wear layers regularly in winter months and wear clothing made from actual bamboo in warmer temperatures to stay cool.
This could give some Chinese citizens a distinct advantage in dealing with any kind of extended power outage. The average citizen in China has also become accustomed to having to self-quarantine and take other precautions to protect against diseases such as SARS, bird flu, etc, which puts them in a unique position to respond to any kind of future bioterrorism incident.
In Hungary, a populated country of just under ten million, the government’s focus appears to be on energy resources. The upheaval between Russia and the Ukraine has greatly impacted central Europe and this has Hungarian officials scrambling to ensure the transit of Russian gas imports. In March 2019, the minister said “more than half of Russian gas imports arrive via the Ukraine.
Hungary has taken a very firm anti-migration position over the last several years. According to Hungarian FM Szijarto, Hungary wants to remain in control over who enters their country and who they live with. He feels the current Article 7 proceedings by the EU in regards to Hungary is in fact, a political attack on Hungary for their firm anti-migration stance.
Hungary is also committed to fighting terrorism, according to Szijarto, Hungary’s foreign minister. Following Easter Sunday attacks on several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, which killed 200 and injured more than 400 others, Hungary called on the EU to enhance its support of Sri Lanka.
Hungary has committed its own resources, including a forint loan scheme and a credit line, to encourage cooperation between companies in both countries for infrastructure improvements and updating Sri Lanka’s court system. Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi confirmed the Hungarian government does have contingency planning ready to maintain cooperation with London in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Disaster Risk Management
In many other countries around the world, the focus is on disaster risk management. This means the management and ideally, prevention, of risk to citizens during and following a natural disaster or other events.
Although the disasters these countries prepare for may differ, many governments are taking similar steps. I’ve included links to the specific plans for each country below:
It’s clear from my research that prepping in some form or another is on the rise, not just in the United States but in countries around the world.
Preppers, once thought to be nothing more than crazy, they are now touted as being practical, and are increasingly looked to as the gurus of preparedness.
As more and more people and governments across the globe increase their proactive approach to natural disasters and other looming catastrophic events, perhaps there is hope we can survive what the future holds.
What preparations are you making in your country for the future? Are you seeing an increase in preparedness at the local, state, or national level in your country? Share your first hand experiences in the comments below.
Sources Included but not limited to:
- Why Sweden is Encouraging Citizens to Become Preppers (Dateline video)
- How citizens are prepping for Brexit
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.
10 thoughts on “Prepping Around the World (How and Why Countries Are Prepping)”
It’s good to let people know that we are not alone when preparing for the unexpected; but, when you discuss Disaster Risk Management I wonder why you didn’t mention the US.
There are many agencies involved in this on a regular basis at various levels.
FEMA on the Federal level, with each state having its own Emergency management agency and then larger cities or entire counties with versions that focus on their specific areas of interest / operation.
I’ve been a volunteer member of our local county EMA for 20 years, and while most of our operation support relatively simple things like structure fires, major traffic accidents, or minor hazmat situations, there are plans in place to handle and mitigate any conceivable event that might befall our area.
We recently had an in-depth tabletop discussion in concert with EARTH EX®//19 that addresses risks by hosting an all nation, all sector resilience collaboration and training for complex catastrophes to help flesh out these plans.
These things generally go on without any fanfare; but, in a catastrophic event, there are both plans and resources in place to try and mitigate them.
Our agency and others often have high cost regional assets that we keep on hand and well maintained in case of need. An example would be a large (500KW) generator that was recently loaned to the city of Dayton after those devastating tornadoes, used to run their well fields to supply water to the city, until power could be restored.
Of course, Disaster Risk Management and preparation for mitigation should start at the individual and family level as we see being done now in Florida as Hurricane Dorian is now expected to hit Florida even harder than previously thought.
I understand that shelves are already devoid of water, batteries, and easy to prepare foods like ravioli.
That sounds like a great article idea and I’m sure Megan would love to do it. I’ll add it to the queue, tx.
Here’s another example from our local county EMA here in Ohio in reference to hurricane Dorian. Our local county EMA has a private facebook group for its sworn members and our chief of operations posted this yesterday afternoon:
The Zumro is a large inflatable shelter (https://zumro.com) we deploy at long (more than a single day) term events.
The blow up light is an inflatable tower about 20 feet tall that contains a lighting system to illuminate a large area at night.
Under a mutual aid agreement, AEP (American Electric Power) sent 400 people south at 0700 this morning including lineman and damage assessment teams. They will be stationed at Lake City Florida, ready to deploy after the storm is over to help reestablish power.
Last night Gas stations were running out of gas in many areas of Florida. The lines were long at stations with gas and in some managers were directing traffic to keep it orderly. The building supply stores were having a run on wood to cover windows.
My daughter and her husband are near Jacksonville, Fl. He’s had a bout of cancer. He’s diabetic, he has growths on an adrenal gland and is scheduled to have that entire gland removed. Over all he’s too weak to cover the windows and they financially don’t have gas money to evacuate. They do have food and water and they are somewhat inland of Jacksonville. They aren’t in a flood zone. The walk in closet and bathroom don’t have windows. That is where they will go. Are they out of danger? No. All I can do is watch and pray. I’ve seen where homes have disappeared in hurricanes.
I’m in high mountain desert country. We’ve had two large lightening started fires nearby recently. If fire comes over the top of the mountain we will be ready to leave day or night. I’ll sleep in a friends living room 60 miles away. Fire’s the most common danger here. I keep food and water here. Backpacks ready to grab n go with necessary documents, food, weather appropriate clothing, knives, hatchet, fire starters, mess kits and a larger pot, and more. Can camp out if necessary. Grab what is needed sorted mostly by color.
I’ve tried to tell my daughter to gather things better to be ready for disasters. Save up enough to evacuate and buy boards to cover their windows. Local supply would deliver if they get it all at once and if ready ahead of time they could hire help.
I know she’s mostly supporting them and they barely make the house payment and necessities. The hurricane is coming and they haven’t been in this home long enough to prepare enough.
Prepping is just being prepared for the worst scenario where you are. I have No idea of anything being done here in our country. Bigger towns have some planning. We’re 15 miles from a small town.
We garden and can any surplus. None this year. I may can some amaranth leaves before they are gone. We couldn’t plant outside untill early June because of unusually late frosts. First frosts usually come by September and first snow in October. Tomatoes are setting but not sure they will be ripe when frosts come. I have tarps and covering up at night helps some.
Between moving back to this property and injuries I haven’t accomplished as much as I want to get done. My husband has Alzheimer’s So mostly he sits and watches me do the work around here. Little by little things are slowly getting done.
Friends have a work day planned Sept 10 and 11 to build an 8’x8′ deck with both stairs and a ramp. I’ve gathered some items and they are bringing a lot. The old trailer steps we’ve been using are too worn out and wobbly to bring a large refrigerator or my good washing machine inside.
That’s a lot of it. Helping each other accomplish things. Good to see other nations are preparing for disasters and hard times. Interesting article.
First of all, it’s good to see you here and welcome to the pack.
You might mention to them that due to Hurricane Dorian the Florida State vs. Boise State game has been moved from Jacksonville to Tallahassee up on the panhandle. We have a few Floridians here who can tell you they should take this seriously.
We have a similar situation here with tornados where you take the best shelter you have available.
Hopefully they will weather this storm in good shape and learn a lesson from it. Perhaps by next hurricane season they will incrementally have gotten enough supplies together a bit at a time.
I suspect your county has an EMA (Emergency Management Agency) or at least has one at the state level. Contact them and see how you can help or at least find out what you can about them. I know that here we have written plans or outlines for mitigation of any problem that would impact our area; but, like you I suspect few people know they even exist. I’ve been a volunteer member of our county EMA for 20 years and the DW has been involved for about the last 2-3 years. Our members range in age from around 20 to 78 and all have something they can do to help. While we have no official members under 18, many members have teenage children that also help where they can.
If you can associate with them there may be training or even just answering telephones or working radios at a shelter during an event.
We could not plant until mid June; but, in our case it was the weather that just rained and rained. In any case you will find people of a similar mindset here.
Little by little as one can manage and afford it is pretty much how everyone here manages, so you are in good company.
Friends, family and neighbors can be a key to both living and surviving and it’s good to see you have some willing to help out; but, I find that is more common than people might think.
This was an interesting overview to see how preparedness is looked at in other places around the world.
Interesting that other people are feeling the need to get ready for what ever and when ever it is needed. At the same time I read an article by M.D. Creekmore lamenting the decline of his readership and the lack of views of his You Tube videos. Is it a trend or just people tiring of the constant rehash of the same subjects? I don’t know.
I’m in Georgia, kind of in the West and a ways from the projected damage that may occur from the hurricane. I just checked on supplies and topped off the tanks in all of the vehicles, charged up all the batteries (maintenance since they stay charged but a top off check doesn’t hurt), did a comms check on all the radios and took extra magazines out of the gun safes for the primary weapons and have deemed us ready for what ever comes. I tend to be overly cautious but have learned from many years in many countries where, when you least expect it, everything goes to heck in a handbasket.
It all keeps my hands busy.
Be safe, enjoy the long weekend, and stay prepped.
At the risk of going over the edge, I’ll tell you my opinion on this, specifically as it relates to MD.
A while back he had the original WDYDTPTW column and decided to cancel it. Almost There contacted Dan and then asked me to contact others, and Dan graciously started up this WIDTPTW column.
MD also had the ”Seven things ordered on my Amazon affiliate link” or something like that; but, then started complaining about all of the non preparedness things people were ordering. When I tried to explain that I used his link for many things, including Christmas and Birthday presents to help him out, he didn’t seem to understand. He also seems to be a bit of a narcissist overinflating his background listing things like the free online FEMA courses any of us may take.
When some of us tried to explain and help out we were banned from posting. That was at least me and Bam Bam, and since most of the pack has migrated to this new home Dan has provided I think were here to stay.
I still occasionally look at his site; but, with a stream of state knife laws or state gun law posts that anyone can easily Google, he simply presents little that interests me and from at least a few I’ve heard from privately, quite a few others.
I’ll stop here before I step in it any deeper; but, if he had listened and swallowed his oversized ego, he could still be running a thriving site.
Good to hear this. This morning they are projecting landfall that could still present a Cat 3 over to Orlando; but, it appear people are at least trying to get ready.
For communications have you started playing with any of the digital modes?
I use DMR a lot; but, there is a Quadnet gateway that allows all of the modes to communicate. If by chance you use DMR, I may be typically found on TG 313966.
When you can see a charging bull coming at you, there is IMHO no such thing as overly cautious
Since I’m retired and the youngest is out of college and on her own, they are all long weekends. LOL.
Good luck with the wind and rain coming your way.
TOP, you said what I wanted to say but decided to bite my tongue and dance around the MD issue. I was very active on his site for a long time and bought a lot of stuff off Amazon from his links. When he pulled the rug out from under our feet, I tried hanging with him for a while but the whole complexion of the site changed and I no longer felt comfortable or engaged and made this my prep home.
I have not attempted any of the new digital modes. I have found Hams around me but they are either died in the wool CW or voice guys or not willing to engage in discussion or information exchange on any other mode. Matter of fact, 2 of them are just working the high powered CB rag chew nets which don’t interest me at all. So, I stick to voice and CW and as my hearing continues to deteriorate, I may have to start learning some of the modes that present on screen rather than through my headsets. I blame the Air Force on my hearing issues but the VA never seems to see it that way. For 23 years I was a ditty bopper, copying HF Morse from the bad guys 8 hours a day, day in and day out, where the target often hid his transmission under multiple other transmitters (they were using highly directional antennas) and I’d have to dig them out with the volume and gain up and then suffer through the static burst. Anyway, long story short, along with my battle time with no ear plugs and small arms fire going on, and then heavy duty document destruction equipment, again with no hearing protection, I’m paying the price. As an aside, I got off the active intercept rack for my last few active years and specialized in Disaster Preparedness, Non-Combatant Evacuation, Emergency Destruction, Safety and Shelter Management. Learned a lot and became an expert in setting up the morgue and making preps to handle the dead.
I keep saying I’m going to retire soon but I just can’t seem to put the job down. So much to do, so much to learn.
Let the wind blow and the rain come, we’re ready for it.
This is very interesting regarding current events, thank you!