Is prepping a crime?

I read somewhere that its considered suspicious to prepare for disaster. Activities such as purchasing large quantities of basic survival items like food, water, fire starters, batteries, etc… are distributed to merchants as something to look for and report to authorities. Simultaneously, FEMA has ready.gov as a recommended resource for disaster preparedness. Here in New Orleans, the radio encourages everyone to prepare for hurricane season. When I lived in Beaverton, Oregon, our lovely mayor published a monthly newsletter that asked the citizens to do five things that month to prepare their family for disaster (most likely earthquake in those parts).

So which is it? Is it suspicious or prudent, encouraged or surveiled? To be generous, I assume different agencies with their own agendas view prepping through unique lenses. So, should I or shouldn’t I? I went through a major prepping phase after Katrina, and I was very cautious about it. When I stocked up at the grocery store, Ipaid cash and told the clerk that I just moved and have to replenish my pantry. I never went to the same store twice. I regularly bought a few bags of beans and rice in a large, otherwise innocuous shopping cart.

If it is supicious, why? Cui bono? Does anyone really want to see Katrina revised? Isn’t it in the interest of all of our safety to get ready? What is to be gained by chaos and breakdown? The darker, fearful side of me thinks that martial law is the desired outcome. I love (and laugh) at conspiracy theorists as much as any internet lurker, from the fema camps to the ammunition purchases, but seriously, what gives?

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