June 25, 2017

NPE Syndrome – Not Prepared Enough

 NPE Syndrome – Not Prepared Enough.png

I get an email every once in a while from someone who has just started prepping and feels like they are way behind and won’t have enough time to get prepared.  I think this is a pretty common reaction when someone “wakes up” and see’s that there are some very real dangers that they need to prepare for.

I went through something similar and I am sure many of you did as well.  I discovered that there were things that could have a very real impact on my life.  I was also kicking myself for not waking up sooner, amazed that some of the things I was now seeing slipped by.

Then the amount of things I was unprepared for set in and I was sure there was no way I could get as prepared as I needed to be before these looming disasters set in.  I had far more questions than answers; where should I start? How was I going to pay for all of this?  What is the biggest danger?  How many things are there that I don’t know about? And on and on…

Luckily I found some good sites and spent countless hours researching to learn about preparedness.  At the time I could only find the occasional blog post or forum post about prepping and Christianity.  This is a huge part of why I created this blog.

I discovered that few people ever felt like they were prepared enough.  Many who had been at it for years would say they wish they were better prepared.


Encouraging Words

Above all things; keep praying about it and keep seeking His guidance.

Here are some things I tell people who email me and have a case of NPE.

You’re not alone.  The anxiety you feel is fairly normal and happens to many people when they “wake up”.  Don’t kick yourself for not starting sooner!  You’ve taken the most important step!  You’ve started!

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.  You can burn out that way.  You may feel like you’re quickly running out of time.  You’re not too late!  There is still time!

Don’t go in debt to get prepared.  There are inexpensive ways to get prepared.  You don’t need to go from a week’s worth of groceries to a year’s worth overnight.  Slowly increase the shelf stable foods you already eat, get a means to purify water and a means to defend your home.

Be careful who you tell about your new found realization that you need to prepare.  Many of the people in your life are still asleep and it’s not likely that you’ll be able to help them wake up.  Many Christians think preparing is showing a lack of faith.  They, of course, are mistaken.  The other reason to keep a lid on your preparedness is something I call Being gray.  Essentially it means not drawing unneeded attention to oneself, so as not to be a target.

I also try to give some ideas on where to start.  I often discuss the five basic human needs and link to a page written for those new to preparedness called Getting Started.


Final Thoughts

Truth be told, there are still things that start in the NPE Syndrome.  I have learned to see it for what it is.  Turn it over to the Lord and rest in the fact that you ARE prepared.  As with everything, it is God’s hands.

What encouraging words may you have for those with NPE Syndrome?


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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Remember that God knows exactly where you are in your preparedness, after all it is no coincidence that you “woke up” when you did to preparedness. Every believer will be in a different stage of preparedness when an emergency strikes — from not-at-all to fully-prepared-and-ready-and-able to help others. Rely on His guidance to direct your work to prepare and the steps that you take. Prayer and calm diligence in your tasks will help keep the NPE panic from taking hold and paralyzing or derailing your prepping. God was, is, and always will be in control! He will never abandon His people, and knows every one’s situation and circumstances. What peace that brings when one really understands and accepts that Truth.

    Thank you, Chris for being a calm, reasoning voice for faith and hope.

  2. I agree to prepare intelligently, continuously, yet calmly, trusting God to lead you–not your own sense of panic. Panic preps often result in wasted money and frustration. But we have brains to use, good resources to consult, so a prioritized list, with a budgeted plan is critical to getting started and making progress. Then start working the plan.

    We started with the basics and worked eventually down to what might be called luxuries and barter items. Our priorities started with adequate shelter, water, food, heat & cooking, defense, medical care, and on down from there.

  3. Jim Moore (JTHTTK) says:

    Encouragement = Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    I always have to default to; my understanding may not be correct understanding. So, I must default to Him.

    Great info and advise. I have chronic NPE Syndrome. I seem to have an attack every once in a while. I have had to stop watching the evening news because of it.

    As to Being Grey, I have been praying as to how to start forming community vs. staying Grey. No answer yet, so I wait. My thoughts are; printing the FEMA Ready.gov Basic Disaster Kit and spreading it door to door around the same community I live in. Then build from there as allowed. Form a group to ask the local water supply company to provide a deep well manual pump and work on a plan for extended power outage, just in case. Even if we have to contribute to pay for it. What do you think?

    • good verse. I have noticed I have less NPE syndrome since I gave up talk radio and get my news online.

      I think you’re plan is pretty good. Another option I have heard people use is sharing an abundance of produce. See if they want it, that can lead to a conversation on gardening and gardening is the gateway drug for prepping.

      There are always going to be potential risks, but you can’t walk on water if you don’t get out of the boat.

      • Jim Moore (JTHTTK) says:

        Good idea too. I’m still working on building soil. This will be our second spring in this spot.
        But I ain’t gitting outta the boat without a lifevest… ha ha!

      • I too, have begun to limit how much, and from what sources I get my news. Sensationalism is standard operating procedure from most media outlets. This can easily suck us in, and create unnecessary panic. Sense of loss is powerful in marketing (e.g. “limited time offer!”), just as it is in the news. Most of my news comes from sources that look at the world through a Biblical lens. I believe this is an essential part of transforming our minds in our modern world, as we are told to do in Romans 12:2.

        Be confident in knowing that regardless of what happens, we are on the side that will ultimately win. That doesn’t mean we won’t have challenges, or even face death, but our eternal reward awaits us in Heaven, regardless of how this temporary life ends up.

        This is the ultimate advantage we have over non-believer preppers. We believers are promised the peace that surpasses all understanding in Philippians 4. The risk we face is that prepping can become its own “religion.” In many non-christian faith systems, you must continually strive for the next level of knowledge, enlightenment, or other obligation put on their believers, often through fear, intimidation or guilt. In prepping you risk the same – trying to reach the next level of preparedness. While that is not wrong or bad, it should never become all-consuming. It can become your idol – a distraction from what’s even more important – your spiritual survival. Trust in God, not man or princes. Psalms 118: 8-9.

        Through study and patience, my family is far more prepared than it once was. But I know areas where we are still vulnerable and need improvement. Knowledge is powerful and helps prevent the NPE syndrome. Simply identifying those weak areas gives me focus on priorities, and helps me avoid the traps of having to go out and buy the latest/greatest contraption to help in whatever scenario comes our way. Combining my trust in God, with the knowledge I’ve gained gives me the peace that goes beyond understanding. I pray that for you, too.

        • Chris Ray says:

          Great comment Todd, thank you. you’re right that we need to keep our guard against prepping or anything else from becoming an idol.

      • Sorry for being naive but what does NPE stand for?

        • Chris Ray says:

          Not Prepared Enough

          • I’m a person who does good research but has trouble implementing it. I also live with an ostrich (head in the sand) husband who doesn’t want to stir himself to do anything so he says he’ll just die and not worry about it. so, I panic easily and give up easily then get up the next day and try again. I’m not prepared but better than I was I guess. just wish I had more practical experience and skills.

          • Chris Ray says:

            while you might not be able to buy as many preps as you might like, learning skills and gaining experience are free. Find a topic and search for reputable sources to learn from.

  4. NPE – a great term and n excellent article.

    As you know, within a day or two of rumors of impending gun control measures, people flooded stores and bought out anything and everything gun related, subsequently wiping out current supplies. Prices skyrocketed when dealers and distributors realized they could price gouge and that people would pay outrageous prices for guns and ammunition. People were (and still are to a degree) desperate because they got caught off guard.

    I wasn’t as concerned in this area, because I figured things would settle down fairly quickly, so I didn’t panic. It occured to me that the shelves were stripped clean MAINLY by people who had a penchant for guns already. Probably not by a lot of newbies to the gun culture. For the most part, the general public laughed at the “gun hoarding” and weren’t taking part.

    BUT as I stood in a local sporting goods store and saw an empty rack where the AR type rifles had been merely hours before, it hit me like a ton of bricks. What if there was some sort of “scare” involving food or water? It wouldn’t be a SMALL percentage of the population stripping the shelves clean. It would be the ENTIRE population making a mad rush for the stores and they would be emptied within hours.

    I like to think of myself as fairly well prepared. But this notion really got me to thinking “Am I taking this seriously enough?” The evidence was there before my eyes. People were carrying cases and cases of ammo out of the stores. I read on the news that databases for background checks were literally locked down due to the sheer number of applications that were coming in.

    What if it were food or medicine or water? What if there was a major trucker’s strike and the government announced on the news that no food or medicine deliveries could be expected for weeks? We know how people would react. There isn’t any debate about that. We’ve seen how they act over iPhones, tennis shoes and flat screen tv’s. Imagine food or drinking water being at a premium.

    Also, if even Walmart will jack up the price of common, every day 22 LR ammunition because there is a run on it by the public, what makes me think they wouldn’t do the same for bread, water, OTC medicines, etc..? They MOST CERTAINLY would.

    It’s easy, even as someone who takes preparing seriously, to fall into a “lull” mentally and to think there’s always PLENTY of time to prep more.

    And there IS time to prep more. There’s just no time to waste.

    Like I said, the gun panic is evidence enough that people will overreact to almost any perceived danger to their natural flow of life. They will panic. They will react according to their panic. Shelves can be stripped in a matter of hours.

    Something could happen overnight. it could be on the news in the morning. But don’t let that stop you or overwhelm you.

    Look up !! Don’t panic. Don’t be afraid. But be diligent. Like so many have already said, if you’ve realized that there is a need to prep, you’re WAYYYY ahead of the game.

    • Excellent post Rob. You took the words right out of my mouth about the mental “lull”. Diligence is the name of the game, and though my “lulls” never last to long, I can’t allow myself any delusions of normalcy! (darn) Things like this bring me back to reality real quick….news about all the “war” games being played out in our streets, with machine gun fire, and “multi” agency involvement. This is scary….anyone have any thought s on this?

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks Rob. I think you’re dead on about what it will look like if there is ever something that sparks panic buying of food and water. I watched a video from a town on the East Coast that had a water main break. I can’t remember if they still had water but had to boil it, or if there was no water, in either case, people stripped the local stores of water bottles in minutes. There were even fights that broke out.

      We have become an on-demand society and things get ugly when whatever is wanted isn’t on-demand.

    • Great comment. I’ve been asking my wife, what is there that we are taking for granted that we haven’t incorporated into our preps, so we stay on our toes? Redundancies of the basics, lots of medical supplies, more firewood than we think we need, lots of ammo in all the popular calibers and reloading supplies (all are great for bartering I would assume), gun parts and cleaning kits, solar powered battery chargers, headlamps for everybody, and at least a couple different ways of long-term water purification are things that came to mind for us.

  5. Love this article. Always love Jim Moores comments too! Just thought both of you should know. Thank you!

  6. The First and foremost important thing in anyones Life is the serious question AM I TRULY PREPARED? Many people that claim they are a “christian” have nothing more than a profession,and “by their fruits ye shall know them” there seems to be no Possession. Many are like the foolish man who said [soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease,eat,drink,and be merry.But God said unto him, Thou Fool,this night thy soul shall be required of thee; ] I love to listen to Pastor Butch Paugh on the GCN network,he might be considered a bit controversial,but at least he is putting forth effort to caution not only to prepare constitutionally,and physically but mostly spiritually.A individual can spend $100,000 on prepping,shelters,weapons,and training,but what will he/she gain if they lose their own soul? Yes we should be as Joseph was,and be prepared for the trouble ahead, But he was Spiritually prepared first. You know the widow woman seemed as if she was gonna eat her last cake when Elijah was sent her way,and Amazingly that meal barrel never run dry. God fed her family,and Elijah. Yes be prepared for the unexpected storm,but please make your calling,and election sure. Even though Our nation,government,friends,and family may forsake us,God is still on His Throne,and he will never forsake us!

  7. NPE how interesting that this arrived on a day that a friend who I have been trying to talk to figured out…I may be right! We went to fill a RX for her…you know..the pharmacy who will always be there, always have meds, always fill them when you need them…WOW…shortage!

    Yes a shortage on pain meds caused her eyes to open. We went to fill her pain meds and found that they have a huge backorder of pain meds, can only partial fill her RX and only at a lower dose because they ummm don’t have them. WOW…you mean they are out? she says..yup

    Now she wants to talk about what I have. Nope I tell her…we will discuss what YOU need. Your needs are different than mine are, you eat different foods (as I name about 3-4 I know she hates) and tell her I stock up on that. I know she won’t be wanting my stockpile.

    NPE not so much anymore as people are waking up. I do however worry about people who suddenly wake up and want to form ‘communities’ or want to put information on how to prepare out there without first getting to know these people emotionally intimately. Unless I knew a family intimately—in that I mean would trust my children/grandchildren in their homes, would trust them to ‘have my back’ as they say…I would not give information showing that I have so much as one extra can of soup in my home.

    So many times in our ‘excitment’ of having our eyes opened we put ourselves either figuratively, emotionally, physically in danger by exposing ourselves to strangers.

    While NPE is real…I get attacks all the time, I also have a fear of someone wanting to push me into their idea of preparing rather than what is best for me/my family.

    Take time to consider the safety aspect as well as the preparing aspect.
    God Bless

  8. I actually talked a bit about this (in a round-about way) to my junior high Sunday school class on Sunday. In the Lord’s prayer, it asks “Give us this day our daily bread”. This means that God knows we have needs (physical, emotional and spiritual) and will meet them in His timing and with His provision. Our trust is not to be in our preps, but in Him.

    This is not to say that we are not wise with the resources He’s given us (the Bible certainly gives positive examples of people who did prepare for unknown future circumstances), but that we are to trust ultimately in Him. If we are not fully prepared for an event in spite of our best efforts and wise decisions, He will meet our needs.

    It is very easy for us to trust in what we can see (our guns, food storage, home, etc…). I recently had my apartment broken into and am having to work through where my security comes from. Ultimately, my trust has to be in our Father, not in the locks on my front door, my food preps, or my guns.

    Worry (not proper concern, but anxiety) is evidence of an area in our lives where we need to learn to trust God more. Like you all, I’ve also had moments of panic regarding preparedness. But, we must remember that He alone is our provider.

  9. If Preparedness is a waist of time,like many “so-called christians” claim,then they need to go home right now.and immediately just throw the whole word of God away because from Genesis to Revelations Not only does the Word point to Calvary [spiritually speaking,and by type],but The[ Word] which [according to John through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost ] was none other than Jesus, whom John spoke of in John ch 1,v1-5 [ In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God,and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God]. And in 1 Tim Ch 5,v8 said[But if any provide not for his own,and specially for those of his own house,he hath denied the faith,and is worse than an infidel. That means to work,and Prepare. Do people honestly think God in eternity said one day I AM going to make a human being, without not knowing who,what,when, where,or why? Do they not understand God had a Prepared plan the whole time ,and that He did know through the eons of time that man would need the Blood sacrifice of His only begotten Son who was that WORD that was with Him,and the Holy Ghost when God Spoke His WORD,and the world was formed. God knew satan was gonna be overtaken by evil, when satan got word that God was gonna create a non angelic being that would have a more Godly privileges, he,and a 1/3 more rebelled,and warred against Heaven,and on their way to earth [even the devil] himself made a Plan as recorded in Isaiah Ch 14,v12,and in REV CH12 v3-17! But every plan Lucifer makes God is ahead. I Thank God for convicting my soul 32 years ago,and drawing me to an old fashioned altar,and Gloriously Saving my soul by the Precious Blood of His Son.God knew in eternity that WE would need Him in order to escape the wrath of satan,and the punishment of hell. So therefore that tells me God is a Prepared God,not a by chance one.

  10. Great article – thank you for the encouragement!

  11. A great way to start is to tell yourself: Tomorrow all stores and ability to shop will be gone – for 3 days. This will include your electricity! Gas station! Pet store! Water supplier! Natural gas company!

    Check out your cupboards, shelves, blanket situation. Can you make it by? Do you have enough means to not only have food, but a way to cook it? Do you have something to give you light if your electricity is shut off?

    Make all the plans you need to get by for 3 days. When you have that, then make your scenario last for 1 week, then 3 weeks, then 6 weeks. Keep building up little by little. Don’t forget that pooch! Don’t forget your water! You may have enough to drink, but what about toilets? Will they work for any length of time? What about your showers? Do you have a plan?

    Just sit down and mentally go through the course of an entire day, weekend, month. Once you have this all under control, you are well on your way to being a full blown prepper! Congratulations! It just might be the little things that catch you up. Be diligent and you will be well on your way.

    • Chris Ray says:

      As we can see from the water problems in West VA, fist fights can break out when people feel their needs are in danger.

      Nice comment, thanks for making it.

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