Qld ‘prepper’ community swells amid COVID panic

23 Feb 2021

Professor Jolanda Jetten from UQ's School of Psychology spoke to The Queensland Times about becoming a survivalist, or a "prepper".

Jolanda Jetten
Professor Jolanda Jetten

Until last year, becoming a survivalist, or a "prepper" - someone who is always prepared for a large-scale disaster - might have seemed a very fringe activity.

But, accelerated by the COVID-19 outbreak, the movement towards self-reliance is gathering momentum, and collecting more everyday people along the way.

While some preppers are readying themselves for doomsday scenarios, many are just ensuring they are prepared for when the next bushfire, flood or pandemic hits.

They are learning skills, stocking up on supplies, modifying their vehicles and packing go-bags so they can leave at a moment's notice.

They are also joining forces with other preppers, creating local meet-ups and online groups.

The University of Queensland School of Psychology's Professor Jolanda Jetten says COVID-19 lockdowns have encouraged a lot of people to engage in some level of prepping, even if they do not call it that.

"It's a normal reaction," she said.

"Psychologically it makes perfect sense - it's about being worried about the future and being ready for what's coming and regaining that sense of control.

"It's a clear sign of responding to an anxiety and stressor."

Read The Queensland Times article