When people talk about "Self-Sufficiency and Preparedness", I wonder what it mean specifically? I.e., in what aspects is self-sufficiency, and what is prepared?

For example, this board at this forum. Thanks!

closed as general reference by Rory Alsop, FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt Dec 16 '12 at 0:24

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • For the generic meaning, what does your dictionary tell you? In the context of the forum that you've linked to, what do the threads within suggest? – coleopterist Nov 22 '12 at 4:58
  • Looking at the board, the language is reminiscent of the Boy Scouts' motto: "Be prepared." Prepared to face the unexpected, self-sufficient enough to handle yourself with a few basic implements. – tylerharms Nov 22 '12 at 6:28

Self sufficiency means independence, to greater or lesser degree, from reliance on other persons or on borrowed resources sources, or both.

Preparedness is related to sufficiency, sometimes but not necessarily, to self sufficiency, in that a plan for sufficiency, be it of materials or of personal attributes, to meet an interim, or passing necessity requires the mustering of needed items, as well as of the needed skills and foreknowledge to meet that temporary necessity. Being prepared is a short term proposition in the sense that one has or gains a sense of what might be expected within a short period of time - and activity or excursion for example - and acts ahead of time to meet it. Self sufficiency, on the other hand, is a long term inclination of endeavor so as to not need to rely on other than self, to the optimal degree possible. Self sufficiency is more a way, a philosophy, of being. Preparedness is habit related to planning and anticipation: of not wanting to be caught off guard.

The Scout Motto inculcates the notion of never embarking upon an activity without bringing, or planning ahead for acquisition of, all items that might be needed. Being unprepared means that energy and time is diverted away from the anticipated activity. The motto has significant military underpinnings and overtones as do other scouting accouterments and practices.


In this context, it seems to relate to disaster recovery and survival.

Self-sufficiency generally means that you are independent from other people or from outside resources. In case of a natural disaster, for example, you often can no longer rely on outside power, on food from supermarkets, or on help from other people. Being self-sufficient means that you can live and survive on your own.

Preparedness means being prepared for a potential disaster. This includes keeping the necessary supplies of food and water, tools, equipment, etc. needed in case of a disaster as well as familiarising yourself with reaction and recovery plans.

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