Thursday, August 2, 2012

Should You Broadcast Your Penchant for Prepping?

There are people on both sides of this issue.  In one camp you have the die-hard preppers who will talk about the subject to any and all who will listen.  They will gladly show you their year's supply of food and break out their cache of weapons at the drop of a hat (much to the shock/dismay/glee of the people watching) while on the other side are the preppers who look like, well, someone so average you would probably overlook them unless you needed a good accountant (yet they too have a well-stocked, well-hidden supply of survival supplies that would make REI look like a corner store).
Deciding whether or not to talk about prepping for a disaster/zombie apocalypse/TEOTWAWKI is a personal decision.  I can understand how some people are so intently focused on the topic that they can't help but talk about it (along with liberal doses of show and tell).  These same people are also usually interested in sharing their knowledge so that others will benefit and do their best to encourage others to prepare so that they will be ready in the event of a disaster.
I, on the other hand, am just the opposite.  Besides sharing information in a relatively private way on this blog, there is no way that someone will notice that I am prepared as well as I am unless they take a full inventory of the things I do (nearly impossible although a few people have noted that I have an odd collection of hobbies and others have wondered what exactly I do for a which they don't receive a reply).  The reasons that I believe people should keep their prepping under wraps are numerous and include:

  • You don't want your neighbors/your family/the government to be concerned about your collection of weapons and ammo.
  • You don't want thieves to know that you could rival Costco in the amount of survival/preparedness supplies/food you have on hand (it makes you a fairly large target for burglary/robbery).
  • You don't want people to think that they don't need to prepare since their brother/neighbor/best friend just happens to be extraordinarily prepared and supplied so their bug out plan is to wind up on your door step.
  • You don't want to be taken advantage of whether in good times or bad.
  • You don't want "your business" broadcast far and wide (I learned this from my grandfather who was quite private and rarely told anyone more than his name).
  • You don't want to become a target after the fact (when people are desperate, even knowing about a friend of a friend of a friend who has food/water/medical skills/etc will cause people to seek you out, and not in a good way).
  • You don't want to be labeled (unfortunately a few people who were termed "survivalist" have made the evening news--again, not in a good way--and this tends to paint all people concerned with preparedness as everything from a bit off to certifiably insane). 
So while the choice is yours, when discussing your prepping plans, consider what the long term effects of these discussions may be.


  1. I agree with you. Last year during an extended power outage, a neighbor brought out his generator (loud!) and all of his supplies to deal with it. The neighbors were all angry with him for not sharing, even though the outage was only 5 days and was not unexpected (hurricane).

    Where do you suggest people go when they need help, though? Are there online forums that you visit regularly? Or do all of the quiet preppers avoid forums also?

  2. When people need help prepping, they should definitely check out what is available online (the CNI blog has a massive amount of links, there are a number of forums with good information as well although I dont participate in any). During a disaster (flood, snowstorm, etc) I make it a point to check on people that I know may need help (elderly neighbors, family members) and offer a bag of food or an extra blanket if necessary. For other people I simply suggest that they go to the community shelters that have been set up if necessary (I can count on one hand the people I would take into my home but I am not averse to helping anyone who needs it to tarp their roof, etc.).