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Preppers Often Have to Explain Their Preparations to Family and Friends. There’s a Simple Solution: Stop Explaining.
It takes a certain mindset to be a prepper. Most people don’t have it. And while some will toss a 72-hour emergency kit in the closet, it’s rare that their preparations go beyond that one-time purchase.
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Preppers go way beyond that and it often leads family and friends to ask a lot of questions like:
- What are you so worried about?
- How much money do you spend on this stuff?
- Y2K didn’t happen. Why do you think something else will?
And Then COVID-19 Hit
In a matter of weeks after the threat of COVID-19 became apparent, the importance of preparedness became glaringly obvious. Fundamental goods like toilet paper, bread, and other items were hoarded, leaving shelves bare.
A food crisis is emerging, and the cost of meat has increased significantly while limits on many purchases have become a standard practice. Suddenly, many people are wondering why they didn’t plan ahead like their friend, neighbor, or brother the prepper did.
And That’s Where Things Get Complicated
It’s not uncommon for a neighbor to stop by and ask for an egg or a cup of sugar. The prepper’s dilemma is that those same neighbors may be stopping by to ask for 5 pounds of rice, medical supplies, or even a dozen rolls of toilet paper.
Why? Because they know the prepper has all sorts of things stored and when the pharmacy or grocery stores can’t supply what they need—ask a prepper.
The Prepper’s Challenge
Some preppers endure years of questioning, puzzled looks and even outright disrespect for their preparedness efforts. The result is that many of us feel the need to try and explain or run through the possibilities to defend our efforts.
At times, this constant harangue of doubts and even ridicule can cause us to question our efforts and wonder if it’s all worth it. That leads us to offer rationales and reasons for our prepping and, in the process, advertise our preparedness.
The solution is to simply stop doing that. If you have to quietly and slowly assemble items for your preparations, that’s the thing to do.
We’ll get into more specifics of how to deal with situations if you’re known as the prepper on the block, but those responses will vary depending on how desperate the situation has become. The point is, every crisis evolves. Sometimes things get better. Sometimes things get worse. It all depends on the stage of desperation.
The Stages of Desperation
Marauding gangs and looters don’t show up overnight. That occurs slowly over the lifecycle of a crisis. Throughout any crisis, certain signs and symptoms begin to appear and grow in intensity. We’ve already seen some of them in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Uncertainty abounds.
- The situation is unclear.
- The situation is fluid.
- Shortages of certain items begin to appear.
- Hoarding begins, soon followed by limits on purchases.
- Inventories of certain items disappear, particularly unique brands or specialty products.
- Prices for everything seem to go up and sales are few and far between.
- Internet purchases spike.
- Demonstrations begin to occur.
- The situation is clear—and serious.
- Some stores are closed and will never reopen.
- Those stores that are open have a limited inventory and there are limits on most purchases to prevent hoarding and bare shelves.
- Prices continue to increase, and growing unemployment makes any purchase a carefully balanced decision.
- Internet inventories become overwhelmed resulting in “out-of-stock” notices on more and more products, and delivery dates get later and later.
- People begin to regularly depend on family and friends to borrow needed items, especially food and medical supplies.
- Instances of civil unrest emerge as a result of growing demonstrations.
- Looting and robberies of closed stores begin to occur with greater frequency, especially in areas of civil unrest.
- The situation remains serious and grows more complex.
- Unemployment continues to increase.
- Prices continue to rise.
- People begin to improvise, but certain items are simply not available.
- Food shortages become a regular occurrence and rationing programs begin.
- Civil unrest continues to grow, and martial law is instituted in some areas and cities.
- Looting and robberies continue to increase and overwhelm local police and the National Guard is called in to assist with law enforcement.
- Medical supplies and even prescription medicines are in short supply and also rationed.
Are there stages beyond the last stage? Yes. It’s when civil unrest gets out of control and the rule of law breaks down. That’s why some of the recommendations we’re about to make may seem extreme.
7 Things To Do If People Know You’re A Prepper
1. Refuse to Talk About It
Just because people know you’re a prepper doesn’t mean you should start telling them about it. The less they know, the better. With any luck, some of them might even forget.
Better yet, you won’t have to put up with the cynical remarks and skeptical looks. But if you keep talking about it and defending it, you’ll end up being the first person they think about when the SHTF.
2. Play Down Your Preps
If people know about your preparations and ask about them, tell them you just have a few things stashed away for blackouts, hurricanes, heavy snow, etc. In fact, you could recommend they get a 72-hour kit for those unexpected natural disasters like a tornado or wildfire.
If they insist on knowing more, just tell them there’s not much to know and change the subject. You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, and you sure don’t need to give them a tour of your basement food storage pantry.
3. Hide Your Supplies
Speaking of basement food storage pantries, start hiding your food and survival supplies around your home, and only leave out a week’s worth of food. You could also bury survival caches or store supplies at the homes of people you trust, although burying stuff is a bit extreme.
Then again, you could always rent a storage unit if you live in a small apartment or just don’t have the space. Just make sure you don’t have an audience when you stock it. Putting things in a lot of cardboard boxes might be a good place to start.
4. Prepare To Bug Out
There are a lot of reasons to bug out during a disaster, but if you’re concerned the whole world will be coming to your door because everyone knows you’re a prepper, that’s another good reason to bug out.
This assumes you have a bug out location. If you don’t, you might want to think about quietly establishing one. Make sure you have a bug out bag and are prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Oh, and don’t tell anyone where you’re going.
5. Turn Your Home into a Fortress
If you’re concerned about the later stages of a crisis, you might want to take some serious action. Buy steel doors and reinforce them, install bulletproof windows or steel bars, put a large fence and various obstacles around your home, etc. That is if you can afford it.
Also, keep in mind that you and your family will need an incredible amount of mental toughness. If you’re literally barricaded in your home, it’s going to be a very tense time.
The current pandemic may be giving you a few clues about how your prepping is perceived. If you have people coming to your door or calling because they know you have lots of supplies and equipment, you always have the option to pack and go. This is pretty extreme and for many people, it’s not very realistic, but if you have options for moving quickly and easily, it’s a consideration.
It could be to a friend or family member’s house in another state. They may be quick to welcome you if you’re well supplied, but you’ll have to share. You’ll also have to figure out how to move all of your equipment and supplies. If you can still rent a truck, that’s a good option.
7. Prepare To Fight
When people get hungry enough, they become increasingly desperate, especially if their children are starving. A particular threat is any group or gang acting with a mob mentality. If they get inside despite your home security measures, your chances of survival will drop dramatically.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Familiarize yourself with your weapon of choice and get plenty of ammo for it. You have children to think about as well.
But use extreme discipline in this kind of situation. You don’t want to greet a knock at the door with an AR-15 and fire the full clip. It might only be the old lady next door asking to borrow a cup of sugar.
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