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Whether it’s for support, an exchange of resources, or just the strength that numbers can provide in a disaster, you may want to know about other preppers in your area.
But when many preppers keep a low profile, how do you go about locating these like-minded individuals and families? It’s not as hard as it may seem. This article provides some of the ways you can find other preppers in your area.
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1. Friends and Neighbors
Your first step is to ask around. Begin with friends and neighbors who share some of your interests. Another idea is to be observant when you’re out and about in your community.
For example, you could strike up a friendly conversation with someone who is stocking up on canning materials at a yard sale or who is browsing through the survival gear at an outdoors/camping store.
2. Online Communities
Just as with every interest under the sun, you can find groups of preppers online. Here are a few of the sites you can check out to see if they are right for you:
- MeetUp – The Meetup platform offers 187 regional prepper groups who share interests in topics such as emergency preparedness, homesteading, food storage, and outdoor survival skills.
- Prepper Groups – The main site offers information on contacting or starting a group in your area. Another area provides a forum for discussion among preppers.
- American Preppers Network – This long-time group started a private Facebook page two years ago. You can ask to join.
- Survival Preppers – This private Facebook group was formed five years ago and boasts nearly 83,000 members.
3. Survival Classes
Survival courses teach participants how to find food, water, and shelter in an unpopulated area with few supplies or other resources. Not everyone who takes a survival class is a prepper, but you’ll definitely have some things in common with the other students.
This article lists some of the top survival classes in the U.S. You can also check out your local community college for classes or even your local REI store.
4. Community Gardens
Many people who participate in community gardens grow and preserve their own food. The American Community Gardening Association website offers information on finding or starting a community garden in your area.
5. Outdoor Groups
People who join outdoor adventure groups and preppers share an interest in learning or improving their skills in many activities. Whether the group focuses on hunting, fishing, hiking, foraging, or rock climbing, you may connect with other preppers. Search Facebook for groups near you or search the community groups section of craigslist.com
6. Churches and Community Centers
Many churches, schools, and community organizations sponsor or offer meeting spaces for people interested in prepping or learning survival skills. Keep your eye on the community events pages of your local newspaper, look for flyers, and check out bulletin boards.
7. Emergency Response Teams
Chances are good that your community has a volunteer emergency response team. Some of them are independent, and some are under the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) banner. CERT is a U.S. Citizen Corps program that is under the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
CERT volunteers learn disaster response skills, including fire safety, building search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Visit the CERT website for more information.
Or contact your local fire station or police department to see what volunteer teams serve your area. You are sure to meet people who share your interests as a prepper when you train and serve as a volunteer.
8. Gun Clubs
People who are interested in hunting and going to shooting ranges may share your interest in prepping. Here are two resources to check out.
- Wheretoshoot.org – A site managed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)
- Explore.nra.org – A site managed by the National Rifle Association
9. Prepper Events
A surefire way to meet other preppers is to attend an expo or convention that is designed for preppers. You can take a class, learn about prepping supplies, and network with other preppers at these events. This site provides details on prepper events throughout the U.S.
How to Get the Conversation Going
There may still be some outdated and stereotyped images of preppers out there, but the pandemic shutdowns and recent weather-related disasters have made people more open to sharing their ideas. We gathered some general tips for reaching out to other preppers.
- Keep things general at first. Bring up an emergency that has affected or threatened your area (like a recent wildfire or severe storm) and ask how they prepared for it.
- Listen to the other person’s story.
- Avoid being preachy.
- Share what you have done to be ready for a similar emergency.
- Talk about what you’ve learned and what you still want to learn.
- Share common interests and concerns.
Like with all good relationships, connecting with other preppers who are a good fit for you and your family will take some time and effort. However, this investment will be worth it.
When a disaster strikes and you are in the position of either needing help or being able to offer help, these relationships may be critical to survival.
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