When people find out you're a prepper

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When people find out you're a prepper

Post by ScrappyDood » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:26 pm

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:34 pm

The terms survivalist and prepper have been used as synonyms for years. Each has it own baggage. None of that baggage is useful IMO.

I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by MVegas » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:36 pm

Well the 3 day minimum is easy. Our own Federal Govt agency responsible for disaster response coordination has in effect told us that we should be prepared for at least 3 days without outside assistance. I generally try to begin the conversation there.
Aside from that, its always helpful to make it clear that you have a sense of humor about it. Its disarming, and can create an opportunity to get through to someone.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by ScrappyDood » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:40 pm

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:45 pm

Agreed the ready.gov site has resources that cite official government policy (never mind simple common sense) to encourage every one to have basic preparations of 3 days of food and water.

http://www.ready.gov/basic-disaster-supplies-kit" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Quietus » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:16 pm

I haven't really had any negative responses. Most of my friends see the logic in it, but not to the point were they start doing it themselves.

Here, it's pretty much a completely unknown concept. And my theory is that it is because we simply have it much to good.
We don't have any real natural disasters. Hell,,, people are still taking about a storm over a decade ago, that did almost no damage, as "the big one" :roll: Don't get me wrong. We have plenty of storms. But that's the way it has always been, so the entire country is build so deal with it.
We have one of the highest standards of living in the world and one of the most peacefull nations in the world. So no one has ever been faced with any real national emergencies.
People feel safe because the chance of being the victim of a violent crime, is about the same as winning the lottery.

These are all good things, but they come with a major downside. And that is that people see no reason to prepare for some event that may not even happen in their lifetime. It's not even something people think about.

The closest we have to "preppers" are those treehugging morons who are convinced that global warming will kill us all within the next 5 minutes. And they don't do anything to prepare as their time is mostly spent annoying the crap out of who didn't get their knowledge of environmental science from a greenpeace pamphlet (you know, those of us who actually look at the proper science).

In my experience, most people here, look at prepping the same way that almost all Danes look at religion. We don't understand the concept, and find it strange, but accept that some people are in to that sort of thing.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Omega DR » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:50 pm

I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.
Truly agree with Raptor. Given that most of my friends and family have experienced hurricanes and flooding firsthand, that's an easier concept for them to grasp. Since moving to central Texas, wildfires are the major threat. I've spoken with a few of my new friends about compiling 72 hr bag (BOB is a foreign concept). But generally, I don't discuss the full scope of my prep activities with anyone, except my close family. I'm slowing introducing my kids to the concept thru hiking and camping trips.

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by gabe » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:05 pm

MADic wrote:
raptor wrote:The terms survivalist and prepper have been used as synonyms for years. Each has it own baggage. None of that baggage is useful IMO.

I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.
Well the context was in an academic setting, in a sociology class, in which I was presenting the prepper identity in social science terms. I wasn't just telling everyone they should prep, I was just trying to explain why people prep.
Phrasing trips certain switches in the mind of the listener. Imagine someone says "I enjoy skateboarding" and then imagine someone says "I'm a skater"; chances are it conjures up different mental images. Jargon (and I know "prepper" is just barely jargon) puts people into a category. Telling people you're a "prepper" separates you from them (non-preppers) and invites the type of behavior they exhibited. Speaking about how people *should* prepare for *likely* scenarios will open minds much more readily. Gotta speak their language, man ;)

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by ZombieGranny » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:08 pm

Quietus,
I have used my preps during storms so no dangerous travel was necessary, in times of job loss so our savings was safe, and once because of a large bill for house repairs so no credit was needed to pay for those repairs.
Perhaps storms are unusual in Denmark, but job risks and home repairs would seem to occur everywhere.
Not to mention one can pay much less for things when one only buys them on sale.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 pm

MADic wrote:
raptor wrote:The terms survivalist and prepper have been used as synonyms for years. Each has it own baggage. None of that baggage is useful IMO.

I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.
Well the context was in an academic setting, in a sociology class, in which I was presenting the prepper identity in social science terms. I wasn't just telling everyone they should prep, I was just trying to explain why people prep.
Ok well another way to phrase it is to compare it to insurance. Prepping is just another form of insurance. We know a car accident is possible despite how much we want to avoid one, thus we carry car insurance. The same for homeowners/renters insurance.

Accordingly a supply of food, water and a FAK is also the same as insurance. However since you can eat the food and drink the water the cost is much lower.

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Rainbird » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:16 pm

I’ve had fairly positive encounters regarding prepping. I’m a large sized individual and I carry a G.H.B. almost everywhere I go. I have been asked on numerous occasions why I’m carrying a “man-bag” or “murse” or some other term. I explain that I like to be prepared to help out should anyone ask. I go on to explain that I used to find myself in situations where I said to myself “Damn..I wish I had ____ with me!” This happened enough to where I decided to carry a bag with me. I give tours of my bag to those who remain interested and based on their interest and reaction I tell them about Zombie Squad. I am careful to avoid the big buzzword “Survival” and if it comes up I quickly try to point out the differences.

Occasionally, I’ll run into someone who just wants to poke fun but they’re easy to shrug off. I’d imagine it could be a difficult subject to discuss seriously with a class of sociology students. There are so many stereotypes out there reinforced by the influx of zombie movies that once they get a whiff of what you’re talking about there’s no going back. I guess just stick to your guns (poor choice of phrase?:lol: and focus on natural disaster preparations and such. Sadly, I am woefully uninformed with regards to Denmark so I don’t have a lot of advice other than what I’ve said above. A discussion about keeping winter emergency supplies in your vehicle might lead into a good dialogue but again it’s difficult to bend that into sociology.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by mariposa » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:17 pm

raptor wrote: I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.
I agree with raptor. I live in hurricane country, so discussing disaster preps is common. Some of us have even done presentations at work on this topic. I've even used a story of when my direct-deposit paycheck was botched, and how nice it was not to have to worry about being able to meet my household's needs until the deposit cleared, because of my stashed supplies.

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Quietus » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:48 pm

ZombieGranny wrote:Quietus,
I have used my preps during storms so no dangerous travel was necessary, in times of job loss so our savings was safe, and once because of a large bill for house repairs so no credit was needed to pay for those repairs.
Perhaps storms are unusual in Denmark, but job risks and home repairs would seem to occur everywhere.
Not to mention one can pay much less for things when one only buys them on sale.
Those things are not really an issue for most people here. Our society is designed to help its weakest members. Even if they only fall into that category for a short time (like being between jobs). Pretty much the only way you could be in risk of loosing your house due to job loss, is if you were living well beyond your means.

The Nordic model works. Simple as that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by WY_Not » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:51 pm

Most people just don't get the concept. Almost two years back back my wife and I went through Dave Ramsey's course. The people in our group completely understood that it made sense to pay off credit cards, get their financil affairs in order, and keep an emergency fund. Yet when we brought up that those same principals could be applied to other aspects of life such as the pantry and household items they just couldn't make that connection. One of the last steps to the course was keeping 3-6 months of cash on hand. When we tried to explain that keeping 3-6 months or even 3-6 weeks of food on hand would make that 3-6 months of cash go even further you would have thought we'd sprouted extra arms, antenna, wings, and were speaking martian.

We were making good progress on our debt snowball and our emergency fund when we were both laid off. It was nearly 8months before I found a job and almost a year for her. That well stocked pantry, and the severence package my wife got, REALLY made a difference. We were able to keep the bills paid and food on the table.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Kommander » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:52 pm

Quietus wrote:
ZombieGranny wrote:Quietus,
I have used my preps during storms so no dangerous travel was necessary, in times of job loss so our savings was safe, and once because of a large bill for house repairs so no credit was needed to pay for those repairs.
Perhaps storms are unusual in Denmark, but job risks and home repairs would seem to occur everywhere.
Not to mention one can pay much less for things when one only buys them on sale.
Those things are not really an issue for most people here. Our society is designed to help its weakest members. Even if they only fall into that category for a short time (like being between jobs). Pretty much the only way you could be in risk of loosing your house due to job loss, is if you were living well beyond your means.

The Nordic model works. Simple as that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_model
I'm glad that it works out for you, but in places without such a system certain allowances must be made.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by duodecima » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:58 pm

MADic wrote:
raptor wrote:The terms survivalist and prepper have been used as synonyms for years. Each has it own baggage. None of that baggage is useful IMO.

I prefer to discuss "hurricane/disaster preparation" when the subject comes up. I would suggest that you use disaster preparation instead of either of the aforementioned terms.
Well the context was in an academic setting, in a sociology class, in which I was presenting the prepper identity in social science terms. I wasn't just telling everyone they should prep, I was just trying to explain why people prep.
Well, academically, I'm disappointed at their lack of open mindedness and inability to handle a subject in a mature and intellectual manner. Whether they agree with it or think it's crazy. Seriously, you should be able to have that discussion about criminal gangs, nuns, neo-nazis, or blood donors. May I hazard a guess that this is not a high level sociology course? (Please, tell me it's not, I'm going to get scared if it is...)

Most of us are at least somewhat circumspect about disclosing this part of our identity. Perhaps because of "opsec" and not wanting to risk our lifeboat getting swamped by extra people, perhaps because of exactly the reaction you describe (and perhaps both...). I don't think of myself as particularly security-minded - but if I am mentioning this, it's almost always to close friends who have loved me for decades, and in a self-depreciating manner. "Well, my new irrational hobby is preparing in case the world ends," followed by whatever detail I had wanted to tell them about. I haven't gotten a lot of reaction but I'm not looking for direct approval or buy in. My CERT classmates were all quite happy to have found a group who didn't think we were crazy and chatted about it for quite some time after class. Family thinks it's quirky to mildly nuts - but family includes NON-self-identified preppers. So the question of what causes someone to self-identify with the word is a really interesting one - let me know if you get anywhere with it. I think there's somebody in St. Louis doing graduate work related to preppers, I forget the exact subject area though.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by ScrappyDood » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:27 pm

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by skelco » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:53 pm

Because I live in an area that's had its share of natural and man-made disasters, people are pretty receptive to prep within that context. If I mention zombies, it's usually good for a chuckle. My views on firearms are still um, "in the closet" as it were, unless I'm talking to friends.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by TacAir » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:00 am

Never had that problem.

For example, I put two, one liter bottles of water in my desk along with some food bars when I start a new gig (contract work) - if folks ask, I tell them it's my 'earthquake water'. And that is normally the end of the discussion. I have had folks come up and open a conversation about preparedness vice prepping.

Some locations, like Alaska, folks seems to 'get it' by osmosis, if nothing else.

I suspect Fenix (Phoenix) or Las Vegas might be a very different reaction owing to the large transient population base.

The OP is in New York. Makes me wonder if the reaction isn't a form of denial, as they are so frightened of a disaster they are not ready to deal with - and so, act out.

Kind of like that nervous laughter after folks experience a near-deadly accident.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Gr3g » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:40 am

This is a very interesting discussion, it really does not surprise me that people were ready to ridicule the idea of prepping despite it simply being common sense to do so. This life of luxury has blurred our vision and dampened our senses.

One of my friends told me about a recent team building exercise he he attended. Sixteen people all drove into the countryside for a bit of alternative team building, one of the people was an undercover "prepper" (paracord, multitool and FAK seen in man bag previously). So the weather quickly started to deteriorate, the cabin where the event was taking place was locked, person with key had run off to fetch something from their car.

Now whilst the cabin was locked there was a roofed terrace more than big enough for all 16 people, however the "prepper" decided to whip out his multicam tarp, setting it up under some trees only 10 meters away, and was telling people that it was far better under his tarp where they could still see the lake! The rest of the day was apparently spent mocking his water filter kit, N95 masks, suture kit, paracord and discussing the legality of his SOG multitool.

There is nothing wrong with what he did, however his timing was off, and he clearly did not read the situation, or know everyone well enough. Had their not been anywhere for people to shelter I'm positive that this poor "prepper" would still have been mocked. People have changed, and not for the better. So much common sense seems to have been lost, and today people would rather pull their hoods up and grumble a little instead of thanking someone with the forethought to bring a shelter with him into the countryside.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Kutter_0311 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:55 am

MADic wrote:I hate to say this, but it was a senior level honors course and I attend a major private university :(
Would I be correct in guessing that many of your classmates are young and affluent?
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Cactus » Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:56 am

We mostly get confusion. When the floods happened here earlier this year, we didn't have to go to the shops to get anything. We tried explaining that when asked about the flood supplies, but got, "But it didn't flood everywhere." "But the other shops were still option." "But it'll be fine."

So usually I explain it by saying that I grew up in a place that was flooded in very easily, and when it starts raining, I go food shopping. No one argues with that, I must be known for being a bit twitchy to begin with.

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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by HanShot1st » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:14 am

I've run into both positive and negative. My ex-girlfriend happened to see me in the store getting supplies and when I told her what I was doing her reaction was "Oh my God, you' haven't gone crazy on me have you?" Wouldn't see anything but insanity here. On the other hand, I mentioned it to a supervisor at work and he said that the thought had never occured to him and he would be caught completely off guard if something happened. He truly appeared stunned that he hadn't thought of it. We proceeded to have a 15 minute conversation about preparation and planning, and two or three others joined us.
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Re: When people find out you're a prepper

Post by Glennbo » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:32 am

Most people I meet think it's silly. I'm in the middle of a big city in the midwest. Things never get knocked down long enough for people to suffer. This ease and comfort goes on their whole lives, so why would they prep? Their non-prepping behavior has been reinforced and rewarded to the point where it's ingrained and very difficult to adjust.

I'm afraid that until they get smashed in the face by horrible circumstances the vast majority of people will not prepare for disasters.

I can offer an example. I started a thread in the off topic section of a wargaming forum about putting together a BOB. The thread was destroyed by an overwhelming amount of heckling and mockery, so I had to just abandon it.

Prepping gives me peace of mind, and has had some small amount of practical application at times...otherwise like the nay sayers I would abandon it as a waste of resources.
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