Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Whisper Softly

In the prepper community, there is a mindset that preppers should not announce that we are preppers. There is a logical reason behind it. If everyone knows you’re a prepper, in a SHTF moment they will come to you because you are stocked up.

I understand and respect that mindset, but I don’t agree with it wholeheartedly. I am a teacher by profession and I would rather empower another before a crisis to increase my circle of preppers than to keep valuable knowledge to myself.

While I would not trumpet being a prepper for the world to know, I do think there is value in whispering softly to inclined ears about prepping. 

Live by example and encourage others.

First of all, there are many preppers out there to the point that prepping is a normal way of life for a lot of people.

It is my contention that if non-preppers knew how many of their relatives, friends, and neighbors were preppers, that they would be more inclined to begin prepping as well.

The single biggest threat to the United States is not terrorism, but rather not being prepared and vigilant against threats.

The stereotype that the media reinforces about our prepper community is that we are all Hummer-H2-on-steroids, camouflage-wearing, political-extremist lunatics.

I believe we must shed that characterization because it is not accurate of all of us, nor even a majority of us.

We shed the stereotype by being honest with others about prepping and encouraging our relatives, friends, and neighbors to do so as well.

We also must do it slowly and carefully given that “prepper” is synonymous with “lunatic” in the minds of so many people because of the media-enforced stereotype.

Thus, gradually exposing how you prep and talking about why you prep will jangle people less.

Find inroads to begin whispering softly.

One possible inroad to opening the discussion about being prepared could be to canvass your neighbors to form a Neighborhood Watch group. Vigilance is a part of preparedness. We want our houses safe. It’s a perfect conversation starter.

When I moved into my new house 26 years ago, I became a part of Neighborhood Watch. We had a few meetings and we put up signs, but the effort did not sustain itself. We grew complacent. People moved away. Nothing bad happened, so there was no immediate threat. That is a situation I plan to rectify.

I don’t necessarily think that neighbors need the Neighborhood Watch program and its signs, but knowing your neighbors and sharing contact information protects you as well as everyone on the block.

For example, the lady across the street lives alone and occasionally her adult sons visit. I know their cars. She is also a registered nurse who works the night shift. If I see her garage door open, I can text or call her. Based on what she says, I may call the sheriff.

She could say: “My son was over and he probably forgot to shut it.” I would go shut it for her.

If she says: “There’s no one home and it was down when I left,” then I would probably call the sheriff. It could be nothing, but if it is something, I would not go snooping around.

She is religious about watching the door go down when she leaves.

Another possible inroad for my neighborhood would be to open a discussion about earthquake and flood preparedness.

A violent earthquake shook the city to pieces in 1952. In California, it is not a question if we will have another big earthquake, but when. Who doesn’t want to be safe?

My city sits below a dam and if the dam were to break there would be flooding in some areas. The flooding would not wash all houses away, but in some places water would enter houses. One of the reasons I paid for an elevated lot when I had my house constructed is that my neighborhood could see up to two feet of water.

That would mean that my house would be dry, but I would be stuck there. I could choose to bug in and protect my property from the inevitable looters or I could bug out and go. Either way I have options.

By opening conversations like these and by helping family, friends, and neighbors get ready too, is that it shifts the reality of what a prepper is from the mentioned stereotype to one that is more in keeping with who we really are.

Begin whispering softly.

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