Prepping: Tell or Don’t Tell? That is the question. Is it better to let everyone know you are prepared for, not only a disaster, but long-term self sustainability and survival, or, keep it a closely guarded secret.
“Back in the old days”.
When the first settlers arrived, they had to prepare for bad or lean times in order to survive. As the country grew, farmers likewise prepared or stockpiled supplies for the same reasons. I come from a long line of farmers, grew up on a farm and I can’t remember not preparing for tough times. Not only did these stocks sustain people in tough times, they were traded and bartered with and used to help your neighbours if disaster struck them. Another thing I can’t remember about my ancestors or growing up on the farm, is keeping our prepping a secret.
Back in the old days everybody knew you had supplies because everybody else had supplies! In fact, back then you were shamed if disaster struck and you were not prepared. People still helped those folks out but it was considered shameful not to be prepared – a phrase that became the motto for the Boy Scouts.
But as the country continued to grow and great cities sprung up, the need to prepare seemed to fade as you could get anything you needed within walking distance of your house – 24/7. It wasn’t until the first great disasters struck the cities that people realized the folly of that thinking and learned the hard way. Then common sense returned and people started to stock up on emergency supplies, First Aid Kits and do emergency planning. Then something strange happened and a new phenomenon took over – secrecy.
The first rule of Fight Club.
The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club, or so the line goes from the movie of the same name. And that seems to be the prevailing consensus ( at least that’s what I find) concerning prepping. The first rule of prepping is, don’t talk about prepping. But why? How did we get from prepping being, not only a perfectly sensible thing to do as taught by our ancestors and commonsense, to something we hide as a dark secret? As if we are hiding a meth lab in our basement?
The reasons for secrecy.
Here are a few of the most common reasons to keep your prepping a secret.
- Afraid of being recognized as the “go to” place should disaster strike. People seem to fear being overwhelmed by non preppers when a disaster strikes. People work hard to get their preparations just right for their family and extended family and simply don’t have enough for the whole community.
- Afraid of being robbed. People have a lot of time and money invested in their preparations and they fear having their supplies being stolen.
- Afraid of the government. Some people fear the government will confiscate their weapons they’ve stored to protect themselves and property during a disaster.
- Afraid of being labeled crazy. Some people are afraid their friends and neighbours will think they’ve gone a little crazy.
Quite a difference from the “old days” eh? Prepping has gone from being a normal and even expected part of daily life, to a hidden world full of fear.
Ok, so here are my thoughts on all this secrecy. If everyone were a prepper, they’d be no need for secrecy because everyone would be doing it! See, that was easy to fix! Sigh, I know, if only it were that simple. Right then, let’s look at these fears and see what we can do about them, because I for one want to make prepping as honourable as it was “back in the days”.
- Afraid of being recognized as the “go to” place. People have become too reliant on the government to take care of them. I won’t go into the why here as that would take a whole new post (note to self). When disaster strikes and the government can’t help everyone, people’s survival instincts take over and they look for help anywhere they can get it – even your house! But if they too were prepared, they wouldn’t need to come to your house. Maybe we should start being proud of prepping and chiding those that don’t as being unprepared – which they are.
- Afraid of being robbed. People have this fear to a greater or lesser extent depending on where they live. But think about it, aside from your weapons, what are they going to steal? Robbers are after things they can turn into quick cash; like weapons and jewelry. You won’t get much for a case of beans. Besides, think how heavy all those supplies are.
- Afraid of the government. In the current political climate, this has become a hot issue and one people should be concerned about. But remember, we’re only talking about weapons here. Oh, I don’t mean to diminish the importance of your weapons. In fact, they may be the most important things you have as you need them to protect the rest. The thing is, the government isn’t going to take your stock of food and other supplies. If you’re worried about your weapons, you might want to find a safe place to hide some back ups.
- Afraid of being labeled crazy. Some parts of the political spectrum want society to be dependent on the government for everything. People who are prepared are seen as a threat to their plans and one way to marginalize preppers, is to portray them as crazy people. Aided by some in the media, the label sticks. That whole plan fails if everybody is a prepper.
It seems to me that we’ve given in to our fears and we’ve also allowed a part of the political spectrum to marginalize us preppers. Yes, there, I’ve said it I’m a prepper and I’m proud! (Hey, that’d make a good T-shirt. Note to self). If more people were preppers a lot of those fears simply melt away. You can’t be labeled crazy if everyone’s doing it. You won’t need to be the” go to place” if everywhere is the go to place. We need to make the government afraid of us again – as it was meant to be by the founding fathers. The value of things is dependent on supply and demand. If everyone has supplies, their value to robbers is diminished.
Call to action.
By stepping out and being proud of prepping, we can make prepping something to be admired like it was in the old days. By encouraging our friends, families and neighbours to “be prepared”, we all win.
What are your thoughts? Should preppers hide what they’re doing or should they be open and encourage others to do the sensible thing and prepare for difficult situations?
If you’re new to prepping, like I am, check out my earlier post on Prepping for Beginners.
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