/ COMMUNITY, DISCUSSION, PLANNING

Telling Others You're a Prepper: How to Decide

Do your friends and family know that you’re a prepper? There are of course both upsides and downsides to letting others know how well prepared you are for disasters. You must weigh and consider them for yourself before you decide if its worth telling others about your lifestyle, thinking especially about the potential benefits but also the risks of doing so. This post aims to help you outline both sides of the coin so that making a decision will be easier.

Who Should You Tell?

Immediate Family

When it comes to telling others about your lifestyle, the first group of people that most people share with is usuallly their spouse and children, or their immediate family. The obvious benefit to this is that when SHTF they’ll know what to do and where to find any supplies and food that you’ve stored up for them to survive on, in case you’re not nearby. If your family has a tendency to talk overly much about the details of your private family life, and you’re concerned about the public knowing about what or where your bug out bag and supplies are, it might be worth it to keep the details that you share with your family to a bare minimum. Remember especially that young children have a tendency to blab to everyone about everything, often with no filter!

Close Friends

Besides your family, you may also be considering telling your closer friend(s) about being a prepper. Only do this with your best of friends that you can trust to not steal from you. Again, assuming that you’re concerned with privacy, choose the friend(s) that you know will not go out and tell other friends about any bug out bags you may have, particularly those with valuable items. Word gets around quickly, and although you may trust the friends you’ve told- it’s possible that you might not trust the people they may tell if they’re unable to keep a secret. Remember that not all of your best friends may be trustworthy, and not all of your trustworthy friends may necessarily be the ones you consider your best. If you decide to tell your friends about prepping, make sure you choose the likely limited few who have both qualities.

Who to Avoid Telling, Entirely

Co-Workers

Unless you somehow find out that one of your co-workers is also a prepper, it’s probably unwise to let them know or even otherwise hint to them that you’re a prepper. Unfortunately, this lifestyle can carry a stigma to it that may cause them to believe that you’re off your rocker, so to speak. The potential consequences of that are stagnant career growth, or being passed over for future advancement opportunities due to higher ups not perceiving you as “normal”. Of course in a real disaster situation, you’d be the one calling them crazy for not properly preparing for it. Even if you have understanding co-workers though, it’s probably not worth the career and social risk to out yourself.

Extended Family and Acquaintances

In general, it’s best to only let others know about the things you do or store as a prepper, especially any items of value- on a need to know basis. The reasons for not telling your extended family are similar to the reasons for not telling your co-workers, or the general public. It depends on your family, but it’s possible that you’ll become the “oddball” in the family tree when others find out. Everyone’s family is different, so that may not be a risk or concern for you- though it’s still something to think about before you decide to speak to family about the lifestyle.

I mentioned above that if you plan to tell your friends about yourself being a prepper, to only tell your most trustworthy and best of friends. Obviously acquaintances just don’t fall into this category. These may be your casual drinking buddies, someone you went to school with that you keep in sparse contact with, or one of your co-workers. The bottom line is that the more people you tell, the more likely it is that word will get around about your plan and all that you may have stored up- increasing the chances that someone may decide to try and see if they can get a share of your pie.

What You Should Talk About

Where Your Bug Out Bag(s) Is Stored (family only)

This one is for your immediate family only. You’ll want them to know about where you’ve stored your main supplies and any additional bug out bags that you may have, since they’ll obviously need them when SHTF.

What You Store

The contents of your bug out bag(s) are important to go over, since those who you’ve allowed access to it will need to know how to use whatever is in there. If you have multiple bug out bags for different purposes, then talking about what each one is for and what they contain is even more important.

A Plan

A big part of prepping is of course having a plan for when SHTF. What good is all the goods and supplies you’ve thrown in a bug out bag if you and the people you really care about don’t know how they’ll be utilized? When telling others that you intend to help out in case of an emergency situation about your supplies, make sure to tell them how they’ll be able to access you, the supplies, and where to go once they’ve secured everything, or if neither of those things is available.

What to Avoid Talking About

Any Money or Precious Metals You Store

If you’re storing precious metals like gold or silver U.S. coins, you won’t want to tell anyone else but your immediate family, or else you’ll risk becoming a target for theft. If you have young children that talk more than they should about life at home, it’s better that you wait until they’re older and have learned to filter themselves before you share what you have with them.

Weapons

If you have a cache of weapons stored up it goes without saying that you wouldn’t want to advertise that to anyone. Even within your family, it’s important to keep children away from any guns or other weapons you may have to prevent injuries. Telling the rest of the world that you’ve stored up weapons may get you labeled as a potential threat, someone crazy, or both. It’s better to keep your weapons to yourself and not draw excessive attention to yourself.

Other Bug Out Bag Locations

Your alternative bug out bags are plans B, C…Z, etc. If for whaever reason your main store of supplies were to get ransacked or become unaccessible, you’d want the other ones to be safe and in tact. You can minimize the risk of your other supplies (if you have them) being comprimised if you keep the amount of people who know about them a small circle.

I hope that this guide will be useful to you in making the big decision to let sharing the prepper side of your life with others. I tried to keep my points generalized, but remember that your situation is unique to yourself, and only you can judge how to factor it into your discussions with others.

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