I’m writing about a strange new language and its effect on others. We are told that a SurvivalBlog contest entry essay that is a “how to do it type” topic will get extra recognition in the judging. This is my best effort at writing an essay that is truly a “how to do it”. It’s on the topic of how we preppers can easily regain our lost positions within our families and communities, positions that were lost, or perhaps that we threw away thoughtlessly, back when we first began to think and speak in this new language that we have created for ourselves. It’s the language of intolerant words and changing concepts that strain the relationships so very necessary in our over-stressed lives– our preparedness language.
The Town “Nons”
We are the preppers. Strange people with strange new uses for old words with our new meanings. We don’t seem to even care that they don’t really understand what we are talking about. We are strange to them, and the “nons” appear to wonder about the preppers living among them and being around the “nons” children. The number of preppers here in our town seems to be growing very quickly. They seem to be wondering what we are trying to do to them.
Preparedness Community Questions
I have observed that among the members of our “preparedness” community there are always the same nagging types of fretful questions in our conversations. They ask, “How much is enough?” “Should we talk to the neighbors about our preparations for the ‘big, bad problems’ we are expecting soon?”
We are the single most inquisitive segment of the population! The general population does not do a good job of accepting newcomers who talk funny, or just more specific, or less inclusive. They reject us, and often that rejection is our fault. “Why is it our fault?”, you ask resentfully.
Our New Language We Are Continuously Creating
It’s our fault because we did not even try to include them in this wonderful new language we are continuously creating as we learn new-to-us things about living now in the ways folks did in the past. We, prepper men, memorize more strange food preparation recipes than any women’s group you have ever heard of. We prepper men do not publicly show that we know how how many ml are in one oz. The answer is 29.573529687. That was so easy. I just looked it up in the Google website. It is so easy,
Our teenage kids know that a meter is about 39 inches long. Yet, in the world of the “nons”, in their world of secretive texting, digital bullying, and increasing teen suicides, it is okay to just convert meters into 36 inch yards and just forget the extra three inches and go on with their lives. Our questions can go on and on forever.
We feel good about ourselves when we are exchanging information with each other. Our questions are never understood by our non-prepared friends, family, and neighbors. We seem to really not care that they usually go sorta brain-dead when they happen to hear our prepper language being used in public.
Important to Our Inner Sense of Security and Well Being
Our questions are important to our inner sense of security and well being, and we need those answers. We need to know when we should stop building more shelving in the garage and in the basement. We need to know how many number 10 cans of beans and rice will fit under a standard double bed. Knowledge can and will save lots of time and eliminate wasted labor moving stuff in storage!
Caring For Family
We care for our family. How do we talk to our daughters-in-law about extra diapers and baby powder, even though their budgets are very tight every month? We wonder will the store clerks look at us in a funny way if we prepper guys buy lots of feminine hygiene products for our wives and our daughters? Should carry notes with the specific names of those items.
We have shopping questions. Are Internet prices really better than Walmart or Sam’s or Costco? Are multivitamins more important than iron tablets and canned succotash? Should we be fearful of sudden government-ordered food confiscation programs?
These are important topics, and we need to be prepared to do good stuff when some new big thing goes wrong. Don’t we?
Teach On Many Topics
We experienced preppers can teach both “nons” and “newbies” a lot about a great many topics that have become important in our modern credit-driven culture. We even know how “just in time delivery” has eliminated the need for huge storage areas in the back of the supermarkets. Now, they only need three truck docks and an electric powered fork-truck plus a place to store empty plastic pallets, usually the dark blue ones. Store shelves can be re-supplied all day and most of the night. They tell us that this type of re-supply methods holds down our costs and means more variety on the shelves, which gives us more buying choices. At least, that is what they say, or is it really just about higher profits and less management problems?
Who Are Nons and Who Made Them
That’s who we are. The non-preppers are all those who are not us. “That’s too simple,” you say. No, not at all too simple. We have built around ourselves a strange new wall of new uses of old words that sound foreign and are not wanted by those who are “not of us”. We have made them the “nons”, and in our separation we are all losers. There can be no winners in separation. We are the cause and the solution.
Repair the Hidden Damage
How do we repair the hidden damage to our communities that we have created? We can start the repair process by first stopping the growth. We can stop the growth by speaking up at every opportunity we have to smile and gently provide a short and considerately formed definition of a “prepper” word that was just used in a conversation. That easy method of rebuilding a more inclusive relationship through giving harmless definitions will need to have been well thought out in advance, always in advance.
Always do this gently and never abrasively. You might start with the word “prepper” and explain that we wanted a word that was about building and not tearing apart, not selfish. In that process, you can teach who we are and who we are not. The best way to teach about us is to talk about yourself, “you” being a part of “us”. Offer to help others to become better prepared and to do as the “preppers” do. You could find the words to use to talk about the living, proven good principle that says you do not have enough until you are able to easily share what you have with the less fortunate among us.
Community Emergency Response Team
You might use the terrible earthquake in the 80’s in Mexico City that resulted in the “Community Emergency Response Team, C.E.R.T. In the group of thousands of volunteers, the courageous non-professionals who immediately began dangerous rescue attempts in the collapsed building, 3,500 died needlessly through the lack of knowing “how to do it the right way”. There were 3,500 unnecessary deaths of good Samaritans, the caring volunteers.
From that single tragic waste of lives, the C.E.R.T. program was created so that through the training of local volunteers, lives would be saved and none would be lost. CERT is now a national volunteer program that is very successful. I am pleased to have been a program trainer for a number of years. I still have my “Train The Trainer” manuals on my book shelf.
My work in our area with CERT leaders group was a strong part of my becoming a more knowledgeable prepper. Helping others helped me to change me.
As we look for opportunities to “gently” explain the we are not a bunch of crazies but are simply caring people who have researched a probable adverse situation in our not too distant future. Our newly gained knowledge in turn has enabled us to make a decision to become more ready to deal with adversity and to be able to help others.
When we can not easily talk about helping others through greater knowledge, we need to address that short coming and ponder the question of how you can first change yourself, so that you can them help others to change themselves. Every situation, every conversation, every opportunity will always be different.
There will be many different ways become available for us to include the non-preppers in our community of good people who look to help other good people. Your assignment is to watch for them.
Inspired Teaching Opportunity
As an example of an inspired possible teaching opportunity is my wife’s thought to invite a few other retired couples near our age who are fellow members of our local church to spend a few hours with us one afternoon next week. We will all be watching the first three episodes of the “Netflix” TV series titled Jericho.
It is about a small Kansas town responding to an enemy nuclear attack and their efforts to project the town’s folks from the danger of fallout from the attack a hundred miles way.
Thoughts That Have Guided Us
The thoughts we have allowed to guide us are also the means that we can use to improve our level of preparedness as we endeavor to help others to begin to prepare themselves and to change themselves.
Another Way to Invite Someone To Talk
Another easy way to invite someone we know to talk about preparedness in a positive mode is simple. Ask them for help. Your questions about where you might find a less expensive way to obtain a specific item to finish a specific part of your preparation are great starting points. Try asking about a large bottle of discount multivitamins. Your friend will surely ask what need you have for that item. Then you’re on the the way to “short, easy, happy to help them” conversation about being better prepared for the event/incident you have researched.
Learned We Need Help And To Help
We have learned a lot about who we are these past few years. We have found that we need to be helped by others and that we need to help others.
Preparedness is more about changing who we are than changing what we have. Changing what we have is best enabled by first changing who we are. On a personal note, we have found great strength through knowing more and helping others, and especially through allowing others to help us.
I am 100% disabled with lots of areas where we need help for me. And through all of our efforts to get through each day, we find that regular prayers of thanks are a wonderful source of great joy.
Your comments, both pro and con, are very appreciated. Suggestions and thoughts about additional simple ways we preppers can help others, especially the “nons” that we know, to gain a better opinion of us and to perhaps change themselves through new ways to talk about preparedness would be helpful to all of us.
As always, remember that what they see us doing is forever louder than what they hear us saying.
And in conclusion, JUST GO DO IT!
Thanks for your attention, and good luck in your preparation efforts.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 72 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 72 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.
My next door neighbors are great people and very hands on and self sufficient in many ways without being preppers They know im a prepper and am not very good at hands on So im going to recruit their help in building a structure to put multiple rain barrels together your article has motivated me to do that and also to ask them if they’ve thought about a disaster plan with their local extended family.
Thanks for the motivation
Good article! I actually used that same TV show along with the walking dead to reach my in-laws; they were some of those people fascinated with zombie apocalypse lol. The walking dead was mainly for examples of things you should never since Rick usually makes the worst possible decisions…
I would be leery of discussing this with townsfolk outside of your family though because of the obvious problems it would present for OPSEC. They could leave the most motivated newbie survivalist in the world, but when it comes down to deciding between laying down the capital to get seriously prepared or taking that family trip to Disneyland which do you think they will choose? In my experience it’s usually Disneyland and then there’s a few more hungry desperate individuals heading your way when SHTF.
As far as a documentary to show your family members that are still not survivalists I found one that I really like called “End of the Road: How Our Money Became Worthless.” It turned on a few light bulbs with my people hopefully it will with yours as well.
Again it was great article!
Granted, my experience is statistically insignificant except to me. I do know that the mindset here in the Redoubt is a whole different world from those back east. Many are even in hurricane-prone areas and you would think that would motivate them toward self-sufficiency. I see no evidence of that. Men are supposed to be providers and protectors of their love ones. Honestly, this old coot believes this natural sense of duty has been bred out of American ‘men’.
Brandon Smith was right. The vast majority of Americans are too self-absorbed in frivolous pursuits to accept reality. Their country is falling around them while they are consumed with texting, cell phones, selfies, sports, recreation, leisure, entertainment, TV, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pokemon GO etc. Yea, it’s fun. And it’s a lot easier than preparing to protect their love ones. Their suffering will likely be Biblical…
Thanks for the article and the pep talk. I will talk gardening and canning with the local folks but I tend to not discuss preps with anyone. The country folk around me are generally retired with small pensions, incredibly poor and depend upon the government for their handouts. These people I will help when needed but their worthless, blood sucking children will meet my shotgun when they start mooching off their parents.
I actually try and avoid loaded words like prepper. Instead I say I believe in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation. And that just as I have health and life insurance, I think it’s a good idea to have some disaster insurance in case the next earthquake, fire, hurricane etc happens
Our local EMA office uses the film series “Jericho” as a teaching tool to what prepping is all about. After our first CERT training course all new CERT team members were requested to watch the series in full. A follow up class, months later, was had were we discussed EMA’s responsibilities and its ultimate inabilities compared to the community coming together.
“We need to be helped by others, and that we need to help others”.
Thank you for the wisdom in this article.
Sadly, CERT is a ‘Non’ with few exceptions, it is just a Gov’t sponsored pretty picture with very few sponsored $$$. As a CERT team Leader for 5 years, we were called put on numerous SAR mission’s and a few ‘flood / sandbagging missions’ and until our county EM (Emerg. Mgr) said he wouldn’t cover our team under the county’s insurance which in other words means we would NEVER be called out, and this was quite common throughout our state (verified through other team coordinators and team leaders attending the yearly state conferences). We trained over 250 students and had a dedicated team of 40+- active members. Monthly admin meetings (w/ the county sheriff attending every one), monthly County EMS meetings (w/ our Coordinator attending every one along w/ our sheriff),monthly field training, twice yearly litter pick up through the ‘state adopt a highway program’, a self supporting bank account from fundraisers (but not enough to fund our own insurance coverage every year), self purchased Sat-Com tracking programs, big screen monitor in our response trailer and GPS ‘hunting dog collars’ for each team to monitor search patterns and progress, etc. The training is great and professional and I do recommend it to every community member but if you think you’re going to get called out…think again. I would bet that 90% of teams in the entire United States do not get a call…EVER! Not sour grapes…just reality. Good luck. Keep your powder dry and continue to fight the good fight!