Written by Bernie Carr
Because of the pandemic and other recent events, a lot of people are getting interested in preparedness. That is certainly a good thing for the community. In a disaster or emergency, it is always good to have a group of people you can trust or rely on. While you can likely find like-minded people online, it is not always easy to find people within your immediate area. I have even heard from readers whose spouse or significant other so not share their interest in survival or preparedness.
What not to do
Don’t rush into the conversation
You may be excited to find like-minded people, but there is a way to ease into the topic of preparedness. One way is to talk about the latest zombie or doomsday movie, just in a purely hypothetical sense. “What would you do if… zombies attack, or hostile aliens landed?” If they already considered this, chances are, they may have an interest in prepping.
Don’t scare people
Don’t start the conversation by bringing up EMPs, nuclear war. Even in the midst of a pandemic, which was also a scary scenario a few years ago, people do not want to get even more scared. Talking about doom and gloom tends to turn off people. The point is to find like-minded people, not try to convince someone to prep.
Don’t give away your privacy
If you talk about your emergency supplies, people may assume you have a lot of emergency rations, guns, ammo and a lot of expensive gear, even though you. Avoid over-sharing or posting photos on social media. You don’t want to attract the wrong kind of attention and make yourself a target.
How do you find like-minded folks?
If you have an interest in becoming more self-sufficient, you may find people who share your hobbies, such as people who like to garden, crochet or cook. I learned how to crochet from one of my neighbors (before the pandemic). I went to a needlework get-together in the apartment complex. The neighbor ladies were excited to share their crafting skills with newcomers.
Living in a city like Houston, the subject of preparedness comes up easily during hurricane season. So when the topic comes up, people who prepare on a regular basis offer good ideas; while people who wait until the last minutes usually say, “If a disaster happens, I’m coming to your house.” You can take your cues on who would have the most in common with you.
Once family events are “okay” to attend again, talk to some of the family members you hardly spend time with. You may be surprised to find out you have common interests. Again, a good way to bring it up is by talking about “What if” situations in a general manner.
Try a neighborhood social media such as Nextdoor.com or Facebook groups in your area. Again, you must not rush into the subject. If a topic about upcoming disasters such as hurricane or snow storms come up, the topic of preparedness would naturally flow.
Take a class
Once in-person classes are offered again, take a class at the local community college in something you are interested in. There are always classes on first aid, gardening, crafts etc.
Strike up a conversation
While being socially distanced at the store, you may notice someone wearing a t-shirt or baseball cap (such as “Tactical” “Smith and Wesson” etc.) that may indicate an interest. A brief comment at the checkout counter may be enough to start up a conversation.
I know a few people who volunteer at the food bank have interest in building a pantry and being able to share with others. You may also meet other preppers at churches, fire stations, police department or regional parks. Even during the pandemic, I see “friends of the park” groups meeting outdoors and discussing outdoor survival.
The final word
Don’t be shy, but be patient in your search for like-minded folks. Be careful how much information you share, and if the person is vigilant like you, they will completely understand.
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About the author:
Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.