Tips for Dealing with Anti-preppers

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

This past summer, I visited with relatives in friends whom I had not seen in several years.  While it was great seeing everyone again, I realized, with some trepidation, that they are not prepared for even minor disasters.   They refuse to even consider the possibility that a disaster may hit their area, truck deliveries may stop, and they will have nothing in their homes to cope with the emergency.  At the time, the movie San Andreas was showing in the theaters and several said, “I don’t want to see that, because I do not want to think about what can happen.”

I think of them as “anti-preppers.”  You can tell by the way they conduct their everyday lives.  They never have any food in the refrigerator or pantry, even for everyday meals because they eat out daily.  When the subject does come up, they not even want to hear about the possibility of earthquake or some others natural disaster in their area.  They politely listen to the idea of being prepared, but they get a blank look and you just know they have tuned out.

I have written about the subject of dealing with a spouse or partner who is not on board, and was preparing to write about dealing with anti-preparedness attitudes when I ran across an excellent article written by Todd Sepulveda who runs the Prepper Website, Ed that Matters and others.  With permission, here is the article:

Don’t Cast Your OPSEC Before Swine (Unprepared)

Written by Todd Sepulveda
This post originally appeared in Ed that Matters

Don’t give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them with their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.  Matthew 7:6 HCSB

OPSEC = A military term that stands for Operational Security.

Preparedness has trends, just like anything else.  In finding articles to link to on Prepper Website, I used to read many that warned not to mention to anyone outside your immediate family that you had preps.  “Keep your preps private (OPSEC) or the roaming hungry bands will come to your door and demand that you feed them!”  Lately, however, I have seen articles that don’t stress complete silence.  I feel there should be a balance.

I’m not in the camp that says that you don’t tell anyone that you are prepping.  I believe in helping others and getting information out there to help in times of an emergency.  I have seen the positive effects of being open about my preparedness.  People in the circles that I run in, my circle of influence, are starting to talk  about the economy, storing water and putting away a little extra food.  Some are gardening and buying firearms…both gateway drugs to preparedness! ?

Yes, some of my friends and co-workers say, “If the apocalypse happens, we are coming to your house.”  I in return say, “You are welcome to come.  But I won’t be there!  I’ll be in East Texas.”  Of course, I say that with a little smirk…a true smirk.  I figure that if the big one hits and I don’t make it out, they won’t know how to make it to my house anyway and they’ll have other things to worry about!

But in my quest for sharing preparedness, I have run into some that just don’t care to hear at all.  If they know you, they might appear to listen, but they are looking away and you can tell their attention is on something else.  If they don’t care about offending you at all, they will just get up and leave or tell you.  So, I believe that as preppers, there are times that we should apply the Matthew 7:6 Scripture above.

Now I know that Jesus was talking about spiritual things and The Kingdom.  He was suggesting that some people will take His message and not pay one bit of attention to it.  It would be like giving pearls to a pig and watching it, not appreciate the beauty of the pearls, and trample all over it.  Seeing that from a faith perspective breaks your heart.  You have this great message that you know will help others, but they “tear it to pieces.”

I feel the same about preparedness.  Here is this great message (not as great as Jesus’) about how they can protect their family if something bad happens and they won’t even give you the benefit of listening.  This too can be heartbreaking.  BECAUSE, you know they have families, spouses and children that depend on them.  You know that if something really bad did happen, they would  be in bad shape.  And if they just listened a little, they could be better off.  But sharing preparedness with them is like “casting your pearls before swine.”

So, what can you do if you are from the camp that feels that you should share preparedness with others so that they can be prepared and not be part of the problem in a crisis, but then don’t want to be disrespected and “torn apart” when they don’t accept what you have to say?

Drop Preparedness Hints – If you get the chance, bring up something that has happened that is emergency preparedness related in your conversation.  For example, “Did you hear about that couple and kids that survived out in freezing temperatures after their jeep flipped?  That dad was really prepared for an emergency.  They had food, supplies and he knew how to make a fire.  I wonder how many of us would have frozen to death?”  If the “unprepared” responded favorably, you could drop more hints and talk about some of the local reasons to be prepared.  Either way, you can feel people out without revealing anything of yourself.

Listen for Preparedness Conversation Starters – Like I said before, gardening and guns are gateway drugs, believe me..eventually they are!  If you know of someone who is gardening or who’s spouse has purchased a firearm, you can start to engage them in reference to those topics.  For example, “I heard you grow vegetables in your backyard.  Why do you do it?….I think it is a great way to save money and to eat vegetables that you know are safe to eat…Gardening is a skill that many people just don’t have nowadays.”  Or, “I heard your husband purchased a firearm and got his Concealed Handgun License.  With the recent crime statistics going up, I think that is a good idea.”  You’ll find that if there is any inkling of preparedness waiting to bubble forth, that it will….and then BINGO, you can help them along on their journey!

Send An Anonymous Email – In 7 Things You Can Do – If You’re A Bored Prepper, I suggest sending an anonymous email to a family member or friend with a link to “An Open Letter to Family & Friends.”  Click on the link for links to the Open Letter and an anonymous email service.

Carry Around An Apocalyptic Book – Ok, some of you might consider this a stretch.  But consider carrying around a copy of One Second After.  When others ask you what you were reading, you could share the plot with them.  This would definitely open up some opportunities for conversations.   Then if there is enough interest in the story, you can offer to let them read it after you “finish” with it.  If they are really interested, you can share with them the Congressional Report that detailed how vulnerable we really are to an EMP attack.  That should scare the crap out of them….kind of heavy for starters…but the jolt might work!  But, if you don’t want to get so heavy, you could always try a less drastic novel like Glenn Tate’s 299 Days.

Share Some Content on Social Media Outlets – For those of you on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can link to prepper related content from other users.  Don’t’ go all hardcore, tinfoil hat or anything.  Instead, share some posts on Backyard Chickens, Having Your Own Car Kit, Creating Your Own Detergent or Dishwashing Soap or even Uses for Essential Oils.  See who responds and start the conversation from there.

Use Peer Pressure – This would work like this…  You purposely bring a long a friend, who you know is a prepper, to an event or lunch or whatever.  In the course of conversation, you two start talking about “soft core” preparedness like it is something everyone does.  If the “unprepared”  shows interest, you might have hooked another one!

Again, the key is to ease into it to “test the waters.”  You should never totally reveal all of your plan and/or preps.  But if you are from the camp that you want to share your knowledge to help others, you can use some or all of these ways to keep your OPSEC, but find those that you might be able to help!

About the Author:

Todd Sepulveda is an educator, minister and all around good guy.  He focuses his energy on providing the preparedness community with great FREE content by hosting and maintaining various preparedness sites.

Todd is married with kids.  I’m an assistant principal in the public school system.  He is also an ordained minister who does a lot of weddings.  Todd wrote a FREE ebook called Education After the Collapse.



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  1. Todd, you’ll end up getting yourself killed, when people are desperate, they do crazy things, they’ll remember what you told them. You are obviously young, more trusting, I ‘m a retire and cynical on people in general and have few close prepper like minded friends. We don’t go telling our biz to co workers, social groups, neighbors, even some relatives. Adults should already know (but most are stuck in stupid) what to do as responsible heads of families. We are only responsible for our household period. I don’t tell others what to do, only let them know about a product I bought or saw advertised that I recommend, like something on sale ex: computer, chrome book, printers, gun sale like Wal mart selling rifles on clearance, etc.

  2. Yeah, I agree with Laura. I have a friend that is a pretty devout prepper, but he’s let a bunch of people know about it, which may be a problem if SHTF. How do you turn people away in that instance?
    You can’t prepare for yourself PLUS 10-15 others that come wandering in with zero self-sustaining skills.

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