A Community Ring Of Preparedness Minded Neighbors


You will be safer and more resilient after a natural or man-made disaster if your immediate local neighborhood, community, or network (group) is prepared. The more prepared – the safer, the better, the more quick to recover for everyone.

There is power in numbers, and that goes for everything between security and putting food on the table. No man is an island, and if you think you are – then good luck to you. It will take like-minded individuals and community to pull through a major SHTF.

The fewer your neighbors are caught off guard by disaster, the less they will need from others. The more prepared your neighbors are, the easier it will be to help each other fill the gaps.

The more prepared a community and the more like-minded a community, the more that everyone will look out for each other.

There are expanding circles – ‘rings’ of one’s community. It begins at home or one’s retreat and everyone living there. This is the first priority of preparedness and is the ‘ring’ in which most preppers remain (their own immediate sphere and location).

The next most ring of community is one’s immediate local neighborhood. Your neighbors. Most preppers do not venture out into this realm. What I mean is – most feel that it’s better to remain silent about one’s own preparedness for fear that the word will get out and they might become a target during a real SHTF breakdown (a logical concern). Others are also fearful of the stigma if their neighbors find out that they are preppers (thanks to the mainstream’s negative ‘kook’ or crackpot portrayal).

A more expansive ring includes the wider community itself, in which there is never complete like-mindedness, but there could be sufficient numbers for a cohesiveness with broader and wider fulfillment of needs and sharing of resources.

An additional ring of like-minded ‘community’ could be a unique network of people – who are not necessarily immediately local. It could be your own group of like-minded prepared friends, acquaintances, or otherwise – such that you share a common thread of preparedness, concerns, ideals, and goals. In a disaster you would come together or unite in some way which helps the group overall.

If you are a preparedness-minded person or household, and you are wondering how to discover others who are like-minded (without initially revealing that you’re one of those ‘crackpot’ preppers ;) ), the simplest way is to trust your gut instincts during normal conversations with others.

It doesn’t take too much tactful probing during conversation in order to discover the general mindset of someone else. While you should never ‘judge a book by it’s cover’, sometimes it’s pretty quick and easy to rule someone out as a potential self-responsible preparedness-minded individual.

It may take several conversations to form a good opinion – especially with a new acquaintance. They too might be vague about what they reveal about themselves initially. It’s natural human behavior for some people.

Everyone has their own ‘art’ of conversation, so don’t be afraid to discover a little bit about your neighbors to see if they might be a help or a potential hindrance during a time of disaster. Some people may truly be interested, but simply need to be coaxed into it (preparedness). When someone finds out that they’re not the only one, then it becomes much more self-empowering.

Many of us believe that we’re heading for tougher times ahead, and now is the time to try and establish a better community network – no matter how small it might be.

What do you think about it?
Risk vs. Reward?


  1. For the most part there has been little to no reward or personal gain when I reveal my interests as it relates to preparedness. In other words, no great friendships have come of it…

    What has been interesting; however, is how many people have brushed off my sharing of a variety of preparedness topics with them to then have them selectively get into it later on, i.e. canning, chickens, long-term food storage.

    On the whole, great if it gets others engaged more. But,I’ve had more failures than successes and tend to keep to myself these days.

    1. Same with me. I don’t make prepping friends with neighbors. I keep my OPSEC private but to get a feel on what they think, I mention if economy collapses, what would they survive on? (and other crisis dangers). They think I am a nut to avoid. I think it is because main-stream media never reports the national dangers we are in, nor to prepare, and that’s all they watch and get their news.

  2. If you’re going to do this you might want to add one of those metal triangles to your preps. You will be ringing the dinner bell whether you want to or not.

    Loose lips sink ships and all that.

    1. Agreed. That is also why it requires some careful initial communications (intelligent conversation of discovery) – so as to discover whether or not you may actually be somewhat similar in mindset – before revealing anything tangible about one’s own situation. A problem that I’ve found with this, is that many or most people like to talk about themselves and their situations rather than discover ‘things’ about the other person in a conversation. This is when loose lips can sink ships.

      I do realize too, that this largely depends on where someone lives (as in ‘who’ their neighbors are – or what type of people they’re likely to be). Example: City folks are probably less likely to be open minded about having conversations about self-sufficiency, self-reliance, preparedness, risks we’re facing in the world, etc., whereas country folks will generally be more receptive (and may already be living such a lifestyle).

      The point I had hoped to make in the article was to suggest that people strike up conversations (where appropriate) with their neighbors and discover ‘who’ they are. You might be surprised to find like-minded people. You never know. This can be done without revealing anything about whether or not you’ve stocked your basement with a year’s food, etc..

      But as you said, if you blurt it out, it could be ringing the dinner bell…

      1. Through listening closely I have found most of the people who live and work around our small town seem to be consumed by their jobs, children (social & school activities) elderly parents, friends, church activities, etc., and trying to grab just a tiny peice of their attention is futile.

        I have tried to discuss with them readying all of these people in their lives for the possibilities of unemployment, sickness, foul weather (hurricanes, tornados or maybe Buffalo, NY-type snow), government intervention, war, EMPs, etc., but find it difficult to continue when their response at the beginning of the conversation is the rolling of their eyes and a firm “I don’t have time for that nonsense.” This says to me loud and clear that people I have talked to thus far are NOT like-minded with me.

        Recently my husband and I started seriously getting our finances in order for retirement. After realizing we would not have million-dollar 401Ks and pension plans available to us, my poor over-worked Hubby was sure he would be doomed to working for the remainder of his life with no retirement possible. We cut expenses immediately where possible and a search of the internet introduced us to a new type of life-style called prepping where life was simpler and much less expensive when the basics have been accomplished. We mentioned it to several of our friends and asked what they thought of it but as you can imagine the idea of our becoming “preppers” was not very well accepted. We continued on quietly anyway and one of the first, if not the first, blogs we found and have turned to several times daily since then is yours Ken.

        Because of the information we have gathered from your blog Ken, we are now in better financial shape than ever before. We have paid over three-quarters of our debt off, our pantry is very well stocked, we are learning new skills (organic gardening, communication devices and gun handling skills) and have moved monetary assets to tangible assets (gold, silver, and farming land).

        My Hubby now has a smile on his face and spends every weekend asking what can we do next. I’m pretty sure we could survive an emergency with what we have now but more will be better since it is a permanent life-style change. Who will be around if and emergency does occur, I can’t say for sure yet but with the Lord’s blessing and these changes we will be able to enjoy our retirement.

        I will keep listening and watching for those like us who quietly go about establishing a new frugal and responsible life-style. I know they’re out there and to find them I just have to be patient, observe and most of all…listen.

        BTW–One other group to watch out for with long-term power outages are max and supermax prisons running on generators that quit. Do all cell doors automatically open if the generators quit? Don’t want to live near one of these or any other prison, JIC.

        God Bless You All and Merry Christmas

        1. @PTL48,

          I don’t know what to say, other than thanks and congratulations!

          I suspect that most of today’s up-and-coming retires do not have anywhere close to enough funds to truly retire (given the ‘modern’ lifestyle of massive consumption and spending beyond one’s means). I commend you for not being one of them!

          With regards to bringing up the word, “prepping” or “prepper” in conversation with others, unfortunately the words have a fairly negative connotation thanks to the mainstream portrayal of the fringes. I like to use the phrase, ‘preparedness-minded’ ;)

          You’re absolutely right how the majority of people are ‘too busy’ with their daily lives and routines. But that busy lifestyle is a choice they’ve made (even if they don’t realize it). There’s only so much encouraging that we can do (you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink…)

          Thanks for you comment.

  3. Most of my neighbors and friends think that the good times will never end. Most people in this area own guns but you would have a hard time finding more than three days supply of food in their homes. Most people that are prepared have grey hair like me. I have lived here for thirty six years watched this area grow but its sad to say that I have no trust in my neighbors if SHTF happens.

    1. Same here. Unlike the days of the “Great Depression” when a majority of American’s still had values, patriotism, trust in God, today’s majority are self centered, moral relatavists. I keep to my small group for OPSEC purposes but still try to maintain friendly relationships with others. My family is also generous and giving but if SHTF there is no way to help all those who are not prepared.

  4. I currently live in the Port Charlotte, fl. Area. In 2004 we had hurricane Charlie rip through here. It made me realize that when something happens. I’m on my own, I had one of the only generators in my neighborhood, and quickly all my neighbors wanted to hook up. Which I did , to keep refrigerators and such going.

    But the disturbing thing is, how quickly they returned to normalcy. Even after having to do without for months, most of them never have considered that it could happen again! And have done nothing to prepare for another event. This has me considering a new location, in a more rural setting.

    I’m currently researching the lower Alabama- Florida line. Lower population density, higher elevation, with good soil and growing seasons. I was born on a farm in central Illinois , and am seeking a rural location to become more self sufficient . And get away from suburban life style. Hopefully I can find an area that has people who are by General nature, a little better prepared to take care of themselves!

  5. We attempted to get a neighbor, who’s farm is closest to ours, interested in prepping. About 4 months later we caught him breaking into our basement with tools in hand. (He knew where our Gun Safe was) Enough said.

  6. I explore the mind set of my neighbors to find out who is prepper minded but more importantly who would be a serious threat in a shtf event. One of my neighbors is a very serious prepper but I have realized he(his group) is the most dangerous type. So far he does not know I have figured him out and I am going to keep it that way for our own protection. Just talking to this group you would not suspect this level of danger but I have made a case study of all my neighbors and their mind set so that I know what I will have to deal with.

    1. Since I live remotely, I don’t have but a few neighbors. I am not a selfish person, and I have often shared my garden bounty with neighbors to get them talking about things and slip in some disaster preparedness. If they are preppers, they keep it to themselves and don’t want to talk about it. They like their privacy and that is why they live in this remote location. The ball in is their court now if they are interested. I can’t force them to have a discussion about it, unfortunately, a long term disaster will force them.

      They managed up to a two week power outage before, but in longer terms, they may want to share resources and get together mainly through township meetings as they have done before. 40% of the homes in my area didn’t have electric power until the late 60’s and early 70’s. The people who wanted power had to volunteer to clear hundreds of miles of timber and widen their roads themselves to have the power companies put in the lines. It is a tough rural community.

  7. He plans to take from his neighbors ( and others) whatever he wants or needs at any cost including your life with no regret.

  8. It takes years to build the level of trust needed in an shtf event. I would rather hook up with non-preppers that I wholeheartedly trust…than uber preppers that are like-minded, but only a casual acquaintance.

  9. I think you are correct for anything resembling a “recovery” phase after the chaos subsides. Sorry, until then I’ll remain in gray man mode. Only the very inner circle will know anything. That consists of the immediate family and one other like-minded couple who have been our trusted friends for many years. We all have a self-sufficient and protective attitude. We learn a lot from each other, but we are also good at challenging each other to do more.

    Any kind of “sharing” ahead of SHTF is like painting a target on you and hoping nobody takes a shot. OPSEC can be VERY hard to repair.

  10. Right there with you Trip. I no longer tell family of my preps. My sister who happens to currently live with me, laughs as she tells a co-worker “they have a years worth of food and yet they go out to eat after a major storm”. So now I use the preps we have and secretly hide all new food so that no one in the house is even aware of its existence. No easy to do with 6 people living in the house. I did manage to get my nephew on board and he is starting to prep now too. Even he does not know of my new hidden preps.

  11. I always keep any open mind when it comes to neighbors, but it really is a “pipe dream” To think you can build a perfect network of community preppers. We have a nurse, pharmacist, two elderly families, and the rest are farmers in the distance. Anyone who lives in our area does so because they want seclusion and privacy.

    The only other thing I would add is that I have one buddy who is completely trustworthy. In a true TEOTWAWKI scenario, my entire family could show up unannounced and vice versa because skills. We learn together, train together, teach one another, and there is a quality foundation to our friendship.

    In life, I have a saying that I am blessed to have had 5 true friends by the time I die. I figure I am at about three or four at my current age. I would take a non-prepping friend over a prepping one. Skills can be taught, but trust and respect take a lifetime to earn.

    Fictional books on prepping, media bias and bashing for survivalism or preparedness, and gov’t agencies have done a real number on what it looks like to be a so called prepper. I don’t place my efforts within this community for like-minded friendships, I look outside for those who have their head on their shoulds squarely and are Christian like me.

  12. My wife and I just got into prepping about 2 years ago and so far have learned that you can’t even talk to family anymore about being prepared without being looked at like your CRAZY, and really have no one to trust. hopefully in northern Florida area where we bought 10 acres we can find like minded friends

  13. I’m finding it interesting that there are as many comments where apparently preppers have little trust of other preppers.

    I also find it interesting (but not surprising) that non-preppers think that preppers are crazy. It’s time for another term other than preppers – because apparently the mainstream has completely trashed it.

    I believe that most non-preppers just don’t realize that most preppers are not extreme. While every stereo-type of people do have their extremes, most of us are just regular people – but we simply recognize the risks (or some of them) enough so that we’ve become more prepared, more self-responsible, more self-reliant, and live our lives with this general outlook.

    1. The article is about recruiting like minded individuals. I think that it would be a mistake to assume that most will become preppers. Most folk are more than willing to let someone, anyone, else do the work. Most are willing to let *you* take care of them. Some will resort to force to make it happen.

      1. I agree. It’s almost always a mistake to assume anything ;)

        Unfortunately there are those within our (and any) society who are willing to let ‘you’ take care of them. Freeloaders. Be it out of laziness or purposeful taking advantage.

        One of the intended notions within the article is that it may be a good idea to discover whether or not your neighbors are one of them, or perhaps someone who is more likely to be preparedness minded or open to the concept of being better prepared.

  14. I wholeheartedly agree with this article, there is safety in numbers and wether you like it or not you can’t survive alone, at least not for long. Wether it’s family, neighbors, or church group, you’ll need people with you not necessarily peppers but people who share the same values as you and are willing to put their life on the line to defend you and yours. Good luck if you think your neighbors won’t notice you’re the only one fat and happy when shtf and it’s just you and your wife and kids. They will come and take your stuff, hungry people are the most dangerous people. Wake up folks, build your team and figure out who you’ll open the doors and your pantry to when it goes down, or who will do the same for you. If you don’t you’ll be a one man army against the world.

  15. What to do when TSHTF and people are looking for food. I read and have implemented one part of the Gray Man scenario. I went to a thrift store and bought well used second hand clothing 2 or 3 sizes to large for me and the family. Pack them away and when needed at night rub dirt on the clothing to make it look like they are worn and you and your family are also starving. If anyone comes to the door ask them if they have any food to spare for your family.

    1. I have a similar plan, as well as putting everyone on a strict diet so we do actually lose weight. We wont starve but we will look like we are as we lose weight. It’s all about perception. If people perceive you to be starving they will assume you have nothing to steal and will look for more promising targets.

  16. Time for force multipliers like night vision. Until you know who’s snooping around at night between the time of hunger and starvation, you won’t know whos a friend and who’s a threat. Spend the money for Gen 3 !!

    Opinions or additions?

  17. I’ve been a ‘prepper’ for 40 years, a serious prepper since the late 70s and probably what many would consider an extreme prepper since before Y2K. Remember Y2K when nothing happened? Well, we ate that food anyway, so nothing lost. (On the other hand, all the money I’ve spent in that time on home and car insurance has been like pouring it down a hole.)

    I can trace my ‘prepping’ mentality to my childhood and so I wonder if preppers can be made or if they have to be born that way. While it would be nice to discover others of like mentality in your general area, to think that we can evangelize them into becoming preppers is probably just wishful thinking.

  18. As usual, lots of great comments and variety of opinions.

    RinNM, you hit on a good question. What I’ve found out about other preppers is first and foremost they are very independendent and in many cases very frugal.

    Others are very much enterprenuers who provide services and goods to the preparedness folks ( think the Rocket stove people ) who manufacture a great product. You know they have to be preppers in some fashion.

    I suspect you are like myself in your prepping. There was a period in my life where we were very poor and struggled to feed ourselves and that has left a lesson written on my heart.

    One size doesn’t fit all for preppers mentality or reasons for prepping but that’s true for all humans.

    I have been very aware of people in my immediate area and have not spoken to any of the newer neighbors much. I’m fairly new to this neighborhood but have bonded with the elderly neighbors and the family that lives next door is fantastic. Once I got familiar with my neighbor and after a few conversations I told him that I like to prep. He invited me into his Morton building and was amazed at all the building products, galvanized pipe, electrical motors all neatly arranged. I don’t know what his food preps are and he doesn’t know mine. He keeps his family warm through out the winter with the wood he cuts year round. He’s a hard working guy with a good job and 4 kids. If I ever need help or an extra hand he’s there and I am for him. Wish I had more neighbors like him.

    I am aware of other preppers in my area but a lot of them are older than myself and would have very valuable knowledge to rely on. The lady who taught me how to can is 63 YRO! I was grateful to learn from her.

    Even if people aren’t preppers you can still absorb their knowledge.

    One of the best preppers I know ( at least when it comes to food preps ) is the owner of the company I work for. You would never suspect this hard charging, high energy very smart guy would be a prepper. I’ve known him for 23 years and only in the last 5 years have I gotten a better idea. He has a 1.3 acre garden and fruit trees. Every year my boss goes half in with a local farmer and they raise chickens, ducks and turkeys which they slaughter and preserve. I would never have suspected until I asked him several questions about raised bed gardening and he began to open up. I’m still amazed at how much food this guy produces especially since he works 12 hours a day. Our Christmas party is coming up and we’ll be seeing jams, pickles and turkey from him as gifts.

    The real deal preppers are hard to connect with because they do keep an arms length distance from most and the people I might feel out are so out of touch with reality they couldn’t find their ass in a telephone booth with both hands! :)

    Merry Christmas my friends!!!!

    Snake Plisken

  19. WTF?
    seems like the gov’t wants the Bankers to be prepared…

    “Treasury Department seeks survival kits to prepare employees at every major bank for coming collapse
    Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes

    (NaturalNews) The Treasury Department is looking to buy survival kits for all of its employees who are proprietors of the federal banking system, according to a new government solicitation posted online.

    As reported by The Washington Free Beacon (FB), the emergency goods and supplies are for every employee at the Office of the Comptroller and Currency — the OCC — which is in charge of conducting on-site reviews and audits of banks around the nation.

    According to the solicitation, each survival kit contains everything from water purification tablets to solar blankets. And the government is willing to spend up to $200,000 on the kits, the solicitation says

    Why do bank examiners need survival kits?

    In addition, the Treasury wants each kit to include a “reusable solar blanket” that is 53 inches by 84 inches long, as well as a 2,400-calorie food bar, “50 water purification tablets,” a “one-size fits all poncho with hood,” a “dust mask,” a rechargeable lantern with a built-in radio and an “Air-Aid emergency mask” to help the wearer guard against airborne viruses.

    These are serious kits for personnel you would never imagine should need one — in normal circumstances

    Survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States including Bank of America, American Express Bank, BMO Financial Corp., Capitol One Financial Corporation, Citigroup, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Company, and Wells Fargo.

    1. I am building a bug out home at Rockcastle in KY, a 2000 acre place to have all the needs if TSHF, this 2nd amendment village layout has room for over 100 families to have land and build homes garden and lots of other special things like shooting bays and ranges.You can go off the grid if needed and 50 miles of caves under the property. Just in case….

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