Pop The Question Mar. 10, 2011

Not THAT Question

A reader emailed me the other day.  He hadn't been prepping for too terribly long, and was looking for suggestions on how to meet others of like mind.  One suggestion I had was for him to ask some innocuous prep-related questions of co-workers, neighbors, church members, etc..., and that he might be surprised by some of the answers.

I thought I'd suggest a few questions that won't get you looked at strangely, and the different types of answers you might get.  The way a person answers could lead you to digging a little deeper.

I'm putting in a little vegetable garden this year, maybe planting a couple fruit trees; you do any gardening?
a.  What, are you some kind of hippie now?  The grocery store has plenty of vegetables.
b.  My folks had a garden when I was a kid.  Nothing like getting a fresh tomato right off the vine. Sure is a whole lot of trouble, though.
c.  Oh yeah, we've got six raised beds in back and grow edible ornamentals out front.  Let me know when you want to put it in and I'll come help.  I've got some extra compost I'll bring.

Did you see that storm that tore up that town last week?  I'm getting a generator so we can keep things going next time we lose power.
a.  If we get a big storm and lose power, I'll just go to the big box store and buy one that day.  Of course, by the time I get home with it, the power will be back on, so I'll just take it back to the store.
b.  Why bother?  If it's that bad, the county will give us ice, food and water, and FEMA will pay for everything else.
c.  Good idea!  Make sure you get one big enough to run all of your essentials, and that you get someone who knows what they're doing to wire a junction box.  Do you have extra gas cans and some Sta-bil?

FEMA says we should have three days of food and water for emergencies.  I'm thinking of getting maybe a two week supply, just in case.
a.  If the government says three days, I think they probably know better than you.  Hording is immoral.
b.  I'm sure the Mrs. has plenty of food, but if not, we'll just run out to the Kroger if something happens.
c.  Make sure you buy things that your family likes.  Don't just get a bunch of Spam... unless of course you like Spam.

Things are getting bad around here.  I ought to buy a gun.  You know anything about guns?
a.  I know that I don't want to be around some crazed wannabe killer, so keep away from me if you get one.
b.  Be sure to store your bullets locked up separately from your gun, and keep the gun hidden on the top shelf of your closet so the kids don't find it. Are you going to get one of those 38 magnums?
c.  Well, I do a bit of hunting, and I've had a concealed carry permit for years.  If you want, I'll take you to the range and you can try a few different types.  When you buy one, I'll connect you with the place where I went to a 3-day class.

Want to go to the camping store with me after work?  I'm picking up some emergency gear to keep in the car.
a.  Camping store?  For me roughing it is a 3 star hotel without Wi-Fi.
b.  Why do you need an emergency kit?  Just get Triple A.
c.  Why don't we go this weekend?  My husband and I both keep 72 hour kits in our cars, and we can help you learn from where we messed up building ours.  It will save you money in the long run.

Have you seen how silver is climbing?  Do you know where I can buy some to invest?
a.  I can introduce you to my broker.  He'll set you up with a 401k so you can retire to a life of leisure at 65.
b.  Invest?  I can barely keep up with the payments on all my credit cards, the mortgage, the timeshare at the beach, our three cars, the bass boat, my Harley, and the snowmobiles.
c.  You ought to take a look at what they call "junk" silver.  It's pre-1965 silver coins, and I've got a couple of sellers I've found on EBay that are honest and have fair shipping prices.

It's too bad we work in the city.  I'd much rather live in the country.  Maybe we'll buy a piece of property and put a cabin on it to use for hunting, relaxing with the kids, and we could even go there to hunker down if a disaster hits the city.
a.  I could never live in the country.  I need my Starbucks to survive.  Not to mention, they don't have any good Thai places out there.
b.  That's the attitude that is tearing down our city.  We need to move people back in to the cities and all live on the bus line.  We need earners in the city so the tax base doesn't suffer.
c.  There's a 10 acre lot for sale not to far from the deer camp that my brother and I bought a few years ago.  Take the family out this weekend and you can stay in the RV we keep parked there.  I'll draw you a map.

You get the picture.  Ask questions first.  Base extended conversations on the answers you get.  If you went up to a "b" person and started talking about "the coming economic collapse," they'd look at you like you were crazy.  If you start telling an "a" person about your six months of food and BOB in your trunk, they'll report you as an extremist.  That "c" person though...  he might end up being your new best friend. 


  1. I agree, it is sometimes hard to broach the question with some people. Most just look at you and say"Are you one of those crazy survival people that live out in the sticks or something?" Or I usually get the answer" That could never happen in America, We are better than those other countries" It still amazes me how many people are looking a gas prices and just don't get that something is happening all around them.

  2. I've struggled with the need to help others become prepared. I don't want to be the only prepper on my block if things get bad. Current economic conditions make it easier to broach the subject with friends or even strangers.
    "have you seen the price for toilet paper lately (or gas, meat, propane, etc.)? I'm going to lay in a supply as a hedge against inflation." Or "All that unrest in the middle east, and now even here in Wisconsin. The cost of everything but our wages is going up,and people are getting fed up." Lots of opportunities to get people talking.

  3. Michael, you're right about not being the only prepper on the block if it gets bad. If they won't listen to what is going on or take the hints, you might think about having some extra gear and food to dole out as charity. Not enough to encourage freeloaders, but enough to tide them over until they can get to a community shelter.

    BVDD, gas prices, FEMA failures, natural disasters, it's hard to understand why more don't pay attention.


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