Preppers, Survivalists, and Domestic Terrorists?

by David Morris on April 7, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the Urban Survival Course and Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training.  This week, we’re going to talk about a very sensitive topic:  How to tell the difference between preppers, survivalists, and domestic terrorists…and I’m going to tell you how to get free access to the Urban Survival Course.

I’ll be blunt.  I’m a little sick of the government and the media bunching preppers in with domestic terrorists just because I have a Bible, a gun, a garden, and some food to feed my family with if a natural or manmade disaster happens.  And, in a few weeks, I’m headed to DC for the first of several trips this year to work on a project to fix the prepper image at the Pentagon, the US Army War College, and possibly even with DHS.

This isn’t a new idea.  I’ve been talking with my friends at the Pentagon and guys who work with fusion centers about this for almost 2 years now.  The concern has started to come to the surface and I was even on “The Shift Economy” radio show with John Henderson from Strategic Independence Group a couple of weeks ago discussing the differences between “Preppers” and “Survivalists.”  It’s time to take action and I need your help with this…

Things are so messed up that DHS does public service announcements saying that you should have 72 hours to 7 days of supplies on hands in case of disaster, but then tells law enforcement that preparedness is a sign of potential domestic terrorism.

These actions are very dangerous—and here’s why:

1. The more preppers an area has, the more stable it will be after a breakdown in the supply chain and the quicker it will recover.  Preppers create stable micro-environments after disasters by being able to take care of themselves without outside help.  These stable micro-environments start with individuals, then spread to houses, then a single block, then entire neighborhoods.  By encouraging 72 hour kits but demonizing true preparedness and self-reliance, the government is creating a situation where it will be harder to stabilize areas and recover after natural and manmade disasters.

2. Local authorities and first responders NEED preppers after disasters.  They are manned and equipped for “normal” times and they’re depending on “good Samaritans” coming out of the woodwork in disaster situations…good Samaritans who are self-reliant and who can help take care of others around them to take the load off of the municipal infrastructure.  You not only need people with medical, trauma, search and rescue, fire suppression, and traffic control skills, but you also need people who law enforcement can turn to to do things like guard morgues in mass casualty situations so they can do more specialized police work.

3. Demonizing preparedness drives preppers underground.  It’s good for preppers to be somewhat discrete with their preparedness so as to not make themselves an unnecessary target for thieves before a disaster or looters after.  On the other hand, if preppers fear the government knowing that they’re prepping, their buying habits are going to start looking similar to those of people who are doing something illegal.  This is a pain in the rear for preppers and creates additional unnecessary work from law enforcement.

What’s the big common denominator here?  Stability.  Preppers and survivalists want stability.  They want to go about their daily lives, raise their kids in peace, enjoy time with friends and family, and they want a stable infrastructure in place to help make those things a possibility.  They may like guns, martial arts, and learning action hero skills, but the driving reason for these is to insure stability and safety for themselves, their families, and their friends.  They’re willing to fight if attacked, but they aren’t looking for a fight to interrupt their lives.

Preppers and survivalists (referred to simply as preppers from here on) have more to gain by keeping things stable than by having things go unstable.  Most importantly, they have people who they love who they don’t want hurt if civil order broke down.  They’re able to function in society, have positive goals and ambitions, and most would be perfectly fine if they got to the end of their life and realized that they never had to depend on their preparations for survival.

In short, preppers are motivated by love.  Love of life, family, friends, God, country, and even liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness.  They volunteer for the military, they have careers in law enforcement, first responders, or they respect the military, law enforcement, and first responders.  They are people you want as neighbors and friends in good times and bad.

Domestic terrorists, on the other hand, crave instability.  They want families to live in fear.  They want supply chains to fail.  Death and injury are simply tools to advance a twisted agenda.  They aren’t content to play nicely with others and constantly seek ways to gain power at the expense of other people’s pain and suffering.  They don’t have loving relationships with others in a traditional sense.  Many create a situation where they feel they have more to gain by creating pain for others than by helping others.

But unfortunately domestic terrorists and preppers have many similarities from a macro-filtering perspective.  In other words, most domestic terrorists do all of the same prepping activities that preppers do…only they add in hate and a desire to cause pain and suffering.  It’s hard to tell the difference when filtering through credit card statements or sending out warnings to local law enforcement and retailers about suspicious activities to look out for.

And the mere fact that someone takes a tactical carbine class won’t tell a bean counter in DC whether or not the person is a competitive shooter, learning how to protect their family, just likes doing fun GI Joe activities, or if they’re a domestic terrorist.

The current standards are SO broad that they’re unusable.  Do you own an American flag?  Do you read the Bible?  Do you have ammo for your firearms?  Do you like privacy?  Do you know any statements from the founding fathers?  Do you think there MIGHT be trouble with the economy?  Do you believe ANY issues might be handled better on the local level than the federal level?  If so, it obviously means you’ve got swastika tattooed on your head and you’re out to overthrow the country.

It’s like saying that if anyone admits to wanting to have sex then they must be a rapist.  It’s ridiculous.  This opinion has got to change.  And, as I said earlier, I need your help in trying to make it happen at both the local and national level.

I need ammo when I’m sitting down with people in DC to help illustrate to them WHY local preppers provide the best hope for recovery after disasters and concrete ways that we are different than domestic terrorists.  I need to hear how you think you’re different than a domestic terrorist.  And I need to hear what you love enough to spend time and money on preparedness.

Specifically, I need easy to identify markers to differentiate preppers from domestic terrorists that DHS could send out in a future bulletin to law enforcement or use in group presentations or that myself and others could use in presentations to local law enforcement agencies around the country.

The most pressing concern is getting the word out to local law enforcement who have been told by DHS that preppers are a potential danger that we are, in fact, allies who both want stability and safety for our families and loved ones…both before and after disasters.

But DHS is training local law enforcement on how to identify potential domestic terror threats and by going to the source of the training, we have a chance to impact the greatest number of law enforcement agencies as quickly as possible.

Is this naive and a waste of time?  The efforts with DHS will quite possibly be a waste of my time.  I’ve gone through several DHS trainings myself and there ARE good people there.  The problem will be cutting through the politics that are present with any federal agency.  That being said, the same presentation and argument that I’ll be making with DHS will be usable by myself and others with local law enforcement agencies and there will be a much better chance of cutting through the crap on the local level…especially if personal relationships are in play.  It’s also an argument that reporters will run across when doing web searches for articles and will provide you a way to defend yourself as a prepper when you find yourself in an anti-preparedness conversation.

I really need your input, assistance, and feedback on this so I’m going to give away 3 prize packages for the best 3 comments this week.  The packages will include online access to the course and bonuses, a copy of my book, “Urban Survival Guide,” and a deck of Urban Survival Playing Cards…over a $120 value if you would go out and buy the package and priceless if you ever find yourself in a survival situation.

Here’s what I want your feedback on:

  1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
  2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
  3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper?  What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?

Let me know by commenting below.  And if you work in domestic terrorism for the federal government and/or with a fusion center, I’d appreciate your feedback on this undertaking…either directly or by commenting below..

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1GettingBy
April 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? We will take care of ourselves, our families and as many neighbors as we can so that we do not over burden the local authorities and resources.
2.How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) Domestic terrorists first look at how they can gain control for their interests. This usually means buying items/training that can be used to harm large numbers of people at one time or cause fear in large numbers. They thrive on disrupting the “normal” way of life of their “victims.” They want to force others to “see things their way” or live as they think is fir. Preppers might buy weapons/ammo and train in personal self-defense but it is for defense not offense. We don’t go looking for trouble, we try to avoid it at all cost but are ready should it find us. We thrive on being ready to maintain a “normal” way of life no matter what is happening around us. We let others beleive as they want and don’t try to force our beliefs on others.
3.Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
I am a prepper because I try to live life being ready for whatever may come my way wether that is a natural disater, economic collapse, terrorist attack, or some thug trying to steal my wallet. I am ready because I don’t have to depend on the government to provide for me and my family should any of the above happen. I have and will continue to do what ever it takes to provide for and protect my family. They are my life. The only thing I love more is God and no one can take that from me, no one!


Vote -1 Vote +1Becky
April 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
Preppers are the local people who will be thinking clearly after a disaster mainly because we have taken the time to physically and mentally prepare for the unknown (not just massive disasters but the daily mundane ie car broke down on the side of the road for hours in hot weather). These are the people who actively maintain first aid skills & supplies, they also possess general knowledge to help others (shutting off gas lines, etc), they are also very organized and not prone to giving into panic.
How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) Preppers actions can be viewed as defensive, their ultimate goal is to preserve life, and to help others. Yes they invest in weapons and training to use them – but it is for protection. They really are no different then your great grandparents, they believe in providing for themselves and have the tools and knowledge to do it. Domestic terrorist actions can be view as offensive measures, they seek to destroy life or peoples way of life. Quite a few of their actions can can be directly linked to ambush tactics: they want to catch people unaware, they do not want someone able to counteract, they tend towards bomb making, inciting others into negative action (riots). Since there are similarities in some behaviors between the two groups when just glancing on the surface, I believe the most defining characteristic is the social behavior. Preppers tend to be family / community oriented people where DT tend to be loners.
Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness? I consider myself a prepper because I strive to maintain the ability to make it through any crisis and have my family safe. I spend the time & money preparing knowing that what I know can and does make a difference to those around me. Human life is precious. My family is my main motivator, but how many lives do we really touch on a daily basis? Think about it.
Currently most families I know are going through financial hardship so sharing knowledge on bargain shopping, gardening, and preserving food is useful survival. That is just an easy example of how preppers are interacting and helping on a daily basis.


Vote -1 Vote +1Pam
April 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

I must say that I deeply admire your constructive effort in such a discouraging situation.

It is very sad that prudent citizens and law enforcement are being pushed into opposition, when I believe that they actually have the same goals and would prefer to work together.

Preppers are an asset after a disaster because they reduce the load on rescue and law enforcement systems; they have the knowledge, the supplies, and the motivation to take care of themselves and to help as many others as possible. As you rightly point out, their goal is stability, not destruction.

Trying to think of external markers for preppers vs. domestic terrorists (foreign terrorists are a whole different ballgame), this is about all I could come up with:

1) Record of honorable service in law enforcement/military/emergency/medical professions.
2) Level of education might be a useful indicator (i.e. higher education might indicate low possibility of domestic terrorism, though of course the opposite is not true – not having gone to college doesn’t mean that one is a terrorist!)
3) Participation/training in life-affirming activities (i.e. community volunteer work, first aid certification).
4) Any non-profitable, positive involvement with a reasonably diverse group of people (i.e. any group of enthusiasts that accepts anyone who is interested in their activity, regardless of politics/religion/etc. – could be a sport club, historical reenactment, heirloom roses, or whatever). My guess is that terrorists have zero ability to tolerate any disagreement with their worldview, and therefore would have minimal interaction with anyone who is different from themselves, other than the necessity of making a living.

With many thanks for your work,



Vote -1 Vote +1Butch
April 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Hi Dave
Here in NH. I am(like calcrusader) a member of our local CERT (community emergency response team) and we try to teach the other people of our community how to prepare for a disaster. We even have a program aimed at the local schools 4th and 5th graders teaching them the basics of surviving an emergency!
We are trained in many areas such as search and rescue, shelter operation and first aid, just to name a few!
To me helping my community is what makes a prepper different from a terrorist!
What I buy are items that are needed in one of these emergencies, food, water, medical surplies etc. things that help my family and friends get through a disaster!
If I am a domestic terrorist then you would have to include The American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, and any other group that expresses BE PREPARED!
Thanks for letting me sound off!


Vote -1 Vote +1Dave W.
April 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

President Barack Obama has done it. $600,000,000,000 printed money with no gold to back it.Every dollar printed will cost the tax payers.The banking system will fall again.
People ask me what Japan makes? I ask you realy don’t know do you?
Japan supplies 75% of the worlds steel. Without the power plants no steel is being made.The U.S. has 3 working steel plants.It cost 25 time more for us to make steel then Japan can make and ship. What do you use on a day to day bases that has steel init?
It’s not being made right now.Japan ships steel to China and all the other countries to make the cheap crap we all buy.It’s not being made.
I just wanted to give you all a heads up.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave W.
April 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I rent a storage building.I keep my food and other supplies there.My family think I’m a little off my rocker lol.It is my safe place to go if we have to bug out.If that is compromised I have a plan B place to go.In other words,Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tricia
April 11, 2011 at 9:36 am

I work at a mini storage facility, I can tell you that is the first place that will be hit in a disaster. I do not store any food or supplies there myself because I know how unsecure it is.


Vote -1 Vote +1Alfred Towers
April 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

1 – By just having a get home bag, preppers make it easier to evacuate a downtown area in case of emergency. I have one, so does my wife, and three children. I have made sure the children know what to do if they are told to evacuate their school.

2 – I think that the buying patterns would be very different. Preppers would buy greater quantities of food than ordinary people. I doubt that terrorists bother. I think that preppers also tend more to buy local. Terrorists would want to hide their tracks. I doubt that they buy guns from their local gunsmith. They don’t care about service.

3 – I am a prepper because I feel a responsibility towards my family, my neighbours, and my community. It shows that I care about them and their well being.


Vote -1 Vote +1Phip
April 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I consider myself a prpper because I live on the Washatch Fault in Utah.


Vote -1 Vote +1Kara
April 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I am a great-grandmmother. My father was a “prepper” long before it was a word! When I was growing up, it was called being self-sufficient… and it was encouraged. We were taught one to three YEARS food was an appropriate amount of food to store (dated and rotated, of course). We gardened. We saved seed. We canned and dried vegetables and fruits every year. So did most other people we knew. We shared the excess with neighbors and friends. If someone had a bad year, we helped out, even if it was a stranger. This was called being a good neighbor. Being self-sufficient, hard-working, and neighborly was called being a Good American!
Many of us went camping and hunting. We owned tents, compasses, shotguns, knives, waterproof matches, and other “survival” type gear. We stored oil, gasoline, and kerosine. Some of us poured our own bullets. Many of the men had camo and gas-masks that they brought back from WWII. My father did. He said it “might come in handy, someday.”
We were encouraged to “stock-pile” things. Nuts, bolts, nails, tools, electrical cords, non-electrical appliances (like an egg beater, a can opener, or a crank type meat grinder), medical supplies (Bandaids, gause, antibiotic creams, clove oil, aspirin, etc.), cotton rope/string, spare car parts, copper pipe/wire, popsicle sticks (to mark garden rows) – and on, and on, and on… I’m quite sure that if kevlar had existed then, he would have had that, too! Such were the times I lived in.
1) Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
Not only are we able to take care of ourselves, and our families… freeing up the resources and emergency responders for those less able… but we are able to help many others in our immediate area. Many of us ARE medically proficient enough to render First Aid, and have experience in Security / Emergency fields.
2) How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
Are we? Well, somewhat.
If I buy a gun for defense, I’m probably only going to buy one or two. I’m probably going to register it. (Although if things start looking like the government is going into confiscation mode… all bets are off on that one!) I’m probably not going to buy several hundred cases of shells… or armour piercing rounds.
If I buy certain products for my laundry, I probably plan to have clean clothes… not make bombs. Again, the difference would be quantity… but if I DID plan to make bombs, I would buy small amounts – often – and pay cash… so you can’t go by that either.
If I bought a large parcel of land, I’d probably be planning a farm, or a B&B resort… not a “compound” with a tactical training range. (You’d see horses, not 42 armoured SUV’s)
It might have a hedge or a fence… but not a 12′ steel, electrical, with razor wire on top!
I might buy a kevlar suit if I planned to go hunting – or walking – much (I was raised where you had to paint COW on both sides of your livestock during hunting season.) but I probably wouldn’t buy several – in assorted sizes! You get the point.
3) Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
Actually, until recently, I never concidered myself a “prepper’… just “my father’s daughter”. I didn’t realize that my “normal” way of life could get me into trouble with the “powers that be”, or that anyone “official” might be looking at my buying habits suspiciously.
I love my family, my friends, my neighbors, and my country. I am willing to help anyone I can in an emergency. I am disturbed by the idea that all the time I spent raising my kids to be “Good Americans”, I was teaching them lessons that might get them labeled “potential domestic terrorists”. Being independent, self-sufficient, and prepared for life’s emergencies is just being a responsible, intellegent, adult… and a good citizen. Would you want less?


Vote -1 Vote +1salty Dawg
April 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Mr. Morris,
I was giving your mission some thought this weekend as I was writing another article and a quote from Bruce Lee kept coming to mind the quote is applicable in many ways but especially How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) The quote is ” obey the principles without being bound by them”. I believe we the prepping community do just this. We understand that “THINGS” happen and they always will, that’s a fact we have a plan in action not a plan of reaction. This also answers your question Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? We will not be bound by the principles. We have already thought through scenarios and we are prepared to act. The principles being the government also has a plan and will enact those plans however, we can help the neighborhoods As not to strain the “Help” the government will eventually send.
In answer to your third questiom,

I am a prepper and I invest my time and money in many different areas. In addition to preparing for different scenarios I believe it is our responsibility to teach others to also be prepared if not training them to be self reliant.
I also believe it is our duty to educate and through this we can continue our education and training and keep our skills Sharp. With sharpened skills we then can act in stead if react in a time of need!
Thank you for your contribution and thus opportunity to voice my opinion as I see it.
Salty Dawg
The Pirates Republic .


Vote -1 Vote +1Kent R.
April 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

1) Preppers are an asset in a disaster because they will be less likely to fall into a chaotic community due to a breakdown in lawlessness especially due to panic from lack of food and other resources. We will be better able to quickly recover thus allowing others to focus attention on more critical areas. We are also more likely to reach out and serve others. Violence is a last resort.

Preppers are organized, family/community-centered. Terrorists are chaotic and, self-centered.
Preppers love liberty for all to pursue their own happiness. Terrorists seek to control all and force compliance.
Preppers encourage and support self-sufficiency. Terrorists attempt to bring all under a central control.
Preppers look at all options and allow everyone to make their own decisions. Terrorists control the narrative and push everyone to believe their conclusions.
Preppers respect all though they may be different in race, religion, and other beliefs. Terrorists eliminate difference and only accepts those of the same belief system.
Preppers believe in limited government control. Terrorists want all central control.
Preppers change your mind through facts, figures, and solid debate. Terrorists change your mind through violence.
Preppers buy things through legal and appropriate means which also help the economy. Terrorists buy through illegal or black market avenues in order to hide their intents.
Preppers are defensive. Terrorists are offensive.
Preppers use violence as a last resort in order to defend family and friends. Terrorists use violence as a first resort to control and dominate others.

3) For me, being a prepper is a lifestyle I choose to be ready for whatever may happen. My whole goal is to be independent and self-sufficient. I don’t want to have to rely on the government, or anyone else for that matter, to “take care” of me. I believe in this not because I dislike my government (though they certainly make a good case for that dislike) but it is because I take to heart the values it originally promoted: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as I see it for me and my family. Thus my first priority (time and money) is to first make sure my family is stable and healthy then I will have the capacity to help others.


Vote -1 Vote +1just trying to survive
April 11, 2011 at 7:49 am

preparers -We are the people that are here trying to take care of our families , friends ,neighbors ,and any one we can we are not out to hurt anybody just help people survive.
We are not domestic terrorist why call us that because we have guns most of us are hunters I know we hunt to help feed our family we grow a garden and yes we will defend our selfs and our families and of course our country this country is why we have the rights to take care of and defend our families. And me personally I hate to fight but I will if I had to my family comes first and I will protect my family.


Vote -1 Vote +1Betsy Ross
April 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

3. Why is the word “prepper” associated with the very skills and lifestyles that formed
our country? George Washington (Commander-in-Chief), Thomas Jefferson, Patrick
Henry, etc………, were all plantation owners (farmers) that grew and produced their own food.
Why, when we as individuals, are continuing a heritage that started our country (and
helping it to continue in self-sufficiency), are we given a label that is being looked upon
as derogatory?
The Amish, who believe in taking care of their own {as we do}, do not have this nega-
tive image. Yet, they believed so strongly in their faith, they fought and won against the
Federal government over the issue of Social Security taxes. [Amish Country News, Amish
Series by Brad Igou (1999. 2005)]
By growing our own food, we as citizens of the United States of America, are making
and ensuring plans for domestic tranquility and stability.
Loving FREEDOM is worth any price. To grow one’s own food ensures NOT having to
take a number and wait in line for hand-outs. People have forgotten the skills and work
necessary to feed theirselves. Some great seeds are of far more value than a new dress or
eating at McDonald’s.
As with the IRS seizing Mr. Byler’s (Amish) 3 horses while he was plowing his fields
April 18, 1961; we unfortuantely are seeing the DHS exhibit the same blind unreasoning
towards those who do nothing but love their country and family. April 16, 1961 marked a
milestone in the passing of freedom. Fortunately, calmer and MUCH WISER heads
prevailed. The final legislation (138 pages) contained a clause exempting the Old Order Amish and other religious sects from forcibly making Social Security payments. Lyndon
Johnson signed the bill August 13, 1965, officially cancelling the over 15,000 Amish
accounts the IRS had gone after.

2. People that raise chickens and grow gardens ARE NOT making plans to disrupt
government; here in the United States or overseas.
We DO NOT travel to other countries (nations) to commit violent acts of terrorism
to harm and disrupt people’s lives and their government.
We are too busy shoveling manure for use in the garden, reading seed catalogs,
pulling weeds, and too tired at the end of the day of hard work to do anything other than
go to bed.
People that love America and her heritage are informed and responsible. We write
our representatives, we vote: we attend governmental activities like agricultural conferences and are community oriented towards helping others (like the Amish).
If we buy in bulk, it’s because we’re thrifty (Boy Scouts) and recognize a good deal
when we see it. We ARE NOT funded by Al-Queda.
Let’s see if we can help the DHS think and see any clearer. By definition, one who
grows their own food is a farmer. One who has a love for the land does not want, nor
have the inclination to attend bomb-making seminars as do the PLO, Hezbollah, Al-
Queda, and Hamas. We are meant to nurture and grow things; to create: NOT to
harm, maim, wreak havoc and destroy as do the DT’s. Some of us are bee-keepers.
Hopefully the DHS is aware of the bee crisis. By performing the hard work, sweat
and tears that it takes to keep bees, the bee-keepers are helping the rest of the near-by
communities benefit from the pollination activities of the bees. What? Do you think
we’re going to program our bees to become weapons of mass destruction? People
(DHS), you have got to get some reality!
The Freedom of the American people to live their lives undisturbed by their government
so long as they lived disturbing no others WAS ONCE a basic constituent of the fabric of

1. “Preppers” generally are well-informed and knowledgeable. They are aware of
the precarious state of the world’s resources; specifically food and water. Even the USDA
recognizes food production is one climatological event away from disaster. Levels of
official food storage (wheat, grains, etc.) are at their lowest level in recorded history.
A wise and prudent person looks ahead and realizes there could be problems. By pro-
viding for one’s own family, a good steward follows Bible precepts and also keeps his/her
family out of harm’s way in case of disaster.
By not being in line for government hand-outs; we are actually helping the economy
by not taking from it.
Most “preppers” are law-abiding and have taught their children to be respectful of
authority. Therefore, we ARE NOT the ones who will be out looting and destroying
other people’s property and lives in event of a cataclysmic disaster. Again, safe-guarding
Americas’ economy: not taking from it.
By being community oriented, and helping others learn skills to provide for theirselves
[gardening, enriching soil, living more simply]: “preppers” again are helping the American
economy by teaching people to use less of the world’s dwindling resources. We are no
different from any other Mother Earth Newsmagazine subscriber.
“Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of the times”. Knowing the possibilities
of what could happen in terms of disasters {and being ready}: we WILL NOT be the ones
tying up the phone lines for 911. Again, helping the economy by not tying up resources.
Out of the chaos that inevitably comes with a disaster, “preppers” are the ones who will be
providing calm and order: because that is how we live. How can DHS possibly find fault
with that?
Any human being that is doing whatever they can to help their family is already an asset to the American way of life; whether before, during, or after any disaster. What are we truly dealing with here?
-Are there people in the DHS that are upset because there are some Americans who
do not want “government services”: FEMA, welfare, food stamps…?
-Surely it cannot be that “they” are actually angry because it cannot be that there are
Americans who are more adept at ‘surviving’ , than what their official agencies
are supposed to do?????
-Surely ‘they’ realize that FEMA’s response during Katrina proved to all Americans
just how prepared that agency was????????

WHAT is their reasoning? Growing your own food and taking care of your family is as
AMERICAN as baseball and apple pie! It could not be that FEMA and DHA do not love
AMERICA as their country….for we all know anyone from “the government is there to
help you”!!!
I wonder if each and every FEMA official, and each and every Department of Homeland Security official: stopped, and for ten minutes thought of their grandparents
and parents, and said to theirself: “I wonder what Grama and Granpa would think
about what I am doing, and taking part in????????”


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Reddog245
April 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

Nothing personal, but as far as the DHS goes, you are wasting your time and breath. It wasn’t that long ago, shortly after the Murrah Building bombing in OKC, that Janet Reno issued a profile of the “new” domestic terrorist, (1990’s version, still unchanged) and I fit 9 out of 10 items on her list. (I missed a perfect score because I had no interest in overthrowing the government.) At the time, I was a member of the Army who served in cleaning up the mess there, and was supposed to be one of the “good guys,” too, yet my government, my employer saw me as a nearly perfect potential threat. I am deemed dangerous to the new government because I am willing to fight to defend my country, my constitution, and my way of life. This makes me dangerous to the ones who want to change things, who want to enslave me. If the definitions are so political and so skewed to serve someone’s purpose instead of using a more reality based approach, all efforts are for naught.
That being said, here are my answers:
1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? They respond instead of react. They have things necessary to help and carry on. They augment local emergency personnel, and are a force multiplier. Most of all, they help relieve the load that will be falling on local, state and national resources.
2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) There may be no discernable difference between the buying patterns of the two, as they both use the same tools and training. Both have guns, both may stockpile food and water, both may enjoy running around in the woods shooting stuff. The difference is going to be in motive, which is hard to discern, and in activities, which is going to be easier. For instance, when was the last time the Baptist Ladies Auxilliary blew up a bus? How many attacks on subways have Presbyterian Bible Studies committed? How many suicide vests have the Lions Club detonated in coffee shops? On the other hand when was the last time a muslim flew a plane into a building, or tried to bring one down with explosives hidden in their clothing, or tried to blow up a car full of explosives during a crowded holiday celebration, or started shooting soldiers in a waiting room? The difference to look for is obvious, but we are unwilling to admit that the religion of peace is not peaceful. This is the easiest and most effective way to differentiate, but we are more afraid of offending someone than fixing the problem.
3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness? The nature/nuture argument comes into play here. Was I an above average Boy Scout and Combat Engineer because I like this stuff and tend to be prepared, or am I better prepared now because I was a Boy Scout and Combat Engineer? I love God, family, and my country (the old country, where people were free), and will fight to the death to defend any and all of them.


Vote -1 Vote +1Fred Catelli
April 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I am fairly old, a survivalist and a gun owner. (no pistols) Our town has over 27,000 inhabitants. The only way I found to not look suspicious to the police and statetroopers was by joining a well known organization and always wearing their cap and jacket. They will actually nod in recognition whenever they see me around town. I believe that It will also give me an edge in an upheaval situation. I suggest others do the same in their town. This is one instance where you want special consideration.


Vote -1 Vote +1Greg
April 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm

What organization do you recommend? There are several to choose from.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Greg
April 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

While Federal agencies mean well and do their best to abide by their mandate, they can get lost in the minutia of their bureaucracy. Please also note the leadership of those agencies and the political leanings of those appointed or elected that govern those agencies can drastically affect their institutional worldview for quite a long period of time. In layman’s terms, once a viewpoint is accepted by an organization (or person or group), it can be very difficult to change even if the original premise was flawed.

I think the world generally but America specifically has had a paradigm shift in the way we think about materiel or “stuff”. Since the early 1980’s there has been minimal scarcity of anything including money and credit. An entire generation and now the beginning of a second have become accustomed to having any fruit, vegetable, product, or service any time of year delivered to their doorstep. This is quite different from the pre-1980 way of life. The reason most people were “accumulating resources” was that they may not be able to acquire or afford them in the future. There were still enough people around that had either lived thru or were significantly influenced by the depression to know the possibly life saving importance of holding on to what many today might consider inconsequential items. This was true in my family and I am sure it was true in many others as well.

Most of the people in America, including those in the government, have lived in this period of prosperity. There is no reason for them to assume that anything will change. In fact, they are most likely incapable of that line of thought. I believe this is included in what is called normalcy bias.

What may also affect their way of thinking is the assumption of unlimited resources. In America, we appear to have not only unlimited choices but also unlimited amounts. Over the past 30 years quantity of any item has rarely been an issue. Even when it has, a short amount of time added to the equation and demand was satisfied. This takes presumes that any disaster or need is local or restricted to a relatively small geographical area. This may not necessarily be the case.

This really brings me to a concrete response of your first concern. Preppers (or anyone who may have lived in need at some point) will use their resources first for themselves, their family, and their neighbors. This allows local, state, and federal resources to be utilized by those most in need. It is similar to triage on the battlefield. This in turn frees up disaster relief personnel. Food and water would be the primary concern here. Most of those in disaster preparedness would tell you we are nine meals away from anarchy.

The next issue is simple medical training. Again, the more immediate care prepper’s give to the local community removes the drain of men and materiel from the institutionalized disaster relief agencies. Consider this a tremendous force multiplier. As additional resources enter the affected area, they can be used to “resupply” as food and medical supplies are drawn down.

Preppers (as used here) are by definition a subset of those affected by a local/regional event. A prepper in Utah would be relatively unaffected by an event in Texas but they would be unable to assist as well. This ties into a timeframe that DHS or any other agency should fully embrace. It may take days to get manpower and supplies to an area, much longer in remote or heavily affected areas. Prepper’s in the immediate area have already warehoused significant supplies, which frees up additional resources.

I have focused primarily on the first question, as I believe that to be of a major concern to law enforcement during an actual crisis. Differences between preppers and those bent on the harm of others, especially for terroristic reasons may be subtle at times. I do believe the primary difference, while hard to quantify in a computer program, is community. Rarely are preppers acting alone. Most preppers, even the “odd ones” as judged by societal standards, interact on a more personal level. I am making assumptions as to intent of the bad guys here of course, as my direct knowledge of criminals/terrorists is a bit slim.

From what I have seen, preppers enjoy helping others prepare. In a sense this may be seen as selfish. If my neighbor has food I do not have to share mine. But preppers do not think about it that way. It would be similar to making sure all your friends save for retirement so you can all vacation together. For me it is being a good Samaritan BEFORE the event, when it really matters to the other person even if they are unaware of it. From what I have read, there seems to be an intense selfishness in those intent on harming others, even in their preparations and general attitudes toward others.

Please note, many preppers do feel caution or fear in regards to the government as a whole as personal items have been confiscated in the past. Terroristic individuals or groups may have the same emotion but it would be for significantly different reasons like the inability to carry out their given task due to incarceration.

As far as purchasing habit disparities, that is a good question. It is probably better suited to a behavioral psychologist rather than a layperson. That being said, most people cannot afford to buy too much at one time. So while a criminal my purchase in small amounts to avoid detection, a prepper purchases in small amounts due to financial restrictions. He or she may even be doing so as an informed consumer. If I purchase a new product I do not buy in quantity until I have gathered feedback from my family.

Preppers embrace the ongoing concern principal. This means (for our purposes) that after I make my purchases of survival items I have to make a house payment and save for retirement. Criminals have no such time frame. Once they have acquired the necessary items for their activities, they would they execute their plan and have no concern for the consequences of their action or about future needs and wants. Most preppers are very concerned about long-term goals in my experience.

Lastly is the question of whether I consider myself a prepper. I will reference the beginning of my post and reiterate that anyone who has had to go without or is concerned about scarcity in the future is a prepper which does include me.

What do I love enough that I am willing to spend time and money on preparedness? Love may play a role for some including myself at times, but I tend to see it as the right thing to do for my family, my neighbors, and myself. It is similar to many tasks in life. I cut the grass even though I know I have to do it again in two weeks. I hope I never have to use the skills or items I have set aside if a black swan event occurs. Preparedness is another piece in the puzzle of the next right thing to do in life. And if you can make a few friends and have a little fun on the journey, why not?


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Richard Stanley
April 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

First, thanks for all you do and have done on behalf of all of us who care enough to care. I think the biggest difference between preppers and domestic terrorists is also the biggest similarity between preppers and great law enforcement officers: we are sheep dogs by nature, natural born protectors.The difference is easy: terrorists attack and preppers protect.


Vote -1 Vote +1Darryl
April 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? Because we are law-abiding citizens that love our country, want civil order and ultimately protect the innocent, including families & friends, during and after times of crises. The more of us out there following a disaster, the better for everyone when it comes to maintaining stability and protecting our loved ones, except for the low-life scumbags that will prey on the innocent during and following following crises. During these times, the arm-chair preppers will pray for more of us!

How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) Preppers are in a survival mode and their interests are in protecting life, not taking life – unless threatened by those who would do you, your family or friends harm. Terroists are cowards that wreak havoc and destroy lives by preying on the innocent – while preppers maintain stability and protect lives. While the buying habits of preppers and terroists may be alike at times, i.e., purchasing weapons, self-defense training, etc., they are for entirely different reasons: Preppers – to protect innocent life; Terroists – to destroy innocent life.

Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness? I am preparing things so that my family and friends are better prepared to survive crises and disaters when they strike. It is volatile times and chaos is striking in many parts of the world. Even if most of them are not in the U.S., almost all of them can be felt here, i.e., higher prices for goods and services, fuel, interest rates, investment surges/plunges, etc. I love my family and friends enough that I will try to build up and maintain a food supply, invest in home defense systems, including weapons, ammunition, training and enhancements where possible, such as alternative energy options, etc., all to do my part in protecting our lives and our freedom.


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Don Hodge
April 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm

You present strong logical points. There are also some very good suggestions in the above posts. Here’s some food for thought in crafting your presentations.

The strength of America lies in our Judeo-Christian life affirming worldview, creative solutions, tenacity, and initiative. At turn of the 20th Century the Boy Scouts were formed. Their motto: Be Prepared. Our nation still recognized that danger was our life-long companion. Micromanagement was recognized as the enemy of our traditional strengths.

In the mid-70s and early 80s, there was a sense of impending doom from whatever. The prevailing government plan was to encourage people to become refugees. The term “survivalist” was created to describe those who used our traditional American strengths to protect family from whatever might come. It soon became a joke to those in denial of the potential dangers. This image was enhanced by about maybe 5% of the survivalists who were paramilitary nut jobs storing tens of thousands of rounds of ammo and two weeks of food. Mind you, they truly believed a massive collapse was coming. Do the math. They undoubtedly were also making lists of their Mormon and survivalist neighbors. Today, the same nervous atmosphere exists w/ less of a restraining Christian influence at work in our society.
1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
DHS recommended 72 hour to 7 days is totally inadequate because: 1) quarantines, scope of disaster, weather, lack of power, and damage to the infrastructure may severely hinder logistics; 2) grocery stores must be re-supplied 2 to 3 times each week; 3) most people shop for groceries at least twice a week; and 4) the “whatever” may require years to effectively recover from. The government simply can’t respond w/ sufficient supplies quick enough to prevent massive suffering and death. Preppers reduce the strain on the re-supply effort.
Preppers have equipment and medical supplies already on-site. Also they provide essential manpower for the First Responder, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. As you pointed out, this multiples the impact of skilled personnel.
Most preppers have training which they can quickly pass on to others. Again, an impact muliplier in rescue and recovery.
Admiral Yamamoto persuaded the Japanese High Command to not invade the US West Coast because there would be a gun behind every blade or grass. Preppers will make it dangerous for roving gangs, looters and invading drug cartel members. This will happen not by choice but by necessity. Cornered animals, etc., etc. …..
If preppers are not a positive resource, then CERT which is based on the same concept but w/ more training and experience is not useful. Additional micromanagement does seem to reduce CERT’s ability to effectively respond. One size does not fit all.
2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
Many preppers are Christians who have life affirming and property respecting values as taught by Jesus Christ. Radical Christians include the ever-violent Amish and the crazy, insult-hurling nuts like the Westboro Baptist cult. For those unfamiliar with what the Bible teaches, here are a few core verses –
Matthew 22:35-40 (NKJ) 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Romans 12:17 – 21 (NKJ) 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
As long as the Government does not make mandatory things which God forbids, Romans 13:1 (NKJ) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
6th Commandment Questions from the shorter catechism, Westminster Confession of Faith – Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill [murder]. [a]
[a]. Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17
Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others [a].
[a]. Eph. 5:28-29
Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour, unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto [a].
[a]. Gen. 9:6; Matt. 5:22; I John 3:15
The more Bible believing the Christian church, then the less likely to have domestic terrorists. Example: Jeremiah Wright is not teaching the whole Bible, just his hate filled version. Atheists and non-Christians are not proactive in affirming life. Some are 180 degrees from the Judeo-Christian worldview. Quick check after other flags appear, have the analyst get several copies of the Sunday sermons. Most Christian churches make CD copies for shut-ins and anyone. Some post sermons on their website. Local law enforcement could easily attend a sermon and mingle.
Another check is long-term stockpiling particularly in food and medical supplies. Many people use supermarket discount cards so many purchases are available to be checked against family size via census data. If there is a continuing trend towards building up these supplies (particularly case lot and bulk purchases), then they are preppers. Domestic terrorists generally don’t plan to survive after “their attack”. If they do, they definitely don’t plan to do it w/ their own accumulated supplies.

An obvious flag is buying in bulk commercial/agricultural chemicals when the person is not involved in (or owns) a business that normally uses that stuff. A lack of community involvement and/or building diverse relationships in the community is another. Do they play well w/ the other children in the sandbox?

As mentioned by others, items/activities requiring intensive background checks (such as Concealed Carry permits) will be avoid by terrorists.

3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
The effort is in love of the Good Lord Jesus, family, friends, and America.

I am a prepper because I want our system and people to survive in as high a standard of living as possible. While I’m likely to die off early in the case of a regional or larger disaster/disruption, I am a stubborn group-oriented person of Scot origin who is unwilling to see our society destroyed – w/out a struggle. Our future is in the children. We have duties and obligations to present them the best future we can craft. I and many preppers have knowledge to pass on. Preserving the accumulated cultural, technical, and intellectual knowledge is a prime priority. Knowledge of both Old and New technical solutions is necessary. Various scenarios may not have New technology available locally or even continently for weeks or even years. Fortunately, over the last 35 years a lot of Old technology has been unearthed and republished.

BTW, I’ve found your Urban Survival course and newsletter extremely useful. Sorry for long post.


Vote -1 Vote +1AL in Orange Park, Florida
April 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

1.Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
As any military or governing individual knows being prepared will determine the difference between life, injury or death during a disaster. Those who prepare are those best suited towards a successful period during a disaster where those around them had no preparation and relied on a already over burdened bureaucracy and its agencies that are meant to respond to those in need but under much lesser circumstances.
2.How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
Preppers purchase products and supplies that are designed to sustain the family unit and a few friends or neighbors. Preppers prepare not under the dark of night and often times start conversations to their friends, neighbors and extended family about the good reasoning behind preparing and not needing rather than needing and not being prepared or outright not having anything to sustain themselves with in the event of a natural or man caused disaster. I believe a terrorists will only be about themselves or theirselves even extended family not included.
3.Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
Once I saw the net results of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the lack of coordination within the local, state and federal government agencies that were supposed to support those in the hurricane’s path I began to prepare for what they went thru or more. I consider myself a prepper because I am only preparing for the worse not to take down the government of the Land that I love and spent time in the US Army during the early part of the 1970’s fighting for. No remove those who would destroy via the vote not violence, that’s why we vote not blow things up like some of those in other countries would do and those “very” few in this country who have their minds in buckets of dry ice. I love my family, home and neighbor hood and being prepared give me and them the advantage during a bad time, food, water, medical help from other sources and not with standing in my view it “is” the direct responsibility of every head of house to be prepared for the worse of times and be thankful for the best of times.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Stew_Ohio
April 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm

1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?

True Preppers will be self sufficient.
Most will have a vast knowledge of the local conditions pertaining to water and food sources. Preppers have the capability to teach those willing to learn how to prepare and survive. Preppers can provide incite into how to best avoid further loss of life and assets because that is a mindset they have spent a life time perfecting.

They will be capable of being called force multipliers.
Extra eyes and ears for disaster recovery. Extra eyes and ears for life and asset protection.

If the local government would engage instead of oppose them they would be better able to help those not able to survive.
If a preppers environment is secure and stable with plenty of resources they will share. Simply put the more the merrier when it comes to long term survival. Civilization is the capability of humans to work together in times of crisis to provide long term survival for the group.

2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
Preppers buy items for the long term. Food, power backup sources, gardening supplies, seeds, storage containers 5 gallon or higher, food dehydrators, vacuum sealers, batteries, manual food preparation items, and a renewable heat or cooking source.

Terrorists buy bad stuff. No idea what I’m not one. I’m sure that their mindset does not allow them to buy over 90% of the preppers list.

Common things that both probably buy. Ammo, guns, fuel, body armor, maps and cleaning supplies.

Far as activities I think the bigger indicator there is the length of time the individual is willing to spend to provide self sufficiency. The higher the effort the more likely they are a prepper.

From what I under stand most violent people, (terrorists) spend their time looking for ways to exploit weakness in security of their target(s). Time is spent on the target to decide, steal it, destroy it, maim it, control it or ignore it.

Simply put is the individual or group an asset or a liability?
Assets can provide knowledge, resources and manpower to increase survivability.
Liability’s take assets, take knowledge and do not provide any manpower to increase the capability to survive.

3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?

I guess you could call me a prepper, since now everyone has to be labeled and divided. Personally I call myself a realist. I realistically believe there will be a disaster, man made, Natural, or a combination of both that will affect me in my life time. Just a look at history will tell you every generation (40 to 60 year average) goes thru a global catastrophe. My parents went thru both the great depression and WW II. So I consider myself to be fortunate to not have had to go thru one yet. My survival, the survival of family, friends and any other like minded individuals is dependent on my capability to be an asset. Even if I am at ground zero of what ever happens and I am the first to die I will go with a smile as I know I was prepared. It does not matter if you believe there is a supreme being or not life is important to all preppers. It does not matter what you believe because your beliefs die with you unless you pass them on. So survival is a must because your knowledge and beliefs must be passed on to be valid.

Money is just a modern force and time multiplier which allows us to gather the assets faster.

Well first I Love my family and friends. I respect all those whom are willing to respect themselves and those around them. That is why I prepare to provide the stability needed to survive no matter what happens.

Other points of interest.

For all the nay sayers out there who say we preppers are (put in about 1000 derogatory statements) and wrong. As long as you show up at my door step with respect, are an asset or are willing to become one you will be welcomed with open arms. Show up and demand that you get everything for nothing….. well much as I value life, that is what the guns and ammo are for.

Yes I know there is a large mindset of individuals who are going to try and survive alone or in a confined controlled environment. Good luck there as history has shown that to be self defeating disaster. Once the in place assets run out, are destroyed naturally or by an enemy survivability goes to near zero overnight. Consider how many in the group are equal assets. In other words who knows what? Food prep, food replenishment, Medical capability, physical labor and physical security. Yes one person can do it all for a small amount of time. What if the situation is weeks, months, or years long? You going to attempt to take what you need (terrorist) or are you going to become an asset for another group that has established a secure environment.

In closing I would rather prep and never need to activate any portion of the plans. I do sleep better knowing I am prepared.


Vote -1 Vote +1Danny L. Weiss
April 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm

It’s all very simple: Private American citizens are the countrys Red Cross.

“The use of the red cross on a white background, which is actually the Swiss flag reversed, was granted to the International Red Cross to commemorate the organization founded by Henri Dunant, citizen of Geneva. Indeed, the plenipotentiaries of 35 nations, assembled in Geneva on July 6, 1906 to revise the “Geneva Convention,” stated as follows in the enacting clause concerning the symbol of the International Red Cross: “To do homage to Switzerland, the heraldic arms of the Red Cross on a white field, which is formed by reversal of the Swiss Federal arms, shall be maintained as a distinctive emblem of the medical services of most armies”.


Vote -1 Vote +1Mik
April 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

Hi Dave,

I’m sure I’ll be repeating what many others have said, but here goes:

1) Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?

By being prepared for a disaster we won’t be a drain on local resources and first responders. We also will be calm and collected while others are panicking. Panic will lead to irrational and possibly criminal actions for some. Preppers will not pose any threat like this as we will already have supplies on hand to survive in at least the immediate aftermath of a disaster. And we will be in a position to help those in our immediate network further reducing the burden on strained resources and supply lines.

2) How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)

Preppers prepare but we also continue to live and enjoy life. I don’t know a lot about domestic terrorist buying patterns but I would bet they don’t include recreational or long term planning purchases like vacation plans (airfare, hotel, etc). Think about the types of things people buy for fun and I suspect you’ll find differences there.

3) Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?

I lived through a major ice storm in 1991 and dealt with a loss of power for 5 days. Others in our area were without power for weeks. We didn’t have a lot of supplies on hand but we were calm, patient, and resourceful and were able to survive fairly well. That experience, along with my vocation as an engineer, led to a desire to have back up plans and redundancies in place should normal life be interrupted.

As an old fashioned guy, I want to be able to provide for the safety and security of my wife and other close friends should everything go south. I struggle with the allocation of limited resources and cannot stock everything I would like. That said, I know I could get by for weeks to months without leaving my house if it came to that.

I hope this helps. Thank you for the work you do and the knowledge you share every day.



Vote -1 Vote +1paul
April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Everyone is giving input of the same basic reasons why they are a prepper and not a DT. Since you are going to be talking to the US government – ask them whether they are aware of whom is doing all the help every time any type of any disaster happens. The people, whether a prepper or not help other people while the government (always Federal, usually State and, often, local twiddle their thumbs, assign blame and obfuscate the problem. What are the people, especially preppers doing? They are out there immediately helping their neighbors. During Katrina President Bush, FEMA and the rest of the Federal government sat on their hands for a week. The local police in New Orleans were the ones who started ransacking the MalWarts, etc. The people behaved themselves and immediately started helping one another. When the National Guard was brought in they harassed and beat people, went into their homes to disarm people against the looters (the police) and took great efforts to prevent private people from going about their rounds in trying to help others. Fast forward to today and who has been helping with the flooding? FEMA – surely you jest. Local governments – where does the derision start? No, it is the people helping other people taking money out of their own pockets to help their neighbors and the local governments to prepare as best they can for the disasters. What does government (at all levels) think is going to happen when they declare everyone a DT and their homes get washed away or some other terrible thing happens and all the so-called DT’s are not there to help save the government employees families lives and property? The problems are not with the people who are prepared for the worst. The problem is those making wild-eyed assumptions about the unknown motivations of those who are prepared and do react quickly to emergencies (small to large), disasters (man-made or natural) and have the insane arrogance to try to force those reacting to emergencies not to help because they do not have yellow letters of some alphabet soup agency on their jackets and hats.

While this does not address the exact issues you wanted it should give a slightly different perspective of the macrocosm of that which you are going to address for the rest of us.

Thank you for your efforts.



+1 Vote -1 Vote +1cathie
April 13, 2011 at 12:35 am

WOW!! that was some bit of truth you just put out Paul.I wonder how many others out there are thinking the same way?


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
April 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

1.Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? Although they are an asset to themselves, friends, and family they are a threat to those who wish to establish a nanny state.

2.How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
Different? What EXACTLY do you mean by the word ‘terrorist’?

3.Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness? I had best not comment directly on that one as I have already probably said too much (below) already.

An interesting set of questions that you have there. They say more about you than they do about those that you are trying to reason with (assuming that you want to influence more than an occasional government worker now and then). Unfortunately, they are not the right questions. Those that you are trying to reason with (at the top levels of government) believe that you should not let any crisis go to waste [in their quest to increase their power and control over the lives of their subjects]. If you are prepared then you are undermining their authority, efforts, and plans – So: YOU are the enemy. It is extremely difficult to establish a full blown nanny state with independent actors on the field. In fact those independent actors are seen as extremely subversive. How dare anyone look anywhere except to their nanny in time of crisis! This is why there is so much hostility to Bible reading (It subverts the nanny’s position as the only Higher Power); gun ownership (No comment needed); food security preparation; etcetera.
Of course when the crisis actually comes then the immature nanny wants no part of the responsibility for actually delivering life saving goods and services. (They declare that their role is only to assist as they are able [and inclined to].) This is why the Supreme Court has ruled that the state is NOT responsible for providing police and other services or liable for the failure to do so. The citizens [subjects] respond with sayings like: ‘When seconds count then the police arrive in hours’.
There is much talk about citizen preparedness efforts (, seat belt and helmet laws, ‘safe sex’ education, etc.), but when the rubber actually meets the road citizen preparedness is seen as a threat worse than attacking with suicide bomb vests. Remember that the subjects are expendable if their loss will further the subjugation of the rest of the population.
Our ‘leaders’ are not above creating and precipitating a crisis on their own if it might further their goal of increasing control of the society. (As the coming currency collapse and probable famine will soon show)
With enough effort our ‘betters’ are likely to discover that the ultimate crisis that they precipitate is neck tie parties with lawyers, politicians (both elected and appointed), bankers, lobbyists, pretend journalists, and liberal arts and education professors among others invited as the special featured guests of honor. That would be a fitting, poetically just, and very amusing end for a very bad bunch don’t you think?!
During such troubled times the prudent will maintain a VERY low profile in an effort to avoid being attacked by either side in such a conflict. If ‘they’ do not see you or find you then ‘they’ will not bother you.
The consensus of the group appears to be: prepper = conservative (stability, order, peace); terrorist = radical (CHANGE, pain, chaos). When you look at those in office at all levels in most jurisdictions in the US one thing quickly becomes obvious: WE ARE SCREWED!!! Too many office holders would only fit into the group called ‘terrorists’.


Vote -1 Vote +1nighthunter99
April 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

#1 Not all preppers are an asset to their communities.Being an asset implies that you have something to offer that is needed. I’ve known many who have been prepared and concerned only with their need to survive and will kill anyone who violates their property line.

Expect nothing, be prepared for everything – says the old Samurai.

I have been a member of CERT for over 10 years and we train regularly. You mentioned in a previous article “Trained or untrained, which are you?”, same thing here. During the Loma Prieta and Rockridge earthquakes. many untrained people lost their lives because they foolishly went beyond their knowledge and capabilities. This is just creates another casualty and tragedy that could have been avoided and now must be dealt with. These skills are perishable so continual training is key.

It doesn’t mean that people without the training can’t help, they can and should. Being prepared is only the beginning and not all those prepared are going to be so when the disaster occurs due to the fact that all of your stuff could end up “out to sea” so to speak. There are no guarantees no matter how prepared you are. The will to survive, adaptability, ingenuity…. are far more important.

#2 I find it surprising that no one has mentioned the obvious: We don’t live under the radar and we’re not buying bomb making materials from many different locations. We don’t shun our neighbors and generally not loners. We tend to be community conscious and many of us volunteer our time in CERT, Ham Radio, and others. Terrorists do just the opposite.

#3 I don’t really consider myself a “prepper”, I consider myself prepared! Our society is so hung up on labels so I try to leave that aside. Most everyone will agree that family and friends are what we live for. For me I also want to stand before my God and not be ashamed, knowing that I did all I could to live each day to the best of my abilities and hopefully grew some in the time I had before I pass over.Also, it has been said that if you don’t have something you’re willing to die for then you don’t deserve to live.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1shawn
April 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

1st: Preppers are not muct different than American Families of a couple generations ago: Responsible, Self Reliant, Industrious and concerned enough about Family, Community and Nation to take action “when the sun is shining” in order to be Prepared for Anything. Until it becomes illegal to be strong, prepared, responsible and proactive we’ll just keep on prepping… we may just have to endure a little finger pointing and misunderstanding – oh well. Just know; you just can’t fix stupid, lazy or cure procrastination in others.
Keep up the good work, be strong in your convictions and know there are many others like you.
1. Preppers will be there when all the authorities are begging others for food, fuel and supplies in order to feed their own families.
2. Shouldn’t be too tought to tell the good guys from the bad guys by the company they keep – my Mother could tell you in 5 seconds if the guys I was hanging out with were good influences or bad. Here is her Phone # if Janet N. needs some advice on figuring it out… (907) 555 1212
3. I’m a Prepper because I care enough about my family that I wouldn’t consider taking a chance with their well being and comfort, and because that’s what a Real American Man does: Takes Responsibility for Himself, His Family, His Community and His Nation!


Vote -1 Vote +1Christian Gains
April 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

After reading the comments below, I find it strange that some factors are not being discussed.

#1] Are the overly broad Standards for I’D’ing Terrorists logically a matter of Bureaucratic ignorance, or intentional?

David, as you too well know, “REMFs” have little or no broad knowledge of the average citizen’s outlook, opinion & reasoning. They have a VERY narrow view of Social reality. Very limited experience with the “ON GROUND” daily citizen’s reality.

Therefore, it IS possible that, the overreaching description for indicators is simply Bureaucratic ignorance…but, then again, one MUST consider the prevalent general attitude of those foisting such Generalities into the sphere of law enforcement. Too much trust of our Policy makers is as dangerous an oversight, as too little preps.

#2] A lack of profound knowledge of Historic precedents, (concerning Social upheaval and economic downturns and best reactions to general emergencies), is VERY dangerous, as we each MUST understand what sorts of event sequences to look for, as indicators of what is most likely to occur, and when. What ARE those indicators? And how do we BEST observe the ACTUAL & TRUE events occurring, instead of being distracted, misinformed, and blindsided by false info? (Good example is the Fukushima catastrophe & error plagued responses).

i.e. Does the Global economic fragility, & uncertainty factor, indicate anything in reference to our National social integrity?

Are there any genuine social polarizations occurring?

Is the Mexican social upheaval genuinely impacting our national social unity & integrity?

And, what does international economic stability, or lack thereof, mean to our National economic stability?

Also, have our national Foreign Policies over the past decades genuinely brought our Nation to an Imperial State? And if so, will it follow the well known, and established, Historic patterns that ALL previous Empires have followed. And if so, (which history actually dictates it must follow), then where are we on that journey?

And, how does that relate to the common Citizen, family, and Political reality of our Nation and society?

Are there ways to determine just how close our Empire is to it’s ultimate demise? and, if so, then how close does it appear that we are to an end of this system?

I’d strongly advise ALL “preppers” to FIRST AND FOREMOST determine your personal convictions on the truthful answers to the above questions, before getting into a FULL planing gear. As your plans must be in genuine balance to the best determination as to what event sequences you’ll MOST LIKELY have to ACTUALLY deal with.

For instance, and an real life example, I live on the southern Coast of N. America. Therefore I MUST plan for the eventualities that a hurricane can foist upon & into my life. Also, (if I lived in the Rio Grande Valley), I’d ALSO have to plan for two other possible impacts upon my living circumstance: #1] Cross border violence, and #2] Cross border criminal activity, (anything from mere “wetbacks” scurrying across my “back forty”, to invasion by a group of hungry “illegals”, or even narco-cartel member activities on my property).

And, then, of course, there’s the honest evaluation of our National / international economic realities, and thus how do I PREpare for a major collapse?

These are the significant “bottom line” determinations, and the knowledge base and decision making patterns that significantly separate “preppers” from “terrorists”.

REAL WORLD KNOWLEDGE of “Current Events”, and what they mean to me personally, family wise, locally, and State wise, helps me best prepare to both, help myself, my family and others, as well as possibly my State, and even possibly my Nation.

And THAT FACTOR of “seeking how best to HELP” is what ultimately separates a “PREPPER” from someone who simply seeks to control, by whatever means necessary — which defines a genuine terrorist.


Vote -1 Vote +1Jerry
April 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

As the late President Reagan once said, “The eight most dreaded words that terrify the American citizen…..I’m from the the government….and I’m here to help.” Nothing more should be said…..


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sandie
April 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

1. We have already thought through our own logistics and will be able to lend a hand to others and also we won’t be an added drain on the supplies for others.
2. I would think the buying patterns may be similar but the activities I think are totally different. I attend our local Republican club and am active in the local TEA party group. I try to help others in need in our community. I would think domestic terrorists would keep to themselves or be more standoffish. I also know of other preppers like myself and family that go out and engage with law enforcement and get to know them.
3. Because I do. Prepare that is. A few years back after Katrina and then came Rita, our little town was overwhelmed by fleeing people from LA and the gulf coast. The stores were running out of food and the gas stations ran out of fuel. We decided that we needed to always have extra supplies on hand. As the financial situation started going south, that motivated us even more. I love my family and our way of life and want to do all I can to maintain what we have and be able to take care of our parents if need be.


Vote -1 Vote +1Julie
April 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

A Prepper (or average self reliant person) is invested in their community, themselves, and their country. But In current polical climate description the AVERAGE citizen can be classified as a Domestic Terrorist. Those with an agenda, do not care what the reality is.
I did not consider myself anything. After Katrina, it was quite apparent that you better be able to take care of yourself. If you have lived with quakes, floods, you do that. Common sense. Stores are empty quickly.
(Like those that do not like GMO food, grow gardens. ……)
Those are the people who can help others in a crisis, like supporting the red cross, and one would think our govt would encourage that. But I agree with others that DHS may not be helpful/speaks with a forked tongue. Self reliance has control issues, so no matter how well you can make the distinctions and state your case, those that want a reason to label their citizens will find one. no matter the truth.
Good luck with an admiral quest.


+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff Karn
April 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm

1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
On the most basic level, preppers are an asset simply because they are not a burden. They will not need (or are far less likely to need) rescuing, feeding, or controlling. They will not be rioting or looting, standing in long lines waiting for handouts or evacuation, or placing any other burden on very scarce and heavily overtaxed public resources.

As an additional benefit, many are likely to be beneficial to government agencies responding to a disaster on many levels. They are more likely to help their less prepared neighbors, they can assist professional/governmental responders with individual skills (first aid, construction, computer skills, etc.) or even by simply providing an extra pair of hands, and they possess personal knowledge/familiarity of the area in which the disaster occurs to include infrastructure, resources, the local people, etc. All of these skills can help to reduce the workload on the public responders

2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
First, find out if they have family, particularly a spouse and or children. Even the insurance industry recognizes the grounding and stabilizing effects of marriage and parenthood, Also, look at their age. Forty-somethings and older folks do not fall into the profile.

Look at what they are buying. If they are buying gardening supplies and seeds, that would indicate that they are making an attempt at stability. Gardening takes time, and is indicative of a tendency to put down roots (pun intended).

Do they quote or refer to the U.S. Constitution? Why is this a problem? If the government feels threatened by the fact that a citizen shows devotion to the very document that establishes and authorizes that government and to which the agents of that government swear an oath to protect and defend then that government needs to begin its search for domestic terrorists by looking in the mirror. Are they veterans? By what rationale can it be assumed that someone who has risked his or her life to protect this country is now a threat to that very same country? Again, if this is, in fact, the case, the government needs to start seeking domestic terrorists in the mirror.

3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
I have a wife and children. I have studied history enough to know that it is the women and children who suffer the most during times of hardship, disaster, and violence. It is for this reason that I sincerely hope my efforts are wasted. If such a disaster never comes to pass, I will go to my grave pleasantly disappointed.

I buy auto insurance, and hope to never have an auto accident. I buy homeowners insurance, and hope my home is never damaged or destroyed. This is merely a different variety of insurance. And if purchasing such insurance is foolish, then why does the government do it? Why is is foolish for me to have a safe room when it is not foolish for congressmen and bureaucrats to have bunkers? Why is it nonsense for me to pay to stockpile food for my own family, when it is perfectly rational for me to pay (via taxes) to stockpile food for so-called “public servants”? I don’t expect the government to rescue me, but I also do not expect them to prevent my efforts to save myself.


Vote -1 Vote +1SingingMomma
May 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

What a great explanation! I just commented on this topic, mine was much more fuzzy, but this explains why I know my family must continue to prepare…God Bless You and Yours 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Freedom1st
April 19, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Preppers are secure in who they are. I have already been called upon (a few times) to take the relatives pets to the vet for their final visit because that was a necessitious deed that they could not do. We have a clear understanding of life and death and charish the life that God gave us and the life Jesus sacrificed for us. We take all necessary actions to secure stability of day to day living until it is our turn to make that that last trip home. Preppers know that life is precious. We secure our families and communities to the very best of our abilities.


Vote -1 Vote +1jbaker
April 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm

This my first post and I am just overwhelmned with survival info. I simply cannot digets nor can I separate the wheat from the chaff. Do you have any suggestions?


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1SingingMomma
May 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I can convey some thoughts on this. I have a relative who I thought was on the same page. He is not a terrorist, but he is quite angry and cynical.

Here are the qualities I have: love history and our founding fathers, love capitalism and OTHER peoples’ successes, not just my own, KNOW that God is faithful and will bless any preparation I undertake if it’s with a heart of wisdom and compassion for others, give to church and other charitable organizations.

Here are qualities of this particular relative: hates captialism, very cycnical of others motives, is drawn to the flaws SINCE our founding, not the sucesses, very concerned with escaping and saving himself and not others. Thinks giving money away to Christian organizations is stupid.

This relative is in my prayers…I believe he can change and understand we have an answer, and his name is Jesus and His love, along with wise preparation 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Jessica Y.
August 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
We know 1st aid, we have medical kits, we will care for our family & those in need locally as best as we can without asking for anything in return…well, except maybe a thank you! We have food & the means to prepare it which means that if power is out we won’t be cranky & desperate, we’ll be busy helping others & asking how we can help!

2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
I bought my first shotgun last week, I used to be whole heartedly against guns….until I was attacked by a rabid animal. We have a family farm & after years of asking the neighbor down the road to come kill the fox, the raccoon, & last year there was even a mountain lion in the area- I can now do that myself. I have pride in my abilities, I don’t need to rub them in anyone’s face- it’s not brute strength & planning to take over something- it’s safety in knowing I can keep myself & my family safe. Domestic terrorists are out to disrupt & ruin things, whether it’s the government, our way of life or a religion. We don’t want that! Heck, I love knowing I can run to the store & get some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream whenever I want! That’s the best feeling in the world. Why would I want to struggle to survive & keep my family safe- I DON’T!! But I’m prepared to & that helps me sleep at night. Heck, I don’t want to shoot anyone, I’d rather feed them & ask them to help take care of the farm animals in exchange. Pretty sure a terrorist won’t do that. Terrorists probably don’t even care about the simple pleasures in life like family & ice cream. We’re community oriented, they’re not. Most every prepper I know volunteers in some way, we like to give back, we want others to be prepared so we have less to do if something does go wrong!

3.Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
I consider myself a prepper because I want to be prepared, I’m constantly working towards that goal! I want to know if I lose my job, I can still feed my family. I want to know that if power goes out for a few days (like it normally does in the winter) that there will be enough water for us & the animals & we have a way to heat up food & bathe. It’s the need for stability in an unstable world, Maslow’s hierarchy says it all food & safety, everything else after that! I love my family. I love my job. I love our family farm, the way of country life, the goats, the horses, the dogs, getting dirty planting & cleaning up manure! I love our country- I love our freedoms! I love helping people, teaching them new things so that they can go on & teach others! In the end it comes down to one thing- I love & respect myself & that’s why I’m a prepper; I feel like it’s my duty as a citizen of this great country to be prepared & help others. Isn’t that what America is all about??? Well, now it’s about money & politics, but it was based off of being a safe haven & building things together, coming together to make things better. Those who worked harder got more & those who couldn’t work were cared for. Terrorists don’t love. They’re loners with guns & an evil plan. I’m really not sure how one could get the two confused to be honest!!

Good luck to you & thank you for speaking out about our communities & I hope our government chooses to help us & maybe support us by asking our help to ensure others are prepared. Maybe a 72 hour kit could be a tax write off, that would help others prepare!! Maybe you could get an insurance discount for having a written emergency plan & all your emergency/financial docs in order. Supporting preparation means faster recovery in any situation, any military folks should know that!! Common sense!


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robert Bristow
August 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

What you are saying is great so long as you believe this administration is being honest. This president has already said that veterans are extremists. I believe as do, I think, a majority of Patriots that this president is taking us into the NWO and communism and that everything that has happened everywhere has been planned. It’s great that you want to stabalize things as best you can but, you also must know that Patriots are going to obey the oath to defend this country and constitution from all enemies, foreign or domestic. Right now we think our biggest enemy is domestic


Vote -1 Vote +1Garrett M
August 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm

DHS actually tells people they train that the founding fathers were terrorists. Their is a YouTube video out there, watch it. I am glad you are doing this, I can’t believe they consider me a terrorist after I served my country, help my local law enforcement clean up crime, and I am self reliant. Funny I haven’t seen a report out about looking out for New Black Panther Party members. Sorry I have no input on how to distinguish preppers from terrorists, maybe because I am not a terrorist and don’t really monitor what terrorists do. I think, the main thing to look out for is suspicious questions asked, like at that gun shop in Texas (Ft. Hood Wannabe shooter). If local law enforcement people wanted to really identify those who are terrorists, just look for those who don’t interact with local law enforcement, don’t typically have kids, have never served, and don’t fly American flags.


Vote -1 Vote +1Amber
January 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm

1) Preppers are an asset after a disaster for the simple fact that we will have the means to support our families and others when needed. For me personally, it’s the fact that if someone were to come to my home hungry, they will leave with a full stomach.
2)Terrorists are different because the only have hatred in mind. They are only looking out for themselves.
3)I prepare for my family to have what they will need to survive. I lobe my family, so there is no sacrifice that is too big for them.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1ryu
January 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm

The strength of preppers is what was intended with CD, volunteer fire depts, and neighborhoods. We live where the problem is, we are invested in the area, the people being helped are neighbors. We are local, not some distant federal entity who is working for a salary.

With a porous border, terrorists don’t need to visit the local gun store to buy weapons; they bring their own. An eight day waiting period means nothing to them, because they arrive armed.

I protect my family and the Constitution. In the U.S., these are the only two things that need to be protected.


Vote -1 Vote +1JOHN AND PAT
February 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm



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