Preppers, Survivalists, and Domestic Terrorists?

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..

About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. JOHN AND PAT says:


  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • There is no way u can feed everyone and in doing that you could put your family at risk. With the community work I do I feed upwards of 50 people every Sunday, and this is a FREE meal. We still have people taking from our reserves and taking more than they need.

  4. Garrett M says:

    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.

  5. Robert Bristow says:

    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

  6. Jessica Y. says:

    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!

  7. SingingMomma says:

    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 🙂

  8. 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?

  9. Freedom1st says:

    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.

  10. Jeff Karn says:

    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.

    • SingingMomma says:

      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 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…..

  14. Christian Gains says:

    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.

  15. 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!

  16. nighthunter99 says:

    #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.

  17. 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’.

  18. 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.


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

  19. 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.


  20. 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”.

  21. Stew_Ohio says:

    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.

  22. AL in Orange Park, Florida says:

    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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. Richard Stanley says:

    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.

  26. 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?

  27. Fred Catelli says:

    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.

  28. Reddog245 says:

    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.

  29. Betsy Ross says:

    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????????”

  30. just trying to survive says:

    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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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 .

  33. 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?

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

  35. Alfred Towers says:

    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.

  36. 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.

    • 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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,


  40. 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.

  41. GettingBy says:

    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!

  42. Mitchell R Ballard says:

    To answer your three questions:
    1. Because we don’t need anybody’s help, in fact we help others in need after assisting our loved ones.
    2. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, so watch out for labels…but the basic difference is one prefers anarchy while the other seeks to preserve and to protect what they have worked so hard to attain.
    3. Because I was a Boy Scout and their motto has always been “BE PREPARED.” I love independence and my family members and the US Constititution.
    To suggest a Marker, Badge or any other identifying label invites trouble and counterfeit issues, but I suggest the Minuteman, our original first responders. He’s always ready and he always has his rifle!

  43. To answer this I have explain why I became a prepper. I am currently Lieutenant at my local volunteer ambulance corps and the reason I became an volunteer EMT was to be able not only to help my community but to be able to help my family in a medical emergency, which I have had to. Whether you are an firefighter an EMT or a Police officer we all have something in common, the willingness to help the community in times of emergencies. Now how can you feel comfortable enough to help your community if your family is not taken care of? Family should be your first responsibility correct? Knowing that my family is safe, they have shelter, food, water and protection I know I can leave them and go help others in need. I have identify others in my neighborhood with the skills that would be needed in times of disasters, from pharmacists to ham radio operators, all preppers in some degree or another. Interestingly enough when I told my fellow EMTs that I was finally getting a back up generator most look at me in surprise that I did not have one already, when I made the same statement at my day job (big financial corporation) I got “What do you need that for?”. Well those are the people that will need the most help in a disaster and I’ll be there to help them… knowing my family is taken care of.
    So yes, I am a prepper, I buy extra food, fuel, grow vegetables in my garden, but if I didn’t how can I be an asset to my community in a disaster if I have to worry my wife and kids. Look at Katrina where some police officers just went home, some stayed and they should be given credit for that, well I want to be one of those that stay and help.

  44. KaptKane says:

    While I commend your efforts, I believe that the DHS has already displayed it’s true colors and is corrupted beyond redemption. Below is a copy and paste;

    The Department of Homeland Security has released numerous standardized guidelines to law enforcement offices across the country which are meant to make it “easier” for police and others to identify a possible terrorist. If you were to take at face value such documents as the now famous MIAC Report, the Virginia Fusion Center Report, the DHS’ “see something, say something” campaign, the Enemy Belligerents Act, the post trial statements of the Department Of Justice in the Liberty Dollar case, or the wild spewing rhetoric of establishment mouthpiece organizations like the SPLC, then you would discover that a likely terrorist is:

    Anyone who talks frequently about the Constitution, or ill of the government
    Anyone who supports the idea of a Constitutional Militia
    Anyone who fights against anti-gun legislation, or owns many guns (man do we LOVE guns)
    Anyone who supports state sovereignty and 10th Amendment issues
    Anyone who supports Ron Paul (the ultimate sin according to the SPLC)
    Anyone who believes the private Federal Reserve is destroying our economy
    Anyone who talks about the “New World Order”, or global government (does this include men like George Soros, Joseph Biden, Gordon Brown, Henry Kissinger, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Strobe Talbot, George McGovern, Mikhail Gorbachev, Richard Nixon, etc.?)
    Anyone who discusses economic collapse as a reality in the U.S.
    Anyone who speaks out against the IRS
    Anyone who participates in “Hacktivism” (including those who leak documents embarrassing to government)
    Anyone who participates in any form of activist group
    Anyone who argues that the Left/Right political paradigm is a scam
    Anyone who promotes Anarchist views
    Anyone who distrusts FEMA (as if Katrina did not give us ample reasons)
    Anyone who believes a truly independent investigation of 9/11 is rational and called for
    Anyone who home schools their children
    Anyone who flies a Gadsden Flag
    Anyone who stores survival goods and food
    Anyone who uses shortwave radios or HAMs
    Anyone who watches movies like ‘Freedom to Fascism’, with anti-Fed messages
    Anyone who operates private barter and trade networks
    Anyone who stores gold and silver or uses them as an alternative to the dollar

    Basically, ANYONE who dissents through independent political organization or protests through non-participation in the corrupt system might as well be Al Qaeda…

    As I read thru that list I found that I “qualified” for all except one, as my children are all grown and out on their own…hence no home schooling goes on in my home.
    I am a U.S. Army Veteran. I took the oath and continue to honor it. I consider myself an American Patriot. But, as you can see, in the eyes of DHS, I am the threat. Now, after reading their description, that may be true to some degree. I guess I could be considered a “threat” to the current administration, their “policies” (which include DHS/TSA), The Fed et al, so I understand their position and concern about me and the likes of me.
    Personally (and obviously) I think I am on the “right” side (no pun intended). Good luck with your meetings with DHS. They are the ones (imho) who have to figure out who the real enemy is and get themselves back on the right side of the battle.
    Until then, I doubt I’ll be raising my hand to help them.

    • FYI, the list appears to be copied from Stuart’s website, and is a compilation of statements made by various state and federal agencies over several years. But it does prove my point that they’re throwing SUCH a broad net that they’re making life difficult on law enforcement who want to find real threats to the country.

  45. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    That question is like asking why EMTs are an asset after a car crash. This is what we’ve trained for. We know our localized risks and assets, we know what areas to avoid, we know how to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem. Not only are preppers going to need far less government support than others, but they will reduce the burden on government by helping other also.
    However, one of the biggest reasons we NEED preppers is the ever-constant passing of time. When Katrina hit, the State and certainly the Nation had plenty of food, shelter, medical supplies, clean drinking water, etc. However, the State and then the Nation had to go through the OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) loop in order to bring those resources to bear. The intentional structure of our government, as well simply logistics prevents this from being a speedy process.
    On the other hand, preppers have already thought out a plan and can institute it NOW. Although we have far fewer resources than government, we have enough to help those around us NOW, and help maintain stability, order, and life until outside help can organize and enter the area. It’s the same reason that political campaigns or advertising are much more effective when they are “grass root” efforts. To effect the change (in this case survival) from the top takes massive amounts of resources, coordination, time, etc. If small groups do it at the local level, it dramatically reduces the requirement for resources at the top, and buys the State and Nation more time to act. Without preppers, as we saw with Katrina, it’s almost impossible to prevent unnecessary death, destruction, etc.

    How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) This is a very difficult question. One possibility is to look at who they are buying/doing these things with. If it is family, it’s a solid bet that they are preppers. However, some guys and gals have family that isn’t supportive of what they are doing, and these people should not be harassed simply because they’d like to be prepping with family but can’t for whatever reason.
    Further, I’d look to see what else is being purchased. Medicines and other medical equipment, food storage, and other things that will be used to preserve life are going to be far less important to domestic terrorists who likely will lose their lives in their act, or choose to simply flee following it. Also, preppers become part of their communities, where terrorists probably never will. If there are substantial purchases/supplies that would have to be left behind, abandoned, etc. if the individual flees, they are probably a prepper.
    I think that the above can certainly help, but, as with so much in life, there is no clean answer. People are resourceful, and if a domestic terrorist is determined to attack America and Americans, sooner or later they will succeed. It is therefore critical that preppers are not harassed, and further are encouraged in our preparations. We are the first line of stability and resources in our communities when such a disaster strikes.

    Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
    I love my wife and son more than words could ever express. I love my extended family, some of whom live nearby. I love the members of my congregation, having previously served them in a leadership capacity. I love my community. I worked for some time with our local United Way, and thrilled at the connections, change, and love that I saw grow in our community. Most broadly, I love all my fellow human beings as children of God. Because of this love, it is my duty to prepare to help them, especially when few if any others can. I cannot imagine the guilt, shame, and pain of knowing that I could have saved those I love if only I had been prepared, and I don’t want to. Further, I want continued associations with those around me, as we serve each other and grow together.
    My wife and I married my second year of college. Since then I’ve earned a Master’s degree in public administration, which I am now complementing with a Juris Doctorate (law degree). We have little money, and less space. However, food storage, medical provisions, and other emergency equipment take a primary place in our budget. We believe that in the moment of crisis, we must rely first on ourselves, second on those around us, and only lastly upon the government in such critical times. This helps us to be an asset rather than a liability to our community, and helps us feel more assured that in such a situation, we are not leaving each others, nor our young sons welfare to some faceless actor (whether someone in our community or the government). It is our family, and we are responsible for it, then for those around us.

  46. Steve Kasmiersky says:

    The reason I am a prepper is my love of God, family, and neighbors. After decades of world political study, it is clear that our world is very unstable. The Middle East is “on fire” and our government prevents us from developing our oil and natural gas reserves. If Israel is attacked, and Saudia Arabia falls to radical Muslims, then ten dollar gas is probable. We burn our food for ethanol production which is not greener and causes higher food prices and shortgages in other parts of the world. The Fed prints money driving down the value of the dollar. These events and others weaken America here and abroad. None of this makes sense unless our politicians (both parties)and our President want these things to happen.

    Thus, I and a small group of family, friends and neighbors prepare for the worst and pray for the best. We believe in God, our country and flag, the second amendent, and the rights and capability of the individual. We believe like our founders did in a small central government and more power to the states. We know the strength of a Rebublic and the dangers of a Democracy. We do not want to depend on our government in a time of crisis; but will help each other out like we did after Hurrican Ike. We cleared our own roads not waiting for the city and county to respond. “Chainsaw Power” by neighbors is fast and cheap. This takes some of the load off public entities who have to help people who are not prepared. We feel we provide a great public service.

    Do not classify us as radicals or potential terroists, but look at us as true “Patriots” working for the common good. God Bless America!

  47. Your question assumes the Feds actually wish to differentiate between the two groups. All indications are they do not. Helplessness breeds more control.

    • Again, it’s important to realize that the public statements of bloated, inefficient federal agencies are carried out by individuals. The goal is not to change everyone’s mind as much as it is to educate as many individuals as possible. Some of them will be in decision making positions. Others will be on the front lines.

  48. 1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? Very simply, a prepper is one less mouth to feed, one less person thirsting for water, one less desperate soul crying out for government assistance, and one less body to bury. In times of stability, we are “force multipliers” because we encourage others to prepare, too. In time of crisis, we can share our wealth and even perform some basic first aid.
    2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) Preppers buy life-sustaining items; terrorists buy killing items. And in a forehead-slapping shocker, preppers tend to be Christians; terrorists tend to be Muslims.
    3. What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparednes? Apart from my family, it’s move love of country — well, more acurately, my love of what USED to be my country, the Constitution, the Rule of Law, the first pirnciples upon which this country was built.

  49. We are dealing with two totally different mindsets when talking about preppers and terrorists. The mind set of the terrorists is destruction, intimidation and chaos to achieve a goal. Preppers have a mindset of self preservation of themselves and the ones they love. For the most part there is no political motive or advantage a prepper is trying to achieve. The early settlers where preppers out of necessity and so are preppers today. Will preppers use violence to protect themselves and the ones they love? Of course they will just as people who love life and their family and friends have down through the ages have. Will they initiate violance? Of course not, that is not their goal in life.

    After watching riots in other countries over food prices and by for those who feel entitled to benefits, and knowing how bad our economy is and will become, I become a prepper. I do not want to be dependent on government benefits that may or may not be available. I want my family to survive without having to resort to violence. Our immediate goal is to be able to provide for ourselves and our long range goal is to assist in providing for others as we are able. Our secondary goals is to talk to neighbors, family and friends and get them motivate in being prepared. Our third and last goal is to do what we can to have our community/town as a whole be more prepared and that plans are in place to deal with a total melt down of our economy and society as a whole. The government has it’s priorities totally backwards if they think preppers are a threat. They should be doing everything in their power to assist people in becoming preppers, as individuals, families and as a community. The more of us who become preppers the less strain it puts on the government. We are NOT the enemy, we are the solution.

  50. David H says:

    1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    They reduce the demands for food, water, medicine, and other essential supplies placed on local governments. In an emergency, people who are not prepared will storm stores, hospitals, gas stations, and other sources for supplies. Violence will break out as people panic because of shortages. Preparation prevents panic and brings stability. Without the immediate concerns of how to feed, clothe, and shelter loved ones, preppers can be used by local authorities to free up their personnel for performing essential tasks. As an example, I could answer phones or do clerical work for the police, fire stations, or hospitals.
    2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
    The primary difference is in their objectives. Preppers are concerned with short and long-term stability for themselves, their family, their friends, and their community. Domestic terrorists are looking to cause death, destruction, and chaos. DTs would buy items that can be used to make weapons. Someone that buys large quantities of nails but no lumber for construction projects should raise concerns. Preppers are involved in their communities via business, church, school, social organizations, etc. DTs would be involved with extremist groups or keep more to themselves. They would advocate violent opposition to the government. Preppers believe in the constitution and follow it.
    3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
    As an Eagle Scout I learned early on in my scouting to Be Prepared. As a Mormon, I have been taught to maintain food storage and other essential supplies. As an observer of natural occurrences worldwide and the political and economic situations in our country, I recognize that any kind of event can happen that will require me to be self sufficient. My wife and I have both worked with the unemployed in helping them find work. Many have been able to deal with extended unemployment because of their preparations. I have a wife, three children, three grandchildren, other extended family, friends, and neighbors which is why I do all I can to Be Prepared.

  51. As a former Marine I have had the chance to see how life in other countries (about 3 dozen) is not always all rainbows and unicorns like hear in the USA. I have seen what it can be like for civilians when a government can not protect or feed it’s citizens. I have a wife that is happy with her peaceful life and does not want to know about the scary things that may possibly happen. I have a four year old that is content being a princess and will be for years to come. These are the reasons that I feel having some preparations in order is a good idea, because I love my family enough, that just in case, I want life to be as easy and unchanged as possible.

    I think I would be an asset after a disaster because, my family and I would not be a draw on the local resources, so they could be directed to someone that really needs them. Also with skills and equipment I may own, I could help out neighbors with clean water or fire, etc. There are many others, but with knowledge and skills aranging some sort of neighborhood watch and keeping peace would be helpful.

    Living in one of the most anti-firearm areas of the Country (outside of Chicago) all of the rehetoric really puts me at odds with much of the local population when talk of gun control comes up. As former military I enjoy putting little holes in paper(hopefully in tight groups), but because of my area I keep very quiet about it and have a hard time finding friends that are interested in shooting. It’s just a hobby, like coin collecting, I reload and do most of my own smithing, mostly because it keeps me busy and I like to see the results. This should not put me in any catagory with a domestic terrorist, but then again , I guess that’s too late. Military service already put me there according to DHS.

  52. Whatever any of us are and for what reason, we must return to the pioneers way of thinking and living, even though these are supposed to be ‘modern times’. They knew how to grow their own food, raise their own meat sources and had wells for water. They ate fresh foods, saved some things in the form of canning and preserving and had food storage shelters usually undergrownd. It was NOT that long ago that this nation was a much simpler place and lifestyle, we have got to return to that or die. As back in the early days of America, people relied on themselves, were wary of strangers and made do with what they had and were thatnkful for anything extra! They were hunters and had the rifle over the fireplace etc. Look back a hundred years only…..look back 150 years…in history that is nothing! If life could maintain then, so can we now! Banning together for the right reasons and in faith can make us all a lot stronger and resiliant. All of the nonsense that has taken place in the last l0- 15 years is appauling and is taking our nation apart. Patriots that love America and know who we are: our heitage, history and understand what the Constitution is and what we must do, will make the difference. If we do not get back to honor, patriotism, FAITH in GOD and learn to trust the trustworthy and stop the evil ones, we are doomed……I say we are not and are stronger than we think!
    You know the ones to look out for; those that act suspicious and are not friendly…or only friendly when they need something….those that have no thoughtfulness and live in an unrespectful manner of themselves and to others….they are the ones that would steal, harm and turn on you when the chips are down. We must have communities that we trust and build together…….If I still had the family farm I would build a fenced camp of sorts there and put several homes on it and dorms for those I trusted to come and live when times get bad…to work the land and care for the animals to provide for us all working together …..sounds like the beginning of our nation again….and we may well have to start over……anyone with land will have it better than those who do not. People of common sense, who can do hard work in the common skills of life; gardening, hunting, working in a farm life atmosphere or on a much smaller scale in town…..whatever, it can be done provided the government and militia are not down our throats for taking care of oursleves…..mercy…pray for some sense to come to our government! Why have we lost our honor, our history, our patriotism and for the most part many have just lost their minds and think so stupidly!? Have we not seen that communism does not work, that Marx was a nut, that everyone who has had no faith has perished over time in such bad ways…..there has been much evil done in the name of all sorts of things but the truth is the truth; honor and peace, pride and survival is solid in proven facts of life. AND THAN there are those that are not of Amerrica who could care less about who or what we are, but they want our land and to change us…as if they have not done enough messing with their own lives, they want to come here and mess with ours….makes me mad as can be……and that is where being a good soldier comes in; to protect your family and what you have!! Best learn to shoot, if you do not know how and if push comes to shove, not afraid to shoot to save your lives. With any luck we will have a leader that has some sense to follow but if not…we are on our own….us and God that is; and that is a good combination!

  53. Great Grey says:

    Yep, we’re terrorists because we don’t want the government to be our supplier in a disaster or be their slaves.
    It seems to be the goal of the left to make government slaves of everyone who disagrees with them.

  54. People who are bible students and have a love of God, do not go around killing their fellow man.
    Preppers are stable and have been stable for a while. They are friendly and do not run from the police, any officer with minamal experence can spot a nervice avoiding, dodging attitude. Preppers are not like that. Hunters do not slip around with several guns in there vehical, they dress for the weather and look like they are headed for the out doors.
    Terroest and drug dealors often look the part, They always try to stay unnoticed, unless they are setup and involved in the activity they are persuing.

    The government does not need us to be prepared in their mind, it is their job. They just cannot do it and so when the event comes about they just like most are simply in trouble. Preppeers can help them maintaine the order that they want, the biggest problem for us in if they know who we are in addvance , then they would be the ones taking our supplies to cover the short term and then not ever return them because that would be against policy.

    Preppers will not be on the domestic violance list that is in the head of the local officer. They are not violent by nature, but on demand.

  55. David, for several decades I’ve studied the greatest pro-freedom philosopher of them all, Ayn Rand (see her greatest work, “Atlas Shrugged”). I must say that, in describing preppers as motivated by love and domestic terrorists as motivated by hate, you’ve hit the nail EXACTLY on the head! You’ve caught the ESSENTIAL difference! That’s the same conclusion Miss Rand came to after a lifetime of thought, based on her study of history, growing up under the czars, escaping from Soviet Russia, and coming to the U.S.A. to seek freedom!

    Isn’t it uncanny that your description of the domestic terrorists sounds like the Marxist Messiah in the White House, his Weather Underground comrades, the union bosses, SEIU thugs, etc.?

  56. First let me start by saying that one way to tell a domestic terrorist from a prepper is to just ask any one person what they would do in a disaster situation. If they give an answer like “I’ll just take what I need or something like that, hell, if its anything other than “I will have supplies stored away”, then you have the possible makings of a domestic terrorist because they will be the ones who will loot and rob and pillage to survive after a distaster. I would think that people who would hurt someone else to get their supplies or burn down buildings in a riot induced rage could be considered a domestic terrorist, they’re invoking terror in the rest of the population, especially the preppers since now we have to watch out and protect ourselves against the threat.

    Back to why preppers are an asset, well, first those preppers that are armed can be the one thing between a neighborhood or community being safe from looters or other people who wish to do us harm and that same community ending up a burnt out looted and raped disaster statistic. Next, from a knowledge standpoint, preppers can help those that were less prepared or not prepared to take care of themselves and each other. That would help morale as well in a group when you have more people who are prepared and know what to do in a disaster. That could spell the difference between a group going rogue and doing the same bad crap that we’re trying to protect ourselves from and actually being able to survive the disaster in as civilized a manner as possible. And, if for no other reason, the more preppers there are, the less zombies there will be filling up refugee camps.

    As far as differences between us and domestic terrorists, we can’t go off of stereotypes, we all buy guns, even the military style guns, many of us stock ammo for the long term as we don’t know when or if we’ll ever find more ammo, many or us may have military training, and I’m even sure there’s going to be some hate mongers out there that are otherwise good preppers, partly because of their hate of those people they fear. I guess one way to spot a possible domestic terrorist is to find the guy who’s so pissed off that he starts ranting about doing bad stuff to the gov’t in some way shape or form. But then again, we may have to look at this, we all have the freedom to say what we want and do what we want as long as we don’t break any laws or hurt anyone, so we’re at a catch 22 when it comes to spotting DT’s as it pretty much means suspecting everybody before they ever do anything, more of the “guilty before proven innocent”. It doesn’t mean that we can just create criteria to label terrorists as it will eventually lead to include more and more criteria that will walk into more and more of our everyday lives until eventually we’re all labled terrorists, almost like now. First it was simple survivalists and militiamen or white supremacists that were labeled possible DT’s, now we have conservatives, gun owners in general, Christians, people who read certain books, etc, all listed as potential terrorists.

    I would like to think that we would be good people and help everyone that we can in a disaster but can we all honestly say that after a while, we’re going to get to a crossroads where our supplies may start dwindling and we have to turn people away, or we may turn people away because they just happen to “appear” to be the type of person that will later on come back with a posse when they know we have supplies and try to take them? Many of us will probably reach that point if there is a long term disaster. One thing to look at is that all DT’s are not going to be trying to survive disasters, some just wanna blow up stuff and shoot people, has nothing to do with storing food. A DT can be some political wingnut that wants to “stick it to the man”, or it can be someone who got screwed too many times by some alpahbet soup agency and finally snaps, or someone who just seems to have a sick fascination with overthrowing the gov’t, not having any real solutions or ways to help fix things if the gov’t were to change hands mind you, he just wants to overthrow it, no plan afterwards, thats the guy to watch, cuz he’s probably expecting to die making that dream a reality. If we honestly knew what kinds of activities or buying patterns true potential DTs had, then we may indeed be DTs ourselves since the buying patterns that we all exercise are for all intents normal, and any skilled DT is going to try and stay under tha radar as much as possible so as to not raise any red flags. The only sad thing to look at is the idea that the more the aphabet soup agencies continue to do the things they do and plan on doing, the more likely they are going to be successful at creating DT’s from people that may have otherwise been fence sitters leaning over closer to the side of sanity instead of going apes**t and doing something stupid. God help us all on that part.

    As far as me being a prepper, I jsut do the simple commonsense stuff – get extra nonperishable food, toiletries, etc when shopping, read up on and learn more skills and ways of doing things with less, learning how to live with les and be more self sufficient so if the time came, it won’t be as much of a clulture shock because I’ve already been doing these things for years. I also like to talk to those I know in order to try and smoothly steer them in the direction of preparing themselves, even if its casual talk about current events (yeah the economy sucks, thats why I’m starting to prepare in case something bad happens). Sometimes I get bites and we get into deep conversations about preparing or how to prepare. I would always hope that they walk away with some knowledge that makes them think and ultimately take action. Another way I prepare is to also try more and more new things so as to build up a good mental resume for myself showing all of the things I’ve done, learned to do, built, or whatever, this way I can either be a serious asset to a community in time of need, or even better, share that knowledge with others so they too can be serious assets in times of need. Thats enough for now.

  57. I would like to comment on another post, if I could, I will be brief. Art, I think that Ian and others, like myself, would take offence at your comment linking someones “mindset” to their “environment” ie the appearence of their property? Some (alot) of AMERICANS aren’t anywhere near as well to do as you appear to be, I don’t think this is the proper venue for your stuffy Home Owners Association sounding comment/grievance. Will the DHS have Public Works personnel deciding who should be added to the Watchlist? For all you know, my grass is over 8.6″ high because my goats are gonna need something to eat next month!

  58. Richard J. Waldron says:

    1) Preppers are willing to cooperate with local and state officials to help stabilize a potentially out of control situation. (Consider the neighbors of a cull De sac that ban together to protect their homes after a disaster relieving Law enforcement of some of the burden.) They know the area and who does not belong. They know what assets are available in the area that will help the community. They are more willing to help out the community due to a sense home and of belonging. Preppers by nature have these traits because they care enough to prepare in the first place.
    2) I would have to say the only way you could tell the difference between a Prepper and a domestic terrorist from a desk in Washington would be way too intrusive. The Government would have to invade privacy beyond the constitution (which they already do) to do it. Local officials and Law enforcement know their communities and they know who these people are but may not have suspicions about them and need to be trained more to ID these threats. It is a typical problem of trying to control things on too high a level. You have to pigeon hole everyone because there is too much data to go through. It has to be handled on the local level. There is no way it can be done from Washington.
    3) I love my God, My Country, My Family, My Neighbors, and Myself, and for this reason alone I am willing to do what it takes to survive with as little heartache and pain as possible. As I see it, preparing for the worst, Hoping for the best and praying are the best ways I know of to deal with the inevitable situation that is coming. I went through Katrina in South Mississippi and was prepared enough to handle things for 6 days. I helped my neighbors and friends for as long as I could and then had a place to go so I went. No sense hanging around and burdening an over burdened community.

  59. I have been a prepper all of my life. I live in South MS where we are frequented by hurricanes. It is not unusual to walk into someone’s home down here and see 60 to 100 cans of vegetables, soup and the like. It is what we do. We are prepared to live without electricity for weeks if necessary. I have taken this a bit further by adding a swimming pool to my back yard. It has a chlorine generator which converts the salt in the water into chlorine for sanitization. This water is not drinkable, but it can provide for washing and cleanliness. It can be boiled and filtered and then used for drinking water. I purchased a water treatment filter that can process 150,000 gallons of water. In a time of need, I am prepared.
    David, it was just by chance that I found your website. I have been reading everything you have presented and it fits perfectly with my situation. After Katrina, we had most of our community with damage to the roofs of our houses. We all pitched in and temporarily fixed each other’s houses. We also gathered together to serve meals because we were all without power, but a few of us anticipated this and had excess supply of propane for cooking. We brought our thawing meat to the central gathering spot and we all ate together. I have a generator to keep my refrigerators running and am able to keep lamps lit and fans running for comfort, but not all in our community had that luxury. I offered my family room to others for a place to sleep with at least a bit of light and moving air. I spread out plastic over my wet carpet and then folks came over with a blanket and pillow and had a bit of better sleep.
    After Katrina, I organized several of my friends in my community. We met and made a plan. Our community is surrounded by dense forest. We found members amongst us that had tractors capable of bush hogging a perimeter around our community. We have set up a pool of money to purchase enough razor wire to build a 3 layer defense barrier to outsiders. We have actually formed a group that will serve as guards at the front of the subdivision. We will all take turns on a 24X7 watch to guard the entrance. After reading your emails, it sounds like we have organized into the ultimate survival community. And not just because of terrorism or manmade disaster, but just for our own sense of survival.
    A lot of us have very small gardens. I grow peaches and Satsuma’s. Others grow berries and grapes. None of us are farmers, but most of us have seeds. Productive seeds. Not like the stuff Monsanto produces. We use our own seeds and share with others after harvest.
    If the Government comes after us, then we will all most likely be taken to jail based on their definition of a domestic terrorist. Well, bring it on! We are ready to defend ourselves here in my community. We are 300 families strong and growing by the day.
    We are survivalists. We will survive in adverse conditions. We can live off the land, even though we are basically city folks that happen to live in the country. We happen to have a plan in case the society breaks down, but we are doubtful we will have to use it!
    David, please keep up the great work you are doing. It will help the masses of civilization survive “in place” and live on forever!!! Our community is comprised of people of every walk of life, so we are aware that not everyone is onboard with our little coalition that we have. They are welcome to leave the community and return at will. We are a few folks that regard our way of life as essential. We are willing to protect the “whole” in order to survive! We will feed these others as if they were actually contributing to the cause. We are conservatives in action!!!


  60. I think one very big difference would be that a prepper would likely contact Ian McCleod or countless others like him, and ask “Sir, what can we do to help you prepare or be able to secure your supplies?” Terrorists, domestic or otherwise, do not care! Any prepper living close to people who may not be able to take care of themselves and/or their families should feel compelled to lend a hand, any help will be appreciated. Hell, I could fix his truck and secure his home so he can keep any supplies he gets, and I don’t even know him or where he lives, BUT I’M WILLING TO HELP HOWEVER I CAN BECAUSE I’M AN AMERICAN, prepper, or not! terrorists laugh at people like him.
    I also have a question for y’all. Lets say a person has a vehicle that was painted with the Stars & Stripes on both sides back in 2001, and said vehicle was driven many miles locally on a daily basis for 6 years, until the owner started driving a company vehicle. Would driving “Faded Glory” make the owner a target of DHS?

  61. Painter says:


    This is an outstanding article! it is articulate and is on target. I found myself saying “Yes… that’s exactly how i feel” as i read each point and paragraph. We are fortunate to have persons like yourself that are more than able and willing to get the message out. What you have written already will help me get across to my wife and other family members why i do what i do. Thank you for all you do. You have my utmost respect!

  62. Robert Wood says:

    My name is Bob Wood and I live in a retirement community. I am a retired police officer of 31 years and former EMT (Emergency Medical Tech.), I am very active in a church that has been warning us for many years that we should have 72 hr. kits, food and water supplies and other things we might need in an emergency. I am also a member of the CERT team (Community Emergency Response Team). Several of my neighbors know of my preparations for emergencies or an economic breakdown. I have heard several say, “I know where to come in an emergency.” This has bothered me so I have decided to help my neighbors so they will not be so dependent on me when an emergency comes. I have given lessons on preparedness in homes and I am giving one at our clubhouse for the complex and my friends on April 18th. I have scheduled times where my neighbors can go to our church canary to can food items in preparation for emergencies. I am an avid reader and have read many books and articles on this and take a well known newsletter for preparing people for these things. My idea is if I can take care of myself during these times then I will be also able to help my neighbors. I go to the gym on a regular basis and have done many other things to help myself and others be prepared.

  63. Von S. Pratt says:

    AS a member of the LDS church and former Stake President of the Gunnison Utah stake I have taught and practiced personal prepardness for many years. In medical school we lived in absolute poverty, having to survive with student loans and loans from parents. We had little but made an effort to gather an extra can of food each week. Eventually we had enought to last for two then three weeks.

    During internship and residency when there was some actual income we purchased a few buckets of wheat and a hand grinder. We, my wife and I, learned to sprout seeds to supplement our diet and daily food.

    When we came here to Gunnison we worked hard to create a great garden in our new yard and as the children grew up they learned to weed, to water, to plant and to harvest. It was no longer out of necessity, but now it is and hopefully will continue to be, a garden of fresh and better tasteing vegetables that we can enjoy in season and can for the rest of the year.

    Our children and grandchildren love the garden and bringing in the food for us to prepare for our summer dinners.

    We have friends who grow pasture fed steers for us to butcher and process to use in time of famine and cold, and even for an occasional pation cook out in the summer.

    We have enjoyed popcorn from our own garden, poped directly from the cob.

    Do we consider ourselves preppers — Yes — we love the sense of security the food storage provides. We love the association with our friends and neighbors in our common gardens.

    We feel we are being responsible citizens, good neighbors, examples and teachers to our younger neighbors who are in their starter homes in our older neighborhood.

    This food and water we store have come in handy during times when the local water systems has been requiring us to boil our water due to a break in a main line or other contamination. We have learned that in our travels to “the big city” we need to cary extra water and food with us as frequently the roads are under contstruction and long waits in the summer sun allows a lot of heat and sweat to develope in the car as we are stoped.

    We have had tough times when I could not work due to major health issues and it is amazing how fast your savings can be eaten up by medical needs, but the food stored and rotated to ensure freshness has held us over from even greater need.

    If my ecesiastical leader were to call today and ask for some of my storage for a family in need I would be able to give it to him and through him to them. It would be my blessing and privilege to help these great people in our valley.

    Do we have concerns for our country and our way of life — yes we do on a national level but not on our local level. In case of calamity and subsequent chaos we believe and know the neighbors and entire community would pull together.

    We have seen this happen when homes, or businesses have burned, or major misfortunes have struck individuals.

    We have seen the community pull together with many bringing their talents to help their neighbors when the spring run off in 1983 threatened many of the homes by the Sanpitch river. When the word and call went out for help the able bodied mena and women of the community came out to fill the sand bags. We were all preppers with shovels, pickup trucks, bull dozers etc. We wrecked a few yards and gardens, but didn’t lose a single home, or business. The ladie’s auxillaries of the local congregations often brough water, food and other refreshments to us as we worked. We did need more bags for sand and the county brought those to us but we worked to be adequately preped for each night’s rise in the water level of the Sanpitch river.

    You asked “What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?” The love we feel is expansive to family, neighbors, and our community! And we expect in the next disaster and subsequent chaos to see our current community and church leaders organize, lead and see us and those with us through all of this with lots of neighborhood, multi block and communal projects.

    As a member of the LDS church I have assignments to visit families in my neighborhood to encourage them in the living of the gospel of Jesus Christ. During these visits it is not unusual to talk of our gardens, our canning and freezing of food. And then to talk about the use of these assets in times of personal and community need. Sharing of food and supplies in time of crisis is often difficult and this is expressed but as we discuss the principles of “doing it unto the least of these” the vision of what the sharing can do opens hearts and minds to a different mindset.

    Pure love of Christ as expressed in love of one’s neighbor, family and friends is the great divider preppers and terrorists.

    Thanks for the chance to thinka nd consider on these questions.


  64. Carolyn Camoriano (A Former Mother Hubbard) says:

    Remember this legendary rhyme? “Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard to get her poor dog a bone. When she got there the cupboard was bare, and so the poor dog had none.” Most preppers are acquainted with Mother Hubbard’s predicament, and refuse to have a bare cupboard. They may have lived through the great depression or other tough times. Or they may see what is coming in the future. They have a preparedness mindset, which is valuable in time of disaster. These preppers won’t need to stand in long government lines waiting for a bottle of water. Their larders are full. They are different than most of their neighbors, who are unaware that they may not have enough to feed even their animals. Unlike potential domestic terrorists, the preppers’ lifestyle is prompted by their love of country, families and others. I am a former Mother Hubbard who has changed her ways. As a senior citizen, I am proud to be a prepper aiming for a full cupboard, thanks to your survival course!

  65. Since subscribing to this newsletter it has sure brought back to my mind the things I thought I had forgot. This information has troubled me for some time, but not till our present Leader has taken office. I was a Police Officer in the 70’s and 80’s, certified for life in the state I live in. It sounds so funny to say, “way back then”, now, but I guess I have always been a prepper to so degree all of my Adult life. I was a trained “First Responder”, I had to be able to know how to do Medical things, help was at least Twenty minuets away, and I always worked the graveyard shift, out in the woods allot by myself. We didn’t have Portable Police Radio’s in case we got into a problem away from the car, and another Backup Officer was a long time away, most Life or Death Altercations rarely last longer than15 seconds. I carried several weapons on my body, that might just give me enough time to get back to my Patrol car where my larger cache of weapons were available to me. I never told anybody where my weapons on my body were carried, “loose lips sink ships”, and I made myself proficient in using them, while praying I never had to. Thank God, I am proud to say I never had to, sometimes my side arm was drawn and the hammer was coming back, but I never had to drop the hammer and take a life. I was most interested in the post from “GoTellBigDaddy” 4-8-2011 above, and the links that are made available in that post. You desperately need to go click those links and watch them, and even maybe others that are there on the last link after watching it, watch the “Last Updates on FEMA” video’s, I heard about them a long time back, and I was told not one American was involved in building them, scary stuff. I am disabled now, not from Police work, probably started when I was playing Football through School, and the culmination of all the Trauma to my body from my whole life, is why I can hardly walk now. Preppers are real important when disasters happen to our friends, family, and neighbors, because they Panic very quickly. I am going to refer to two different personality types, “A” types of people are those that fall into the Preppers category, and the scared and panicked people I will refer to as “B” people. I was taught in basic Police School, my best friend would be the most likely the one that would kill me, we trust them and allow them to enter our circle of Personal Control. We all have a circle or zone we would prefer no body penetrate, among friends at Church an arms length away, with strangers farther away. People who feel like they are not in any Danger or Threatened in any way, are so vulnerable and don’t even know it, but that is what the Predator People look for in their Prey to feed on. Preppers and possible Domestic Terrorists are so different and a lot can be detected in their eyes, body movements, and just their general behaviour in a crowd of people. Once you learn what to look for you cannot miss one of them in a crowd. They are tense, sometimes sweating, not out going or friendly, stick to themselves, and watch everybody in where ever they are. They will be buying a lot of certain things that don’t seem to go together, while you are buying things for yourself or your home. They will be driving something that will not attract attention, just looks plain and normal, and they will avoid uniformed cops like the plague. I am very bothered that I cannot afford to buy the things I would really feel comfortable having should a situation occur, where their was mass panic and hysteria. People who are the calmest people in the world, when scarred will trample others to death, just like cattle do in a stampede. Their eyes will be real wide open, have a crazed look on their face, they will be short of breath when they have moved no more that Ten feet, they will not make eye contact with anybody, their only concern is to get to safety. Men will forget about their wife’s and children’s wellbeing, they are just in complete mass adrenaline panic stage right along with everybody else. I Love my Wife dearly, we are in our mid 50’s and she still works, but I am concerned till she is home with me, and I know I can protect her if I have to. I am sad to say when I was a teenager I shot a man with a 12 ga. Shotgun, for window peeping on my little sister while she was taking a bath, I first aimed right between his shoulder blades, but lowered my aim to his rear end. The blast was like daylight and I blew him through our Stockade fence gate with #4 High Brass Turkey Load. Now I don’t ever have to wonder can I pull the trigger on another man, I am concerned about when I will pull the trigger, I don’t know which is worse. I need an assault rifle in the worst possible way, my AR-15 and my Old Double barrel shotgun were stolen in a burglary, and I doubt if they will ever be recovered but the Police would probably not return them to me in our current attack on our Second Amendment rights. I could never afford to buy one now they are so expensive, and there is just not enough money to make the purchase. I am a gunsmith, and I am trying to get things put together to work on guns in my garage, but everything is so messed up in there I don’t know when that will be. Should something bad happen my knowledge will be needed badly, and I will help all I can, then maybe I can acquire an AR-15, AR-10, AK-47, G-3, or an FN-FAL no full automatic rifles, you can’t hit anything unless they are right in front of you. Only Semi-automatic and I have fired a lot of rounds through my old AR-15. They even made me an alternative sniper in the county I worked in if the real SWAT sniper could not get there in time. Most will not know what all those numbers and letters mean, but I am sure some will. You have to think of what would be the Proper Course of Action or “PCA” from now on, who do you need to account for in your own home. That is your core place of survival, you need to be thinking of another alternate place in case the first core place is compromised. Always be Flexible, to where you may have to move to as a core survival place. Take pen and paper in hand, write down everything that could happen in a survival situation, right down to a burglar kicking in your front door at night, then thinking about what you and your family will need from Water, Food, and Medical Supplies you will each pack into what is called a “BUG-OUT-BAG”. Then after thought about what you will need, then write down your PCA committing all of this stuff to memory, and get so familiar with the PCA that it becomes Second nature. You can practice it at work, driving down the road, even sitting in front of your TV. The reason I tell you this is because there is not a living human being that does not get scared at some time of their lives, and I am one of them. I don’t want to go into Psychology here, but I know how to read people. No body taught me, I had to learn it on my own, but when your life depends on it as mine did, you began to learn pretty quick, you just pray you stay alive long enough to get it right. We either fall into the “A” People, or the “B” People I mentioned earlier. The “A” People, will get scared, but if they have prepared themselves properly as I described above, their previous mind work they have done will immediately kick into gear. No body can make rational decisions when they are scared, that is why I suggested going through your mental preparation while you are thinking Calmly and Rationally. In that split second when FEAR grabs you, you will become that “B” type People, but if you have done your homework as I have suggested, you will revert right back to that “A” person. The Adrenaline will kick in, usually you have been through it before, it is when everything slows way down, people speak slow and their voice is deep, things are going on around you, and you are surprised at the way you are handling everything just like you wrote it down and practiced it. Then once you feel safe you will come out of it. I found myself in it allot working alone in the dark, and now would be a good time to tell you a little secret of mine. Beat this into your brain, there
    is nothing in the dark generally than there is in the daylight. I know, people are scared of the dark, but go out at night, it will take a little time for your eyes to adjust. Now, you are in your own back yard, turn off all the light you can and sit there and pick things out you remember from when the sun was up. Point each thing out and name it, listen real close to the sounds at night, smell the Oder’s of the night, just make friends with the night. You can conceal yourself in the darkness, but you would be seen during the daylight. Learn from these experiences, learn to trust the night as your friend. Learn to trust you senses, smell, hear, see, feel, touch, refuse to allow your scared side to dominate your safe side in your mind, let the darkness become your friend because it is. Hide from the “B” type people even if you know them. You are in survival mode, you should be figuring out where your children and your wife’s next drink of water or food is coming from, not trying to save others. People will find you that will beg you to let them join you and your family, and it is up to You my friend who you would rather save. I know I am a Born Again Christian too, and I know what the Bible says, but remember you are in survival mode, so which child are you willing to sacrifice for that poor soul that will get that drink of water, or eat that food, are you going to give them yours? You have to survive to save your wife and children or they will die. I recommend you go online and find every military soft cover book you can find about everything they have ever published. There is a good place to start it is ““, they will send you a catalog, but you can also open an account and buy online. I wish I could get all the things I wish was in my “BUG-OUT-BAG for Ma and me, but you do what you can, and pray God will see you through whatever your facing. That package of books may have to be taken and the family pictures left behind. If you get driven out of your Home Core Protection, you will have to travel light, and be mobile all the time. Another website I have discovered is called ““, he sells freeze dried food to keep around in case of an emergency with long shelf life. Never travel with the pack of the “B” people that think they are following an “A” person. You need to be reading and learning the best way to make a fire, kill something to eat, and have a drink of water. Please, do not rely on one of those “Survival Knives” that have all the stuff in the handle to take care of your family with. They are nearly worthless, they will not be sharp when you get them, and you will not be able to sharpen them for the rest of your life. You need a Good Survival knife and everybody should carry some form of knife or Hatchet, but be prepared to pay the price for a good one. Be watchful of the “B” people following you, because they will, bury anything that would indicate you were there, and don’t make big fires, keep them just big enough to cook your food and boil your drinking water always, boil the water you intend to use to drink or use to cook with. The “B” people will kill you and your family without hesitation for your food or water, always be prepared. Then spend the night a few nights every so often in your back yard taking nothing from the house but your “BUG-OUT-BAG” is what every member of your family will have prepared to go with. Not one thing like a battery operated game playing toy, only the bare essentials, ONLY! I hope this helps some body have a chance to survive a bad destructive day, but make sure everybody has a job to do, especially the kids for they get bored very quick, assign them a job that makes them feel like they are helping, then praise them for their accomplishments. Pack a Bible in every bag, you may not want it now, but I guarantee you that the comfort of reading it after Tree or Four days will be incredible to you. Prepare like it could happen Tomorrow, Keep to Yourself as much as Possible, Keep your feelings off your shoulders, make sure Dad is in charge of giving the directions, and Pray it Never Happens, May God Be With You, Good Luck, Danny

  66. 1. We’re an asset after a disaster because we’ve not only prepared to provide for ourselves; we’ve invested the time, money and training to be able to help our neighbors and community to get back on their feet–thus lessening the load on the professional first responders. In my case, this means that I have taken the C.E.R.T. training offered by the county; I have become an Amateur Radio Operator (ham) and volunteer my services on an ongoing basis with the county’s Department of Emergency Management and continue to maintain and to upgrade my skills in First Aid, CPR/AED use so that I can help a fellow citizen in any time of need.
    2. The difference between preppers and potential domestic terrorists: Continuity of life vs. chaos. We give–they take. Buying patterns are usually different: They buy to further their destructive purpose (fanatics don’t usually care if they survive or die once their objectives are met). We mostly buy as we can with the goal of longe range survival and re-integration with the larger community of souls around us. We volunteer in a wide range of community activities–they’re mostly loners or extremely small cell group members.
    3. I’m a prepper because it’s been ingrained in my nature. My dad was in the military (myself and many of my siblings have too). Mom had to “make do” on a miltary salary and care for us kids. She grew up during the depression. She taught us that putting something by for a rainy day was more than just putting money in the bank–it meant stocking up on food when you could or putting in a garden or making friends with a neighbor who had skills you didn’t possess and learning from them…. My faith in God also requires me to consider the needs of my “neighbors” and as I help them, I’m loving God.

  67. In 1970 I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL ENEMIES both foreigh and DOMESTIC. My service in the Army had term limits but my oath does not. I am a prepper because in the event of civil breakdown, Dedication to the Constitution and Common Sense will be needed to jump-start America. The dedication is in my heart and the common sense is a gift of God. We will have to help our neighbors and perhaps even defend those who are defenseless. WE THE PEOPLE are the United States of America and we, not the Federal Government, are ultimately responsable for the condition of our country and communities. I garden and can much of my own produce. I read and collect books on “How-To”. I train and stay in shape so that I can help the helpless, the elderly wicow down the street and the single mother of three two door up.
    I think the question “How are preppers different from potential domestic terrorists” is obvious in our buying patterns and activities. Terrorists don’t learn canning, they study bomb making.
    I love my family and most of my neighbors as many other preppers do. I also LOVE the Idea and the Dream that is America. I love living in the light, not hiding in the darkness. From that day in 1970 when I swore the Oath, I have been prepared to sacrafice my fortune, my life, and my sacred honor to this land, this way of life, this Dream we call AMERICA.

  68. why are preppers a asset? that can be answered a number of ways one for the most part they the averge joe that knows the neiborhood they just want to be left alone in peace they are people that get medic training nbecause they like helping other. they get into law enforsement for the same reasons. to help others they may have a garden just because they like fresh veges. they may have firearms because they like to hunt a friend of mine hunts YEAR ROUND you would belive how much money he saves by not haveing to go mto the store to buy meat me personly i look at everything thats going on in the world and i see a VERY dark time comeing at humanity the population going up by 38 MILLION A YEAR the water supply shrinking the food supply shrinking DALY i want to be ready to fend for myself because if something like the earthquake in japan hits here the feds JUST DO NOT THE MANPOWER OR THE RESOURECES TO HANDLE IT !!!!!NOT ON A HUGE SCALE japan is one of the best prepared counrtys IN THE WORLD FOR EARTHQUAKES AND THEY ARE SCREWED if something that big where to hit here there would be NO WAY the feds could handle it i guess it just comes down to the old saying I WOULD RATHER HAVE SOMETHING AND NOT NEED IT THAN NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT

  69. 1. Preppers are assets to the community because they train to help others. My son and I have advanced first aid training and we are CERT certified by the local Fire Department. We are committed to assisting first responders and to handling things in our neighborhood until they arrive. We are about saving the lives of our neighbors.
    2. As a prepper I seek amicable relations with law enforcement. I have a CCW and they know that I am armed. I don’t feel the need to avoid LEOs because I am a law-abiding citizen. It pains me to think that I am profiled as a potential threat because I prepare for the worst. I still hope for the best! Does their “macro-filtering” identify most LDS members as threats because they practice “Providential Living?” That’s just sick!
    3. I prepare because I want to protect and provide for my family and friends. Relationships are what are important in my life, not power or stuff.

  70. gibby62 says:

    Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? Because we are PREPARED for disasters common to our area. For instance, I live in an area that has potential to be hit by earthquakes and/or hurricanes. By having the ability to store and filter water, I can assist neighbors that may not be as prepared (not because I haven’t tried to raise awareness). Help us help ypu!!

    How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.) We tend to buy as we can,. We look for the best deals and usually buy piecemeal.

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

    The real issue is that certain people are being portrayed in a certain light for a REASON. It wasn’t an accident that if you owned a Bible, are patriotic and aware of what’s going on in the world, you were singled out. Just saying.

  71. Breck Cogdill says:

    I may be missing something, but why in the HELL are preppers and terrorists even mentioned in the same sentence?!?!?!? I firmly believe in taking care of my family & myself in any situation I can be prepared for. How can providing food, shelter, protection, medical care, etc….. be associated with terrorism?? What am I missing? Somebody has their head “up and locked”

    Breck Cogdill

  72. James Chapman says:

    1. Preppers are assets after a disaster because: They have skills,supplies, & abilities to cope with most any situation they find themselves in. They are calm, prepared, & organized, so they CAN help keep a neighborhood intact.
    2. Preppers are different than domestic terrorists in that: They love the community they live in. They ALREADY ARE contributing members in their communities. They DO love their neighbors & encourage them. They WANT peace & prosperity & they want it for the whole nation.
    3. I consider myself a prepper because I have a DRIVE within me to stand independent & encourage others to strive to do so. I WANT my neighborhood to be a SAFE place for me, my wife & kids no matter what comes our way.
    People who ARE prepared, sleep better, work better, & play better with fewer worries. I like that kind of a life.

  73. Richard Wagner Jr. says:

    Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    They can help law informent, have food and can possibly share same.

    How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
    All we want is to protect our family so we buy food stor age things and have guns and ammo for our portection and we like to shoot to keep up our skills.

    Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
    I do 2 above.

  74. 1.Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    Believe it or not, I believe many “preppers” are Christians who love their family and their neighbors. Because we want the best for our family, that is not to suffer if we can at all help it, we are prepping for the future. I think you would have to be blind not to see how bad things are getting. We want to be a blessing to others, therefore, we will not be the ones our there looting, robbing, killing for food and water, but will be willing share with others-obviously not everyone since we can not support everyone, but some.
    2.How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
    Terrorist think only about themselves, not others. They have an idea that someone has ‘done them wrong’ and they deserve something. Preppers know that we are not owed, but we are trying to prepare for future problems. We work hard to be able to support our families, friends, ourselves–self reliance!
    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 love my family and would give up present pleasures for a future for my family!

  75. Bill, Upstate NY says:

    1. Why are preppers an asset? For exactly the same reason those wearing life jackets are an asset when a boat sinks.

    2. How are preppers and domestic terrorists different? It would seem a domestic terrorist will do everything a good prepper will do. To attempt to identify the activities of a very few by monitoring the activities of the many seems a colossal waste of time and serves to overload the system with superfluous data. The better question is what would a domestic terrorist do that other folks, preppers or otherwise, would not do? I am no expert in catching bad guys, but I sure could tell you when one of my kids was up to no good. It had little to do with what was the same and everything to do with what was different. Police friends of mine tell me they can watch the crowds in a mall and identify potential problems. Call it people skills, good detective work, profiling, whatever. What we preppers do should be the standard by which the others are compared.

    3. Why do I consider myself a prepper? I do not. I consider myself a responsible American. Because I am being responsible. Because I care about my family. Because I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. Because I am willing to die for the country I love. Because of all this, others call me a prepper. Up until we baby-boomers came along, everyone was a prepper. If you were not you were considered irresponsible. It is not we preppers who are doing anything different; it is the others who have forgotten the lessons of our history.

    By the way, my wife and I each have two life jackets. If the boat does sink, we will be very careful with whom we share our extra jackets.

  76. Ian MacLeod says:

    I would have been a prepper, and tried – again – after I saw Bush’s appointee to FEMA and others. I was raised by a dad who was lifer military and Mom a veteran herself with time in the European Theater, plus uncles, grandfather, etc – all of them, plus my younger brother and myself joined during wartime. I was Hospital Corps (never went to ‘Nam; the military’s choice), then an EMT, then a Neonate Paramedic – I worked for a decade in EMS. I’m also a lifelong martial artist, an outdoorsman, etc. Used to have a hell of a first aid kit. Right after the conservatives unraveled OSHA, I got a low back injury. I spent the next decade trying to get a diagnosis and the operations I knew I needed. The assumption, though, was that I was in for opiates. They’d take x-rays and try to tell me there was no injury. I knew they don’t show soft-tissue injuries. Anyway, after being homeless, then finally having 6 back operations over about eight years time, the first two within six weeks of each other, THEN the only thing left WAS opiates because the pain was permanent. I’ve been a chronic pain patient now for 28 years.

    I’ve had correct treatment for while several times, gotten back a lot of function, started in with Vocational Rehab, then had my doctors weird out over the meds, take them away, and I was non-functional, unable to walk, homeless again, and again lost most of everything I owned. This has happened four times. The last time my wife was dying of COPD, and when the VA’s fake pain specialist took away the meds that had allowed me to function for eight years, with Bush having defunded so much, I couldn’t care for her and there were no programs in this dinky town. My weight went from 210 at six foot two to 143, and my wife and I decided on suicide. I found a new local doc who helped just enough just in time, though, and was able to care for her as she died in the home she’d grown up in. This was almost two years ago. I’m finally back up to about 180, but I’ve had everything I owned stolen repeatedly from storage or from where I was living. Heating, basic bills and the house take most of my Social Security Disability, and the tiny VA Service Connected Pension/Comp check takes care of about one meal a day and bit more.

    When I saw what they were saying about Fukashima, I knew they were lying, but not how much or about what. I’ve been trying to collect gear and food for years, but I just don’t have the resources. I did see that Norwegian projection of where the plume of radiation from Japan would go, and we were going to get a couple of large tarps (“we” – my fiancee and I – she has 6 kids and works part-time) to put over the garden area, but money is VERY tight. The best info I could find said “not yet” and I still have the specialist’s appointment and meds to get, so we delayed. Yesterday I finally found one article that confirmed we’d been lied to: that least one melt-down had already happened, and we likely got a fair amount of radioactive dust and particles in raindrops, hail and snow in the past few days. Too late. There’ve been a number of URLs who’ve complained their sites went down, and a number of articles had been scrubbed from the Net, plus it seemed like a lot of “experts” were putting out “don’t worry” info – enough that picking and choosing was difficult.

    So I have the skills, the knowledge, a few old weapons, most of which don’t require bullets, some dried goods, a body that only functions when I have the pain from all the nerve damage under control, no way to store water, the well was destroyed by vandals some years ago (they dumped rocks, sticks, etc down it) and we were never able to get it re-drilled; just too expensive. I have a pump that needs rebuilt now,books, odds and ends of camping gear, and almost none of the gear we’d need. My neighbors are certain there’d be a public announcement if there were really a problem. Some, of course, just say, “Fukushima?” Each time I’ve built up a few tools, multiple-use camping gear, binoculars, a hand-cranked radio and so on, something has happened and they’ve disappeared. Last time it was a few County “helpers’ (I guess they don’t get paid well), and maybe some neighbors who borrowed some things having forgotten to ask first. Can’t afford to fix the pickup ot the Fifth Wheel, and when the Aspen goes I stay home. Can’t walk very far.

    The elderly, sick, and especially the disabled, no matter their – “our” rather – skills, training and knowledge, simply cannot get or often keep what we’d need. I’ve blogged about this, and about the idiot Drug War that attacks pain patients and our doctors, for years. Now I figure I’ll last about as long as I can get water.


  77. Bill in California says:

    In Brief: #1 In a disaster, preppers are not liabilities, but assets, equipped responders/helpers who can supplement/support official agencies. #2 Differences hopefully detectable by authorities should be motivation by activities, participation in local communities, and group activities. #3 I’m a prepper with military and LE background, multicultural life experiences, survival instincts . . . all focused on a love of life, family, God, country and the future. My state of preparedness has been spread over decades and purchases based on available resources, hopefully not arousing the curiosity of any ‘government agencies.’ Motto: Be Prepared (BSA), Blend and Be Aware of what’s goin’ on!

  78. I am too unsophisticated to give advice, but I can tell you my story. I have been a prepper for 45 years because I did not have enough to eat as a child and swore to myself that no child of mine would ever go hungry except for by their own choice. I have a shovel and wield it with comfort, the garden that it helps produce supplements what I buy at the store saving many dollars in the process. I shop sales regularly and have had a budget that I used to slowly build up my personal stores. I pay no attention to the raised eyebrows when the week before St. Pattys I buy 12 corned beefs for example. I am confident that should there be problems I could accomodate my 9 grandchildren and their parents for about 3 months before panic started setting in, in the meantime, those three months would give us a hand up on further preperations.

    I decided some time ago that trying to hike out was foolish as I don’t have the stamina any longer. To drive out would be insane as there are only 4 exits from this 2 million + city. My husband has tightened the house (insulation locks etc.), which is on the side of a gentle slope. I am working on water retension and reservation.

    I have self taught many domestic skills which can be translated into survival technologies, remember my friend the shovel. I am a firm believer in tea bags and ice cubes, they are my first step in first aid in many cases although unlike the Brits I would not give a cup of tea for a belly wound but would for a sore throat. My best self defense is a very noisy knee high rescue dog who doesn’t care much for men. My vision is so poor my best bet is to try to hide from human threats so as not to harm an innocent.

  79. You are looking for simple examples for your D.C. audience. I formalized CERT in my rural locale several years ago tailored just for our unique setting. It’s mostly aimed at 72 hour kits & 14 days of home sufficiency for every household. Citizens coaching their neighbors. CERT curiculum has been revised. Every trainer has to re-qualify; every member has to take the course again. Subject matter experts, like firefighters or paramedics who have guest-taught fire skills or medical skills now have to take the entire trainer’s course to qualify as instructors. I believe this is a measure to federalize local volunteers. As a candidate, Obama promised that he would create a national defense force larger than the combined U.S. military. Although the new plans come to local officials as “guidance”, the gotcha enforcement comes as federal dollar links. If we don’t register (re-register) our CERT members under revised federal standards, we might not qualify for federal grants that are almost the exclusive funding stream for all communities’ volunteer Citizen Corps programs in the first place. I resigned as a local government based volunteer. I’d rather assist & be assisted by the growing number of resilient families in the community. We’ll take our chances, cautiously, with DHS profiling as lone wolf threats. Local government didn’t sell out, by the way. They’ve been set up for several years by what they were assured & hijacked by what, all of a sudden, it really is!

    • andrea francis says:

      I am very interested in what you said about Obama’s defense forces, non-military! What will they be required to do, and by whom? If a person did not want to do what was required of them, could they just quit? These people , with all good intentions, may find themselves doing things that are not in the best interests of their fellow citizens! When I heard Mr. O make that statement about his :”Army” I was wondering how he was going to gather his unmilitary forces, and now I know. I have great respect for our Police and other First Responders, and volunteers also. But, I am feeling just a bit uneasy. Is anyone else feeling that a way?

  80. I would think the easyest way to tell a prepper from a terrorist is to look in their car or truck. I drive (a long commute) in a four wheel drive. I keep a med kit, a hunting knife, a tow chain, in the winter a shovel, some dry clothes and jacket, and flash light, and fire extingusher at all times. I also have tools and a repair manual. If i get into trouble I have a creidit card in case I don’t have cash. Every snow I see and help those who are un prepared and pulll them out of snow drifts.

    By contrast, I don’t belive a terrorist would have the same things in their car or have a benevolent spirit when it comes to stranded motorists.

    I think a lot of confusion comes from ” not so thought out ” preppers. I don’t have nor do I think I will need a Barrett .50 BMG. Although I have meet people who feel it would be helpfull for self defence. A 9mm pistol and a 410 are all you really need for self defence and hunting, a 410 shot gun will shoot small game very well and slugs for deer and other larger game. I have other guns but would think trice before lugging them with me. I would prefer to avoid a confrontation than have a gun fight.

    A lot of preepers I have meet feel the need for several thousand rounds of ammo, this buying could worry law enforcement. It isn’t that nessisary, Any gun fight you would servive would be an oppertunity for arms collection. A few hundred rounds is ample and not a burden to carry.

    Food is always a problem at my house because I have 5 teenagers and their friends in the house. but there is always enough for a few weeks.

  81. George Wyckoff says:

    I do not want to sound sacrelgious or anything yet depending upon the preppers training and level of skill at arms they may have just as much or more going for them in this regard as most law enforcement, as well as a mind set and knowlege of when and where to use and NOT to use lethal force and of what level of force to use to control the situation. These folks could be put to excellent use freeing up regular law enforcement to do what they are trained to do and do so well. There are also, as stated in the article, many preppers who have alot of medical training, health care, knowlege of animals and have the wherewithall to assist with taking care of animals-large and small, many or few, cows and horses to chiwawas and dobies, are of all kinds of ages, expertises, knowlege levels, and more who would be incredible assets in many different areas during a crisis situation.

    It seems to me that preppers and possible domestic terrorists (PDT) would be buying mostly different items. Although there would be much the same, i.e., guns, ammo, gear and such, I would think that the PDT would be more about what would be needed to accomplish his/her mission, which would be of a terroristic bent. Whereas the prepper would be more about life and the maintaining of it such as food, equipment to produce food, equipment to fix things around the home, to build, repair, grow, perhaps even go on the move if needed with family/friends/etc. this would not be (at least under most circumstances and to my limited knowlege) what the priority of the would be terrorist would be. Is the fertilizer being baught with other items that would be consistent with bomb making or the growing of food, what are the buying patterns of each and I think there would be enough of a difference that it would definitively show. Of course what do I know I am just starting out with all this.

    If I was a prepper the biggest reason I would be such is the love I have for my wife and family. Then friends, neighbors, community, country, and finally humanity for the simple reason that depending upon the intensity and size of the crisis, it could be world wide (or any size/intensity), it would have a bearing on the survival of any one of these groups just mentioned, to include the survival of us as humans, the animals and plants we eat, etc.

  82. People who can be real assets after a major disaster are not easy to find. My friends on the Sheriff’s Dept have told me they are usually more suspicious of “survivalists” because they see them as “nuts.” Those I’ve talked to, as well as officers in charge of our Neighborhood Watch group, now see me as an asset in this area primarily because they know I’m NOT a “nut,” but a level-headed, concealed weapon carrier (therefore thoroughy vetted for background), firearm-trained (and NRA Instructor), equipped individual who can be their linchpin in this neighborhood. They see me as an asset because they are aware of my capabilities and they know me as an individual, not a “label,” such as either survivalist or prepper. And … the reason I truly am an asset is the knowledge I carry in my head, my physical abilities, and the stored equipment and supplies that they know are needed, but in short supply, in an emergency. A well-equipped prepper can be a point of communication, which normally breaks down and becomes chaotic in an emergency; my radios will come in handy. How could they not see a “prepper” as an asset when the prepper has simply invested in the same equipment and supplies, knowledge and experience, that FEMA invests in?

    Preppers vs. Domestic Terrorists? In the classes I teach and those I’ve taken as a student, few of the individuals, had they been terrorists, would have provided the verifiable information required. Many preppers are Concealed Handgun Permitees (‘CHP’ in Colorado); domestic terrorists don’t easily pass the ackground tests. Domestic terrorists don’t purchase, in addition to guns and ammo, all of the Prepper equipment, supplies, materials, foodstuffs, that preppers buy. Why would they? If they expect to survive the actions of their terrorism, they probably don’t expect to stay in the same place, and they most likely don’t worry about being an asset in their community, but stay as secret as they possibly can.

    I’m a prepper because I am preparing myself, my home and my family for things that I hope never happen, but might happen — things that will be unwelcome in major ways and/or in minor ways. Even before I started ‘prepping,’ I bought insurance. I had fire extinguishers. I had first aid kits. Did those make me a prepper? If so, then so be it. Most people have those things, so, to some extent, it could be said, “Most people are preppers, at some level.” To me, adding things like home defense mechanisms, a freezer full of meats and a basement closet full of canned goods, a seed bank, lots of water in my garage and purification methods, generators, propane heating stoves and los of propane, a major-league First Aid Kit, motion-sensing outside lights and motion-sensing doorbells, double locks, door braces, firearms, cash — all of those things “preppers” have — are simply extensions of the same things “most people” do. When my neighbor (the one I fully trust as a partner in preparation) said, “won’t people think we’re horading?” I answered, it’s not hoarding if there’s plenty around. Is your bank savings account a money hoard? It’s storing up nuts for the winter that’s coming.

    If a squirrel will store up nuts for his/her little family, he’s a prepper. If a mama bear will fatten herself up for hibernation and birthing cubs, she’s a prepper. If a man or womans wants to store up for his or her family and loved ones, food and supplies for the economic winter that’s coming or for the kinds of disasters that happen routinely throughout the world, he or she is not a “hoarder,” but a “smart cookie.” I want to be able to get my family and myself through any local or regional problem with our health intact: That’s the goal — it’s also my main mission in life: Create my family, be prepared to protect my family, and love my family, so they can do the same thing with their family.

    YMMV, though I hope not! —Bill

  83. Mother and Wife says:

    Although I do believe that many in positions of power have singled out preppers because they can’t control people who can take care of themselves instead of being dependent on the government. I agree that most local law enforcement and military do respect those who are prepared, expecially if they actually get to talk to them.

    I think that the biggest difference between terrorist and preppers is that preppers are closely linked to their communities. They work at or own companies; they attend local churdches and belong to other organizations; they meet regularly with friends and family; and they donate time and money to others. Terrorist don’t get close to anyone. They minimize contact with others and don’t let anytone know too much about themselves. They definitely aren’t donating time and money to others.

    I also agree with others posters, that a prepper is much more likely to be growing a garden with heriloom seeds and raising chickens or other food animals than a terrorist would because the prepper is thinking more long term and how they could help others.

    The prepper is living a long term lifesyle. In general the terrorist is also more likely to have a sudden change in lifestyle or purchasing habbits. I suppose someone just introduced to the prepper lifestyle might have a sudden increase in purchases in an attempt tp “catch-up”, but they would then move into a more long-term lifestyle of prepping.

  84. Alan in the South says:

    Preppers seek to be a sustaining force in their neighborhoods. Most are thinking about assisting their neighbors to make the transmission from chaos to some degree of stability. Every prepper I know is making an effort to have enough for charitable giving.

    Domestic terrorists tend to be focused more toward military tactics and operations. Their time is spent honing offensive skills. Not family oriented. Attention to now action using available supplies. Would not have the time and interest in planting gardens or other far reaching resource conservation to rebuild from chaos.

    I am a 75 year old prepper and believe this country can once again be great. I love my family, my church and most of my neighbors. I am willing to spend time and money in an attempt to do my part in protecting the continuing safety of my family and the livelihood of my place on this earth, and to do what I can to be in a position to rebuild should destruction fall on it.

  85. Thank you all of you.
    I think we all have our own very good Ideas. I live in a town of 2000, North 10 miles of another town of 14,000. There are a lot of older experienced people here and we lost our electricty for a morning and the day. Was a lot of talk and that opened up for lots of ideas. We have a community garden that lots of us in the town work in and every one is welcome to pick what they want. Most of the churches have gotten together and started to can goods and teach the younger women how to can. This is one of the most unusual comunities I have ever been in. We all love god, church, family and life.
    I am a pastor here and that is the reason I am here. They call me the gun toten bible toten preacher for fun. I custom swage bullets and I am a gunsmith and custom gun builder. We all like to shoot at the gun range on the river and help each other.
    I would like to think I am prepared but know I am not. Several have started raising chickens and I have not ought any eggs in nearly a year. Good for the rest of the community. I believe as long as we all discuss with reason and there is a lot of that here, and keep our fellow neighbors safety in check and keep God and good reason in check, I believe this community will survive and help a lot of others do the same. We have to realize that some people can not handle some kind of situtation like this and some will be great. My wife and daughter are going to be in mass panic. My two Grand children who live, hunt, shoot, and work in my shop are going to be the ones who jump up and say,”what do we need to do, one which is a 10 year old girl and the other is a 12 year old boy. By the way, the three of go praire dog shooting and will shoot between 150 to 300 at a time and most shots are at 200 to 600 yards and they are good with pistols at the range. Just had to brag about my grand kids.
    I really do appreciate all you have taught us and I do share some of it with my community.

  86. 1.Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    Preppers are an asset, because they are not a drain on the limited resources most cities have on hand. Prepppers will not (unless asked) be out in the way of the emergency response people. They will be occopied trying to help out neighbors, family members, and their local churchs. Preppers will have the physical stamina (because of extra supplies) to be able to help after a disaster has depeleted the mental and physical reserves of the general population and emergency responders. They may not be trained medical personal, law enforcement or logistical technitions, but they can take the place of over worked, trained personal with a small amount of supervision.

    2.How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
    Preppers are different, because their buying patterns are not (usually) done in one big spending spree. Most preppers have to work within a buget. I would assume that a domestic terrorist would try to purchase all their supplies quickly so they could focus more on when and where they would use the supplies. Preppers supplies are things that are bought and used by the general public. A prepper’s activites are life activities. They go to work (if they can find a job) and are generally the steady, every day on the job type people. They use their spare time to be with family and friends. If they believe in God they will be active in their local churches, you will see them going on a regular basis to Bible study during the week. They will be at church on the days and nights that they have regular services. Unlike, I would assume the domestic terrorist, the average preppers generally part of society. They are families, maybe just a single parent, maybe a young couple, or maybe just a husband and wife with children, they are out in society. School activites, Church sanctioned events, a job, and a life, this are the types of things that separate a prepper from a domestic 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 consider myself a prepper, because I have spent my whole life trying to be independent. To be independent you have to prepare for situations above and beyond the day to day events. I grew up in a household of limited finances. So I learned early on that you should always stock up when there was a little extra cash on hand, because there would always be a time that these extra supplies would come in handy. I have been retaltively lucky as an adult, I have never at this point in time had to scrape by yet. But I am still buying a little extra each time I go shopping.

    I love my wife and 3 children so much that I would sacrifice my life for them, so what is a little extra time and money for extra supplies. Loving my family means that I have to go the extra mile to make sure that in any sort of situation I am preppared as best I can be. Who knows maybe that extra gallon of water will mean the difference between life and death for one of my family members. Maybe that extra case of canned vegitables will mean the difference between my church being able to feed another family one more time or only being able to feed part of that family.
    I may not be able to feed 5000 with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, but if my prepping feeds 5 people one night, I will have proven why I am a prepper.

    Thank You, David

  87. hoping these responses will help change the mindset of DHS:
    Preppers become assets after disaster situations, because they want to bring stability back into their community(ies). They don’t want the crime, vandalism and damage that can be brought about by marauders, who weren’t able to properly for their families. Those people act out of instinct, and will be everywhere in our society. Common sense should tell you that every citizen will not and cannot prepare for disasters, natural or not. But Preppers pay attention to what’s going in our society, our community(ies) and our families. Preppers don’t want to start over again, rebuild again. Preppers want to maintain what’s already theirs. I am a Prepper and I only want to take care of my small world. But by helping others that surround me, we can make a bigger recovery together after a disaster.

    Preppers and Domestic Terrorists really have NOTHING in common. Preppers are PROACTIVE. Terrorists are destructive. Although your definition of what both groups do is on point…terrorists are not out to improve “life after a disaster.” This speaks to my first answer, as to the integrity of a Prepper vs. a Terrorist. Terrorists will go to any extreme to carry out their sick thinking. They will constantly and continually destroy whatever is necessary to bring about their warped visions. In the process, they create more of themselves, because other unfortunate people(s) will watch their behavior and think that that is the way for themselves to get ahead. Preppers will get back to fixing, re-building, and re-structuring their worlds. Most people don’t have the drive of a Prepper. Most people want to get by as quickly and easily as they can. And I believe the terroristic nature of a Terrorist would appeal to most survivors, because of their laziness nature and their desire to not work for themselves, but to create havoc, just as the Terrorist would do. Preppers are social people, who like to interact with others. Terrorists are isolationists. They tend to ONLY link themselves with weak-minded people. There environments tend to reflect their mindsets…TRASHY!!! They don’t spend money on things that make their environments better. They spend it on things to cause destruction. preppers are just the opposite. Again,using common sense…you can ride through neighborhoods and you can tell who takes pride in their environments. And in the well kept environments you encounter,you will probably find that most there, are and would be Preppers.

    I consider myself a Prepper, because of my twenty-one plus years of experience and training in the United States Military. Having seen firsthand, the havoc that disasters bring to people and families in other war-torn countries…I have come to understand the value of stability. I have also seen the war-torn effects in my own country. Although there hasn’t been a war here, the effects of lost jobs has caused similar behavior right here in own own lands. Again…common sense tells me that it doesn’t take but a slight shift to send our nation into the very scenarios I’ve seen played out in other countries. So I cannot sit back and be idle, knowing the damage that can occur here in this great land. My training provided me with the knowledge base, to prepare myself for whatever may occur in the very near future. No…I am not looking for anything, but I have observed enough in life to understand that the winds of change can happen in a moments notice. I do not want to be in a situation where I didn’t have a fighting chance to defend what I love and live for…my Family. I WILL fight with all that I have within me, as I did for our country, right here at home…to defend what I call…Home. So being military-minded drives me everyday to be as best prepared as I possibly can…for whatever may occur in the ver near future.

  88. David I would like to make one more comment. Due to a recent increase in demand, Mountain House has asked all distributors to temporarily stop taking new orders for Mountain House cans. Mountain House’s backlog is so large that they have stopped supplying all distributors with new orders for the time being. The point being there are millions of preppers out there purchasing food. There is no way the government has the man power to investigate purchases of so many people. Most of us have the bulk of our “stuff”. The gov just can’t stop it, no way. I will keep on buying no matter what!!!!! Everybody else should do the same. Power is in numbers. We have the numbers, don’t we.

  89. Preppers will be important after a disaster just like when the Red Cross & other volunteer workers go into an area to help care for those that cannot help themselves. Helping to restore order along with a sense of normalcy & community so as to get survivors working together in order to get food , water & shelter for safety. A clearing house for people to leave messages & names of people they are searhing for.
    A large difference between preppers & terrorists to me is the way we band together. The preppers stay in a family oriented group working together for the benefit of all. open & aboveboard in their dealings with others. Terrorists move forward only to theri own skewed view of the situation Terrorists seek the power from having the guns &other supplies & would not try to help outsiders. I hope that preppers, using caution, would be open to helping all to survive as best they can. In short, preppers love life and terorists love mayhem!
    My family is the most important thing to me followed by friends then my community. My husband is a member of a motorcycle club made up of military & law enforcement retired or still in service. Simply because of their being a motorcycle club they are looked at as being dangerous. In reality they would do what had to be doe to save their families & friends. A good network with everyone treated with respect may also be one of the main differences in the two groups. While there may be a level of orginazation in the preppers it can be adjusted without violence. In terrorist violence os the only way.

  90. Question number 2-
    I assume you mean “How could a government macro filtering computer search sort out the terrorists from the preppers”.
    It should be easy to sort out foreign ones from domestic ones. Foreign nationals sent here as part of a terrorist plot (like the 9/11 attack) would have zero interest in their own futures here in the US. Therefore they would have no credit history and no long term loans; no mortgage (i.e. they may be home owners who recently paid cash for a house, but not 30 year mortgage holders), no car payments, no medical plan, no work history, no tax history, etc. These should be easy to pick out even with a non-sophisticated search program. If the agent who noticed the arabs taking flying lessons before 9/11 had checked these things, the results would have screamed “terrorist”.
    Domestic terrorists would be much harder to ferret out. The main difference seems to be the differences in dedication and professionalism. Domestic attacks are almost always by one person (Ft. Hood shooter, University of Virg., Tucson). Someone who suddenly snaps and strikes out at somebody (or anybody). What we call a crime of passion (a man kills his wife in a fit of rage). No premeditation and classed as second degee murder. Foreign operatives are much more coldblooded and professional in their planning and actions. These are not crimes of passion.
    How can we tell if a person is borderline insane and is going to go on a shooting rampage next Tuesday? I have no idea and I doubt that anyone else does either. The government’s methods quickly spot militia groups and cults, but when was the last time either one of these commited a terror act?
    My arguement to DHS would follow this line of reasoning: When a person robs a liquer store and shoots the proprietor, his lawyer will argue that the poor shooter’s father beat him when he was young. Maybe so. Let’s assume that’s true. The problem is that most victims of child abuse never commit criminal acts. So… Here we have a group of 1000 child abuse victims. One of these may kill someday, but which one? There’s no way to tell. We could save a life by locking up all 1000 for the rest of their lives, or maybe just put them on “watch lists” forever and forbid them to own guns, lighters, box cutters, bibles, etc. But we won’t. Why not? For the same reason we won’t save 30,000 lives a year by making the national speed limit 25 mph – as a society, we are willing to accept that level of risk. (This is the fallacy in the “if just one life could be saved…” arguement.)
    So the question for DHS is “Since you are no more able to predict which of these people you have identified as terrorist risks will actually commit an attack, than you can tell which abuse victim will rob a convenience store and shotgun a teenage clerk, or which driver will wreck his car, why are you so willing to harrass these people, 99.9% of which are upstanding citizens and are on YOUR side?

  91. I was a FED at FEMA during the Katrina Disaster. The news only reports and certainly distorts the reality of any disaster situation to meet their sensationalist needs.
    Previously, in large scale disasters like Hurricane Andrew, which devastated S. Florida, that FEMA was beat up in the media for not responding fast enough after a major disaster. FEMA then overtly advertised to the public to have 3 days of emergency supplies to support yourself and your family until help to arrives.
    Many years have passed by, the disasters have grown in scope and scale. populations often are experience back to back like in Japan recently. I have personally seen from the inside of how FEMA functions. There are a huge number of really good people who perform the grunt work at FEMA. They really care, are extremely patriotic, and many of them are preppers themselves. You almost have to be after you see the reality of how very slow the federal machine moves and how very desperate people become after the disaster’s impacts affect them.
    FEMA wants to rush in, they want to provide the resources so desperately needed after a disaster strikes, but, the reality is they can’t, and sometimes there isn’t enough to spread to all the affected areas. My life changed after the back to back disasters of Katrina striking the gulf coast and the levy breaking and flooding New Orleans. When a major event strikes the mid Atlantic/DC area, I know my family will be taken care of because I have prepared. I implore everyone to adopt this attitude and be responsible for yourselves. The government is not capable of taking care of everyone. I refuse to die or allow my family members to die waiting for help from the government.
    To put it most succinctly, The Federal government honestly needs as many people as possible to be prepared. Without preppers the federal systems will fail again and again.
    The main differences between domestic terrorist and preppers is pretty straight forward. Terrorist don’t care about being prepared to take care of themselves as much as seeking ways to disrupt normal public activities and daily life. The terrorists’ aim to spread fear and panic. To inflict as much pain and suffering on people as possible. The terrorist is not buying food, water medical supplies quietly to take care of their family, they are buying bomb making materials, explosives, toxic materials casing public venues looking for soft targets to attack. Much of their activity is spent planning or engaging in illegal activities and purchases. More often they will steal the materials fly they can fly under the radar. Non of my activity has been illegal. I am community service oriented not a recluse trying to stay out of sight.
    I am a prepper. I know why I need to be prepared and I know what the potential risks and threats are. After I concluded my time at FEMA I worked at DHS NPPD. I am acutely aware of our nations’ infrastructure and its’ need to be protected. I know many of its vulnerabilities and weaknesses and its’ strengths. In know how we are protecting it and much about the DHS mentality. Conspiracy Theorists’ give the DHS/LE organizations far too much credit when it comes to information sharing and training.
    I have already said why I put my energy into being prepared- I I don’t know government will be there to save me when the event/events happen. I love my family too much to do nothing.

  92. 72 hour kits…
    I retired from Law Enforcement 5 yrs ago with my final eight years working in an intergovernmental unit with Emergency Management. A decade prior, I was re-assigned to work in South Dade County, Florida during the long aftermath and recovery from Hurricane Andrew. Although, it wasn’t as bad… we also took a hit from Katrina days before New Orleans, and I bring that up because I made some comparative observations of Louisiana’s Katrina debacle and Florida’s Andrew. The one blaring, common denominator was that the Federal Government took much longer than 72 hours to respond. Both times, the blame was put on local government which was in a shambles in New Orleans and seriously shaken in Miami. I particularly remember the director of Dade’s Emergency Management Center literally yelling for the feds to respond. The response? This is not a quote, but an accurate re-telling (and you can research it if you like), ‘you didn’t complete the proper forms.’ My personal preparatory philosophy is quite simple. If the government says you have to take care of yourself for 72 hours before they come in and take care of you… I ignore that assurance as it won’t apply to me, and tell my friends to prepare for a week or two. Even if they did hit town in 3 days… how long do you think it will be before shelters are erected and supply distribution centers are established, up and running? That still doesn’t take into account how long it would take you to get to the front of the line for your gallon of water and 9lb bag of ice. The nonconformity-like attitude of preppers and survivalists is a far cry from terrorism, and not even remotely similar to anarchism. Somebody’s been brainwashed… and it certainly ain’t me!

  93. Dave in Calif says:

    Love of country vs Hate their country…
    Love our Constitution vs Hate their Constitution…
    Love and Respect of Family vs hate and intimidate their families…
    Don’t Kill animals unless it is to feed thier families vs shoot and stomp anything to death…
    Wave at the police and first responders vs flip off societies care takers…
    Like and respect others vs do not like or respect others…
    Do not oppress the weak vs bully and intimidate the weak…
    Work hard vs hardly work and blame others..
    We give THANKS…you know the rest.


  94. I think everyone here has had something good to say, but there seems to be a common theme to which I neither agree nor accept. I don’t believe in a god anymore than I believe in a devil. I don’t believe that any body other than ourselves has any say over our lives, but I strongly believe in holding those that do wrong, 110% accountable to each and every person they affect; be they politicians or anything else. Prepare to the best of your ability each and every one because it only takes one disaster to make every ounce of that prepping pay off!

  95. Eric Seberg says:

    1. Preppers are an asset because they do not add to the recovery burden and as you note are available to assist since they are not consumed in basic survival. Having been involved in several disasters in the military, EM and DHS, I can tell you that RC, Sal Army and other relief organizations can be quickly overwhelmed. One need look no further than Katrina, Haiti and Japan.
    2. While not all encompassing, the average prepper has no need for a large weapons and ammo cache or explosives. A sidearm, small and large(r) cal rifles and a shotgun are sufficient. Ammo is heavy and you need to be prepared to move if necessary or forced to by the nature of the disaster. If you have a rural retreat with open space a Barrett .50 might be appropriate but not for an 8th floor apartment in a large urban area. Same with explosives, they might be needed for clearing stumps to plant crops but an apartment dweller has no need that I can discern. Also not defining is speciality training. I realize that you promote self defense training and that can have its place but involves time, effort and cost. The average prepper needs to have the basics and know how to use them – and acquire more if the situation continues. Note Katrina, those folks didn’t have the basics so what good would weapons or speciality training have done for them?
    3. The easy answer here is my family. As noted I have been involved so I know what is needed to keep them sheltered, fed and protected. Once my family is cared for I can assist my neighbors, friends and community.

  96. Preppers, by their very nature look, think and act long term. In my 20s I was a prepper, always trying to obtain those items that would be needed to protect, feed, sustain me and my family and or friends if or when the it was required. Now in my late 60s nothing much has changed, except the mind-set or values of those in Government who, due to their own warped sense importance, now often work counter to the age old motto of the Boy Scouts.

    There is a reason why those flood victoms of the Midwest required little or no help from Government, yet those in or around New Orleans did. No—– it is not race, but it is preparedness, know-how and Can Do !!

    Terrorist both foreign as well as domestic—– are not long-term in their behavior. They do not move into a neighborhood and activily work, often for free, donating their time and energy to make their community better. Rather the contrary, they are much more likely to be new comers and keep to them-self and not make investments of time, energy or treasure for the community.

    Behavior, attitude and inclousiveness are a much better indicator of ones loyalties to the betterment of the community than the amount of food, ammo, and or other supplies one has ordered up or acquired so as to be able to do that which any alert, clear thinking person, knows that Government can not, has not, and will not be able to do soon enough, if something major was to happen. Dare I invoke an Antiquated term, “Just use Common Sense” !!!! But even that in todays P. C. society—could be considered ” subversive or dangerous thinking” .

    I will retain my Common Sense, you can do what you will.

  97. Doug Turner says:

    A prepper is an asset during an emergency for one major reason, they put less stress on a severely stressed system.

    It all starts with buying things ahead of time. Because the prepper has stock-piles of food and other supplies on hand, when word of an impending emergency arises that is more of a “bug-in” situation, they will not be out and about. We’ve all noticed that when the news forecasts a storm, there is a quick flurry of activity. Those that are not prepared rush to the stores. This creates traffic congestion and potential accidents. It also puts a strain on available resources. The more people that prep, the less congestion on highways and the greater ability for the proper distribution of supplies.

    In a rare situation where it is necessary to “bug-out”, the prepper should know that it is vital to act sooner rather than later. They get underway early and don’t add to the rush that comes later. Also, they’ll know beforehand that emergency services will place their primary focus on emergency routes. If trapped in the late rush and an accident occurs or people run out of gas or other forms of emergency as witness in the evacuation from Hurricane Rita, being on an emergency route is safer because that is where the police, ambulances, and fuel trucks will be. The individual that goes off route and is delayed due to downed trees, accidents or from running out of gas … Emergency services are less likely to be able to reach them and calling them for help takes them away from a more efficient route where they may be able to provide aid to more people.

    In the course of or the aftermath of an emergency, the prepper is an asset because they will be taking stress off of emergency response services and understanding that their community is a vital part of their own survival; should actually be active in ensuring the safety and survival of those around them. Being a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will provide them with essential training that can possibly save the lives of those in their community. Turning off gas lines, fighting small fires, clearing debris, directing traffic, conducting triage and basic first aid when appropriate all mean less work for emergency services and thus more lives saved.

    The prepper is very different from the domestic terrorist in many ways. Prepping is an act of citizenship. By taking personal responsibility for their own safety, they are doing their part of keep stress off a over-stressed system. A prepper focuses generally on survival and sustainability. Their spending habits will reflect that. They’ll focus on gardening, stockpiling food, reducing their energy footprint. The domestic terrorist has a grand cause and is looking to gain attention to that cause and to bring down the government. Their spending habits will reflect that. Where a prepper will spend money on books teaching them how to garden, reduce the use of electricity and other ‘green’ projects; a domestic terrorist will spend money on books on anarchy, bomb-making, and other illegal acts. While a prepper will buy guns, they will do so in moderation and according to their need. A domestic terrorist will buy weapons in excess and have no problem doing so illegally. The main definition of a terrorist should remain ‘someone who uses violence, intimidation and coercion to seek political or social change or gain recognition for a group, individual or cause.’

    A prepper might have strong political views. However, they protest and strive to act within the law. A domestic terrorist will seek to bomb buildings, kidnap people, contaminate food supplies, make threats and perform other illegal acts to achieve their goal.

    I am a prepper because I believe that it is my personal responsibility and my responsibility alone to ensure my safety and security. I know that the government is not able to ensure my safety and security, so I shouldn’t expect it or anyone else to do so. I am a prepper because I strive to be a good citizen. I know that my act of prepping can both directly and indirectly impact the safety and security of others. I love my family, my friends, my country and my fellow man and the world upon which we live. Through being a prepper I show that love by my willingness to secure goods and develop skills so that I can be a help to others in a time of crisis.

  98. Sue the frugal survivalist says:

    Preppers will be an asset after a disaster because they know their neighborhood and who will need help. for example, in my neighborhood we have an elderly diabetic and an an 80 year old with memory problems. In a Sacramento flood, three of the houses on our street could be quickly flooded if a levee breaks. We have a second floor with four upstairs bedrooms. If neighbors don’t have time to evacuate the area, we have room to shelter them with emergency food, water, heating, cooking, and toilet facilities upstairs. We could support all families for several weeks, if necessary. We would be prepared to filter, and disinfect flood water ,if necessary. We could provide support to these three families until rescuers arrived.

    Preppers, like me, are concerned with shelter and comfort in a disaster. I’ve tried to anticipate the types of problems my family and neighbors would face in a flood, pandemic, etc.and tried to provide backup supplies/ equipment that would get everyone through the emergency with a minimum of discomfort. Domestic terrorists, on the other hand, are probably planning how to create as much chaos and discomfort as possible for everyone but themselves. Rather than stocking up on food, they are concentrating on guns and ammo to take food from others.

    I consider myself a prepper because I take the possibility of a flood in Sacramento very seriously. If I’m going to live here, I must be prepared to protect my family from disruption in the delivery of food, utilities ( especially water), and medical services.I care for a disabled brother who is completely dependent on medicine for diabetes and other medical conditions. I have to plan for backup supplies of all his medications. His medical facility could easily be underwater if Sacramento floods. I love my family and refuse to leave their comfort and security to chance. In a 500 year flood in the Sacramento valley, rescuers may be unable to care for the number of refugees stranded on rooftops or stranded without supplies in evacuation centers. Whether we evacuate or get stranded at home, I’ve tried very hard to see that my family will have everything they need to survive until the emergency passes.

    If the emergency lasts years, we’re gardeners, have non-hybrid seeds, and can provide food for several families.

  99. Gary Beran says:

    As a volunteer firefighter and first responder, we welcome preppers two ways: One – they are usually not one of the people in need, and, Two – they are people of a mindset that you can count on for assistance in an emergency. CERT trained people are certainly welcomed to assist in any kind of situation that doesn’t require the specialized training of a firefighter, medical person, or law enforcement, (or other, so-called, terrorists!).
    Everyone should become skilled in basic emergency first aid and CPR, not only for their own family and friends but to be able to help in an emergency situation when we run thin on skilled help. The CERT training is available to interested persons in many volunteer fire departments.

  100. Excellent questions. Tough to answer in a way that bureaucrats and political types would understand and take with any validity.

    Much of this has already been answered. Those who prepare to take care of themselves and others are force multipliers. For every one of us that is prepared, that is one not to worry about. For every one of us that can take care of one to many family members, neighbors, friends, etc., that is another force multiplier that the police/fire/EMS do not have to worry about. It is, as has been identified, a matter of resources during “normal” times, and times of emergency, particularly if spread out over a wide area. There are simply not enough police/firefighters/EMS/Military/FEMA to go around when things get bad on a really large scale. Those who are prepared allow those paid to respond to be more effective.

    As to distinguishing between the would be terrorist and the person preparing for the worst, it comes down to behavior as has already been alluded to. Those who prepare, engage in activities and behaviors that are productive and prepare for the positive benefit of their fellow man.

    Terrorists, and to a great degree criminals, all engage in some level of pre-operational surveillance and behavior to pick their targets, discover their vulnerabilities, practice how they are going to exploit those vulnerabilities, plan, exercise their plans, and then execute them. Lots of places in that cycle to ID the terrorist or criminal. Those who prepare on the other hand, engage in a different set of preparedness behaviors. Sure they train in some of the same areas, but they are not conducting pre-operational surveillance. They are not finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities to harm others.

    Someone taking photos of infrastructure, or secure areas, (just try to walk into a bank and start taking a lot of pictures) call attention to themselves for example. Those of us preparing do not take the same types of pictures. The picture taking in this case is the behavior. You have to look at the behavior in the total context. Believe me, you know what is “not right” in your workplace or neighborhood. These things that just “don’t look right” are the things to pay attention to. DHS, state and local agencies need to focus on those things. There is a lot more to this, but that would be a complete book I won’t bog you down with.

    Why do I prepare? It is inbred into me as an American. I prepare so that that I may not only help myself, but so that I am a part of the solution and not a part of the problem for my fellow man. I prepare because I know that particularly in these days of tight budgets, my local agencies can in no way “protect” or “save” me when things go bad. I prepare because I believe in being responsible for myself, and not relying on the gratitude or philanthropy of a kind and generous government. I prepare because even in the best case, when things go very bad, it will be quite some time before “help” can arrive, if it ever does.
    I prepare because I also see the larger multiplier to governmental economies. For every dollar I spend to prepare, that is many hundreds of dollars that my local government does not have to spend, or collect taxes on. Taxes that could be used to help those who truly cannot help themselves, such as the physically and mentally handicapped, elderly and infirm. In the end, preparing really should be looked at in the perspective of what is it that is most cost effective for the federal, state and local governments. Break it down into a “business case” with financial analysis, and it really starts to make sense.

  101. lightyeare says:

    The thing that frustrates me is that these people should know better than to use such generalizations for identifying terrorists. Don’t they have full-time profilers (or is that TV fiction) that should have already done a decent job of creating a profile based on known domestic terrorists although, thankfully, that number is small.
    Maybe your time would be better spent teaching them how NOT to identify terrorists:
    1. People with lots of guns – is some terrorist gonna strap on 10 guns to try to go take out a mall?
    2. People with lots of ammo – again, how are you gonna carry all that around
    3. People with “Bibles” – who are largely peace-loving
    4. Vets – that’s just seems ridiculous although it unfortunately has been true
    5. People with food – people with food want to stick around. i would think terrorists want to run away
    I guess the list of what defines a terrorist from a prepper is going to be pretty small. Seems they should be starting with that though and _then_ asking these other questions like do they have gun, a Bible, and food instead of the other way around.

  102. sarah t says:

    I think the difference in buying habits will be that our purchases will enable us to stay put with our families, + friends. We may buy physically bigger items, generators, tillers, large water containers, solar power…We will be buying for MANY people for as long as we can. We will be putting in fruit trees, berry bushes, getting chickens…all proof that we intend to stay put and provide for ourselves.

    I am guessing that the terrorist on the other hand will be purchasing for 1 person to evacuate the area quickly. Their purchases will be more MREs, and other easily carried items.

    As for what I love: my children and grandchildren. I can’t stand the thought of them being hungry for a prolonged period when I can buy in bulk and learn new skills now. I am learning to garden, can, grow berries, and care for chickens and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same. It is healthier, will cut down on how much oil our country needs, keep food prices down, and create more stability should things get really bad.

  103. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anything obviously different except mindset. You can’t tell the difference just by looking. This is what we have to understand. You can’t tell a book by its cover. When I was working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, we relied on the general population with tips, preferably not anonymous. If, while at the range, we hear statements made which would or could be taken as terroristic, it should be our responsibility to listen carefully to what they have to say, and then notify the proper authorities. Some people would take offense with this, but I believe it is our duty as citizens. Remember, these ‘criminals’, and they are criminals hurt us all, but for sure us preppers. Your’e not being an informant, just a citizen witness which if you wish will be kept confidential. It’s all about mindset. If we try and judge by actions such as purchases, innocents could be hurt.

  104. I don’t believe that the terrorist would be doing much in the way of prepping, other than buying weapons and ammunition. With those supplies, my belief is that they think they can take everything else they need/want, which spreads fear and misery.

  105. 1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?

    We are assets because we have taken the time, spent our own money, and cared enough about loved ones and our neighbors, and community, to learn how to be prepared and what to do when a disaster strikes. We have learned first aid, become first responders, EMT’s, volunteered our own time to enhance our skills so we will be ready. We learned the law so we know what we can and cannot do to assist our communities. Some of us are amateur radio operators who are prepared, when asked, to step in and provide emergency communications.

    We know how to handle firearms and know how to shoot. We have invested our own money to learn the correct way. We store our weapons properly and make certain they are always secure and in top working order.

    Our food is secured, safe from rodents and bugs and we are not dependent on outside sources to provide us with gas, electricity, or water, to survive for an extended period of time. Yet, as we read our bibles each day, we have a fervent prayer that we will never have to face a situation that calls on us to use our skills and food in a time of disaster.

    Deep in our hearts though, we know, if a calamity strikes, we will step forward to help and share so everyone can survive. That’s why we have prepared.

    2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different?

    Although some of our purchases may, on the surface, appear similar, closer examination will show they are significantly different. Preppers are buying for long-term survival situations while terrorists purchases will not reflect the same type of purchases. Preppers will be upgrading stock as expiration dates come due so their food goods and other essentials can remain current. Their purchases will reflect preparation to survive during a disaster rather than short term purchases used by the terrorist intent upon disappearing as soon as the mayhem has been created.

    Preppers will also be focusing on learning skills that will be of assistance to their families, neighbors, and community. The books they purchase and the courses they enroll in will reflect this. They are studying to survive in a disaster, not to become a lone survivalist ignoring their community and only looking out for themselves. We are growing gardens because we know someday we may need that extra food to help feed both ourselves and our neighbors. That’s why we buy heirloom seeds.

    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 have spent the time, money, and energies to prepare for the unknown, should it ever happen. I think it goes without saying that we owe it to each other to do the best we can to help each other through both good and bad times. I was brought up to love God, Country, and my fellow man. As a country boy, you always helped your neighbor. You never expected anything in return but you always knew if you needed help, your neighbors would be there for you.

    We seem to have gotten away from that notion in much of society today until an emergency strikes. Then you see neighbor helping neighbor. It is that love of God, Country, family, and my fellow man, as well as having grown up in simpler times, that caused me to become what they call a “prepper”.

    To some it must be a distasteful word. “Prepper!” To me it is an honor. It means I am prepared to help my family, neighbors, and community when hard times hit. It means I have learned what it will take for me to be a useful citizen if the need arises. It means that I can share my knowledge, help, and yes, even food if it comes to that to make sure we all make it through together. I am a “Prepper” and proud of it.

  106. As an instructor for a tactical firearms academy, I work and train with law enforcement and civilians who are actually trained to handle situations. This is what we teach. Most of these people are “preppers” as well. By nature of being “tactical” they are prepared to do what is nesessary for themselves, family, and victims in bad situations or panic modes. These “preppers” and myself as well have already aided and assisted others as well as law enforcement during disasters here in So. FL and in other states where we were asked to help. People affected by natural disaster, criminal activity, or just plain bad times can be calmed, organized, and taught to help themselves by “preppers” with real information and skills to share.
    Domestic terrorists and preppers differ in many ways. Mindset is the first big one. Hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst would be the attitude of the prepper. A potential terrorist does not want fo prepare for anything but chaos inflicted on others to promote their own beliefs. Both need survival supplies, but a prepper purchases and accumulates for his family and close group. Gardens and self supporting food sources are not in the plan for most real potential terrorists. Neither is the purchase of items to be of assistance to family or friends. Potential terrorists seem to have the negative “doom and gloom” outlook most of the time, with no time for any thing good. Their activities are usually geared towards lurking, looking for ways and places to cause chaos and hurt people not part of their plan. Their purchase patterns are usually for short term, due to their plan to either get away quick or die trying.
    I am a prepper as well as my group, because we are ready and willing to accept what MAY happen and be willing to help PREVENT problems before they occur if possible. A good prepper loves his family, beliefs, and group enough to do ANYTHING to prevent or stop threats to them. This requires spending and saving both time and money to be prepared with goods and attitude to achieve the results necessary. Your sites are a great way to get there.
    Thanks to you David for the eye opening tips and info.

  107. Donnie Smith says:

    “Preppers” are indispensable following any kind of disaster because they are the ones who help rather than cry and demand for help. They are the few that have planned on actions should disaster strike and are therefore not paralyzed with fear but aroused with determination.
    They differ from terrorists because of their moral values. There is a comparison to be made with Jesus’ words (John 10) when He said that the true shepherd came to give life while the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy. We wish to save the lives of family, friends, and neighbors while terrorists have the goal to confuse, disrupt, dismantle, and murder for their own narrow, selfish, ideological motives.
    As a “prepper”, I love the Creator and mankind (not only those I know personally) enough to do all I know and am able to do in order to preserve the order, organization, and moral concepts provided toand by this country. On a personal level there is a deep and fierce desire to spend my time and resources to provide for myself so that I may also help provide for them should our worst fears materialize.
    These are the feelings of a patriotic Bible-teaching and law-abiding citizen who legally carries one or more concealed weapons for the reasons outlined above.

  108. 1. Why are preppers an asset after a disaster?
    After a disaster, society as a whole will tend to have “the sky is falling” syndrome which is basically panic and desperation. Because preppers have considered disasters in order to prepare, they are less likely too be the ones running around panicking and adding to an increase mob mentality. The more society is prepared, the more confident it will be and less panic will ensue after a disaster. This in turn eases the stress and strain of local agencies and has the potential of increased agency assistance from said preppers.

    2. How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)
    This one is tough for me because I trust people…sometimes too much. As a prepper, I buy items such as small caliber ammo, long storage food supplies, medical supplies, general mechanical equipment. I would believe the terrorist type would be buying larger caliber ammo in possible larger quantities, short term food supplies (applies to most of the population), and no medical supplies. I believe a purchaser of any caliber ammo might also be a purchaser of hunting permits as I doubt a terrorist would bother.

    3. Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?
    My family is what drives me to prepare. I am responsible for them and their well being. It is my duty to prepare for them and to educate them in self-preservation. My goal is to help them to understand why we need to be able to take care of ourselves so as not to be a burden yet still have the compassion and resolve to help and collaborate with others.

    I am thankful that my wife is onboard here, she just started canning and loves it. She too loves the great sense of provision and confidence that prepping gives.

  109. All one has to do is look at Katrina and see why preppers are an asset in times of a disaster, why to prep, and why some purchases might appear weird, but instead are necessary. There are numerous stories about how prepared people helped the people of my state. Some drove through the night, and back roads during horrendous thunderstorms to get to the Gulf Coast in order to deliver food, and necessities from their own personal vehicles. I believe a group of women did this from Alabama. Love to all in Alabama and a huge thank you! They were prepared, and they helped. From generators to satellite phones, and guns, Katrina offers up tons of examples as to why preppers are the first and often only line of defense. We had little looting because our governor gave people the right to defend their property and lives by any means necessary. Desperate times will by nature create desperate people. However, having the guns, that never translated to any dangers to law enforcement, or to DHS, FEMA, MEMA, or harmed an innocent citizen.

    Katrina is another example of why some prep in a manner not always easily understood by law enforcement, or certainly not in the way they currently perceive some purchases a prepper might make. For example, just because I purchase a satellite phone, a CB radio, or ham radio does not translate to my being a danger to the country, or a reason to be feared by DHS. During Katrina even law enforcement, and those in MEMA more than quickly figured out communication was HUGE, and almost back to the days of smoke signals because traditional lines of communication were impossible to use. The main way folks could communicate was via the net, if possible, or via a text message. Today, currently, there are tons more satellite phones on the coast, and many a prepper both on the coast, and throughout the state now are ham operators, or have purchased a CB radio. In one way, this is sort of a fool me once way of looking at what DHS might consider questionable purchasing by preppers. We were caught not being prepared, and not able to communicate needs to MEMA, or with those on the coast. We have no plans to be fooled once again.

    If storing fuel is alarming to DHS, or law enforcement, show a picture of gas lines all over the region due to gas shortages created by Katrina. Where we live, we were an eyelash away from being completely out of diesel. Clue to DHS and others, it just so happens many an ambulance runs on diesel. So storing up on gas, or if need be diesel, does not mean we have nefarious goals. Instead, it signals we want to stay out of the way of emergency officials, and not out and about, or in line for gas. The less people on the road, or in lines, the less law enforcement has to deal with when it comes to angry folks waiting in line, or distracting them from attending to those in true need of aid.

    Speaking of gas, and storing it. Did or would DHS or law enforcement worry about people storing gasoline during the sniper shootings some years back in the Virginia area? This whole situation provides one of many examples as to why one would want to make sure one had a way to protect and defend oneself, and to store gasoline, and grocery items. If a person was prepared, then all they would have to do is go to work, and the go directly home. No errands would need to be run because you had all you needed. No gas store purchases would have been needed because you had extra.

    I hate to harp on Katrina, but for us that was the true turning point of our focus on prepping. Half of New Orleans migrated to our state. We were happy to be of help, but many people flooded our convention center, and they left New Orleans with no food, no toys to occupy tiny hands, and little bathroom amenities. Because I had been somewhat prepared, we were able to take down to the convention center food, toothbrushes, and some colors and coloring books for the kiddies. In times of disaster there are always people who are not prepared. The difference between preppers and domestic terrorists are that we go to convention centers to help, and to show true American spirit, domestic terrorists as we well know do quite the opposite.

    It might help if those in law enforcement or DHS paused for a moment to pick up a history book. Whether it was the Depression, or World War II, people who had what we now call traditional, or prepping skills were an asset to those suffering, or in need of assistance. If I purchased 100 Ball jars, that does not mean I am making moonshine, or planning some terrible crime. It means that I am going to be sweating to death this spring and summer canning in case, say, oh, those that I know in the military are not going to get paid, and they might need a jar of my homemade spaghetti sauce. History teaches us we must prepare for natural or man made disasters. Most prepares have opened a history book, and we got the message. Besides, clue to DHS, history has a way of repeating itself when people DO NOT know their history. Lots of historical ignorance across the fruited plains these days.

    Compare the messages of domestic terrorists, and those who prep, or are considered “bitter clingers” or “extreme Tea Party members”. For the love of heaven, that should be the first clue. Preppers are all about protecting those who serve DHS, and law enforcement officials. We respect them and are not out preaching revolution like those on the domestic terrorist side are. I have yet to see one prepping group not speak about helping, or sharing what they have stored. If there is anything that DHS needs to fathom it is the fact that we fear them because they have “acted unwisely” in categorizing patriotic Americans, like our military members, and regular citizens as being dangerous, meanwhile, it would not take 30 seconds to buzz by Drudge, etc. and see how many a domestic terrorists are this very day calling for violence. If DHS and law enforcement need someone to watch, or to be worried about, how about checking out the actions of the SEIU and the AFLCIO? What about these self proclaimed communists and socialists daily calling for violence? Preppers, real preppers are not calling for anything but as you said David, the ability to protect their families, and to aid people.

    In our area, we have notified some of the local law enforcement people what we are doing, (prepping), and why we are doing it. They more than get it. Hello, Katrina. For just one example. We have told them if their families need aid, because if some disaster of any kind does happen, law enforcement families are going to possibly need help, we told them not to hesitate to find us, and we will take care of their families. Thinking this is not the way of domestic terrorists.

    As far as purchasing patterns, if I was a domestic terrorist, then why did I purchase a Junior Mill Deluxe grain mill to go with my grains? Along with my jars, I purchased 75 reusable jar lids. If I purchased a marine battery, and I do not have a boat, one might check to see if I purchased a solar panel, or the makings of a solar panel as well. If I purchased fertilizer, did I purchase seeds? This should not evolve into an episode of “Get Smart” for DHS. Maybe some should watch a bit from Sesame Street that goes, “one of these things is not like the other”.

    We are preppers. We are also not completely prepared. We are probably more along the lines of Jonathan and are also, “woefully unprepared”, but we are giving it the old college try. We are careful about who knows we are preparing because we do not want to become overwhelmed, or deceased by those who desire our preparedness items. However, we do hope a miracle happens and we can help those in need, and still feed ourselves. This is a big difference between ourselves and those domestic terrorists types. We protect, defend, ans still plan on helping others.

    On a separate note, it would be a big help to those of us prepping if the churches, (beyond the Mormon church-they get this-thank goodness), in this nation would get on the same page. It drives us nuts that as a whole the churches across this nation are so afraid of being called nuts, or that they might loose big donors, and are not addressing the need to inform their congregations, and support a move to prepare. Testimony or a showing how members of a church are preparing would go a long way in helping law enforcement and DHS know the difference between preppers and domestic terrorists. At least we think so.

  110. Daniel here:

    Why are preppers an asset after a disaster? Your article pretty much gives a little about why we are an asset. But we can take that a little further. Preppers are leaders by being prepared. They can supervise their neighbors and collectively help build shelters. Help in quelling terror in not being prepared. They have a calming effect on the people around them by organizing the effort of survival and quelling unrest. One of the most important lessons learned from the recent quake in Japan. No unrest there! No looting. Unless the real need to move is required, shutting off gas and water leaks to save those assets. Provide First Responder support, clear debris so support can get to you. Assessing the situation and being the spokes person for the block.

    How are preppers and domestic terrorists different? A prepper begins by planning a long term strategy and over a period of time purchases material and supplies over a period of time so as not to look out of place. A couple of extra cans of food a week, an extra bag of rice or bean so as not to look out of place. Where as the domestic terrorist usually has a short term agenda and purchase things quickly. Even though it may not be all at one place their activity can be noticed especially by the materials they are purchasing. Preppars are gathering commonly used supplies for the home, garden or family outing. Preppars will work with in the bounds of the law to get trained with weapons, First Aid courses or even attend local Agriculture seminars to learn about soils, crops and etc so that they can act in our new green society. Domestic terrorists on the other hand just get what they need and go and use it with out training or the care to get trained by and large. They tend to operate under the wire and can be detected because they act shady. Where as a good prepper lets his neighbors know about his garden or training he is taking to get them involved.

    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 found many ways to work at being a preppar that keeps me and my family so to speak under the wire, but shows community involvement while getting free training with out being noticed. Join the Civil Air Patrol, get involved with the training they provide. No one notices when you are stocking up on mission items that will be used for your survival as well. Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts/ FFA/Red Cross these organizations train you and the kids in outdoors skills. First Aid or animal husbandery. So who would notice the chicken or sheep your kids are raising for their projects? You get to work with like minded people who want to survive. You get to meet with the local community personnel who you will be working with helping others if the disaster does strike. Also remember when and if a disaster happens they will be coming to you for support, getting you to the inner circle of people who are going to survive. There is nothing like the benefit of that. Get a Ham Radio License for communications and a radio or two. Communications could be the most important thing you need for survival when the cell phone/computer do not work. Again you will not look out of place. Even a CB radio will help and a set of the hand held radios when you are out away from the family foraging for things comes in handy. Working with these organizations will give you a sense of pride at least it has during my short 65 years, free training and advise and involvement with the community and others who may not be preppers but are none the less learning skills that when push comes to shove will help them and you survive. In my military reserve career I once worked with the Office of Disaster Preparedness with one of the best organized counties in the country. Other agencies from all over the world came to look at what we had done in planning for our area. Working with them you come in contact with all the organizations, business and individuals who have shelters, stock piles of materials and food giving you another heads up in not only being able to help but gather materials or supplies needed before or after disaster strikes. So go out and get involved. You may be the one that helps organize your own community into being better prepared. I found that in the Civil Air Patrol I have access to all the FEMA training courses with my online training for free as a side benefit and I get to work with the up and coming generation of cadets who will be our future leaders. Pass your knowledge on, that is the only way your family or friends will survive and by doing it through these types of organizations no one is going to think you are a preppar or a domestic terrorist. What do we say– Train, Train, Train and when something happens it will be second nature. Those who are trained will usually survive. Sometimes events over come training and no matter how well prepared or trained we are nothing will help.

  111. Battlespeed says:

    Apologies – my brain got fixated on “survival”. The prepper triad is security, safety and self-sufficiency.

  112. I am answering your 3rd question. I am a military wife, mother and a Tsalagi (Cherokee) woman. Prepping is not something I do, it is a part of my life and it started with my grandmother. My grandmother grew up in time when her parents grew a garden for the family and that garden helped feed neighbors as well. My grandfather would be gone for days hunting to feed his family and again, to help a neighbor or 2. My grandmother kept a garden, small in comparison to my great grandparents, but efficient for her needs and any who needed help. This is what she taught me. She canned what was not eaten, given away or composted. This is the way of my people, my grandmother and now my way of life. Now, lets throw in navy life, kids and moving every few years. Deployment brings its own set of challenges. Sometimes things run smoothly, but more often then not, unexpected challenges come up. All of these lessons and experiences have taught me to be prepared. When you live out in the country, you learn to prepare for the winter during the spring and summer. When you live in the city, you learn to prepare for power outages. When your husband is deployed, you prepare for everything, in my case. I love my people, my family, my country, but I have been given 3 precious gifts; I need to take care and prepare myself for the welfare of my family, for my husband to know I will handle what comes my way while he is gone and to show The Creator, God, I am thankful for the honor bestowed to me in the precious eyes that greet me every morning who unconditionally love me, depend on me and blindly trust that mommy will keep them safe. Or in my sons words, ” My momma will jack up the bad guy!” We need to be prepared and be leaders of our families, our communities…

  113. Christine Pranga says:

    We are living in hard times, it is all around us. Yes, I am a preper. Doesn’t that make me the wise one. I am thinking a head like I was tought in girl scouts. Always be prepered!!! If that makes me a potential domestic terrorists then, I guess that makes all girl scouts potential domestic terrorists. This is what I love and I am willing to spend time and money on preparedness? I do it for my Daughter, I do it for my 2 Grand kids (6 and 10) I do it for my 2 brothers and their familys, I do it for my sister and her family, I do it for my Mom and Dad in their late 70’s and not in good health. I have friends that I love dearly, I do it for them. I do it because I see what happens to people who don’t hope for the best and prep for the worst! You may not have a cold, but 9 times out of 10 you have cold med’s in your home Just in case!!

  114. Thanks, David. I’m going to address the questions in reverse order. I’m surprised that I have become a prepper, b/c most of my life I have been positive that things will always work out. I’m a practicing Catholic, and as such have always been exposed to the belief that suffering is a part of life, the world will end one day, and no one knows when, so don’t waste time worrying about it but make the most of the gift of life you have and do good while you can.

    As I have paid more and more attention to what is going on in our country and the world, culturally, politically, and economically, I have been moved to take action to become more prepared. I see this as exercising my freedom which is a gift from God, and arguably a responsibility. By becoming more prepared, I can take care of myself, my loved ones, and will be in a position to be charitable in the case of a disaster. By prepping, I have increased my camping gear to be more sustainable, have water and water purification, food storage, guns, ammo, and metals, and some cash. Some may say it’s haording, and that to store up riches is not biblical. But my motiviation is not greed, it is to take care of myself so as to to not burden others, and to be able to be charitable and take care of others should times get tough.

    What do I love? my loved ones and my life. I believe in the sanctitiy of life, and that means my own as well. Therefore it deserves protecting. That also is a difference b/t a prepper and a terrorist: a terrorist does not respect life, even his or her own.

    And I stated above why a prepper can be an asset, because he or she can be self sustaining and not be a burden to others, and in fact can help and be in a position of being charitable when it would be a time of great need.

  115. Battlespeed says:

    Prepping is about security, safety and survival – the prepper triad. One of the primary activities that terrorists carry out, and which is entirely missing from the prepper’s behavioral pattern is TARGETING. Since this is also the phase in the terrorist behavioral cycle that is the most obvious to an observer, as I said – you’re mistaking a casaba melon for a lampshade if you don’t see targeting behaviors in a prepper and you conclude that he’s a terrorist anyway.

  116. A lot of preppers in our area get CERT training. At least in our town the authorities are happy when they see us being prepared.

  117. I have been a prepper all my life. Having grown up hungery (before the lavish intitlement programs) I always promised myself my children (or any child in my shere) would never go hungery. I have always had extra stores laid in as a ‘just in case’ safety net. It has saved our bacon more than once when we were unemployed or hospitalized etc.

    I always travel with my 48 hr bag in the car. If it looks bad I could probably stretch it for another day or two. It is peace of mind knowing that if I am caught away from home in some sort of emergency I can fend for myself until I get assistance or I am able to get home. This is a common sense “DUH!” step for anyone to take. And it gives folks at home less to worry about if they know you at least have food and water for a couple days. It is a win/win in a crisis.

    My big question for the folks in DC — Are the Mormons considered home grown terrorists? They strongly recommend their faithful try to keep at least 1 yr of supplies on hand as individual family units in addition to the suppllies the church keeps for helping their own. And they have no problem with the idea of guns or bows and hunting. They are all about God, Family and Country. Yet the DC definition says they are terrorists. You are correct to point out the double speak in their policy and descriptions.

    Fortunately I live in a county where the Sheriff tells us “I hope you are ready….because it is going to come. I can’t protect you from it. You need to take steps to provide for yourselves. I trust you to do right.” You can bet he got re-elected last year!! We also have one of the highest per capita rates for concealed carry permits. I thank God he is not only comfortable with that but proud to promote it. I feel good about our county if things get bad. THAT is priceless!!

  118. I am in the process of creating another survival site that focuses on the top to the point survival sites. But I have to tell you I had a hard time choosing between Preparedness and Survivalist for the very point that you have addressed: perception. So it is still under construction.
    Like you and Jonathan said one prepared is less of a problem than the one unprepared. The unprepared will panic, storm the stores, become desperate and become a threat to the stability of the community. When they couple up with others in the same dyer position that group will now become community terrorists, threatening, stealing and perhaps assaulting those that stand in their way of taking from us what they do not have.
    There lack of preparation, belief in entitlement, and angry over and those that have, when they have not will make these people the main focus of the police departments and could be the cause for the need for the govt’s to declare marshal law. So the more preppers there are the more stable a community.

    I am a prepper and a chairman of an emergency committee. We preppers are seekers of information. Be it weather climate changes, food storage, government knowledge, water treatment and the list goes on and on we are educated citizens living in reality. We search the web, we read the books and for most part are heads and tails above the non-preppers that are more interested in American Idol, Charlie Sheen, and the latest styles and fashions. We listen to talk radio, are more politically aware of issues, referendums and executive orders. We see FEMA preparing for something big the coffins, the camps the trains…humm. So we prepare for whatever…we’re ready. In regards to FEMA, I believe they should organize all the preppers into a standing militia and incorporate them into their overall plans, not consider them the enemy,
    Yes, we love our bible, our guns and our freedom and when tshtf we will be the patriots that will rebuild our community, our state and our country. God bless every prepper, you are a great American and I am proud to stand next to you and be counted as prepared and ready to go.
    May I add your letter to my web site?
    Thank you Dave,

  119. Battlespeed says:

    Behavioral patterns are quite different for preppers and terrorists!! In fact, they are SO different that there is no reason on earth to mistake one for the other, any more than one would expect anyone to mistake a casaba melon for a lampshade – unless they’re high on something or otherwise not playing with a full deck.

    This sort of institutional stupidity only wastes precious intelligence resources – but it does explain lots of those “How could we have missed those terrorists?” questions!!

    • You’re exactly right. The net that they’re using is SO big and creates SO many false positives, that it’s making life harder for the people who are dedicating their lives to protecting us.

      • Loren Estes says:

        What is a false positive ?

        • Identifying a prepper or survivalist as a terrorist (because of traits you’re looking for) is a false positive. Identifying a terrorist would a true positive. There should be zillions of false positives. Pity the ones that the govt decides to harass.

  120. “Preppers” use their “tools” as “Good Samaritans”, starting with themselves and their families and then spreading outward in ever-growing circles – a powerful force for good and a return to stability and rebuilding. First and foremost they are not a “drain” on our system and resources.

    “Domestic terrorists” use their “tools” only for themselves and for their own ends – largely parasitic in nature. “Exploiter” is a good term for the domestic terrorist. To them, “the ends (their own ends) justifies the means”.

    Before the fact (crisis), you can generally distinguish between preppers and domestic terrorists by their values, associations, philosophies, ideologies, agendas, and history. After the fact (crisis), they are easily be distinguishable by their actions.

    If, during a Katrina-like disaster, you see someone acting as a “Good Samaritan” – leave ’em alone. Don’t confiscate their guns, food, etc. That “Good Samaritan” would be akin to the “prepper”.

    If, however, you see common disregard for the laws of decency and humanity; looting, exploitation, and disregard for the sick, the hurting, along with disregard for Constitutional law and the Bill of Rights, you are witnessing the behavior of a domestic terrorist. They are like parasites looking for “hosts” to feed on.

  121. David, I send out a”Preparedness” newsletter much like you do, FREE to the public. i’m not trying to make money, just to wake people up and help them prepare for potential disaster. i believe in god, AND i believe in the United States of America. The main reason i want to prepare and want others to prepare, is to protect and provide for their family in the event of a catastrophic disaster, and for myself and those i send the letter to, be available to help rebuild this great nation if such an event were to take place, all the time, praying that it won’t be necessary. i don’t know how anyone that loves this country could be labeled a terrorist. My family has a history of family members who have served in the military. both my boys are in the military right now. The way i see it, the supplies bought by “preppers” helps stimulate the economy and if the worstp-case scenario doesn’t happen, those goods can be donated to shelters. where is the down sidde to all of this. i truly don’t understand the government’s fear, unless the government is doing things they aren’t supposed to do that is not for the wellbeing of this country.

  122. rtlimpus says:

    I struggle with these thoughts a lot. My husband and I run a ministry that aims to teach as many church and community members that are willing as much as we can about “Emergency Preparedness” and “Emergency Response”. We find that we need to be so very politically correct in our verbiage, making our training about the big earthquake or hurricane as the focal point, instead of it being only one of many scenarios. We try to deal with this knowing that if they are slightly prepared, they are better off than the majority of the country. But I cannot stress enough how many times I have heard people tell me that if “something happens”, they will just go to the neighboring empty houses and take the food out of the vacation homes. That’s a bunch of theft, and a huge liability as far as I am concerned. I am certain that if they are willing to steal from empty houses right out of the gate instead of prepping, they surely are willing to steal from occupied homes when desperate enough. The more that people are prepared is in direct correlation with the crime rate in that community, I am sure of it.
    As to your second point, I agree with Jonathan. Long term sustainability is not first and foremost on a terrorists mind. Quick, easy and get out of dodge would be how I think a terrorist would think. I spend most of my off time canning, dehydrating, and researching ways to help us live more self-reliant lives (not to exclude God, but my reliance on everything that the government controls). No more fast food, fast cars, bulging bank accounts and fast lives. Having been born and raised in Los Angeles gives me insight into what urban life is, but we have chosen to learn how to raise chickens, tend gardens, store food, heat with wood, and cook by God’s gift of solar power. Trust me, we have not figured it all out, but I know that my family is healthier and happier, regardless of what others think of us. I am pretty sure that there won’t be any terrorists in my “How to process a chicken” class this weekend, they will all be taking the “How to make a dirty bomb” class.
    Lastly, we consider ourselves preppers, but we also consider ourselves people that appreciate the ways of our fore fathers, and all that has been forgotten in the quest for material things. My grandma, and certainly her mother before her lived off our land, gardening, milking cows, making bread and raising chickens. At one time we were the healthiest nation in the world, eating what we grew locally, but now we are the fattest. I don’t want things that perish; I want the loving relationships that come with hard work. Love is the greatest of all things. Yes, I carry my LDK around my neck, I am working on my CCW, and I have plenty of ammo if we need it. I have a like-minded husband that would die to make sure we live, and I spend every penny we have putting away what we may need. Even my spare time is spent teaching others what we believe is a way of life; the how-to’s of food prep and storage, first aid, CPR, CERT training, and the list goes on- all out of our own pocket. If the government sees me as a threat, all I can say is: shame on them.
    In His Grip- Renee

    • On robbing suposedly empty houses: In an emergency / disaster situation arrest will not be a realistic option. Even in normal times it is not wise for a civilian to attempt. ‘Nuff said.

      Dirty bomb class? Down the hall, second door on the right in the same community center?

  123. 1. Post disaster, would theyr rather have everyone need assistance, as in food, water, shelter, or would the ideal situation be that most were fine for now? Seems the later would allow fema or whoever to address the real issue, not symptoms.

    2 prepper v terrorist: well, I think the two are opposites. Stability v instability. As far as buying habits, terrorists aren’t buying a year of food. They might by ammonia based fertilizers however.

    3 all to protect my family. Ironically the biggest threat to us now is govt. So far they are the only ones threatening our freedom and actively abridging our freedoms. The terrorist are a possible problem. Govt is a current problem.

  124. Allen Lewis says:

    All of the above comments sum up nicely what I would have to offer .
    I am first and foremost a patriot who dearly loves his country and the freedoms she offers .
    I took a solemn oath over 50 years ago to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies and I did that for 28 years in a military uniform .
    I believe in preparedness for the worst scenarios and am planning to be a survivor and not depend on any government agency for support . I also will be able and willing to support local law enforcement and medical personnel if needed.
    God Bless America !!!!

  125. All of the above is spot on. Also, preppers are families with children and pets. We go to church on Sunday and work the rest of the week. Besides, it is the government itself that first promoted being prepared. Are they going to take back their own advice now? That will only make people more suspicious of their motives. I will NOT be stopped from doing this. There are way too many people on board now to stop this fast moving train. Prep On !

    • 1minuteman says:

      i think a lot of this comes down to progressives dont like independent people. they like people to rely on the government for everything. it makes great job security for the government. i agree with everything you said marcia.

    • Loren Estes says:

      This is America live. My people.

  126. 1minuteman says:

    first i think that most preppers are strong backers of the military and alot of us are former military. if you remember in obama’s first year HLS sent out a memo that vets and disabled vets could be right wing extremists and possibly domestic terrorists. i mediately called HLS and turned myself in to make a point. i could tell the guy who answered my call was embarrased but he understood why i called. lets face it obama views the military as a necessary evil and most vets are conservative. obama’s administration also wants to disarm america so we can be controlled alot easier. the funny thing is all the violence the media keeps reporting is not comming from thetea party or vets or preppers but almost all of it is tied to people on the far left. obama’s people. its an inconvenient truth. you mentioned how prepper would help restore order. absolutely and people who prepare enough may be able to help out an extra neighbor or two. i for one am thankful for all the tips your e-mails give me. thye have been extremly informative because even though im a veteran not all vets saw action and alot of us did not know much at all about preparing for a disater. naural or man made.

  127. A long time ago, I learned the virtue and values espoused in the phrase “Deo et Patria” or God and Country. Moreover, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. That oath never expires for as long as those who take that oath live. Prepping is congruent with our Constitution. Domestic terrorists are domestic enemies of our Country.

    Choose to live, choose to love; honor God, Country, and Family.

  128. “This opinion has got to change.”
    Ya know what?
    I really don’t care what deranged people think.
    They can claim anything they like and go bouncing all around the room but what it comes down to is that running my life is a fulltime job and none of them get to say anything at all about it.

    If I change the world it will be by simply doing what I do everyday, leading by example.

    America is an ideal and it lives in the heart and minds of freedomists everywhere and that does not include the insane automatrons running rampant all over the place.

    I’ll prep what I want, do as I please, associate with like minded folks and everybody else can go straight to hell cause personally I just don’t care.

    • Hey Don,

      Love your passion. “Opinion” becomes important when it’s the opinion of someone in law enforcement that you’re interacting with.

    • Loren Estes says:

      I agree with this. by the way David what am I to understand by this :“Opinion” becomes important when it’s the opinion of someone in law enforcement that you’re interacting with.

    • Loren Estes says:

      Me too !!!!!!!!!

  129. GoTellBigDaddy says:

    I can’t answer your three questions because I think a conflict of interests exists. So here are my concerns:

    First you wrote:

    “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.”

    I don’t understand why law enforcement would need me a civilian to guard the morgue– stealing personal effects from the deceased?

    I don’t assume Government or law enforcement officials to be my friend, in fact I look at them as public servants. I also view them with a discerning eye and learning from a US natural disaster (New Orleans), what does this video tell you?

    Then, what about these FEMA Camps?

    Does any of these concern anyone?

    Seems to me that “survival” must include outsmarting the Government that will do anything against it’s citizenry in order to “protect” them.

    thank you and I hope you reply back.

    • On guarding morgues…that may have been too vague, but that’s one of the secondary duties that some CERT organizations fulfill. And yes, after mass casualty incidents it is not any more uncommon for people to rob the dead laying in an above ground temporary morgue than it is for people to have robbed graves before caskets were more tamper resistant.

      On NO, you’re just going to have to make up your own mind. I’m friends with contractors and law enforcement who worked NO after Katrina. They’re good guys. They told me about people who were absolute turds and a lot of other guys who were also good guys. I may have a different view on law enforcement because I have so many close friends in law enforcement.

      Same thing with bunching in FEMA camps with all government employees…remember that the leadership is made up of people who are bureaucrats and successful at being political. The guys on the front lines individuals doing a job. Some believe in liberty, some don’t. Some respect the law, some don’t. Some are good apples, some aren’t. I challenge you to find ANY industry where this isn’t the case. EVERY industry has good apples and bad apples. The difference is the degree to which individual government personnel’s thoughts and actions can immediately and dramatically affect our lives. This is why it’s so important to give them an accurate picture of who preppers are.

      • GoTellBigDaddy says:

        Thank you. Government and Law Enforcement are still public servants and if they were players in industry, many would be fired. So I appreciate the analogy, I still think Government including law enforcement needs a discerning eye. So while you maybe lobbying to change their attitudes, I’d rather like to hear about if you teach/instruct coping with Government/Law Enforcement in your Survival Training course?

        Then, because I do find your newsletters and site interesting and with good info, do your readers understand how quickly Government can “freeze” their assets? Sorry to stray from the main topic but do you suggest just Gold & Silver or some US Dollars too? WHY?

    • Loren Estes says:

      It concerns me !!!!!!!! I also view them with a discerning eye

  130. I consider myself as a prepper because of love for my family and neighborhood, country, We want to be a blessing rather than a burden to all of those named, I believe that a domestic terrorist cares only about doing harm and living for their cause. The greater we are prepared, the more we can help recover and not add to the problem. God commands us to love our neighbor.

  131. Stephanie says:

    Interesting questions you pose to us. I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints; more commonly known as the Mormon Church. Ever since I can remember the Church has taught us to have at least one years supply of food and medication. Well some meds you can’t keep a years supply. But you can do the best you can with what you have. I spent 7 years in the USMC and quickly learned how to be prepared. One of the major things the Marines taught me was to be able to adapt and overcome any situation. When I started working for the Dept of Transportation here in California one of the tasks I was given was to organize an Earthquake preparedness class. I drew upon my Church and Marine Corps teaching. I was also surprised to learn how many people were not prepared. Now than I’m older and looking at when is happening with the Earthquakes in Japan, how their government is handling the disaster, I’m more thankful then ever that I’ve have my training. I don’t tell people what I have in the way of preparedness. Even in casual conversation. I don’t talk about what firearms I may or may not have. I don’t talk about what strengths or weakness I may or may not have; because I know….Just like I know that I can and will use them against my adversary. I don’t know if any of this answers the questions you pose to us. But, I’m thankful everyday for your articles and learn something new.


  132. I consider myself a prepper/survivalist. A former Marine, ParaMedic, Red Cross Disaster Volunteer and Boy Scout, camper, hunter, etc., I have utilized those learning skills towards building my survival kits for myself and family. I am now adding solar backup to my generator, etc. I am a Amateur Radio operator and skilled in a number of other fields. These all add up to “assets” in the event of a disaster which will help me and my friends survive and will be available to local and state authorities when needed. My family and I are more “individuals” who won’t be a burden on local disaster facilities. This in itself is an asset. I have spent a great deal of time working on disasters with the ARC and have had the opportunity of seeing what happens to those who are not prepared. I do not intend to be standing in line waiting for the ARC ERV to show up with something to eat nor will my family. I know how to purify water, build and cook on a solar oven, treat many injuries, hunt and prepare food, etc., and each of those skills will help me, my family, and my neighbors survive a disaster. I also know how and when to shoot someone if ever needed.

    As far as differing buying habits, I would say that the prepper and domestic terrorist are very close on some purchasing habits. Weapons and ammunition, survival equipment and knowledge of self-protection would be virtually equal between the two but the domestic terrorist will most likely not be growing a large garden, creating “bug out” bags, offering their availability to local and state authorities to assist in a disaster, they most likely won’t be in ARC first aid classes and the like. The domestic terrorist is probably going to be even more secretive about his/her actions although they will be more outspoken against local, state and federal authority. In the event of trouble you will probably find the Domestic Terrorist on the front lines wearing a face mask while the prepper is going to be contacting local authorities and offering assistance. As noted earlier, you are going to have a hard time separating the prepper and Domestic Terrorist when it comes to what they purchase. Sadly, if I go purchase a few extra boxes of ammo, even for range use, someone is going to be wondering what I am up to and with the “kiss and tell” attitude the government is pushing today, there is a great possibility that the sales clerk or store is going to notify DHS that I just bought ammo or a knife or something of that sort.

    I think my first answer to your first question closely answers your last question. I was brought up to love my country and what it stands for. I enlisted in the USMC and served in combat because of that belief. I believe in the Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner and saluting the flag when it passes. I attend military funerals in support of my fellow veterans and in their honor. I get upset with the actions of our current president and congress (and I don’t use capitols there). I am still of the old school approach that says we take care of our own and I don’t look for a handout from anyone. I am more than willing to spend the necessary time and money to insure that I, my family and friends, will be taken care of in a disaster, manmade or otherwise.

  133. VINDICATOR says:

    The government are the terrorists. Remember Randy Weaver’s young son and wife whom the FBI MURDERED. Remember WACO: the FBI and their related CIA kill teams murdering the souls there in unlawful actions by ‘Johnny’ Reno and the Clinton’s at the helm. Remember 9-11.

    Government pukes are the terrorists; not the average soul who wishes to be left alone to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    • Hey Vindicator,

      Some of those things upset me too. I want a limited government and want to be left alone. But we’re not going to get there overnight OR by poking a stick in different government agencies’ eyes.

      I’m crafting a logical, well thought out argument to present to government agencies, branches of the military, and to local law enforcement making the case that preppers aren’t a threat…we’re the most logical solution for how to prepare for major disasters while spending the least amount of tax dollars possible.

  134. I’ll just answer this one: How are preppers and potential domestic terrorists different? (buying patterns, activities, etc.)

    I wouldn’t have a clue about what a domestic terrorist would buy, do, etc. I don’t think like that!!! It has never occurred to me!

  135. Jonathan has it nailed. My husband and I are retired and renting. Our home has a usable basement that we are taking full advantage of. We don’t have the abillty to grow a garden so we are storing food and water for ourselves and to help our many elderly and other poor neighbors – disaster preparedness. We want to be a place of safety and short-term support as God leads. We have tried to think of everything that we could use in this regard and have purchased as much as we can afford – emergency medical supplies, a ham radio to get and share news, extra towels, blankets… It’s all short-term, of course, but for a different short term than the terrorists would be considering. We are making our HOME and neighborhood the focus of our preparedness – stability is key – rather than focusing on weapons and mobility. Hope that helps.

  136. David,
    Good job!
    In answer, I like Jonathan’s comments, right on! Now to your questions with my viewpoint:
    Why do you consider yourself a prepper? What do you love enough that you’re willing to spend time and money on preparedness?

  137. Alan g. Ronk says:

    Preppers would be an asset after a disaster due purely to their level of preparedness. They would be able to take care of themselves as well as their family during an event. A prepper would also be able to help with areas that may not be ready for such an emergency.

    As retired law enforcement, the difference between preppers and terrorists although suttle would most remarkably fall around what they are buying and theirs attitudes toward those around them. I would look toward the little differences you would see in the interactions with the communities they live in. I would believe that terrorists buying habits would lean more towards short term preparedness, I.e. Preserved food as opposed to seeds for planting, ammunition as opposed to reloading supplies etc. As for Interaction within the community, I think you would find domestic terrorists might put up a friendly front, but would not really be connected to a community or area and although this might be overlooked by someone paying attention. I can recall several situations in the jurisdiction I worked in where people moved into the community but attracted the attention of law enforcement by their actions and activities. Education of law enforcement is the key here.

    I consider myself a prepper purely because I have been making long range plans for many years to be prepared for a disaster. I love my family, and my country and with the help of the almighty I will be able provide for my family and those around me in the event of an emergency.

  138. All the things you mentioned are of course relevant but could be summed up in just a few words. “I simply wish to be self-reliant and not depend on others to protect and feed our families”. For me; I have no distrust of the government, I acknowledge its limitations. I have seen what happened to others who relied solely on the government to protect and provide for them and the results is not what I want my family or I to experience. (Rodney King Riots and Katrina)

  139. Good ammo from the first commenter. They might seek out survivalist as a revision of the old Civil Defense Warden or the people who volunteer for Neighborhood Watch programs. Or those who help local law enforcemnt by volunteering to ride with uniformed officers on weekends to assist or reenforce them. Terriorist tend to be hiding out not spreading their name on the internet ordering food and supplies. Raicals can come with disguises sure but please tighten up your profile(OMG profiling….and I used God too) Ask them if they are profiling for real terriorism or the filling of FEMA Camps? …bet they dont even know about FEMA Camps. You have a tough assignment.

  140. One potential distinguishing criteria: a prepper might be more likely to have taken the time to complete Community Emergency Response Training (CERT), to ally with local first responders and learn when/how/what they would appreciate getting help with during an emergency situation. I found the training very practical and useful. It also reinforced how thin that first repsonder line is, and how important it is for those who value communitaty stability to go get that training as well as prep.

    The time and socializing involved might make getting CERT quals something which a potentially disruptive person would tend to avoid doing.

  141. Jonathan says:

    The answer to your first question is easy since you’ve already answered it. For every person that doesn’t need saving beacuse they are prepared, that’s one more that can be saved. So much is accomplished by putting oneselft into the mindset of needing to be prepared for whatever may come. It leaves that person and the ones they are protection better able to face whatever troubles may come, disaster or not.

    I like your second question a whole lot more. I think one of the major differences are in the kinds of things a prepper would buy that a terrorist probably wouldn’t. A prepper is going to be looking at recovery and sustainability. I don’t think a terrorist would be doing that. Their energy is going to be focused on being part of the problem rather than solving it. Would a terrorist go out and buy everything they would need for a garden or are they just going to buy food? Sure, I realize that all preppers may not be planning their gardens either, but that’s probably more because they’re so busy working for a living and not planning to create or take advantage of disasters. I can see why DHS would have a hard time differentiating between the two groups. As for skill differences, we might bump into each ofther at the range or weapon training courses/events, butyour terrorists probably won’t bother to take a CERT course will they?

    By some evaluations somebody might consider me a prepper, but I think I’m woefully unprepared for real disaster. I know a lot of what to do, but have so little time or money to actually do what must be done. I love my family and want desparately to be able to protect them from all of the scenarios and “what ifs” that are out there. At the end of the day, I can only do what I can and go as far as I can to meet God and say, “I’ve come as far as I can, but it’s always been in your hands. What do you want me to do now?”

    It seems we have quite the uphill battle fighting the perceptions of those that are supposed to be defending us. I’m glad we have someone like you that is attempting to represent us.

    • ron christian says:

      I’m afraid you do not understand the position we are in as a country. People in government do not fear preppers because they think preppers want to overthrow the government. They know better. The government fears and wants to demonize preppers because the government fears a populace that may not desperately need government, no matter what motivations lead to such preparation. The very rich, who literally own our government, have fought hard to get most of our populace into a position where we so are glad to get what little health care, health insurance, gasoline, food, jobs, you name it, that we do not complain. When was the last time you saw a genuine mass demonstration like we saw in the 1960s? We just go about out daily work of making the rich richer without causing any real trouble. They have worked hard to create a population that desperately needs them. Any threat to that need, no matter how small, is a threat to their power. Your chosen battle has already been lost. The real battle is in reforming campaign finance laws and eliminating revolving doors so the rich can no longer buy government officials. That is the only way we can take back our country. But, that will take a lot more commitment, sacrifice, and work than our population seems willing to do. That will take 200,000 people marching in the streets in peaceful but angry demonstrations, every day until it is done. But, no one wants to do that, because then they will lose their jobs, and their health insurance, etc. Instead, we buy wheat and guns and think we are accomplishing something. By not marching in the streets, we are guaranteeing that those guns will be needed someday. We need to change our tactics before it is too late to avoid that. I have children whom I want to see grow up in a country with peace, hope and prosperity. The last thing I want is chaos or destruction. But, our people have lost their will and vision. They have traded control of their country for poorly paying jobs and meager health insurance, video games and Ipods. The only idealism I see in them is motivated solely by protecting what little they have left that the rich have still allowed them to keep, and the rich are literally waging war on us to take more. The Tea Party, the Republicans, the Democrats – they are all just tools to accomplish that, because their leaders are all bought and paid for. Once our middle class is gone, our country will be gone, and then wheat and guns will be the only tools we have left. That is why government fears preppers. To them, the definition of a terrorist is anyone who does not desperately need them for daily bread.

      • rtlimpus says:

        @Ron Christian: Ouch, but thanks for your thoughts. Very well put.

      • Thank you for that comment. You could not have said it any better.

      • I am quite aware of where we are at as a country. It is why I’m as passionate about preparedness as I am. It is why I am willing to go meet with the very organizations who publically denounce preparedness, self-reliance, and individual liberty. I am also aware of how the sausage is made, so to speak. See things from my point of view for a second…the “government” is made up of individual people. We can’t change the government for the better quickly. But we can make a logical argument to individual people in government at various levels. Some will get it, some won’t, so what…tell the next person. My chosen “battle” has not been lost. What I have chosen to do is craft a logical argument for why preppers are assets after disasters to present to local law enforcement and HOPEFULLY get it integrated into DHS’s domestic terrorist training. The local law enforcement angle has a high probability of succeding with a low impact. The DHS angle has a low probability of succeeding with a high impact.

        People on the front lines don’t care about the “very rich” that you refer to. The “power brokers” disgust law enforcement and most front line government employees as much as they disgust everyone else. They care about doing good work and being able to go home alive and in one piece at night. It is in their best interest to identify potential threats and I want to make sure that they know that preppers are allies and not potential threats.

        Don’t give up, Ron. And don’t give in to the thought that there is only one way to make change. We still have LOTS of non-violent options…we just need to act on them.


  1. […] Morris has an interesting post this week (Preppers, Survivalists, and Domestic Terrorists…) regarding one of the biggest threats against the world of prepperdom that we face. Most of us face […]

  2. […] Morris has an interesting post this week (Preppers, Survivalists, and Domestic Terrorists…) regarding one of the biggest threats against the world of prepperdom that we face. Most of us face […]

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