Beware of the fake prepper

This is a guest post by Firefighter Charles

Beware of the fake prepper!!! This is a person that will pretend to a so-called survivalist for “The Fall”. This person, if you want to call them that, will pretend he or she is just like you. They will tell you fake information about themselves so that you could tell them your real information. He will want to know about your food & water storage, the location of your retreat (if you have one), your security procedures, your weapon cache & how many people are in your group.

This person might even go to the lengths of starting a survival group to obtain the information

The tell-tale signs of a fake prepper is his vagueness in answering your questions on his or hers survival supplies. The details in his prepping will be off. You might think at first he or she is being different but you’ll start to notice that everything they are “doing” is off or completely wrong.

They also won’t be able to tell you the companies they are using for their survival supplies. Where are you keeping the food storage? How would you get to it, if the power failed? How many people does it feed? How is your defense system? These are the odd questions a “fake” prepper would ask.

They wouldn’t ask how-to, they would ask straight forward questions. Last of all, if they are taking notes on your info be very, cautious. They might be using that info later against you. Gaining all that intel on you, so that he or she can steal, attack, or takeover your supplies. Don’t fall for the “fake” interview. Research the person through & through then make a decision.

Giving up too much information to a real interviewer can land you in trouble. I was watching a show called Doomsday Prepper on National Geographic Channel. The people on the show were being interviewed on how they are getting ready for the next disaster.

Watching the show I realized that these people were painting a bull’s eye on their homes (except one family). Wanting to share how they are getting prepared was a good thing but the camera crew screwed up a lot. They showed a couple of neighborhoods with noticeable landmarks. One of them stands out in his tightly packed neighborhood. The others can be found through process of elimination in their immediate area.

Now this is just a hypothetical scenario. A “fake” prepper just finished watching the Doomsday Prepper show. Now, that person is actively looking for them through their websites (two of the interviewees have a blog & a web store). This person will now pose as a magazine or a blog site. He will ask for an interview & these people might say yes. So once on or near their survival supplies, the “fake” prepper will start taking notes on their location, landmarks, & house number.

I know that a lot of you want to be helpful & teach other people how become self-sufficient. You have to be careful on what you say, how you say it, & where you say it. People are always listening. More & more people are getting into becoming self- sufficient. Some people are too lazy & rather take your provisions then save up their own. As for the people I mentioned earlier in that TV show. People will come knocking down their doors to get to their supplies.

I know people personally that will take your supplies, will look for handouts, and will sell you out to the neighborhood. At first I thought they were joking but it turned out not to be so. These people I have distance myself from them & no longer talk to them about preparing. When the survival mode is on, people will do what they have to do to survive.

I haven’t run into a “fake” prepper but most people are opportunist & will dive at the first chance they get to take your supplies. If they are preppers, they might use your intel as a fallback in case something goes wrong with their supplies. I am not telling you to be suspicious of everyone but choose whom you share your survival info with carefully. If they steal your identity you can get that back but if they steal your supplies, you are S.O.L.

Have you ever been face to face with fake prepper?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. No doubt there are some sociopaths out there who spend their time trying to keep track of who they could take advantage of. For the most part, if you identify yourself as a prepper the most likely thing is that people think you may be a bit of a wacko, as the whole idea of survivalism has been heaped on with negative stereotypes.

    I almost never discuss prepping in person with people, even close friends and family, and when I do I use a separate language from what gets used in prepping circles, language that is more understandable and less likely to make them think “wacko survivalist”. I speak in general terms about avoiding debt, being interested in gardening, in keeping some extra food and water around. No big deal given that I’m in hurrican country, though my supplies are much more extensive than people would ever guess.

    With the use of the web to exchange more detailed information anonymously, I’ve not found any real need to discuss these issues face-to-face with people, let alone with strangers. I get plenty of ideas and can offer suggestions without putting myself at risk.

    • axelsteve says:

      Also you got to keep on eye out for plain losers.Woe is me,it`s not my fault.We all have a relative who is a proffesinal victim being in your family or inlaw.The mentally weak like drug dependant or alcaholics or even just smoker mooches.They have 10.000 in home entertainment centers but can`t pay there water bill.They are also the weak link in the chain of survival. Steve

      • lone survivor says:

        Like I’ve always said, don’t be a blabber mouth or a braggert!
        Loose lips sink ships and it may be your ship that sinks!
        If anyone you don’t know or you don’t want to talk to about survival say something like “gee, I don’t know what I’ll do. I will wait for the government (yeah, sure) to take care of me” Play dumb.
        End of discussion.

  2. Good Article and Yes I have been face to face with Fake Prepper. He was a neighbor who over time presented himself as my good buddy, watching and observing what I did and following my actions. When We had a long term medical situation and had to seek medical attention in another state for about 4 months, he litterally stole us blind and wrecked many things in our house, while we were gone.

    I will take credit for being stupid enough to ask him to watch the place and gave him keys to watch the mail, heat etc. Imagine our surprise when we came back to find all of our appliances, ceiling fans, bathroom fixtures and all yes all of my food storage gone.

    Well the situation is making its way through the legal system, but My trust has been seriously damaged.

    • rob in Ontario says:

      OMG thats terrible – I hope you win big against this person- as you never remember everything you lost – and the trust you misplaced in him- then to take from you when gone- imagine what he do if he had no food

  3. Spook45 says:

    This one is easy enough. If I dont know them PERSONALLY I dont tell them anything ahout anything! In fact, these days I rarely comingle with people I am not real freinds with. If they are not part of my long term grid I dont talk to them at all.

  4. TexasScout says:

    This is some of the best advice I have read yet for the average “Joe Prepper” on OPSEC.


  5. I think those people on that show were idiots in the first place except for maybe the gut that had the conduit buried. All of the others basically gave up there locations. When the stores shelves are bare the dregs of society will murder you for a can of tuna fish or a drink of gallon of water. My rule is; Unless you can trust this person with your life, they don’t even find out I’m a prepper. I’m sorry but they can do their own research as I have. If not, well, I’ll pray for them.

    • Keep in mind that one of the Phoenix familys is already a well known prepper and perpping website (Surcical Mom), so her OPSEC is already blown at some level. My hope for her and her family is that she does well enough to have a BOL that few know about.

      • I would imagine that any “high profile” prepper or survivalist has a secret location. If they are making enough $$ – probably outside of the USA.

      • Annie Nonymous says:

        That is sad… I liked some of the things she posted on various sites, and took a lot of notes… but to be drawn into a false security enough to give up basic OPSEC really makes me cringe. I really hope that she makes it out alive and can re-establish both her opsec cred and her homestead after a SHTF/TEOTWetc scenario.

        I don’t know if it was she or her OH that chunked their OPSEC, but it hurt to see someone bare their everything for a 15 minutes of exposure, er, glory. Why people that HTST (and esp with kids involved) would do that is way beyond me…

        It would make me REALLY suspicious should she show up on my BOL doorstep and ask for help. Not that she would get thru our lines of defense easily, but if they were that willing to “drop their drawers” for the 3.3 million+ who watched them give away the farm, what says she wouldn’t sell out your location and preps as well..

        Damn, this makes me sad.

        • Just because you’re a prepper, you’re still an idiot when it comes to that 15 minutes of fame. Loose Lips? She went on a t.v. program for pete’s sake!
          And on a personal side note, the guys in SC will need lots of therapy for when they go through electronic withdraw with laptops, ipods, internet addiction, etc.

  6. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Firefighter Charles, While I havent been face to face with a “fake prepper”, I have encountered other charlatan types. You are absolutely correct in that all types of folks are out there, willing to take advantage of trusting people. After the recent wildfire here, stories have been told of “smoke damage” repairmen, etc coming to peoples homes to try to scope them out. When asked, they dont even have business cards or representative credentials for their “company”. Do be aware of who you are dealing with in all kinds of situations.

  7. James from Iowa says:

    I’m sure there are such ‘fake preppers’; also, people pretending to be interested in prepping(not presenting themselves as preppers, ‘fake journalists’ perhaps). Their goal is to wreck your operational security and probably even target you as a source for post-shtf. Remember the old Twilight Zone episode about the bomb shelter.

    One odd thing I noted in your article — that a telltale sign of a’ fake prepper’ is giving vague answers about his survival supplies. I don’t think that in itself proves anything. That would be one aspect of operation security – although, even speaking about it all (with any level of specificity) with those outside your immediate household is probably unwise.

    Perhaps you meant situations where the ‘fake prepper’ is insisting upon getting specifics from you, but is vague in return?

    • Firefighter Charles says:

      What I meant by being “vague” is another prepper will talk shop without giving too much personal info out or location of ones BOL. A vague response is more about not knowing survival/prepper terms. Asking you a lot of questions but then when you ask in return he or she is not answering your questions at all or switching to their next question. That is what I meant. If that makes sense.

  8. Michele says:

    I recently got an email from ‘Brian’ from the Doomsday prepper show. I told him I was not interested in being on the show, and I doubted many preppers would be.
    I used to carpool with a man who lived near me. As usual, I was trying to get people intereseted in preparing for a disaster. He told me he had no need to store food for himself or his family because bullets are cheap and have an unlimited shelf life.
    That comment made me go from storing food to storing food AND purchasing guns and ammo. It was a wake up call for me, guess I was too naive and too trusting. Don’t give out your location unless you and your family are impervious to bullets.

    • Matt in Oklahoma says:

      How did they contact you ? OPSEC sounds blown already

      • Michele says:

        Via email. I am listed on the meetup page here. The email address is [email protected] and the email says:

        My name is Brian and I work for a television production company based in NYC. I am currently casting for a new series airing for a National Cable Network and I was hoping I would be able to talk to you about participating.
        I found your posting on and would like to know more about what preparations you have been making.
        I am looking for “Preppers.” People who make a conscious effort to prepare for anything and everything the world might throw their way. How are they preparing themselves, and for what?
        Our pilot aired a few weeks ago and did very well so we are now currently casting for this season. At your earliest convenience, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to tell you more about the show and discuss our Casting Call Sheet and what we are hoping to accomplish. I was also hoping you might be able to provide some insight, leads or any information you feel would be helpful to me.

        I told him I would not be interested in being on his show, and doubted many preppers would.

        • Annie Nonymous says:

          Good thing I never got an email like that… Id be really PO’d someone backsearched me thru here. Kinda scary who else can find me here…


          • Nothing special to worry about here, and nothing to really easily trace. I have my own domain which contains no private information, and most of the rest I’ve seen use aliases on Gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc. Pretty hard to trace these back to an individual if that person doesn’t give out identifying information in public.

        • I did receive an email, but no first name was provided. This was his response: ”

          For legal reasons we are not allowed allowed to post the company name online. Please provide us with a phone number and we can give you more information. Before we speak, I can let you know that all the information you give to us is completely confidential and will not be given to anyone other than producers of the show. Your identity will be protected.


          On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:52 PM, James Smith wrote:

          Before I fill out this casting call, could I get some information from you? Such as:

          Your name
          Company name
          City and State
          Direct phone number
          A CV or a past projects list

          You are asking for some very personal information and in this age, every request should be scrutinized.

          Thanks for understanding!


          Does not pass the smell test.

  9. I was involved with a shooting group and one day we were talking about storing up a little ammo in reserve. Because I know this person has no funds and no stores I was shocked to hear them say “I’ll just take whatever’s left after I kill them”. I quickly cut ties with this person and learned not to enter conversations of that kind again. This was a friendly outgoing person always “on the alert” for information. It may be closer than you think and you may not even be aware of what you are giving away in a random comment. Being responsible for your family comes first. You may end up feeding others but watch your surround.

    • JC,
      You stated, “and learned not to enter conversations of that kind again”. If you keep a close mind of what you say and reveal, these conversations can be very useful, if only to find out about folks to aboid. Ignorance is not bliss, just ignorance.

    • lillias says:

      “I’ll just take whatever’s left after I kill them”
      Yeah, I just had the same comment from a friend(?) when I mentioned I was reading survival/prep blogs. Her husband in the background was laughing about getting ready for the zombie apocalypse, until I reminded her I’m self employed and my income has dropped by 20-40% this year and I might get sick. Prepping for a 3 month no income, don’t cha know, of COURSE not for a major breakdown in civilization. Needless to say, NOT mentioning preps to her again.

      • lillias,

        I am always amazed that people can act that way despite everything going on in the world now. Do they not watch the news or read the paper…

  10. Papabear says:

    FC, good post. It fits with OPSEC. While in the army we were doing things that had to be kept from everyone. That group is long gone from the army but the lessons in informational security linger on.

    I use the motto our group had and still try to instill it in my sons: Vigilant Always

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Papabear, I belonged to a similar organization I believe, our motto was “Silent Vigilance”….good motto for prepping opsec too.

  11. We tend to keep our preparations to ourselves as much as possible although our sons are aware of the extent of our readiness. I do feel people out from time to time, mostly related to the state of the economy, but do not relate any information. My hope is that they understand the dire circumstances this country’s in from a financial perspective and do what’s necessary.

    My older neighbors we would assist. Our other neighbors, well, they have four very young children and the wife is a bit of a spendthrift:vacations, high end items and most recently the desire for a new dishwasher, despite the fact that her husband repaired the older one. It MUST be stainless steel! I’ve wondered and worried about our reaction should they come knocking at our door because they are in “need.” My husband feels as if we’ve helped them enough. We hired him to rebuild our back deck and to build a firewood shelter/shed when he needed the money after enduring a long period of unemployment, but she was over here constantly checking up on him. We also sold them a generator(cheap) because they didn’t have one, dug their garden for them with our tractor and assisted them in numerous ways; lending tools, etc.

    For me, it’s a moral dilemma, this desire to help mixed with impatience for irresponsibility. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  12. Worrisome says:

    Having recently attended a town hall style meeting and listening to all the “opinions” floating around, I was struck by a woman that told the crowd that her idea of being prepared was to have a map with red x’s on it of the local community. The x’s were for the homes of local area Mormons and that what she planned to do was take her sons fresh back from Iraq and go help themselves to the Mormons supplies…………..I have no idea if she meant it as a joke or was serious. I do have an idea of how the group took it and how silent they all got when she said it. There was shock, concern and an enlightenment that went on. Personally? I expect people to act badly…………and hope and pray it never gets to the point when they feel they must resort to such actions!

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Worrisome, I have a feeling that before too long, the “x” woman and her sons wouldnt be a problem if they tried that around here.

  13. Old as Dirt says:

    When I grew up in the Depression we did not worry about folks taking anything that did not belong to them. But now is a whole new ball game. I have grow a large blackberry hedge along my road fence so my garden cannot be seen from the road. Hideing what you grow is a good thing. Do I even trust my neighbors. I don’t think so. When I was a kid in the depression, us kids were pretty good at stealing food from gardens or trees. Especially apples. I even brought home a dress full of cherries to my mom for a pie. I made sure the family was gone then went and picked there cherries. Last year a fellow gardener lost all of his corn in one night to someone. Would I tell anyone about preps. Heck no. I wish my husband would shut up about his reloading supplies in the workshop. I have a room for my preps, back bedroom and that door is closed. If company comes I put my dog in there and tell them that he is mean and keep that door shut. My kids don’t even know it. Course they would think I have lost my mind if they knew. So the moral is keep your mouth shut, don’t trust no one, except a really best friend who is on the same page as you and you know them really well. I have one like that. We have discused the three SSS’s Shot, shovel, shutup. Just laughling right now and please I hope that never happens.
    Old as dirt

    • Plant Lady says:

      After this years harvest will start planting our boysenberry-as-razor-wire fence along the road, around the garden and new 31-tree orchard. I will be putting them up on a 2-wire 10′ trellis in three rows about 8-10′ apart and keeping them properly pruned so I can harvest them without bleeding out…but when the SHTF will let them get a bit unruly. It takes very little time for them to get thick and dangerous! Will probably take 3 yrs to get enough plants divided to complete all 3 rows. Won’t block the view, but will stop intruders and hopefully deer (with 3 rows). After pricing fencing for along the road and around the garden – and suffering serious sticker shock – decided we had to think of something else. Was thinking stockade/palisade utilizing saplings from our forest, but that sounded like a lot of work for the 4 acres of open ground. Then remembered being literally trapped by wild blackberries for two hours after leaning in the patch just a little too far. I probably could have gotten loose, but would have lost a lot of skin and most of my hair, not to mention my clothing. It took my husband about a half hour to get me free. The boysenberries my grandpa planted here are much bigger than the 5 varieties of blackberries we have – stems about as thick as a broom handle with lethal huge 1-1/2″ thorns. And since Gramps planted them between two rows of fruit trees, they need to be moved anyways – so its a win-win solution. Good food, security and deer-proofing…all from a self-perpetuating plant, a few saplings for posts and a couple rolls of wire. And since bloodmeal is a good fertilizer, any intruder silly enough to try a breach will just fertilize the plants!

  14. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Some of the worst ones are the “dealers” of canned LTS food. They act like they are selling you this great product and yet they never have any for themsleves nor do they have any food in stock to sell.
    Another group is the gun range comandos, aka mall ninjas, that show up and begin spouting things off the survival websites with their new brandname $100 fanny pack with nothing but cigareetes in it but when questioned have no BOB/GMHB in the vehicle, no EDC on them and nothing at home. They will try and tell you they cant share because of OPSEC so start questioning them on how they did stuff and the problems they had in the procedure and they quickly fall apart.
    The next group is the posters, the one who post stuff but don’t actually do it or use it or act like because there enviroment thrusts them into situations they are experts. IE: I live in the desert therefore i’m an expert in how to draw water from sand and build a fire from cactus, drink water from my pool shocked mud puddle in the driveway blah blah, show me, then i’ll believe it.
    Another group is the shampoo preppers who think that 25 bottles of ketchup and 30 bottles of shampoo are gonna save them with no skills on how to get water, fire, shelter should they lose that oversize pantry when the hungry crowd sets the place on fire or they dont even own a weapon to defend their precious stockpiles of usless stuff.
    Run into them, I’m almost to the point that I think thats all there is after meet and greets, with the exception of one guy.

  15. WE have only shared our prep activity with a few folks. Several are fellow preparers as we combine bulk food orders and assist each other with new prep-per finds . A couple are not prep folks, they have alluded to visiting us after TSHTF, and have been told, that would be a bad idea due to my lack of tolerance for stupidity and panhandlers. They do know my thoughts on people stacked like cord wood due to self defense and for defense. Kind of like a sand bag wall, only bodies.

  16. Great info, something to think about when it comes to OPSEC and keeping your info guarded and need to know. I have met a few people like this and I tend to just blow them off. Keep your guard up and keep your info to yourself.

  17. Old Hillbilly says:

    I figure the greatest threat to my family is not from the “hordes of zombies” that will flee the cities when SHTF because I live so far out in the sticks that the “good ole boys” between me and them will pretty well thing them out before they get to me. On the other hand, I view the greatest threat as “locals”… friends, neighbors, relatives….folks that under normal conditions would be trustworthy…but as Firefighter Charles so correctly stated it …”When the survival mode is on, people will do what they have to do to survive”…even those that we would normally trust. I said all that to say this, there is no greater survival skill to learn than OPSEC ! Remember the saying in WWII … “loose lips sink ships” … it applies to the security of our preps today just as it did to our national interests then. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst…and KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!

  18. Encourager says:

    Firefighter Charles, you hit the nail on the head! This is why I have become so wary of sharing ANY info with my neighbors. I do not think I can trust them. There may be a couple of exceptions, two families who keep to themselves, both husbands ex-military. But I do not know how to approach them. People in this area keep to themselves unless they are family (we have one extended family of five houses within a one mile radius) or have been here for generations. Anyone just moving into the area are regarded as suspicious…that includes me, even tho’ I have lived here for over 30 years! Still a newbie. Probably always will be! Oh well.

    I have shared, in generalities, about prepping and putting food by with various people. I tell them because we live so far from town that in the winter I need supplies to last a month or so. I usually get one of two reactions – a knowing nod and then sharing of ideas, or a stupid comment such as ‘well I guess I know where I will go if things get tough! Where do you live?’ As if I would tell them. Idiots. Well, noticed I am not being nice. I will blame it on the heat. Just left the kitchen because I was seeing black spots and I was using a knife, lol. Will rest a bit in the one room with an air conditioner before going back and finishing my chores. Blessings!

    • Encourager,
      “Where do I live?” Down a very long lane lined with colored rocks along the edge. Were I come from we call them range markers, LOL.

  19. Firefighter Charles,
    The contents of this post should be common sense, but unfortunately, that is an all too uncommon trait among too many folks today. Earlier this week, on Monday I received an email with the subject “Preppers” from [email protected], which may or may not be legitimate. I am not interested in any case, but without further research this could be exactly what you’re describing here. You will note the nondescript gmail address and the use of only the name Brian. No last name, company name, or contact information other than hitting Reply to the email. Also the successful pilot aired but no information on the name or the channel makes me, and should make everyone very suspicious. This is either illegitimate or a very poorly run operation. Prepping is becoming more popular, less fringe, and in some ways going mainstream, and any new trend or technology brings out both the entrepreneurs and the criminals. Spam, Scam, or children at play, who knows for sure, but remember your OPSEC & be careful out there?

    Here is the entire message body from the described email,

    My name is Brian and I work for a television production company based in NYC. I am currently casting for a new series airing for a National Cable Network and I was hoping I would be able to talk to you about participating.

    I found your posting on and would like to know more about what preparations you have been making.

    I am looking for “Preppers.” People who make a conscious effort to prepare for anything and everything the world might throw their way. How are they preparing themselves, and for what?

    Our pilot aired a few weeks ago and did very well so we are now currently casting for this season. At your earliest convenience, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to tell you more about the show and discuss our Casting Call Sheet and what we are hoping to accomplish. I was also hoping you might be able to provide some insight, leads or any information you feel would be helpful to me.


  20. I have told some family, and my kids are with me in the prepping.
    The some family has hinted that they will come stay here, but I think not. For one thing I am not physically able to take care of them.
    I have kinda wound down on telling them what I have recently bought.
    None of my neighbors know cause I don’t talk to them.
    I am trying to get all the food stuff out of the regular packages so I am not throwing away a bunch of information where it can be found later when it is imperitive that no one suspect we are eating.
    I figure that the least said the better. I do my prepping like it is the normal shopping trip so as not to get to many people watching me. Not that I think anyone or most around here have a clue except for THE OTHER PREPPER IN MY TOWN and they are hiding as well.
    We are wanting to have those around us that are like minded. And in doing so could very well put ourselves in deep trouble. It is a shame that people cannot be trusted now or whenever.
    Also beware of those that will be in an undercover official duty state and be spying on you for information. Many a person has been taken in by this kind of thing. And it seems that it is getting worse even before the SHTF.
    As I tell my kids repeatedly BE CAREFUL, BE SAFE, AND WATCH YOUR BACK.

  21. Old as Dirt says:

    Been rethinking this thread, I have kinda traveled down my lonely road in my mind. Can’t say there is any preppers. To many with horses that are eating them out of house and home. They all got kids running up and down the road on those four wheelers, and they have those gas carts. I would wager to guess they don’t have a clue what is coming. Also only one other paper box on the long road. Tells me they don’t read papers also. And I have not had anyone aproach me about prepping. Just the opposite. When the big Hurricane hit here abouts, you should have seen the mad dash to find food. Four weeks and five days we were without Elect.
    Old as Dirt

  22. Muddy Fork says:

    As I read this I am reminded of a conversation with one on my neighbors about my garden. Ii asked them if they every put one in and she said, “No its too much work and I can just come over and get some of yours”. Given their general self reliant nature I was shocked and promptly advised that might not be too safe. We all laughed and went on but I have never forgotten that and have since seen where they tend to take handouts when they have no real need. Now that I have been prepping hard for the last two years, I have made sure none of my family talks about our stocks in any shape form or fashion. With very few exceptions my general attitude toward people who fail to prep is: PISS POOR PLANNING ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSITIUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MINE. It is a hard stance but I must take care of me and mine first.

    • The gall of some people.
      Don’t you just want to strangle their assume-ing rude necks?

  23. Good article. I personally had a wake up call last week when two people that I know very casually mentioned that they now know where to go if there is a disaster in our area. Talk about being hit in the head with a virtual cast iron pan!

    Since then I have secured my goods and put a zipper on the lips. Helping others by sharing knowledge is one thing. Giving away the store and threatening our own security is another.


  24. i had an eye opening experience soon after hurricane katrina. at the time we lived in northwest florida out in the country. hurricane katrina caused several families from the new orleans area to move in with their families a few miles on either side of our home. almost from the start of their moving you would see the male adults and teens walking up and down the road, going to each home asking for food, gas, etc. the first two times they came to our house (i felt sorry for them) i gave them bags of food.(one of our freezer’s we kept on the back porch with the lid locked.) the third time they came, my husband was home and when they asked for a handout my husband told them the local sheriff’s department was looking for yardmen and he’d be glad to recommend them of a job. needless to say they left. a few days later while we were gone, someone broke into the backporch, broke the lock on the freezer and stole everthing inside. we were lucky we had a security system installed and activated for the rest of the house. i learned a lesson from that experience. now i am very watchful of my surroundings.

  25. TomTheTinker says:

    Tizz a pitty that for security reasons one would have to become so abstract in a posting that nothing was answered… learned…. given… shared. Now if I can get Em Essentials to just ship in a plan cardboard box….. life would be a little less stressful. I gotta watch out for the UPS and FEDEX drivers in the future!

    • Tom,
      Perhaps it’s time for a trip to LDS in the Columbus area. You could bring home a years supply in the back of your truck, with no one the wiser.

      • TomTheTinker says:

        Now funny you should mention that place…. I’ve called several times…. can’t seem to get a cometogeathertime with em! I wonder what a years supply would cost at the LDS cannery? I stock their ‘starter’ kits now…. nice mix of dry stores in them.

        CostCo. has an add for a year supply for 4 at +/- $3ooo.00! Calorie count?

        This disscusion still taints the water in general. Not complaining…. like I said before…. how abstract does one become in search of OPSEC?

        As to Charity…… Crappolla! Hell think about what we have posted in here…. cutting calories to ‘skinny up’ in order to blend in…. range markes…. Kill em all… hiding the ‘trade’ good behind the rose bushes… Simply saying your sorry… making sure the UPS truck dosen’t have a raiding party in the back… (don’t worry about FEDEX, they never knock, just drop and run…. OOOu.. sneak attack).

        What times we live in to even consider these things.

        • Tom,
          I know the assistant manager at that Storehouse and can get you contact information an hours of operation. As to the cost of a years supply of food, that of course depends on numerous factors. A good starting point would be the basic bulk storage food calculator, one of which is located @ This will give you relative quantities of supplies based on the number of folks for which you are preparing. Then you can download the current price sheet as a pdf or Excel spreadsheet, fill in the amounts and get a price. The price sheets are available @,11666,8133-1-4352-1,00.html. I like the spreadsheet since it keeps a running total as you adjust the numbers. BTW, if you bring cash, then there’s no paper trail at all. Also keep in mind that the Storehouse generally has only the long term basic stuff and that does not include everything listed in the calculator, but does include some extras like dehydrated Apple Slices, Onions, and Carrots.

    • And the bank/credit card workers. They have your whole purchasing history in one, neat & tidy location.

      • Kerevus says:

        Actually they don’t (worked for a credit card company for more than 5 years) they see the amount requested and when/where, but not what was purchased. Even getting a copy of the little slip that gets signed has to go through mastercard or visa international, and THEY don’t know what you bought, just that you spent $x at store y.
        Now, if you use a store credit card – at the issuing store – they will show what you bought, or if you use those savings cards. But that will only show up for that store.
        If you’re worried about the bank figuring it out, just take out cash for prepping purchases on Fridays… lots of people drink up a couple hundred dollars on the weekends, you’d just get lost in the masses

  26. Firefighter Charles, a great thread and one all of us need to be aware of. I have discussed prepping only with my children and my best friend that we will be bugging out with. I will remind him to keep quiet also. Thanks again for the post.

  27. It all makes me wonder.

    How could we be charitable if the shtf? If you give a neighbor or stranger some food, what will stop them from coming back to rob you when you least expect it?

    Can we even be charitable? I’m starting to think that we could not. It would be too dangerous and give away too much information about us.

    I’ve already talked to my husband and told him that if we have an immediate shtf situation that we need to really ration food – even if we don’t have to – so that we lose some visible weight & don’t stick out too much.

    If the neighbors are starving & we still look “fat & happy”, they’ll know where the food is.

    • James from Iowa says:

      Wise plan, GA Mom. Also, remember to show up at food/supplies distribution that might be arranged.

      I’ve given much thought to being charitable during/after societal collapse. Actually, I consider we are in such a collapse already, just relatively slow at this point…so far. Just my opinion, but I think being charitable is a necessity for being a decent human being. I’m moved hearing about WW2 prisoners giving away their last scraps of food. However, operational security should be maintained. Perhaps there will be ways to provide charity anonymously.

      • One idea is to volunteer your time for example to the elderly at a nursing home, at a food bank, or as a Red Cross volunteer at a shelter. Able bodies and willing minds will be in great demand if there is a collapse of any sort.

    • I have thought this for ages and the odds are I would have been told I was looney.
      But why give it away that you have food?
      I don’t want to see anyone starve, but feel that (even if some laugh and tell me I am wrong) that I was led to prep. And if I remember the feeling it was not being led to prep for others.
      The rationing is a smart move anyway. Your store will last longer.
      Having said that I do not know what I will actually do. I will have to put one foot out at a time.

    • I read in some book a long time ago how to apply black market techniques in your trading and gift giving.. I need to find that book. Essentially when trading or gifting, you say” I don’t have any extra to give sorry -but I know a generous someone who can help you – or someone who wants to trade A for B” and then you will set the exchange up for them.. On night X go to Y and there will be a cardboard box hidden behind the rose bush- thats a gift from Mr Z. So, you help someone out – possibly building a friendship..If they turn out to be bad they have nothing on you. If it’s a trade situation you can ask for a ‘fee’ to process the trade – which you promptly hide.

      • lillias says:

        If you should happen to find that book, might you post the name here? Thank you!

    • I was thinking about this last night -what to do if my neighbors come to us for food (they do not know we are preppers). This creates quite a Christian dilemma. But, I remember anonymously leaving bags of food on a needy person’s door stip several years ago. I think, if I have food to spare and know a truly needy family, I would leave food in a secure, out of sight location for them anonymously. That would ease my consciece while also not letting them know I had food to spare.

      Even “good” people act differently when confronted with overwhelmingly stressful situations. I remember neighbors coming to my mom and asking to “borrow” a cup or two of sugar (back in the old days), and they never managed to repay. She would loan the sugar or flour or whatever for a couple of times, and when the ladies never repaid, she would tell them the next time that she was “out”, too. But back then, people didn’t steal from each other -especially not neighbors. We were not living in the “entitlement age” back then, and people wouldn’t kill you for a pittance!

      • When you leave food anonymously you can leave some for several neighbors and include yourself. You could even mention the food being left at your home and ask if they had seen anyone out & about. The inference from the neighbors would be that all of you were helped by someone else.

        • I like this idea the best – give it away anonymously on a doorstep & include yourself in the give away.

          Just be careful you don’t get shot while doing it! The neighbors might not have food but they could have guns!

      • I don’t know where everyone heard they didn’t steal from each other back then. Theft was rampant during the depression.
        There are always lowlifes around waiting to take what isn’t nailed down.

  28. halfstepBill says:

    My wife and I sold our country home on 2 acres and moved in town into a condo. I seriously started prepping about a year ago and right off the get- go made the same mistakes others here have made about running my mouth. Since we live in a condo community, everybody knows everybodys business. I realized that when I brought stores home during day light I was being watched. So I then started shopping at night when everyone was asleep. In the winter If I had to I could leave my stores in my truck (I have a cap) and fetch it at a more convienent time. I would like to warn everyone that’s planning a garden during the hard times ahead. Be prepared to stand guard over it when It’s harvest time. I have a friend that lives in the country and every year his garden is raided for sweet corn and other things. He had to buy two dogs to protect his property and this is NOW, imagine how bad it could get when shtf. Only a few members of our family(our kids) know what we have and thankfully they are not talking. Tell no one what you are doing. I will often talk in public or among friends about how often I go to the range and practice (and I do). That seems to be enough for any further questions and besides my snooty neighbors think I’m a gun nut. bwahahaha

    • “That seems to be enough for any further questions and besides my snooty neighbors think I’m a gun nut.”

      Uh, yeah, true, but at the same time, now they know you have guns they can steal, or maybe they mentioned it to their worthless friend/co-worker/relative? j/s

      • halfstepBill says:

        Yes Clark it does. Well all they have to do is come and get them. If i’m away I will lose my guns which i can replace and that will be my fault, but if they come when i’m home then they’ll lose something more precious that can’t be replaced. I live in Ohio and we have the Castle Law and i don’t call 911. How does that saying go “When seconds count the police are only minutes away.” True, very true.

    • The only place I have for a large garden is in a big field in plain sight of all who live around and go up and down our road -and there are quite a few “loser” types we would NEVER trust. We have a greenhouse incorporated into our house, and we can plant some produce in small, isolated areas around our property. We will go ahead and have garden in the big field, but we will move a small travel trailer down there and make sure the garden is guarded by one of our older sons in the summer.

  29. Hunker-Down says:

    Great article, Firefighter Charles.

    Who has a need to know about my preps? NOBODY!
    I can’t control the mouth of anyone (not even my own), so, if I don’t put knowledge of my preps in their head, they can’t tell their buddy.
    This is the foundation of our OPSEC.

    If anyone ask, we have some extra TP and some soup in case the roads are snowbound.

    Ohio Prepper;
    “Where do I live?” Down a very long lane lined with colored rocks along the edge. Were I come from we call them range markers, LOL.
    I LOVE IT! .

  30. I like the article but I find it funny because people starting to become professional preppers are going to make mistakes in their first few years of prepping. They might not think to much of getting mylar bags and buckets if the spot in their closet has enough storage space. Though the end result if bug infestation, it is something they needed to learn either first handed before shtf or by research. I tend to be hard headed so I learn alot of things first hand. I do research but I may not fully research everything or think the other person is blowing it out of proportion. I easilyget off topic like arguing with my husband about ron paul’s pov on adoption and abortion and spent 3 hours arguing how ron paul is wrong on that issue because hubby and i don’t know how to drop a subject so I never got to fully research if ron paul preformed an abortion or had any pregnant women with ectopic pregnancies – if he did preform the operation then it makes him a hypocrite or a hypocrite compared what is written on his web site stating he has never preformed an abortion.

    I tend to research things all at the same time and adoption/abortion/eugenics economy history tend to focus out prepping articles. But I freely admit to being for women’s rights. And I will always feel that if it is acceptable for even one woman to have an abortion than it is acceptable for all women to have access to abortions. If you want abortion illegal make adoption illegal. ~ sorry off topic, not all people that prep making prepping their goal in life and it may not be their passion, it may be something they do out of fear, because they sense something isn’t right, or because the government is preaching be prepared and if the government is saying it then ya should do it *rolls eyes*

    Our people are preppers 100% of the way and stand on the whole s going to htf and I am ready no matter what anybody else thinks. I am preparing on my own way and learning from other people. I admit I will be hard headed and stubborn and if I question what you say I’ll google it to see if I am right or if you are right or what the hell are you talking about.

  31. Morlock Mommy says:

    I am the “Mom” to a very large family. Half are Mormons, half are prepers, and half think the rest of us are nuts but love us anyway. I have the huge house, the big dining table and the ample kitchen so everyone ends up here for every occasion, happy or sad.

    There are the useless moochers among us, unfortunately. One cousin asked for a container of dried milk (at no charge, of course) so she could take a milk bath. She lives on welfare, and thinks she should ever in her life waste enough milk to take a bath in? (at my cost, since of course, I’m not using it. It’s just “stored”.)

    We all know who preps. We all know who cans or reloads. We all plan to come together and help in a crisis. We also know who will be unwelcome in this extended family. You can’t keep strict OPSEC in a crew like this, but we can keep an eye on each other, and each other’s houses.

    This is the kind of thing one does alone, or as a well-bound group. No in-betweens. If I can’t trust my drug addict nephew, I can at least trust his mother to not be driving the getaway car.

  32. Yeah, the comment by Ohio Prepper was pretty good
    “Where do I live?” Down a very long lane lined with colored rocks along the edge. Were I come from we call them range markers”

    But at the same time, what I wrote above applies too, now they know where to go to steal guns. They’re gonna think, “He’s got to sleep or go to work etc.. sometime.” or “There’s more of us than there are of him, etc…”

    While reading this thread I kept thinking of characters Bruce Dern would play in 1970’s movies, often smooth, cunning, sly, observant, desperate and full of the need for revenge. I do believe he got the drop on, and the better of Clint or John a couple of times, even the best have weal spots and other vulnerabilities to take advantage of.

    …Just some thoughts.

    • Crrrock says:

      I understand your comment..“There’s more of us than there are of him, etc…”.
      See it all the time in the movies.
      But with a 10 round mag, who wants to be the first ten up the lane?

      • That’s just it, they will come in the back way, not up the lane, or “case you” and learn your patterns to figure out when you’re away.

        That’s what I’ve read they do frequently in other countries where the SHTF already,… the Bruce Dern character accurately portrays those in real life, just from what I’ve read from others who experienced it,… just saying, I’m not knocking it. YMMV.

      • Only a 10 round mag? And only one? And only a single trigger puller? No, No, and No.

  33. That should be, “weak spots”, not, “weal spots”.

    Also, saying “Were I come from we call them range markers” some People might take that as a challenge, just for the sake of it? Idk.

  34. Always good to be reminded to keep our lips sealed.
    3 people know about my preps. One I trust completely. The other 2 I would rather they didn’t know but for various reasons I had to trust them. I don’t worry about UPS or anybody else like that because they better come with an army. I think a lot of folks have given up opsec just by being on these forums. Any teenager talented on a computer could find out where we are probably.
    I didn’t put my name on that meet up page because of this very thing happening. Someone on here hinted at meeting up when I said the general area I live in but I have no area of expertise that would do anyone any good.

    By the way, nice to see Old as Dirt made it on here at last. Welcome!

    • Judith,
      If you meant me, you’re correct, I was hinting… but I respect your privacy and your OPSEC…I apologize, I truly meant no harm.

      • Looks like I stuck my foot in my mouth again OmoBob. I didn’t mean any offense either. It is just really hard trying to meet anyone online. You just don’t have any way of knowing who you are dealing with.

    • Judith,
      I think you’re giving today’s teenager too much credit, or watching too many Hollywood hacker movies. As someone who’s been doing this kind of work for 40 years I can say that there are very few teenagers as talented as the general public might believe. There is much more information gleaned from dumpster diving and social engineering than from actually hacking.

  35. I would hope that everybody is careful about that . Most from what I see on here , that is the case . Somebody wanting to know anybody’s personal specifics should be a red flag . Asking a specific question on how to , or should I do this or that ? I dont have a problem with , lot of folks just starting out and as we know , can be stressful deciding on a direction to go in , it will drive you crazy , especially if you panic and think you have to do it all at once ( financially impossible for most of us ) . Those that want to know me personally ……..Forget it !

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      T.R., I agree, want to know me personally and find out what I do? Not gonna answer and that person just got put on a “watch out” list. I dont mind helping someone….but I gotta know them first.

      • Very true . Generic prep talk is beneficial to all , you and I for example , live in the same state , know many of the same places , and understand better than others how difficult this climate is to plan and prep for . Our land is not user friendly or teaming with abundant resources , as opposed to more hospitable places . Arizona is not Maine . We have to be much more careful . We exchange ideas on how to deal with it , not personal information or our plans . Therefor , we respect each other .

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          T.R., I think the key word there was “respect”. Thanks. I’ll respect your privacy and you, mine, we’re both happy and yet can help each other through “generic prep talk”. I would guess that is what M.D. had in mind with his blog? I have learned so much from the other readers here, in the “generic” category.

          I get a little concerned once in awhile when I see some pretty sour feelings expressed, one reader about another…I also catch myself occasionally wanting to do that too. I hope all of us (me included) can take a deep breath and relax some and grow a little thicker skin (not intended as a criticism, just a suggestion).

          By the way, got a chance to drive by the area hit by the fire….all I’ve got to say is wow.

          • Thats the good thing about the internet , Privacy on a blog forum is very easy . Ya comments can be a little sour , but at the same time , on here it doesn’t get personal very often . Survivalists for the most part are not PC people . We call a spade a spade , its an opinion , We prep for what is wrong with this country and PC is one of the things that is wrong . Liberals dont get that its OK not to like certain people , its OK even to hate them , its OK not to approve of certain behavior , its OK not to like certain cultures , Its OK not to be accepting of certain things , etc . Like I said in another thread , the United federation of Planets or one happy world government is a product of science fiction and always will be and always should be . We are free thinking people , the government and mongrel liberals dont like the fact that we dont follow the party line . We give up our mind and cave in to those people , we deserve what happens . If we didnt have nuclear weapons and a bloated military , we would be a 3rd world nation by now thanks to the social decay of liberalism . We get frustrated or we feel passionate about an issue , we will most likely post whats bothering us , I see that as healthy , doesn’t mean everybody is going to agree with it . So I say , fire away ! Good thing about this site is that MD does actively monitor comments before they are posted . Only if its way out there , does it not make the thread , its a safety valve . Most of the time a comment makes it …. positive or ” negative ” . I agree , blogs like this are a resource , and the anonymity of the internet allows us to exchange ideas without sacrificing our personal security . Always a good thing . I havnt been able to make it out there but I hear its pretty bad . From what you saw , how long do you think before the land recovers ? Too bad it had to be in that part of the state .

            • axelsteve says:

              I like how Michial Savage states that politcal corectnes is pollitical cowardnes. I also liked when he used to say hellooo infidellls.

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              Hey T.R., good thinking. Good reading. Another part of this blog that I love is it makes me think. Keeps my brain going. Thanks for the good words.

              As for the fire damaged areas, some parts will take longer than others. Part of it was very bad, some was just burnt grass, I figure that’ll grow back fairly quickly. Where the trees burned….that’ll take a lot of time. Will probably get grasses/brush to grow there fairly fast, but the trees will take a long time to recover.

  36. blindshooter says:

    This is good, I have to move soon and I’ve been thinking it would be the best time to make myself a little more invisible. Like using a PO box instead of a mail box and using a UPS store instead of having things shipped to your door. I’ve not checked into using the UPS store to receive packages, what would they need for ID? I know lots of crooks find you through mailing addresses etc. I guess I could spend some of the time I spend online researching the topic ;^) I am looking at a new alarm system and camouflage of some sort for a safe and food storage areas. I wonder if a sign on a door saying SEWAGE PUMP would slow down a crack head? I’m sure some of them can’t read at all. I’ve learned to not talk at all about storing food, even to most family. I have used a burn barrel forever to dispose of paperwork and boxes that things come in instead of throwing them in the dump. GA Moms comment about banks/credit card company’s ability to keep your ID and buying habits secure really rings true, how often do you hear about these idiots “losing” account information? I’ll bet most of these breaches of security are actually somebody inside selling the files or selling the keys to the door.

    Firefighter Charles, thanks for making me think some more about this topic.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      blindshooter, if you want to throw boxes away, instead of burning them, just cut off the mailing label and burn/destroy the label.

  37. Wellrounded says:

    I would like to caution against the enthusiastic but useless prepper. I have a friend who walks, talks and sleeps prepping. I stupidly thought that would make him a useful asset, it’s more than 12 months later and I now realise that talk and action are two very different things. I have the skills to grow or make nearly everything I need, and the experience to go with it, but like everyone could use a hand at times. This friend now thinks they are involved enough with what I’m doing to turn up on my doorstep if the SHTF, his “I really want to become involved in what you’re doing, help out in exchange for a retreat. “ Turned out to mean, “I can show up for 2 half days work a year and take home boxes of vegetables, sides of pork and bacon, oh and can you draw me up a few how to guides in your free time. “ Now I really don’t know how to solve this one, it’s enough work to feed myself and close family, we really can’t support freeloaders, but if the SHTF he will rock up expecting to be supported. He truly is a prepper, is worried about OPSEC, but will be a liability when the time comes, like a lot of the inexperienced, he simply does not understand the amount of work and knowledge involved in supporting yourself at even a basic level. I need to make sure I have enough for him and any of his family he might bring with him or risk not having enough for everyone else, this added burden is not welcome.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Wellrounded, maybe a “trade” situation would get your “friend” to do more than talk. Next time he wants something, he must provide something HE has done first. He wants a “how to guide”? Ok, he gives you a bag of tomatoes HE grew in HIS garden for it. He wants a side of bacon? Ok, he provides a $50 face value bag of junk silver. He’ll stop bothering you quickly enough if he has to work for it. Only problem is if the shtf, he still knows you have preps….might come to “borrow” some while you are not home….

  38. AnonymousNurse says:

    I have decided to go very low profile as well. My SO has even asked me to stop commenting on this blog for OPSEC purposes.

    My eye-opening experience was being asked by a neighbor if I had XYZ medication (controlled substance) – not because I am known as a prepper, just because I am a nurse.

    Scary times indeed – good article.

    I think I will keep the term “shampoo prepper” for future use – love it!

  39. Crazy Stev-o says:

    The Last few days I have been thinking of this topic. It all started a few months ago, I ran into a friend who moved away and is back in the area. We started Prepping and working on building stuff for wshtf. Probelm is a few days ago 3 of us got together to talk plans and thats when I realized he is not keeping food. When I read Wellrounded’s comment, I said that is the probelm I have. Right now I am trying to figure out what to do. Just the other day I got supplies and didn’t tell him because of this. This article was a godsend for me, to help me think more OPSEC. If anyone has suggestions please let me know on what I should do.

  40. Dangerously radioactive rainwater falling in Alberta, Canada. At least according to this guy using a Geiger counter type device, a dosimeter I think it’s called. It could be fake I suppose, but it looks real enough, I don’t know, you tell me:

  41. Good Doctrine….. What folks don’t know won’t hurt ya.

  42. Something else to think about: Besides heating with our wood stove (necessity due to high price of heating fuel), we also have a 1000 gallon heating oil tank for (now) auxillary heat and for our hot water. We recently put a 6 foot privacy fence around the tank and hung planter boxes on it to kind of disguise that we are keeping our heating oil tank out of sight of the road and the neighbors and the touristas who come out and peruse our country area for its beauty and a campground across the river from us.

    An urban friend asked why we put up the privacy fence. We told her that at $4/gal, we had a $4000 investment sitting out there. It is easy for a truck to pull up and look like it is filling the tank while it is really siphoning it out. So far this has not happened in our area, but I have read about it happening elsewhere -including at gas stations!

    So, be careful and try to keep everything you can out of the sight of would be no-goodnicks.

  43. Also Pam says:

    Good post. When my husband found some of my prep stuff, he started to make fun of me in front of our grown kids. Therefor OPSEC was entirely blown. Now about a year or so later, he has been much quieter about. I also have had occassion to use stuff that has saved him many a trip to the store for one or a few items. Interestingly, he has begun to think about moving into the country. I have tried to cover with the neighbors and say that I did have some stuff stocked up but with the price of groceries, I have been using a lot of it up. I absolutely hate the fact that Emergency Essentials sends stuff in boxes printed with their name! At least my husband knows I am serious about this, If we could some how move to the country, I think he would be much more quiet about it. I also am concerned after reading somewhere that people have been fined for ”hoarding” in the past. I think it was during the Great Depression. If I remember right, it wasn’t that much food either.

  44. SrvivlSally says:

    You drove home a good point and thank you. So sorry to hear that you had to distance yourself. At least you found out early on and will be able to protect yourself from now on. You can never be too careful with anyone, sometimes not even your own family. You are right in every way about “fake” preppers and keeping and maintaining your personal, survival and home security. I have dealt with so many people that are liars, thieves, info-seekers, plotters, traitors and etc. that I am always aware to be careful. I do not know about anyone else, but I would not be SOL because if all of my food were taken, I know how to go about getting other types of edibles whether in the city or the wilds, year round, and I also know that I will live a good long while. If there ain’t no deer, I will eat rat. If there ain’t no rat, I’ll eat bugs. If there ain’t no bugs, I’ll eat something else. If I have to, I will raise rats and bugs and something else. I will eat and live. Watch out…because what you found out may come to haunt you one of these days. Maybe survival or prepping with those closest should be kept on a level where fire making, shelter building, buddying up, saving one another, helping one another, medically treating one another, should be the main focus and never discussing that stocking up on food and other supplies has been or is being done so that there will be less of a likelihood of becoming a target. Discussion on obtaining a few days worth of food is always okay but with most it would be best to keep a low profile. Some will see your work of preparation as an open invitation and reason not to do anything for themselves. Cache some items if you can so that if you are ever a target, you may still have something for yourself. Keep it quiet with those around you, through your e-mail/internet conversations with them.

  45. “The tell-tale signs of a fake prepper is his vagueness in answering your questions on his or hers survival supplies. The details in his prepping will be off.”
    I don’t get it. If you’re asking me about my shit, I will NOT give you details, I WILL be vague. Basic OPSEC.
    And I WILL ask you about yours, to see if you’re sloppy enough to answer. Loose lips? Good to know.
    That makes me fake? Good. I hope everyone around me, including all of you, think I’m fake.
    Jeez, you people.

    • Firefighter Charles says:

      You share info on how & what you are doing without giving prime info away. Sort of like the some of the podcast guys, who share their ways of doing thing without giving personal info away, location, or how much supplies they have. But a Fake prepper will dance around the question by not really knowing what they are talking about. That’s what I mean about being vague. We all want to be vague but at least if I was to ask a question on how to do something most of you guys (hopefully) give me good advice. And not be vague. And a real prepper wouldn’t answer with vagueness, that person would not answer at all.

      • I think bottom line here is what we tell people . They cant hurt us unless WE allow them to . I give general information about myself out on threads at times , BUT , never my real name , never security specifics about things that would lead a person to me . I have no problem letting people know I live in phoenix and am in transition to tucson ( going from a city of over 4 million people to a city of over 1 million people ) Good luck finding me if you dont have anything but idle conversation to go on !

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          I feel the same way T.R. I live in a county the size of Rhode Island…good luck finding me.

          • LOL , I dont know for sure but if its the county I’m thinking of , there are so many nooks and crannies , that only a local wouldn’t get lost 😉
            Best county in the state my friend !

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              T.R., its your old stomping grounds. I’ve never been lost here, but I’ve been a little confused for a few hours….LOL. If the gooberment would only secure the border, I would agree, best county I’ve ever lived in.

            • Ya , thats the only thing , get rid of the wets and drug runners , its slow , peaceful living down there . The ranchers are good people .

  46. OhioPrepper,
    Not being willing to enter a conversation doesn’t mean that you aren’t listening and evaluating.

  47. Auntie_Em says:

    I guess the bottom line is we all need to comport ourselves with OPSEC always in mind, no matter what. Sometimes there are sociopaths who charm their ways into your trust—sometimes it is hard to know whom to trust. With my prepping partner/ roommate, I don’t think he has even told his parents, sibing, or grown kid about our prepes. We are playing this one very “close to the vest”. One of my realtives knows about our perps—I have known this person my entire life and she is the soul of integrity and trust. If you can say that you would trust someone with your life—as I can my relative—then I think they can be trusted to know that you prep.(I recently gave her one of my prepp supply house catalogs—she’s interested. Yay.)

  48. I would be less worried about the fake prepper than I would the hordes of gangs that will come through neighborhood by neighborhood looting and pillaging with no regard for life… your life, that is.

  49. great subject! We have made the decision to tell no one.
    We have laid out goal inventories to provide for the needs of 12 for one year, plus other long term items to help us provide for ourselves after that first year. we don’t have 12 in our household, but if we count the family members that we would want to include in our hidey-hole, that’s what needs to be prepared for.
    The other members of our family know absolutely nothing. Therefore, there’s nothing to be leaked to anyone else that might come knocking on our door. (not that we’ll be there to answer.) Yes, it puts a tremendous burden on us alone, but it’s what we are willing to sacrifice to be able to provide protection later.
    Besides, pretty sure they’d have us committed if they knew what we were up to.

  50. I’ve probably been too free with my tongue about the food stores because I’ve been trying to get others to get their own food. Hell I even blogged it. But I’m shutting up now because it’s on. I might also alter that one blog post right now where I was bragging about reaching my food storage goals.

    Anyway, I thought that if the beggars got too numerous or if robbers showed up one could just claim one had already been robbed. Move the food from the pantry and disguise it as furniture. Keep a small amount of food out, say it’s your last whatever it is. Also, caches are a good idea, if nobody sees you burying it that is.

    I’m lucky not to have any deadbeat relatives, but I don’t think any of them are prepping either. I have not told any neighbors anything except one guy who I’m taking to Restaurant Depot tomorrow so he can buy his own food with my membership. I plan to try and feed everyone currently in my house, tenants included, but I want to train them to forage, garden, and guard the house and garden, should it come to that. You live with me and eat my food, you bring in more food and help keep others out.

    What’s getting stolen in my neck of the woods is anything metal that’s not tied down. We’ve had copper thieves in our neighborhood. There was a punk last month eyeballing a cast iron fence I’m storing that I want to install. I am glad to have people living in my house who understand opsec and who have all different schedules. There is always someone home and always someone awake here, just sort of by accident. It’s mostly vacant houses that are getting hit. But this will change the minute the welfare checks stop going out.

    • well, probably there goes more opsec, if someone wanted to figure me out by my IP address. I’m not too worried about that though. More worried about neighbors. When the SHTF there may not be an internet anymore anyway.

  51. SurvivorDan says:

    Worst then the fake preppers are non-prepper immediate family
    members as they generally know a lot about the inside layout of your homes and know you are a prepper. I’ve offered my wife’s family my advice on matters of prepping, in terms of supplies and primitive living and weapons training but the vast majority have turned down the opportunity…with a giggle. Why should they prep when Uncle Dan has a years supply of food, fuel and weapons? I have a lot of my wife’s family that laugh at my prepping and yet they all say they are coming to my house if something goes down. In the event of a TEOTWAWKI crisis they are in for a shock if they come a knockin’.

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