How many people know that you are a 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. Actually more know than I wish. Comsec was breached by my elderly parents, which was bad enough, but just lately we discovered that the SIL did so as well. Hopefully he only told his parents. We don’t have enough extra for that whole clan. Can’t stand his brother and it would be hard to have to share one bean or one grain of rice with him and his family. They came up yesterday in our discussion on the conflicted game, lol. But as many stated, we don’t want to lose our humanity.

    • Once you allow even one in to share your bounty and they have no thought in helping in any way…you are in deep trouble. My wife has a 40 yr. old son that would not help around the house (in the past) When ever he is down on his luck..its “moma, i’m hungry”. Once you have feed a hungry dog…you will never get rid of it.

      • lol true that. Tough love is what she needs. we don’t speak to our children anymore because they treated as exactly that way. I know this sounds selfish but I feel more free this way lol.Stay stay strong honey and hold your ground:-)

  2. very few know i am prepping at all, I do talk about being prepared for what ever comes, and have even helped a few with a list of what they might need to survive, but i live in a place that has no place to store much of anything, so most people i seek to that know my situation ask, if it is that important then why don’t you preparing? little do they know i am prepared more then most, and when the time comes the only thing they will see of this old man is him walking out in to the wood with his coat on, it is a eight mile hick to my first stop i have enough to last me more then a week if need be, then another twenty-seven mile hick to about a two months supply, and then my final stop about eighteen miles this will put me out in the middle of nowhere and about fourteen miles from and roads or hiking trails, am i prepared, yes, do people know, no one knows to what extent or where, not even those who i will take with me

  3. Not too many now. I used to try to get people motivated, but all it seemed to do was expose my family to those who will not prepare. A few old friends know or at least did know before I stopped talking about it. Since I moved 1500 miles south, I no longer share any info with those who know me. My preps are stored out of sight, so no one coming by will see them. OPSEC has become the most important prep for me.

  4. It is kind of hard to pretend I am not, since I am a Mormon.

    Missionaries rang my new neighbor’s doorbell this summer and told them about me being a Mormon. (Fact of life for Mormons – the missionaries want everyone living close to you to know.) A little later on the wife asked me if I was a prepper and if I stored lot’s of food. My answer was the truth although misleading on purpose. I said: “I think storing lots of food is expensive, and prepper’s are outside of society’ norms.”

    Since society as a whole are really sheeple, I didn’t bother to tell her that I consider myself ‘outside of society’s norms’, too. Then I invited her to come to church. The conversation ended.

    • Hey Kate. I live in Ga also and think Mormons are good people. I have tried to communicate to some of my family and friends about the need to prepare. I have a knack of being able to read people, so when I sense they are not all that interested, or give me the look, like I’ve just come the set of Doomsday Preppers, I just let it be. Only a small handful of my friends and family know that I am a prepper.

    • patientmomma says:

      There is nothing “crazy” about planning for emergencies to take care of your family. A lot of my preps come from the LDS online store, Bishop’s Storehouses and Emergency Essentials. Much of what I learned about preparing came from the LDS Preparedness Manual, which I got free online years ago; it provides accurate straight forward information. I don’t talk prepping to anyone any more, but I do tell my neighbors they need to keep a case of bottled water on hand and some jugs of water in the bathroom to flush the toilet if their well pump goes down. I do tell my neighbors to keep some flashlights by their bedside, extra batteries, candles and matches, and some extra blankets on hand in case the power goes out. Some of my neighbors are elderly and on small pension incomes so this Christmas they will get flashlights, extra batteries and bottled water for their Christmas present.

      • little chicken says:

        Patient momma,
        I do the same for my elderly relatives for Christmas and birthdays. I have given headlamps, battery lanterns, oil lamps with oil and matches. Extra batteries. I also gave them sterno stove kits along with mountain house meal packs so they can make a meal indoors.

  5. mom of three says:

    My family knows that I do canning, bake, and cook some nights:) I also coupon shop as much as my budget allows. I don’t use the word prepper or prepared, I use the word stock up or stocking up on my favorite foods. Many groceries stores, are getting going on deals 10 for 10.00 or buy 6 cans of soups for.49 a can. So they get it you can shop and stock up with out breaking the bank.

  6. Who Knows? my son and daughter, SIL and maybe one or two others. I don’t volunteer this kind of information to anyone. I know no one knows about my stash of guns and ammo. I need to buy some more supplies. Some more tanks of liquid fuels, propane, dried foods (beans and rice mostly).

  7. It’s not that I’m known as a prepper; my call is to have a full pantry and live out of it, reducing our grocery bill by 30-40%. In these times helping people save money is usually welcome. I also buy quantities of sale items, because I usually have something going on: restocking a multifamily remote cabin, church youth functions, Summer camping season, Winter storm season, etc. I have never mentioned other “prepper” items or reasons.

    I do talk some about current events matching up to Biblical events with some at church, but usually only in general terms. Mostly looking for like minded people.

    Probably 4 households know that I do put things up for times to come. One is my daughter and her sons. Her boyfriend knows some about it, generally, but since they are not married, he’s never actually seen it. 2 families have been involved in discussions and some joint preps. Only with one, is it a full blown discussion/mutual assistance; and even that takes 2 different approaches. We are, unfortunately, too far for mutual support once things go bad.

  8. grandma bear says:

    I am afraid a good many in our small community know or know someone who does know. It is my fault I thought I was helping them by sharing my passion and knowledge. All it has done is make them aware where the beans are stored. I think the frustrating part is they think we have so much food stored when in reality it maybe close to a year of lean eats for two people but not for many more. They just do not get how much food they do eat. If I had to do it all over again I would not share my passion and let them figure it out for themselves. It did not accomplish my goal and in the process shot myself in the foot so to speak.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      grandma bear,
      This is where you come across someone who needs and you have to say…I’m sorry we’re on a fixed income..
      .(.and almost every one is on a budget, so it is fixed). We are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet… (also true) . If it is someone who you believe truly has a need…I bought a bag of beans and rice, if you really need it, I have that I can give you.Don’t offer anything else! Not TP, Not dish washing soap, not an extra trip to the store because they wrecked the car.(.If they want to ride when I am going that is ok,) but I don’t have extra money to drive 10 miles,to get a juice for a spoiled brat that won’t drink water.. I asked this lady, what happens if your check doesn’t come or your EBT card doesn’t work? And advised her to change her family’s food choices from quick fix to sit down meals. She said …” that what Mama has been telling me”. I gave her two easy to prepare meals from basic supplies and suggested she cook each once a week, to begin changing her family dynamics. I asked her” if your Mom could not afford to feed her family, how do you think , anyone else would be able to in an emergency?” Whose responsibility is it to make sure your babies have food. I told her, when you get ready to talk specifics, I am sure your Mom would be a good resource for information.
      I found that I had become too liberal with asssistance, in some instances, just increasing dependency. Those people don’t come back now.

      • grandma bear says:

        Thank you for the kind words and advice. I will be more careful with whom if any I share with. You are right it is their choice not mine to take care of themselves or not.

  9. Quite a few know but then I teach classes from time to time.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      I’m with you.

      Some trusted folks at my office know a tiny bit about my preparedness — I’ve taught courses on investing and emphasized being prepared for anything, including EMP. We have a small group of somewhat-kindred souls and they know more than most, but I never quite divulge all the details.

      I’ve taught more than a dozen people how to reload, and half a dozen at my office have a firearm as a result of going shooting with me. Others have gunsafes to keep their kids safe. I have 27 signed up for a radio course….

      What I find is that you can tell people that stuff could happen — but they NEVER think that through to the obvious conclusions. They never think about community defense, perimeter obstacles, killing zones, powder storage… they never realize just how prepared a “prepared” person really is. They just have some ethereal idea that so-and-so has some stuff stored up. When some say they will head my way, I simply say, “the password –yell it loud–is, “I HAVE A YEARS’ WORTH OF FOOD!!!” — and they get the polite message that not everyone will be welcome. My goal has been to encourage others to become better prepared for natural disasters, etc….out of Christlike concern — and I think it has succeeded to some extent.

      What they do with my encouragement is their problem…..they would never make it to my house if things really got bad….

  10. I’m Mormon. People know I have a little food, but do not know how much. And I’m going to keep it that way.
    Once I tried to tell people about food storage but they just said ” oh, I know you’re a Mormon” So I become a storer not a speaker.

  11. Not a single person in my town knows what I have. My children do and that is it. They all live out of town. I made a list of where all my stocks are buried off site (and on site), with a map and precise directions. Only my oldest daughter has it.

    As I have said before, I never shop at the same hour, nor take the same cab driver or bus schedule. I also shop at 2-4 different stores for things like water and bulk items. My stock answer if anyone asks is ….”I am stocking up for a long winter”. And…if asked about all the water I buy…..”have you tasted our water?…it sucks”. And it really does.

    I’m just the old, semi-recluse lady. I like it that way. 🙂

  12. I started storing extra stuff after we were stuck in our house for a week with no electricity or phone service of any kind. I preached to friends and family about how hard it was to not be prepared and how much better freeze dried food is than it used to be (and its good for years so it can’t hurt) and got only eye rolls. I quit preaching. None of them have any idea of how much I have put away and I hope it stays that way. That I’m good for a week, everyone assumes. That I’m good for much longer than that is something I no longer feel the need to share. That I was a “prepper” even I didn’t know until coming across sites like this recently. 🙂

  13. I make no secret of the fact that I am working toward as much self-sufficiency as possible, trying to “return to life as my grandparents knew it”, i.e., the “simpler way”, as I sometimes call it. Whether or not it is truly “simpler” is arguable. That is not the point. And I will teach anyone who wants to learn to the best of my abilities. No need to ever use the word “prepper”, unless one wants to do so.

    • Simpler only in that it is less artificial, certainly not in any way less complicated! It’s lots easier to buy jelly than to grow your own grapes and make it. Lots less satisfying, tho.

  14. TPSnodgrass says:

    Unfortunately, more people than I wish, “know” we “prep”, since we are LDS, and used to be heavily involved in our city’s Emergency Response training group.
    However, we have met a great number of people in our area who are like minded and KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT about their preps, so we feel in relatively good company. Have had (more than I care for) members of our local congregation tell us, “We’re coming to YOUR house, when any big disaster or emergency hits!!” My response is less than Christian and for that I am sorry. Since we believe in the parable of the Bridegroom and Ten Virgins as in the KJV Bible, ( feel strongly that parable IS about BOTH spiritual and temporal/physical preparations) I now let them know FAR more gently that non-preppers are NOT welcome at all. Hey, we’ve sacrificed and built up our supplies for those troubled times, be they personal or large scale, and there’s nothing that says I need to bail out a family whose adults have CHOSEN to not prepare. Being my brother’s keeper doesn’t extend to willful disobedience, and that’s how I view it, personally. We had to sacrifice for our family’s long term protection, I cannot in good moral conscience allow my family to suffer in order to feed a “grasshopper”.

    • Diana Smith says:

      My story is similar to yours. I have had situations in our life where we have had to rely on that food storage and build it back up again. We are in the rebuilding process, so when people ask, I just tell them it’s hard to build up much when there isn’t much coming in. I never let them know how much I have, though I am grateful to the Lord for helping us obtain it.

    • tps,
      if they are co-congregants who say they’ll come to you, why are church leaders not reteaching these basic tenets?
      that is a big hole in their belief system, is it not?

      • TPSnodgrass says:

        Not a “big hole” at all, it’s been taught, preached for decades, however with MOST congregants of any religion, some take it to heart, some do not. Those who do not, can reap what they have sewn and I won’t feel bad about it at all. Personal preparedness and Self Reliance IS still a big part of our beliefs, again, we also believe that we have the right to choose to do as we see fit. So, some will wait until it’s too late, just like everyone else. Wish it were not so, but that is reality.

    • As I read these responses from the Mormons, I’m reminded of one of the first “prep” how-to videos I ever watched. It was posted (youtube, most likely) by Wendy DeWitt, whose name you LDS folks no doubt recognize . I am quite certain she mentioned some very small number (3%, if I recall correctly) of Mormons who actually follow the LDS church’s teachings on food preps. Not pickin’ on y’all – that’s 3% more than most churches, collectively speaking, are doing. And probably 2% more than the general populace. Kinda scary, ain’t it?!!!

      • TPSnodgrass says:

        You ain’t just whistling Dixie….!
        It is scary that so many people WHO KNOW BETTER, are choosing to be idiots. So be it, I cannot in good conscience look at our grand children and tell them we aren’t prepared because WE were selfish.

  15. talked about prepping since y2k. I was called a conspiracy nut and stupid. I think the times have changed to the worse and that we will have hard times ahead so we should prepare. I don’t tell many people about prepping now, I had one man I worked with blatantly tell me if something bad happened he would come to my house and kill me and take what I had, others have just said I’m coming to your house if something happens. so you have to be careful and if you want to keep what you have you must be prepared to defend it and your family.

    • I had someone respond to me in the same way once, Mark H; my response to him? “Thanks for the ‘heads up’; I’ll be ready for you.”

  16. No one knows; I’m good with that. I’ve gone from an extrovert to an introvert in my lifetime; I’m good with that. I have no family left except two younger brothers. I grew up kinda rough and both my two older brothers were the victims of death by handgun and shotgun respectively. I rode horseback with randy travis in my highs school years and I understand his recent issues. Now I’m a retired personnel warant officer who served 22 years in the Army with many superior folks. I ran the whole 2d Infantry Division assignment management in 97 under a general who led the charge ultimately in Iraq. Guess what? No one cares. But Kaitlyn Jenner and Hildabeast is a thang. Yeah, there’s your why?

  17. I use to talk to friends and family about having a well stocked pantry and supplies because we all live very busy lives. I didn’t really call it prepping, just said it was a good idea in case of bad weather, job loss, earthquake, power outage etc. It all fell flat pretty much. People told me that when they were low on food, didn’t want to cook or the power was out they would just go to the local diner, not problem.

    Now, only my sister and one or two others know that I am laying things aside for a much bigger event. I don’t talk about it much anymore. I figure I’ve tried to educate and if you want to be an ostrich with your head in the sand I’m not going to get in your way.

    I do find it kind of curious, though. How do they all think I lasted 2 years without a job if I wasn’t prepared on many different levels? Shrug:)

    • Food stamps. They all think you are on food stamps, because that is what they would do if they were without a job.

      • They probably wouldn’t give me food stamps.

        My sister tried one year when things were really bad (she’s self employees) and they were really rude she said, especially when they found out she was college educated and didn’t have kids.

        She asked if welfare was only reserved for those that were not white, educated, single and childless because if it was that was discrimination. Didn’t go over well. She didn’t get food stamps either.

        • Anonamo Also says:

          Happens all the time! Or senior citizens living well below poverty level ony qualify for 10$ a month…not worth the trouble to do the paperwork, but have a little bi racial child with you? oh yea, we can help you…

  18. In my part of the country, mostly mountain folk. It’s more about being independent, we do swap info discreetly among ourselves. We even have a prepper DJ, on a really old country station. He, is very subtle and a real source of info for the older folks. A lot of it is just the lifestyle of 2cd, 3rd, and even 4th generation ancestors, of depression era hillbillys. I’ve helped older folks, with home n farm security measures, firearm advice. One old gentleman, has taught me the art of curing hams, ( the original survival food ). This is a great time to develop your one greatest survival tool. Your gut, that little voice in the back of your mind that produces self preservation. Learn to read people, study people you know to be dishonest, to know it when you see it. Learn to be a naturally prepared, alert person. When being prepared is a natural, its like brushing your teeth. You do it every day, but nobody knows it, and, you don’t talk about it.

    Just my thoughts
    Always Vigil

  19. My children know. They, too, prepare, maybe not to the extent that my husband and I do, but they do prepare. All but one lives in our area so they know that the winter up here is no laughing matter. Snow, ice, high winds, and even the fall and winter diseases make getting out difficult, so they have their freezers full and pantries ready. Our daughter lives in an apartment and knows what to expect if the gird goes down, so she is prepared as best as she can be and knows which elderly people she needs to check on. One son lives in an adult foster care home and they, too, are prepared for a grid down situation. The youngest son prepares every summer and fall for the winter and spring. The oldest son lives in Arizona and works for the railroad and already has a BOL and he and his wife talk about how to get there from wherever they are.

    We live in a tiny rural community, buy only one neighbor knows that we prepare and we know that he does also. Neither of us really wants anyone outside of our families to know that we are “preppers”. We are simply preparing for the winter.

  20. My husband didn’t know I prepped for over a year. I then slowly started allowing him to know my plans. I do encourage people to have a closet for hurricane supplies, but I found out that if one person knows, you no longer have a secret. My husband is great at keeping secrets. However, my grandson spilled the beans to his parents. This is too funny, because they have been secret preppers for many years, living in the country they just appear to be farmers. So they pretended they didn’t understand what he was saying and I pretend I don’t see their supplies when I am at their home. It is likethe elephant in the middle of the living room…and what fun, like working for and with the CIA. But if times get bad, I know we will become a team and take care of each other. We all have different talents and skills that will be very important. We even exchange ideas but never ever say the words, “Preppers or Survivors.” I spend time with the grandkids doing things little boys like to do….we start fire without matches, learn what plants are safe to eat in the woods, they have me in a exercise program so I will be ready to run from the zombies…..not many old grandmothers get to spend the day in the woods preparing for the big zombie war……

  21. The only person I talk to about being prepared is my son. I think he understands opsec. I’m 99% sure that my brother-in-law preps. He probably knows that I do. But I never talk about it with him and my sister and they even live next door. I know a couple of co-workers who have gardens and chickens but we don’t talk prep.
    There is a local church that is having a homesteading/preparedness day this month and I have been trying to decide whether to go or not. Maybe I will go and act clueless!

    • Go. Just don’t reveal too much of yourself. I taught a class for such a church once. The Pastor was the biggest “prepper” in the group, though he never used the word and had little to say. He was very tight-lipped and taught his people to be so, also. He probably erred on the side of too much caution, but, that’s his business. Just trying to protect his flock. Go. Enjoy. Learn. Meet like-minded people.

  22. I can count on my fingers the people that know I prep and except for my wife and one of my sons the rest have no idea how much. Some know I have food but not how much,some know I have guns but not how many or how much ammo. Several of my family members like my parents and wife’s sister and BIL know some but of all the others none even know where I live short of what town it is in.

  23. Hopefully, FedEX and UPS don’t remember about deliveries a couple of years ago or don’t care. I canceled my termite plan on the house this year because I didn’t feel like taking 2 weeks to hide “stuff”. No one is invited into my home, any more. If any neighbors want to talk—fine! We will sit out in the orchard or on the front porch to talk. If they need to use the bathroom—GO HOME! If anyone comes to my house looking for food, I will meet them at the door with a cup and ask them if they have a cup of rice that I can “borrow”.

    I am fat enough that everyone thinks that I eat all that I buy or grow. My family live far enough away that they won’t be a problem. 99% of them aren’t speaking to me anyhow. So, yes, I think that my OPSEC is pretty good.

  24. Very few know what is stored here….. Both sons and wives have some idea but are themselves prepping as possibilities arise. Kids are too far away to support each other directly, but we do help each other out whenever we get together. Opsec is fairly good….. Story now is that we have moved much of our “small” stash north in preparation of moving. Oh and much of our Armory has been parceled out to the boys 5 to 6 hour drive away. 😉 Next door neighbors are good friends and we watch each others property when not in residence… Hunters and cowboy action shooters who know which end of the goes where! Everyone out here doesn’t prep.., but they do keep a pantry with enough to last if snowed in for a week or so. Plus we do have deer walking through the yard, squirrel and rabbit as well. Live 3 miles outside a small town with apopulation of 4000. Out of the big cities by 2 to 3 hour drive…. Up here we help each other, but don’t get too nosey…. As it should be.

  25. only 24,000 subscribers and 11 million viewers know. I think they will keep my secret.

  26. I’ve moved since the days when I spoke with others on the subject. If you have ruined OPSEC, move and learn to keep your own counsel.

  27. Diana Smith says:

    Very few know, my adult children, who are more close-mouthed than me, and my Mom, who figures it’s nobody’s business what either one of us has! My DH, who tells others to get ready for themselves, cuz we don’t have it to help them out. My in-laws, who nobody listens to anyway. I consider OPSEC at about 65%. Could be better.

  28. I am an old woman with a garden, who puts up what she grows. You know, most people don’t really like vegetables. The neighbors know my husband & some others members of the family “have to eat gluten free” & that I have grandchildren allergic to soy & to nuts, so we can’t use convenience foods. From time to time, when appropriate, I whine about missing cinnamon rolls & such.
    My daughters know exactly how many jars I have & I know how many they have, because we trade them back & forth all the time, sometimes with jelly or jam or vegetables inside. We also trade recipes using those home canned veggies back & forth a lot. Most families in our area really don’t like either zucchini or summer squash & a lot don’t like tomatoes. And I am ok with that.

  29. Three.
    But following Benjamin Franklin’s admonition, “Three can keep a secret… if two of them are dead.” I’m down to one.

    Seriously, however, not many. Perhaps two in my family have an “inkling”, but they’ve known it since the 70’s. And since I’m down to one “friend”, he’s included, so long as he keeps it to himself. Of course, I could say he’s “prepping” as well. (Perhaps we’d both best watch our backs, huh?)

  30. A handful of people know I prep. One of them got me into prepping a few years ago and I’m grateful.
    After I started, I told two close friends about it. They listened respectfully, and said they saw the logic of being prepared. Yet my words fell on deaf ears and they, like most Americans, don’t prep at all. That was disappointing.
    Since then, I have stopped talking about it to anyone. Nobody at all knows in the town I live in and those who do know live hours away.

    • Not many poeple know. My wife kinda blew op sec one night when she was drinking. Good thing is all of the other people were drunk also.

  31. Probably more than I think but then I teach canning/dehydrating workshops, am a member of my CERT community and part of a couple of prepper groups that for the most part do not know where I live but no one visits that I don’t know. The house is for sale so everything has to be kept under raps as much as possible.

  32. Just 2 people. My aunt–she got me started, and she’s very private. And a girl at work that I got started. I don’t think she’d tell(anyone about me), cause people would think she’s crazy/ier!
    My family never comes to visit, and if they did, they wouldn’t be where my stuff is. Keep up the good work!

  33. How many people know I’m a prepper?

    4. My wife, a single person and a couple.

  34. My group knows: husband, son, daughter and future son-in-law. One neighbor probably has an idea – I let them borrow water when the line to their house sprung a big leak.

  35. Make that “4 other preppers, my wife, a single person and a couple.

  36. TPSnodgrass says:

    I USED to get P.O’d at my wife for “hoarding” Mason canning jars. I have since repented profusely, after seeing and reading how many jars others have stockpiled. Now, I will always grab a case(or two-just because I LIKE to eat) when out shopping. I don’t believe one can ever have too many, they are like ammo, can’t have TOO much!

    • Anonamo Also says:

      TPS, it is not hoarding when you buy what you use… a family of four needs at least 900 quarts, + extra lids for at least one season of canning. So when you buy the 1 dz jars, as much as possible buy 2 dz lids as well

  37. Happy Camper says:

    Ive had lots of people tell me that when the apocalypse hits they will come to my property.
    Times ive asked for help to do things I cant manage on the farm, everyone is too busy.
    I even have offered a few broke and claiming to be looking for work, $20 an hour to come work- doesnt happen.
    Just as well I have a long memory and an even longer 4×4 access driveway.

  38. CookieLady says:

    I’m of the Grandma persuasion, live alone and have a large basemen t where my supplies live in the dark.. Maybe a service person or 2 MAY have noticed, but if anyone asks, I tell them I used to be a prepper but am using up and/or eating my supplies because I have decided to give up and join the Zombies when they start the march. People either think that is sooo funny, OR they are a bit put off by me. Either way–I have the last laugh.

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