May 182012

It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanism of discussion and debate.

One of the problems in today’s society is that we have isolated ourselves much more than ever before from people different to ourselves.

We spend more time in homogenous communities, and so it becomes easier to vilify people who disagree with us, because we don’t see them as ‘people like us’ but rather as ‘strangers unlike us, with strange ideas unlike ours’.

This is unfortunate, because as theoretically right as our views may seem to us to be, and indeed as truly correct as they may be in a perfect world, in our real and imperfect world, sometimes the best views on anything are a compromised mix of different opinions and somewhere closer to middle ground.

The results of the growing polarization of opinion can be seen in the dysfunctionality of our political system, where politicians regularly lie and cheat the system purely so as to ‘trick’ other politicians into taking unpopular stands about things – even if the unpopular stands actually happen to be the right stands.  Well, we could go on and on about the problems with our politicians, but we’ll stop at that point, other than to observe one chilling essential truth :  We get the politicians we vote for.  The disappointing performance of our politicians reflects on us as much as on them.

Anyway, on to the point at hand.  The need to ensure a positive and polite level of discourse when discussing and debating prepping related matters.  Positive discourse reflects positively on ourselves and the topic of prepping.  Negative discourse is no good for anyone involved with it.

Whether you’re discussing prepping with a friend or if you’re being interviewed on national television, there are two scenarios we’d like to put to you.

Preppers Debating Prepping With Other Preppers

We’ve often seen situations where a prepper speaks passionately about some type of future risk and the need to prepare for what would happen if/when the risk eventuates.  Okay, great, more power to them.  We love to see passion and commitment to the concept of prepping, in any and all its forms.

But then they turn around and denigrate other preppers for having different priorities.  Oh, to worry needlessly about Possibility X is stupid, they say.

That is unkind and inappropriate, and acting that way detracts from their own advocacy.  While the person saying this fears they are competing against other risks, and other forms of preparing, that is not the case at all.  All of us preppers, no matter what future risks we wish to prepare for, are not competing for mind-share with each other.  Our biggest competitor is the overall rejection of any and all prepping, entirely.

Furthermore, a diversity of different prepping in a community gives a broader base of safety net for a broader base of possible futures, and one of the things about prepping is that all forms of prepping involve future scenarios of varying degrees of improbability.  There mere fact that an event is unlikely is no reason not to appropriately prepare some degree of response for it.

Nothing is guaranteed to happen at any point in the future.  Maybe there’ll be a Yellowstone eruption, maybe not.  Maybe the San Andreas fault will fracture in an earthquake to beat all earthquakes.  Maybe an asteroid will hit the planet.  Maybe, maybe, maybe, for so many things.  But (and happily), more likely, maybe not as well.

So to dismiss someone as stupid (a bad thing to say anyway) for preparing for an unlikely future risk; when we say ‘anyone who thinks they should prep against this future risk is nuts’, we are halfway to saying ‘anyone who thinks they should prep against any sort of future risk is nuts’ and that is more than halfway to saying ‘I am nuts’.

By all means, it is right and proper that you should have your own personal preferred forms of prepping.  Imagine how boring horse races would become if everyone bet on only one horse.

Besides which, people in different parts of the country, and living different types of lifestyles, and with different personal circumstances, quite validly do have different priorities for how they can approach the risks they confront, and different sets of probabilities attached to the different risks out there.

For example, you’re more likely to see someone in the Florida Keys preparing for a hurricane threat than you are to see someone in San Francisco, whereas the San Francisco resident is probably up to speed with earthquake risks, something the Keys dweller is completely unconcerned about.

A person with major net worth is more likely to be interested in high-end retreats costing seven or eight figures, whereas a person living on an average wage might be more focused on optimizing Level 1 situations and their responses to such things.  And so on, through as many different combinations of people, places and things as there are.

The thing is this :  Just because one person is investing heavily in some form of prepping while you are investing in a different form doesn’t make the other person stupid – and, relax, it doesn’t make you stupid either.  Any prepping is better than none, and we all have to play our personal favorites and do what makes us most comfortable and what addresses the risks of greatest perceived relevance to us.

So, fellow preppers, and recognizing that diversity is a wonderful thing, here’s a polite suggestion and request.

By all means advocate your own personal views and what you do yourself to prep.  But when someone asks you about a different type of prepping, perhaps for a different type of scenario, don’t be negative about it.  Adopt a look of intelligent uncertainty, but treat the other prepper’s viewpoint with the same open-minded respect you hope people will treat you and your viewpoints.

It is as easy as this – you can say something like :

There’s really no end of risks in the world today, but for most of us, we have to prioritize which risks we respond to, and to base our responses on the limits of our time and our budget.

In a perfect world, I’d be enthusiastically doing everything about the risks and responses you mention too, but it isn’t practical for me to do everything about everything, and for now, in my situation, I’m doing the best I can.

Your mileage may vary – you might have a different set of priorities, and possibly more (or even less) time and/or money to allocate to your own preparing.  I’m able to tell you about what I’m doing and why it is important to me; that’s not to detract from your (or their) perspectives – we can both be right.  You’d have to speak to experts on this other type of prepping to properly understand what they do and why they do that.

That is a positive high-minded response which shows you to be open-minded and statesmanlike and serious and sensible.  It reflects positively on you and on the broader concept of prepping.

You’ll win more people to your point of view if you don’t put them on the defensive first.

Preppers and Non-Preppers

Something else might have encountered is a prepper being heckled and harangued by a non-prepper.  Eventually, frustratedly, the non-prepper pulls out what he believes to be his ‘trump card’ and says ‘Well, we’ll see who is laughing when TSHTF – don’t come to me, begging for my food’ and possibly then makes some reference to the dozens of guns he owns in a meaningful manner, implying what would happen to people who come to him asking for food.

You’ve probably seen this happen, but have you ever seen the non-prepper then say ‘Oh my goodness.  You’re so right.  I hadn’t thought about that at all.  You’ve completely changed my mind.  Where can I start stockpiling guns and food?’

No, of course not.  You see the non-prepper’s non-acceptance of the prepping mindset harden into one of adversarial contempt and distrust.  He is thinking ‘That guy just told me he’d leave me to die, and maybe even threatened to shoot me.  There should be a law against people like him’.

Did what our prepping friend thought was his biggest and bestest argument win the debate, or did it lose the debate totally?

If you find yourself discussing prepping with someone else, you are much better advised to play down the level of prepping you currently undertake, and instead help the person you’re talking with to understand how he is already a prepper, without even realizing it.  The only difference between him and you is a matter of degree.

This is a much smaller ideological gap to bridge.  Instead of squaring off at each other, almost literally with guns drawn, you are standing on the same side of an issue, with common shared viewpoints on the big things already.  Neither of you has to change your mind, you just have to slightly alter your thinking on the topic.

Make a statement like ‘All prepping requires is a willingness to invest time or money or resource now to reduce the potential downside of a future event, be it likely or unlikely.  I bet you’re a prepper yourself, without even realizing it.  Do you have insurance on your car?’

The person will require ‘Yes, of course’ and might go on to say ‘I have to by law’.

In that case you can laugh and say ‘Insurance is a form of prepping.  When I buy long shelf life food, I’m paying an insurance premium against a food shortage.  And car insurance is prepping for the possibility of an accident – it is so prudent that it is required by law.  What about householder’s insurance – do you have that, too?’

Maybe the person says ‘Yes, I have to for my mortgage’, in which case you can smile again and say ‘Not only is prepping sometimes mandatory by law due to social reasons, but the bankers recognize the prudence of prepping for financial good sense too.  But whereas, at the end of a year, your insurance payment has gone for ever, I still have my 25 year extended life food stored, and in 24 years time, if I haven’t needed to use it, I can then get my value out of it by simply eating it or a tax write off from donating it to charity.  My voluntary prepping costs me nothing.  There’s no harm and no downside to that.’

Anyway, take the discussion wherever it goes, and don’t try to swing a person’s views completely around 180 degrees.  Instead, encourage them to see that they have all along been a prepper of some sort, and then help them to make just a slight change in their perception so that they feel the good sense in starting to participate in some prepping themselves.

Read through our series ‘An Introduction to Prepping‘ for more thoughts on how to explain prepping to non-preppers.

And – as for the ultimate illogic of the ‘Don’t come running to me in an emergency line’, turn that around and say ‘Well, I sure respect your right not to prepare for anything at all in the future.  But how about at least giving me a bit of encouragement to double down on what I do?  That way, if things do go wrong unexpectedly, you know you’ve got someone to turn to for help and support!’

That’s the positive side of the same coin, isn’t it.  It is absolutely true that, in a catastrophe, non-prepared people will be forced to turn to us for help.  If we have an abundance of materials beyond that which we need ourselves, of course we’ll do all we can to help our fellow citizens.  Maybe it could even be profitable for us to do so when people suddenly find themselves with money but not way to spend it; or  maybe we’ll just do things out of the goodness of our hearts.

But whatever the situation, it is best for the people we must live with now to see us as a positive force for good, and someone to befriend, ‘just in case’, rather than a scary monster ready to start shooting them at the drop of a hat.

The Thing We Are Preparing For

Here’s a related comment for when discussing various TEOTWAWKI scenarios.

Be fuzzy about the details of what you are preparing for.  It is better to say ‘Society today has a range of built-in vulnerabilities.  Accepting these vulnerabilities gives us great convenience in our every day lives as long as all goes well, but if the vulnerabilities should eventuate, then in a worst case scenario, our current comfortable secure lifestyles could be massively impaired.  I’d be pleased to talk through many different possible situations with you, but I don’t think that essential.  I’ve simply prepared to be able to withstand some possible breakdowns in our society and all the underlying support systems that we rely upon.’

It is harder to argue the prudence of keeping a supply of emergency food on hand in case some vague thing interrupts the supply of food to your local supermarket, than it is debating the likelihood of a specific nation launching a specific attack against some specific part of the US infrastructure.

Talking about preparing for adversity is an extension of the widely understood and admired Boy Scout code of being prepared.  Worrying about some remote catastrophe sounds close to paranoid.  Use the positive to describe yourself, not the negative.


Prepping is a ‘broad church’ and both allows and encourages for many different views and approaches to the topic.  It is a positive and supportive activity, and you should be positive and supportive in how you describe it and discuss it.

Remember the saying ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar’.

May 032012

People gather by a Mayan temple in Chichen Itza, Mexico

An international survey just released suggests that 15% of people world-wide believe the world will end during their lifetime.

The least pessimistic countries were France (6% expect the world to end), Belgium (7%) and Britain (8%).  Here in the US people are the most pessimistic, with 22% of people expecting the world to end in their lifetime, the same percentage as in Turkey.  People see the world ending for a variety of reasons, including biblical prophesy and the Mayan 2012 claim.  More details here.

Now for an important distinction.  These people are not preppers.  These people expect the world to end; preppers simply expect a major change to the world as we know it; either briefly, or for some more extended period of time.

There’s really no way to prepare for the complete end of the world, is there.  What use is stockpiled food, a retreat, or anything else if the world just ends!

Keep this in mind when talking to others about your views.  Possibly one reason that some groups of ill-informed people choose to ridicule or sneer at preppers is their lack of understanding about who we are and what we do.  When your friends discover that preppers aren’t strange people, but are normal ordinary people like yourself (hopefully you’re reasonably normal and ordinary!) that challenges their first perception, and when they discover that you don’t expect some type of super-natural Armageddon that is impossible to resist, but rather, you are simply prudently preparing for a range of very possible short and longer term disruptions to our current comfortable lifestyles, that should challenge their other misperceptions, too.

After all, wouldn’t you much prefer your friends and neighbors to join you in prepping for future challenges?  That way, if/when something does occur, rather than having them trying to get free assistance from you and your own scarce resources, and being a drain on your own preparations; they’ll instead be able to contribute to a larger shared resource of capabilities and materials.

There’s no need to be aggressively bothersome about talking about prepping, but if the topic comes up, it is appropriate to talk a little about it.  We suggestion you start off from the point that everyone is a prepper already to a greater or lesser extent, and the only distinction between us all is how much we prepare and what we prepare for.  That is a positive and inclusionary approach to the topic.

Apr 302012

Groups of rioters and looters can be difficult to anticipate and defend against

There’s nothing new about rioting and civil/social disruption.

Indeed, it is currently the 20th anniversary of what are known as the ‘Rodney King Riots’ in Los Angeles – a five-day period of mayhem that erupted with no notice, and which saw looting, destruction, arson and murder across substantial parts of South Central Los Angeles.

It is helpful to quickly review lessons from this before moving on to a look at future vulnerabilities.

The Rodney King/South Central Los Angeles Riots in April/May 1992

The jury decision acquitting  the police officers who were filmed beating Rodney King was announced at 3.15pm.  The first protest response was at around 3.45pm when a crowd of about 300 gathered outside the courthouse to protest the decision.  This was nothing too alarming.

Between 5pm and 6pm, a group of 24 police officers confronted a growing crowd of African-Americans – not at the courthouse, but a considerable distance away in South Central LA.  Out-numbered, the officers retreated, ceding command/control of the territory to the crowd.  By 6.45pm, this crowd, with no police presence to moderate or control them for almost an hour, started looting, attacking vehicles and people.

A television helicopter at 6.45pm, hovering over the crowd, filmed and broadcast live scenes of the crowd dragging a white man (Reginald Denny) out of his truck and viciously beating him up.  We suggest that this live coverage of the crowd gone wild and with no police presence may have encouraged and incited others to join in what was spiraling into major rioting.

It quickly became apparent that the police had withdrawn entirely from large sections of South Central Los Angeles, leaving lawless anarchy behind.  Opportunistic looting and destruction started taking place on a widespread basis, opposed only by Korean store owners who armed themselves and banded together to protect their stores.

Over the course of the five days, nearly 1600 buildings were destroyed or damaged as a result of 3600 different fires.  More than 2300 people were injured, and at least 53 people were known to have been killed in riot related violence (including 10 shot by either the police or armed forces).  22 of the 43+ non police shootings remain open and unsolved now, and in view of the passing of time, will probably never be solved.

The murders are significant because the rioting looters were not just unarmed people looking to steal a color television.  Many of them were armed, and were either randomly shooting at people for no reason at all, or were using their firearms to force their way past store owners so as to loot their stores.

The police were immediately overwhelmed and unable to maintain control, and it was only after not just the National Guard but also regular US Army soldiers and Marines too were deployed that the rioting ended, five days after it started.

Lessons from the LA Riots

From our perspective, we see several key lessons.  The first is that civil disruption can develop very quickly.  It is hard to say at what point ordinary citizens would have become alarmed at this rioting – remember the timeline above.  The court decision by itself didn’t mandate that rioting in this scale would follow, neither did the people protesting at the courthouse – if anything, that was safely away from South Central LA and a safety valve for upset citizens.

The two key events were the police retreating from the group of protesters sometime around 6pm, and then the evolution of the mob from angry upset people to a lawless group of rioters, and the broadcasting of the mob violence over live television, indicating to other disaffected people that they could riot with impunity.

From the flashpoint sometime after 6pm to the televised beating of Reginald Denny was less than 30 minutes, and rioting on a regional basis was underway within an hour after that.

The second lesson is that it took 4 – 5 days before the police – by then augmented with some 15,000 reinforcements in the form of other state police and federal officers, National Guardsmen, plus regular Army and Marines, to get the rioting under control.

We Are More Vulnerable Now to Similar Rioting

There was a lot of analysis into why such a large group of people chose to riot in 1992.  Much of this analysis took the form of liberal hand-wringing and blaming society and other factors/forces for the bad behavior of the rioters; you can choose to accept or reject that as you wish.

But one point is relevant – the point that the rioting came after some extended period of rising disconnection between the rioters and society in general.  This disconnection was economic and social in nature.

We make this point because it seems probable – whether validly justified or not – there is a similar disconnection across much of the country at present.  For further exemplification of the current disaffection of large groups of society with the society in which they live, look at the riots in England in August 2011.  This was a four day period of mayhem that infected not just many parts of London, but also other cities and towns across England too that ended up affecting 48,000 businesses with losses to a greater or lesser extent.

The last few years have been marked by a difficult economy and a growing disaffection at the dichotomy between ‘evil bankers’ at one end of society and their ‘economic victims’ at the other end of society (we’re not judging the merits of such disaffection here, merely reporting on what we observe).  The Occupy Wall Street movement has done a good job of exploiting this unrest, albeit largely peacefully.

We have also seen groups mobilizing against what they see as the evils of international trade, protesting at World Trade Organization meetings.

And in addition to these groups of people who are suffering real or imaginary grievances, there are the ever-present anti-social groups in the country who are keen to take part in violent mayhem any time they can just for the sheer devilry of it, and/or as a way to enrich themselves with the spoils of looting.

So our first point is that the underlying social tensions that could create violent rioting are as strong today as they have ever been.

Now for the second point, hinted at in our headline.

We have suggested the Rodney King riots grew from the televised coverage, beamed into everyone’s living rooms, showing people that they could riot with impunity, and in effect encouraging them to join in the party.  That factor remains ever-present today too, of course – maybe even more so.  Video isn’t just sourced and distributed from professional news gatherers in their helicopters, now everyone with a cell phone can shoot video and within minutes have it live on YouTube or elsewhere.

We now have a new factor – a factor that has contributed to successful revolutions in other countries (notably Egypt and other ‘Arab Spring’ countries) and believed to have been a key element of the rapid growth and spread of the rioting in England last August.  This is the use of social media by rioters to promote their actions and to call in more people to join with them.

By social media we mean primarily Twitter and texting because these are almost instantaneous ways of passing information, either from one person individually to other individuals, or from one person to groups of any size up to many thousands of people.  With such information being sent to people’s cell phones, there is little or no delay between a message being sent and it being received by tens, hundreds or even thousands and tens of thousands of people.

Twitter in particular has two very powerful features for social networking – the ability to ‘re-tweet’ and to forward on twitter messages to other people, and the ability to add ‘hashtags’ as a way of reaching other like-minded people who the sender doesn’t already know and hasn’t met before.  A twitter message can potentially ‘go viral’ and end up on hundreds of thousands of people’s screens in minutes.

We have already seen this in a slightly less threatening sense – the new phenomenon of sudden flash mobs, coalescing out of nowhere.  Until now, these flash mobs have been largely non-violent and haven’t got out of hand.

These tools can also be used by mobs as a way of passing ‘intelligence’ among themselves – letting mob members know the whereabouts of police, road blocks, etc that might impede their actions, and also letting them know where the best tempting targets are.

There is also an added dimension with social media has helped facilitate.  It is less regional and more national/international.  The Rodney King riots didn’t spread to the rest of the US.  The London riots last August were instantly emulated and copied in other cities and towns all across England.


We suggest there is at least as much underlying disconnection between large elements of the ‘under-classes’ (define that term any way you wish) and society in general now as there was in 1992.  Social media make any flashpoint more likely to spread, further and faster, than ever before.

Riots seem to take 4 – 5 days to bring under control (assuming they are controllable).

There is little reason to expect riots would spread out of the concentrated downtown areas of cities and into the outlying ‘leafy suburbs’ – there’s just not the density of population and tempting targets to sustain a riot in a residential suburb full of single family homes.  But if you live in a downtown area, you are vulnerable to the direct effects of rioting, and if you live in a suburb, you may be vulnerable to flow-on effects such as disruptions to food supplies and to utilities.

It is impossible to predict where riots may start or what the flashpoints may be that initiate them, and also impossible to predict where they may spread.

In a major riot situation, you should expect rioters to be armed and to be senselessly shooting at people, places and things for no reason other than because they can.

Seeking refuge inside a building in a riot affected area is only prudent if there is no risk of the building being set on fire.  In a riot situation, you have two choices – evacuate the area entirely as soon as there is evidence of growing rioting; or be prepared to defend your property from safe positions and with the possible need to use lethal force to do so.

If you choose to evacuate, you need to be careful with your choice of route – you don’t want to abandon the possible greater safety of your residence and then find your car ambushed by rioters, or to be trapped by destroyed cars blocking the road ahead.

If you choose to defend your property – perhaps because it is not safe to evacuate – you will need to have as many people as possible with you and willing to actively defend your property.  One or two people are unlikely to dissuade a rioting crowd of 20 – 50 (or more) rampaging towards you.  The Koreans were reasonably successful because they grouped together, and because the rioters recognized in the Koreans a determined adversary.

A less than lethal way of getting the attention of a crowd and persuading them to leave you well alone might be some exotic shotgun rounds – in particular, the Dragon’s Breath rounds that spit out a brief jet of flame approximately 50 ft or more, a ‘fire siren’ round that sends out a very loud whistle (send this first to get their attention) or a thunder flash round (very loud noise – implies very great power), and stinger type rounds that send out nylon balls that hurt but usually don’t seriously wound or kill.

In such a case, you’d want to test these rounds before an emergency to get a feeling for their range and effects, then you’d want to carefully understand where those range points are around the property you’ll be defending.  Note also that the Dragon’s Breath is massively more spectacular at night.  And you could only use this in places where there was no risk of starting fires as a result of your firing the round – you might end up causing more property damage to other people’s property than that you prevented to your own property.

Needless to say, you only have a short time to use such warning devices before needing to use something more serious.  Don’t still be warning a crowd when it engulfs and overwhelms you.

Apr 292012

The entrance to 'survivalist' Peter Keller's underground quarters

There was a time when preppers used to call themselves survivalists.

But the main stream media took over this term and used it so overwhelmingly negatively, that to call oneself a survivalist immediately branded one as an anti-social, Aryan-nation, racist, government hating, tax-evading, fundamentalist, dangerous extremist who was plotting to overthrow our country’s government by force.  (Did we leave any negative adjectives out?)

Here’s the latest example – a man allegedly killed his wife and daughter then hightailed it to his hidey-hole in the woods.  But does the newspaper headline describe him as a murderer on the run?  Nope, the headline calls him a survivalist, and the lead photo shows a picture of his underground lair’s main entrance door.

The clear implication – ‘survivalist’ and ‘murderer’ are synonymous terms.

So we now call ourselves Preppers – people who prudently prepare for possible problems in the future.  How long will it be before the main stream media starts painting all the extreme loony-toons types as preppers rather than as survivalists (most journalists haven’t yet realized we’ve changed the name we use to describe our beliefs, values, and actions)?

The thing is that the people who were, from time to time, sensationally described in newspaper headlines and breaking news reports on television as survivalists never were ‘real’ survivalists.

Good survivalists might have some disagreements with the present government and some of the social engineering it conducts, but they’d never dream of actively resisting the government other than at the ballot box and through lawful lobbying.

Good survivalists might occasionally have arguments with neighbors and also family members, but they’d never dream of murdering them.

Good survivalists might plan, prepare, and even construct a retreat somewhere as a refuge subsequent to a massive collapse in society, and they’d even hope it to be a place of comparative safety in such a situation, but they’d never in their wildest dreams think it to be a place they could hide away in at present, and resist being found by the lawful authorities.  Furthermore, they’d doubly never never dream that if they were found, they could safely hunker down and not get captured.

But anti-social loony-toons will do all these things.  Why does the press then over-generalize and say ‘this guy planned for future disasters, and was a loony-toon.  Therefore all people who plan for disasters are loony-toons?

That’s the same as saying ‘This guy votes Democrat (or Republican), and he also murdered his wife and children.  Therefore, everyone who votes Democrat (or Republican) also murders their wives and children too’.  Or, for another example, that’s the same as saying ‘This guy had a fatal accident and killed another motorist because he was drunk while driving his Toyota car.  Therefore all people who drive Toyota cars are dangerous drunk drivers.’

The flawed logic is the same in both cases.  But even though thousands of Democrat supporters commit murder each year, no-one suggests all Democrats are murderers.  Even though Toyota cars are involved in thousands of fatal accidents each year, no-one suggests that all Toyota drivers are dangerous.

Any sensible person understands and appreciates the need to conform to the laws of the society they live in, because they are also sensible enough to understand the consequences.  All sensible people realize that it is totally impossible to win against a confrontation with the country’s law enforcement forces.  This is as inevitable and certain whether it is the lone murderer written about in the article linked above up against a mix of 50+ different SWAT team members, or the entire 112 Branch Davidians in Waco Texas up against many hundreds of ATF, FBI, Texas Rangers and Texas National Guardsmen, with armaments up to and including two M1A1 Main Battle Tanks.

Furthermore, we suggest that Preppers are more sensible and more prudent than the average person.  If a person builds their life around being prudent, being cautious, being sensitive to future potential possibilities and negative outcomes, aren’t they the sort of person who is least likely to embark on risky and unlawful behavior that is absolutely guaranteed to lead to negative outcomes?

One more thing.  You may or may not choose to incorporate some prepping into your own lifestyle, but you should welcome the presence of preppers in your neighborhood, and you should befriend them.  When your food and water runs out, while delicious cooking smells are wafting across to you from your prepared neighbor; when you’re shivering in the cold and dark, while their lights are still on, aren’t you going to want to be best friends with the preppers next door?

It is unfortunate that the MSM have taken over the word ‘survivalist’ and re-purposed it to mean ‘crazy wacko violent loony-toon’, but now that they have, and now that we have a new term of our own – ‘prepper’, we probably should accept the difference.  Preppers are good, survivalists are bad.