It’s not like there’s a Match.com for preparedness enthusiasts that would enable them to find the most perfect team members from their local surroundings. Despite the ease of connecting online these days, many people still find it hard to meet like-minded souls. Other people with whom they’re comfortable forming groups, teams, and networks. So until that changes, here are a few easy ways to get out there and mingle. If the world doesn’t crumble around us, who knows, these folks might even turn out to be great friends. But first I have to provide you with a word of warning:
There are more than a few prepper predators out there. Some of them are people who are collecting information on preparedness enthusiasts, their location and their supplies. They do this with the intention to rob them or worse, should doomsday ever occur. If you have no ethics or soul, it’s a cheap way to prep. There are also people who are just plain nuts. I’ve met plenty of them in my line of work. I’ve met people who literally sell expensive memberships to their prepper group and require you to store your supplies with the leader.
Guess who ends up with all the stuff in this situation? No exaggeration, there are other folks who are planning to become warlords and use their members as personal foot soldiers.
There’s even one guy I know who is planning to be the founding father of a reconstructed America. Nut jobs, all of them!
So treat your first steps with new preppers as a first date with a random person you just picked up. They don’t need to know everything about you. They don’t need to know where you live, what kind of possessions you have, when you’re going out of town, what your mother’s maiden name is, etc. In fact, I’d recommend that you focus on finding one trustworthy prepper friend rather than a whole group of random preppers. Build your mutual trust with this new friend a little at a time. OPSEC, baby! If anything starts to feel like a cult, here’s a news flash, you’re in a cult! Get out of it. All that being said, here are the promised tips on finding your local preppers:
Use Your Existing Connections
Start with the easiest one. Casually query your current network of family, friends, acquaintances, church brethren, co-workers, and other associates about local survival enthusiasts. They’re likely to know people that you don’t. They should know whether their prepper acquaintances are serious, honest, and friendly. Ideally you’re looking for all three traits, but you may have to settle for honest. With any luck, your contact can even make the introduction between you two.
Take A Class
The simple fact that you’re willing to sign up for a survival class says many important things. First, being a class participant suggests that you’re not a total egomaniac. If you’re willing to say “I don’t know it all, please teach me something new” then it’s likely your head is screwed on straight. Secondly, class taking proves to people that you’re serious about your preparedness. Putting your money where your mouth is can be the ultimate proof of devotion to the prepper cause.
Thirdly, your willingness to take a class with a group of strangers suggests that you’re probably not a crazy loner. Of course you may be fully crazy, but at least you’re not a crazy loner. Most states have several survival schools within their borders so take a local survival class. Get to know your fellow students at the class as well as the school staff. They may be looking for someone like you too.
Visit Prepper Events
Survival expos and similar events bring prepper people out of the woodwork. There may be hundreds or even thousands of people at an event, and most of them tend to be local. You may be able to take a class at some expos that can afford you a better chance to converse with people. There may also be plenty of local survival-based businesses.
These are more serious people, maybe worth getting to know. Just keep in mind that the prep show brings out plenty of gawkers and wannabes. These folks may talk a big game but they’re not serious. They’re usually wasting the time you have to meet serious prepper people at the event. The people who say “I’m gonna do” aren’t the same as those who say “I have done”.
I joke about a prepper Match.com, but it already exists in a very loose and rudimentary form. There are plenty of prepper groups who use Meetup, Facebook, and other social networking websites to connect with others. Again, proceed with caution. Some groups are great people and some aren’t. Leave and don’t go back if people start pressing you for personal information, lists of your supplies, or any other details that throw up a red flag. It’s best if you’re able to go to meetings as a guest or visitor to see what they’re all about before joining. Be friendly but vague about yourself and your plans. Find out who you’re dealing with first.
It’s important to build a group before there is a need. The more people and skill sets a group has, the better. However, you may not be able to pull a group together from just family and friends. It’s possible to find other members for your group. Just keep in mind that there are some crazy folks out there. Go about finding new members like you do new survival skills and supplies. Do your research, make smart decisions, back off if you feel threatened.