Self-Sufficiency Series

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hoarding

I have a pet peeve. I hate the word “hoarding.”

Let me be more specific: I hate the term “hoarding” as applied toward Preppers.

Hoarding implies that by buying some extra bottles of shampoo, we are doing so at the expense of others. It implies that we are somehow wrong to store rice and beans to feed our families during hard times. That by storing food, we are literally taking it out of the mouths of others. It implies that there are already shortages, and we are taking more than our fair share. That by ramping up our own food storage, we are causing others to go hungry.

I'm sure you'll agree that none of these implications are true. We who are preparing are, by definition, doing so during "easy" times. Right now food and other resources are abundant and relatively cheap. Virtually everyone can do something to prepare for future shortages. Most just choose not to. And make no mistake, lack of preparedness is, for most people in this country, a choice.

Hoarding is an ugly word and, I believe, profoundly untrue as it applies toward those who are concerned enough about the current and future economic situation in our country that we are laying in supplies of food and other resources.


How many people, when they hear a rumor about a shortage of sugar, will go stock up on hundreds of pounds of sugar to the point that rumor becomes truth? I clearly remember such an incident from my childhood. Also toilet paper. Also coffee. Also (my husband remembers this from his early boyhood) vacuum tubes. (As in, for televisions.)

But Preppers have no need to engage in a run on sugar or toilet paper or any other resource…because they already have adequate stores, thank you. This is because they had the foresight to stock up on necessities long before anyone ever dreamed a shortage could happen. This is because they believe only by having adequate stores of resources can they avoid becoming one of the stampeding crowd, one of the desperate horde, one of the victims of violence because someone else wants the same bag of sugar or package of toilet paper.

It’s well documented that a resource doesn’t become “valuable” until it becomes scarce. How much does a pound of salt cost at the grocery store? $0.59? Imagine if salt was suddenly scarce. How much would that pound cost?

It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. By definition, Preppers are people who accumulate – “hoard,” if you will – resources when supplies are high and demand (and prices) are low.

What makes me furious is the reaction and attitude toward Preppers when these resources suddenly becomes scarce. How easy is it to blame someone who has a room full of toilet paper when there is none to be had at the store? Why won’t they share, dammit? It doesn’t matter that the Preppers bought TP when it was $5 for a 24-pack and no one else wanted it. I WANT SOME TOILET PAPER. IT’S NOT FAIR (kicking heels) THAT YOU WON’T GIVE ME SOME!!!

Why? Why isn't it FAIR? What's "fair" about trying to force me to share my resources with you when all you did was pooh-pooh my "hoarding" when you could have been doing the same thing? Can you see the childishness of this reaction?

Most Preppers are not rich. God knows we're not. We’re just ordinary folks who see the gathering storm clouds on the horizon and are doing what we can to provide for our families if hard times hit. Naturally we’re viewed with condescending tolerance and not a little laughter at our expense…until TSHTF.

Suddenly that tolerance and humor becomes frustration, outrage, and even violence if Preppers don’t share their store of resources. When asked to explain the logic behind the outrage, the Unprepared generally fall back upon the indignant accusation that the Preppers are “hoarding.”

I see. So why didn’t the Unprepared “hoard” when they, too, had the chance?

What follows is a stuttering list of excuses. Lack of money. Lack of storage. Lack of interest. Lack of foresight. Lack lack lack.

What it translates to, folks, is denial. The Unprepared refuse to become Preppers because they simply cannot, or will not, grasp the idea that anything could interrupt their comfortable lives. Even those who have lived through hardship and deprivation – the aftermath of hurricanes, violent urban riots, war, acts of terrorism – cannot extrapolate into the future and see that deprivation can happen again. And again and again and again. At any time. Totally without warning.

So why do, say, homeowners in Florida not keep plywood, food, water, duct tape, and other resources in their garage for the inevitable hurricane? Denial. Maybe they don’t think bad things could ever happen to them. (It always happens to someone else, right?) Maybe they think someone else will protect them. (The government. Natch.) Maybe they think God will look after them. (It was J.G. Holland who said, “God gives every bird its food but does not throw it into the nest.”) Whatever their excuse, the fact remains that when a tragedy strikes, the Unprepared are caught with their drawers down – and then they’re angry at those who aren’t. The Unprepared line up at Home Depot for plywood and then get angry with their neighbors who knew enough to keep plywood in the garage between hurricanes. Oh, and food and water too.

This isn’t to imply Preppers can’t be affected by tragedies. Of course they can. I know someone with a serious interest in preparedness whose wife died of cancer. He wasn’t “prepared” for that. The rain falls on the just and the unjust, and as with anyone affected by a loss, all he could do was pick himself up, grieve, and get on with life.

But Preppers are doing their best to mitigate disaster. It’s all any of us can do.

No one objects to Preppers “hoarding” food during easy times. We’re viewed with tolerant amusement at our hobby of bucketing beans and rice, at canning every vegetable that comes our way, at buying a few extra tubes of toothpaste. Folks usually view us as a little quirky but otherwise harmless. After all, we’re spending our own money and not asking anyone else to provide those resources for us.

It’s only post-TSHTF that our efforts are suddenly viewed with hostility as “hoarding” because, gee whiz, we’re reluctant to distribute our “hoard” to every grasshopper who demands a share.

“The time to gather emergency supplies,” as a reader pointed out, “is when there isn't an emergency. There will be more supplies available for everybody that way.” In fact, who knows? If there’s enough of a demand for resources, the supplies may ramp up their production to meet the demand, thus assuring plenty of resources for everyone. (Until the bleep hits the fan, of course.)

Hope this clears up any misconception on “hoarding.”

54 comments:

  1. My issue with the phrase hoarding in that context is that it implies all of MY stores belong to everyone and that I am hurting others by keeping them for my use. I find the phrase more useful when talking about a lady with the last twelve years of newspapers in her living room.

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  2. Truer words were never written.

    Above all else for which we need to be prepared, it is perhaps The Unprepared who will pose the greatest threat in a post-SHTF situation.

    The preparation required for dealing with them is much different than simply saving that next few dollars to invest in flour and salt. Preparedness to deal with those who would demand that flour and salt simply by virtue of their need will require the kind of strength that I believe can only be sustained by a steady reliance on God. In that scenario we will be called upon to make decisions and take actions that are unthinkable in most folks' comfortable little consciousness.

    Let's hope my 'theory' never needs to be tested.

    A. McSp

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  3. Remember the old children's story about the hen and the wheat? Everybody played and rested while she worked to make the bread, but oh when it came time to eat it there were LOTS of "friends" there with their hands out...

    I am headed down to the store as soon as I get off the computer. The super special this week is 24 count cases of bottled water and I am dragging my kids along so they can each get one. One for the boat, one for my husband's truck and 2 for the storage closet.

    Is that hoarding? I don't think so because I know when I go into the store to get the water there will be a mountain of these cases and tons of people walking right by the cases of water without giving them a second look. They are just as free as I am to buy what they want and they are choosing not to.

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  4. Patrice has shown the "unprepared" for whom they really are: Liberal progressives. They don't prepare for the worst, because they don't think they have to. Our government will take care of them! (Yeah, just like it did after Katrina hit...) And it isn't just liberals who think this way. I know a few conservatives whose elevator doesn't quite make it to the top floor. But the difference between them and a true liberal is they will admit their error of not preparing, while the liberal NEVER admits when they're wrong! Of COURSE the unprepared expect us to share our stores with them! "Share the wealth," remember? Liberal progressives are short-sighted, uninspired, brainwashed, ignorant fools. Many of them are intelligent. Some even highly intelligent. But their intelligence is wasted on constantly trying to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else. All they end up doing is proving exactly the opposite. All the intelligence in the world goes for naught when you have no common sense and no true, honest love and consideration for others. Fools and crooks always lose in the end, folks. ALWAYS! If not here on Earth, for certain come Judgment Day.

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  5. Very well said. I believe even the Bible encourages us to prepare as they did in the Old Testament to store grains for the years of famine.

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  6. Oh, I agree, I agree, I agree!
    I lost my job, and my "goofy hobby" as some friends called it, came in very handy! Instead of going to food banks, I went to my pantry.
    I still haven't found a job (there's a lot of us out there!)and paying the rent has required trips to the pawn shop, sewing out of my home, finding work doing janitorial , yardwork and other day jobs, but the rent has been paid.I finally did go down and apply for food stamps (hardest thing I ever had to do). The woman asked me what I had been eating for the past few months with no real income...I told her I had eaten the food out of my food storage. She actually had no clue, so I explained it to her (briefly). She is now seeing if it is the local offices budget for me to give a class to FS recipients.We'll see how it goes!

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  7. Sing with me now!
    "I'm a prepper, she's a prepper
    he's a prepper, they're a prepper!
    Wouldn't you like to be a prepper too!

    (Okay, I'm not a prepper...but that's why I read this blog :) )

    From Webster's:
    Preparation:
    1. The act of preparing for a particular purpose, use service or condition.
    2. Previous measures of adapttion.
    5. The state of being prepared or in readiness.
    6. Accomplishment; qualification.

    Hoarder:
    One who lays up in store; one who accumulates and keeps in secret.

    The impression of the former is much different than the latter, isn't it?

    I agree with all the comments. It's good to define terms.

    I've seen the recent pictures of the flooding in Pakistan. Pictures of desperation and rage; the same with Haiti last year.
    Murder and mayhem follow these disasters, and I doubt pulling out my Webster's to fend off an attacker would be as effective as pulling out a Smith and Wesson. But it's still important to keep getting the word out about preparation...while you can.
    Good post, Patrice.

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  8. I buy what I can when I can and encourage my family to do the same. When not if thing implode I everyone to bring what you have and we will add it to the pot. Large or small it will all help. BUT..... those that spent and had a merry old time while others sacrificed and scraped together what we could so that we could have when it wasnt to be had......well just sit and pout. Kick yourself. You can even borrow my old boot. mwp

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  9. I couldn't agree more, Patrice. Our family has begun to gather a storage of food and materials, and it makes me think about my grandmother. If she had seen the Great Depression coming, and had known what it would mean, what would she have done to protect her family? Would she have skipped along without a care and assumed someone else would take care of her, or would she have devised a sensible plan of action? I knew her well enough to know she would have planted extra rows, put up more food, paid down her debt or paid ahead on bills, made sure she had a savings account that gave her wiggle room, and she would have made sure her family and neighbors were aware of what was around the corner.

    That's all we as preppers do when we blog about it or try to explain to our loved ones what we believe, even as we receive the open-mouthed stares and snide comments. If we were keeping what we believe a well-guarded secret, then maybe I'd be comfortable with being labeled a "hoarder."

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  10. Such a timley post Patrice! I am just starting to get (back) into preserving and by luck of the clicking the "next blog" button on blogger came upon your wonderful and very informative blog.

    My first round of canning took place last weekend. Shortly thereafter I brought my grandmother over for a visit. She took note of my (maybe) 20 jars of preserved fruit asked "what the heck are you going to do with it all?" I just said "you never know when I might need it".

    Before reading your blog I had decided to can up the season's fruit and distribute it to my friends this Christmas. I will most likely still give out some jam as gifts, but now have a new ambition. Being prepaired just makes so much sense. After reading through many of your archives I have already identified many areas I'm lacking and am building a plan, so thank you!

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  11. Looks to me like your "hoarding" yummy jars of tasty items in your photo. Better give me some! I'm entitled to it.......

    Great article.

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  12. My prepping is no secret to my family and close friends. However, my neighbors know nothing of what I'm doing. I unload my car inside the garage or at night. My supplies are not visible when I open the front door or the garage door. I am prepping in stealth.

    The less people know about my life, the better I like it. I'm not breaking any laws, and I'm not being unethical in any way. I'm just sick of snoops and gossips, so I keep my prepping to myself.

    When someone calls me a hoarder, I don't react to it. I have learned not to react, because that is a dead give-away. (Ever watch poker players? They don't give a "tell" and I've learned not to, either.) People can call me anything they want to, I may not like it, but I've learned that I don't need to believe what they call me. I know who I am, so I know I'm not a hoarder. I'm a PATRIOT.

    Henceforth, if anybody should call me a name like "hoarder" or "paranoid" because of my prepping, I shall merely turn to him/her and say, "I am a PATRIOT!" I suggest we all remember who we really are, rather than what others label us.

    To that end, I shall forevermore refer to myself as "Anonymous Patriot" on this blog. I may be a twit to some, but to myself I am a Patriot. To thine ownself be true.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  13. What I don't get is there are so many people who are willing to save up money for emergencies and this is okay, but when it comes time to be prepared with food or other supplies it is called hoarding. There are many emergencies that can come up. What if someone loses their job? Wouldn't it be nice to know you have some stores to live off of until you can get back on your feet? The idea is to make sure your family can weather a storm, not to make sure the populace can. If you choose to help others out then that is you decision, but no one should be upset because someone else will not take care of them.

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  14. The "unprepared" who knock Preppers expose themselves for what they really are: Liberal progressives. They don't prepare for the worst, because they don't think they have to. Our government will take care of them! (Yeah, just like it did after Katrina hit...) But it isn't just liberals who think this way. I know a few conservatives whose elevator doesn't quite make it to the top floor. But the difference between them and a true liberal is they will admit their error of not preparing, while the liberal NEVER admits when they're wrong! Of COURSE the unprepared expect us to share our stores with them! "Share the wealth," remember? Liberal progressives are short-sighted, uninspired, brainwashed, and sadly ignorant. Many of them are intelligent. Some even highly intelligent. But their intelligence is wasted on always trying to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else. All they end up doing is proving exactly the opposite. All the intelligence in the world goes for naught when you have no common sense and no true, honest love and consideration for others. Fools and crooks always lose in the end. ALWAYS! If not here on Earth, for certain come Judgment Day.

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  15. i think of todays' hoarding as someone who collects cats/dogs, trash, newspapers and magazines..that sorta thing. but there is another kind of "hoarding", blackmarket, and confiscation by govt. officials that happened back during the two world wars..but that was because of the shortages of just about everything that was imported into our country that we did not produce in massive quantities ourselves...like sugar from cuba, coffee from sosuth america, etc....this fact is always at the forfront of my prepper mind...the usa does not produce/manufacture much of anything these days that does not come with a low pricetag...for instance-the only sports shoe made in the usa today is new balance...that shoe is manufactured here but i bet they get their supplies from overseas (i don't know that as a fact though). america does not produce enough to sustain the current population without having to import some things. and for anyone to scoff at this little bit of history, there are still a few people still living who have stamps left in their ration books of the 40's. lol, the government still owes my husband (a baby at the time) one coat and a pair of shoes. i digress-back to "hoarding"....my toilet paper is mine and it is hidden well until needed..public schools are now asking that students bring four roll pkgs of toilet paper to school....my thought on this is if ya gotta sent tp to the school than maybe it is time to begin homeschooling..cause i guarantee, the public schools are not telling you the full truth..their money for tp is going to the teachers unions and lobbyist.

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  16. You'd be surprised at how many are already angry at us NOW. I've met with real disapproval and anger from those who acknowledge that if a disaster occurred, I would have supplies and they would not. This anger does not, however, encourage them to gather supplies.

    My sister was visited by Childrens Social Services several years ago. An aquaintence had reported that she was hoarding food. CSS claimed it was illegal for her to have more than 2 wks of food in the house, or it would cause the children to have fear that a disaster and starvation was going to happen. Also, it was a symptom that my sister was mentally ill.

    She contacted a lawyer. Storing (any amount) of shelf-stable food was NOT illegal where she was. Once CSS knew she had a lawyer involved they backed off, but the aquaintence still tells anyone they both know that she is a "hoarder" and mentally unstable.

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  17. Save the Canning JarsAugust 18, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    Hey Grandma Tillie...please allow me to ramble:

    I just used the little red hen story as an example while talking with a friend 5 days ago. My friend's husband just retired and was integrating himself into his wife's morning routine, which was working in the garden. After baking in the 105 degree heat he blurted out, "What in the hell are we doing growing our own food?!!! We're over 70 years old!!!" He just retired as an engineer and is perfectly capable of purchasing whatever they need. Yes they are preparing for WTSHTF, but this is not how they envisioned retirement.

    There are young people in their extended family who enjoy eating the fruits of that garden, but do they come over to work the garden? Not according to my friend. Thus my friend was the little red hen of the story... laboring for everyone.

    And then the friend began to ask herself these questions: "Where do I need to draw the line to not feel taken advantage of and how do we give our extended family the vision for what could (and probably will) happen? And what if the family won't prepare? How much am I prepared to let them suffer? And how much time does anyone have left to prepare?" Not knowing the answers to these hard questions is stealing her joy for today.

    So Grandma Tillie, when you say you are "dragging" kids to the store...I can just see you yanking adults by the ear and ordering them to "get it done".

    At my house, I guess I've bossed everyone around enough of their life that they conform without lip service. The good news is that they now offer me ideas as to how we can better prepare. All of the immediate family is on-board with preparing.

    My extended family is on vacation again (well after all, it is a new month). My in-laws have gotten my scary current events emails and have been taught how and why "to get it done" and they got the free bonus lecture for good measure...so now they are on their own (and incidentally, like my friend's family above, I don't see preparations being made. I guess every family has some members who think nothing bad will ever happen but just in case, Plan B is going to the house of the one who did prepare.


    I used to lose sleep worrying, "Am I preparing for 4 or 40?" Now I say I'm preparing for 4 and anyone else can go to the feeding mission in town where I've already sent supplies (like 450 lbs. of pailed hard white wheat just last week).
    I've done my civic duty by giving 3 formal preparedness lectures to 20 plus women, private lessons to the mission director and thousands of dollars of supplies, I've handed out over $75 worth of printed materials on how to prepare, sent current events emails to people who have been hitting the delete button, and I've warned ad nauseam. But when TSHTF, I'm no longer available to these people because I'll be on duty to care for my family of 4.

    People, "hoard" away!!!!

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  18. Just to clarify the dictionary term "hoarder"...the addendem to the hoarding definitions all had to do with money.

    I don't really know if the dictionary can define the real difference, which is motivation.
    To me, a prepper is motivated by something much more noble than a hoarder: a love for human life.

    Anonymous prepper above...you story about your sister chills me to the bone.
    And to hear you are the object of anger for having extra supplies...what is up with that?
    I think Anonymous Patriot has the right idea. In certain places, it's best to keep your "prepping" away from unfriendly eyes.
    I'm curious to know if this is a widespread concern in these times. Are people really turning on their neighbors with regards to supplies these days, or has it always been this way?

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  19. Patrice, you've hit another resonant chord with this one, and I'm having a really good time reading all these responses.

    Like Anonymous Patriot, I kept my stuff out of view and quiet when I still had neighbors close by. Our community had been invaded by people who'd steal it off your table BEFORE there was a disaster, so...well...y'all get the picture. We sold out and split town.

    Now that we're up in the woods I'm pretty selective about who gets invited up my road. And we keep the gate locked. I'm not paranoid or unfriendly, lest I give the wrong impression here, but there are too many break-ins in this region now and we're too isolated to mess around. I live by the preparedness creed: Trouble is easier to stay out of than to get out of.
    Well, yeah, I just made that up. And I ain't got no bad grammar neither!!!

    A.P.(Anonymous Patriot), those folks who'd call you names and foolishly disrespect you might one day get the biggest world-of-hurt-blow-back-in-the-face when you may very well need to call them the lowest of all descriptive names: hungry.

    I like your style, A.P. You remind me a lot of my dear old blog friend Anonymous Twit....a real pistol of a prepper! LOL

    A. McSp

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  20. Anonymous August 18, 2010 4:30pm - could not agree more with your description of Liberals.
    I refer to some of them as "educated idiots," and the rest of them are "just plain idiots."
    All of them are "liars and deniers."

    During a crisis, I will offer help to those who try to help themselves. All others need not apply.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  21. Patrice, you are getting needlessly worked up about a word before studying the dictionary definition. Squirrels hoard nuts for exactly the same reason that you might hoard grain, but we think none the worse of them for it. Are there some tiny, hidden guilt feelings at work here perhaps?

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  22. The key to keeping a secret is to keep the existence OF the secret ... a SECRET.

    Bill Smith

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  23. Hoarding? A century ago it was common sense, everyone had a pantry and tried to prepare for that inevitable rainy day.
    Social workers...another instance of liberal busybodies gone wild.
    Maria

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  24. Save the canning jars, I too send current event emails to my family. Now I'm labled as 'little miss doom and gloom'. I don't worry too much though, they live more than 1000 miles away and its really the only thing I can do to try and help them prepare. By the time they realize they should've prepared and they need to knock on my door it'll probably be too late for them to get here. I do try to encourage vegie gardens, chickens and/or moving away from their highly populated, cramped, controlled, suburban life but they really aren't interested. I constantly talk up the small country town I live near but its too far away from their current lives. So I just perservere with the comments and emails and put up with the mocking.

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  25. I'd be careful about characterizing all liberals (or progressives) as non-preppers. I'm progressive and I've been gradually increasing my food storage and other sustainable practices (gardening, small farm animals, decreasing energy usage, etc.) for several years now. I know many other progressives who are similarly working toward sustainable homesteads. You could be alienating and/or ignoring people who, while they don't share your politics, do have an interest in being prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

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  26. Whoo-hoo! Then more power to ya, my progressive prepping friend! And welcome to the blog. I may disagree with you politically but you've found a friend in sustainable living.

    - Patrice

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  27. Hi,

    I was just directed to your blog. You will become a regular place for me to stop and read!
    If you re serious about preparing, I'd strongly suggest keeping it to yourself. In adition to the folks waiting on the side of the interstate for the government to save them, there is another class of folks who believe "All I need is a gun and I can get what I need...". I've gone to church with plenty of them. They usually work, tend to be conservative, might be well educated, and spend all their income + some more money they don't have on really nice houses; lake homes and boats; vehicles they can't afford, and all sorts of 'stuff' to keep up with the Jones' and show how important and rich they are. They'd laugh in your face at the suggestion of saving up anything for a rainey day, but would be the first in line to help someone else take it from you if they wanted it for themselves.
    Pray hard, and prepare like there's no tomorrow- but for Heaven's sake keep it to yourself.

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  28. Sadly, it's too late to keep our prepping to ourselves. My WorldNetDaily column and freelance writing has made me more of a public figure than I'd like, and that happened well before we got into the prepping. I keep a low profile locally (perhaps my only saving grace) and very few people around us know me as anything but a housewife (which I am). I don't know what the future will bring, but we can't change the past.

    So we've taken a somewhat different tact. Since it's too late to turn back the clock and increase our OpSec, maybe we're in the weird God-directed position of educating others to prepare for hard times. Perhaps if someone as presumably (cough) respectable as a columnist is publicly into preparing, it means prepping isn't just for the off-the-deep-end weirdos.

    Or maybe we're just off-the-deep-end weirdos. Haven't decided yet.

    But thank you for the concern. It is very much appreciated.

    - Patrice

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  29. Great post, Patrice. Would you mind if I posted your entry above on my blog if I include a link back to your site?

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  30. Well. I see that Gawds hillbillies invaded this post.
    I'm a Bolivarian socialist. I have 3 years of food stored, 470 gallons of diesel in the ground and enough hardware to protect it.

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  31. One of the main reasons for prepping/being prepared ahead of the curve is; WTSHTF and the SHEEPLE are in panic mode, the ZOMBIE have-nots will follow the SHEEPLE just-have-gots to their homes. From there they will shop at their leisure, courtesy of the helpless victims. Just a thought....

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  32. Great article. Please keep up the good work. Prep away!!

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  33. There is nothing like the fear of scarcity or scarcity itself to bring out the absolute worst in people. All the more reason to be discreet when stocking up.

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  34. Of course, Nick! I'm flattered. Please send your blog url so we can all see it.

    Thanks,
    Patrice

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  35. Interesting article, the term hoarder although without sinister meaning in the dictionary come a SHTF situation will mean you have, we don't and we want.

    Sad part is that persons that are commonly known preppers will become targets with aquisition of their supplies as the goal. This could be by angry neighbors or could very well be by the organized local government of the area where you are located.

    Mayors and city councils or county boards are accustomed to power and setting the rules will not think twice about commandeering your supplies for the good of the people when it will be them and their families and relatives who will benefit from your years of hard work.

    Best bet is to remain low profile and under the radar as far as to your preps and supplies before SHTF because if no one knows of their existance then no reason for then to make you the target.

    OPSEC needs to be priority from the very beginning including making your purchases in a manner that no one in your immediate area ever raises an eyebrow as to what or how much of anything you actually purchase.

    Your well being post SHTF could very well be at stake here!

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  36. Which is why we tell as few as possible about the things that we DO have. Less change of being accused of things.

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  37. OPSEC (operational security). Don't tell friends and family that you are a prepper. I buy a 25 lb bag of rice with my regular grocery shopping. It takes longer or more trips but it prevents the raised eyebrows or knowing looks. Remember Katrina? Remember the door to door "assistance" that FORCED people to leave their homes. Remember that 250lb policeman who tackled the little old lady because she had a gun to protect herself? The nerve! She had a gun in her own home. They took her off to die somewhere and left her home for the looters. When the depression worsens and the grocery stores are empty will the government; your local community send teams house to house to "check up on your welfare"??? Will they decide that "hoarding" is illegal and in fact it was the hoarders that caused the problem? Will they take you off in handcuffs and leave your house unprotected? All I need to know about my government's actions in an emergency I learned from Katrina. You need to do more then prepare and be a nice person. You need to become a little devious. Is your "hoard" safe from people who might search your home? It's later then you think...

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  38. The large house where I grew up (built 1922, in the city, not the country) had a pantry off the kitchen - funny how times change.

    And I wouldn't call those who want to take your preps 'liberals' - THIEVES is the accurate term.

    Keep your preps in an out-of-site area and keep your mouth shut - forget 'educating' those who will never listen anyway.

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  39. When they search your house, they will take all food and registered guns.

    Why do you think they had you register all those guns?.....

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  40. My wife's church "job" is to help members of our congregation to prepare. As such she organizes monthly purchases of a variety of preparedness food stuffs and other supplies. Orders typically range from $2000 to $5000 monthly, all delivered to our garage. Any one paying attention must think we don't even have room for furniture in the house. Some ordering through her pay only cash and pick up when no one else knows. They may be secret. We're certainly not.
    We stopped at the LDS cannery in Salt Lake last spring when we were in town. I noticed the painting behind the desk was of the parable of the 10 vigins as the five unprepared were sent away. That tells me what I need to know about those who think I "have" to share.

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  41. I am a liberal progressive prepper, and I greatly appreciate this post (and all the comments as well).
    Although I approve of government programs more than some do, I'm not stupid enough to think that those programs will last forever or that they can be depended upon in every emergency.
    I also acknowledge that in the end, it is all up to me.
    I "hoard" in stealth also.

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  42. Great post. My wife and I are continually prepping. One thing to remember is to rotate and use your food storage so that it does not go to waste. By learning to how use your food storage to its full capability you can save alot of money.

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  43. Unfortunately we live in a culture that values instant gratification, so the idea of storing up for the future means we miss out on something now. It's a mindset that's ingrained and even TEOTWAWKI might not be enough to erase it.

    Up and coming generations were born into this world and have never had exposure to the prepper mindset. How many people truly see what isn't in front of them? Modern houses reflect modern thinking, there are no deep pantries and things aren't designed to run without electricity. There are no spaces dedicated to non-electronic entertainment.

    Keep in mind that not everyone is in denial but there are those who are truly ignorant and it doesn't take much to plant the seed of an idea for an individal to cultivate their own understanding of prepping.

    In other words, don't be discouraged, there are still people out there waiting for enlightenment. There are ways and means of spreading the word that don't compromise your own security.

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  44. Wow. What a great range of comments. I've enjoyed reading each and every one. I am glad to see those who defend the 'liberal progressives' as also being interested in preparing. I was especially heartened by the anonymous poster who reminded us to "rotate and use your food storage so that it does not go to waste."
    My conservative husband, who has converted me on the subject, btw, had lots of stuff he'd stocked up on (both here in CA and at his sister's place in OR) for Y2K go to waste. Hopefully, this time, we'll be able to rotate and use things.
    As for some comments about being secretive, I think it's always a concern that if there are major shortages that others may decide they know where to find things and perhaps that they can take them by force.
    Which leads us to another issue: how to defend one's stores?
    Thanks for the insightful and thought-provoking posts all of you!
    Teresa

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  45. This is an excellent article and comments. Growing very poor (that means going hungry several times as a child), it was a mark of You Have Made IT, when I could buy anything I wanted when I wanted. It was (in my mind) a mark of shame that I would consider storing anything (that was for the desperate and needy). That changed about 10 years ago, when I woke up to what was happening in out country. I began prepping in earnest about a two years ago after reading "One Second After and Patriot". My husband came around shortly there after. I have managed to build a 2 years supply worth of food, medical supplies, seeds, guns and ammo. One of the most important things I have done is change my mind set by reading history and practicing everything from raising farm animals/worms/fish/gardening/canning to weapons training (The Definitive Textbook for Police and Military Reality Based Training). There are hundreds of free video's on YouTube that can teach you how-to store food long term and so on, take advantage of this free information (always use common sense). The best to you all, it's never to late, until it is.

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  46. Great post! I've been into the prepper thing since 2008 when the second stimulus bill was passed by Congress. I realized that when the government stopped listening to the people, trouble was on the horizon and I started learning and prepping. If more people would be students of history they would realize that bad things have and will happen in our own country and not just "somewhere else in the world."

    I know folks worry about Opsec, but the people who do post online are doing a great service educating newbies like myself. The nice thing about being online, is that most of the world still does not know who you are or where you are. I'm sure if things go bad, people that post online teaching about prepping will be the first to disappear and no one will be able to find them or their "hoard."

    I still can't get the wife to get onboard and probably never will until things really go bad. After many arguments, I've just learned to keep my mouth shut and keep on prepping and she pretends not to see me doing it. We don't talk about current events or what the future holds and that seems to keep the peace in the home.

    I have a mailing list of folks to forward blogs like this too and of course will be sending them this article. Well done and well written!

    Be safe and well.

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  47. Hi, everyone, I'm new here but, Patrice, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article and the subsequent comments. We live in FL, and have prepped for years in regards to storms and such. My greatest concern would be if SHTF and we had no long-term power souce for keeping things cold, like insulin (mine). That's one scenario I'm still trying to figure out. We don't "hoard" anything... we're simply stocked up on a lot of what we need.

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  48. Hi! I am also a progressive liberal with at least a year's supply of food and other necessities in the basement. I'm always extremely happy when I find out that anyone at all is preparing in any way, but if the conservative neighbors decide by looking at my yard signs that I'm just an ignorant liberal, at least when they start looking for food, they won't be coming over here first.

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  49. My prepping plan includes items to help my neighbors- I have two immediate neighbors and I'm aware they arent very concerned about not being able to obtain what they need in the event of weather or a man made disaster.
    So- when I stock up on certain items, I get a little extra for them. If the time comes and they dont need it- I can consider using it for my family or to trade for something I might need.

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  50. Great post! I too, hate the term "hoarder". They made fun of my grandma for hoarding before the fepression, before WW2 and before my Mom got sick and we had to move in with her...then her "hoarding" seemed pretty darned smart!
    I try to keep a balance between teaching people about preparedness and sharing to much about what we store...it can be hard at times.

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  51. Patrice, I'm glad I found this! I identify with you very much, I'm just a decade behind you. My husband and I live in CDA, and are just starting a family. We currently live in an apartment, but I'm using my home business to get extra money for an off-the-grid cabin just a bike ride away from downtown. I was homeschooled myself and wouldn't even think about public school when the time comes! I'm already a fabricaholic pack-rat, so my family and friends are used to my "stockpiling" tendencies. I have been telling all the people I love to have at least 6 months of food put away, and the more I talk to my family, the more I realize that they too are feeling the coming storm. I'm currently putting together a presentation I hope to give to my church women's group. It should be interesting to see the response!

    Renee

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  52. Good for you, Renee! Sounds like you're well on your way toward some solid prepping! Best of luck on your church presentation. If it goes well, you may want to consider bringing it to a wider audience.

    - Patrice

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  53. You have all heard of the "profiteering" gas station owner who raises the price of gas during a hurricane or other disaster. In some states the law enforcement and DA's have threatened prosecution. BUT, they are wrong. By raising the price or limiting the amount any one person can buy they extend the availability of gasoline for everyone. If you ran out of gas on your way out of the path of a hurricane which would you prefer over-priced gas or no gas? So be prepared to embrace the gas station owner and store owner who raises prices in a shortage situation.

    For similar reasons I commend the prepper/hoarder. If we all bought an extra 25 lbs of rice, flour, sugar and other necessities then there would be no shortage resulting from a short term disaster. And in a longer term situation it would allow for people to take care of themselves while the government gets their act together to deal with the problems. The problem is NOT the "hoarder" it is that we do not all hoard a lttle food.

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  54. Sorry the lag time in replying to your response to me above, Patrice. My blog is SurvivalPrep.net. Here's the link to a series of articles I've written about food storage and preparation:

    http://survivalprep.net/tag/nine-meals-away-from-anarchy/

    And yes, as you'll read on my site, I DO indeed have a dozen Nesco dehydrators (I guess I'm hoarding them!) I can crank out large amounts of food for long-term storage if I need to. I hope your readers will do the same!

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