Yes, the more people that prepare for disruptive events, the better it is for the collective. Why then, would we not want to lead by example and encourage everyone to prep? The answer is simple: people don’t follow through.
There’s figuratively millions of things that consume time and resources as a part of daily life. The fact is, all these events we do on a daily basis have an inherent opportunity cost. If you’re out mowing the lawn, you can’t be inside balancing your checkbook. You can try to multi-task as much as possible, but you can never be in two places at the same time. Every activity people choose, they are also choosing not to do some other activity.
Resources aren’t infinite but excuses are. Even if people you talk to about prepping agree on the principle of why, it still probably won’t lead to actual progress or action on their part. The idea that prepping is a few cans of beans and a half-gone case of bottled water is satisfactory to most, and that’s the problem.
Those that find out their preparations aren’t adequate discover that only when it’s too late. People are also self-serving and are quick to expect assistance to counter-act their lack of preparation. “Mike down the street showed me he has 2 years of food in the basement and I have none, let’s go to Mike’s house and get some.” It’s just a situation that is best avoided.
Though I hide my specific preps from strangers, I have broken my cover and told my very close friends and family. Why? Because I care about them. I want to encourage people to be responsible for themselves, and that includes having preparations so they aren’t placed in a tough situation. I tell them how, I tell the where, but more importantly I tell them why it makes sense for them to do the same. In the same breath, I make sure they know I have limited space and money available, and my preps are only sufficient for myself and my family. I will help them anytime they ask, but if a catastrophic event happens they’re totally on their own.
Because I’ve opened my mouth, I’ve gambled that I know my friends and family well enough to have a greater likelihood they will actually acquire their own preps. Most of the time I’m right, but not every time. Now I’m going to be placed in a tough situation if something happens because friends I’ve had for 20 years will show up asking for help and I’ll have to send them away. I will feel terrible, but life goes on.
That being said, it’s a terrible idea to tell anyone at anytime about your preps. Word has a tendency to spread fast, especially among those who are not preppers themselves. Now all the sudden you risk your family’s safety and security because you told one person who told 3 others and now they all want your food and water. It doesn’t matter that you have an inconspicuous house and your preps are out of sight, they will remember it and demand use of your supplies.
Avoid it all by keeping your mouth shut. Really. It’s OK to discuss the general merits of being prepared, even encouraging. For a small select few, maybe you even collectively store preps. Just keep your mouth shut. If everyone knows you’re a prepper, one of two things will happen: you’ll never have to use your preps and now you’re that crazy guy who’s prepping for the zombie apocalypse or if you do have the unfortunate situation that demands you start using your preps, you’ll have company showing up expecting some of your supplies for themselves. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation. Avoiding the situation is easy though, all you have to do is keep your preps undercover.