I got a post from Andrea at chick-bit-run this morning that, along with a few others, made my day for a couple of reasons. First, it is nice to know that the good feelings I have about my blog readers are reciprocated and next, because it gave me a blog topic. It’s hard to come up with a new topic every day and now I have one. Finding friends.

There are many scenarios for ways in which the world as we know it may change. H1N1 flu, peak oil, economic collapse, terrorist attack, trucker’s strike, oil embargo, food crisis, climatic disaster, these are things with global ramifications. Then there are local disasters like floods and hurricanes. None of these are things people want to talk about much. Such catastrophes change comfortable paradigms in uncomfortable ways. Now wonder folks would rather watch Michael Jackson’s funeral or worry about Jon and Kate’s kids. It is a lot easier than anticipating the funerals of people you care about and worrying about your own kids. If you bring up the subject of preparedness, you will likely be met with rolled eyes and some gentle derision. Talk too much and the derision will not be gentle. This is too bad because a lot of the things we all do to prep are easier to do with a friend. I love making wine with friends, canning with a group and talking sustainable gardening over the backyard fence. I also love discussing preparedness but it’s a lot harder.

So how do you find a prepping companion? It’s not like you can place an add in the personals. “Looking for friends with benefits like a pressure canner you don’t mind sharing”. You have to make the face to face contact. Full frontal assualt may be met with a pat on the head or an icy stare but a more circumspect tact may get you somewhere.

“Boy, the news about the flu is pretty scary. Have you thought about what your plans are if it gets bad this fall or winter?” “Did you see the buy one get two free sale on canned food? It’s such a good deal. I’m going to get a few things to stick in my preparedness pantry. Is there anything I can get for you?”  “It was such a challenge when the power was out for so long last winter. I am picking up extra lanterns and some bottles of fuel while there are still a lot on the shelf. “I just read the neatest book. It has a lot of tips on preparing for a crisis. With all the worry over Israel and Iran, I think it’s a good idea to be ready for really high oil and food prices. This book could help.”

My brother and sister and I get together with our spouses several times a year. Current events are always a topic of conversation and I use those times to bring up preparedness. It has taken a few years but I am no longer teased for my preps. I am actually getting some good questions and at least I got them thinking. When I have to give a gift I nearly always make it something for preparedness like hand crank flashlights, car safety kits or books like Depletion and Abundance or Peak Everything.

Outside of your family, you will need different strategies. You can make a blanket statement at a church or parent’s group. “There will be a movie showing and group discussion about peak oil on Friday at 7:00pm.” A similar announcement in a small, local paper will often be  successful.  A showing of a mainstream post apocalyptic movie is less effective as the emphasis is on everything but preparedness and most are so corny they make you laugh rather than think.

It’s important not to pull out the big guns (literally in some cases) until a friend or group of friends has become established. If you start talking about the end of the world you will come off sounding like a nut job. What you want is to hook up with other like-minded folks who can be a support during your preparing time and form the basis of a community support group in a crisis.

On another topic (my ADD at work), I picked a pile of raspberries and got them in the freezer yestery morning, then flopped into bed with a high fever. It hurt to comb my hair. I felt wretched until about 3:00AM when the fever broke. I am not 100% but I am a lot better today. Good thing as the peas need picking and I have a ton of greens to pick and use. I am out of  homemade bread and cookies. I have no time to be sick but being down and out makes me appreciate my general good health.