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When Fear and Panic Sparks Last-Minute Prepping - How Do You Deal With That?

There is a lot of insanity going on right now. We have dismissed other pandemics as minor things, but we have been literally slapped with this current pandemic due to the mass media and the advancements in social media. As more information comes out, we are starting to see how this one could affect us more than we originally thought.

Colleges are moving to online classes. Schools are restricting or canceling activities as well as classes. Major sports arenas and groups are canceling major events and delaying seasons. We are also starting to see events being canceled where there would be large groups of people.

To say that this is concerning is an understatement. While I am happy to see this pandemic being taken seriously, I am a bit disturbed to see the overreaction of people on a personal level.

As a prepper, you should be prepared for this. You should already have food and supplies at home. You should have supplies at home like masks, gloves, cold/flu meds, vitamins, and more. I can understand running to the store for more supplies, but we should already have this handled.

What is completely baffling to me is the outright fear and panic buying by a lot of people. The lack of foresight already is frustrating to someone who is a prepper. However, people who previously scoffed at preppers are rushing the stores and wiping out the shelves. At the same time, those same people are accusing preppers of being hoarders. We are witnessing some crazy times.

However, one thing preppers rarely do is clear the shelves at a store. Because we know one thing:

You prepare to control your fear. You should not let your fear control your prepping.

Many, many people are letting their fear control their prepping. They are suddenly realizing that they need extra food and supplies at home. They are mass buying toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and more in an attempt to not get sick.

However, they are causing a lot of problems:

1. They are panic buying which is causing shortages and causing stores to limit quantities.
2. They are not planning their purchases or for their needs.
3. They are buying a lot of things that they will not use or consume.
4. They are not thinking rationally and practically.
5. They are putting other people's lives in danger by their overbuying.

How do you deal with people who are now preparing out of fear? How do you deal with the irrationality of people who only have tunnel vision?

1. You can try to talk to them. Ask them questions about what they plan to purchase and why. Ask them how much do they think they need. Ask them how much do they normally go through something like toilet paper. Ask them how much do they think they reasonably need.

Trying to reason with a panicked person can be difficult, but sometimes being calm and reasonable helps other people to be the same. Despite all the discussion otherwise, you can talk someone off the ledge figuratively speaking.

2. Encourage your friends and family to be informed, but be wary of what they see and hear. If they reading information from credible sources and avoiding inflammatory reporting, you and they will be in a better place. If social media is getting them worked up, they need to take a break. I have been taking a lot of breaks from social media lately just for my mental health. Reading that much information along with other people's opinions and memes will just get a person more worked up and panicked. That isn't good for anyone.

3. Portray preppers in a positive light all the time. You don't want to be seen as a crazy prepper. You want to be seen as someone who has taken positive steps to be ready for instances like this. You know you do not need to be in the stores cleaning off the shelves because you know you have everything you need. You have a plan and know what you will reasonably need to survive a 2-4 quarantine. You also know that Amazon will still deliver to your door.

4. Practice some OPSEC. While you want other people to be prepared, there is no reason for you to give away information on what you have. You could have a year's worth of food and supplies in your home, but all your friends and family need to know is that you have some food and supplies stocked up. No one needs to know how much you have stocked in your house.

5. Sometimes you need to just disconnect from all the craziness yourself. In a way, you may need to just limit your contact with the world for a while to keep yourself sane. I know I have trouble when people start to feed into the craziness. I will disconnect as much as I can (I still have to go to work every weekday).

You should try to be as helpful as you can while being calm and reasonable. You do not want to feed into the panic and craziness. You want people to be prepared even though they are waiting until the last minute.

Thanks for reading,

Related Posts:
How Prepping Helps With Worry and Anxiety (A Personal Story)
We Are All Preppers, But Some of Us Don't Know It Yet


  1. What I was most shocked to see, is in all the grocery stores, plus wallymart and costco, ALL the meat was gone. Not one single pack of hotdogs and even the meat and seafood from the meat dept was gone. EVERYTHING. I have never seen people panic buying perishable goods, unless all these people where I am has a bunch of deep freezers. I am in a pretty rural area, where there are a LOT of hunters, so to me this kind of buying is insane.

  2. I think my wife and I will take a couple of day trips to the country-side and have a picnic.


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