American Survival Guide

SURVIVAL IS A TEAM SPORT

I really hate labels. Labels have a tendency to give people generalized views ... and often, erroneous assumptions.

Take the word, “prepper.” What is a “prepper” anyway? And, how about a “survivalist”? These two words mean different things to different people. Both carry connotations, often negative, and can promote an “us-against-them” mentality.

So, what do they mean, and how can we drop those divisive labels and work with others inside and outside “the community”?

PREPPER VS. SURVIVALIST

Merriam-Webster defines a “prepper” as “a person who gathers materials and makes plans in preparation for surviving a major disaster or cataclysm (such as worldwide economic collapse or war).” Going by this definition, if you stock up on extra food and fuel in the days prior to a hurricane, plot an escape route in case of a wildfire or have a supply of sandbags in preparation for a flood, you’re a prepper.

To many people, “prepper” stirs up images of fortified underground bunkers, caches of weapons and people who’ve watched way too many episodes of or This image, which has been endorsed by some

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