Not everyone who believes in emergency preparedness actually qualifies as a “prepper” like on the National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers.” That degree of emergency preparedness is pretty extreme on the scale, though not necessarily “wacko.” Extreme just compare you to the norm. Unfortunately, the “normal” or typical person in America doesn’t concern himself with emergency preparedness. So let’s take a look at what actually makes you a “prepper.”

Emergency preparedness is just good common sense that millions of Americans practice. They have flashlights and batteries and even a backup generator. They have candles and blankets in their car trunk during the winter and that’s about the length of preparedness that the average person who does anything at all will go to.

By contrast, a prepper will have practiced their power outage strategies and have kerosene lanterns, hundreds of extra batteries for their flashlights, and can run their backup generator on propane. And by the way, they have at least 5 extra propane tanks stored for running that generator and for cooking on the grill when there is no power out.

The prepper doesn’t bother with candles for the car trunk, but rather has an indoor-safe portable propane heater to go with their wool blankets. They also have a hand crank powered emergency weather radio with them. Whether a prepper is at home when disaster strikes or away in their car, they are prepared for a lot of different contingencies.

The difference between just normal emergency preparedness, to the prepper, is just one of “honesty” and “courage.” The prepper is honest with himself enough to know how just a little emergency preparedness doesn’t help you so much unless the disaster is very, very brief. And the prepper has the courage to take the steps to ensure that their “preps” are robust enough, because “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.”

So that’s it. Now you know when emergency preparedness makes you a prepper!