By June 8, 2012 Read More →

Universal Prepper Symbol – Please Vote

Universal Prepper Symbol

Universal Prepper Symbol

A question was recently brought up by azsquirrelcop on the APN Forum about whether or not there should be a state, national, or universal prepper symbol.  This would not be a trademarkable logo, but rather a universal public domain symbol that anyone who considers themselves as a Prepper could use.



The Symbol

It’s simply a capital “P” and an exclamation mark:  P!

Where To Use It

  • Badges
  • Stickers
  • Your vehicle (bumper stickers)
  • Your business
  • Business Cards
  • Brochures

Finding like minded preppers

The primary purpose of the symbol is for like minded preppers to be able to recognize each other, particularly “before” SHTF in order to network and communicate with each other.  It could also be used to identify preppers after a disaster (extreme caution with OPSEC of course, depending on the scope and type of disaster)  It is an identifier much like the Christian fish symbol or the peace sign.  It must be something easy to duplicate and be able to be written with anything; pen, pencil, markers, chalk, etc…

Concerns of OPSEC

The concern about OPSEC was brought up several times by several people.  Remember, it’s the when, where, why and how you use the symbol that you should have concern about.  Of course reasonable OPSEC should always be of concern.  So each person should weigh their own personal situation.  Do you want to easily recognize fellow preppers and have them recognize you?  Or do you want to avoid any attention to yourself under absolutely any circumstances?

Consider the following:

  • Once word gets around the prepping community, fellow preppers will be able to easily identify this symbol.
  • The average person, who is not a prepper, won’t have a clue what the symbol means, nor will they care.
  • During relatively safe times, the risk of someone noticing the symbol and following you all the way home just to jack your stored buckets of rice and beans is not very likely to happen.
  • If you write the marker on something that is easily removable, you can remove the symbol in times of elevated OPSEC if needed.
  • Sometimes the need to be recognized by fellow preppers outweighs concerns of OPSEC.  Evaluate your own personal situation.
Universal Prepper Symbol

Universal Medical Prepper Symbol

Medical version

The consensus was that there should also be a medial version to denote someone from the medical profession; doctors, nurses, EMT’s etc…  The symbol is simply P+ with the plus sign most likely being red.  Imagine a disaster where you are injured and you stumble across that.  You will know that you have someone on your side who happens to be a medical professional.  Just remember they are a prepper too, just because they’re using the Universal Medical Preppers symbol does not necessarily mean that they will accept Universal Medical Coverage, you may have to pay for your doctor bill in Gold or Silver!


The birth of the concept and the discussion.

The APN cannot take credit for this idea, it was many of our ingenious members who collaborated together to come up with these symbols.  We hope that you will all support their idea by participating in the vote.  These are the main threads that birthed the concept:

The First thread

National Prepper Symbol?

National Discussion Concerning Prepper Symbol


Vote on the Universal Prepper Symbols

Here’s your chance to make history.  Vote on the Universal Preppers Symbol By Clicking This Link

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70 Comments on "Universal Prepper Symbol – Please Vote"

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  1. MeLissa King says:

    Shouldn’t this be the American Prepper symbol since it’s based on the American english letter P? Just sayin….

    • Phil Hutton says:

      A Universal Prepper Patch / Badge Multicam, Survival has been selling on ebay under item No. 310486456611
      for some months now.

      The design makes sense and picks up all the major prepping points.

  2. kunia says:

    I think the medical and regular are good idea’s. Car sticker’s are questionaable but velcro patche’s would be cool. more people are wearing the military uniform’s so you could put on the patch in a desaster but keep opsec durring normal time’s.

  3. mamahen says:

    I was wondering if there was a symbol already in use, and I just wasn’t finding it. I think this is a brilliant idea!

  4. Lisa Ehlers says:

    I like the P! Symbol.  To non Preppers it won’t mean much of anything, but to us Preppers it would be a way of identifying each other with out giving too much information away.

  5. Becky says:

    Wonderful idea, the exception is it marks us, for those who did not prep. Do not fool yourselves into thinking they can not figure it out, all it takes is one person to devulge the secret.

    • Jinny says:

      It’s not much a secret if it’s on the internet. Plus, what would I say to someone who asks me what it means? Do I not answer? Do I assume they are non-preppers and ignore the statement? It would sound like the perfect opportunity to educate someone about prepping if they questioned the P!.

      • Gryphon Moor says:

        Understand too, that the NSA, FBI and other groups that fly below radar routinely monitor this site and others. Files are being created; data is being collected. Gray State Cometh.

  6. I like it, but suggest substituting the middle finger for the exclamation mark!

  7. Mark says:

    English centric. No surprise. We are the center of the known universe, aren’t we?

    • Tom says:

      Not English, Latin. there are dozens of languages that use the letter P. And all Languages that would pronounce the word “Prepper” would also use the letter “P”. If you come up with a translation for Prepper in Chinese, Arabic, or some other Non-Latin based language, you are more than welcome to come up with a symbol for those languages if you like.

  8. Johnny says:

    I’m not sure the “P” is a good idea. In military and some law enforcement circles a “P” indicates “Prisoner”. It’s the symbol that is used on their clothing and in other ways to keep track of them. At least that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the proposed prepper symbol. Maybe no one else had that moment of confusion. Or, then again, if the consipiracy theories about FEMA camps are correct, maybe that IS the right symbol for preppers. :-)

  9. Focus says:

    Why not make it a contest where we could see what others have to offer for a preppers symbol? I got a notice to vote for a prepper symbol, but I only see one to vote on…..hmmmm.

    • Tom says:

      The symbol was discussed extensively in the forum. Everyone had a chance to voice their opinions and still do if you follow the link to chime in. We could have spent much more time trying to get more people involved, but there comes a time where you just have to finally put it to a vote and move on with it.

  10. DaveP says:

    You could put it in those little white ovals like for city/state/whatever car bumper stickers…

  11. How about a go bag with an eye from the side inside it?

    • Tom says:

      It’s a symbol that is meant to be easily written within a few seconds with a pen, marker, pencil etc… A go bag would require some artistic skills and take longer to draw. It’s not a logo, it’s a symbol

  12. Robert Steele says:

    It is nice to have a symbol but I wonder what would happen in a really large emergency if these are posted on homes, cars etc. Even non-preppers would learn very quickly that if you see this symbol it is a place to get help or food or water. If that is what you want… that is great.

    Having a symbol is nice if you want to belong to a group and identify with it and you want everyone to know that you are part of that group.

    if it works for your situation and what you need or want that’s fine. I don’t think I would be posting this anywhere near anything I wanted to maintain to keep my family fed and safe.

    Throughout history symbols have been misused more than they have been used wisely.
    They have often ended up dividing people rather than bringing them together.

    I understand the underlying sentiment about a symbol… it could bring us together.
    It can also make us outwardly different from others and mark us as a target.

  13. Cliff says:

    I cant see where to vote but my vote is a definate NO! The symbol is LAME! So I would NEVER DISPLAY IT! I would like to see something a little more alive like the center of the APN symbol minus the “A” and the “N”. Just the center flag with the “P” and maybe the “P” and the “P+”

    • Tom says:

      Again, it is supposed to be a symbol, not a logo. It is something that was meant to be very easy for anyone to write with a pen or pencil. It has been discussed extensively by several people on the forum for several days. Everyone had a chance to chime in and voice their opinions.

      • Cliff says:

        Again, My point is to have something that people of like mind identify with. First of all there are some jurisdictions where police officers departments forbid FOP and PBA emblems on their officers cars I have first hand knowledge of this, so they put a “P” on the rear of their cars to identify themselves to other officers. Many officers also use the thin blue line. This might aggitate some officers into thinking that you are trying to pull the woll over their eyes.. Also my point was that there are tons of peoiple that place the Darwin fish on the rear of their cars, that is a symbol. The “P” is just a lame letter. If some preppers are willing to give up some OPSEC, It should be a symbol worth displaying, not a lame letter!

    • Alec says:

      As lame as a secret handshake

  14. Cliff says:

    OOPS I forgot, I would also accept a Subdued emblem that was identical as I described as well.

  15. Vic says:

    I like having a universal symbol, although P is simple, it’s also Boring…..! hope it has a better design, than just a P!. Only my opinion.

    …………………….. It would be great in many ways for our Preppers group out of Spokane, WA. and the surrounding areas. ………Our site is Free to join. We are trying to constantly have learning classes in: Storage of Food, Gardening/seeding, Communications, Guns/Self Defense, Trapping/Wild edible Plants, First Aid, and more to come later. We want and urge our members to be involved, both as teachers of what they have knowledge in, and participants in classes teaching them things they don’t know. Our group, the “Spokane Preppers and Survivalists” are new, and just turned over a 100 members. It is free to join at: -Hope that any like minded members in the area join.

  16. Scooter says:

    The idea of a symbol is super, but it looks very simple and we should be proud of our accomplishments as Preppers. May I suggest – Ps ! and Ps +. What about a color change for a serverity (warning ) levels. Thank you for allowing my views.

  17. lmb says:

    A very nice idea, but, as mentioned, I DON”T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT I AM A PREPPER, except my fellow preppers! As you said “OpSec” is a top priority.

  18. Craig Ridge says:

    I don’t advertise my prepper status to anyone! I think this symbol idea is ill-advised. “Be careful who you trust. Keep your preps to yourself. Keep your mouth shut. Make sure your kids, wife or husband, roommates, boyfriend or significant other also know to keep their mouths shut. Make sure everyone can keep a secret. You have to be considering not who you can trust in times of plenty, but who you can trust in times of hunger and thirst.”

    I don’t look for trouble, but I can provide it….

    • Tom says:

      So don’t use the symbol. This is ONLY for people Who DO want to use a symbol. Your opinion about why you don’t like it is moot. It’s like someone who doesn’t smoke chiming in on a design for a package of cigarettes, or someone who is not a Christian chiming in on the fish symbol. If it does not apply to you, or it’s not something you would ever use, then your opinion is moot and has no bearing one way or another about the symbol. This is ONLY for people who would actually use such a symbol. I should have mentioned that the vote ONLY applies to people who would actually use a symbol of some sort to identify themselves to fellow preppers.

  19. Dennis Douglas says:

    I like the idea of the symbol of identifying us from any other group out there.This makes it nice to get patches made or bumper stickers so other preppers would know  who you are. This is a cool idea.

  20. Kathy says:

    I love it! Great idea! I’m so lonely… :) It would be really great to find other preppers w/out tipping my hand to non-preppers.

    • Kathleen says:

      Oh honey, I’m sorry! Don’t be lonely dear, there are many, many friends out there in the world, just waiting to meet you! Get out of your house and find them! Volunteer your time if you can, at a hospital, children’s center, nursing home, etc. You will meet nice people and help others at the same time. Many times helping others is enough. You will get such a great feeling out of giving comfort to other people in dire need, and they do need you! Everyone has something to offer, and it is important to use your skills! Join a club, biking, bowling, anything! If you mean you are lonely as a prepper, I know the feeling. Probably alot of us are feeling like square pegs, suddenly being concerned with TEOTWAWKI, when our family and friends are like….whaaat? But who cares. It’s our lives, and perhaps we can help them if, God forbid, need be.
      God bless!

  21. Jo Oliver says:

    if P is for prisoners, don’t think it is a great idea, especially if bo has his army after people like us.
    didn’t see a place to vote, but on this one ….mine is a no because of the previous reference. hug all…………………
    PS how about the colored logo above w/ just the letters and flag. We do not need to advertise.

  22. Lisa says:

    I don’t like either one, I would prefer a symbol that represents what we stand for. Freedom, strength, and courage. How about a background of the American flag with an eagle a bear and a wolf

  23. Tom says:

    Everyone, thanks for your opinions and input. I know a lot of people would never use a symbol like this, and that is fine. This vote is ONLY for those who do want to use a symbol of some sort. People who do want to use a symbol have their reasons for wanting to use one, just as those who don’t want to use a symbol have their reasons. The opinions against using a symbol are moot as this symbol would not apply to people who don’t want to use it.

  24. Mark says:

    Why not put a P at the center of a target?  

  25. cossack55 says:

    Lame is right. How about a cornucopia with canned goods, gold/silver coins, seeds, a few ammo boxes spilling out and a big question mark superimposed.

  26. Tom says:

    OPSEC is about the most over rated, hyped up, overly perpetuated paranoia that has ever infected the preparedness community. Sure I get OPSEC “within reason” But where are all the criticisms about the Red Cross symbol, or the boy scouts logo, or the 4-H logo, or any other identifier that has identified preparedness oriented organizations for decades? I don’t ever recall hearing Christians worry about their OPSEC as it pertains to the cross or the fish symbol. The APN and anything we support is about PUBLIC awareness. We are not, never have been, nor ever will be a secret survivalist organization. There are plenty of militias and Rawlsian type groups that people can go belong to if they want to hide under a rock or in a bunker somewhere. But the APN will continue to push our efforts to waking up the populace to preparedness. And for each person who becomes prepared that’s one less person that you have to worry about, and you’ll know who to thank for waking America up to preparedness. Just like the American Revolution. Only 3% fought, everyone else were all do-nothings.

  27. Avery T. Horton, Jr. says:

    The DON’T TREAD ON ME flag is a great symbol. Flying that says it all.

  28. T, ROSE says:


    • Tom says:

      Because it’s supposed to be a symbol that is very very easy to draw and be universal for anyone to use as a symbol regardless of their nationality. Think along the lines of a peace sign or the Christian fish symbol, or the red cross.

  29. Barn Cat says:

    The last thing I want is to let other people know I’m a prepper. Like law enforcement. Once they know who you are they might kill you for your supplies after it hits the fan.

  30. Johnny says:

    Tom, I’m sorry you’re getting hammered on this one. It is a sensitive area for preppers. As one of the early “stone throwers” let me clarify my position. I actually agree with you that there can be instances where being able to identify yourself as a prepper could be beneficial. And having a symbol for that purpose is probably not a bad idea. Like most of the commenters I am unlikely to use such a symbol most of the time, but having it available if I ever needed it wouldn’t be a bad thing. So let’s find something suitable. I like your criteria of something easy to draw. Kind of like hobo signals it could be beneficial to have a sign that most people do not recognize but we do. BTW, if you’ll check the history of the fish symbol you’ll find that persecuted early Christians used it as an OpSec tool. The true meaning only came out years (centuries?) later. So we are talking apples and apples here and OpSec is a consideration. But I still advise against the “P” because of its existing use for prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. Let’s find something else.

  31. Could we use the Latin word for making preparations “para”? It is a bit longer but if you look the word up, you will see it describes what we do. Para is also Greek and can mean “side by side”. In Spanish it can mean “stop”. In French it means “close to or nearly”. It just seems right to me and at least for a while, not obvious to others.

  32. Kris Watson says:

    Only if we get a secret handshake and a secret decoder ring.

  33. Focus says:

    The more I think about P ! , and the more I read the comments, the more I don’t like this as a prepper symbol, and the more I question the need for one. I, for one, would not use any symbol for prepping-you can bet that there are those who monitor prepper sites and are just waiting for a way to identify a prepper. I’m pretty sure that I would be able to spot a prepper by asking key questions in a short conversation……I don’t need or wish to have anything identifying me for any reason.

    • Turtle says:

      Ding, ding, ding… We have a winner. At least someone here is smart. Keep a low profile & you will have a better chance of staying alive.

  34. Flying haggis says:


    I am not sure about the P symbol , as it has been said some places use the P sign to indicate Prisoners , I can also be used ( granted usually on a blue background ) to indicate parking and lastly the P would signify “preppers” but there are more people who are preppers but use homesteading or survivalist etc  I  do like the idea of having an universal sign just not sure if P is the right one

  35. cara says:

    The P is too confusing and the red cross suggests the red cross: a public source of assistance,food, water etc. What are you trying to convey? Is this for preppers or the public?
    In a food shortage there is a very real possibility that neighbors or the local officials may come to your door to get supplied by you. Personal property can be taken by the government in some situations. So what is the goal of this symbol?

  36. Jim says:

    Do you guys understand what OPSEC means? It means OPERATIONAL SECURITY! Get It? It is ok to let a close circle of friends and family know about your commitments. Once this P-thing gets out everyone will know you are a prepper. According to the LDS Preparedness Manual only about 5% of mormans have food stores. But let it be known that 100% of the P’s have food stores you won’t be safe from thieves. So don’t use the P advertisement!

  37. bchpreper says:

    At first I thought this was a good idea- but after considering how people are these days- the fact that they are progressively getting  stupider (is that a real word?) doesn’t matter – you get the point- greedier- less self reliant – and so expecting someone else to do everything for them- (most recently the storm that just hit us) all complaining- they had to throw out ALL their food (cause they had no back up what so ever) I’m thinking it’s not such a good idea. I will rest easy though knowing – that after I found this site- I wasted no time in getting my act together. I have also discussed this w/ my kids and got them started also- much is in place – much needs to be done.

  38. Jo Oliver says:

    -I still do not believe the “P” is a good idea as it is already in use. The LORD has Given us many animals. Can’t you consider a ‘bear’ who preps her den for her cubs? A simple picture, w/ a plus for medical personel would be OK. Only us preppers would know what it means. Perhaps an unusual color would be good too……….just my thoughts. hugs…….jo

  39. LdMorgan says:

    I’m against P for the prisoner reference.
    I agree a symbol could be useful.
    I also agree OPSEC is important.
    So, I suggest the universal prepper symbol should be the mathematical symbol “pi”.
    There is a lot of symbolism that could be associated with it. “Pi” never ends, for example, and neither does prepping. It’s a “doorway” and “house” symbol–posts & lintel. Etc.
    The main advantage of it is that it is an uncommon common symbol–one that few people have a use for and one that most people ignore on sight.
    It makes the perfect prepper bumper sticker” “π r round, not square!”.
    It makes a good countersign: draw two lines on a piece of paper and hand it to someone you wonder about. If they put the roof on it, they know what the symbol stands for, and are probably a prepper willing to reveal themselves to you–now that they know you are another prepper.
    Invert it for a distress/help sign.
    π+ could easily be adopted as the prepper medical sign. No special colors required.
    Like any good symbol, its use will grow naturally, if it’s the right symbol. So it doesn’t even have to be officially “adopted”. Just used.

    • Jo Oliver says:

      -Oh! I so agree w/you especially your idea about drawing the 2 lines and hand it to another, but it looks like the majority rules here. Wish it would have worked when it came to taking GOD out of
      schools. Or, taking a Cross down that several put up as a memory for their fallen friends in combat. Maybe we could have it as a second one for those who do not like the P(which is prisioner to many). Great idea, I am w/you. hugs……jo

      • LdMorgan says:

        Thank you, Jo, for your comments. 
        One of the best things about the prepper community is that it is a free community and no one “rules” it–not even the “majority”.
        We are all free to do as we please and that even extends to little things like adopting a prepper symbol.
        Those that do not like the idea are free to not use the symbol–even if they are the “minority”. And vice versa.
        I hope the prepper π comes into common use simply because people choose to use it at the right time and in the right place.
        Pass the idea around: it’s not a matter of voting but of doing.

  40. Alive14 says:

    It looks very close to an old symbol for the Phinehas priesthood which in later years has been picked up by racist organizations. Well this won’t let me paste a picture, but you can Startpage search it yourself. I vote no, it’s just too easy to be smeared (reputation wise) with it.

  41. Alive14 says:

    For the medical Prepper symbol anyway.

  42. Turtle says:

    Great, just what I needed to know when the SHTF. Now when I run out of food, I know where to go find more of it…. All I have to do is just look for the universal prepper symbol.

    • LdMorgan says:

      Yes, turtle! You are absolutely correct. When your situation is dire who will welcome you and aid you but your fellow preppers? What a relief and comfort it would be to see that sign just when you need it the most!


      A symbol of welcome to all of us.

      • Turtle says:

        You obviously missed the point. That symbol will let people know who has food & supplies, so everyone will know who to take it from when they run out.
        Go ahead & advertise that you have supplies with your prepper symbol. If you want to be that stupid, that is your choice. You might as well make it a neon sign saying come steal my stuff.

  43. Heather says:

    I’m not as paranoid apparently because I wouldn’t mind something like this to let everyone and their mother know that I am a prepared person and that I have medical training…If/When something does happen I believe that medical help should be provided/bartered. Fuck your OPSEC. I would rather help out instead of being selfish/paranoid.

    • Jo says:

      Heather, It is a real shame you have such anger that you need to use foul language.

      • Heather says:

        I do apologize I shouldnt have…I have just found so many ppl who when I have had conversations with them they tell me that even though they have a skill that would be beneficial if something happened they would only care for themselves.  That it would be to dangerous to help others or whatever their excuse.  If something does happen you have to level your head because you probably won’t be able to do everything your self no matter how long you have been prepping. And I would love to know who is a prepper in my area…we just moved so know we don’t know anyone and it’s hard to tell. 

        • Jo says:

          -that’s interesting!Someone like that wants everyone to help them. I woudn’t worry about it. some of us will die immediately, some of us will be left behind to help others, we will get through this. I don’t care anymore; I just have a stinky feeling I will be left behind. , I know the LORD will GIVE us HIS STRENGTH to overcome less than what happened to HIM. One thing I know, a politician told me, all of the homes where I live will be plowed down and we will loose even our land that we paid for. as long as I have Heaven guaranted to me I am VERY happy!
          -I live in ole f–t’sville FL.

    • Turtle says:

      So what happens when a gang of thugs abducts you for their own personal medical use? They you are helping one of them out & they get the bright idea that hey lets just imprison her & anytime we get hurt or sick if she doesn’t patch us up we threaten to kill her.
      It’s a good idea to be helpful and a good skill to barter with in an SHTF scenario, just don’t advertize it to loudly. When the need arises for you to employ your medical expertise you will know.

  44. Alive14 says:

    I am Alive14’s wife – I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I think the symbol is lame. I also think it’s completely unreasonable for anyone to say “if you don’t like the symbol don’t use it”. You can’t just decide to make up a symbol to represent an entire group of people without that group all being willing to be advertised by the symbol. I’m surprised any of you would want to be recognized as preppers. I for one do NOT prep for the rest of my block. I do NOT prep for the rest of my city. I prep for my family ONLY (meaning my husband & 3 kids). I think it’s insane to want to put a symbol on ours cars or doors or tshirts or clothes. This conversation is on the internet. This site i’m sure is being “watched” anyway. It is just a matter of hours before the symbol is public. While many may not realize what the symbol means at first BELIEVE it’ll be what non-preppers will be looking for eventually. And by non-preppers I do include local police & other law enforcement. There is a term “Greyman”. We as preppers should strive to live as “greymen”. I could go on and on. Absolutely no! I am a prepper and I don’t want to be labeled with your lame symbol!

  45. use logic/human nature says:

    I can understand the need for a recognizable symbol for the people who are prepping for the coming problems we will face. More than likely any symbol preppers use will inevitably become a target. What follows a disaster is chaos. If I’m starving and I see and recognize that symbol I would do whatever it takes to get that food wherever it is. Even family members can become your worst enemy because of a deterioration of the ability to process logical thought. The whole concept of prepping, preppers will be dwarfed by the fact that all democracies have an average life span of about 200 years ending up in a dictatorship. The prepper concept will morph into a resistance movement in the blink of an eye.

  46. shotgun says:

    No decals,patches,or symbles on the bumper>You will become a target.

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