I came across this post on The Chickens Have Had Enough. Take a few minutes to read it.
Now that you're back, I have to say that I am on board with this approach when speaking with other people about my beliefs. Framing discussion points on the grounds of rationality will, more often than not, give fence sitters something to chew on and not outright dismiss a person as an extremist.
Someone who prepares for emergencies, trains for their own self defense, or dares to question the legitimacy of certain actions of the government is often labeled as someone who has an extremist viewpoint. However, if you can rationally explain the actions you take, then it takes out a lot of the "sting" of the extremist labeling. Only the most hardcore opposing viewpoint or hard line person would insist that your caution is still "extreme" in nature.
For example, I consider myself a cautions person when it comes to relying on services provided by utility companies. If I was to ever be questioned about why I have stored water, then my response will be to point to instances where water services were not up and running for several days at a time:
"Did you hear about what happened in Toledo? You couldn't even boil water! I'm rationalist when it comes to those situations. Water companies aren't perfect. It can't hurt to have some potable water on hand."
It does not look so "extreme" when you can point to real life examples of events in the world that do occur.
If your rationale is solid, then you can defeat almost any labeling of being an "extremist". You won't win them all, but you will certainly give others a perspective that they may have otherwise dismissed outright. Give it a try the next time you are asked about your preparedness.