If you’re reading this blog, I’m assuming you have some level of interest in preparing for uncertain times. You may not consider yourself a “prepper” but none the less feel it’s prudent to carry a food insurance policy the same way you have life, health and auto insurance.
Even though inside you may feel yourself leaning towards becoming a prepper, the unfortunate sometimes negative connotation that term congers up in some people’s mind may be dissuading you from ever wanting to identify as such.
You don’t want to be looked at as a fanatic or a doomsayer. You simply want to do what you feel impressed to do by way of preparing for the potential of very difficult times ahead. If this is your goal, you must get the rest of your family onboard if you want your prepping to truly make sense.
Here’s a very important fact: you might think that you can take care of your family by yourself, but you can’t. At least, you can’t do it without their help. One person by themselves, trying to take care of a family of four or five people who don’t have a clue about how to survive is too much for anyone to take on.
What this means is that when that survival situation comes, family members have to actually help, not just sit around complaining because their smartphone isn’t working or because the Wi-Fi is out.
They’ll need to become active parts of your survival team; preferably active parts who actually know how to do something.
It’s About Attitude
Survival is more about attitude than anything else. If you look at any military manual on survival, it’s going to start out with a chapter or two talking about attitude. Think about that for a moment. The US military, which can spend whatever they need to in developing survival manuals, starts out by talking about attitude.
Why is that? Because they recognize the importance of attitude in survival. We see this in elite military forces as well, such as the Navy Seals. While Seals are superbly trained and honed to a fine edge, their biggest asset is that they don’t know how to quit. The Seal motto of, “The only easy day was yesterday” enshrines this attitude. They know that they go into the hard situations, because it takes a team with their dedication to get the job done.
Granted, you can’t make your family have the attitude you want to. That’s just not possible. Their attitude comes from their innermost being, and you can’t control that. But you can influence it; and you should. You should do whatever you can to impress the importance of survival and being ready to survive on them, without going so far overboard that you shove them away.
Start with a Family Meeting
A good place to start is with a family meeting, where you lay your cards on the table. This is where you want to make sure that they understand why you are a prepper (or maybe still a closet prepper). They may not like it; they may not want to be part of it; but they need to understand why.
Avoid getting overly dramatic in this meeting. Talking about simple disasters, like hurricanes, is much more effective than talking about the end of the world as you know it. Your goal is to get them on-board with the idea of being ready when any disaster strikes.
You may never be able to convince your entire family to make the financial commitment necessary to start prepping. I seriously doubt that there are many teens in America today who would rather receive a survival kit or bug out bag for Christmas, than their favorite video game. You might get them excited about a new gun or even a hunting bow, but I doubt you’ll get them excited about a month’s worth of freeze-dried food.
But that’s not anywhere near as important as getting them interested in learning the necessary skills for survival. The right skills trump a huge stockpile any day, even though that stockpile can be very useful. In the long term, survival is more about knowing what to do, than having the stuff to do it with.
Many survival skills are actually fun and interesting to learn. Hunting, fishing, camping – those are all things that people enjoy doing.
Get Them the Gear
As I mentioned earlier, your family might not be as excited about you giving them survival gear and supplies as a gift. I’m not going back on that. But there’s nothing that says you can’t give them the survival gear and something that they’ll like as well.
I’ve given all my adult children emergency kits to keep in the trunks of their cars. I’ve also given them various small pieces of survival gear as stocking stuffers every year. In doing so, I’m getting them a little closer to being prepared. But I also give them other things, that I know they want, so that it’s not just about giving them what I think they should have.
Get Them Involved
I said something earlier about avoiding the drama. I’ve always tried to do that. Yes, prepping is a big deal and if we are ever faced with another disaster we have to survive, that will be a big deal too. But that doesn’t mean I have to make it a big deal before the fact. All that will do is alienate people who I need to get onboard.
My softer approach has gotten everyone in my family involved in prepping. We’re all in this together. It has taken time, but bit by bit, I’ve gotten them involved.
There are many interesting things in prepping; things that can even interest the non-prepper. Gradually, they’ve all been bitten by the prepping bug. It has taken time, but thank the Lord, we’ve had that time. Now I don’t have to just depend on what I’ve got here in my home to take care of my family, they’re starting to get with the program too.
When Will Your Family Be Ready?
Let me wrap this up by saying something you may not like. That is, your family is never going to be fully ready for a disaster. There’s really no such thing as being totally ready. Part of that is because none of us know what disasters we’re going to face.
All you can do is work on getting ready and getting your family ready, hoping that when the time comes, you will be ready enough.
Real life isn’t like an adventure story. You can be sure that when the time comes, you’ll find that there are key items you didn’t stockpile. But with enough training, you’ll be able to overcome that lack and still find a way to do everything you need to do.
So don’t worry; just do the best you can. That goes for your family as well. Don’t worry about how ready they are or how much onboard they are. Just do whatever you can to get them ready. The rest will happen, when it need to happen, whenever that might be.