Getting Your Family On-Board with Prepping

family prepping

It's rare that all the members of a family become interested in prepping at the same time. I suppose there's a family somewhere who all watched Doomsday Preppers together or some apocalyptic movie and decided that they needed to prepare, but like I said, they are rare. Typically, one member of the family becomes interested and then has to convince the rest.

 The big problem is that we've all been trained to trust Big Brother government to take care of us. We've all heard how FEMA is ready to roll, at a moment's notice, to provide millions of dollars of emergency relief and services to those in need. The only thing is, FEMA doesn't have all that great a track record in providing aid. Oh, they show up after disasters and they act like they're making a difference, but by the time they actually get there and get set up, the citizens of our great land are already doing the job.

That's why there are situations where communities turn down FEMA's help. Not only does it arrive late, but like anything else associated with the government it comes with a heavy price in red tape. The victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy learned that lesson, as they waded through red tape to try and receive some disaster relief.

If you're like me, you don't trust the government to bail you out if a disaster strikes. But convincing your other half that you are right and the government is wrong may be a challenge. Some people just prefer wandering around with blinders on, hoping that they'll never have to see how scary the world really is.

Prepping Solo

Trying to prep solo, without the support of your family, is a sure recipe for lots of strife in the home. Prepping isn't exactly cheap, so you're going to have to take money from other things, in order to be able to do what you think you need to do in order to protect the family. Unless your budget situation allows you to do that, without it causing other family members to feel the pinch, you can count on that causing problems.

It is possible to do some prepping alone, without the aid or even agreement of your family. Typically, couples have some money that they consider their own personal money. It may not be formally declared as such, but both partners are allowed to spend a certain amount of money on their own interests, without it being considered a problem. If that's your case, you could spend "your money" on prepping, while your spouse is spending "their money" on other things. Not an ideal solution, but workable.

The other thing you can do is to start doing things that could be considered prepping, but could also be considered useful for your life in general. For example, if you're buying the groceries, then start watching sales and buy extra when you find one. Your spouse won't think it's suspicious that you have three months worth of spaghetti sauce, when you explain that you got it half off.

That idea can be extended to other areas as well. Putting in a vegetable garden is a great prepping project. It's also a great project just to eat healthier. So, go ahead and put in that vegetable garden, telling your family that you don't trust GMO produce.

Well gee, since you have a vegetable garden, it would make sense to put in a rainwater collection system. That way, you can use rainwater to water the vegetables, rather than having to use chlorinated water from the tap. That's bound to be better for your veggies. You may as well start composting too, as that will help with a continued supply of fertilizer for your garden.

Hopefully, you're getting the idea. When hurricane season rolls around, buy a couple of extra flashlights, some batteries and a few sandbags. After all, the government tells you to do that, so what could possibly be wrong?  



Convincing Your Family to Prep

Okay, so you can get a start, without having to have your family on board. But you're not going to be able to get all that far, without their help and agreement. So, the same time that you start your own prepping projects, you need to start a campaign to get your family on-board with what you're doing.

The problem here is that you are trying to change some rather fundamental beliefs. That's not easy. You see, our modern society conditions us to count on society at large, rather than ourselves. That's diametrically opposed to the prepping mindset, which says to trust yourself, because you can't trust society to take care of you. So, expect it to take a while. Here are some keys to use in your campaign:

Be Patient

Don't expect to change your spouse's mind overnight. It took you some time to wake up to the idea of prepping, so expect it to take some time for them to do so as well. They'll need to shed the idea that they can count on society and government to meet their every need. That's a pretty ingrained thought pattern, so it might take a while. Nevertheless, with patience and persistence, you can help them through that struggle.

Be Realistic

The worst thing you can do is start talking about the zombie apocalypse or the Earth's axis shifting. You don't need to come across as one who's got a screw loose, but rather one who finally has it tightened. True preppers are more concerned about much more realistic potential events, like hurricanes and the collapse of the economy. Start there, not with an asteroid striking the earth and ending life as we know it.

It helps to find an area where your spouse is already concerned. If they start talking about how bad the economy is, you've got an opening. If they are afraid of having to ride out a hurricane, use that as an opportunity to look into how you can prepare to ride it out safely. They are much more likely to get on board for something they are concerned about, than something you are concerned about.


Be Reasonable

Don't expect your family to change your entire lifestyle, based upon your pet concern. You might want to put 75% of your income into prepping, but your spouse probably wants to eat and pay the mortgage. Make your requests reasonable, so that they have to work hard at justifying their refusal. If they look unreasonable in refusing, it works to your benefit.

Be reasonable about the time it is likely to take to prep as well. Pretty much everyone goes through a stage, right at the beginning, where they feel like they've got to do everything in the next week, or it will be too late. Unless you have enough money sitting around, gathering dust, to do that, you won't succeed. Instead, develop a reasonable budget and a reasonable approach to your prepping. Remember, every step you make, makes your family one step more secure.

Be Interesting

Find ways of making the things you want to do interesting. If you expect your spouse to start shooting, and they've always been afraid of guns, you've got an uphill battle. Likewise, if you expect them to start camping with just the equipment they can carry in a survival kit. Better to start them learning things that they find interesting. That's much more likely to get an enthusiastic response.

Remember, you're trying to develop a team. That means that you have to motivate, rather than command. If you have to fight with them to get them to do what you want them to do, you're losing the battle. Find ways to tap into their interests and bring them on board that way.

clip_image002Dave is a 52 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 30 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he's grey-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn't dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. You can learn more about Dave on his site, or email him at

1 comment:

  1. Please, please, not one more article about getting the bed bugged out family onboard. If they aren't small children then write them off as feathers in the wind and keep on prepping for yourself.