Guest Post: Convincing your family that preparedness is important

by Ken B

 

My wife thinks that I am a paranoid schizophrenic.

Why?

Because I want to stock up on food and emergency supplies.  I currently have a small stock of supplies, and I am in the process of adding to my supplies.

My current supplies include (not a full list):

●        First Aid Kit (http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=prod901044)

●        Food for 2 weeks (Canned, shelf life of at least 2 years)

●        Water for 2 weeks (Only if we stay put – I’m including our ~50 gal water heater)

how to bug in

●        Emergency Blankets (Free from a company picnic, thanks guys!)

●        Matches, lots of them.

●        Homemade Sterno Stove (Elevated pot burner grate from a propane grill)

●        Sterno Fuel – 3 pack

●        Homemade Alcohol Stove (Variation of the Penny Stove http://www.jureystudio.com/pennystove/)

●        Denatured Alcohol – 1 gallon

●        Cooking pots/pans with copper bottom for better heat transfer

●        Barrel Smoker for outdoor cooking without electricity (Similar to http://www.randyq.addr.com/friends/mikey/magnum_force.htm)

●        Fire Extinguisher

●        Aluminum Baseball Bat (Self Defense)

●        Machete (Self Defense)

I’m also about to renovate an old camping trailer so that it can be attached to our Jeep and be used as a long-term bug-out vehicle.  This includes adding a solar panel system so that the electric in the camper is self-sustaining.

After some lengthy discussion, I have finally convinced my wife why this is important, along with alternative justification for some of the preparedness steps I have taken/want to take.

First of all, why stock up? Why prepare? What are we preparing for?  It’s important to cover all the bases, starting with the “not so critical” to “Shit Hits the Fan”.  The recent disaster in Japan may be a good “ice breaker” topic.

Scenarios for my area include:

●        Major storm knocks out the electricity

●        Blizzard knocks out electric, closes roads

●        Flu Pandemic/Epidemic

●        Food supply becomes contaminated (Mad Cow Disease anyone?)

●        City water becomes contaminated

●        Nearby Nuclear Plant has a leak

●        US gets invaded by China/North Korea

Other scenarios (depending on location) include:

●        Tornadoes

●        Earthquakes

●        Hurricanes

●        Tsunamis

●        Riots

Unfortunately, her willingness to believe that some of these events can happen and create serious problems in our lives is very low.  So, it was necessary to provide alternative justification.  Please feel free to use these ideas with your loved ones to help convince them how important preparedness really is… 

●        If I get laid off, we can save money on food by using our stored supplies until I get a job.

●        We can use the camper for vacations.  We love to go camping, and wouldn’t it be nice to sleep on a REAL mattress instead of an air mattress.

●        The first aid kit is nice if we ever get hurt, such as getting cut or burned while cooking. Accidents DO happen.

●        The fire extinguisher will keep the house from burning down if there’s ever a fire in the kitchen.

●        I can use the machete to cut down the overgrowth at the edges of the yard

●        The baseball bat will be good if anyone ever tries to break in.  (Trying to convince her we need a rifle as well – I should probably start hunting I guess).

With these alternate justification reasons, I have managed to convince her to okay the camper, as well as increasing how much supplies we have stored.  The key is to convince your loved ones that you’re not simply stockpiling “junk” that you’ll probably never use…show them the benefits of having this stuff on hand.

Here is a list of links which can provide reinforcement to why it is necessary to prepare for emergencies:

Dare to Prepare “Why Prepare Now?” Earthquake Preparedness: http://www.daretoprepare.org/whysecure.html

End Times Report “Why Prepare?” http://www.endtimesreport.com/Why_prepare.html

GoBag.org “Why Prepare for Disasters?” http://www.gobag.org/index.php

Finally, here are a few “official” links which might help with discussing preparedness:

US Government “Ready” Program: http://www.ready.gov/

CDC Flu Pandemic Preparedness Info: http://www.flu.gov/professional/community/plannow.html

FEMA Citizen Corps “Are You Ready?”: http://www.citizencorps.gov/ready/

About the author:

Ken currently maintains a humor blog called “The Beachball List”, a collection of wacky and off the wall phrases said by co-workers. http://beachballlist.blogspot.com/


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13 Comments

  1. I live in Hawaii, I used to live in Japan. After evacuating our coastal home for the tsunami and listening to the family complaints about having to take food, water, shelter, weapons, my wife came home from a friends house saying that now she understood all the prepps. People in the affected area of Japan are recieving one spam masubi and a bottle of water a day. She still thinks I’m paranoid but understands when I buy something for “just in case”. Your family has to understand that it “can happen here”. All areas have some type of natural disaster or even an extended period without electricity. Ask them where they will sleep, what they will eat, how they will get water, where they will relieve themselves in the event of a disaster your area is prone to. Get their input. Get them involved. Make them own part of it.

  2. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re a whack job. It took a while for my wife to get on board also. Women are relational and need to be able to connect with current suffering in order to see the value at home. You’ve listed great topical reasons for being prepared, show her actual news clippings, photos of thing happening in your own backyard where folks had to do without. We had a construction company dig into a water main a couple of weeks ago and about a 10 square block area was without potable water for a week. It doesn’t take much to see examples all around you. Folks losing jobs, possibly friends…a little food on hand might hold them over. Plus your preparation may wind up being a blessing to someone else in need. Keep it up

  3. I know I’ve struggled with this too. My wife thinks I’m starting my own country. I have been blessed because we live in Florida and every year the basics are a big deal in the news. I’ve also been blessed in years gone bye (not anymore) to have the funds to buy some first class equipment from Rv’s and vehicles to weapons, food and ammo. For me almost all the supplies except weapons have been justified by alternative means, RVing, Camping, Off shore fishing, Hurricanes ect.

    Now I’m in a medical and body armor phase and she understands the medical. I’m having a real hard time though on the body armor. Any suggestions on an alternate use for body armor?

  4. Often you hear “It can’t happen here” well it does happen here and it happens all the time and unfortunately is seem to take an event happening to spur people into action but the time to do it is not after the fact. Getting a spouse or family on board can be a hard thing to do but don’t give up. Start small and with little prep items that would hardly generate a second look. Look at the what if situations or build off of previous events, make them think but don’t scare them and a reasonable person will usually see the light or at least step it up a notch, remember people usually need to learn to crawl before they walk.

    Scott
    Prepology

  5. Patriot One – I can give you a 100% wife approved reason for body armor.

    Buy her some boxing gloves, then wear the armor so she can use you as a human punching bag whenever she gets frustrated or mad 😉

    -Ken

  6. Honestly that is not any more prepared than the average hunter or camper. OBVIOUSLY your wife does not camp or participate in outdoor activities.

    That is not preparedness my friend, though I have to hand it to, you it is a start. But will not do you much good in an extended emergency on par with what JAPAN is experiendinc right now.

    When you have a full years supply of food, ammo, 2000 gallons of water, fuel to last a year, enough wood for TWO winters, Evac, bugout, camping and refugee kits. Then you might be halfway.

    You also need enough seeds to grow a huge garden in EVERYONE’s yard within one mile of your house. ( hungry neighbors WILL steal your food ) rainwater tanks to last a year, tools, and spares for all your vehicles INCLUDING extra engines ready to drop in and run, you are not prepared.

    I hear ya on the family thing, but it’s a way of life, not a one time event.

    mel

    • Mel –

      I have to take exception to your comment on this post. I published it as I believe everyone has their opinion.

      Well – here’s mine.

      Ken B has a good start in his preparations – MUCH better than most sheeple that do not even consider the possibility of problems in the future.

      Opinions and statements telling people that they have to have several years worth of supplies is what pushes many people to give up on preparedness altogether. It seems like a daunting task that is so far away from reach – they just give up. Ken B admits that he has more to do – but you have to start somewhere.

      He lists several of his concerns – and he is well on his way form some – and further away from others. Let’s motivate him and others that AT LEAST has taken a step in the right direction rather than tear them down.

      Take care – Rourke

  7. you know I don’t buy into the say all the nice things to everyone all the time. I didn’t say anything wrong to the guy, stated my opinion as to his level of preparedness, ( I stand by that ) and we all have opinions.

    I am not afraid to say mine, or tell it like it is. I am not here to baby folks or say all nice things all the time so we don’t “hurt” peoples feelings…

    this is not all feel good. This is real world, and that fellow is barely prepared at all…

    But then again that is my opinion, from someone who is BARELY prepared himself. I don’t consider myself prepared and my list is far more extensive.

    But then again, I aint trying to win any friendship and feel good badges either.

    LOL

    • I gotcha Mel –

      I am not saying to be all “feel goody” – just suggesting to motivate in the right direction.

      I think – “Ken B – good start man. Keep it going. If you really want to prepare for some of those disasters and events you listed – don’t forget to set some big goals…..such as …..blah……blah…..blah” then “You may not be abble to get there within a month – but work to get there. The closer you get – the better you will be able to handle anything that may come up.”.

      Thanks – Rourke

  8. I 100% agree with Mel, and no offense taken at all.
    And the stuff Mel said is mild compared to some of the comments my wife has made about my “obsession”.

    I’m not nearly prepared enough, nor do I claim to be.

    I’ve had two major hurdles to overcome with regards to being prepared:

    1) We just purchased our first home last year. Until I received my raise this year, we’ve been living on a very tight budget, and did not have the financial resources to buy anything extra.
    2) I would like to stay married. If I start going out and buying stuff without discussing with my wife first, then there will be fights. Hence the purpose of this article – to help others overcome this very same obstacle. And this is one I face on a daily basis, because my wife is still reluctant.

    I’ve got a very long way to go.
    My current list of projects on the “todo” list include:
    – Install a solar hot water heater
    – Run downspout at the back of the house into water collection tanks (I’ll need to find/buy/build the tanks)
    – Add a solar water purification system to the water collection tanks, so that I can bottle what I need when I need it.
    – Install a wood stove (or wood furnace) in the house, and begin stocking up on wood (right now I’m using just electric baseboard – I don’t trust the furnace in the house and do not have the money to replace it)
    – Clean out the unused heating oil tank at the back of the house and use it to store gasoline for the vehicles (I can use the current rise in gas prices as justification for this one – store extra gas when it’s cheap, use it when gas rises in price)
    – Purchase a third vehicle (preferably another Jeep Comanche or Cherokee with parts interchangeable with my current Comanche)
    – Solar power the house

    And that doesn’t even include the food, water, and other supplies I want to stock up.

    On a related note, why do I want to purchase a Jeep Comanche or Cherokee? Because that’s the vehicle I know the most about mechanically. I’ve done a lot of work on my Comanche myself.

  9. Hmm…. I think I justified picking up some serious body armor. Pick up hunting. You can tell her it will save your life if you’re accidentally shot. I think she’ll come around quick to hunting when you come home with your first hog (if you get feral hogs where you are) or buck.

    Not having to buy meat for a few weeks saves some nice cash. Venison is a lot healthier than the beef she can buy in stores as well. It’s leaner and cleaner (bacteria wise) than beef from the stores. Just tell her to cook it a bit rarer than beef but it will work in all her of recipes that would normally use beef.

    You want to cook game meat a bit rarer than store bought meat because of how lean it really is. You lose a lot of flavor if you cook it as rare as your store bought meat.

  10. Wow . . . yet ANOTHER great post! 🙂 . . . . so many people out there think that “survivalists” are idiots and doomsayers. Ken, you’re absolutely right in your assertions. Any one of us can be laid off, be stranded in a power failure without heat, etc. etc. It wouldn’t HAVE to take an “alien invasion” to threaten our lives and well-being. Now I know I’m in the right place here! 😀

  11. I casually tell DH about events triggering talks of food shortages or price-increase “scares” after various natural disasters, but these stories have been coming through a lot more recently. He usually indulges me and nods his head while probably half-listening, but he did raise his eyebrows when I told him about the Mormon food canneries recent price increase of almost 40% in just the last few months or so (I follow a handful of Mormon bloggers). He can’t say a lot about my filling the pantry with non-perishables and stocking up on water, since we live on the coast, and he’s been through one hurricane, one tropical storm with massive flooding, and the Rita evac-fiasco.

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