As I write this, I stare out my window at the minor destruction caused by the recent thunderstorms that ripped through the Midwest over the past few days. It always amazes me what Mother Nature is capable of. At the same time I find it a shame we can’t avoid the rain while the southwest can’t get a drop. But, my problem isn’t with Mother Nature, it’s with human nature.
The problem is what to do with those unprepared family and friends that have willfully or ignorantly choose not to prepare themselves who WILL show up on my doorstep with their hands out begging for me to let them in. Unfortunately, this is a problem I haven’t found a solution for and, frankly, don’t know how to solve. And it’s bothering me… a lot.
It’s not that I haven’t tried. I have and I’m trying harder. But to no avail. I keep finding that people don’t seem to care or steadfastly believe that things can’t get bad enough to warrant my level of preps. Honestly, I’m shocked at this mentality given the state of our economy. I firmly believe it can only get worse. Of course, it’s not helping that I read too many doom-and-gloom books and blog posts. J
Maybe I am a bit paranoid; I guess that’s just part of being a prepper. But that still doesn’t alter the fact that if I’m even remotely correct that I will be the ONLY person in my circle of friends that is remotely prepared. It stands to follow, therefore, that since my friends and family (with the exception of my in-laws) are unprepared, they will be looking for me to care for them. It’s a foregone conclusion in my book.
Now, in the past I’ve read how others suggest dealing with this problem, from clearly stating that others are not welcome if they’re not prepared up to and including physically shooting anyone who isn’t expected to be a part of your preparedness plan. While I can understand this mentality (to a point) with strangers, acquaintances, and even neighbors—I’m sure there’s a few of them I wouldn’t mind shooting at if given the opportunity—but I have to believe that when it comes to family and close friends, this philosophy falls apart.
Take a moment and think about people you truly care about. In addition, consider only those who you know are unprepared and could likely show up TEOTWAWKI + 1. These are people you’ve likely known for many years, even a lifetime. You’ve made many memories with them and care for them deeply. Maybe you’ve helped them move their belongings more than once. Perhaps you go to baseball or football games with them, even vacation with them and certainly hang out with them on weekends. And now all of a sudden they’re unwelcome? I don’t think so.
As an example, I’ve recently broached the subject of preparedness with my soon-to-be brother-in-law, somebody who I respect, have become good friends with, and expect to be one of those “extra” mouths to feed (along with my sister-in-law and niece). Long story short, when pressed as to what he would do if it came down to it, his answer would be to cut back on services he didn’t need (i.e., cable tv, phones, etc) and sell equipment such as his computer. But, what if nobody wants to buy his computer or anything else he has to sell?
So, I pressed him further. I ask, “What if money becomes worthless and you can’t even buy a loaf of bread?” His answer is “I’ll just blow my brains out. After all, who wants to live in a world like that?” Of course, I’m sure this is just a knee-jerk reaction to not having an answer. He is awfully stubborn, after all.
Anyway, that answer bothers me on multiple levels. In fact, the more I think about it the more upset it makes me. Soon he’ll be a family man with a responsibility I imagine he doesn’t truly “feel” yet. That is, the absolute need to care for one’s family no matter what it takes. It also means that he’s choosing to remain ignorant, which means they WILL be looking to me (and my in-laws) to care for them. So, what does he say to me post SHTF? “Oops. I was wrong. Can I come in now? I’m hungry.”
The question is quite simply what to do with this group of people? I don’t know how many there might be for you but it could easily be a dozen or more for me. Considering that I have a family of four, a dozen additional people will effectively quadruple the drain on my already sparse food and supplies. After all, we have one small income and literally no “extra” money to spare. If I thought I could afford to prepare for everyone I would. But I can’t even properly prepare for my family let alone another a few more families. This is my dilemma. And I think it will be yours too.
To be honest, it’s not like I wouldn’t let any of these people inside. Perhaps I’m just a softie at heart. For sure, I’m going to be downright steamed about it. I’m also not naive enough to believe that I will be the sole decision maker in such situations. Even if I did choose to stand my ground and deny their entry I’m sure my wife (and in-laws) would overrule and/or outnumber me. How about you? What would you do in this situation?
Here’s your homework: The next time you’re visiting with good friends (or family) that you know are unprepared, take a good long look at them—make it a bit creepy while you’re at it—and think about what you would do with them in this very situation.
So, which is it? “Come on in, Bob. You’re welcome.” Or “Sorry, Bob. Go Die Somewhere Else.”