Am I crazy for prepping?
Many people struggle to get their family to “see the prepping light,” and sometimes this can place an unfortunate strain on relationships. This strain can be particularly damaging when husbands and wives do not see eye-to-eye on how to allocate family resources. This division can also lead to bitter and unhealthy isolation. Therefore, it is imperative to learn how to gently and kindly work through theses issues and find peaceful resolution — hopefully even like-mindedness.
Below is a perfect example. It came from a popular Internet forum.
“Hey everyone my name is “Greg,” and I live in the foothills in NorCal. I started to prep a year or two ago. Not a bunch, but if something happened we wouldn’t be helpless. With everything going on around the world, the economy, terrorism, the sun, everything—it pays to be ready.”
“Right now our biggest issue is forest fire and have taken steps to save the home. My issue is my wife and daughters: They look at me like I’m paranoid. They don’t pay attention to issues and the environment that surrounds them. We’ve gone to the range a few times, but that means little.”
“They just don’t seem to think that anything can go wrong. It drives me crazy. I don’t shove this down their throats at all, and try to be subtle. I just sent all of them the NASA article about [how] the polarity of the sun may be reversing. Will anything happen? Don’t know, but I want to be prepared. All they say is, “You can take care of us!” I’m getting a little long in the tooth and will do my best; my wife is former Army, so she is not helpless, I just want them to be [situationally] aware. I don’t know. Anybody else out there have the same issue?”
“Also, if I hear another person who does nothing (and I mean nothing) …say to me, “We’ll just come to your house,” I might just say what I’m thinking.”
“Thanks for listening”
When I saw this post, I felt compelled to respond. This is what I wrote.
Greg, I empathize and sympathize with your dilemma. It can be difficult to help family see the seriousness of the need for preparedness without looking like a paranoid nutcase. Here are some things you can do.
Utilize Research and Analysis
My main suggestion would be to do careful research on each of the known current justifications (and their histories) for prepping.
There’s tons of information out there, but you have to wade through a lot of crap to find what seems credible and useful. Source everything. (I was in Intel in the military as well as a licensed Private Investigator afterward. Research and sourcing are not only smart they are also vital.)
Then, with this information in hand, go over some of the “justifications” a little at a time. I suggest you prioritize potential disasters based on the realistic probability of them happening in your lifetime and region.
Focus on the Most Probable Disasters First
For example, an asteroid striking the earth is certainly a possibility, but the odds are far less than that of say, losing your home because you were laid off, or being the victim of a Derecho storm and having no power or extra food available for a long time. (Plus, there’s nothing you can do to outwit an asteroid.)
It seems that many “Preppers” are concerned about an economic collapse as well. You can also research the potential for this type of disaster and present the evidence in a credible way that people can understand.
Another concern, fuel shortage or “peak oil” for example, can trickle down FAR off into the chain of supply of nearly everything. (ex: If a trucker can’t pay for fuel because it is scarce, things don’t get transported to stores; chiefly, food. With no food on shelves, there is panic. With panic, there is an increase in crime, and where there is criminal activity, there is — well, you follow me.) Fuel is just ONE link in the system that we rely on so heavily.
A large CME (coronal mass ejection) or solar flare can (and has) produced EMP’s (electromagnetic pulses) that have knocked out satellites that govern not just television, but cell communications, GPS systems and so on. That’s just the satellites in the upper atmosphere. They can also knock out or “fry” power grids that with computers—control nearly every aspect of our lives.
So, similarly to a possible fuel shortage—but on a much larger and wider reaching scale, an EMP has a huge trickle down effect on everything from computer systems in cars, to water systems, electricity, ATM’s, gas pumps, and on and on.
Ask Questions that Personalize Possible Scenarios
Ask doubters what THEY would do in a situation with no food availability, no working water system — run by the city/county — no electricity, no gas for cooking or heating, etc. That will start the conversational ball rolling — and a good, constructive discussion can come out of it.
Demonstrate how Most People Already Prepare for Many Things
Prepping can take on many forms. For example, “extreme couponing” is a way of prepping, because when you do that, you are bolstering your supplies while saving crazy amounts of money at the same time. (Some people even EARN money doing it!)
Canning is another form, as is vegetable gardening. When you can and garden you are decreasing reliance on outside sources of support (be it commercial, municipal, State or Federal), for when it may not be there (or at least when you need it in an emergency). You can see an element of self-sustainability within the process of prepping.
Explain Preparedness as Insurance
Not every Prepper digs a nuclear fallout shelter in their backyard or lives in a hole eating road kill. In the end, prepping is a sort of insurance policy for your family and loved ones. Even losing a job has a significant impact on your day-to-day life. You would be forced to make serious changes to adjust to that situation until you could rectify it. After all, if nothing happens, GREAT! You might have some extra MRE’s or other food to take hiking. If something serious does happen, then your family is better off with less reliance on outside support. I have a hard time seeing a downside to that.
I could go on and on with these types of scenarios. So, again I suggest you:
- Study the reasons for preparedness, and clearly, recognize the difference between “possibility” and “probability.”
- Be able to back those justifications up with credible sources and historical accounts or documentation.
- Prioritize for probability and type.
- Then, lay it out calmly to your family and have a constructive, calm discussion.
- Remind doubters that we carry spare tires in our vehicles and that even schools do “fire drills,” just in case.
I have confidence that you will slowly start to see a change in their perceptions of prepping.
Best of luck to you,
Richard Martin (Guest Blogger)