Dealing with the unprepared

You’ve talked until you were blue in the face, urging family and friends to put aside food and supplies “just in case.” You put up with the snide comments, the blank stares, the outright ridicule.

Then, the disaster you always feared comes to pass.

For at least the forseeable future, you are going to have rely on what you have stockpiled. No more trips to Sam’s Club or Home Depot. You are on your own.

What do you do when those friends and family members show up at your door, looking for help? Do you turn them away? Invite them in? Put them to work to earn their keep? Do you have enough “stuff” set aside to even make helping them a possibility?

This is something you should figure out now, rather than having to make the decision “on the fly.”

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

5 thoughts on “Dealing with the unprepared”

  1. If people show up with nothing to offer, I would be inclined to turn them away with some small tool or food and water. There are an infinite number of variables but in short no matter where I am holed up I need tools and talent not just drains on resources. The X factor of corse is you never know how and when kindness can come back to you. So I would be kind and helpful but place myself and family on top of the list.

  2. eesh…tough one…It would vary on a person-to-person basis for me, I believe. I could never turn family away. Friends…depends..If there were ways for us to get more supplies, there’s definitely strength in numbers. Either way, that would be a tough decision to make and I’m glad for this post because I don’t think that most of us think about things like this when we envision disasters, etc..

  3. This is a tough question. Anyone preparing to be a survivor is such a situation who has not considered this, or believes it won’t be a problem is kidding themselves. It is going to be tough, but IMHO there is only one real way to be fair (as fair as you can be anyway), is to barter with them. If they have something to contribute, an item or skill to you or your group, then they can stay, on probation of course. If not, send them on their way empty handed. This way, if word does get around about you and your groups supplies, you won’t appear to be an easy target. There will likely be those who are looking for easy targets, so it’s best to appear not to be one. This will also make it clear to others that you are not a charity. It’s harsh, but then again, so is life. If you want to keep living it, you need to choose wisely.

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