Dealing with the unprepared (Part 2)

Yesterday, I asked for input as to what you would do if family members or friends showed up at your door, asking for help after a major disaster. Several of the responses posted here and elsewhere indicate people would turn away those asking for assistance, telling them they should have prepared for themselves or citing a lack of supplies to provide for these extra people. Others said they would allow them in but put them to work to earn their keep.

How would you go about enforcing this? How do you either force them to leave or force them to work?

Would you point a gun at a family member, threatening to shoot if they don’t go away?

Would you just lock the door and potentially have to listen to them knocking and pleading for hours on end?

I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong. I’m just wondering how well thought out your plans are.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Dealing with the unprepared (Part 2)”

  1. I pictured turning away wondering strangers and distant acquaintances. Unprepared family and friends is another story and far more complicated…

  2. It is easy with strangers , unless they have a very unique or needed skill/commodity that would make your family/group safer or better equipted to deal with the disaster then they are turned away… Accepting strangers into your family/group can be dangerous , and they need to be monitored at all times , do not show them all your supplies/resorces , they may leave in the middle of the night and help themselves to your stuff….. As far as unpreppared family , I would take them in with the understanding that they got bare minimum rations but they are expected to do their share of work to earn them , everyone has skills , put them to work at what they do best !!!!!

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