Dealing with Uninterested Family Members

As you are embarking on your disaster readiness plans, you may find others in your family aren’t quite “on board.” Perhaps your spouse feels the financial expenditures would be better spent elsewhere. Maybe your kids think you’re being a kook. Or your extended family snickers behind your back, while saying to your face, “Well, if the end of the world happens, I guess I know where I’m going!”

How can you get these loved ones to come around to your way of thinking?

I might start small. Point to the news reports in recent weeks about people being stranded in their cars during blizzards. Explain that it is just common sense to have some emergency gear in the trunk. Once they’ve accepted and are comfortable with that, go a step up and discuss having emergency kits for the home. Power outages, severe storms preventing travel, heck even a bought of the stomach flu running through the house, could all result in at least a temporary emergency. Further, wouldn’t it be nice if we could save some money by eating in more often that we eat out? And not have to run to the grocery store every evening to get dinner ingredients? What about if one of you loses a job in the failing economy? It would be nice to have some food and other supplies stockpiled to help offset the (hopefully) temporary loss of income.

As you move further along the curve from what is most likely to happen (temporary emergency like a power outage) to the more extreme situations (societal collapse, worldwide pandemic, etc.), look to history to provide examples of what could happen. History tells us no civilization can last forever.

Just remember though, you can lead a person to knowledge but you can’t make them think. There may well be people who just won’t buy in no matter what you say. If you have the means to do so, consider preparing for them anyway. If it is a spouse or child, you kinda have to do it no matter what, right? For other family members or friends, especially those who have made it clear they’ll be on your doorstep if the balloon goes up, you might want to have a little talk with them. Explain you’re more than happy to stock up on supplies and food for them, but they have to pony up at least some of the expense.

If they decline to do so, and they show up anyway at some point down the road, you’ll have a hard decision to make. Give some thought now as to how you want to handle it.

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.

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