About a year ago, I wrote a post here on the blog about Dealing with Uninterested Family Members. This topic comes up on a regular basis on all manner of online forums as well as via email from my readers. So, I thought we might revisit the topic a bit today.
When we begin talking to loved ones about the importance of being prepared, often the problem is “too much, too fast.” We start conversations about prepping by bringing up EMP when we should be starting with being stranded in a car for a few hours. Rather than going directly to total societal collapse, we should begin with power outages due to ice storms.
Many of us are very passionate about disaster readiness and we get confused, even upset, when our loved ones don’t share that passion. Rather than back it down a couple notches, our tendency is to force the issue further, which only serves to put the person on the defensive, solving nothing. We want so very much for that person to “see the light” because we care about them and want them to be safe. Yet they don’t see it that way and think we’re just being paranoid.
For those of you who have raised children, think back to conversations like this.
Mom: Please be careful driving home today, the roads will probably be slick.
Son: Don’t worry about it, Mom, I’ll be fine.
Mom: I’m serious, please take it slow tonight.
Son: I know, I know, jeez.
Mom: Don’t give me that attitude! I’ve been driving for thirty years, I know what I’m talking about.
Son: Mom, relax! I’ll be fine, the roads probably won’t be that bad at all.
Mom: Oh, now you can predict the weather?
Son: I never said that!
Mom: Don’t talk back to me, mister!
Son: What is your problem?
Mom: My problem is the roads are going to be icy and you won’t listen to me! And there are sex killers around every corner, just waiting to snatch up my little boy!
Mom: [thinking to herself] Did I really just say that last part out loud?
Sound at least somewhat familiar? Now imagine the same conversation but instead of talking about driving in bad weather, it starts out with the idea of having a get home bag in the trunk.
The best advice I can give is to start with the small steps, like a get home bag, and let the other person guide the conversation from there. Most folks don’t like to think too much about how bad it *could* get if something major were to happen. They get uncomfortable discussing it. So, at least in the beginning, avoid that part of prepping. Just concentrate on the basics. Let them get comfortable with the idea of having a vehicle emergency kit, then branch out from there. I realize an argument could be made that we might not have enough time for these reluctant people to get fully on board before TSHTF. I counter that by saying you gotta teach ’em to walk before they can run and if you go too hard and too fast, they’ll give up before the race even starts.