How do you get your family involved in prepping?

by Christy

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest

I started prepping approximately 5 years ago when I realized our country was going downhill rapidly. I started by buying food from the Mormon food bank, hitting Sam’s, and using coupons.  My children, who are married and have their own families, thought Mom was going through a “phase”.

I continued gathering food but after reading many of the survival blogs on the internet, I realized I needed to do more. What about protection, medical, gardening, and the list kept growing. I bought a 9mm pistol and learned to shoot it along with a rifle and 12 gauge shotgun. When the “boys” saw me buying guns, they became interested….in the guns that is.

Next on my list was gardening. This seemed like the next big step to being prepared. I choose the raised garden beds. This got the “girls” interested. They loved to come watch, pick, and eat but not so much put up, grow, and learn.

Since I am an ER and ICU nurse, I have essential medical training already. I knew what I wanted and needed to buy for emergencies.

I was constantly reading and sharing what I learned with my family. I bought them books to read.  It had got to the point where they did not want to see me coming. One day my daughter said to me, “Mom, do you come to visit or just to remind me I’m not prepared? I don’t really know what I believe at this time but I do know I’m tired of you trying to shove it down my throat.” I was so hurt and embarrassed. I did not realize that I was being so demanding and never considered what they wanted. As much as I wanted them to be prepared, my ranting was not going to do it.

After this confrontation, I backed off. If I was shopping with them, I would make comments about good deals and putting away for a rainy day but that would be it. Then one winter, an ice storm hit the area where my daughter lived. The ice brought down the electric lines. The house they rented had a wood stove in it; one that she constantly complained about because of its location. She remembered some things I had told her, like filling the bathtub with water; go to the store ASAP to get water and food that does not need to be cooked, etc. My daughter and her husband learned a lot in those 4 days. Like how to light and keep a wood stove going, how to cook on a woodstove, how to entertain the children, and that keeping cash on hand is imperative. The Walmart opened for 6 hours the second day in but would only take cash.

This was a wakeup call for them. The realization that it does not have to be as bad as an EMP or terrorist attack to be prepared was a great learning tool. They are not preparing at the speed and depth I would like but now they do see why it’s important. They also have come around to talking and asking me more about it. I try to contain my excitement to when I am out of their sight!

I want all of my children to be better prepared but this experience made me realize they have to accept, want, and do what they think is right. I can’t force them, only encourage them.

So, be cautious with family and friends. As with anything new, go slow and allow it to sink in. Answer their questions but wait for them to ask. Sometimes the question seems like it is overly simple but to them the question is hard. When family or friends do come around, don’t scare them off. Until they realize how this will benefit them and their families, they will be very cautious. In the meantime, be patient and continue prepping.

Prizes For This Round (Ends April 12, 2016) In Our Non-Fiction Writing Contest Include…

  1. First place winner will receive –   A gift certificate for $150 off of  rifle ammo at Lucky Gunner, an Urban Survival Kit a $109 value courtesy of  TEOTWAWKI supplies, a WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer a $299 value courtesy of Kodiak Health and a LifeStraw Mission Filter a $109 value courtesy of EarthEasy, and a 4″ Heavy Duty WaterBoy Well Bucket a $106 value and a WaterBoy Tripod Kit courtesy of Well WaterBoy Products for a total prize value of over $867.
  2. Second Place Winner will receive – 30 Day Food Storage All-in-One Pail a $119 value courtesy of Augason Farms.com and Berkey Light with 2 (9″) Berkey Earth Elements a $157 value courtesy of LPC Survival, for a total prize value of $276.
  3. Third place winner will receive –  International MRE Meals Supply a $72.00 value, a LifeStraw Portable Water Filter a $19 value, Yoder’s Fully Cooked Canned Bacon a $15 value all courtesy of CampingSurvival and one copy of each of my books “The Prepper’s Primer” and a copy of “The Prepared Prepper’s Cookbook“ for a total prize value of $137.

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Comments

  1. PrepperDoc says:

    Real nice article. Very apropos!

    My Marine kid probably has a better appreciation. My oldest has good sense, two generators, and is fully armed and picked a house that was defensible. SOME of my friends realize the benefits, but they often don’t think 360 degrees: they will do one or two areas and leave huge gaps.

    It is so easy to just “depend on the government”. It is also easy in conservative religious circles to make fun of people who live off the government….but in all honesty many of us are not planning for anything other than that if something bad happens…..

  2. I tried the “Preaching about the end times” bit for a while with the same results, so I backed off and continued with my own preps. Surprisingly, after a year or so a lot of family members started to realize I wasn’t off my rocker and started asking questions about short and long term prepping. These days some of those family members know more about this stuff than I do.

  3. Chuck Findlay says:

    How Do You Get Your Family Involved In Prepping?

    I don’t try at this point. Over the years they have shown no interest and a few of them laughed at my older brother for saying he put up some extra food. It was at a cookout and they all laughed out loud and a few shook their head and thought he was crazy.

    I got the message and kept my mouth shut.

    If they don’t prep and in fact make fun of family that does prep I have not too much concern for them.

    We all have access to the same news, reading it and understand what is likely coming is on their shoulders, not mine.

    I know it sounds cold to not care, but they are the ones doing it to themselves. And I can’t possibly store enough food and supplies for everyone.

    I’m not going to let their lack of prepping (stupidity) endanger my life.

    I never did understand Rawle’s (Patriots book fame) idea that you give till it hurts. To do so runs down your supplies and food to the point that your life is in danger. Not going let this happen to myself for those that think I’m crazy.

    I don’t buy big HD TV’s, I don’t go on an ocean cruse, I don’t go to Vegas twice a year, I don’t buy a new truck every two-years, I don’t have all the latest electronic toys. All of these my family does all the time.

    If they are not taking me on a cruse or to Vegas or letting me drive the new truck or letting me use the big TV why should I give them food? They don’t see the need to share and I don’t either.

    The fact is ALL of my family could out spend me on preps if they so decided. But they don’t see it as important.

    • Good for you for coming to peace with their stupidity. As the saying goes,”you can lead a horse to water…”

      I struggle with my family’s lack of preparedness at times, especially with the little ones.

      Great article, thank you!

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I think woman struggle with things like this more then men. Woman worry about it a LOT, over and over.

        Men worry about it and when nothing gets resolved, we move on.

        Not that either way is better then the other, it’s just how we are wired inside.

        I saw the frugality of trying to get family to prep and made the decision to do what I feel is in my best interest. And that was to prep and let them do what they want to do and let the chips fall where they may.

        I just hope it never comes to a head butting event where they demand food and preps from me as I don’t have enough to feed and supply all of them.

        • It got to the point that my daughter said, “Mom, quit buying so much stuff, you don’t need it.” But she has changed her tune and now at least has a couple of pistols, ammo, and more than a weeks worth of food in her house. Kids!

    • Chuck,
      I’m at the same point. I’ve tried to get my daughter to at least consider a 3 day supply of essentials to no avail. They are more interested in extra curricular activities for the three daughters, my grand daughters. My son and wife are coming around. My son is an ER Nurse and see’s what can happen. My daughter is a surgical tech in the OBGYBN department. Still have problems with my wife. So, I ignore all of them. If there is something I think we need, I just get it. I’ll take them all in if the SHTF. In fact, I’m in the process of moving my 96 year old mother and 74 year old sister to my “homestead”. Both have had strokes and need a lot of help. But the rest of the family, I have warned and they for the most part think I’m off on a tangent, going into dementia, or need to be on medication. So, when I hear … “all that talk just scares me and I don’t want to hear it” from some in the family, I just shut up. And like you, I hope all my preps are for nought. But if everything goes bang, there is no need for the naysayers to come wanting a hand out. There won’t be any.

      • All that talk scares me too, and I don’t want to hear it either. That’s why I prep. No one ever resolved anything with their head in the sand.

        Ignoring what’s in front of you wont make it go away, but doing something, even a little sure does make you feel better and in control.

        Isn’t peace of mind worth it?

        • JP in MT says:

          JenMar:

          You need to be ready, IMO, for the inevitable question: “But you wouldn’t turn ME away.?”

          My answer is ALWAYS a variation of: “So who that I planned for goes hungry because I have give their food to you?” For most, that brings them back to reality.

          Those I’ve prepped for know it. If they are unsure, I tell them, don[‘t come. That usually stops 90%, the others are so unconcerned about others (including family) that they will never get it, and as a result would not be invited anyway.

  4. mom of three says:

    Yup, I don’t say much to family members either. I have reminded my newly married step son, to put a few gallons of water, away and to have a few extra cans of food they have done that but really that is all I can do. Like the old saying ” you can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink”.

  5. Chuck Findlay says:

    (The Walmart opened for 6 hours the second day in but would only take cash.)

    With the big push by government to have a cashless economy I don’t see it going well in a situation like this as there will be no way to buy goods. Having cash on hand is a good idea now, but if it’s use is outlawed (like government wants to do) there is no safety-net other then those of us that have prepared and stocked up ahead of time. But as we know there are few that do prepare ahead of time and I can see riots and violence over food when people can’t buy it and the stores won’t sell it for lack of access to the grid. During these times of riots and violence it’s going to be best to keep your head down and ride it out in-place till it setters down one way or another. And we will need lots of food, prep and probably guns to do so.

    And while most of us have some junk silver I don’t see it being useful in the short term as no store like Wal-Mart is going to take it. No one is going to walk into a store with a handful of silver dimes and walk out with food.

    I wonder (and worry) about the push to go cashless as a cashless economy needs a functioning grid structure to work. When there is no cash transactions allowed it’s going to put people in a world of hurt if there is any kind of problem with the flow of information. And disasters always have this problem…

    And I also really dislike the idea of a bank or government holding and controlling all my money, but that’s another discussion for another post.

  6. patientmomma says:

    A good reminder to be prudent with our prepping enthusiasm. My oldest son who is close by is on-board with prepping; the younger son, who is far away and is burdened with life and family and can barely make ends meet. But when the 1st emergency comes along all those “mom-isms” will come to reality. It only takes one time doing without and having to beg for things before they wake up.

  7. We had always kept a stocked pantry for winter snow/ice storm’s, what really got me prepping was the 10 weeks of recovery time following my first back surgery, talk about a SHTF moment for our family. I had disability insurance but it didn’t provide the first check untill almost halfway through. Things were tight for awhile LOL!

    Second time, I broke my wrist, we were more serious about prepping but still beginning. This time found us stocking during the Y2K frenzy. Just before Thanksgiving weekend, I slipped on and fell off the wood porch. Completely fractured the radial and ulna, along with a dislocation. I heard and felt it break.There went another seven weeks. We practically skated through that one as we were more prepared. A few bumps, but not bad.

    It doesn’t have to be an EMP, run on the bank,or other social mishap. Preparing for the big stuff will make the small things bearable, and the small things provide a training/testing session for you.

    • Hi PatrickM, “Preparing for the big stuff…” One nice aspect is that it works the other way around as well.

      Preparing for the small stuff helps a lot with the big stuff. It’s also a lot easier to convince people they should be prepared for the small stuff.

      A good first aid kit at home and in the vehicles, a few flats of water, flashlights and candles, several days inventory of “at least we won’t starve” food.

      It isn’t enough by our standards, but if everybody had just that much, everybody would be a lot better off than many are today.

    • Hi Christy, “This was a wakeup call for them. The realization that it does not have to be as bad as an EMP or terrorist attack to be prepared was a great learning tool. ”

      I agree. Getting most people to accept the possibility of something at the level of EMP/CME is close to impossible. Getting people in earthquake or hurricane country to accept the possibility of earthquakes or hurricanes is a lot easier. Ditto anyone who has had a multi-day blackout.

      Ever since Hurricane Katrina woke up the Hawaii Department of Emergency Management -or maybe more likely: got the politicians to wake up and give DEM some funding for advertising and prep fairs in shopping malls- people I have talked with seem a lot more aware about the need to prep and stay prepped for a week or more off grid.

      A week isn’t enough for a major natural disaster, but it is transformationally better than nothing. It at least gives the disaster responders a week to get up and running. That’s a lot better than zero time.

      Even people here who don’t prep seem reconciled that doing so would be a good idea, and that people who do are not ALL drooling tinfoil-hatted nut cases.

      I use Facebook (yes, I know: Bad idea) to a closed group of family & friends. Several weeks ago we had 7 blackouts in a week, one of which hit as I was about to make breakfast.

      So I set up the camp stove, ground coffee beans in a stone mortar, and made coffee in a French press. Before that though I took a picture of the set up and posted it to Facebook, along with a comment that this was the 7th blackout that week.

      Funny thing: it got half a dozen or more “Likes”, but all the “Likes” that post got were from people who are preppers to some degree, or Mormons, who, while not big on drinking coffee, apparently liked our being prepared for life’s little problems.

      No one else “Liked” the post but it made a point about how prepping helps in day to day non-calamity life. Some people got it.

      • Ooops. I wondered where this disappeared to. This was supposed to be free-standing. Sorry.

  8. Chicken Farmer says:

    Christy,
    Great article. We have also met the same resistance when trying to get the kids interested in the need to be prepared. With so many “interesting” situations to be aware of in the world today, I can begin to see why the younger generation just wants to put/keep their heads in the sand…at their own peril I fear. Thanks for the good read! God Bless!

    • Axelsteve says:

      My kids like the guns but never subscribed to economic collapse or much of anything else. I guess they think that fema will save them.

      • JP in MT says:

        Axelsteve:

        FEMA will save them. The question is will they like what FEMA is saving them for?

        • Hi JP, “will they like what FEMA is saving them for?”

          There is a rumor going around that BC’s Grandma works for FEMA.

          Or FEMA works for her….

  9. I started prepping about 3.5 yrs ago. Didn’t expect my family to support my efforts. Our son, who lives out of state, has been helpful w/ my gun questions. He’s also sympathetic with & reads some camping/hiking/prepping stuff, but isn’t into storing food or water but has lots of guns & camping stuff. MY wife thot I’d gone crazy at first, but I answered her questions as best as I could. & she tolerated my preps. Our daughters (one of whom lives w/ us) have varied from thinking I was crazy or extreme, to tolerating it. We’ve gone to the shooting range as a family. One daughter & wife are comfortable shooting guns, but could not imagine shooting someone in self-defense. I don’t argue w/ them; just say that’s OK. When our city water went bad & was turned off for several days, they greatly appreciated my water supply & saw value in it. A couple yrs ago, we had a severe ice storm; those living in the country lost power for 1-3 wks; in town, our power stayed on. Seeing others struggle to live w/out electricity was also a lesson for them. Since they’re not fully on board, I don’t tell them how much water or ammo I have stored away. My wife knows how much food we have stored, but not our daughters. Looking back, I do see progress in their understanding of prepping, but I expect to be the leader going forward & am OK w/ that. I did show my wife where my prepping books & filed articles are, in case something happens to me. She knows I keep an emergency Get Home Bag in my SUV trunk, since I commute 25 miles to work. Overall, I’m encouraged by our progress but see our need to keep prepping. I’ve found it’s important for me to be respectful of their questions even when they’re skeptical. I suspect that many of us preppers were skeptical for a period of time b4 we came to see value in prepping.

  10. I have always thought that going without was good trailing. It reminded my kids to take their lunches with them as kids. Now, my daughter in NH has ice storms, so has a small closet with some useful things, including the Lugable Loo I sent her several years ago. My oldest has visited “Mrs JP’s pantry” several times to get them through rough spots, she now stocks up when she can (4 large appetites and a small budget doesn’t leave much).

    The DW is also retired military so she saw the basic needs, has a desire to move out of town, and supports what I do to get us prepared. I am very thankful for her support from the beginning.

  11. Lilangelsmom says:

    My DHs family talk about it a lot. Though the BIL has a lot of what you need for a year and has a big garden he doesn’t rotate very well and hasn’t learned to cook some of the long term stuff. He has a lot of products but not how to use it. He has it to store 20 years or more but thinks he won’t live that long and will pass it to DW or the kids.vthe kids talk about this stuff but don’t care, they just want the latest technology and play war games on Xbox all day. My kids understand but don’t want long talks. The oldest DD has a GHB and a plan. The youngest is at that lovely I know everything your dumb stage and listens to what her sheeple teachers say but if something happens while she’s at school she knows the plan.
    My family I know most of them sadly would Parrish. My brother might be ok if his semi broke down near us but if he’s at home in Phoenix with his DW family he’s doomed. My family is older and have a lot of health problems and some live off the .gov and couldn’t survive to get to me. It’s really sad. I just do what I can.
    I am sending MDs book to my brother with a copy of Lights Out by Ted Koppel so hopefully that helps him some.

    • Lilangelsmom says:

      Oh the story about BIL I wanted to mention was he’s storing a lot of canned goods and they checked their stuff at thanksgiving, it’s hidden in a private room, then in February they went to get something in there and noticed a horrible smell. Took them days to figure it out. Their evaporated milk a whole case exploded! Everywhere! They just don’t rotate enough. That’s our next conversation to store what you eat, eat what you store so it gets rotated and doesn’t ruin a shelfs worth of stuff.

  12. I have two daughters, it’s like black and white when you look at how they prepare for emergencies, one knows a Fred Meyer is just down the road a ways and is always prepared if they should lose power for 24 hrs or less, the other one has stacks of canned goods, a MR BUDDY heater with extra propane and the list goes on.
    Both have received the same exact information from me about preparing for disasters. Both have successful professional lives, not dumb by any means.Go figure this out.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Off Topic Question: Just wondering. Is Fred Meyer store the same as Meijer stores? (Different spelling of the same store) I see post using both names.

      We have Meijer stores here (Michigan and Ohio area) and I see books in them about the Fred Meijer story.

      • JP in MT says:

        Chuck:

        I worked for Fred Meyer, Inc. in the early 70’s. They started in downtown Portland, OR, as a pharmacy I believe. Partnered with a local trucking company for freight delivery. Grew into something like a Wal-Mart Supercenter, with grocrey, pharmacy, dry goods, etc. One stop shopping.

        That I know of they never left the OR/WA west coast area.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          The Meijer stores here are like Wally-World, a one-stop store, and just as big as one.

          It seems strange in that if they are different stores with different spelling that both have a guy named Fred as the original person that started them.

          • Mom in the mitten says:

            The Meijer stores in the midwest were started by a man named Fred Meijer. The first Meijer store was in Greenville, Michigan and grew from there. For years those first stores went by the name Meijer’s Thirfty Acres. And then eventually changed to Meijer. They now are in a few Great Lake states

  13. Goatlover says:

    We have six grown children, 3 are married, and we have 7 grand kids. Of those family members, all but one are local. Only two of the grown kids understand preparedness, and only one of them has done a little about it. With God’s help, I have put back enough food for this small tribe to cover six months and I work continuously to develop a small hobby farm to feed us long term. Only my husband fully “gets it” about preparedness, so he’s in charge of bullets and PMs while I focus on beans and band aids. Thankfully, he has he done an excellent job. Because we have such a big local family, we KNOW they will all head to the farm eventually and are willing to take them all in. How could you turn away kids and grand kids????!

    • I could not turn them away, but they better like corn or wheat. Grains cost less that $200 per ton. A local grain elevator would surely be willing to sell or barter to me after SHTF. Threat of State acquisition of the elevator or not. Paying double would be a bargain. A ton of grain by hand is a LOT of work. What would they want? A battle rifle, a grain mill, toiletries, PM’s, salt, etc.

  14. Crazy Joe says:

    The Author wrote …… ” So, be cautious with family and friends ” .

    This is insanity to me .

    I was raised to prepare by grandparents and parents and other relatives . It is the Boy Scout Motto and the Coast Guard Motto . I have been preaching preparedness to any and all my whole life .

    Who on God’s green earth complains or wonders about opening a mason jar of peaches and plopping a load of vanilla ice cream on it ?

    Prepping is a way of life .. not a life style or fad or gimmick or tin foil hat UN Troops are coming for us . And for the author if your daughter is not prepared ……. so what …….. her problem ….. emotions will ruin your own survival . Pass the chocolate syrup for my peaches and ice cream .

  15. Crazy Joe says:

    PS ……… this is a great quote ……. ” I never did understand Rawle’s (Patriots book fame) idea that you give till it hurts. ”

    2nd Lt. Supply Officer Rawles got the largest web site up first with the most contributing writers plus he wrote some action packed books . He has been all about making money on this from day one including his realestate business for that precious off grid property so many covet . Sorry to hear his wife died not long ago but still ….. he is a moron . Off post our , I will be nice here , disagreements went ballistic . He would not be allowed in our group .

    • What u’re describing could also be called an entrepreneur who saw an opportunity & became the first to fill that need. Some of us, including me, have learned a lot from his books & blog.

      • RedC, I agree. I learned a lot from his books and site. “Give till it hurts”..well, I learned something from that too. I will never be as prepared as his compound, nor will I ever be as generous if it puts mine in jeopardy. Did not know about his wife; that is too bad. I think his arrogance tends to turn people off.

        • Crazy Joe says:

          Scam Artist , as I see him , who got rich off of fear and he put up his great compound for sale about 2 or 3 years ago . The legion of contributors did more teaching and he plagiarized to a degree in his books – a no brainer . He laughs all the way to the bank . Reminds me of my former boss of 16 years who is running for president .

      • Crazy Joe says:

        scam artist is closer . He is no MC Creekmore .

      • Crazy Joe says:

        Scam artist is more accurate . He is no MD Creekmore .

  16. Great article!

    From the comments section, I see a lot of condemnation, scorn, & ire because our friends and family will not get on board with prepping. I place my devotion to GOD foremost. In HIS book, he warns us to prepare, over and over again. HE also warns us to “sell our cloak & buy a sword”. As preppers, we all do that as we can. Second, family & friends are on my list of importance, & thirdly, my country. As for prepping, it is a very costly & consumes our thoughts & time. I remember back when I was a young father living on a tight budget. There is no way I could afford the expense that prepping costs. And my grown children, with children of their own, can not afford it now. But, I sure as hell will not cut them loose if/when TSHTF. Why would I want to live without my family & friends. What’s to live/survive for without them? Perhaps, fellow preppers, we should help them in whatever way we can to get prepared for what will surely come. Perhaps they can enrich your life then & now.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      So if you don’t have the ability to feed everyone in your family, and their friends (because news of free food when it’s in short supply will spread like wild fire) and you don’t say NO, you will allow them to drain away your food in no time at all. So your years of prepping goes to feed people that thought an HD TV was more important thing then a few months of food.

      My son is a good example of extended family that will want food. He has a wife that has a twin sister and a husband, a dead-beat alcoholic mother that lives with them. If I give food to my son, I will have to give food to 5-people as he won’t come and want it for just himself, he will want it for all 5 of them. I simply don’t have that much food. Add a few close friends and it could end up being 10 people And all of them (sadly including my son) have no skills of any use other then they all know how to kill people on video games. I don’t see video game skills as much use.

      I have tried to get my son to prep but gave up because he spends money other places. He has 3 Playstation 4’s, 2 killer computers (one of them a massively powerful game computer with 3-monitors) the latest I-Phones, 2 I-Pad tablets and a bunch of other trinkets that cost a lot. He has almost no food in his house. It’s not like he hasn’t been told to buy extra food, it’s just that the Playstations, computers and phones are more important.

      Call me mean, but I feel it’s stupid to do this as they will come and demand food (and DEMAND they will) consume it and move on when it’s gone leaving you to try to live with no food.

      When food is in short supply and everyone needs it to live, what could anyone (family or strangers) give you to pay for it when nothing is worth as much as food to starving people?

      Nothing be it gold, silver the new auto, the HD TV is worth what food could be worth.

      The “Give till it hurts” could end up being “Give till it kills you”

      And while you say you will give to family because it’s the right thing for a good compassionate person to do. What about the compassion of your family that didn’t prepare and buy food when it was inexpensive and plentiful only to demand your food post SHTF knowing that it is literally taking food away from you that you will need to live? The right thing for them to do is to buy it now and not take it from you later. They are being very self-centered by buying autos, vacations and electronic toys and forgoing food. Their compassion doesn’t extend to you if they are willing to take advantage of you in this way. Compassion is a 2-way street, it must flow in both directions.

      You need to explain it to them in that you can’t feed them and only have enough for yourself and to not come begging for it.

      To do otherwise is to invite death upon yourself.

      Hard decisions may be just around the corner. Best to think about how you are going to address them now.

      • Babycatcher says:

        Sounds like he married into the FSA….let him deal with them. Hang on to what you have, and see where it all ends up…

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          He married a girl (not a woman, a girl) that has been on welfare (along with sister and alcoholic mom) for her whole life. All 3 of them have no motivation and no desire to better themselves.

          As to why my son married her, who knows? I have had limited input to him since my X walked out when he was 4-years old.

  17. Bluesman says:

    Great topic but a very frustrating adventure for wife & myself . Our son and daughter have no interest in putting a few things aside for a rainy day . Our only family member , a grandson ,that is inclined to see some of the future dangers lives 300 miles away in a well populated county . He and his wife do have chickens , a garden and they do some canning and dehydrating . They also have the ability to shoot coyotes that may attack their chickens .
    I don’t think we are the old family kooks yet . We always talk about gardening and how easy it is to dehydrate things and that it would be nice to have a couple of 5 gallon water jugs set aside for an emergency .
    We continue to talk about ” what if ” situations and hopefully the lights will come on one of these days . I think it is very difficult to push someone towards preparations , it is far easier to try and lead them along gently , one step at a time and hope and pray for the best .

  18. When I was in my teens, I started getting into adventure riding, backpacking, camping, wilderness survival skills (before it was called bush craft), primitive living, etc., then in my 20’s I got into survivalism (you know, because Red Dawn was going to happen at any minute).

    So, my family all knew I was a bit nuts anyway. My wife knew I was a merc. and a survivalist when she met me. She made fun of it, but wasn’t really bothered by it.
    She also doesn’t keep up with world events, but she has seen the wisdom of my self-sufficient thinking. We both drive older vehicles. My car is a ’67 Mercury Cougar, her truck is a 1982 Ford F-100. They both have Ford small-block engines, and I have a spare engine and transmission that will fit either vehicle. Most of the other parts in the running gear are interchangeable, and I do all the mechanical work on them (as well as my older motorcycles). When we met, I always had a main vehicle and a backup motorcycle, and had tools and emergency gear in everything.

    My younger brother saw the way I lived, and started prepping on his own, just because he realized that my way of doing things made sense.
    Now, my son is starting to prep for things, and wants to live off-grid. His new wife is on board with it, and is even more practical in the day-to-day aspects.

    I prepare for things that I consider to be real-life scenarios. My supplies are more short-term, for weather or financial emergencies, instead of TEOTWAWKI.

    When I carry a gun, it isn’t to shoot bad guys. I carry for real life day-to-day situations like being attacked by vicious dogs. That actually happened just a little while back in my own backyard. A mean, very large stray Pit Bull mix got into my yard and tried to bite me. I just barely got away and into the house, but it could have been much worse if I would have been out there with my little Cocker Spaniels.
    I have been attacked by dogs before, and still have scars from bites, so for me, a dog attack is more of a reason to carry a pocket gun than a terrorist attack.

    As a Christian, I don’t believe that we will be in a WROL for any length of time. I believe that there will be a “ruler” that will step up and impose his laws (and mark).
    In that case, I want to be prepared because I will not take his mark, so I won’t be able to function in that economy.

    I wouldn’t turn into a marauder that would steal from other preppers, but I would have no qualms with hijacking a truck full of supplies headed for 666-Mart! LOL!

  19. DD is also an ER/IC nurse also, she has shot guns some but probably not enough. DS is into computers and robotics, he has also shot guns but not enough. But, he likes getting involved in the garden and eating cherry tomatoes. DW helps me some on canning and gardening and loves to shoot. We do go to prepper stores together and pick up stuff. Its good seeing her get excited about a prep.

  20. I have one family member that is a serious Prepper. All the others kinda chuckle when the subject comes up. I have a dear friend who thought I was little out there until we had a bad storm that resulted in lights out for about 3 day. I was set and helped her with some of my preps. Now she is a believer.

  21. H.Nelson says:

    Easy. Have them read “One Second After”. I hand out copies as gifts. Why preach when you can simply hand them a book to read and let them draw their own conclusions? The book certainly makes one think of what could happen and how to prepare for it.

    • H.Nelson, so have all your family members read “One Second After?” It’s a great book, but in my experience, most people don’t read whole books anymore. Maybe a summary or review. I have loaned my copy of One Second After to several people who liked it; one was already a prepper. My wife read it, & it seemed to have a positive effect on her openness to my prepping. “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel (just came out in Dec) is another good one; koppel research the vulnerabilities of the elect grid, & warns readers of an emp or cyberattack, & compliments preppers & mormons on being most prepared. I’ve recommended that book to a few people too.

      • A big change after my kids first read “Alas Babylon”…just to break them in and then “One Second After” to scare the stuffing out of them. Still…I keep nudging them to do more and reminding them, while I keep storing more and more for them. I am a mother, I can’t help but plan for everybody and every contingency. RedC, did you find Koppel to be a bit condescending in the last part of the book? I did. Honestly, his book was written for people who didn’t have a clue before reading it and that made it a worthy project, but I was like…yeah, so what else is new?

  22. Funny how I understood the story of The Little Red Hen when I was very very young. Guess I’ve never been PC (rarely, anyway).

  23. Maybe the answer is to live by example, like Jesus did.

    Years ago, while traveling in the snowy mountains we hit black ice and slid off the road, along with about 10 other people. Took some time before we could all get untangled and back on the road.

    I was the only one who had water, blankets and a few boxes of crackers and granola bars. Not a true emergency bag, just a mom with a toddler who got hungry at a moments notice. I never thought of myself as a prepper back then.

    When I started handing out bottled waters and granola bars to the other people with kids they commented at how smart that was to carry stuff. I jokingly replied that I never left home without a case of water, blankets and food because you just never know. Maybe that’s how the transformation starts, one small experience makes you think and maybe it grows from there. We can always hope, right?

    Anyway, I pretty much stopped talking about it. My parents think I’m loopy, my brother thinks he is stocked up because he has extra cans of chili and my sis thinks she’ll be able to buy her way out. As for my friends, they are all too busy living the high life. I sort of brought the topic up with my boss and he said, “doesn’t everyone have 3-days worth of food”? They should, we live in an earthquake zone. Answer: No everyone doesn’t.

    Maybe people have to go without, like in a natural disaster, before the light bulb goes on. All we can do is what we think is best for us, irregardless of what others think.

  24. QUESTION for you all.

    There’s been some mention here about rotating food supplies. I’m wondering, though, how households of 1 or 2 manage that when you are only cooking for 1 or 2 and using your stock more slowly than a larger family would?

    I have a nice stash and usually buy canned and jarred items in groups of 10. Just my funny way, I guess. And, I have pounds of beans and rice and other things like that, but when I cook for myself I only use like a 1/2-cup of rice or make a small pot of beans.

    Any suggestions:)

    Maybe a new topic? Don’t want to hijack this one.

    • test dummy says:

      it is only me and DH i cook for and it is very easy to go through a pound of beans and six cups of rice. eat your fill then tomorow its enchiladas and mexican rice. any extra beans go in a chilli or in an omlete. extra rice can become pudding with raisins. yum! hope this gives you some ideas.

    • little chicken says:

      I have that same problem so I put rice in glass jars with oxygen absorber and I vacume seal. When I open a large jar up I sometimes put into smaller jars then vacume seal. That way I am only using small jar at a time and don’t feel the need to vacume seal every time I open like I would the big jars.

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Hello JenMar & others. Hope all of you & yours are having a wonderful day!

      Your question, JenMar, is an excellent question and I could use more helpful hints on this topic, too! I’m probably, mostly, “preaching to the choir” in responding here, but sure hope some of this may be helpful to you &/or others. Since this post is already a couple of days old and since it’s not limited to your specific topic of question, if you don’t get many responses back maybe you could re-submit the question to MD Creekmore for one of his “Ask the Pack” threads he opens up, on occasion. Meanwhile . . .

      We’ve only two adults in the household these days (not counting pets of any age) and here’s a few ideas I use for ‘down sizing’ & trying to manage the food rotation. All just a few basic ideas, humble opinions, etc., that I’m happy to share with any & all that may be interested.

      1. When I home can foods, I use MORE PINT JARS than quart jars simply because we are two and not four or more, right now. Exceptions most noteworthy being food products the two of us use a lot of, like tomatoes, tomato based sauces, salsa mixes, & quick pickled veggies, simply because our two, singular yet like-minded taste palates can eagerly consume a quart of any within a week or so. So, nothing goes to waste and most things that are well processed and if not used within a year can also remain ‘shelf safe’ for a much longer time.

      For another food example, my husband & I could both eat green beans or green garden peas eight days a week (so I have canned both green beans and green peas in quart jars) but canned carrots, not so much. Not that there’s anything wrong with canned carrots, ha, ha, ha, – – – just not a ‘go to’ canned veggie for us! I mostly only need a smaller amount of carrots for certain soup, stew and casserole recipes. Therefore, carrots are assigned pint jars only, for now. Saves on food waste.

      I’m also hoping to teach myself how to (properly & consistently) can preserves, jams & jellies – which I hear ??? isn’t as scary as I imagine – this summer. Since a) this will be an ‘experiment’ of sorts and b) we love such but don’t need or crave such every week, I’ll be starting out with even smaller, 1/2 pint (one cup), jars. This way, even if it turns out like syrup for pancakes, ice cream, or for use with decadent smoothie type shakes, not much will go to waste or over indulgence as we take our time in consuming an open container of such. 🙂

      This non-discriminating veggie / fruit buying example was a ” newbie food prepper” mistake I made early on . . . I started buying several (equal number of each) cans of every fruit & vegetable on sale in the grocery store until I had to slap myself ‘up-the-back-side-of-the-head’ (Gibb’s style, as on the TV show, ‘NCIS’). Took a year or so to realize I’d shunned the untouched cans of mixed “fruit cocktail” languishing in the corner of the pantry, long after eating many a can of preferred, sliced pineapples, peach or pears halves. Then (surprise, surprise) suddenly, those ignored cans of “fruit cocktail” were about to reach their “use by” dates. Poor containers of fruit cocktail really deserved a more appreciative audience!

      In summarizing, to rotate all successfully, don’t buy as much of things further down on you &/or your house-mate(s) wish list as you do of things you each like, much better! 🙂

      2. Be vigilant (“UGH,” said BlueJeanedLady) about menu planning and try to be vigilant (“UGH,” said she, again) about sticking to your menu plan for the upcoming week. Some people do menu planning monthly, but I just can’t go there at this point in time! If YOU can, GO FOR IT! This is a very tough one for me as I hate, hate, hate sticking to a menu plan when I don’t have to – – – mostly because I can be very impulsive about cooking “what I’m in the mood for” on any given day. I’m still on the learning curve with this one, so wish me continued occasions of willpower with a dash, or two, of good luck!

      None-the-less, menu planning (which involves portion control that is healthy for all, by itself) does save so much money, i.e.; food, as well as a lot of meal prep time. I’ve learned that if I do take the time to browse through my pantry, check the fridge (especially the fresh produce & fresh dairy items needing to be used soon) and dive into the freezer for a ‘looksie’ for whatever else needs rotating before beginning my menu planning, I am forced to take appropriate note of anything that hasn’t been rotated recently and am better influenced to then incorporate the miscellaneous items into my upcoming menu plan. Still, she cries, “UGH!” as the struggle continues!

      3. Contrary to popular belief, some things are not necessary cheaper / more convenient if bought in bulk. (HUH?) Beware – &/or – Be Aware! The only easy way to say this is with a real life (been there, made that mistake and could have bought the T-shirt had I saved my money from poorly planned purchases) example.

      The example: We go through a lot of a) soy sauce and b) Worcestershire as we use both for last added condiments & early added ingredients in cooking. Even as we normally only use a few tablespoons, or less, per serving, it seemed I was always adding one or the other to my shopping list. Imagine my joy when our local wally world started selling each by the gallon! I got one of each!

      BIG mistake! Although it was no big deal to keep funneling from the larger jug into a smaller bottle for kitchen convenience, we started noticing an ‘icky’ & later, an ‘ickier’ (but – thank goodness – not ill health inducing ‘sickly’) taste with each re-fill. YUCK-OLA!

      NOTE: The moral of this oxygen infused story applies to many other condiments and dried herbs & spices as well: If you don’t use it often, even if you do use it regularly, you’ll save the flavor & more money in the long run with the smaller, individually well sealed, containers.

      What we knew intellectually, but obviously failed to recall & apply practically, was that the flavor of both the soy sauce & the Worcestershire started deteriorating the moment we opened the sealed lid of the larger container. Even refrigerating the gallon container after opening didn’t help – – – the added oxygen slowly started diluting / destroying the original, great taste of the condiment concoctions! Ended up throwing out at least a half gallon of each! We then returned to the “regular sized” (12 to 16 or so ounces???) individually sealed bottles and now try to keep half a dozen of the sealed bottles on hand at all times – – – nothing goes to waste these days and I still have several months worth of much loved food condiments stored; ready, eager and able to please, as we choose to consume them.

      ANOTHER NOTE: This oxygen contamination issue doesn’t seem to apply to white & cider vinegars and plain ‘ole yellow mustard (to mention a few items) that we also use frequently and now buy in the gallon sized containers. These particular items seem to stay perfectly fine sitting pretty on the pantry shelves. I continue to use the gallon jugs to re-fill the smaller jars of each for convenient kitchen use with no noticeable difference in flavor (nor any loss of effectiveness, as I also use the vinegars for medicinal and household cleaning purposes). Yippee!

      4. Another way to keep some of the rotation moving with professional &/or home canned / jarred foods for just one or two people is to cook some recipes (lots of variables considering the recipes you choose to use for this scenario) in double, triple or quadruple batches – you’ll automatically use more product before its “use by” &/or labeled “expiration date” – and then you can vac-seal & freeze, &/or home can into pint or quart jar batches for future, quick & easy heat-up, portions.

      I rarely make a homemade pot of soup or stew for just two and many times I also double entire (non-soup) meals so I can make up a couple of my own “TV / Frozen” meals for two, and reheat within the month. Just seems such a waste of time and stove-top / oven, heat / energy to make only one meal at a time as long as the natural gas or electric power is still flowing.

      Yes, I understand that home canning is the preferred option for many whom can, & whom do can, routinely on a regular basis. And yes, I agree that freezer storage will be at risk if the power grid goes down or even a short term natural disaster (power lines temporarily down) occurs – – – but even if that happens tomorrow, one could probably get a day or two or three of use from deep freezer storage before things completely thaw and begin to spoil. JMHO, so continue eating at your own risk! 🙂

      Are any of these “rotation control” ideas along the lines of what you were inquiring about, JenMar? Sure hope some of this might be helpful for you &/or someone else!

      Ya’ll keep taking care and stay safe! 🙂

      • Loved your post BlueJeanLady, made my (very long) day:)

        Your suggestions were very helpful and some very funny. Menu planning??? Hahaha around my house. Long days at work and not getting home until well after 6pm means I’m mostly nibbling for dinner or making a salad. Rarely nowadays do I cook a full meal like I did when DD was home. Tonight, for instance, it was eggs and toast. Last night was salad with left over chicken. I go through the fresh stuff much faster than anything else. I do make big pots of soups and stews to freeze, I just get sick of eating them and when the warm weather comes I’m much more likely to eat lots of greens and veggies.

        I guess the solution is to quit my job, go on the dole, stay at home and cook a REAL meal:)

        Problem solved:)

        Thanks for the info it really was helpful.

  25. test dummy says:

    it is only me and DH i cook for and it is very easy to go through a pound of beans and six cups of rice. eat your fill then tomorow its enchiladas and mexican rice. any extra beans go in a chilli or in an omlete. extra rice can become pudding with raisins. yum! hope this gives you some ideas.

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