As you may very well know, it can be a challenge to convince family, friends, and neighbors to prepare for potential bad-times ahead. I deal with this all the time, and try to make good of a potentially sour subject. I have knowingly convinced a good number of previous naysayers that I’m not nuts (at least in this aspect!) and take the precautions necessary to build a suitable cache of food and necessary items for being able to take some of the minor, or even major potential events we are likely to face ahead.
Approaching the Non-prepper
The human psyche is a fickle animal with the tendency to resist change and have trifling fear of the unknown. For many this means completely avoiding a situation even if it is reality clearly staring them in the face. Others take information and over react, taking it to the extreme. This is clear in the people who think we prepare for “The End of the World”. Listen… I certainly wouldn’t be working a daily job and would be doing every item on my bucket list in rapid succession if I thought the world was going to end!
The process of approaching the non-prepper should be a slow and gradual process. Weeks, months, or even years of small bits of commentary inserted in every day conversation is enough to get someone thinking. Allow them to take the ideology of preparation at their own speed. Spilling every thought you have about reasons they should prepare NOW in a Doom and Gloom Crash Course will only make them resist the urge even more. Trust Me! It’s too much for the common non-prepper to take in all at once.
Know Their Fears and Lower Them
Most non-preppers tend to think extreme, worst-case-scenario first. Accept their extreme views, and agree that they are highly unlikely. Then explain how things could be considerably less “lethal” than world wide nuclear explosions upon every neighborhood, and 99.9% death and destruction across the world.
Ask them if they put their seat belt on when they got in the car this morning. Hopefully the answer is yes… therefore they have an inkling of a will to survive. It’s that will to survive and flourish that we are seeking to emphasize. Survival isn’t all about simply staying alive, but also making the simple things in life easier. The likelihood of something small and less impactful is far more likely to happen than the extreme scenario. THAT is what you should be preparing for. In doing so, you are also building your preparedness for the more extreme scenarios as well. To put this another way; if you prepare with basic food preparations and power outage scenarios, these same preparations could be used in a much more impactful situation such as a complete societal breakdown.
Refer to Recent Catastrophes
One of the best ways to convince people that they should prepare for a situation is to refer to recent news and situations that have occurred or are occurring that unto which preparation would have soften the blow of such an event. For instance, as of the date of this article, there is currently 2 tropical storms headed toward the gulf, a nationwide drought crisis likely to cause an increase in the cost of food, and an outbreak of swine flu in a few central states of the US. To prepare for these potential scenarios is NOT crazy talk! It’s common sense survival!
Remind Them – We’re Not Alone!
The people in the know are suggesting that everyone prepare for the unknown. Hurricanes, Winter Storms, Floods, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Wildfires, Biological Threats, and Pandemic are just a few of the subjects for which FEMA covers in great detail on their website Ready.gov
Your local news websites are likely to have resources on their website in preparing for the scenarios unique to your area.
Think of Preparations as an Insurance Safety Blanket
I can personally admit that the feeling of having a store of food on hand in the event of an unforeseeable situation makes me feel much more secure about any crisis I may face. For instance, a loss of my job and deep financial hit, hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster. I am also secure in knowing that if a power outage were to occur in my city which took a week or more to fix in the dead-heat of Summer, I could survive the situation comfortably without too many sacrifices in lifestyle and comfort.
Remind them, they are already preparing!
- Buying auto insurance is preparation – Preparation from an auto accident.
- Buying life insurance is preparation – Preparing to have financial assistance in the loss of a family member.
- Having a savings account is preparation – Preparing to have funds on hand in the event of a financial need.
- Having a credit card is preparation – Preparing to have funds (with interest) on hand in the event of a financial need.
Why should having food and water on hand be any different than any other preparation? After all, food and water are a necessity for LIFE! Right? Embrace your will to survive!