“Every time I mention stocking up on food for emergencies, my husband/wife/partner scoffs at the idea.”
“My spouse is the bread winner in our family and won’t give me money to buy extra supplies because he/she says that’s just foolish talk.”
“If I even mention the idea of putting some things aside for bad times, I get major eye rolls, head shakes, and offers to make me a tin foil beanie.”
A reluctant spouse is among the most common reasons people who want to prep aren’t able to go the next step and actually take action. Often, it feels like trying to swim upstream if you don’t have the support of your family behind you. Unless you are prepping just for yourself, disaster readiness really takes more than one person. Support is important and often critical to success.
So, how can you convince a spouse to get on board? The first suggestion is often to liken prepping to buying insurance. Let’s face it, insurance policies are one of the only things we ever buy in life and pray to God we never need to use, right? In fact, we’ll sometimes go to great lengths so as not to have to file a claim. Ever been in a small fender bender accident? If the damage is slight, you’d likely gladly pay for the damage out of your pocket so your insurance company doesn’t raise your rates.
Prepping is sort of like insurance. We set aside food and supplies against what might happen, but hope and pray we never really need to use that stuff in an emergency. The difference between prepping and insurance though is we can still use our preps as we feel necessary, without incurring the wrath of an insurance agent. In fact, it is encouraged that you regularly use and rotate your supplies to keep them fresh.
Another argument to be made, particularly about food storage, is the ability to eat tomorrow at today’s prices. Have you been to the grocery store lately? Prices sure aren’t coming down on anything, are they? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I could buy ground beef for $0.99/lb on sale. Now, I’m lucky if I can find it for twice that price. If I buy a jar of peanut butter for $2.00 today and it sits on my shelf until I go to make peanut butter cookies for Christmas and I find out that same jar now would cost $3.00 at the store, I just saved myself a buck, right?
If the reason behind your spouse’s reticence is less about the possible expense and more about thinking nothing will ever happen that would require the need for preps, you could talk about all the things that have happened in recent history to folks who thought that same thing. How many people living in Bosnia in the mid-1990s thought their government would collapse? How many folks living in New Orleans worried a major hurricane would hit their area? Who in Japan would have ever even considered the devastation of the tsunami? Or talk about lesser scale emergencies like multiple day power outages in the winter, ice storms that strand you for days at home. Even smaller in scale, how about a flu virus brought home by the kids that rampages through the house, keeping everyone home for a week. <– That last one hit our home once and let me tell you, it was a whole lot of no fun for anyone involved.
If all else fails, there are still some things you can do on your own so all is not lost. Stock up on food as you can, buying an extra can or two of veggies or fruit when you go shopping and socking them away at the back of the pantry. Refill your 2L bottles with water, add a couple drops of bleach, and put them in the basement. Put in a garden and/or grow some wild edibles in your flower boxes and plant beds.
Explore possible income options as well and use the funds for prepping. While most “work at home” ads are indeed scams, there are a few places out there that are legit. They may not pay a lot but you might not have to work all that hard either. There are online companies that will pay you to write articles for them, for example. It might only get you $5-8 per article but if you’re fast, you can get several done in an hour or two. Do that a few times a week and it can add up to a bit of extra cash for preps. Or look into actual part-time work around town. Fast food joints, while obviously not ideal workplaces for many people, are almost always hiring.
Remember too that all it would take is one emergency close to home and many of those who poo-pooed prepping will change their tune. When that happens, please be gentle with the “I told you so.”