Getting Family to “Buy In” to Prepping

Posted on: May 15, 2014

With slight variations on the theme, my wife/husband/kids think I’m nuts is a very common complaint I hear.  Prepping can be difficult enough without having to deal with a lack of support from family members.  Sometimes it goes beyond a lack of support and becomes outright ridicule, right?

Does this photo remind you of the last time you talked to your spouse or significant other about prepping?

As with many family squabbles, communication is key to getting the family “buy in” with prepping.  Yes, I know, he or she just tunes you out any time you start talking about prepping.  Well, have you considered your approach to the topic?  Many preppers are very passionate about the subject.  That’s all well and good but consider things from your spouse’s point of view.  Reverse the situation and substitute a different topic for a moment.  Let’s say, for the sake of argument, your spouse is really, really, into NASCAR.  I mean the type of fan who has the T-shirts, the hats, the posters, the models, and likes to have a small dish of motor oil nearby so he can take sniffs of it and pretend he’s actually at the track.   How many times can you listen to him or her talk about the race this weekend, the rankings of the drivers, and pit times before your own eyes glaze over and you’re just nodding in what you hope are the right spots in the conversation?

I know what you’re thinking — that’s comparing apples and oranges because being a NASCAR fan is just a hobby and you’re talking about prepping, something that could actually save all your lives!  Yep, and have you ever tried telling a rabid NASCAR fan their hobby isn’t important?  Word of advice — wear a helmet.

See, part of the problem sometimes stems from being too passionate about prepping.

When you start your commentary by pointing out your belief that the government is going to try and put us all in camps or that the Yellowstone caldera is going to blow any minute now and could wipe out most of the country, well, many people are going to want to fit you for a tin foil beanie.  I’m not discounting your beliefs, just suggesting you tone it down a bit.  Instead of focusing your discussion on the remote possibilities of apocalyptic scenarios, talk about the more mundane (and far more common) local threats, such as severe weather or job loss.

For example, talk about Susie, y’know, Susie, from down the road?  Well, her husband just lost his job when the company downsized again.  They hardly have anything in savings and with their two kids, well, they are going to be hurting until he can find a new job.  She’s only working part-time and they can hardly put food on the table right now.  If only they’d been putting some food and other supplies aside, they’d have a cushion to help get them through lean times.

Another stressor is the financial side of prepping.

We all know that prepping costs money.  And it is a fact that money, or more precisely the lack thereof, is one of the most common stressors in a family.  When the reluctant spouse sees prepping just as money spiraling down the drain, it can be nearly impossible to get that buy in from them.  However, point out to him or her that by stocking up on food now, you can eat tomorrow at today’s prices.  Heck, at the rate prices seem to be going up lately, it won’t even take that long to see a good return on the investment!

Of course, you should be doing your part to limit the costs as much as possible.  Shop the sales, use coupons when they get you a better deal than store-brands, and haunt rummage sales for deals on gear and equipment you feel you need.  It is a common misconception that one needs to go out and spend thousands of dollars on pallets of freeze-dried food and cases of bottled water.  Use common sense as well as creative thinking to save pennies where you can.

Avoid looking like a hoarder.

Few people want to try and navigate around stacks of boxes just to get from the bedroom to the bathroom.  No one wants to live in a home that looks like it could be featured on Hoarders.  Keeping your preps organized not only helps you keep track of what you have and what you need, it has the added benefit of keeping the home tidy.  Plus, proper organization will allow you to find what you need when you need it.  A power outage is not a great time to try hunting through 87 different storage containers to find the batteries you know you just bought last week.

Basically, this amounts to keeping your prepping as least intrusive as possible.  Out of sight, out of mind, y’know?

The takeaway here is to remember that you know that being better prepared for whatever life tosses your way is just common sense.  By talking to your family, avoiding the conspiracy theories and end of the world predictions, and pointing out the financial gains as well as keeping things neat and tidy, you can make some great headway into getting that necessary buy in from everyone.

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