We all have family and friends that we care about but refuse to believe there is any reason to prep. They are full of excuses such as “they have backup generators for that,” or “the government will provide food and water in an emergency.” It is difficult to persuade someone with that kind of mentality, but it can be done if you are patient.
How Can We Convince Others to Prep?
First, don’t bring TEOTWAWKI situations, it will only drive them away. So, what are our options, let’s discuss a few reasons people don’t want to prep and some things we can do as preppers to guide them in the right direction. Then, hopefully, we can get them preparing for events we are likely to see in our area, even if it’s just the basics.
They Probably Prep and Don’t Know It
First, most folks that don’t share our belief in prepping don’t even realize that to some degree, they are preppers as well. If they purchase insurance for their homes, autos, and life, they are preparing for something. If they have jumper cables, diaper bags, or even a car jack and spare tire in their car, they are preparing for something. So why is it so hard to convince them that they should also prepare for power outages, riots, natural disasters, and other man-made events? Because they have what is known as normalcy bias or the “it won’t happen to me” mentality.
Here are Some Reasons Many Won’t Prep
- I don’t know where to start
- I can’t afford to prep right now
- Food is expensive
- I live in an apartment
- I don’t have the space
- I’m way too tired
- I do see the point in prepping
- I’m not sure what kinds of foods are best to stockpile
- What’s the point of prepping if I have no idea how and when the SHTF?
- I can’t seem to get my family and friends interested in prepping
- Even if it does happen here, it won’t happen to me
- Even if it does happen to me, it won’t be that bad
- Even if it is that bad, then I can get emergency supplies anytime
- Even if I can’t get emergency supplies, then the government will save me
Provide Examples of Breakdowns in the Emergency Response Systems
The best way I found to encourage them to think as I do is to provide examples of events were the emergency response that they are expecting didn’t show up.
Mayor Nagin’s failure to implement the evacuation plan for New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina has been criticized worldwide. City school buses were supposed to be used to evacuate the residents who were unable to leave on their own. The busses were never used and later destroyed by floodwaters.
In the aftermath of the initial storm, the condition became much worse with violent crime, shootings, and looting. Many police officers left their post after working many days straight with very little support by the local government. Officers on duty during the aftermath likened New Orleans to a “war zone” and it was like “something you would see in Somalia.”
To add insult to injury, on September 8th, a city-wide order by Eddie Compass, the New Orleans Police Superintendent, was implemented to confiscate all civilian-owned firearms. Compass notified the police, U.S. Army National Guard and Deputy U.S. Marshals that “No one will be able to be armed.” Many seizures were carried out without warrants. Look up the incident involving Patricia Konie, she was prepared for the storm and only had an older model revolver in her home for self-defense. Police entered her home and when she refused to surrender her gun, the police removed the gun and her by force.
Super Storm Sandy
The power situation was extremely critical in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. More than 2 million electric customers were without power after the storm. Many of the tunnels and subways were full of water and by the end of the storm, it had generated 6 million tons of debris. Communications and travel were virtually impossible for millions for weeks.
Encourage Them to Take Small Steps
For many, the thought of prepping is overwhelming. Taking small steps can get the ball rolling and show them that it can be done easily and without breaking the bank. Inspire them to buy some white rice, beans, and pasta then repackage them for long-term storage and set it aside. Get a few cases of water or larger water storage tanks and fill them with tap water. Help them get these items and for the first round, walk them through it. Eventually, they will see it is not so intimidating to prep.
Be understanding, it was a big step for many of us to finally take the plunge and spend our hard-earned money on preps that we may never need. Be patient and don’t overwhelm them with information. Help them whenever they need it and if all goes well, at some point they will be hooked on the idea of prepping. Check out our article on basic water storage and foods that store well for SHTF situations.
Give Them a Gift That Can Motivate
One of the best reads I have in my library is a wakeup call for many of our non-believer friends and family. The book One Second After by William R. Forstchen is set in a post-EMP world where society breaks down and everyday life becomes a fight to survive. The book follows the life of John Matherson a professor of history at the local college. Set in the small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina. The book focuses on how the community, reacts to the world after an EMP attack.
Another one of our favorites is a book series by A. American titled Coming Home. This series is worth reading and gives you an idea of what it may take in an SHTF situation. The story revolves around Morgan Carter who is stranded hundreds of miles from home when an EMP hits. It follows along on his journey home and their struggles to defend their home from a desperate society.
Some Will Never Get it, What Then?
There are going to be those that you just can’t convince. In this situation, there is pretty much nothing you can do. Periodically mentioning subtle reasons for prepping could still help but don’t get discouraged if they are non-responsive.
I am an avid prepper and continually adding to my preps and learning new skills, but my life is not consumed with the thought of doomsday. But, as committed to prepping as I am, I also have family that just don’t get it and probably never will, until it is too late. It is hard to accept and a challenge to figuring out what to do about them when and if the SHTF. I have discussed in another article, our advice on dealing with family and friends that think they are coming to your house in a disaster.
Don’t Wait for the SHTF to Become A Prepper
Many of the residents of New Orleans and other hard-hit areas, could have never predicted the breakdown of the local official’s response to this disaster. FEMA is not a first responder agency, the first response always starts at the local level with police, fire, emergency medical services, and local government agencies.
First responders are a Godsend and the backbone of the response teams in all disasters. Unfortunate, many are not equipped to handle large-scale catastrophes. With that being said, most preppers already know that the only person you should really rely on is, you. We are our first responders in most situations and being prepared is just a way of life for us.