Updated: Sep 12, 2021
How easy life would be if everyone had a partner who was as committed to the preparedness lifestyle as they were. Let's face it, not everyone is going to be committed to preparing for hard times, and for a multitude of reasons, ranging from, “the government has a system in place to take care of us after just a few days,” to “you're part of the Tin Foil Hat Brigade!”
So the issue becomes, how does one prepare when other members of the family may not be on board? There may be financial considerations to take into account, or even normalcy bias, where in spite of things seeming to get bad, there is a refusal to acknowledge that some measures need be taken to ensure your well-being, or at least hedge your bets!
I have been asked this question repeatedly: “How do you get people on board with preparedness who don't feel it is necessary?” The best approach is one that appeals to the recalcitrant prepper's common sense. If you live where earthquakes are common, then some basic preps like durable shoes by the bed in case of broken glass, some water and extra food, extra batteries for flashlights if the power goes out, a wrench to turn off the gas. None of these are particularly expensive and will address the most immediate area of concern. It is imperative that the eager prepper avoid going beyond what would be of primary concern to the recalcitrant prepper, meaning, don't start with gas masks and hazmat suits!
If finances are a concern, prepping can be done on a budget – the Dollar Store can be your friend! Take advantage of bulk food items, or even buy one extra can of food or bottle of water, or special item every shopping trip. Some people actually hide their preparedness work from the recalcitrant preppers, but the problem then becomes how to help those who may have been prepared if only their friends took the time to gently educate them. Branching out, making plans, starting a garden, and organizing can be a fun hobby for the family to do together. Kids especially love gardening, and will happily play in the mud when you work, and grow to taking part in the planting, cultivating and harvesting – they will take pride in seeing others enjoy what they helped create, which is a real confidence builder!
Protecting your home and the people inside it is a crucial, and firearms are a critical aspect of preparedness. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement may not be able to help you if you need it, and you also may not have the time to wait for them regardless. If your partner is absolutely, positively against firearms, then the choice must be made to get them clandestinely and keep them hidden, or go unprepared to fend off those seeking to take advantage, and there will be plenty of opportunists if the rule of law collapses, even temporarily. IF you can convince the recalcitrant prepper to accept firearms, take him or her to the range and teach them to shoot. Keep in mind that it is imperative that the experience be a positive one, so don't have a female of small stature shooting a 1911 first time out – yes, I've seen it.
Remember, the key is to keep it simple, cost-effective, non-intimidating, and FUN! Preparedness is a great hobby that the entire family can enjoy, and it may very well save your lives.
Some folks, unfortunately, will never be convinced of the need to be prepared, and that is fine. If possible, set aside food and other supplies for them, as they will likely consider you a genius in the event of serious trouble. Since you likely won't turn away a family member, best to factor them in to your plans. Branching out, consider those who refused to prepare who are not in your family; they are colleagues at work, friends, acquaintances all of whom you have tried to convince, but have brushed off your encouragement. Some say, “I'll just come to your place!” and it is all fun and games until they actually do so, and empty-handed to boot.
Whatever you decide is okay, as preparedness planning is personal to your situation, family and ethical considerations. If you are thinking, “Yeah, no,” when such people inform you of their intentions, even in jest, it is best to be very clear how you feel in that regard. You really want to avoid turning away people you know but have no moral obligation to take care of.