Today I was thinking about some of the discussions I’ve had following my preparedness presentations. Then it hit me…I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “How do I convince my spouse that this is worthwhile?” or “How do I get my wife on board?”. (Ladies, forgive me but truth be told while I’ve had the question from a woman or two, it is most often asked by men.) You can rephrase this question any sort of manner and I’ve heard it, but the message is always the same. For those of us who become preppers, when we announce to our “other halves” that we not only want to devote time and storage space, but actually money to this cause…well, we are met with a resounding, “Are you crazy?!”
This goes past our spouses as well. Let’s be honest, if this is real to you, then you are worried about more than just your immediate family. It’s quite honestly no different than religion from a motivational perspective. If you are a Christian (and I”m sure other religions as well, but I can only speak for myself), then you don’t just worry about your spouse’s salvation, but that of anyone that you love and care about. Well, we also care about their safety and well-being here on earth…so we want them to prepare.
So how do we convince our spouses (who we must share financial decisions etc. with) and those that we love to follow the prepper’s creed? How do to transfer our concern and resulting motivation to them? My husband just asked me what I was writing about today. When I told him, he laughed and responded, “Oh, like exhibit A?” He of course being exhibit A, who had to be convinced and motivated from scratch. He’s not from my neck of the woods and the notion of preparedness, off-the-grid, compound/commune type plans were not a part of his mindset when we met. So…how did I manage to bring him into the fold?
For the non-believer the first thing to accomplish is getting them to understand that you are not (only 🙂 ) preparing for total and complete destruction or Armageddon. Yes, there are those of us that do consider that as well, but you don’t want to make that your first point when pitching this idea to your average nay-sayer. It is important to get them to realize that preparedness is for things as simple as a severe snow storm where you cannot leave your home for days. There are dozens of scenarios just surrounding weather and natural tragedies that can occur. Any of these occasions could rob you of your “normal” infrastructure dependent lifestyle. I believe this is the most important message to convey. They need to understand that tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and the like do happen. They are at risk. Emergency preparedness is pertinent to us all. Don’t forget to pull out all the stops. If you are trying to convince a Mama who currently has little ones at home…use it. Quite frankly my personal preparedness skyrocketed once I had little ones. My motherly instinct won’t allow me to watch my children suffer or starve all because I didn’t have my priorities straight.
Now consider social media and publications. Take some time and search the interweb for other preparedness sites. Point out that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) actually has an entire website devoted to motivating our nation to prepare. Ease them in, don’t show them the scary over the top stuff (just yet). Also consider the CDC, FDA, American Red Cross, etc. Lastly, there are some excellent books available on survival, both fiction and non-fiction. The non-fiction are really prevalent. If your spouse or loved one is a reader, and they have been warmed up by the preceding methods, then maybe a trip to the books store (online works but let’s be honest, holding them in your hand drives the point home) would make it more real. These books exist because preppers are out there. We are sharing and growing all the time! As for fiction two of my favorites are One Second After and Patriots. There are both excellent for information and inspiration, and they are just good reads. I’d really recommend starting them off with One Second After first and then send them on to Patriots.
Most importantly, be prepared to start small. Don’t overwhelm them with far out craziness from the get go. If this is not their thing, they need to ease into the water. Don’t shove them into the deep end and expect them to respond well. This is a different way of thinking and the evolution of becoming a prepper most likely happen overnight. Start by encouraging a home go-kit with the basics (extra clothes, first aid kit, vital records). By doing this, you get them used to preparing but you aren’t asking for a lot of money up front. After that activity is complete and you receive that buy-in, you can work slowly up to stockpiling food. Take it slowly, and let them know that this is realistic and that its important to you. It is borne out of love and concern for your family. Appeal to their inner need to provide for themselves and their loved ones.
Good luck! If you get stuck with a particularly hard nut-to crack, leave a comment and we can talk about individual strategies for your circumstances.