Prepping works best when an entire community is doing it together, but this is extremely rare and not easy to achieve This is especially true when our neighbors, family, or friends aren’t at all interested. Yet. Still, we care about them and want to see them able to care for themselves in the event of an emergency, power outage, or natural disaster. Here are a few ways to get your preparedness missionary mojo in motion and get those non-preppers on board.
Don’t Make Prepping Fear Based
Preparedness is more than huddling in a bunker with a bunch of canned food for fear of social collapse or natural disaster. Rather, it is a variety of skills and lifestyle changes. Most non-preppers can see their way to making a few of these changes (baby steps) or gaining a few of these skills, but not when offered to them with a steaming helping of dread.
There are many reasons to live a preparedness lifestyle, and most of them don’t sound like fun. Many people try to avoid thinking about unpleasant things happen to them. They feel like they aren’t in control of those situations and so there isn’t anything they can do about it anyway. In most cases you have lost them before you get the word “prepared” out of your mouth.
Discuss how preparedness gives you better control of potential situations that come your way. Talk about the benefits of being prepared. People who are prepared save money. People who are prepared often live a healthier lifestyle. They exercise more. They spend more time outside. Preparedness gives children creative activities to do during the summer. It also gives families skills to build on and draw from.
Appeal To Their Passion
The fun thing about preparation is that it breaks down into smaller topics. Each of these topics sound like a piece of common sense on it’s own. It’s easier to get people to commit to a single aspect of preparedness that they might enjoy, rather than to all aspects of it at once.
If a friend has no interest in food storage, they may still have an interest in first aid. Others may have an interest in learning how to can and store their own food, but no interest in owning a fire arm. In each of these cases, while not taking on a full preparation lifestyle, each friend will be taking on a preparation skill. Eventually, further down the road, they may want to learn more about self defense and building a basement full of home grown canned goods, but until then, encourage them in the aspect of preparedness they have chosen.
You can also share how your preparedness has helped you in your life. Did you ever lose a job or hit a rough patch and have storage to fall back on? Did you ever have to live for a week without running water because of street construction or well problems, or live with drought-induced water restrictions? Talking about these experiences in a conversation they fit into can be powerful and may reach your friend sooner than worrying about a future that may or may not come.
Before I became a person that prepped, I had a friend teach me all about buying in bulk. I had a roommate that taught me the virtue of making my own jam and canning. My parents weren’t really into prepping when I was younger, but they did provide me with self defense lessons, lessons in money management and a backyard garden to learn on.
Most of the time, a lifestyle of preparation doesn’t start with someone waking up in the morning and thinking it’s high time they started a backyard farm. Often, it’s a lifestyle that grows with our situation in life and little lessons along the way. Be one of the people that makes the little lessons available. Classes for non-preppers could include:
You can teach natural fertilizers for a garden. You can promote electricity free cooking or solar power energy. While many people aren’t sure about the idea of preparation, they do want to help the environment and currently these are methods used to accomplish both.
This could include learning to make your own cleaners. They don’t cost as much and if your child chooses to drink the vinegar or lemon juice, it’s not the danger that drinking commercial cleaners is. You could also teach people how to cook a hearty, healthy meal from dry foods such as split peas and pinto beans. You might even toss in a few more “exotic” items such as sprouting your own seeds.
Many young couples and new parents are looking for ways to eat healthy without breaking the bank on fresh produce. Teach the benefits of an apartment garden. Help them learn how to combine canned goods to make a nutrient rich meal. You can also help them learn the value of the cloth diaper, the meal plan, and shopping for ingredients rather than pre-made convenience meals.
Teach the benefit that comes from knowing how to repair something. This could include computer repair, car maintenance, or patching up old jeans. Also help them discover the best ways to reuse an item (formula canisters make great planters) or find items for free (think samples). Did you ever think of using free formula samples for your baby’s 72 hour kit?
Nothing gets you in shape like outdoor preparedness. Hiking, camping trips, and canoeing are only a few activities that would be both helpful in an emergency situation and help you drop those pounds. If you have a health conscious friend, show them what nature has to offer them rather than that gym membership. This could bring up other topics, like having enough water during a hike or how to use a compass because you took a wrong turn at that rock back there.
This is a natural place to teach about other long-term storage foods and methods. Nothing spoils a canoe trip like finding those fresh, tasty brownies in your bag are a soggy mess because the ziploc wasn’t quite sealed – unlike a mylar bag. Likewise, a breakfast recipe for crepes using dehydrated eggs and milk along with water and some freeze-dried berries is much more inviting than trying to get newbies to eat just scramble the dehydrated eggs and eat them that way.
Self defense isn’t just owning a gun or taking a martial arts class. Situational awareness and using body language to reduce the chances of becoming a target are important too. You can discuss what hair styles or types of clothing help an opponent rather than the person being attacked.
All these things are also a part of self defense.
Address Potential Concerns
Many people have difficulty seeing their way to a preparedness lifestyle if they are living paycheck to paycheck. They feel the need to address the problems now rather than a distant future. Talk about how prepping reduces costs and (eventually) eliminates debt.
In order to store food or emergency items, there needs to be space to put it. Many people live in apartments or condos. They have bought storage space for things they no longer use. They may have so much in their living area they feel that they can’t store. Share tips on how to hide storage, make space and minimize what is already in their home.
It’s great to have storage, but will your family eat it? Can you cobble it together into a decent meal? Will it be nutritious? You could respond to this concern with recipes, shopping lists and cooking classes.
Encourage them to use their food storage regularly. Days they have to go back out for a meeting or an after-school activity with the kids, use food storage to make a fast, and healthy meal. Or when those veggies they “just bought” are all moldy, pull something from food storage to finish the meal.
It’s not easy to start a storage system. There are wrong containers to store water in. There is learning about the proper temperature and lighting for your storage area. There are all the costly mistakes that can go along with just beginning to learn and act at the same time. Give your friends the benefit of your experience.
Send your workshop participants away with an outline of what you just went over. Have them available for those that may be interested in starting out. When people have a plan to follow they are more likely to follow through with it.
Red Cross – www.redcross.org
Food Storage – www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net
Food Storage – www.foodstorage.com
Budgeting – www.practicalmoneyskills.com
Self Defense – www.functionalselfdefense.org
Basic prepping information for beginners
- 52 Prepper Projects by Dave Nash
- Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb
- Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett
- The Pantry Primer: How to build a one year food supply in three months by Daisy Luther
- The Preparedness Planner (Print it out for a customized plan!)
- The Preppers Blueprint by Tess Pennington
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford