Ask the Survival Mom: Missing lists, dealing with relatives expecting a handout, and staying put instead of bugging out
From Denise: Hi Lisa. I was told about you by a Momma who had just had her baby at the hospital that I work in. I am excited to learn more and grow from your site. I was wondering how to find the first 5 lists that you had for us. I only see the 6th one. I would love to print those out and take some good steps towards my family’s survival. Thank you.
The Survival Mom: Hi there, Denise. I’m so impressed that any woman who just had a baby would even think about preparedness at that point! Wow!
From Erika: We had a friend move in with us for about 9 months. Having lived with us for such an extended time this person became familiar with my prepping attempts. Once that person moved out, they told the ENTIRE family what I was doing and what I had on hand. Even going so far as to tell them they should come to my house in case of an emergency! Now what?!
The Survival Mom: No good deed goes unpunished, they say, and this is a prime example. I sure wouldn’t allow this “friend” to know any additional information about your personal life than they already do, since they’ve demonstrated that they can’t be trusted.
Now that your relatives have been informed of what you’re doing to prepare, you have a couple of options.
First, you can downplay your preps. Every so often you can mention that you’ve been using up your stored food, you’re so grateful you had it, but it’s really dwindling. This will likely be twisting the truth, but your primary motivation is not to provide for every person who shows up at the door uninvited. Your primary purpose is to provide for your family first and then assist others as you can.
Another option is to store what you can away from your home. A storage unit can be handy for this, although it should never be stored for food. Your supplies will be in a safe, locked location, away from prying eyes, but close enough to access when the time comes.
The best option, though, is to look for opportunities to talk with your relatives, one at a time, about being prepared and bring them over to your way of thinking. Try asking what they think about Doomsday Preppers. Maybe even get together to watch an episode and discuss what you learned. Use a current disaster (the Carnival cruise would be a good one) and ask, “How would your family handle being without water and sanitation?”
Every prepared person first began the journey by being aware and then informed. If you can, use disasters/extreme weather events in the news to impress upon your family the need to be prepared.
Ultimately, you may have to make it very clear that your preps are for your family only. Every person has the opportunity to get prepared now. Some will but most won’t and you aren’t responsible for their well-being. They’re responsible for it themselves.
From Sandee: I just found your site! I hear the term “bug out” a lot , so do you think we need to be ready to leave our homes? Is it not better to stay put and protect your home and supplies?
The Survival Mom: For most people it will be better to stay at home where they have family and friends, a secure shelter, and everything they’ve done to prepare for emergencies. Generally speaking, you should only bug out when your home/neighborhood is no longer safe. Even then, the best solution might be to stay with friends in a different part of town.
A bug out location, i.e. a cabin in the woods, isn’t the perfect solution in spite of what you might read on other survival sites. It’s expensive to buy and maintain a second home, even if it’s just a single-wide on half an acre. You have to worry about weather damage, vandalism, theft, broken water pipes, etc. It’s not nearly as easy as some survival experts make it sound.
It also may be dangerous or, perhaps, impossible to get to this “bug out location” in an extreme scenario. Roads may be impassable and unsafe for a variety of reasons.
First make your home as secure as possible and become as prepared as you possibly can be for likely emergencies. Also, strengthen friendships and family ties so you, and they, will have a strong support system in a worst case scenario.
You’re right to be skeptical about the whole “bugging out” thing. It sounds like something right out of a movie, which makes it look a whole lot more romantic and simple than it actually is.
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