Saturday, December 10, 2011

Including Others in Your Preparedness Plan

Hello Valerie,

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on preparing for others. Specifically, preparing for family members that are unable to do as much for themselves (financial issues) and perhaps for those that are 'unwilling' to prepare for themselves. I have had discussions with some family members that would like to prepare, however, due to financial issues and their current living conditions, are unable to do any appreciable amount of preparing at this time.

I have decided that I would include their needs in my plan. I have the available space and while it does create a larger financial burden, to me they are worth it. I am unsure about how much to divulge about my plan. I am conflicted as to which way to proceed. Should I tell them that I am prepping for them? Would this be the best avenue to take? It would ease their concerns, yet I do not want them to not make every attempt to do for themselves. Should I wait until I have completed all my prepping plans for myself before undertaking prepping for them? Should I wait until the time comes to tell them that I have prepared for them? Should I wait until their circumstances improve then gift them the preparations I have made from them?

I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you, JM, West Virginia

Dear Jodi,

What a wonderful person you are for wanting to help provide for others. I understand that we all wish others would do more, or could do more, to provide for themselves, but we also know how awful it would be if we knew we could have helped, and didn't. They do have their agency though. And you can't expect them to change.

If it were me, I would just adjust the numbers in my plan and start storing extra. You are probably more prepared than most already. I never look at this as a race to get it done.

Down the road, when you feel comfortable just say in a matter-of-fact, yet not preachy, way, "If you ever need help, I have extra." That is different then, "I'm doing your food storage for you."

I always tell my kids away from home that I have food for them. My college son shops from my shelves. But they are immediate family, and this may be different.

Sometime, you could say, "Hey, if you're ever interested, I would love to teach you how to make bread." Or "Are you interested in learning how to can green beans?" Or if they live local, "I have extra garden space if you want to plant and tend your own garden here."

If you gift them items at Christmas or birthdays, it would be a natural thing to do. Just because they are preparedness items would show you are interested in preparedness, and you care about them. This is when you could ask if they have a 72-hour kit. And if they didn't, gift it to them. Or some other item.

What a loving individual you are! Thanks for following along and desiring to become self-reliant. Wish I had a garden and heart like yours.



  1. I have had the same thoughts about some of my family members too. We've even thought about purchasing food storage, then putting it on their front porch in the middle of the night for them to discover. Their financial situations have not allowed them to really begin their food storage. There is no way I could stand to see my loved ones go hungry, and as we have the means, I don't think I could stand in front of the Lord and try to make an excuse that we could have done something and have not.

  2. I am the only LDS member in my extended family. The last two times I moved, my family helped me move all my food storage, emergency preparedness supplies, etc., so they are all fully aware that I have some "extra" provisions set aside with them in mind.

    Last Christmas I gave each individual a red backpack (from Emergency Essentials) along with several items to go into their grab & go kits. I printed out the list of suggested items from the Red Cross and provided a copy to each family so they can gather up a change of clothes, necessary meds, etc. One niece-in-law commented that she was really touched by my thoughfulness and that my gift shows just how much I do love each of them.

  3. That's a great way of bring it up, it plants the idea in their mind without them thinking you're the "crazy" in the family. If something ever happens that seed will grow into action and they will seek safety with you.

    I did the same with my brother. While he didn't understand my concern he knew they were will come at our place in case of emergency. That's all they have know - I feel in my heart that if something were happen he be at our place in a matter of days. Good. I won't have to worry about him. If he expresses any interest in food production and storage I will bend over backwards to help him learn. Good post.

  4. I have lots of family who don't have the money? or the room? or so they think, so instead of pushing them I just started buying two of each thing, set up two areas of storage one for us, one for others.

    When I use a can of soup, for instance, I put it on my replace list, then I buy one for my replacement area and one for the "others". Once a year I move the "others" upstairs and start again to keep things fresh, except for the long term stuff. We have used this to bless many people including family. It is kind of fun.

    Let me say that the principals you live and teach others will say more than any thing else.


Thanks for your comments and suggestions!