My years spent prepping and planning for a disaster mean I often bump-heads with my friends when certain topics come up, like the ability of the government to step-in and assist during a major crisis, or the actual amount of water we consume now versus a primal need to survive. Unfortunately, shows like Doomsday Preppers tend to focus on the most extreme of us, which has created a negative perception about what it actually means to be "ready for whatever comes." Because of this, many of your friends won't listen when you tell them that they need to become more self-reliant. Perhaps they don't want to be labelled as a survivalist, or they're not yet ready to accept the whole truth. Looking back, did you get into prepping by jumping in the deep end, or did you start small, and work your way up to where you are today? I thought so. I started small, and today we're going to cover a number of specific arguments and how you can use these to get your friends and family thinking that maybe prepping is a good idea.
"Society isn't going to just collapse" Of course not, but that's also not what prepping is all about. This is the extreme end of the stick, so instead you need to talk about small-scale local disasters. What would you do if the power went out for an hour? What would you do differently if the power was off for a weekend? Storms can easily knock out a power grid, and having the tools, gear and supplies on-hand to make the experience as comfortable as possible is just good planning.
"The government will take care of us" The harsh reality is that the best interests of the government don't always align to our own, and even though you pay your taxes, even the state and federal governments don't have the resources to handle a large-scale disaster. Remember Hurricane Katrina, or how about the floods in Colorado? Personally, I'd rather not let the government be responsible for the safety and well-being of my family as we're shoved into a FEMA camp. Plus, you never know what kind of hell you're going to go through until they get their act together.
"I trust God has a plan for me" Of course, we all do. But in the Bible you'll also find it says the responsibility is on your shoulders if you've been warned about an event. Imagine if Noah didn't build the ark, just sat around praying for God to intervene. Now it's not possible to be prepared for every, single disaster that could possibly strike, and the way I see it - prepping is kind of like buying insurance for your car. It's what you need should you find yourself in a bad situation, and even though you trust in God, having a strategy to make it through a disaster is just good common sense.
"There's too much to do" Once they realize that prepping just makes sense, it can be overwhelming to discover just how far behind they already are. Being a survivalist means accepting the harsh reality that you may just be on your own once a disaster strikes, and that can be frightening to most people. The best tactic you can take here is a sympathetic shoulder to reassure they're making the right steps forward, and continue checking in to ensure they're making progress.
"But I can't afford all the supplies" Again, this is an easy one to manage because unless you've got millions in gold bullion hidden in your mattress, you're probably just like the rest of us. I'd need a bank loan to buy everything on my survivalist wish-list, but instead of letting this worry me, I focus my efforts on what I can afford. Perhaps you can do a project yourself instead of hiring a contractor, or make small adjustments like buying a few extra cans of food a week instead of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a year's worth of food in one go.
"I'll just come to your house" This is an upsetting one to hear, as many of my relatives have jokingly said their plan is to rock up on my doorstep once they can no longer fend for themselves. Because I've already done the work, they don't have to right? Wrong. I'll happily help anyone who needs advice now, but they're putting all their faith in factors too far out of their own control with this plan. Will they be able to safely make it to my house, or what if my doors are boarded up or we're no longer accepting new people in. My primary responsibility is to my immediate family, and unless you've been incorporated into my survival plans, you may be in for a shock when you turn up with your hand out.
"Everyone is going to think I'm crazy" Sure they will, if you start spurting off about the impending threat of solar flares, EMP's or the nuclear attack potential from whatever country you believe is targeting your own. Heck, I'm a fully-blown survivalist and I'd probably think you're crazy too. The reality is these situations are at the extreme end of the spectrum, with a very slim chance of occurring in your lifetime. Using them in conversation is probably not going to help you make friends. Instead, focus on how you want to be prepared for the next natural disaster, or to have a plan in case of a local terrorist attack. People relate easier when you're discussing situations they see on the news every night of the week. Getting ready to survive a disaster isn't really convenient. It takes time, effort and a great deal of planning, and even if you've got your friends and family fully on board, there will be times you're questioning your actions yourself. My advice is to simply do something. Start small, but find something that you can do which will make you better prepared than you were yesterday. Every journey starts with a single step.