These are just three things I have learned in my journey of preparedness that I hope can help you.
Feel free to add to them in the comments below!
1) Get the Spouse or Significant Other on Board.
I want to preface this with “On Board” does not mean that they are as passionate about it as you are, “Tolerating” is good enough in my book.
When we first got married I hadn’t talked much about preparedness, she knew I loved guns and the country life and that I wanted to have a small farm someday as life allowed us. However I kept most of my prepping secret, she didn’t ask what was in this bucket or that bucket, it was a trust thing for the most part and she knew i didn’t cook meth so whatever it was, she didn’t care much. However as I started to make it a bigger part of my life and thus our lives, it began to be a subject that needed to be talked about. Initially she was not against the idea in that she was not saying no or digging her heels in, but it was more of a approach of “this is your hobby, not OUR life”. It took many conversations, some heated some not. In regards to the heated conversations this was a major flaw and fault on my part, one does NOT convince someone of the need for something or why this was the right thing to do by arguing and belittling the other persons point of view.
Her antipathy to this lifestyle and mindset was not her fault, she was raised in an affluent neighborhood in a major city, this is NOT something that is ever talked about and if it ever gets any mention its about some “nut job” in Montana got caught with C4 or something of the sort. Eventually She started to get on board after a few years, I outlined this a bit in my Podcast episode about Reluctant Spouses, but the basic gist was I had been going about it all wrong, I was trying to “sell” prepping in terms of “why it makes sense to me”, however that doesn’t work, I WAS NOT TRYING TO CONVINCE MYSELF! I WAS TRYING TO CONVINCE HER. It took some things happening on the national scene as well as constant subtle clues such as pointing to this disaster or that storm, etc. saying “wow what we do if that happened to us?” Those sort of things. She is not 100% there but although its not a 180 turn, shes at about 110, and above the “tolerating” stage of prepping she is between the point of wanting to budget more for prepping and not minding if i spend some money on solar panels. That is fine for me!
Basically you need to focus on what is important to them and then shape the preparedness message to those concerns, dont argue or get angry, that will get you nowhere. However if you cannot get your spouse on board, i dont like to say it, but as Glen Tate and I talked about in a podcast recently, sometimes you need to do what you need to do. Don’t bankrupt your family, don’t spend the rent money, but if you have to go behind their back…you have a duty to your family and your spouse…even if they don’t agree.
All in All if you can get them somewhat on board or fully on board your life will be much easier, when something does happen they will thank you for it.
2) Don’t Focus on a Single Issue.
I have been guilty of this as well and I see this a lot in the Preparedness community. Many of us come to Preparedness from different avenues, we all had different things that made us have that light pop on and say “Something isn’t right, things can’t always stay ‘normal’”. For some of us it was the 2008 crisis, others a local natural disaster, whatever it was this is what helped to shape your outlook on preparedness. However I have to caution you, never let one ‘possibility’ of disaster be the mold in which you shape your preparedness. Those who focus on Coronal Mass Ejections/EMP are the most visible in this, as they often focus on everything being “EMP proof”. This is fine and all, and its not that EMP is not a possible event, however given the range of things we face in this world, EMP is on the lower end of the spectrum of possibilities out there. Now lets just say that EMP is very plausible, concentrating most of your resources on EMP-proofing will greatly reduce your ability to stock much more needed supplies like food, water and the ability to defend your supplies. This applies to everyone from Economic Collapse to Major Natural Disasters, whatever it may be for you, don’t get lost in that scenario.
Concentrate on GENERAL preparedness, no matter what the scenario just focus first on general preparedness, that being food, water, shelter and the ability to defend those things. If you have those things you will be able to survive any scenario. Sure if an EMP hit you may lost your ability to use your shortwave radio, however if an EMP took out your radio it took out anyones ability to transmit to you anyways.
3) Don’t Get Burned out
This happens to everyone, in fact I have recorded a podcast that will go out in the next week or two just on this subject, however I wanted to address it here as well.
No matter how long we have been prepping we all have “wish lists” of what we want to have, and it never ends, no matter how well prepared we become; there is always more we want to build on in our preps.
We look at all the things we want to get done and sometimes it begins to overwhelm us, I know it has happened to me. I keep looking at what I want our food storage to be at, I find more things I am missing, I need to get my battery bank finished, and on and one. I end up getting stressed out and it affects how i interact with my family.
Now I started to realize this and also realized that this was counter to the tenets of preparedness, that is to live a better life, this better life applies not just to a disaster but also before as well. We are supposed to be doing this for the betterment of ourselves and our families, not to harm our relationships we have with our family.
First of all don’t let what you don’t have or can’t do affect you, after all there is nothing you can do about it at the moment. Concentrate on what you can do at the moment and above all the main focus should always be on your family and your own health.
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