It has been a month since things got bad, well things had been getting bad for 3 months before then, but the last month was when things came to a head. The Stock Market had crashed and the government had declared new powers to deal with the extraordinary circumstances that had occurred when the the “broken system” had “failed” America. You had been prepared so your family was doing better than most, the food was bland but there were no nights going to bed hungry like many around the country.
You had mentioned in passing a few times to friends and family that after Katrina and Hurricane Sandy that it might be a good idea to put some stuff away if that ever happened to you, but they just laughed it off saying you had been watching too much National Geographic maybe. They weren’t laughing about that now.
Your Brother in law had been a very successful accountant in the city crunching numbers for major food chains and big box stores in the region and had made fun of you for always choosing to live in the country, jokingly calling you his “bumpkin in law”. Before the phone lines had died a month a go he had called asking how things were where we are, his stories of how things were in the city told of gangs running wild and cops turning a blind eye or just unable to do anything about it. The tenor of his voice betrayed the fear he had, he never asked to come out but the cracks and shaking, evident in his the way he spoke, told the story, it was a question he couldn’t, or wouldn’t ask of his “bumpkin in law”.
He never asked to come, so you never did. that had been a month ago, and the phones had long been down, you hoped they were doing okay, but the labor to keep things running around the house, planting the gardens and tending the animals you were now raising, thankfully didn’t allow for much thought on this.
One day you hear a knock on your door, you grab your shotgun and see the familiar outline of a green tahoe and you open the door to see your brother in law, looking paler and much thinner than the last time you had seen him. He tells you that he had no other choice…..
In the back of our minds we all know this day will come, when things start to get bad that friends and/or family members will show up and we will be faced with a decision, can they stay or can they leave?
Most of use know about “OPSEC” that is the military term for Operational Security, not letting people know you are a prepper, that you have things stored, not letting people know that you are in any better shape than they are, because human nature will dictate to them that they will be better off coming to your door.
This OPSEC starts the day you become a prepper, as you start to build up your food storage you have to keep it safe, secure and secret. If you start telling all your friends and family then you will end up being on their radar when SHTF.
Now most of us have told a few close family members that we are preppers, perhaps it has just been a few quick conversations about maybe it was be a good idea to stock up some food, water, etc. I am not saying not to have those conversations with your family or close friends, but you have to understand that those people will now remember that conversation and when they are out of options your house will be next on their list of “we’re better off there than here”.
Now phone service may still be working and you get a call, or it may just be a knock on the door, but they will be coming, if they can get there they will show up, you can bet your life on that. Why do I say that? Well what would you do? Wouldn’t YOU be heading to your house? I sure as hell would be.
We have to have these conversations with ourselves and our significant others (if they are on board), because if we don’t we aren’t doing ourselves any favors in fact we are doing exactly what many preppers make fun of the rest of the population for doing…sticking our heads in the sand.
Personally I approach this by wanting to have 1 year of food for every person in my home, and another year of food for an extra person or two if possible, this way I can afford to allow a family member or two to come to the house and stay and not take away from what I have stored for my family. My wife and I have talked about it and we have both agreed that our home will become a refuge for family as they need it, and in doing so we will need to stock away more. We have also talked about as things START to get bad to tell our family to come out but buy and bring as much food as possible so as to give us as much breathing room as possible. Now the food we have stocked away for family members will be basic staples, nothing fancy, but it will give us the ability to not have to make that hard decision.
THE HARD DECISION
We all know what this hard decision will be, telling them NO, that they can’t stay. We have no idea what the situation will be when the SHTF and we have no idea what that situation will be by the time our family finally decides its time to leave where they are. However we cant unilaterally decide “Of Course they can all come”…..If they come and we are in the worst of the worst case scenarios and we are having to look at having 6 months of food for your family and 1 month if everyone stays, what will your decision be?
This will be the hardest decision you will ever have to make however you need to run through these scenarios in your mind and come up with lines in the sand, How much food has to be available in certain situations to be able to allow ‘guests’ to come?
In a podcast with Glen Tate we talked about a blog post he talked about this exact scenario, when people come knocking. We talked about how a friend had mentioned “Oh when things get bad we are coming to your house!” His answer was …”No you are not”. Now every individual situation will be different, is this a friend from work or your older sister and her children?
For me the line is definitely drawn at family, anything less than family is a definitive no go. My family will not be eventually be starved out by a friend, plain and simple.
We had this conversation with a family friend, now she doesn’t know we are preppers, but the conversation had turned to a situation in a movie, I cant remember exactly but they know I am a gun afficionado, so she had said she would come here. I said plainly, no you wont. They were a bit taken back by that, but i plainly said my family is my responsibility, their family is theirs, and when it comes down to it I am not going to put my family in danger for them.
This may sound harsh, but it is reality.
Your Duty is to your family and not anyone else.
Ultimately this is your decision, I have given my opinions on the subject, but the point of this post is to get your thinking, get you start that conversation with yourself and/or your significant other.
This is not a conversation or topic that is to be taken lightly, but it is also something that can’t be shoved off for a later date, sit down and start talking about it right now or later today, talk about it with your significant other if they are open to it.
Run the scenarios in your head, because if you don’t you will end up in a bad position. If you bring someone else into your home you will start to tip the scales away from your family and towards them, it will be up to you to draw that line in the sand to see how far those scales can tip before you have to say NO.
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