In a recent poll on the CityPrepping Community tab, we asked how long our subscribers have been prepping. Two-thirds of the respondents indicated they had been prepping for under a year. Whether you are new to prepping or you have been doing it since you lived in a commune in the sixties, you have probably received your share of sideways glances and skepticism from both friends and family. You may have seen some of them with a look of quiet judgment on their faces, as they seemed to be evaluating your sanity. This past year, however, may have awoken many of your family and friends to prepping. Others may now realize that having some food and water stored away, understanding the threats we face, having a plan in place when disaster strikes, and increasing your self-sufficiency and independence from a system that is likely to fail is the right path to be on in life. We want to encourage those folks, and convince the others to join us on our journey to greater self-sufficiency, so we can all reap the benefits. In this video, We will examine seven ways you can convince your family and friends to, at the very least, get a little prepared along with you. After all, we are stronger together and weaker alone.
1- Discuss the Probable
This last year has given us much to discuss. There were very few people outside of this channel and some other prepping communities debating a pandemic’s possibilities. Even then, it was difficult to capture exactly how much of a dramatic impact that was going to have on our global and local cultures and economies. As you discuss with family and friends your measures to prepare for what you see now or a repeat of what you just lived through, use it as an opportunity to segue into discussions about prepping for natural disasters, civil unrest, or anything that we can’t even imagine that could force us to lockdown at home for a month or more. Avoid more extensive discussions like nuclear dirty bombs, EMPs, and comets, so you don’t seem too far out there. If anything can be learned from this last year, it is that we should all be preparing for, at the very least, what we see right in front of our faces.
Discuss the most likely disaster in your area. Keep it local and agree to work together in some way. Use the news and your area’s history to determine what you should be prepping for and what you would need to feel confident that the impact of whatever disaster occurs will be minimal. Discuss the probable and work together to build a mutual plan.
2- Form a Bulk Buying Club
Subtly building a network and simultaneously stocking up everyone in your network can be achieved through a bulk buying club. Basically, that’s just a group of people, likely neighbors, family, or nearby friends, that join together to purchase goods in bulk. The group increases their purchasing power in this way, and they end up paying a lower price on items and having a better inventory of products in their supplies. The easiest way to get this started is to find a bulk bargain and text a friend. If you find a deal on toilet paper or fresh eggs or local produce or honey, you probably can’t use that much. If you text a friend and offer to split the cost and product with them, you will immediately start to build up your informal buying club. Once your friend realizes the quality, quantity, and savings, you can discuss formalizing a club or adding new members. Maybe you can start your own local social media group. There are some severe economic challenges for many right now, and in this coming year, so a bulk buying club is a great way to care for your personal community’s needs, and it allows people to focus their minds on the future when things can be better.
If you have a Sam’s Club card and your friend has a Costco membership, you will never miss a deal buying in bulk. You can also leverage farmer’s markets and online exchanges and sellers. Just a little extra time dividing up the product is all it takes. Usually, the savings is enough to get people on board. You may have never thought of buying a five-pound bottle of honey before, but I am sure you would rather pay thirteen dollars for that instead of the twenty or more dollars you would pay for the equivalent eighty ounces packaged in twelve-ounce bottles. Whether it’s beans, butter, alcohol, paper products, diapers, flour, sugar, coffee, or trash bags, buying in bulk can allow you to buy more and at significantly lower prices. You may someday join together to buy a whole cow and have the freshest, tastiest, and healthiest meats from local ranchers or you may just keep it small. Through a bulk buying club, you are subtly convincing people to start building up their supplies. You are convincing people to begin to think about future needs. You are introducing them to prepping.
3- Band Together
Use our physical distancing as an opportunity to reach out and band together. We are all feeling the fatigue of isolation. Check-in on your neighbors and friends, and let them reciprocate by checking in on you. Start a meal swap with your best friend to alleviate the burden of cooking one night a week and share recipes and supplies. Start a small baking network and feed your friends. When you give them a loaf of bread or a batch of some cookies, they may just turn around and give you some preserves they made, or fruit from their trees, or a birthday cake. You never know where even one connection may lead, but these are the opportunities to discuss banding together and tackling the world’s problems together.
You know, we don’t think anyone gets to the end of the road and wishes they had spent less time with their friends and families, and we are stronger together. If you can get even one person on board with you even just a little, the chances are that the person you bring on board knows someone, and that person knows someone, and that person knows someone else. Before long, you may even be able to build a mutual assistance group. Get your buddies together for a virtual poker game. Get your church or scouting group together for a service project. Join a hobby or mutual interest group online. Look for ways to band together in new ways. When we can all safely gather again, you will be able to springboard those connections into a strong network.
4- Gift Them Preparedness
An emergency preparedness kit may not be on anyone’s top list of gifts. A basic kit lets people know you are thinking about them through both good times and bad. Is there a new baby in a family, or did someone become injured recently? That’s an excellent opportunity to give a decent first aid kit. Do your grandkids or nieces and nephews live near you? That’s a great opportunity to buy a set of walkie talkies and have some fun now and a vital means of communication later. Most boys channel their fear of the world they are growing into by naturally wanting to prep and taking an interest in survival-type things. That’s an opportunity for adults to buy them little survival tools and multi-tools that they will have on hand should things turn bad. Did your friend recently purchase a new car? That’s a great opportunity to give them an emergency road kit. Do you know someone who occasionally goes hunting, fishing, camping, or on long road trips? If so, that’s a great opportunity to get them some supplies. Even the gift of a warm winter coat is an opportunity. Consider gifting one of the many survival jackets on the market. A home brewing or cheese-making kit is a fun gift for someone you know, we guarantee you, and someone will benefit from the experience now and possibly in the future.
Preparedness gifts aren’t always the funnest or flashiest gifts a person could receive, but they show that you care for a person, and they are gifts that are meant to last in an all too often disposable culture. Even if you can’t motivate your friends and family to prepare at a level that would make you comfortable, you can be assured they have at least some of the critical things they will need when disaster strikes.
5- Networking & Service Projects
Any prepper knows that they may have to go it alone at some point, but every prepper also knows the saying, “Many hands make for light work.” The fact is that prepping in isolation is hard. Prepping in a community is easy. You can build a community by prepping through your networks and service projects. A church group that works to feed the poor, a scouting group that performs a service project, a community group that does any project to foster a better life in their area are all opportunities to share and cultivate a collective desire to prepare for the future.
An altruistic volunteer group or community service project is a great way to build a network of like-minded people, but this can also be accomplished through merely joining occupation, trade, or civic groups. Leverage your area networks to foster a subgroup of like-minded individuals.
If you can direct any of these groups’ work, steer them toward addressing the crisis we currently face. How can your group begin to tackle the problems of unemployment, hunger, or the digital divide our children face in education? Can you steer your group to better readiness and make some lifelong friends along the way?
6- Practice What You Preach
Practice what you preach. If you are tired of being locked up, pull out that camping gear and get out to the wilderness. Many folks who call themselves “preppers” really have little experience with it. They binge-watch the latest survivor shows and have a host of supplies and tools they have never actually used. Are you sitting on a twenty-five-pound bag of pinto beans, but you have never even cooked a batch? Do you have cool camping supplies but haven’t stepped foot in the wilderness, in you can’t remember how long? Do you have great hiking boots, but you are horribly out of shape? Have you bought a ton of books, but you still only know how to tie a square knot, can’t cook, never built a fire, never knitted a scarf? If any of those scenarios sound even slightly familiar, you need to start practicing what you preach.
Others will see your independence and skills. They will turn to you for advice about getting started on their abilities. Some will even say, “Well, if he can do it, I can,” and it will be enough to kickstart them down their road. Don’t just talk about being healthy, self-sufficient, or prepared. Demonstrate these traits in your daily life. Talk the talk, but also walk the walk. Start with yourself and let others notice the change in you.
7- Be the Person Who Says, “I told you so.”
While we never advocate for rubbing someone’s mistakes in their face, as they say, we do think it is essential to gently say, “I told you so.” It is necessary to let people know how much better you are fairing because of your preparedness actions when smaller disasters occur. Many look back on the challenges they have faced in life, but not all look back at the hard lessons of life. Talk to anyone who grew up poor, and they can teach you volumes about how to stretch a dollar or a meal. Talk to someone who was just recently unemployed. It got a little tight and scary, but they got another job, and that person may not tell you what they were enacting in their lives to lessen the impact the next time they are unemployed. The fact is, it sometimes takes a prolonged period of tragedy or the same tragedies occurring again and again until we finally accept that we need to make a change. Many people don’t prep because they repeat the most comfortable patterns along systems that continually fail, again and again. Think of it like that friend who repeatedly dates the wrong type of person. How many times will they continue to make that mistake? At some point, you have to take them aside and say both, “Look, I told you” and “Let’s make a plan for you to find someone better.”
One of my friends once told me about how his wife had scoffed at his signing up for hotel rewards points. He also was traveling quite a bit with his job. In a year, he took her on an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii for a week. He paid for it all with rewards points. His wife never scoffed at his rewards programs again, and you know he said, “I told you so,” more than once.
Of course, that is a light example, but don’t be afraid to have an open discussion about the tragedies in your own life and how you now have a plan in place for future catastrophes. Remind a friend that you warned them about this or that and help them build a plan to skirt disaster in the future. Point to the news and let your friends and family know you saw it coming, which is why you are personally getting prepared. You don’t have to let people know the quantities and things you have on hand, but you need to get the conversation started to build your prepping community.
Convincing friends and family to begin prepping always starts with a conversation. By building your networks and community, you can also forge those relationships to assist you in your own prepping endeavors. Forming a bulk buying club or a meal swap can be the spark that you need to ignite a larger conversation. Your friends and family may never fully embrace the prepping lifestyle, but their common sense may motivate them to at least become a little more prepared.
How have you gotten your friends and family on board with prepping? What was your tactic? What worked best for you?
As always, please stay safe out there.