How to Prepare When You’re The Only One- Part 2, by Patriotman

I’m a man in his mid 20s trying to prepare for when SHTF to care for 21 family members, none of which are really contributing in any significant way. I’m also part of a fireteam group, but they are not walking the walk on preparations either. My girlfriend is supportive, but I feel generally alone in my preparations. I’ve outlined the problems I have in each group– family and fireteam– in Part 1 of this article series.

How Do You Overcome These Barriers to Success?

Now that I have laid out my problems, which are substantial, I want to talk about the general steps I have taken to try and mitigate the problems. These concepts will be better exhibited when I delve into each subject area and talk about the specific approaches and steps I have taken.

Keep the Concept in Their Minds

I try to keep the concept front and center in their minds. To do this, I have a weekly email that goes out to all of the members. The email includes several different pieces. It includes:

  • relevant news stories about preparedness items (such as signs of fiscal instability, grid penetrations, et cetera),
  • articles about preparedness topics and techniques from sites such as this (SurvivalBlog),
  • other relevant cultural articles (from sites such as Western Rifle Shooters Association or View from the Porch), and
  • excerpts from Sam Culper’s Forward Observer Intelligence Briefings, which I look forward to every week.

By doing this, I am at least forcing them to spend some time every Friday thinking about preparedness-related topics. This is preferable to it sliding into the forgotten corners of their minds.

Lower Their Barriers To Entry

I’ve lowered their barrier to entry by trying to make it less of a burden to prep. While it would be lovely for everyone to store their own food, this may be too much an effort for them to undertake on their own. As such, I have offered to mirror my food stores for the fireteam at cost so long as they purchase the food and the supplies. While they have not taken me up on the offer yet, I am lowering the necessary inputs from them in hopes that they will meet me halfway. I routinely send them any particularly good preparedness deals I find (such as $3.99 ammo cans from Harbor Freight or mail-in rebates for ammunition purchases). With this, they don’t have to search for deals themselves. I pass along useful articles on using tourniquets, sighting weapons, or other preparedness topics.

Why Put So Much Effort If They Won’t Expend Effort Themselves?

The point of this is to put the ball in their court and lower the amount of effort they need to expend in order to become prepared. Once again, you are probably thinking, “If they won’t help themselves, why are you putting so much effort in?” For one, I will benefit if they begin to become prepared. So the cost of doing these things is lower than the benefits that I would receive. Secondly, it makes me feel less guilty if the SHTF and I need to leave the fireteam due to a need to preserve my supplies, because, well, I tried.

Make Suggestions

Use suggestions, not make orders. What I mean is this: Instead of lecturing a team member and saying, “You need to do XYZ because blahblahblah”, I instead approach it as “I was working on my weapons reload drills the other day….have you ever ran those drills”? Another example is, “I just realized that I needed to obtain a field repair kit for my rifle. Do you have one of those? Oh, no? Well, we probably should get that because (insert reasons). Want me to just find some and order them for us?” This is similar to removing barriers to entry, but this approach also allows you to broach topics and concepts without coming off like a lecturer.

Appeal to Emotions

Appealing to emotions in another approach. Nothing motivates a father more than asking them how they would feel if they couldn’t feed their children in a crisis. It is a real gut check and may just motivate someone to prep because it is no longer about them but about someone they love and care for. One such tool I have used is this video from the Electric Infrastructure Security Council regarding the power grid. It is powerful, people, and I have personally seen it change some perspectives on the topic of preparedness.

Root the Preparedness in Scripture.

Both my family and my fireteam groups are very religious, and using Scripture to promote preparedness has helped a lot in my endeavor to get them more serious about it. From the storing of the grain to the many references of famine and disaster, grounding your argument in Scripture may prove to be the best method, depending on who your audience is.

Specific Preparedness Steps and Plans

We have laid out the problem that exists, and we’ve identified some concepts that may help fix the problems. However, that doesn’t change the current situation, unless everyone decides to suddenly go all-in on supplies and training. So, while working on closing the gap between the “spirit” and the “flesh” of prepping, let me highlight some of the specific guides and plans I have in place.

Plans for Prepping for a Large Group

These plans assume that I am still the only one preparing and that the previous steps have not yet succeeded. Please note that I am not in any way, shape, or form an expert on these areas. I am only sharing these lists and plans because I want to give you ideas and a starting point for prepping for a large group of individuals with little to no support. These are the things that have helped me maintain my sanity and my clarity of purpose through the frustration and despair, and I hope you find it useful as well.

Note Taking

One general thing I have been doing is a plethora of note taking. It seems to be a tall order for many of my team members to read books that are relevant to the topic of preparedness. As such, I am tapping into my many years’ experience as a student and taking notes on the books I read, such as Mosby’s Reluctant Partisan. This has dual benefits– it helps me retain and understand the topics better, and it allows me to make a sort of “cheat sheet” that I can hand to people in a pinch so that they have at least some level of exposure to the topic area. This is by no means a substitution for either reading it themselves or actually taking classes on topics. However, it is the best that I have been able to do with my teams. If you are in a similar situation, then it may be for you as well. Remember to look for ways to lower the barriers to entry.

Food and Water

I used Mr. Rawles’ books as well as a few different forum posts to construct my food preparedness plan. I divided the food into two different groups– Tier One and Tier Two. My goal is to get all of Tier One squared away before concerning myself too heavily with Tier Two. Some of you may disagree with the method (and my numbers of how much food per person per year). However, it makes it more manageable to get the supplies and allows me to get the bare necessities in house quicker. In the table below, the number in the first column (under the item name) is the amount I am assuming per person per year. My goal is to get three months of food per person and then eventually increase that to at least six. Most of the food is assumed to be stored in Mylar in 6-gallon buckets, unless otherwise noted. (USA Emergency Supply has excellent resources that estimates how much food can fit in various buckets and containers.)

I calculated the amount of food I would need for three different groups for one year– 16 people (this assumes my girlfriend’s family cannot get to us), 21 people (most likely scenario, which assumes that they can get to us), and 42 people (if I was prepping for both the family and fireteam groups).Then simply divided by 4 to get a general approximation on how much food I need. I then roughly (very roughly) estimated the cost for the most likely number for three months by just doing a DuckDuckGo search on prices. By breaking down the cost as such, it has made it easier to ask for money for buying the food. The family group is realizing that it does not cost much for such peace of mind, and they have been more willing to entertain the idea of throwing some bucks my way. (A few have given hard commitments! That’s progress!)

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part one of a three part entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
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  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
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Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
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  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
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Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


    1. Patriot Man, your intentions and ambitions are noble, but fall short.

      In my view, there are 3 types of people and they fall into two competing camps. The 3 types are: those that make things happen; those that watch things happen; and those that wonder what happened. The two competing camps are conservatives vs liberals/socialist. The competing camps could easily be defined as Christians vs others.

      Among the types and camps will be found first rate persons; second rate persons; and third rate persons. First raters surround themselves with first rafters, I glean you to be among that notable group. Second raters will surround themselves with Third raters but will tag along with or try to glean from the First raters.

      Birds of a feather flock together, or so they should. The wolf does not concern itself with the thoughts of the sheep. Nuts don’t fall far from the tree. Leopards don’t lose their spots.

      It was said, “To thine own self be true” (Shakespeare); so I would part with the notion that in your accounting for 21 to 98 persons, many are sheep of some flock or the other; some wolves in sheeps clothing; others yet guard dogs loyally desiring to save the sheep; but one cannot in the end save the sheeple from themselves.

      You seem to have rung the watchman’s bell. Good job. If you want the flock to follow you must lead. Go forth on your journey in life, you and your lady. A sad reality, but true, one can not always save another from themselves as free will has led many astray.

  1. How much has preparing for all these other people (besides your girlfriend) set you back financially vs your long term goals? I ask because I’m also in a similar living situation, late-20’s but still living with my parents to allow me to build up my finances more rapidly than I could otherwise, in order to achieve long term goals (both prepping related and not).

    That being said I’ve just taken the approach that if SHTF any time soon and had an impact lasting more than a month or two I’ll just be SOL, and I guess I’ve just come to terms with that. You seem to have taken a different approach which I guess I just assumed would be too costly for me at this time, but maybe I’m wrong.

    Also if the occupied mid-Atlantic state you mentioned yesterday was either MD or VA, then maybe we would have more to discuss in a different setting. If so then let me know here.

  2. Patriotman, I hate to say his but you need to get a clue! If something happens your “Fireteam” will come and take all your provisions, because, as you have stated they are armed and you and your family are not (you may be, but one against 21 are really bad odds). Frankly I think you are wasting your time, as many people have figured out with their own families and friends. The more you send them your monthly updates they understand just what you have, and have done for them. What you are trying to do is very admirable, but will probably end up getting you killed. Those LEO’s on your Fireteam already have a much different mindset than you do, due to their real life experiences with their jobs, and they will do what is necessary for their families! I know because my family is full of LEO’s, active and retired. Your next monthly update should tell all you have given up on prepping and have sold what you have accumulated to someone with some interest (and mean it), then start keeping your mouth shut, and distancing your self from the rest. Otherwise when, and if something does happen you won’t look like the low hanging fruit from the tree.

  3. A lot of great points brought up. Two factors that I see could throw a wrench into the plans. One, the lack of firearms training you briefly touched on and there is no good answer for it in our brainwashed society that promotes an anti-gun agenda and a willing public who swallows it hook, line and sinker.

    The other is an individual’s particular reactions to fear should a SHTF scenario actually occur. Will every family member be courageous enough to stand firm and help others…or will their fight or flight syndrome kick in and they turn tail and run, compromising the entire plan?

    How do you keep all 21 reigned in so no one can jeopardize the entire group? And of course the different personality types come into play. As an exercise you could do a personality profile of the key family members via the Myers Briggs assessment and determine basically how they might react in a stressful situation and plan accordingly.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  4. I don’t mean this response to sound snarky so please don’t take it that way. That being said, I want to point out why your efforts are failing, and will continue to fail. You, an unmarried 20 something who still lives with his parents and is insufficiently employed to so much as rent a 1 bedroom apartment on his own, are approaching grown men and women, who live on there own, take care of their families, and are gainfully employed, and attempting to ”suggest” what they should be doing to take care of themselves. Meanwhile, rather than saving your money to get out of your parents basement, you’re buying storage foods and practicing reload drills. As a 37 year old combat veteran married man, I wouldn’t listen to you either. You have no credibility or life experience. No one worth working with is going to take you seriously until you do. And in all honesty, they shouldn’t. You said you have a bachelors degree in Science. Like the gentleman said yesterday, do yourself a favor and go seek a commission in the Army. The pays decent, the trainings free and constant, and they’ll teach you leadership skills you need.

    1. Jason,

      Patriotman, while well-intentioned, is living in a fantasy realm.

      You nailed it. He should be taking everything you say to heart and adjusting his life accordingly.

    2. Can’t agree more.

      As a grown man who has managed to keep a wife and two kids alive all on my own, as well as a combat vet, I wouldn’t listen to my 20-something nephew who lives with his parents and spends all his money on jeeps.

      I always thought preparing for a rainy day was a lonely venture. You do it for yourself, you prod the spouse toward tangential topics she might be interested in. My wife loves cooking. We started an herb garden. We are trying our hand a gardening this year. She wants to learn to can. She has no interest in firearms (still shoots better than I do!), nor the survival aspects, but is willing to dry camp. My kids are interested in camping, survival, firearms, etc..

      I choose to engage each family member and friend in their own way. The frontal attack never works without the golden horde marching up the drive way. I have couple dear friends that, when approached by a rookie prepper (me) they gave me the “hmm? Sure, whatever” response. Several years later, without much casual talk about the subject, have come around some. They are not spending every penny on preparing, but gone from “everything is fine” to “WTF is going on with our world” and have embraced certain aspects of prepping. Whether its gardening or learning firearms competency, they are slowly shifting from “not me” to “how do I protect my family?”

      Patriot sounds like Sysiphus, rolling a rock up a hill in what feels like hell.

      Good luck, young man. Haven’t seen you respond to much feedback, but I hope hearing it from a slightly older crowd who has all gone through what you trying to do provides food for knowledge.

      Semper Sysiphus
      (ever the struggle)

  5. Persuasion is always difficult.
    We even don’t understand exactly how it happens: why do some people choose heaven and some people hell? That argument will go on until we get to heaven and ask.

    One of my kids finally figured out motorcycles really are as dangerous as I had been explaining when he saw a human foot in a bucket in the ER, thanks to a motorcycle. He didn’t like the idea of losing body parts!

    A Suggestion to get the gravity across: I’m not as invisible as many might wish, but when folks say they will just come to me in a time of trouble, I tell them “do you know the password?” A bit stunned, they always inquire. “ I brought two good rifles and a year worth of food” I always answer. — and it gets the point across. They have a responsibility and I feel that I should make it clear. Jesus did much the same

    1. ^^^^Is that you Dad!? lol! But really, great article like yesterday, looking forward to the 3rd. Though I do agree with others as you are wasting a lot of time and resources and I speak through experience. I’ve had the same approach for years with friends, close lifelong friends, now with families, and anytime any disaster topic comes up you can just see their eyes glaze over, they don’t even want to think about it. Only my best friend (of 25+ years) has come around and in a major way. It breaks my heart but I have for over the past 5 years or so, let my self slip away, still keeping in touch but not attending group functions. I have a family now and don’t have enough for all the friends and their families as well. I have come to the mindset that when it all goes down perhaps the best thing to do would just be to go live in that hole in the ground with my family and pray, for about a year. Most people just wanna watch football, and that’s that. I tried. Now, I better start digging.

    2. This reminds me of that dumb movie.

      As the first rule of fight club is ‘don’t talk about fight club,’ the first rule of prepping should be ‘don’t talk about prepping.’

      On persuasion, it sounds like Patriot is going full Toyota sales guy on what he dreams of as his team. Constant haranging, weekly spam emails. There is a reason the guy who leeches on you at the Toyota dealership is never the one who closes the deal, and if you swing by next week, he won’t be there. He’s already been replaced.

      If he intends to continue to recruit, he needs to find common ground with the target, such as asking Aunt Betty (who cans) to teach him her canning methods. Ask Cousin Bob to take you with him when he goes out to hunt deer.

      The hard sell is always the most difficult, and the least satisfying for both parties.

      If he dialed all the way back, sent out a mea culpa, and slowly starting finding common interests, finding out who actively manages fruit trees, gardens, shoots regularly, hunts, fishes, etc. he might just learn that he has more in common prepping-wise with members of the proposed group than he thought.

    1. Forgive me if I assume too much, but this is exactly what not to do to win over prep group members.

      IMO, this exemplifies the “what not to do” when recruiting members. Hard sell, cajoling, spam emails, etc just serve to push people away, or get written off as a ‘crazy’ all-together.

      If this group was already at least loosely in agreement on prep philosophy, weekly “whats up” emails would be fine, but haranging the fam to “get it together” is a non-starter.

      If one might doubt, pick a family member or friend with whom you have never spoken re: prepping. Go over uninvited and throw the same hard sell at them. You’ll be lucky if Auntie Susan doesn’t take the sweet tea from your hand and ask you to leave.

  6. There appears to be a couple things missing from this part:

    1:the “video from the Electric Infrastructure Security Council regarding the power grid.”

    2: the chart on food storage

    Overall, good article

  7. I don’t get it, you have undertaken all this while living with your parents? You really need to get out on your own and start a life for yourself. You need to prepare for the most likely emergencies life can throw at you in order of probability. It probably looks like this.
    -Job loss or loss of income.
    -Loss of shelter, i.e. your parents get tired of you living with them in your mid twenties and they ask you to move out.
    -Loss of relationship that’s important to you, your GF gets tired of the long distance thing.
    -Next would be preparing YOURSELF for a SHORT term emergency by purchasing about 2 weeks of rations, a shotgun and a couple boxes of birdshot and buckshot.

    You can’t see it right now but you are in a life emergency. You need to move on, get a place of your own, start a proffession, find a suitable woman. Otherwise you will be living with your parents five years from now working at Lowe’s saying “dang I shoulda ……”. Those other folks don’t care about guns or food storage or learning about life OH WELL, cut em loose. Move on. Don’t stagnate at your age, it will soak through your life and by the time you are 40 you won’t have anything to show for it.

    I apologize if I am coming off as rude but I feel that brutal honesty is best here.

  8. It sounds like your parents are subsidizing your preps for a large number of people that don’t want to be bothered. Marry the girl and start you life.

  9. It sounds like your parents are subsidizing your preps for a large number of people that don’t want to be bothered. Marry the girl afnd start your life.

  10. Dang little brother, out of forty people you don’t have even one person for a combat buddy, let alone a four man team? This is a tough row to hoe. Try for the next three months, that’s the length of your short term preps, to bring three others out of this forty individuals, even start with two. One of these four need to be your closest ally that you can share everything with, your shoot, shovel, and shut up, buddy. Your an island right now, and it’s not sustainable. You most likely will have to seek these people from outside of your current group. I wish with your enthusiasm you lived by me. There may be someone like me though in your area looking for other like minded people, and you would fit the bill. Be cautious, use discernment, and move ahead.

  11. I am a woman in my 60’s. I’ve been “getting ready” since before Y2K. In all that time I have tried to “educate” and “persuade” my loved ones to open their eyes to the need to at least THINK about the future. Doesn’t work; you can’t turn a person into a prepper. Preppers have a certain kind of approach to life which seems to be built in. What few relatives I have are not the least bit interested in leaving sunny southern California where life is grand. So I finally came to the realization that even at this late point in my life, I needed to pick myself up and get myself to a safe location. I chose to move to the American Redoubt (grateful hat tip to Mr. Rawles) and bought a property that I love. I’m doing all I can to establish self sufficiency for myself. In the event of sudden collapse scenario there will be massive die off, most likely including my family members. I have to accept the hard fact that this is the decision THEY have made for themselves. I can’t live their lives for them, just as you are discovering you can’t really change how your family and “team” are viewing their situation. While your desire to save all of them is noble, it is just not realistic. Remember, there is a Biblical commandment to leave your father and mother and start your own family. At your young age, I advise you to focus exclusively on forming and protecting your own nuclear family. Marry the girl, decide where is the best place for YOU and your WIFE and future CHILDREN to ride this out, and make it happen. Don’t focus on that extended group, they don’t want what you are offering. Buy some land for yourself, get familiar with the seasons, the soil, the local community, there is so much to learn. Then you will have a real place of refuge to offer them, if you still think that is the best path. Remember, it takes YEARS of living on your own property to really get the hang of homesteading. Get out there and actually do it, time’s a-wasting. Please see our bluntness as the love and concern that it is, and take advantage of the seasoned advice so many of us are offering.

  12. I have the same problems, and I think a majority of “real” preppers do. My friends SOUND enthusiastic, but then it comes down to them buying the guns they want anyway (plus 20 rnds of ammo, lol), and then having the feeling they’re “prepared.” I’m sure they feel particularly well set when they see my nearly 100k rnds of ammo and two years food supply. I think they “magically” believe I can take care of everyone! I’ve been reduced to storing 40 or so buckets of beans/rice/flour, and a few thousand rnds of cheap 556 — all to hand out to friends at the start of bad times, saying “Sorry, this is all I’ll be able to spare. Good luck!”

    The real problem is that EVERYONE (except me) is used to living ;aycheck to paycheck (or worse, on credit cards) and they just can’t seem to find a way to spend money on extra food or ammo that won’t be used right away. It’s a sad state of affairs (and yet another straw on the camel’s back among all the things that make for tough times for a society.

  13. Patriotman,
    A lot of us have made suggestions for you for the long term which you may or may not heed. I know that long term goals can be difficult to execute on, especially for younger folks.
    Here are a few concrete steps for the short term.
    1. Stop reading prepper fiction. Go cold turkey RIGHT NOW!
    2. Start reading the “want adds” RIGHT NOW!
    3. Stop sending out article links to everyone that you want to be in your “group” every week.
    4. Start sending out resumes and cover letters every day. Iron your clothes, shine your shoes and go on interviews with anyone who will talk to you. Practice is not just for reloading drills…
    5. Stop talking. Enthusiasm without experience and gravitas is not compelling or persuasive.
    6. Start Listening. You will learn important things.
    7. Put away the laptop and go outside and dig and plant a garden in your parent’s yard.
    8. See how much produce you can grow to contribute to your family’s larder this summer.
    9. Learn how to can, dehydrate or otherwise preserve anything you manage to grow.
    (That is not snark, it takes several years to get the hang of actually growing food).
    10. Open up some of those buckets of rice and beans and practice actually cooking with them.
    11. Clean up the kitchen so you don’t leave a mess for your mother.
    12. Put aside your spreadsheets for food planning for 21+ people.
    13. Start a spreadsheet for an accurate and feasible budget designed to get out of debt and out of the basement. Ask for help in budgeting from adults who are supporting themselves and their families successfully. Follow that budget to a T, no exceptions for cool camo gear and gadgets.
    Getting “buy in” from others is not your biggest challenge. Getting grounded in reality is.
    Based on your writing you seem to be a well meaning young man. That is good. No one is trying to beat you up here and I think we all support preparedness in others as it makes us all safer.
    I also know that the picture of practical preparedness that we are painting lacks the adventure, heroism and romance of the vision that you have in your head right now. Gun battles and riding to the rescue of grateful family and friends – saving the day! That’s heady stuff and prepper fiction is full of it but it’s probably not real. Sorry!
    Here’s my final bit of unsolicited advice: The real heroes are those that do the hard and often boring work of caring for their families each and every day. Going to a job they may not love because it pays the bills, cleaning out the gutters, paying the orthodontist and shoveling the driveway. If they are especially forward thinking, once all of the every day bases are covered and secure, they work with their families to prepare for all of the other events that may occur…Understanding that is part of growing up.

    Grey Woman

      1. Why thank you BobW. I actually have. Let me entertain you… See: “A Few Hard learned Lessons” (part 1 and 2) and “Caring for Children on the Autism Spectrum During TEOTWAWKI” (part 1 and 2). Also wrote “The Invisible Prepper” but that seemed to make a lot of folks angry at me so you might want to skip that one…;-)

        1. Grey Woman, looked up your article Invisible Prepper & I’ve decided I am your sister from another mother. You seem to have accomplished so much & write with a real sense of humor. I noticed most of the critical comments on your article seemed to come from “christian” men. They hate it when your balls are bigger than theirs. And I’m 72 yrs old so I’ve experienced a lot of that.

  14. I applaud your efforts and willingness to look out for your family and extended members, but when you are trying to prep for 42 people, that is 42 mouths blabbing away all of your plans! Not only will the 42 people come to you when the SHTF, but anyone that they’ve spoken to about their “crazy brother-in-law” that is stock piling food and firearms will show up too!

    I feel like the weekly emails are probably SPAM to your teams and may not be the most effective way to communicate with them. My suggestion would be to choose 4 – 6 people who can keep their mouths shut, and keep them in the prep loop. Also, ditch the 21 person fire team and get your self a small group to train with.

  15. I’m staying out of the debate about how you choose to relate to your relatives, but I think staying with your parents is the smartest thing you could do. My own parents allowed me to live at home rent-free while I was in college. I worked on campus and earned a fairly good salary. I was not only debt-free when I graduated, I actually had more money than when I started college. By living at home you’re saving $800+ each month, plus electric, gas, and water bills. You’re also not having to buy furniture, small appliances, etc.

    Years passed and the time came when I tried to repay my parents. My Dad died too quickly to need care, but I stayed with Mom during her long cancer battle. They had cared for me, I wanted to care for them. That’s what families do.

  16. I tend to agree with “Liz” in her comment; you have a very large liability in the uncommitted “fireteam”.

    The “grey man” approach is safer for you AND for your more committed (smaller) group. That should mean that you are willing to put out a New image of a NON-prepper, and that means making significant efforts to cover your previous statements and represent yourself as a “reformed” prepper who has seen the light and moved away from prepping. Yes, that is, at best, prevarication and at worst, outright lying. Act to safeguard yourself, your group and your stockpile.

    With the above in mind, I still congratulate you on your efforts and initiative. Don’t stop prepping, but just change some of your assumptions and be very circumspect in whom you trust with the lives of your group.

    I’m 68 yo and can attest to having been where you are in terms of willingness to trust someone when you want/need their assistance. I agree that having a “fireteam” sounds good, on paper, but the evidence you cite (their unwillingness to participate in your plan), should be a red flag warning that they have other agenda…

    Plan and Act Now, to extinguish your image as a prepper who has “stuff”. Move your stockpile to other locations (plural). Make VISIBLE efforts to sell off your stockpile, perhaps to other members of your trusted group.

    Yes, I admit this sounds like a daunting task… It is. But you are in an “untenable” position with respect to people you have no verified reason to trust. Yes, some of your “fireteam” are LEO or ex-LEO, but that is NOT an automatic guarantee of trust worthiness.

    Finally, I agree with other comments which advise that you, personally, get weapons training. I’ll not go so far as to recommend joining the military, because you may (soon?) find yourself in much worse places that your present situation. Those recommendations are based on a valid wish for you to learn self-discipline and teamwork. Weight the cost of that training carefully.

  17. Mercy Patriotman, you are a single male in your mid-20’s with a Masters of Science degree and you are still living off your parents. It’s time to launch and become a man. You will get no better advice than that of Liz, Jason (parts 1 & 2), Survivormann99, SBC, Iccy and Rock Owen.

  18. If you’re not able to support yourself, why would you EVER be trying to prep for others? If you’re living with your parents, but spending your money to prep for others, you’re essentially using your parents’ money to do it. Talk about “wealth redistribution!” Start with yourself, and then work outward…

  19. I typed out a long lengthy discourse on what you should do, but deleted it after reading Grey Woman’s post above. Follow at minimum her advice, if not all the rest of the commenters who have many more years of experience and learned mistakes behind them.
    You are living in a prepping fantasy that is not going to work out.
    I do want to repeat what someone else said, those ex-leo “friends” who aren’t doing anything will come for your stuff with guns for their families if they need it.
    Only other advice for you is to immediately get all of your accumulated preps into a storage location no one else knows about and then tell everyone that you are no longer doing the prepping thing and got rid of everything you had accumulated.

  20. ditto Liz, Jason (parts 1 & 2). Wake up and understand you cannot save those who don’t want to participate. When others see you as truly self sufficient maybe you will be leading by example.Listened to one of the conservative talk show hosts today who played some translated clips from Russian state TV and radio. They were telling their listeners to prepare for a nuclear attack, have supplies such as rice, beans, powdered milk, etc. on hand but DON’T head for the bunkers until you hear from them. Meanwhile in the US of A our media is blathering on about Stormy Daniels, Trump’s lawyer, and so many other idiotic things (IMO) with maybe only a minute of the worsening potential confrontation with us and the Russians over the Syrian crisis……their media is prepper conscious and our’s treats us like freaks using the Doomsday Prepper as a blanket brush that proves us to be a crazy bunch of kooks…you might want to pay particular attention to the list provided by Grey Woman.. I am 72 yrs old and have been at this for about 10 yrs now so I hope you listen to the advice being given here. I learn something new every time I read posts on this site.

  21. Patriotman, Like several others today and yesterday, I highly recommend you seek a commission. They will provide training, experience and membership in the world’s largest prepper group: the US Army. I would suggest Infantry, with Jump School and Ranger training if possible. That will get you in shape and teach small unit tactics that are directly transferrable to prepper life. The USMC and their Infantry training would do so as well. Marry the girlfriend. If she is of a mind to join the military, that works too. Good luck and God bless.

  22. Its a moral dilemma. Who do you throw out of the lifeboat? or do you all drown? Ben Franklin summarized it well in the 1750’s with “God helps those who help themselves”.

    You’ve talked with your family and sent them information so they are not ignorant of the topic. At this point you have to respect their decision to do nothing. Love them for who they are – not what you want them to be.

    I’d advise stopping all the emails and persuasiveness. Those interested will seek you out as they watch you develop interesting skills and remain calm in anxious times.

  23. I agree with Liz. You’re putting yourself and your wife in danger. Those you are trying to help have a proven track record of showing no desire to help themselves. Give up on prepping. Well, not really, but convince your “friends” that you have. Otherwise they’re going to come for your stuff if S ever HTF.

  24. here appears to be a couple things missing from this part:

    1:the “video from the Electric Infrastructure Security Council regarding the power grid.”

    2: the chart on food storage

    Overall, good article

  25. I almost feel as though this article is written as a joke. Tongue in cheek. Your family will “entertain the idea of throwing bucks your way”? “Hard commitments–that’s progress”??? Seriously??? IF, and I say IF because I truly wonder whether this is true, but IF you are serious, then get over trying to be the savior of everyone you know. You say that your number of 21 is “the most likely scenario, assuming her family can get to us”—why on earth would you assume that? They live several states away and have a negative interest in prepping–if the SHTF, what in the world is going to enable them to get to you? They will die on the way. That is if they live long enough to even figure out what happened. Traveling cross country after the SHTF will not be easy. I come from a family of preppers–my sister and her family are fully stocked and a three hour drive from me, my father is one state away and fully prepared to walk the 500 miles to get here. But I know, as do they,the chances are good that even prepared, they might not get here. My property is the designated family retreat. There are 18 people who have an invitation to come. All 18 of them carry with them (in their backpack or their car) a t shirt of a specific color that they have been given. They know to have it on if they approach the property close enough to be seen through a scope. Anyone else that says to me “Oh, well I know where I am going if the Zombie Apocalypse happens” gets a fully serious response of “Well, you’d better have on the right shirt–I’d hate to have to shoot you.” They don’t really know if I am kidding or not. Trust me, I am not. Do all 18 of them contribute to my preps? No. Not all of them do. But they each bring a skill to buy their way in. The only people who get a free pass (not having to bring a usable skill) are my mother and my son. My mother paid her price by bearing me. And my son paid his price by being born to me. Everyone else–a doctor, a mechanic, a hunter, reloader–they need to be able to earn their keep and contribute in a meaningful and necessary way. If not, they need to pay up front by adding to what I have. And if they don’t at least appreciate the necessity of prepping–(even if they cannot afford to do it themselves right now)–then they are on their own. And they do NOT receive an “entrance shirt”. My father will at some point in time be too old to contribute in a physical way. But he earns his way in by permanently “storing” about 15 firearms with me now. You need to get over your desire to save everybody. Make them understand now that if they come, there will be a price to pay–paid now or paid then–but paid, nonetheless. Or you might someday have to bury that girlfriend because you were too busy being generous to people who did not want it or deserve it when you should have been focused on her. You have led the horses to water. Stop trying to force them to drink.

  26. These comments are hilarious but mostly true and genuine.
    Patriotman, I admire your patience with your family but take some of this good advice you have been given by these comments.
    Just curious…. Did she say yes?
    I’m assuming of course you proposed after hearing countless comments of “marry her!”

  27. Only join the military if you are ok with more vaccines and also keeping up that long distance thing with your new wife.
    World war 3 isn’t approaching… It’s here so peace times are over
    If you have read any of JWR books then you know it will likely be even more rough on soldiers during the crunch….not to mention a newly wed soldier…..with a 21 person fire team to feed.
    Good article

  28. Seems to me that there is another way to increase their preparedness:

    Christmas and birthday gifts should be prep related – pocket knives, first aid kits, selected books like the old boy scout manual, gardening books and equip and seeds, emergency ponchos, space blankets, backpacks, flashlights …

  29. The only appeal to reason I can think of is to point out disasters can happen anywhere. Consider the northeast power failure where the grid was down for 3 days. No power, no gas pumping. Or the hurricanes where the stores were cleaned out for those who waited. If everyone would just be a bit prepared with the staple items they would rush to get – and it might be a few hundred dollars at most – for a 2 week to one month disaster (Katrina) before the event, everyone will be better off.

  30. Patriotman, listen. Please listen. You’ve got to learn some basics. Survival ultimately is always an individual effort. A group of people wanting to survive cannot be a democracy. That’s mob-rule, which will only get everyone killed. You’ve a good heart to even think of taking on what you speak of. But, emotions will not guide you well at all. Remember this – coming from a man who’s been on his own since he was 16 – you are your home. None of the items you’ve gathered matter. Plan on it. It’s what you know, can do, those split-second decisions you make that will be crucial. As I’m now done with the raising of children, seeing grand-children coming up to take their places in the world… I can only hope that my kids, their kids.. are strong enough, each one on their own, to face whatever comes their way. Get out of where you are now. Live on your own – face the hardships now. If your girl is loyal, she’ll be at your side. If not, don’t look back, just keep your own course. Mid-20’s? It’s long past time. You’ve not prepped one bit if you have not faced this world yet alone.

  31. Patriotman, ever see the movie A Beautiful Mind”? I’m getting the feeling of some parallels here. Not trying to be mean but it sounds like you could be slipping into fanaticism. Read all the previous comments & take them to heart. I’m concerned for you.

  32. In regards to note-taking, one thing I have in my preps – since NONE of my family is prepared either – are a number of old Boy Scout Handbooks & Fieldbooks (pre-1971). They’re easy to read, have easy to follow illustrations, and can be read & understood by youngsters in your group as well. These can still be had for a song, since they were produced in great numbers for the baby boomers heyday; they’re PRE-PC, so you don’t hafta worry about nonsensical, unimportant minutia taking up valuable space. Run a Scout troop post-SHTF even; it’ll be a great way to keep the youngsters POSITIVELY pre-occupied & motivated, it can be an educational component of maintaining “normalcy” in the community, and boost morale for everyone.

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