Letter Re: When Unprepared Folks Show Up on Your Doorstep

Mr. Rawles;
With the current state of the country more and more people have been stepping up their preparedness. The question I get asked most is what to do with the people who say they will be over when everything falls apart.
I know you have addressed this in the past, but it is something people need to think through with the current state we are in. With my preparedness consulting I have had story after story from preparing people of family, friends and people who know they are preparing, but do not prepare themselves saying they will be there when everything falls apart.

I have used your novel “Patriots” as a guide for how to prepare for any scenarios and it mentions giving charity to those who show up and sending the unwanted on their way and keeping those who belong or can contribute to the group. For the transients or refugees this is a very good solution to the problem, but when it comes to family and people who know you are preparing it calls for a different solution or group of solutions. I hope you can give some advice to everyone facing this problem. We can go into OPSEC when it comes to not telling folks what they are doing, but there have been mistakes made and it is hard to hide from non-preparing family and for them to understand not to talk about it or you are trying to network with people to get a group together and the information spreads.

Some of the stories I have heard are:

There have been several version of this first one, but it is basically the same falling out in a group and the unwanted plan a unwelcome return.
“We had a member of our group and he turned out to be a slob, was not preparing and thought that a case of ammo and a rifle was all you needed and they would take whatever else was needed from the weak. They politely told him that he was not welcome and would not sharing in the preparations. This person is now contacting the group, saying if it hits the fan that they “will be over”.
The group believes they will have to defend themselves from this former member who will bring his spouse and children with him.”

“We have been preparing for several years and have been trying to get family members, both close and distant involved in a group.When things go bad they [declare that they] are all coming over.
We do not have the room for the extra people in our home. We do not have enough food for the extra people. We do not have other supplies they will need to live here. They do not have the mindset to endure a long term situation nor will they contribute to the survival of the group.We already have a small group of like-minded people we have networked with and are either leaving supplies here or will be bringing their supplies when they come and we have enough for only them.”

With our networking efforts we have talked to many people and have picked up some good people to be in a group. With the economy going down the tubes we are having past contacts talking to us and they plan on showing up if it hits the fan.”

“We have had someone gossip about our preparations and now we have people saying they will be over and we do not even know these people.
How may people know we are preparing and how many are going to show up and what are they going to do to us if we turn them away or will they just take our supplies?”

Respectfully, – Ron from Ohio

JWR Replies: Based on what I read in e-mails, nearly all SurvivalBlog readers–save a few that are utter recluses that have few (or no) family ties–all go through the same thing. This most commonly happens at holiday gatherings, when “Cousin Bob” first teases you for having “that mountain of storage food in your basement”, but then slyly adds “…but I know where I’ll go when things fall apart.” This is the same Cousin Bob that has frittered away his earnings on plasma big screen HDTVs, Jet Skis, and BluRay DVDs. My advice is to be blunt and forthright. Tell Cousin Bob that he’s had the same period warning that you have had, and that he’s had comparable resources available to prepare. Depending on your predisposition, you might say: “You’ve been warned. You must make adequate preparations for your own family. Period.” Hopefully that will spur your relatives into action.