Teaching Preparedness To Family, by Old Bobbert – Part 1

Just a few months ago our family in the Midwest was pummeled by terrible storms and flooding. I knew we had to help them to cope with the dangerous weather events in their neighborhoods. So I put together a “Family Prepper Package“ of information. Here was my process:

Step #1 Create a Written PLan

We made a copy of the plan a part of the presentation binder contents for each household in our extended family. Our plan evolved loosely into a seven part program based on current interests, current economics, infrastructure lack of maintenance, and the real probability of a financial collapse in the fairly near future. Our immediate local Utah family has been involved in preparedness for nearly 30 years, beginning with accepting a volunteer church assignment as our local congregation’s preparedness / self reliance specialists. Please note that our personal viewpoint of preparedness is that it is actually a select group of proven principles  — namely frugality and forward thinking / awareness integrated into our daily lives.

A key proviso: If your survival plan is complicated, if your survival plan is expensive, if your survival plan is too short term, if your survival plan is out-dated, or if your survival plan is not based on ample food and water, then It Will Not Work Well.

Our church does promote preparedness as a suggested practical concept, and no, it is never a doctrinal premise or membership requirement. Principles are never denominational, and no group can ever have sole ownership of a principle. That maxim does well in our family, since there are members of four different religious denominations plus our one agnostic son who has terrific values and personal integrity  and standards.

Okay, we are past the useless churchy objectionable bias stuff. Now let’s go for the proven procedures that can be learned from folks you may not agree with on any topics, ever. Claim Whatever Works For You!

Simplistic Food Supply Planning Rule #1:
Never store food items that you have not eaten in the past six weeks. Think about it.

Simplistic Water Supply Planning Rule #2:
When the lights go off, fill your bathtub with cold water while you still have water pressure. Think about it.

These two simplistic common sense concepts of survival were proposed, taught, and re-taught to our midwest family repeatedly so as to enable them to finally begin to both think and feel that planning ahead for disaster response decisions, and making a written plan, would save lives and conquer fear. We made these two rules the foundational basis of the Family Prepper Package.

You can easily go to YouTube and search for: “WENDY DEWITT – FOOD – and then download her very special and personal food storage methods program. We put it in the video group. It runs a little more than an hour and she starts with a statement that: “this is a church sponsored presentation that is not approved by the church, it just works so very well”.

We live in SW Utah and our full / extended family groups are located many hundreds of miles away in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and up in Idaho. They range in age from 59 down to an infant. And only one adult grandson (in Kansas) was interested in serious preparedness before we made a committed decision to update all of them with binders filled with selected print-outs and two inexpensive USB flash drives filled with downloaded videos.

Our favorite free video download application is Clipgrab. This is easy to use and can be found with any search engine. The Kansas branch of our family is the largest and covers five separate households, all within 50 miles of Kansas City. Our Kansas daughter visits twice yearly and her next scheduled visit was then four months away. That date gave me 120 days to complete the planned “FAMILY PREPPER PACKAGES” so that she could deliver them to her family members at a family meeting at her home, upon her return to Kansas. Their family preparedness binder session went very well and was very appreciated.

Step #2 Selecting References

Step #2 was very simple and yet very difficult. We had to decide what to include and exclude, and how to create an information flow that would not be intimidating, or pessimistic, or overwhelming. Rather, we wanted one that would be feasible, usable, informative, and on occasion somewhat entertaining. I decided to try to rely on the proven decimal system. That meant no more than 100 pages and no more than ten sections. We decided that we would use extant SurvivalBlog published items as often as possible.

At the finish line we were at 141 pages on 72 sheets of paper with 36,862 words. The USB flash drives contained the many multi-topic videos plus digital copies of every page in the binders. We advised the family to use the flash drives to copy the package to their PCs, and to use them to make copies for friends and their in-laws and cousins, et cetera. We attached the flash drives to the holder rings inside the binders.

For your use I have copied the prepper package contents page immediately below, as an example of the items we felt they would need in their area and in their circumstances. Every family will have different requirements in most situations.

  1. 1  Proven Leadership Guidelines
  2. 2  Secure POST-EVENT Community
  3. 3  Planning For Success
  4. 4  Making The Hard Decisions
  5. 5  Novice And Expert
  6. 6  Six Common EMP Questions
  7. 7  Do we have your full attention yet?
  8. 8  Preparedness Movement History
  9. 9  FEMA – Make A Family Response Plan
  10. 10  Personal Progress Notes
  11. 11  TORNADO / EMERGENCY HOME SUPPLIES
  12. 12  Emergency Preparedness- 101

Additionally, our Family Prepper Package included YouTube videos, Check the six titles below. These videos covered more dire situations than we could ever imagine.

  1. All Fiat Currency Fails!
  2. Costco on a budget! How to stock up & not go broke! ROB KIRBY
  3. David Morgan – This Is When Fiat Currencies Will Collapse.
  4. 4. WARNING The Coming Food Crisis Be Ready 2019
  5. The Cattle Feed Crisis Shortage Has Begun.
  6. The U.S. Faces a Catastrophic Food Crisis; Are You Ready?

So how can a concerned family member prepper select, locate, and download the best videos to use to teach family / others?

Answer: Note and use single search word topic names, such as: “Collapse – money – shortages – off-grid –  FEMA.”

The archive articles were copied directly from the SurvivalBlog web site, word for word, and included all of the comments sent in by the readers.

The twelve items shown above were selected as strong examples of people-oriented leadership performance procedures. We wanted our family to be able to see the positive results of group efforts in action. We wanted the family to know how to deal with dangers and difficulties well in advance of the dreaded stressful moments of decision. We wanted to arm them with response knowledge gained from other preppers prepping successes and failures in the recent past. The knowledge we have gained through the years of being committed preppers will help them, and has stood us well in our retirement days. We are now better prepared for whatever, whenever, and whoever. Putting together the instructional Family Prepper Package greatly enabled us to update and make corrections to our own preps after a few years of negligence. I was more than a little too proud of our prepper efforts and old experience. We all gained greatly from the family prepper package experience, and so can you! Every effort on your part to freely help others will greatly help you, every time, and in every different and difficult situation you may encounter in life. This is an ancient proven preparedness precept: People can and do fail, but principles never fail!

Step #3 – Prepper Package Assembly Decisions

We did the necessary house count and young kid count and found we needed five identical binders plus two other binders for those with “children at home “ — for the two homes with great grandkids therein. We determined that every binder should be exactly alike. I created a simple cover page showing the household names and Google maps street view pictures of their homes.

The purpose of the binder ID names and pics was to engender an immediate sense of personal ownership of the binder and the contents in the minds and hearts of our family members. The thin white view 1/2”-ring binders were bought at Costco as a six pack for less than $10.

The printouts were made at home on copy paper from Costco, with printer toner bought from Supplies Outlet. We have found their product quality, pricing, and service to be excellent through the years of home printing. That proved important to us as we now have over 100 binders of prepper – church – veteran information on nine shelves in my den, about 25,000 pages from many years of prepping, as an American Legion service officer, and in our volunteer church work. This I can do. This I must do. I love it!

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2.)




20 Comments

  1. Thank you for your article, Old Bobbert.

    I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating.

    “Simplistic Water Supply Planning Rule #2:
    When the lights go off, fill your bathtub with cold water while you still have water pressure. Think about it.”

    I, personally, was in a hurricane in Virginia around 2000. I closed the drain and filled the 2nd story bathtub to be ready. The drain appeared to have a nice tight fit. Within a couple of hours, every bit of the water had disappeared down the drain.

    It’s difficult to believe this was an unusual occurrence.

    My point is: Don’t assume without testing that you will have a trustworthy, predictable water supply in an emergency. Test it out. Use quality Saran Wrap to see if that improves holding ability. Buy a [WaterBOB] bathtub water container. Test, test, test. We are talking about WATER, which is gold in an emergency.

    Have you ever been thirsty, truly thirsty without any potable water? I have and it made a lasting, life impression. You’ll never gamble with your water resources again.

    1. If on a tight budget, a Wally World kiddy pool that fits your tub with the drain plug placed over the tub drain will also work.

      We learned a few lessons as well when Isabel rolled over Virginia and from a few Super Typhoons in Okinawa.

  2. I didn’t get into prepping until I was in my 50s, & now our children are young adults who don’t seem interested in prepping. But I may give them a prepping gift for Christmas -maybe a couple articles on starting to prep & something tangible.

    1. I’m in a similar situation. I’ve been overly prepared since I was a kid and built an oversized camp box for boy scout camp, but I haven’t been preparing for the EOTW for more than maybe 12 years. My son assumes everything will go without problems. Taking a trip, the car won’t break down, tire won’t go flat, no accidents. Food and water will always be one store away. The electricity never goes off. Looks at a pocket knife and wonders what its for. Maybe its a backlash to my extensive plans. He’s also a bit of a minimalist. I couldn’t convince him why he needed to learn the basic knots, he just ties until the knot is secure. He intentionally doesn’t have many possessions even though he makes a good living. While he was at home I could supply him with what he needs. I gave him a sleeping bag for the car, a small bug out bag for college, a slightly different bug out bag for after his first job, a couple water filters, plenty of flashlights, etc. He moved out recently, I’m getting older, and I’m struggling with how to increase his awareness and preparedness for what can go wrong. As long as I’m alive and live close I can collect long term preps for him, but that doesn’t solve the life skills problem. I also worry his minimalist attitudes will lead him to just sell off all my possessions upon my death. I have extensive prepping supplies, guns, an extensive tool collection for woodworking, metal working, car repair, or tinkering fabrications, 1000+ board feet of lumber, and an extensive collection of hardware bench stock purchased cheaply by the pound. I like your idea of articles, printed on paper, maybe in a binder that grows in time. I need to slowly open his eyes.

        1. No contradiction. Based on what I’ve read many young people live a minimalist lifestyle because they have no choice. He leads a just in time life that assumes everything he needs will always be readily available even though it has a higher cost in dollars and time. Prepping recognizes that there are events when everything isn’t available. Prepping supplies and skills mitigate the adverse affects of events that interrupt the availability of supplies or in extreme events law and order. I’ve explained risk assessment techniques, described potential risks, explained what supplies are for, we’ve been without power on more than one occasion, still no change in his behavior. I should explore with him if he’ll change once I’m not around. Right now he can, and does on occasion, rely on me. He’s led a sheltered and secure life.

      1. If ur son is a bit of a minimalist, I’d keep that binder very small, at least until u see his response to it. If it’s medium to large, he may just toss it away. Of our 3 young adult children, one has some hiking-camping-shooting skills & resources, along w/ a large dog for defense. I hope after they buy a home next year, they’ll stock up on food & water a bit. Another adult child is very out of shape physically, & has no prepper related skills or resources, which why I worry about that one the most. The other child & significant other are in excellent physical condition but live in a medium size city. For Christmas, I may give them water purification tablets, lighters, & a small amount of freeze dried food, which would be a start at least. & when we’re together over the holidays, share why I’m concerned for our nation’s future. If u shared your concerns for the future, would your son listen or just tune u out?

        1. It’s going to be a long race to convince my son that the future is not likely to be the same as the past, or that there are potential catastrophic events that are worth some planning for. I had regular interaction with him until he recently moved out on his own. He lives maybe 5 miles away so we can have some interaction. I’m thinking I need to start looking for articles that I can feed him one or two at a time. One on one conversations are not working so well. I think a large book would be ignored so it needs to be incremental.

  3. Thanks, Brother Bobbert, for all your attention to being prepared, and for sharing your ideas about getting our own family on board. It certainly behooves us all to get more people thinking ahead and getting ready, and demonstrates a very practical Christian love of others. If you were willing to share a copy of your notebook, I would be so appreciative, but I’m not sure how to get in touch with you directly.

    It’s good to know that others are promoting self reliance in such a caring way!

  4. Two things: If you and your tribe are committed to prepping, keep your plans and activities to yourselves. This is especially important if you have young kids. They are blabbermouths! Do whatever you have to do to get them to shut up and not talk about what your tribe is up to.
    Second, scope out your A/O. Who are your neighbors? Are all their assets tied up in adult toys and other frivolous, useless things? Are their teenagers a bunch of shambling, texting, slack-jawed, mouth-breathing, brain-dead, vaping Mall Zombies? If that is the case, they will NOT have a clue and be pounding on your door screaming for help when they run out of toilet paper, feminine hygiene supplies, food, water, etc. Then, my friends, you will have to make a very unpleasant decision.
    Even though I live in Winterfell(North Idaho), I am surrounded by such clueless idiots. I won’t discuss my plans any further, but I know I will be faced with some very unpleasant decisions once the balloon goes up. Plan accordingly.

    1. Dweezil makes an crucial point. All areas of the American Redoubt are not equal.

      Thinking of moving here? I’d highly recommend renting before buying. It takes time to vet areas at the level Dweezil describes. There are indicators to look for including those he describes.

      If I had to pick one key indicator it would be an area where most families homeschool their children. If you find that you will probably find other highly desirable qualities such as self-reliance, good character, people who would stop and help you if you got stuck, etc. Try to get to know them personally perhaps through church etc. before buying in their area. Choose your neighbors wisely.

  5. My problem is that my lovely wife views my prepping as being a “Hoarder”. In the name of ‘de-cluttering’; she recently gave a bunch of extra groceries to a local food bank. I pretty much have to keep any preps in a barn where she doesn’t dare venture.

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