Reluctant Prepper Family

Prepping All For None And One For All

Do you have a reluctant prepper family? I know I do. When I first started prepping I wrongly assumed my family would jump on board realizing the benefits of becoming preppers. Willingly joining me in my pursuit of being prepared for all survival scenarios that may come our way.

So as you can probably imagine I was kinda off bewildered when I realized what I thought would be an all for one and one for all situation from outset. Turned out to be the exact opposite, instead, it became a case of all for none and one for all. Meaning I was now going to have to prep for my reluctant prepper family because they were not one bit interested.

I remember my wife saying if the SHTF she would rather be dead. My teenage daughter laughing at me calling me a weirdo. Being the individual that I am these comments didn’t deter me and only strengthened my resolve to pursue what I believed to be the right course of action. So I began to prepare for my whole family.

It crossed my mind however that surely I can’t be the only prepper out there who has a reluctant prepper family. So I had the idea of writing this article to discuss in more detail the reasons behind this initial response from members of my family. I also wanted to relay some ideas on how to go about changing people’s outlook. Ultimately in the hope of getting them on board with the benefits of emergency preparedness planning.

Reluctant Prepper Family Psychology

Often the Psychology and reasoning behind why family members do not see any benefit in prepping or want to become preppers can vary. Whilst not an exhaustive list here are some of my thoughts on the more common reasons:

Normalcy Bias

Normalcy Bias, sometimes known as Normality Bias is a state of mind that some people have when they think about the reality of facing an emergency or disaster situation. This causes people to underestimate the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. In their minds, they believe that things will always function the way things normally function. This is one of the reasons these people fail to adequately prepare for disaster.

I Would Rather Be Dead

Another reason family members may not want to get involved in prepping is that they genuinely believe they would rather die than survive. For example in the event of a nuclear attack or total break down of civilization in their eyes there would be no point to living. They have no wish to survive, now whilst to some of us this may sound like a rather selfish outlook especially when you have a family. It’s important to respect this opinion if that’s the way they genuinely feel. In time they may come around to the idea that life can go on as it has for thousands of years.

Good Old Fashion Laziness

Sorry but it has to be said that sometimes people are just plain lazy in their outlook to emergency preparedness. They believe that they don’t have to worry about being prepared because firstly it may never happen. Secondly, they feel if the time comes when an emergency or disaster strikes they will be OK. They believe that someone else will take care of matters. I’m not sure that you can ever change a true lazy persons outlook on these matters.

Fear of Disaster

My main profession is that of a Will Writer and the burning question for Will Writers is. Why hasn’t everyone made a Will?. Often the answer to this is fear, people don’t like to think about dying. So they put it to the back of their minds and never get round to doing it. This is in almost every case detrimental to their families when they pass away.

Sometimes the reasons for not wanting to prepare themselves for a disaster situation is exactly the same. They can’t bear to think about any doom and gloom aspects of life and instantly put it to the back of their minds in the hope that it will never happen to them.

This outlook is as they say a case of digging your head in the sand. You can turn the news channels off to your heart’s content. In my opinion, there is no escaping the disasters that appear to be occurring more frequently than ever. The human race also seems to be intent on destroying itself. I quote the current North Korean situation as a prime example of this.

Family Budget Concerns

Sometimes family members can have concerns with regards to the financial strain that prepping could cause on the family budget. Nowadays a lot of us struggle to make ends meet at the best of times. The additional cost of prepping equipment and supplies could be seen as a negative factor when it comes to embracing emergency preparedness.

Changing the Family’s Perspective

In the section above I discussed what I feel may be the reasoning behind why we may encounter a reluctant prepper family. Lets now take a look at how some of these reasons can be approached:

Normalcy Bias Response

This is somewhat difficult to respond to because normalcy bias is an embedded subconscious reaction to survival situations. In my opinion, the best way to approach this is to discuss the subject of disasters and survival planning gradually over a period of time. For example, your watching the news one evening with your partner whilst a number of disasters are being reported. Take this opportunity to openly discuss your reasons for prepping in relation to what you would do if you were facing the disaster that is being reported.

I Would Rather Be Dead Response

It’s important to discuss with family members that prepping is not always about preparing for a SHTF doomsday scenario. There are many other situations for example power outages, floods and other scenarios that you would be able to recover from and resume your normal everyday life.

Good Old Fashion Laziness Response

This is probably one of the most difficult reasons to reverse. This is because is someone is inherently lazy they will probably carry this attitude and approach across all areas of their life. This being said it’s worth pointing out that with family comes responsibility. If everyone had this outlook no one would survive.

Fear of Disaster Response

Try to point out to family members that being prepared for a disaster or survival scenario is better than not being prepared and then wishing you had. Preparing in advance for such situations will also help to dull the fear because they will have the confidence that they are better equipped to deal with an emergency situation.

Family Budget Concerns Response

Whilst stretching the family budget in this day and age is a genuine concern. With some careful planning and a common sense approach to prepping they will come to realize the following:

  • Often a lot of the gear and supplies needed are already lying around the home.
  • There are prepping projects that can be researched and made a reality for little cost.
  • Knowledge of what to do and when to do it is just as important as gear and supplies. Thanks to the internet and the prepper community the majority of it is free.
Tread Carefully

Trying to change the point of view of your reluctant prepper family members should never be attempted in an overbearing fashion. If you take this approach you will probably only strengthen that persons resolve to stick to their original beliefs. Indirect is better than direct when it comes to these discussions it’s all about being subtle.


I hope you enjoyed my insight and opinions on the topic of the reluctant prepper family. From a personal standpoint, I’m pleased to say that my family is now gradually coming round to the reasons and benefits of becoming survival ready. This has largely been due to the sheer number of natural disasters and also terror attacks that have recently been reported. If you have now or have in the past any experiences of a reluctant prepper family yourself. Feel free to add your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below.

Recommended Reading

Basic Emergency Survival Planning

Overlooked Emergency Survival Planning Areas

Why People Fail To Prepare For Disasters

8 thoughts on “Reluctant Prepper Family”

  1. I was the reluctant prepper 20 years ago in a foreign land. Something terrible happened and we had to live in a compound with very few outside resources. I learned, quickly, how to make high calorie meals from very little. We lived like that for about three months. When we moved, I started a solid pantry. Good thing. A few years later we ended up being snowed/iced in without electricity or phones for about ten days. Gathering blankets and placing them over windows, making a fire that heats, cooking over that fire, finding that hidden hand can opener…. I had been a Girl Scout for years, all the training came back. Both of my adult children are trained in skills, but the actual prepping “stuff” well,,,,I think the plan is to get to Nana’s house. My husband is silent about it, but we have great skills between the two of us. We have supplies for the “kids and their kids”, they just have to make it here.

  2. Good Old Fashion Laziness Response, inherently lazy across ALL areas of their life. True. I buy, rotate, refill, and absolutely have to hide what shouldn’t be used, otherwise, we’d have no preps whatsoever since my 70 yr old LO goes through them like a teenage boy. I prep, he squanders..throwing things away before there’re empty. For example: hand sanitizer, shampoo, salsa, butter, roll of paper towels, coffee, etc. I take the partially full things out of the trash to empty into one container until full. He literally does not ‘finish’ anything. He relies on me, and anyone else he can get, to do everything else for him, and I’m surprised this doesn’t include wiping his own butt (and no, he doesn’t wash his hands after). But I said until death do us part. So, Lord help me, let him go first, or he’ll sit with a dead body as he starves while the unpaid bills pile up. My motto is the old fashioned ‘Use it up, Wear it out, Make do, or Do without’ like my grandparents followed. Being prepared with someone who doesn’t is the equivalent of the prepper who invites the whole neighborhood in at the first sign of trouble. So tell me, just how long after the SHTF do you think we’d last? Great article!!!

  3. I’ve run into the, “I would rather be dead” response quite a bit, from people who think they’ll just go right up to heaven when SHTF starts.

    The problem is they have presented themselves a false dichotomy. They are looking at 2 choices: go through a very difficult SHTF situation, or just die and go to heaven. But those aren’t really the 2 choices they have…

    Fact is, nuclear bombs generally have a pretty small direct blast radius, and the radiation cloud travels only a few dozen miles in one direction. Unless they live in a major city, the likelihood of them dying in a blast is low. It’s far more likely that you’ll either die of starvation or through violence.

    If they plan on dying of starvation, I would ask them when is the last time they skipped a meal? Because starving to death isn’t fun. Seems like even the most illogical person would agree that setting aside a few dollars each month to store up some rice and beans is less painful slowing withering away to nothing as your body eats itself.

    If they plan on dying through violence, they need to understand that there is no guarantee that violence will end in death. There are a lot of worse things in this world than death, especially for women and children. The human body can handle a great amount of suffering before death kcks in. Just look at the example of concentration camps in WWII.

    Bottom Line:
    Unless they are planning on murdering themselves, which most people would find unacceptable, they will not “just die”. They have to go through a terrible, terrible ordeal to die in SHTF. When faced with those two choices: prepare now and live safe, life with your loved ones, or go through slow, painful process of starving or abuse; the answer is clear.

    1. Hi Vey, Thanks for taking the time to reply to this post. You have mad some very valid points there. Being prepared will always give us more options in a survival situation.

  4. I Would Rather Be Dead Response

    She said, I’d rather die, when discussing my efforts of storing food and supplies. This from a woman with grandchildren??
    My response, Well, you will!!!!

    1. Hi thanks for your comments. I can see how that must have frustrated you as its not just about SHTF scenarios. Your food and supplies will help greatly in survival scenarios that you would recover from. Give her time, with everything happening at the moment I’m sure shell see the benefits soon.

  5. I have been prepping for over 10 years now. To say that I have been dragging my family along reluctantly is probably an understatement. For the first several years, I lamented that my husband would ever see things the way I had started to and honestly, started to wonder how anyone could be so blind. But I let him be and slowly, as things in the world have gotten progressively worse, he has begun to wake up and see how bad things could get and the importance of being prepared. He is almost as into it now and is starting to feel an urgency about getting our BOL ready. The kids are a different story. My oldest is definitely an ostrich when it comes to ANYTHING bad and would prefer to keep her head in the sand and not be confronted with things that might happen. (She was my one that refused to let me talk to her about the birds and the bees because it stressed her out). I feel fear sometimes because she lives several states away going to college and I can’t even get her to store extra food and water in her place. She just doesn’t see the point and doesn’t want to begin to think about it. My other kids are a little different. They mostly just give me that smile (you know the one) that says they are “indulging” their. mothers neurosis and “isn’t she cute”. But I think they also feel glad we are doing it and agree it is better to be safe than sorry. My youngest (who was 6 when I started on this journey), probably gets it more than the others. He actually made a comment recently about a friend who had stated that having extra food and water in the house was just a stupid waste of time. After the friend had gone home, my son actually looked at me and said “mom, I think he is being pretty stupid. I mean, you never know when ANYTHING might happen and the least you could do is have extra food and water in the house.” It made me happy to realize that after all these years, at least some of my family is becoming more aware and understanding their mother’s need to do all these crazy things! There is still hope! Don’t give up. Sometimes people just take longer to come around and see the writing on the wall!!

    1. Hi, Thanks for taking some of your valuable time to share your experiences. Its good to hear from a fellow prepper who has experienced similar circumstances. It sounds like your doing a great job and your perseverance is paying off. My youngest is also the more interested one and has agreed to go on one of the bush-craft courses I am planning to attend. I’m sure your oldest will see the benefits at some stage, if anything like mine the world of snap chat and social media is of far more importance at the moment but that will change as their life experiences change.

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