3 Excuses People use to get out of Prepping.

People often put of preparedness until its way to late. In some cases it’s laziness, in others, it’s because of family, friends or even the media who have made them feel foolish for wanting to be prepared.

Over the years I’ve heard thousands of different excuses as to why people aren’t prepping, but when a disaster hits what are those excuses worth? Will they feed your family?

Here are the top 3 prepping myths or obstacles that we come across when talking to our new readers.

My family & friends think I’m crazy and say prepping is stupid.

Guy Wearing a Tinfoil Hat

Stop listening to the naysayers!  If history teaches us anything it’s that bad things can and will happen. Those that prepare will be far better off than those who don’t. In fact, the people who are downing you and telling you how stupid prepping is will probably be the first ones knocking at your door when the next disaster hits.

And as far as it being a waste of money, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Prepping not only makes sense from a preparedness perspective but a financial one as well. With the rising cost of everything from food and gas to clothing and other necessities, there has never been a better time to stock up. What you don’t buy for a dollar today will likely be two dollars in the very near future.

If you buy the things that you would normally use in bulk (when they’re on sale) you’ll not only be prepared for the future but you’ll be making a smart financial move that will save you money in the process.

The government has plans in place to deal with a disaster.

FEMA Planners

Really? Try asking anyone who lived in New Orleans during Katrina how much help the government provided. In my opinion, this is the kind of thinking that gets people killed. Even if the government does manage to do things right during the next disaster, which is highly unlikely, you still need to be prepared to survive until rescuers can reach you.

When a disaster hits, even a small-scale emergency can quickly spiral out of control. The chance of any government agency making it to your house in less than 72 hours is highly unlikely. At the very least you need to be able to survive in your home without power, water or other utilities for at least 72 hours (probably longer).

It’s expensive; I don’t have money to prep.

Piles of Money

As we mentioned above, if done right prepping is not only a smart preparedness activity but also an extremely smart financial move. If you buy items that you would normally use or eat when they’re on sale, how is that a waste of money?

And for those that really are having a hard time with money there’s still a number of things you can do to prep:

  • Shop smart – You don’t have to become an extreme couponer to be a prepared, but you should watch out for sales and try to stock up when things are cheap. Most people don’t realize how many deals are actually out there. My wife saves thousands of dollars every year by clipping coupons and buying the things when they’re on sale. Yes, it does take a little bit of effort, but the effort is well worth the money you’ll save.
  • Clearance – I love buying things at the end of the season. I can’t tell you how many preparedness items I’ve found for up to 90% off because I waited a couple of months. From buying summer clothes in the fall to stocking up on candles a week after Christmas there really is no reason to pay full price.
  • Thrift Stores & Garage Sales – Both of these can be great places to find preparedness items at a fraction of the cost. Just make sure you inspect the items before purchasing them.
  • Barter – Do you have a special skill or talent that might be useful to others? Why not offer your services in exchange for what others may have that you might need?
  • Knowledge – Knowledge is power and in a survival situation, it’s far more important than any piece of gear or preparedness item. If you can’t stock up on gear the least you can do is stock up on knowledge.
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  1. For those who understand the true value of preparedness, these excuses (as well as all others) cannot stand up to the benefits and peace of mind that prepping brings to those who choose to live it.

  2. Your first excuse is the one that many people use to avoid preparing for an emergency, they fall prey to the old “peer influence” trick that we all learned when we were in Junior High school and too many haven’t out grown. The oh “I look stupid to _______ and I really want to impress them, so I won’t do ______ or talk to ________.

    At some point they have to grow up, look around to see what is actually important and then make our own choices about what whether they want to be self-reliant or do they want to depend on others to support them.

    Most who read your blog have made their choice and as the economy, storms, earthquakes and other “emergencies” seem to keep cropping up, more will be making their choices as well.

    I have a feeling that not wanting to look “stupid” will give way to a more realistic look at what they need to do. I just hope it is sooner, not later.


  3. No matter where you live on this planet you are prone to some form of natural disaster. Some places more than others, but the main point is NO PLACE IS SAFE. I am talking about war, accidents, etc…

    Every time we see a disaster the only answer most people see (to the problem) is government.

    Even if your government works well, and has good intentions it does not mean a quick response. Depending on the scale of the issue they may just be
    overwhelmed. It also may just take a couple of days, but you will have to fend for yourself in the meantime.

  4. I love going to garage sales and finding useful items. I buy nothing most of the time, but on occasion I find one more thing to add to my preps.

    @ Anne – My wife was that way for a while. Then she just went along and made no comments. Now when I tell her about a good deal I got at a store, she’s says “You should go back and get more”, or “we need to add this to our gear”. She’s even up on the news, which in 20 years of marraige she’s never done. Hopefully your husband will come around too. Good luck and stick with it. Hopefully we’re all wrong and never need it.

  5. I grew up in Ohio near Lake Erie. The worst scenario ever encountered there was having to boil water before drinking and a 5 day power outage that ruined a new freezer freshly stocked with a side of beef. Then I moved to the Florida panhandle-St George Island and then one of the most rural areas in the state (Jefferson County). Believe me, Preparedness now has a whole new meaning for me. My husband put an 11 inch lift on my ’07 Suburban so we could make it off our dirt road when it washes away. I am now the proud owner of a gas generator. The pump house is full of (filled)water containers. We have a well AND city water (a recent luxury provided by the county). When there is an emergency, the fire department/rescue may or may not show up. We have well stocked medical supplies to help with anything from someone giving birth to losing a limb. (My hubby is a former EMT). We have a full gas storage tank and keep all the plastic 5 gallon ones filled too. The freezer is kept packed. We have Sattelite tv and a satellite internet connection which are more practical to run off a generator if phone lines/power fails. At last count there is a laundry basket full of bricks of batteries, 4 dozen flashlights (the majority are tactical style) a dozen oil lamps, candles, a couple survival kits, camping gear, ammunition, guns for hunting, guns for defense…well you get the idea. I thought my husband was a little odd when he first started insisting we purchase and stockpile things, then we had our first week long power outage. Gas stations don’t get gas when hurricanes threaten down here. Stores close. Our underground utilities wash away with the road. Sure it takes work to organize, make sure things are used in a timely manner, and to find great deals on things, especially when stuff is so much more expensive down here. But I have learned it’s worth it and will never go back to being unprepared. Finding informative websites like this are a big help, as they offer valuable info, resources, and reviews of equipment. Once you get into the habit, you’ll never think twice about picking up 2 of something because it’s on sale, or accepting the hand me down items from friends and family as they upgrade things. And remember, when family or friends laugh or make comments, it’s ok to point out preparedness isn’t (just) about Apocalyptic scenarios, it’s hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, planes crashing into neighborhoods…By the way, Thanks for a great article!!

  6. I would rather be prepared for what didn’t happen rather than not be prepared at all,i don’t care what people think about what i do, i don’t criticize their hobby,or what they do,i have never gone up to someone,and said “that’s stupid to do ” let people do what they want,and just do what you want,plain and simple.

  7. For the better part of this year we have been prepping seriously. We had some stuff before then, but not nearly enough. Now, with Hurricane Irene bareling down in us, I am well prepared well in advance of the (potential) disaster. I have about 9 days of MREs, about 6 weeks of feeze dried food, an EMT 1st Aid kit including a suture kit (I had EMT training in the Navy), 15 cases of bottled water with several water jugs as well, water purification equipment, a tool kit, and a “bug out bag” with just about everything else. There are a few things I wish I had gotten, but I can make due with what I have on hand for the forseeable future.

  8. Nice job Laurie. I’m jealous of all your preps. I’m from the hurricane-less west coast, but I had a buddy who lived in FL for a couple years and from that time on, vowed to always have a generator, chainsaw, and gas on hand.

  9. Don’t forget about the, “It will never happen to me” excuse. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people that think that they are impervious to a natural, man-made (unintentional), man-made (intentional)/terrorist, economic, or socio-political disaster. Simply turn on any television or radio news broadcast and pay attention to the first 10 minutes. It unnerves me to see that people are oblivious to just how thin the veneer of “civilization” is.

  10. The fourth biggest excuse? “It will never happen in our lifetime.” Oh yeah! Just ask anyone who was alive during the great depression (there are a few of them left but hurry up) they’ll tell ya that they too thought it could never happen to them.

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