One aspect of prepping that gets a lot of mention, but not very many in-depth articles or posts, is prepping for the whole family. We see a lot of preppers that prep for themselves and their kids but not many are prepping for extended family, elderly parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or pets. This oversight can lead to disaster in the event of a major disaster or SHTF event.
In response to this I have decided to post a short article with a few easy to follow points in regards to family prepping.
Prep for Everyone
It is very easy, and relatively common, for people to discount their extended family members when prepping. I myself have approached several members of my extended family with prepping information only to have them laugh or scoff openly about my “Chicken Little” tendencies. I am happy to report that some of those family members are now full fledged preppers and play vital roles in my prepping strategies, but still others hold out against it.
I said the same thing that many of you said, “Well, if they aren’t willing to prep, I can’t prep for them and they are just shit outta luck when the SHTF”. Unfortunately that isn’t a logical or practical answer in the long term. I know that I would have a very hard time turning away a family member in need, especially if it could mean their demise. Yes, right now I can easily cut them loose and write them off, but in a real event I don’t think it would be possible.
I decided to redouble my efforts and try to plan for them even if they don’t want me to do so. If they never show up, I have extra preps. If they do show up, I am not overburdened. Of course, as a homestead preppers this is easier done that if I were a bunker prepper.
Prep for Grandma and Grandpa
Grandma and Grandpa may be in your prepping plans, and if they are you will need to ensure a good many things. Your prepping plan will need to take their nutritional, medicinal, sanitary, physical and mobility needs into consideration. Obviously some elderly folks are easier to prep for than others, unfortunately we cannot pick and choose our family members. You will need to add specific foods and herbs to your gardens and you will need to research which herbs can be used in place of common medicines for pain, swelling, arthritis, etc. Prepping for the aged will also require quite a bit more knowledge in regards to first aid and nutrition.
Perhaps one of the hardest parts of prepping for the elderly is preparing the others in the family for life with Grandma and Grandpa in a world without a lot of the advantages of modern society. I wont go into great detail here but just understand that keeping the elderly clean and healthy will be a task not lightly undertaken. One must also consider the difficulty of dealing with Grandma and Grandpa when their time has passed. This will be a rather tough time both physically and psychologically, just as it is now.
Prep for Pets
Fido and Mr. Whiskers aren’t prepping for financial collapse or the Yellowstone Super Volcano. It’s a safe bet the only planning they are doing involves whatever it is they are currently doing. Our job as masters of the home and owners of the pets is to prepare for them. Their needs are simple in comparison to kids and old folks, but don’t let that simplicity make you skimp on their preps.
Fido is a good dog. He can help you carry stuff, guard your shelter and protect your family. He can also help you hunt and is really good at helping people relax. The advantages that Fido brings to the table are numerous and you should consider that when prepping for him. Don’t use a SHTF event to change his foods, he won’t like that and it could make him depressed. Make sure his favorites are packed away for that horrible day. Also make sure you bring a few of his toys, some snacks and a blanket for him to sleep on at night. Dogs are extremely resilient and easily adapt to change, but he will react to the stress everyone else is under, so let’s not add to his troubles.
Mr. Whiskers is a different beast altogether. He won’t hunt for you, he won’t carry anything for you and he won’t protect you. He will however provide a sense of normalcy and calm in the face of an otherwise overwhelming event. Cats are amazing stress reduction tools and seem to know exactly when you need them to snuggle you or purr in your ear. It is exceedingly hard to remain upset when a cat climbs up in your lap.
Mr. Whiskers won’t travel well most likely. Make sure to help him with this by including things that he knows and loves. Your local vet will also have some meds that can help Mr. Whiskers travel. Make sure you have his favorite blanket or sleeping mat. Make sure you have some toys and his favorite foods and snacks. Keep him happy and he’ll make up for the scratches you are likely to get when snatching him up on the way out.
If all else fails, you can eat Mr. Whiskers for dinner if times get tough.