8 Helpful Tips for Introducing the Prepper Lifestyle to Your Family

Editor's note: This prepping primer was written by guest contributor Mark Hedman.

Last Updated on October 18, 2020

Editor’s note: This prepping primer was written by guest contributor Mark Hedman.

So, you bought into the idea of hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, which is great! But how do you get your family onboard the prepper lifestyle when they may be less excited about it than you? 

Whether you’re trying to convince your extended or immediate family to adopt the prepper lifestyle, it can be a difficult task. Here’s why some people are leery of prepping for the worst and some simple tips to get your family on board.

Why Some People are Reluctant to Start Prepping

First, having reluctant family members is common. Sometimes it’s as simple as laziness because prepping takes work. Others fear disaster, so, by not prepping, they adopt the “bury-your-head-in-the-sand” attitude. They don’t want to acknowledge the possibility of disaster and possibly death. 

“The Normalcy Bias”

This bias is the state of mind that people often have when they think about the reality of a potential disaster. They tend to underestimate the possibility that a disaster could occur at any time, as well as the effects of a disaster. 

“Death Would Be Better”

Many people say they would rather die than survive a disaster. They often develop the mentality that death would be better. Some of these people may eventually come around to the prepping lifestyle, but if this is their honest belief, respect their opinion. 

“There’s No Money in the Budget to Prepare for a Nuclear Armageddon”

The cost of prepping is a legitimate concern. Many people struggle to make ends meet, and they think there just isn’t enough money to prep the right way. Prepping over time is much less expensive, though, and makes prepping totally doable.

Editor's note: This prepping primer was written by guest contributor Mark Hedman.

Tips for Introducing Your Family to Prepping for Disasters

Here are some helpful tips to help get your family on board with prepping for the worst.

1. Discuss It in More Immediate Terms

Your family may not understand prepping for something that may never happen like all the people building bunkers during the Cold War. (News flash! Nuclear Armageddon could still occur, and maybe those people were smart.) Talk about disasters we see regularly, such as power outages and hurricanes, instead of nuclear war. You might be able to spark their interest and then bring them around to more hardcore prepping once they warm up to the idea.

Approach slowly because, if you don’t, you risk increasing their resistance to the idea, which defeats the purpose of getting them on board. Most people don’t like making decisions when they feel rushed. 

2. Try Different Family Vacations

If your family goes to the beach every year, try camping in a national park near you. Camping will introduce your family to critical survival skills like building a shelter as well as living and cooking in the wild. 

It will also teach them the vital things to pack, such as essential first aid supplies and shelf-stable food. They’ll learn how important a durable tactical flashlight is when there’s no electricity. Remind them of necessities such as a can opener if you have canned food in your stockpile.

3. Ask Someone to Help Get Your Family Onboard

Perhaps another family member believes in the prepper lifestyle and may be able to help you pitch the idea to your family. Or maybe it’s a friend that they’ll listen to because, let’s face it, sometimes the inspiration needs to come from someone else. 

4. Use the News to Warm Them Up to Prepping

Sometimes a reputable source can help get your point across. Your family may digest this information much easier than you speaking to them directly about it. The TV news is full of terrorist attacks, natural disasters, illnesses, disease scares, and more. If you’re watching the news with your family and one of these stories pops up, it’s the perfect time to mention prepping. 

5. The Indirect Way of Talking About Your Day

An indirect conversation is a perfect way to introduce your family to the prepping lifestyle. You may sit down to dinner with your family, and you’ll ask your kids how their day was. In return, they may ask about your day. You can reply, “I cleaned out the garage to make room for emergency supplies” or something similar. 

Mentioning it indirectly won’t make your family feel like you’re pressuring them. Don’t say you’re stocking up on supplies in case of a nuclear holocaust. Dramatic flair won’t help you in this instance.

6. Books About Prepping

Books are an excellent way to explain the importance of prepping for the unexpected. They can be non-fiction, but even fiction books work well if they’re about learning to survive in the wilderness or after an apocalypse. They’re good conversation starters, especially those that illustrate what happens if you don’t prepare for the worst.  These books make good gifts. 

7. Prepper Games

There are some prepper games out there that you can play with the family. Buy a survival-related set of playing cards for family game night. There are also card games and board games about surviving an apocalypse. A game is a fun way to shine light on a serious topic. 

Editor's note: This prepping primer was written by guest contributor Mark Hedman.

8. Movies, Documentaries, and TV Shows

There are plenty of movies and shows related to the prepper lifestyle. Some of these include:

  • The Purge
  • Contagion
  • The Impossible
  • Apocalypse 101 by National Geographic
  • Apocalypse Now by the Discovery Channel
  • American Blackout by National Geographic
  • Blindness
  • Babylon AD
  • Catching Fire
  • City of Ember
  • Dante’s Peak
  • Deep Impact
  • The Walking Dead
  • Electronic Armageddon National Geographic
  • I am Legend
  • Life After People by the History Channel
  • Live Free or Die Hard
  • And many more

It may take some convincing to get your family on board with the prepping lifestyle, but avoid direct confrontation or you may sabotage your efforts to make sure that your family can survive after a major disaster. Whether you choose a movie for the family to watch or give your wife a prepping book for Christmas, use these tips to educate your family on preparing for the worst. 


Mark Hedman is the CEO of LA Police Gear, located in Valencia, CA.

6 comments
  1. If this small, light sample SHTF pandemic doesn’t convince the family, don’t waste your breath. Either decide to carry them on your back or go without them.

  2. Start small and gradually work the idea of Prepping into the family. Even just a few extra canned goods in case of an emergency to have on hand isn’t usually a huge strain. Once you’ve gotten the idea into their heads, it’s much easier to discuss the other Prepping needs to not just survive, but thrive.
    When I first started prepping seven years ago, my wife thought I was nuts, but within a year she was on board with the idea and the philosophy behind it. The CoVid Panic proved that we were on the right track. Our larder’s been an immense help with the grocery/household needs we’ve experienced over the last month and a half. The cupboard’s not bare. Meals may be simpler, but we’re not going hungry. Now with the shortages we’ve experienced, is a good time to get your family on board the Prepper Wagon.
    Prepping isn’t paranoia, it’s being prepared for the realities that we have no control over. Whether it’s a pandemic, natural disaster, or man made/caused disaster, having the essentials on hand to help get through a crisis is peace of mind.
    At 60 and with health issues, bugging out is the last option on my list. Prepping isn’t just about heading for the toolies when a crisis hits. It’s having the means, supplies and mindset to survive the crisis.

  3. Everyone, next time you’re at the local dollar store, just say to your family why it’s important to have a few things such as a flashlight with extra batteries, maybe a rain poncho, trash bags etc.start small and go from there, you may want to ask them what would be good to store in case the power goes out. Watch a few videos on how to plant a simple garden then plant something and record the progress with pictures. For kids, watch videos on activities for kids, such as making paper airplanes buy some crayons to color them and fly them make your activities fun, kids get bored will easy.

  4. I think this is the best article I’ve seen on bringing up a prepping lifestyle w/ ur family. I enjoy reading, but from what I’ve seen, few people will read a book, but many will watch a movie. Thanks. My wife has been mostly passive, occasionally skeptical or helpful. When this pandemic started, she said that my prepping was “wise.”

  5. my kids thought it was a joke that I prepped, thanks to Covid virus, family is all onboard now, when they couldn’t find things in any of the markets, they called dad ! Now all are prepping,

    1. My kids were a little sceptical at first too Bob, but they were much younger when I started. Now that Rona has happened, they each have said I knew what I was talking about or at least was right. More reassuring, they are making their own plans to be more self-sufficient but they are unique in their own way. One child is a little more lax but understands what needs to be done and at the other end of the spectrum, I have another that was looking for me to break out the guns and MRE’s.

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