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How Will You Deal with the Unprepared?

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
How Will You Deal with the Unprepared?

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During my recent vacation, I made a pest of myself by asking strangers whether they were prepared.  This was done in a very polite manner after engaging in small talk and learning where they lived and asking  about the likelihood of a natural disaster in their home town.

Responses such as “Oh yes, of course.  We have five gallons of water, some canned goods, and a basement” were common.   And so it goes.  Just this weekend I learned of a local establishment that will serve as a Red Cross shelter if the big one (earthquake) comes along.   Not 30 minutes later I learned that the  same establishment was built on fill and would be swept away if there were a quake of any major magnitude.

Sorry, I am getting off track.  It is just that I get so frustrated when I hear such idiocy.

In todays blast from the near past, I share an article I wrote describing givers and the takers and decisions we may be forced to make if the stuff hits the fan.

The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF?


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20 Responses to “How Will You Deal with the Unprepared?”

  1. Do a YouTube search for “The cellar” Twilight Zone show. And remember, that doesn’t show a quarter of what it would be like in real life!

  2. Skills are good, yes. Sadly in some locations it doesn’t matter how well you can hunt. Survival is dependent on not just skills or supplies, but location.

  3. Even scripture tells us to be prepared and to not share with the unprepared, as in Matthew 25:1-13 when Jesus give the parables of the 10 virgins.
    1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
    2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
    3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
    4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
    5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
    6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
    7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
    8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
    9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
    10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
    11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
    12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
    13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

    Keep in mind this is a completely different context than giving to charity.

  4. After reading several similar blog posts elsewhere on the internet on this subject, I think your old post, ‘The Givers and The Takers-What Will You Do When SHTF?’ was the best post I’ve read about this subject, and it had the best comments too.

    This one is pretty good too, so far.

    While reading this I kept thinking about the scene in The Ten Commandments where Moses was in his house as Death floated up the streets visiting certain people’s houses and how he let in one bunch of people, but then no more (they were All warned but not everybody listened) and then he shut the door tight, with the screams in the night in the background.

    Two things I didn’t see mentioned: Possibly, instead of turning away the young mother with the young child, take in the child and send the mother away to look for a place, or for work? That’s been a thing commonly done in the past. She’s not likely to sell you out to others as she’d be selling out her own. And maybe, if you can’t part with good food, keep a bag of old beans or other food that didn’t make it through rotation and are past due date, to send along with the young mother or to give to others?

    A final thought I had was of one of Jesus’ followers who had his cloak stolen. Jesus said to him – paraphrasing – find the thief and give him even more and don’t worry about being without, for God even feeds the ravens, are you worth less to Him than them?
    A stathiest might take that to mean: learn to go out and find some grubs and other crumbs. And that may very well be the case, but I don’t believe it will be.


  5. This is longer than usual. But I hope you can read all the way to the end.

    I liked the different perspectives of the posts in both places. Looking at this from strictly a practical problem and not a moral problem, FIRST, I wanted to present some dangers and difficulties.

    1. With some exceptions, it may be impossible to distinguish what some people refer to as the “deserving needy” vs. the “undeserving needy”. Some commenters used examples like the mother with a soldier overseas and small kids vs. the unruly neighbor kids who are already delinquent. I can relate to that. Sometimes you will know beforehand. Most often, we will not know our neighbors that well. Especially when we are looking at an entire neighborhood with multiple streets and hundred or so homes. Which side of the issue will you err? Help to many or to few? Moral arguments can be made both ways. Provide for your family 1 Tim 5:8 vs. love your enemies.

    2. Adding to the identity problem, is the tactic that could be used by gangs. In the novel “survivors” by James Wesley Rawles, he has the armed criminal gang sending a van of unarmed apparently desperate family to scout out a new town. The van then radios the criminal group all of the logistics of defense for the town or group. This could be done on a smaller scale to force victims to help looters. This may seem cynical. But we are used to thinking of every possible contingency and then trying to plan and prep for them. Do you limit help to just neighborhood? Where do you draw the boundary? What if others start moving into the neighborhood?

    3. Even if you can identify a deserving needy person, who you judge is “good enough” (That is a moral judgment and a can of worms all by itself) who lives nearby. That good person, in order to help someone else and just being good, may give away your opsec. There was an account on another forum about surviving a winter storm knocking out power and transportation for weeks. The author gave the account, among many other human problems, of a total stranger banging on his door, demanding food and becoming belligerent and only leaving at the business end of a rifle or shotgun and departing with oaths and threats. This stranger had received the information from another person who overheard something at a pool party one summer. Once opsec is given away or compromised, it can never be taken back.

    4. Even if you barter work for food, the word will get out and you will be overwhelmed. Desperate people do desperate things. There is no way to keep it a secret. My opinion, I would not just hand out welfare. They would have to work for food. “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” 2Th 3:10. So they would have to do guard duty, chop wood, laundry, cook, work the garden, trap and fish, etc. But, they could tell the next person, who does not want to work for food, but take what he wants. Subterfuge happens even in good times. How much of your supplies will you designate for others? If you have 2 years it is one thing. But if you only have six months and can’t make it to the next harvest, then you have a problem yourself, much less dealing with more mouths to feed.

    5. That “good person” will sell you out if they are threatened or attacked to save themselves. The looters show up at their door. Gun to their forehead. “Where is your food?” “I do not have any! But, my neighbor does, I will tell you who if you do not shoot.”

    6. Once you give one person food. When do you cut that person off? When you are down to one month? One week? When you are out?

    7. How do you say yes to one and not others who are “deserving”?

    I am not trying to say you should or should not do what your conscience and morals direct you to do. But you need to decide with your eyes open. ONCE YOU GO DOWN THAT PATH, THERE IS NO RETURN.

    MY ADVICE: The best time to decide an extremely important decision is when you are thinking clearly, cogently, un-emotionally, calm, without pressure, and are rational. One you can live with morally. Then, once you have made a difficult decision in good times, stick with your decision when it become chaotic and emotions are running their full course. No matter how difficult it seems at the moment. Remind yourself that you made a wise and good and moral decision when things were not in upheaval and you can trust yourself for your well thought out decision. Don’t start second guessing yourself. You will go bonkers.

  6. Skills of survival are good, but definitely not fool proof. One well placed bullet from afar will end all knowledge and skills. I know……..morbid, but true.
    I’m older and there are physical things that will make me prey to younger or stronger predators. I am preparing as best I can, but one can only do so much.
    Guns are useful, I suppose, for a quick kill or a temporary fear factor to intruders….but they are also noisy and will alert others. … I’m working on an alternative.

  7. this question has been making the rounds in various wordings and forms. such as will you share, will you take others in and so on.

    i feel that i am pretty much doing all that i can and all that i can afford. my little family consists of 3 people, all adults. myself, my daughter who lives with me and my son. he has a girlfriend whose family is big into canning. have been kicking around the idea of if/when SHTF of joining up with her family and sharing what we have. i pretty much think we are set on self defense and the son was special ops in the army and with the ‘jobs’ he did in the army he is well versed in stealth, evasion, survival and force.
    now if someone comes knocking on the fence? or snooping around the perimeter? no i for one will not be generous and i will not be sharing. if/when SHTF my family and those closest are going to come first….

    • It seems harsh, but one has to choose what is most important…….family, of course!!
      I sure hope things don’t get as bad as all that…..

  8. I think about this matter all the time. We have friends who would help us in a heartbeat, and have done so in the past. We don’t always agree on the current happenings, but still get along.I have only told one of them about what we are doing and that she is welcome and she just shrugs it off, but I couldn’t just let her starve. So, I think that there are a select few I will help, and quickly tutor them in a few ways because it will be my condition upon them arriving. I do have a friend who I brought on board and is of the same mind, doesn’t have much money, but has skills, and strength to help defend, and do off grid chores. He is almost like a bulldog. Strangers, I will not help, if they persist, they will become crab bate. On a good note. 47 congress critters have shot down John Kerry’s signing of the United Nations small arms treaty. So… It has been stopped,for now. I think there are a lot of people who are starting to get upset and standing up and peaceably protesting. There is a fine line with the current potus, on standing up, speaking up and standing the chance of being publicly demonized, or harassed beyond belief. We are in the final stages of fundamental transformation, and God help us all if billary gets elected. There are so many quite feasible things that could be foisted upon us, one cannot keep up. The most important thing in my preps is food, water, fuel, and “out of sight out of mind” for lack of a better word. Simply because that is what we”ll be needing. We have learned lots of skills, both growing up and in the now., and continue to learn. It’s daunting, but am working on a small orchard, and still expanding my garden. Will add several more things to the grow lis next spring. Does a battery operated grow light exist? Need one for winter growing of herbs, and aloe plant. Just picked up new bins for my expanding worm family, so have to go re-read your article about prepping them.

  9. just like everyday life people need to know how to and use self defense skills.go to your local library .There are plenty of books and videos available.Simple things like being aware of your surroundings . How to not look like an easy target.I strongly recomend everyone read a few books and woman should definately take a class or two in self defense.I’m not sexist, its just boys tend to fight ,roughhouse and wrestle more as kids and have more expirence in these matters.I’m not trying to start an agrument ,obviously this is a generalization and doesnt apply to all women,before you attack me 🙂 .My local libray had somegreat stuff and even good videos on how to shoot handguns.Most police stations and womens rights groups have rape prevention classes,these will teach valuable self defense skills.Thes skills will come in hand y today tomorrow and God forbid in SHTF situations.

  10. That is a reasonable concern. I know I’ll be stocked up on certain items others won’t have, likewise I’ll fall short in some areas. Is anyone 100% prepared? Every little nick and nanny they’ll need for a 6-12 month crisis? I can do well for a 1-2 month stint, then it starts getting thin, know what I mean?

    Where I am there is little threat from the outside. Anyone comes here, we can see them a ways off. And the local trouble makers, we already know who they are. All that can be done at this point if something happens is expect the worst, hope for the best and pray.

    • Ditto to Carl Getting to know my neighbors and thinking about emergency situations, I can pretty much predict who will help and who will not ….or even be a danger to the rest of us. Bartering is a good way to keep friends……friends.

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