How To Deal When Someone Says “If Anything Happens, I’m Coming To Your House”

Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: August 22, 2019
How To Deal When Someone Says “If Anything Happens, I’m Coming To Your House”

My husband and I built our own house, raised and butchered pigs, chickens, cattle, sewed clothes, made quilts, and a lot of other things over the years. We make sure to have medical supplies and can a lot of food. My writing has been in quite a few magazines read by preppers and homesteaders.

I know how to can anything you want to put back and I can tan a hide. We live on nearly 11 acres. I say all these things not to brag but rather to show how others get the impression that I am in a position to get them out of a bad situation.

Even when we were living in a 1970s travel trailer in 2008 with no bathroom and struggled to keep it 60 degrees in the winter while raising pastured pigs and a few chickens and cattle, I had people jokingly say “Well, if anything happens I am coming to stay with you.

“No, you’re not.”

Harsh, but it is rude for the unprepared to think they can just head out to my place if something happens. There is no way for us to support that many people in a long term emergency.

What bugs me the most about some people saying this is that they are often those that don’t even visit me or talk to me on anything that resembles a regular basis. We have spent a lot of time and energy to have what we have.

Our 20s were not full of festivities and going out on the weekends but as a result we are more prepared at 34 but there is no way to help everyone that needs it in a crisis.

Sometimes it is someone I haven’t seen in more than a decade. Sorry, but if you are not involved with my life now or care enough to hang out once in awhile then why should I put faith and trust in you in a major situation and also provide supplies?

Major family members come first and even if I had extra supplies they would go to those with useful skills that could contribute positively to the situation. Not just anyone.

This is a tough situation to have an answer for. Sure I think that it is good to help people but at the same time you cannot give everything away or take care of everyone. After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that there are some things that need said to those that say they are going to rely on you during an emergency.

“Can you actually make it to my place?”

Unless you live really close then there is a good chance that you are not going to be able to reach another property. A lot of the people that say they are going to come find me in a SHTF situation would simply not be able to make it the distance they would need to.

Commuting 50 miles in a car is one thing but if it is dangerous times then 50 miles might as well be on the moon. Also most are not prepared to walk that far in a short period of time. It is not politically correct to talk about weight and body size but it is important to being prepared so I am going to anyway.

I grew up in the 80s and 90s when the only time you saw someone using a ride on cart in a store it was because they were very old or disabled. Now, people do it just because they don’t want to walk or exercise.

Americans as a whole are not in the greatest physical condition. Saying you are going to hit the bush with your bug out bag or next to nothing is a lot different than actually doing it. When I was 24 in 2007, I could not walk up the hill to our property without catching my breath.

Being in good enough shape to walk a 15 mile day with a pack weighing 20+lbs or even with 10 lbs is not actually something I feel most people are up to. Plenty of people don’t even have the right footwear to be on their feet and moving for any major length of time.

While you don’t want to point out to your friend that they are lacking fitness, you can point out physical limits in a more polite way like asking them if they are prepared to walk a long distance in an emergency. They will put it together from there if they have much sense.

Getting in better physical shape is something that should be emphasized more in prepping. It is easy to think you are in better shape than you are. We have people sometimes want to spend a day out on our farm working and they honestly expect to go out there and do the same level of activity as we do.

No one starts at the top. It takes time to get into shape and too many people get impatient and just give up. If you want to be able to actually bug out then you need to make sure you can hike a bit with a pack.

I realize that there are the elderly and disabled to think about as well. These folks need to be prepared to shelter in place or have someone near them that can help out. In a major emergency or collapse, driving somewhere might not be an option.

If you are worried about things, then start prepping.

When someone says I am coming to your place and have done nothing to prepare themselves it is like telling you “I am not going to sacrifice now, but I am more than willing to take from you later”. Some people may not quite realize what they are saying exactly but the reality is that they are prepared to mooch off your prepping now.

The best thing you can do is tell the person that there are a lot of things that they can do to be more prepared. Relying on you is not going to help them if you live a long ways apart especially and you cannot plan for everyone.

Help guide them towards getting started with prepping activities. A lot of people don’t realize how much investing $20 or less here and there in extra supplies can help.

There are countless small steps that can get someone started. Instead of just saying “Don’t rely in me!” offer to open their eyes to the world of prepping! If someone doesn’t take you serious then that is their problem. At least you were honest and tried.

Tell them you simply don’t have enough to take on anyone else if the point of coming to your house is pushed

You really need to be firm with others that you don’t put back enough for others, that is is work and money enough to take care of your own needs and those of your family. People make a lot of assumptions about how much you have based on the outsider looking in approach.

Encourage people to put back food and have a good water filter or two. Food and water are the most scarce resources in a true emergency and while filtering some water to help someone out is one thing, putting back enough food to take on refugees is not realistic.

Maybe you might have enough for one person but when you have a lot of people acting like you are their back up plan in a SHTF situation it is easy to see how you might be in a situation of having to turn a lot of people away and the drama and escalation that could result from this.

It is best to discourage and say no right now and decrease the odds of others showing up.

Encourage these people to develop useful skills

Did you know how many people in their 20s and 30s don’t know how to even cook a basic meal? It is astounding the lack of basic skills due to being raised in a consumer based society.

I remember in my 20s that my boss was amazed that I cooked at all. I was shocked enough to say “Well, yeah – we got to eat!”.

Learning useful skills can save time and money within your household and make you a more prepared person if you cannot rely on all the goods and services you are privy to at the moment.

Youtube has a ton of videos that can show you how to do stuff so it is not like you have to take the time to go take classes for some skills. Here are some examples of skills you can encourage others to do to be more prepared. A few of these may require help from a friend to learn (hey that might be you in this case!) or an inexpensive short class.

  • Sewing
  • Cooking
  • Butchering
  • Gun Repair & Shooting Skills For Hunting
  • Firewood splitting
  • Canning, Drying, and Other Food Preservation
  • CPR & First Aid

If you ever do find yourself in a SHTF situation then if someone does have extra supplies and resources so they can take in a refugee even for a short time period, having useful skills is going to put you in a better position when they are picking and choosing who to accept into their group.

Suggest they consider the other members of their family and the overall needs

When someone says they are coming to my place they are usually not just talking about bringing themselves. Sometimes it is a spouse and a few kids. So wait a minute? I am supposed to say “Oh alright just bring everyone.

As much as I love kids, let’s be honest in a crisis situation they are mostly consumers. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of small tasks kids can do but they are more vulnerable and simply not as strong and lack a lot of the major skills that are useful.

There is no way I can take on a lot of people that are not putting something back into the situation even if I have a bit extra. If someone has kids then they have even more reason to prep for their own family and be prepared enough to give kids the attention and resources they need to get through a bad situation.

Consider lying and say you are bugging out and not sheltering in place

I don’t like to tell people to lie but when the survival and safety of you and your family are at play, it might be something you should consider.

Telling those that want to use you as their go to place in SHTF that you are bugging out if things get bad rather than sheltering in place can help put the idea out of their head. You can also add in that your reason for this is that you are concerned about too many roving bands and refugees so you feel you are better off.

Of course someone might try to come anyway but they also might just remember that there would be nothing for them there if they did and you would not be there to help them in other areas of survival.

A Very Hard Subject

This was a difficult and harsh post for me to write. It is good to try to help others and I don’t want to see others suffer but one of the things that my Vietnam veteran father taught me is that sometimes you have to put aside the warm and fuzzy feelings and survive.

Jungle warfare was hell and the army couldn’t get through to his platoon for 5 days once. He almost starved and had to eat and drink some pretty terrible things while walking out of the jungle.

Major situations make it necessary to make some tough decisions and considering how you will deal with them before they happen is a critical part of prepping.

I am sorry if this article has been too crude and offensive for some but I feel that the reality is that too many people think they can take from others or rely on them while doing little or nothing now during good times.

About the Author: Samantha Biggers lives on the side of a mountain in North Carolina with her husband and pack of loyal hounds in a house her husband and she built themselves. When not writing she is working in their vineyard, raising Shetland sheep, or helping her husband with whatever the farm and vineyard can throw at them.

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54 Responses to “How To Deal When Someone Says “If Anything Happens, I’m Coming To Your House””

  1. Thank you for writing this article. It made total sense! We don’t have our bug out location yet. Plan A is we get home. Plan B is stay home, see what’s happening with the crisis. Plan C…. to bug out, but we don’t have a place or community. Ideally, the second coming happens beforehand.
    I keep pressing on in the preparation for when the SHTF.

    Here’s something I’ve not heard any talk on… I have had loved ones die over the years, and I’ve grieved and moved on. But then my Mom died a little over a month ago. During that time things keep you busy. Going to the mortuary, planning the memorial, ordering this or that, estate…etc. Now that all that’s done, I’m in a bad way. Loosing my mom has sent me in a spiral of loss to a point that I’m having motivation problems. I never knew it could hurt so bad! Of course, if we were in a SHTF scenario I wouldn’t be able to mourn like I am. But it needs addressed,don’t you think? There may be losses, so we need to know how to deal with it. Please let me know your thoughts.

    • That is a tough question and you really made me think. I am sorry about the loss of your mother. My first thought is that we all mourn in our own way even if there are some similarities. My second is that I would try to take comfort in the fact that if it was someone that loved you then they would want you to keep trying and remember all the positivity and joy you shared together.

      Loss is never going to be easy. In good times and bad there is birth and death. Besides the mourning process one also has to consider how to deal with the whole process of burial, religious customs, ect. Things like that are not necessarily something that you could pay someone else to do. The burden of that plus mourning would be a lot for anyone to shoulder.

      When I think about things like this I always try to think about how things have changed from my Great Grandparent’s time to my own. There was so much loss and death from things that are so easily treated now but they somehow found the strength to keep going on because they had to and they also had a lot of other people relying on them to do this. I don’t know if you have a lot of family that relies on you but if you do I bet that during a SHTF scenario you might find more strength and courage then you ever thought you had in you.

      If you don’t have a family that relies on you then there is what I mentioned before. How would it make the one you lost feel to know that you cannot move on and survive? If they loved you they would want you to do what you could to pull through.

      I hope this helps answer your question some. I could do a whole post on this subject and maybe one day I will. Tough stuff! But you are right that it needs addressed.

    • Not only that loss, but those with spouses in surgical/recovery situations are in deep ****; brain surgery.
      My husband was 55 miles from home–in normal situations, that was a burden for me.
      Staying every night at hospital isn’t the answer–you have to go home some..consider the gas, time, meals(if you can eat).
      NOw, consider all scarcities that come with a disaster, etc.
      Something to think about.
      No, I had not one neighbor check on me for over 17 days and nights.
      Don’t count on them…YOYO.
      I came home to a lawn not cared for in weeks, a foyer ceiling with huge water spots from rain during the hurricane fiascos, and a gutter still separated from the drain that I couldn’t get connected back together.
      I am blessed that he is recovering and I found out before a disaster the character of my neighbors.

  2. Your profound good fortune to have a father who lived the difference between life and death, and what it takes to remain among the living is an extraordinary thing. From him you learned that the will to survive is paramount, and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to do so is just as important. One may have a deuce and a half with every conceivable necessity and many wants, but without the will to use the truck as a tool to force your way out? That is what most people don’t have. A very plausible lie is the kindest thing – if they do get to your former home, at least they’ll have a roof over their heads. Water, food, and fire? That is their problem. You didn’t mention that your father was surely surrounded by the enemy, under fire constantly, and most likely being mortared too. Being short of water and food helps nothing. It sounds like a mission dreamed up by one of the many nit-wits who had the power to give orders, but not the guts to help carry them out. REMF’s we called that type. I must say I’m not a fan of the Southeast or Southwest of our country-the heat and dryness or the heat and humidity are not to my liking. None the less, I admire you and your spouse for doing what I should have done before I turned 70 last year. I would encourage you to harden your home to the greatest extent possible. Very heavy armored wooden shutters, a strengthened roof beam structure to carry the load of a slate or split limestone sheets to eliminate external fire danger, and armored heavy doors would be the best summation of my many years in heavy construction. Looks like a fort? Maybe, but when we go away we don’t want stray black bears or other animals to get in the house do we?

  3. excellent article! no, it’s not too harsh or hardnosed at all; in a teotwawki situation your life and the lives of those close to you are at stake, and you must do whatever you have to do to preserve them. i don’t mean cold-blooded murder, but you certainly don’t have to give up your lives to accomodate someone who was too lazy or too much in denial to make any provision for themselves (such people might not survive long even with your help). and each of us must draw the line somewhere between those extremes. you should read some of the articles by robert wayne atkins (aka “grandpappy”) if you haven’t already; his expectations of how humans behave in a crises are perhaps a little too black-and-white, but based on my 64 years of experience they’re not far off the mark. and, as for being in shape, you’re absolutely correct. most americans, myself included, would not survive an apocalypse by more than a few days even with help, because we have chronic illnesses, we’re too fat or we are just so out of shape that we couldn’t fend for ourselves. not to mention the fact that, in a country which has more guns than people, only the well-armed will have any chance of making in through the first week. but i can affirm, as a daughter of smoky mountain hillbillies, that you picked the right place to dig in, both for the beauty and natural diversity of the region and the people who are your neighbors.

  4. if i remember correctly, there WERE no electric carts in stores in the 1980’s. maybe in the 90’s, but since i was still able-bodied then perhaps i just didn’t notice. and now i shop regularly in my local walmart and supermarket using those carts; in the supermarket i don’t recall seeing anyone else use them, and in walmart i’ve never seen anyone riding in one who didn’t seem to really need it. of course, appearances can be deceiving, but i’m not sure there are that many people riding those things just for fun or out of laziness. or maybe long islanders are just more considerate than folks elsewhere.

    • I am sure. I’ve seen enough able bodied people riding carts, and some who were visibly disabled and some who would get the benefit of any doubt I had. One popular “sport” is for couples to do it together, having fun, getting off to jump around some while being loud. I’ve seen kids on carts, following their mama, and mama making the kids get off so she could ride awhile then kids whining to get back on to play. What you see often depends on where you live. Most of the troubling things I see, I usually don’t say much about. Doing so causes the expression to be chalked up quickly to a certain kind of hatred within the observer, then name-calling by people I wish would have to live in it for a year. And it includes a lot more than store cart usage.

  5. Amen! I agree with you on that.
    Back when the year was getting ready to change to 2000, I heard about a guy in our area who was at the store picking up something when people were talking about stocking up on stuff in case everything went down when the year changed overnight. Someone asked him why he wasn’t stocking up and he said if it did happen, he would just take his gun down to the local Amish and get what he wanted…reminds me of the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. It’s a real shame that our society has gotten to think that things should just be given to them without having to work for it.

    • Alas there are far too many people that think they can just take whatever they need. The fact is that maybe they can for awhile but eventually they are going to run into someone that stops them. I really don’t think many single people would last long just going and holding people up for what they want. Perhaps if there were some armed gangs roaming they could last longer or someone that had special training might get further. Real life is not a video game.

    • Read the Survivalist series by Angery American. Start with “Going Home”….quite entertaining and revealing.

    • Re the individual who responded to not being prepared and indicated he’d just take his gun and take what he needed from the Amish. He may live near them, but, does not “know” the Amish. He would return empty handed, if he returned at all.

  6. Indeed there are many people who are raised with an entitlement mentality. When things go bad and the thin veneer of civilization is stripped clean by the removal of something as ubiquitous as electricity, if there is no help coming from “them” ugly doesn’t begin to describe the darkness that will occur. Most of the good news stories of heroic efforts of ordinary people in times of catastrophe exist within the context of “help is on the way.” When there is no help coming this population has insufficient experience in the real sacrifice necessary for survival and the candy coated civility that presently exists, what little of that still remains, will vanish like a mirage.

    Excellent article.

  7. My name is Gary. This is a tough subject. How many of us are there? Preppers that is. I wonder how you can be so open about being a prepper? Yes, in good times when people have the basics and stop by to borrow an egg or two…cup of sugar…, we are more than glad to help, if in fact we have what they need. This is the exception to the rule of your key point…, SURVIVAL…

    It seems to me, if we are in the SHTF situation, most of us that live in the urban jungle will not survive for long, when the must needs of others become the struggles of survival… The hard questions are always harder when we become self-serving instead of self-giving…aka… the balance of living in close quarters with neighbors that have the intrinsic conditionings that include, “Normalcy Bios” …, Never thinking a disaster will accrue to the point of famine or death due to lack of water, food, heating, cooking fuel, toilet facilities, clean clothes (No wash board or tub)… all of the latter we take for granted, in Disney, USA!

    When I started looking at the *prep thing*, I came to the conclusion I’ve always been a low scale prepper… Pantry healthy, but not total wisdom of the bigger picture…a couple weeks’ worth the hunger supplies for a rainy day, in case of a layoff in the construction trade… and or, grocery store simple shortages…due to strikes and what not. Basic urban mentality.
    Here, we see your mentality is a need, rather than a prepper’s urban struggle, rising to the level of being self-sufficient, as a matter of lifestyle and good old fashion turn of the century, mom and pop gardening-farming, Thusly, your own garden plot of plenty, and wisely enthusiastic about your own creature comforts and the needs of your family, you produce more than you need. “IT’S A WAY OF LIFE”.

    Back to the hard-hitting question of sharing our preps… We must ask ourselves if living is really worth it, “THE TRAMA”, while we watch our neighbor’s children starving because the parents have not been wise, or are struggling like most urban folk…paycheck to paycheck… no relief in sight! Here the moral question is, will I die while they pry the doors open to my crib because they are starving…and do I want to live, knowing sooner or later, it’s possible that I may run out of food and water and be in the same boat. Here is where logic finds the mean of the unknown… What, will I really do about the reality of the hypothetical becoming the norm, and the norm is nowhere in sight? I have to be honest…I just do not know what my reaction will be when shock turns into the unthinkable…do I kill, or do I give, or, do I give and die, because those that I give too, realize I can, and kill me or my family when I decide I can’t give anymore without starving my own family.

    Maybe bugging out is not an option… Maybe becoming active with the neighbors during the first period of any disaster or financial collapse, etc., becomes the imperative of understanding the needs of others, without revealing you are a prepper… Better I think, to not let anyone know we are preppers…mum is the word…while looking at the immediate needs of others, we have some idea how the drama will play out, instead of the fear of not seeing the bigger picture in the hunker down mode… I’m not saying any of this will be easy… So, these are the questions that seem so simple, and finding the answers, will be in the moment, and not a premeditated reaction, back to the details of survival.

    I’m hoping I’m prepared on the level of must needs…It seems, thinking of everything, is just not within most people grasp of what it will mean to survive even myself… The situation may, in fact be, ultimately no one will survive a catastrophic urban disaster…of course we know those that are not killed, say, as in 9.0 quake that bury many under the ruble of there homes etc. They will need help, we may need help…here is where the shoe is on the other foot…Now it’s time to be real… I hope I have the courage to contribute to all my needs as well as others… but I’m hoping I will not have to have a rifle peeled from my dead hands at the cost of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Just sayin… Survival of the fittest may be an oxymoron in the hands of the many, thinking we will survive without each other in the urban jungle of asphalt dreams and Facebook memes… Looking for justice in the “Twilight Zone” of preppers…
    Much thanks for all you to inform the unwitting folks of la la land… Best regards form the urban homestead here on the west coast and the red sea of the fukushima pacific rim. This is the other disaster we are all going to feel in the near future…Will we be prepared?

    • I don’t live in the urban jungle but I still keep my mouth shut, here in rural Alaska.
      I’ve had small emergencies where I had to use my stow-aways, but I try to replace all I can, as soon as I can. I’m learning foraging and reading as much as I can for survival…..without a gun.
      I’ve mentioned before; I would hate the time when someone demands help and even gets aggressive. I can threaten him by pointing a weapon at him, but he’ll be back and I know this. So what do I do to ensure he doesn’t return? This kind of stuff is sickening to think about. So many scenarios and decisions.

  8. Need to read SELCO or FERFAL books and sites. Isolated farms WILL be attacked and even decent neighborhoods can be dangerous…good reading is Surviving Econonic Collapse, story of living in Argentina. Even now media are”under-reporting instances of looting etc. only three days after hurricane. In addition to fitness learn how and when to use force to defend yourself and property…world probably won’t go totally feral but the weak and unarmed will be at high risk. As Ferfal points out, there is no sense worrying about it; man or woman up and get in proper mindset before the event.

    Preparation for violence is like other preps. Get ready for random looting and learn to not act like victim and learn proportional defenses. Best is stay out of threat areas, learn situational awareness and then RUN or leave potential areas. Many times problems and be avoided or stopped just by words and leaving. After all that prepare for more serious environment, which are different kinds of preps.

  9. Thank you so much for writing this! I am learning all I can on how to make my own everything. I know how to can, dehydrate, cook from scratch. Bake bread, and make soap. I sew, crochet and knit. I want to know how to live without “modern” conviences. I have learned to make bread from scratch. My hubby loves it and will eat a whole loaf.

    I now know how to stop people from saying they are coming to my house if something bad happens. Again, thank you for this article!

  10. I have had the same comment made to us with our 15 acres. I just say, if you think there may be something worth worrying about, you better prep for yourself. I am happy to teach you how.

  11. There was heavy flooding in my city and many of my neighbours day don’t even try to help each other out. I Gabe cans, tea. Sugar, water yo quite a few explaining that this came from my own kitchen. They promised to replace the foodstuffs I gave them. Well 3 Yeats later I still waiting!! I am prepping always but not telling them. We have forecasts of bad weather coming and I ensuring that I will be OK. So are my adult kids. I have learned I need to be looking after myself. I see my neighbour get a can everyday to take him to and from the pub. Yet says he has no money. He has food delivered and the amountvof food containers he puts out have to be seen to be believed. Caught him putting his garbage in my non and then said he was only looking in it!! That is similar behaviour to other neighbours. So annoying. Have joined lots of Facebook pages for canning. Growing herbs and veg in pots and making progress. Found great pickle recipes in Scandinavian cookbooks.

  12. I used to give demonstrations on various types of safety packs people could make. Some as small as a shaving kit bag all the way up to a fishing vest. There always seemed to be a big guy say at the end, “I am bringing my family to your house if anything happens.” That is too scary. I used to put an emergency preparation suggestion in the church news every week. I would get the same reaction. Since I am disabled I stopped being public about it for my own safety. One thing I heard was unbelievable. One lady told me that she and her husband drank coffee for breakfast, both ate out for lunch and then she went to the store to buy dinner every night to make sure it was fresh. I asked her what would she do if her family had to shelter in for a week. “Oh, I would just go to the store and stock up.” Problem: no store would be open! They would only have coffee to brew or nothing if the grid was down. Amazing, laughable as well as sad.

  13. What bugs me the most is the people that say ‘If anything happens I’m coming to your house’ are generally the most unprepared people I know. I usually say things like: Sure, that would be great, then at least after a couple of weeks we can starve together. Don’t come after dark! Call first so I don’t accidently shoot you trying to climb over my fence. Bring all your supplies cause I don’t have any extras. Hope you have a plan and bug out bag to get here. Good luck, it’s a long walk from your place! Bring your tent cause you’re sleeping in the yard!

    Don’t let people know just how prepared you are. If they get inquisitive give them vague answers.

    Oh that’s a new gun, how many do you have now? ‘A few’ or ‘I traded most of my old ones for it.’

    What are you doing with all this food? ‘Donating it to the homeless’ or ‘I hate shopping so I try to do it only once a month.’

    You sure have a lot of gas cans. ‘You wouldn’t believe how fast you can go through it with mowers and chainsaws.’

    It’s best if people don’t know what you have because when they have nothing they will remember you.

  14. A couple of years ago our home was flooded during a hurricane. As a consequence, the lower half of the first floor had to be completely removed and replaced. There was a huge pile of wall board, carpet, ruined furniture, etc. that had to be removed, in our front yard for several weeks. Even though it was obvious that we had had serious damage, NOT ONE of our neighbors (who had not had flooding) offered sympathy or help in any way. We don’t live in that state anymore, and don’t miss anything about it.

  15. If it’s REALLY SHTF, then nothing in your life will ever be the same again. This includes your friendship/relationship with the folks who want to move in with you. So, just get tough! It doesn’t matter anymore! Your kids will never again play with their kids. You will not be a bridesmaid when she gets married. Her brother won’t meet up with your younger sister and get married. So, First, DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! (if you do, they will send one of the kids inside to tangle up your legs while they push in the door and take over your house and all your stuff! If you let them in, THEY WILL NOT EVER LEAVE! (But you will because they will put you outside!)
    Further, if you let them in, they will overpower you and take over – especially if they have been living on the road for a week (you see, they know the new “real world” from first-hand experience)! Talk to them through the door. Tell them to go a mile down the road to the green-and-yellow house, knock four times and say that “Ed sent me”. (of course there is no such house). Tell them that your kids just came down with smallpox. Tell them that your grandmother just died in the room that they would occupy if you let them in. Tell them that the door is nailed shut. TELL THEM ANYTHING TO MAKE THEM GO AWAY! But – DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR BECAUSE YOU WILL REGRET IT FOR THE REMAINDER OF YOUR SHORT LIFETIME! If they say that they will “burn you out”, then immediately order them off your property. If they won’t leave, then tell them that you will open the door with your shotgun and begin to shoot them, beginning with the kids. If they light a fire, then shoot them – all of them. Now, let’s look at the bright side. They’ve come a long ways from somewhere, and they’ve got to find shelter and food and water soon. If they hang around and you do not feed them, they will go away within one or two days – they can see that you are a “dead end”. Once they are gone, within a week you can expect organized gangs. Shoot them down without mercy. You must be ruthless!

    • Do you want to survive in that world? Look at Houston where people are helping each other, protecting their neighborhoods from looters. Can we hope for a little kindness from those we know?

    • Linda, wiseman is correct, in a total SHTF situation, there is no three or four days the good guys will show up with a wal mart truck to give away. You will end up a serf if you do not thin differently.

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    (Search around for the best price of course)

    Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition Third Edition
    by Joel M. Skousen (Author), Andrew Skousen (Author, Illustrator), Audrey Butler (Editor),


    This fella is as serious as a heart attack about the subject … He and his brother have been dealing with the issue and consulting on it for bucks up people for something like 30 years now.

  17. Actually, you’re being a bit too nice. If someone says that to me, and it hasn’t happened yet, I would say; “Bring enough food, water and other supplies to survive while you’re here.”

  18. I prep extra food for my neighbor, they don’t know and don’t need to. For a retired couple there very self sufficient. And there 12 acres borders my 5 on multiple sides like a buffer zone. Not having family here I would take in a family if things felt right. It’s very hard to maintain the homestead as it is. Let alone security. It’s much cheaper for me to buy extra food than to have my house raided because there’s only my wife and I plus the kids. (To young to help). So far no one I don’t want here has said there coming. Probably because I don’t talk about it to more than a handful of people.

    You were not to harsh in your writing, reading the comments I feel a lot of people live in tighter quarters so it may be harder to hide your prepping. For those I say move when you can. I’m close enough to have a high paying job but a days walk away.

  19. Truly a wonderful, informative article. Thank you. I am like you only more of everything considering I am much older. I would first tell them who dare to think I would help them that I don’t have that much because I only thought it would be short term. Don’t like lying but, there comes a time. And, I would be sure to tell them the entire property is booby trapped and they can expect to be blown up. I have been preaching to everyone on my email list to ready themselves. So they don’t think I am a Kook I say “The way things are going with the world, the weather, the floods, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes it is a good thing to start with a go bag and to have one for each in the family as well as the dogs. They can carry their own. Make one for the car, as well. You can get a list on this site”. I have sent them your URL and told them it is my favorite and they should do themselves a favor and check it out. Maybe they will listen to you since not everyone is heeding my words. I could go on forever on this topic but, I am sure someone will cover anything I might say, somewhere in these comments. Have a good life dear, Gaye. Keep “preaching”. I’m listening.

    • Thank you for the kind comments and sharing my article with others. I tried to address a lot in this article and I definitely had to think a lot about this one.
      Best wishes,

  20. Great article. I’ve had a ‘couple of friends’ say they’d come over to my place if anything bad happened. My reply has been and always will be…Don’t come empty handed and be prepared to work. For some reason that always puts them off some.

  21. Someone said that to me once and I immediately responded, “You know it’s gonna be a shame to have to shoot everyone I’ve ever known.” The look on his face was priceless! He’s knows me well enough to know that I meant it.

    • I’ve always told those people, “Good, we can always use fresh meat”. I don’t smile when I say that, they wonder if I’m joking…

  22. One of the best articles I’ve read on survival. I enjoyed all the comments as well. I too have been told by friends that “I’m coming over to your place”… I think it’s important to learn as many skill sets as possible for everyone in the family. Read and learn about homesteading, canning, food storage, security, medical and communication. The world is changing and we need to be prepared.

  23. How about asking for a check for $3000 per member of their family that they plan to bring so you can add food for them to your larder (payable within 60 days of today and non-refundable) AND within 6 months a certificate from their local college or university for one of the following qualifications: animal husbandry, crop management, food preservation or auto mechanics? Might deter some people.

    • I like it! Not just a blanket, bring everything you can, but $3000 up front. There are many skills to be learned at our local community college. Heck, there are just regular old life skills that I would welcome. However, many people would bring nothing particularly useful to the table.

      Here’s a short list, off the top of my head, of types of people I could welcome: doctor, dentist, vet, nurse, EMT, combat veteran, pastor; someone who can sew, knit, crochet, spin, weave, cook (put together a non-traditional, nutritious meal with available ingredients), garden, forage, wildcraft, shoot; have knowledge of useful herbs, various food preservation techniques such as fermentation, canning, and dehydration; cowboy, machinist, welder, builder, Boy Scout or Girl Scout leader with skills who took their groups camping frequently and know many ways to cook outside, peacemaker, pianist or guitar player…you get the idea.

  24. It took years to find a kindred spirit. I would throw out little zingers in conversations, waiting to see if anyone bit. Tidbits like, “The future is, of course, unknown, but I think we are in for some very bad times.” Nothing, and then one day it happened. A church friend let me know she had a certain degree of trepidation about the future and was buying storage food. We are the same age, went to the same university, and have many valuable skills.

    We have not hidden the fact that we have a small ranch and have been building, slowly over 6 years. We get the, “Well, I’m coming to your place if anything happens.” And I’ve even heard them invite others to bug-out (they didn’t know this term to use it) to our place. Seriously? I’m not concerned. Our place is 3.5 hrs from our city, and everyone has family they won’t be willing to leave behind. They don’t even know our address, just our county. People presume a lot, and I do feel badly for the cities. Hopefully more people will begin to prepare after the recent hurricane fiascos.

  25. Do not feel sorry at all for writing truth you could not change if you wanted to . I’m a combat veteran and promise you people can get ugly.Even if you helped some , you cannot help all who will come so the hard decision will have to be made at some point.

  26. Dear Backdoor Survival Readers,

    I cannot thank you enough for the kind comments and valuable information you have added to this article. As I said before it was a hard one to write because there is so much to be said. I think a lot of you added a lot of things that I didn’t have the space for but hoped you would think about so you can be better prepared. I am sorry I cannot respond to every comment on here but I do assure you I read them.

    Best wishes,

  27. You’re right. A healthy weight and fitness are two of your most important preps. And, even if nothing happens, you’ll live a longer, less painful and more active life.

  28. Great article & comments- it’s good to get real about tough subjects.

    For example, years ago I tried my hand at mlm sales of GoFoods long term survival supplies. One supposedly very pleasant coworker said to me with a smile “Why should I buy it? If SHTF I can send my brother over to your place.”

    Not believing my ears, I said “The best time to buy is before you need it”, to which she answered “No problem, he has a gun, he’ll just come & take it.” I said “Cool, what’s his name?” “Mel, why?”

    I said, “I’ll put Mel at the top of my list today with the police department for if my home’s ever broken into. Thanks for the heads-up!” Then I saw fear in her eyes ha..

    I decided then & there to tell folks I wasn’t selling any more or storing those preps on my home turf, & to just help out a couple folks who might be in need.

  29. For people I don’t want to alienate, I give them the “Miss Manners smile” – slightly upturned corner of my mouth but with no actual cheer behind it. I’m silently thinking, “No you won’t!” but I don’t say it.

    For people who I don’t care about I give them a play on the Walking Dead show and say, ‘OK. Tell me….what kind of supplies will you bring, what kind of skills can you contribute, and how many zombies have you killed.” If they laugh, I just cock my head and say nothing. Most people become visibly uncomfortable when they realize that my question is quite serious. If you have nothing to contribute in either skills or supplies, you ain’t coming in my bunker!

  30. “I am not going to sacrifice now, but I am more than willing to take from you later”. Is that the statement of a ‘kinder, gentler” looter?

    But i can tell you this: If they come asking for help, i am not going to turn them away. We are all going to die eventually, prepped or not. Staying alive for as long as possible regardless, is not the ultimate goal. Its who you are WHILE you live. Otherwise, our patriots who died in war may have done things differently. This life is not the end.

  31. In the months before Y2K, my aunt had grandkids saying they would come to her place and bring their friends with them if bad stuff happened. She suddenly felt burdened to provide for all these extra people — on her disability income! She never once told people they need to start buying supplies to store at her place, if that was the plan. She felt she just had to supply. I told my kids and their friends right away, if you show up at my house, you’d better bring lots of food and several blankets with you! You’d better bring enough to supply yourself and those you bring with you. I had to be firm and bold from the beginning. Could I have actually turned them away? I don’t know, and didn’t have to find out. But it did get them to start stocking some soup cans and toilet paper, and two of my sons even bought camp stoves and fuel, in case it was needed. Please, please, be bold enough to say: I’m taking care of mine; you better take care of yours! And if we’re each willing to do our part, maybe we can pitch in together to help each other out during a crisis.

  32. Give people like that, a list. Here, start collecting but don’t tell your neighbors. I think I’ve typed this before, but I do think about it and it’s an awful thought. TSHTF, people come to the house; desperate in every way. I may give them some things, but would tell them to move on and find shelter elsewhere ( situation is a ” just depends on” ). But if they come back and demand or bring others to force us out, I would have to use lethal force.
    If a group of men come and are menacing, sending them away at gun point will not work. They will be back, with a plan, so just letting them trudge off in anger is not an option. Again it depends on the situation. I could not send a child away….

  33. I guess we should just pretend we are just as unprepared as they are…..except we have shelter. Don’t tell people….like we just did here.

    god bless America; ……what hell , it would be.

  34. I’ve always been somewhat of a prepper because I was an abused child and kicked out at 18 yrs old from the California desert to the Kansas winter where my brothers wife kicked me out as well because she was just real mature like that. Long story short, when life is kicking your @ss, you have no time “to be nice and considerate”. I lived 2 years out in my car and no one would hire me so it was me and my car, jumping in trash cans for food, bathing once every 3 months at the KOA showers and restrooms, drinking from random water hoses to get chased off by the owners like a stray dog. Lessons I learned. No one cares. People suck. Trust no one. Survive, do what it takes or die. Life is harsh so eat it before it eats you and most importantly of all, you better realize that nature is a serial killer and will kill you the first chance it gets. Be prepared, be diligent, respect your environment and use your noggin at all times.

  35. I think anyone who preps has had this thought come to mind:
    Who to take in, who to turn away…..I have thought about this many times. Our neighbor is VERY handy—he has many skills. But I doubt he (and the wife) are prepared in any way. They seem to live gov’t check to gov’t check, unless he does handyman work somewhere. Would we take them in? He would be a good choice. But here’s the dielemma…they have three adult children who will probably bug out to their house, with their 5-6 kids and spouses/BF or GF. Helping 2 neighbors could possibly put us on the spot for another dozen. Heck, is one multi-skilled person worth the possibility of another 13 low-skill family members? How do you tell them they are ok, but not their kids and grandkids?

    So, we don’t mention being ‘prepared’ to anyone. My brother doesn’t know the extent to which we are prepared. Yeah, we’d take them in, but not because they came knowing we could, but because we are out of the city limits. But they better arrive with a truck-load of everything they have. Like someone else said, “I am not your backup plan.”

    Like-minded people….a group of preppers banded together is a bonus. But how do you find others without tipping your hand? We know one other prepper, but they are a good 10-15 miles away.
    I have heard of someone else well prepped (he’s got the money to do it). I was told by “the relative of a relative of a relative” to this guy. Yeah, his info got shared! I wonder how many others have heard this little gem of information? You just can’t be sure who you can tell. This would be the kind of person who does not prep and thinks they’ll be coming to your place.

    So what do you say? Sorry, keep walking…

  36. I have prepared for those I will let in….my family. However they have a list in their wallet of the things I expect them to bring with them if the SHTF. Food, dog food ( didn’t put any back), money, fill car with gas on the way, blankets/sheets/pillows, everything they need to keep themselves clean, hand tools (if there is time to grab them, as back ups to my own) seeds they own, clothing and footwear for ALL seasons for all they are bringing with them (son still having children, so can’t be more specific than that), paper/pens/markers and any/all weapons of ANY kind they have in the house (Son has a sword collection, there will be weeds to knock down. LOL) The rest of the world can go pound salt. I have a shovel and lots of land. LOL

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