HELPING THE UNPREPARED HELPING THE HELPLESSWhen it comes to preparing we like to think we have it all figured out. Bug out bag…check. Food storage…check. Water storage and filters…check. But what do we do when it comes to our family and loved ones who what nothing to do with prepping and think we are wasting our time?

This has been a hot topic lately for Academy Members and members of the Facebook group, so first I would like to say thanks to everyone for giving Lisa and I the idea to talk and write about building a preparedness binder for the non-preppers in your life, and some possible ways to help get them more interested in preparedness.

Building a Preparedness Binder

First let me explain what I mean when I say building a preparedness binder for the non-prepared. This is different than the typical preparedness binder we have all heard about. If you don’t know what these are Mom With a Prep has a great article about what an emergency binder is.

Honestly we haven’t given this much thought because Lisa and I are almost empty nesters, but putting a binder together for family members who don’t yet see the importance of preparing is actually a great idea. This means putting things together to make it as easy as possible for them if they find themselves in an emergency situation and you’re not around.

Lisa and I are both on board with prepping, but you might be in a situation where you are the lone prepper in the house. I would be willing to bet that there are more of you than there are of us.

What would you do if you were away at work and something happened at home and there was no way for you to get there when your family needed help?

Or worse yet, what if there was no way to communicate with your family at all?

Here are a few ideas that Lisa and I talked about in the podcast this week. If you have anything that you do to help the helpless family members in your life let us know in the comments below.

SPP110 Helping the Helpless


Make it as easy as Possible

In the podcast Lisa and I said this should be like writing a “prepping Book for Dummies” although you might not want to actually call them dummies. We need to connect all the dots for them, and we need to make sure we don’t take anything for granted.

I call this “the curse of knowledge” because just because something seems simple and obvious to us, it might not to someone who has never learned about it. They might not be able to get from point A to point C in your instructions if you bypass point B.

Where is Everything Located?

If you don’t know where the flashlight is, don’t expect them to know. I need to take my own advice on this one because I am horrible about putting things back where they go.

Make sure and include where everything is in your instructions, and make sure they are actually there if and when they need them.  This is also another reason it’s a good idea to have emergency kits put together. If you have a lights out kit put together with flashlights, batteries, glow sticks etc it makes finding everything much easier.

What do They Depend on you for?

Before you even start the actual binder get a piece of paper and brainstorm about what they depend on you for. For example; instead of getting a phone call from them saying…

“hey dad (or mom) it’s raining really hard and the light just went out, what do I do?”

Instead of saying “go here and grab that, then get this from here and don’t forget to get that too.” you can just say “grab the binder.”

Step by Step Instructions

As I talked about earlier be a detailed as possible when you are writing out emergency instructions, just because something seems unimportant to you, it might be the information they need.

Show Them the Basics

This goes hand in hand with step by step instructions because if someone has never done something, such as simple as hammering a nail into a piece of wood, they might have an idea how it works, and they are going to end up with a bruised thumb if they have never done it before.

When the fluids need to be checked in my daughters cars I am the lucky one who gets to do it. I make them go out with me, and at the very least watch what I am doing. I do this because if the time comes that they need to check their oil and I’m not around, they can.

They might not like it, but make them pacify you and go through the binder with them so they understand the processes. It also helps to get them involved as much as possible when you are cooking, gardening, cleaning and repairing things around the house. Do your kids know where the fuse box is?

Have information hidden for emergencies

One last thing that is not part of an emergency binder but is just as important is to have the things that they might need, but you don’t want them to have unlimited access to if they need them.

Have stuff like the gun safe code, important documents and keys in secret locations that they need you to find. If you are at work and something happens but all the supplies are locked in the shed, they are going to need to be able to access it.

I have actually been in this situation a couple of times, not emergency situations, but situations where I had to say “sorry, it will have to wait until I get home.” Just make sure that once they know the cache location you need to change its location.

How to Get them interested…

Having an emergency binder put together for non-preppers is great, but wouldn’t it be better to somehow get them on board with prepping? Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but there are some ways that we can lead them in the right direction.

At the end of this episode we started talking about some techniques we can use that might help them become more interested in preparedness. Different people react to different things, so it’s up to us to figure out want makes them tick.

Make sure and listen to the show and read the article coming out next week for that and our discussion about would you be able to turn a family member away in a SHTF situation.

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Speak Pipe Audio Questions

If you have a question you would like to ask you can send us an audio message on SpeakPipe here. If you like, we can also play your question on the air.

The Preparedness Triangle Patches

Preparedness Triangle patch

I just placed an order for these patches this week and they should be available to purchase in the next week. You can get yours from the here.

What the Patch Symbolizes

This open ended triangle is an adaptation of the Civil Defense emblem universally recognized by preppers… but the average person would have no idea what it is.

The three open triangle sides symbolize Water, Food, Shelter, the basic survival necessities.

The circle around the triangle symbolizes the following wisdom: “A good man draws a circle around himself and cares for those within”

The circle is also gray to remind about the importance of being “the gray man” and not exposing ourselves to undue risks.

The primary purpose of the symbol is that like minded preppers to be able to recognize each other before and after a SHTF event in order to network and communicate with each other…

…but again, it just looks like cool shirt to everyone else.

In keeping with OPSEC (Operational Security) the SP stands for Survivalist Prepper or Survival and Preparedness and there is even Morse Code for SP under the circle.

Tin Foil Hat Time

The listeners requested that we start a segment in the podcast called “tin foil hat time” and Lisa went a little off the deep end with this one. In the show she talked about Project THOR and you can find more information about that here. 


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    2 replies to "Getting them Prepared – Helping the Helpless Emergency Binder"

    • j w

      Great idea. Thanks Dale

    • Todd Walker

      Good stuff, Dale! Thanks for sharing with us.

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