Monday, September 21, 2009

Prepare: What to do when unexpected guests arrive?

OK, so the world is coming to an end. Pick your poison. Plague, nuclear war, earth shift, civil disorder, etc.

You and yours have holed up in the country. Or in your cleverly disguised suburban home. Or maybe in the city, in an old warehouse or brownstone camouflaged to look dilapidated and uninviting.

Well, not inviting enough. The best friend, ex-brother in law, guy at work with family, or whoever, has shown up at the door. They may have a truck full of food or in a nearly empty car or on foot with only the clothes on their back. So what do you do?

First, the gig is up. Maybe you bragged about your lair, supplies and plans too many times at the dinner table, reunion or around the water cooler. Too many preppers do. After all, this is what we do 24/7 and when the other folks talk about their latest vacation or golf outing, we feel kind of stupid with nothing to say. So you let slip that "Well, this weekend, we added another 400 square feet to the garden and I picked up a new Remington at the gun show".

They know and here you are with unplanned visitors at the door.

Some of you will write in the forums, "I will have gun in hand and let them know there is no room and to go back to looking. I might give them some food or water, especially if they have kids, but that's it".

Sounds great. Unless it's your wife's family of course. You'll also have to watch your back all the time when that disgruntled friend comes back to take what he wants.

So what to do?

First, really look at your situation and theirs. Do the newcomers pose a threat to you and your family and the others at your place? Are they dangerous, mental or sick? Is there an immediate threat which could compromise your security right now?

Second, if the new arrivals do not constitute a threat, could you take them in? Be honest. Maybe you have a 3 month supply of packaged and canned food and a one year supply of long term storage food and you have enough for 8 people. The newcomers represent 4 more mouths. If they are empty handed, will their contribution be enough to reduce your food stocks by one third?

Next, where does your reluctance lie? Is it because the newcomer did not prepare like you did, laughed at your efforts and now you have the upper hand? Or are they a real threat to the security and well being of your existing group? This is a big one so be honest. Are you thinking about the greater good or revenge?

Here are some positive points about newcomers and the unexpected guest:

Another set of hands, ears and eyes. In a survival situation, numbers rule. If there are four adults, two are always on duty for security. The other two are resting and working if possible. Adding just two more adults increases the labor pool by one third and means that two more can be working while two patrol/watch and two rest.

More people brings more skills. Maybe "Bob" has never handled a gun, but what if Bob is a decent mechanic, doctor or gardener? Suddenly, your skill set just went up a notch. Further, you may have overlooked a skill you never imagined. Now you have an answer.

The newcomer increases your stock. Hate to sound "animal" but another family means possible mates for your family down the line. The kids have to get married some day and have more children. If there are not enough people where you are, you will have to go looking anyway. Might as well take care of that project now.

But there are some negatives as well all know...

The newcomer may be lazy, drunk, a thief, argumentative, short sighted, or ambitious enough to take over. Can't have that.

You may have to offer to take the children and tell Mom or Dad, sorry, but that it is best for the kids. Some may take you up on it for the sake of children.

You may be in a situation where Mom and kids are welcome, but drunk and disorderly boyfriend has no place. It can get ugly.

So what to do if the newcomer or guest is not wanted?

While the rare person may accept their fate and lack of space with you, don't count on it. It is human nature, especially in life and death situations, to bear a grudge if forced out. And in survival, that means forever watching your back.

Suppose brother in law, always a drunk and layabout, shows up. After discussion with your group, it is decide that BIL will get a week's supply of food and water and sent packing.

Now what? You just increased BIL range to find another group who may "persuade" him to reveal where he got his last meal from. And then they will come calling.

It may be best in these situations to take Brother in Law for a ride. A long one.

I am the kind who will take in almost anyone who is family, a good friend or is truly needy. I don't think I could turn a child away in any situation.

So the best course is -

1) Shut up. Don't tell anyone what your plans are unless you are ready to provide for them.

2) Have extra. There will be unplanned for visitors whether they find you or you find them.

3) Be ready to accept partials; that means kids, or single mom or injured skilled person.

4) Be ready to make hard and final decisions about unwanted guests.

5) Be realistic. You can't watch the bug out location all alone. Forgo three years worth of stored food for only one year if it means increasing your odds of survival.

Hard decisions, but better to be ready than not at all and have it happen.

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