Preparedness: 6 Excuses Why People Don’t Prepare

CandlelightLast week we discussed some of the reasons Why We Should Prepare; including natural disasters, manmade disasters, as well as personal emergencies. I hope you agree that it makes sense to have some supplies on hand for such events.

This week I promised to talk about the excuses that people use to NOT prepare. Even if you agree with the idea of preparing, do you find yourself anywhere in the list below? If so, I hope I can convince you that it is easier than you think.

Excuse #1) Too Expensive

$5 a week can get you to your goal.

If you are new to preparing, you don’t need to purchase huge pre-made bags of grains. Do you know how to grind wheat to make flour, and than how to make bread? If not, why would you stock this type of food?

pantry food storageStock up on foods that fit your lifestyle and what your family will eat. This makes it easier to simply pick up an extra can or jar of food when you are grocery shopping. Then rotate out the old for the new in your pantry. And don’t forget that comfort food can be…well, comforting…in times of stress. Make sure you have some of that as well.

If you have a garden, canning and dehydrating your surplus produce can actually save you money. Prepare and store enough food to last you and your family until your next harvest.

Water storage doesn’t need to be expensive either. Although I like the stackable water bricks that hold 3.5 gallon of water, you can use 2-liter soda bottles, sports drink bottles and gallon water jugs for safe storage (with proper cleaning before hand – including the caps) and the use of chlorine bleach to purify. These particular plastic bottles are made of #1 or #2 grade recycled plastic – food grade. You can check for this rating on the bottom of a plastic bottle or jug. Don’t use anything with a higher number grade (such as empty gallon milk jugs). They are not safe for long-term storage.

Matches and CandlesItems for first aids kits, candles, flashlights, rain gear, space blankets and other preparedness items can be picked up at the Army Surplus or Dollar Store. Get creative and keep a lookout for such items on sale whenever and wherever you shop.

Can’t afford an emergency radio just yet? If the power is out, simply start your car and turn on the radio to the AM frequency for emergency broadcasts.


Purchasing a little bit every week will soon get you on your way to having a good store of food and supplies on hand.

Excuse #2) Too Much Time and Effort

It only takes 15 seconds to fill a gallon water jug. How many seconds does it take you to pick up 2 cans of tuna, instead of one while food shopping?

When you can incorporate preparing into your everyday routine, it no longer becomes a burden.

Take the time to create a beginning list of items you want to have on hand. Start out small. Remember—baby steps. Then, whenever you go into the grocery or hardwood store, keep your eyes open for sale items that could be quickly purchased and added to your storage. The same thing holds true for the drugstore, car parts store, or camping section of your department store.

Excuses #3 and #4) Nothing Will Happen / It Just Happens Once

I don’t want to live in fear—none of us want that. But we do have to face the facts that natural disasters do happen. And even if that big storm is over now, or that earthquake…it doesn’t mean that something else isn’t going to happen. And Mother Nature aside, life sometimes throws us unexpected curves, such as an accident that puts us out of work, or loss of our job.

As we’ve discussed here before, being prepared is about being having some peace of mind that you’ve done what you can to be ready for an emergency and then you get on with life and hope it never happens. But you don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend it can’t happen.

Excuse #5) The Government will Take Care of Me

Well, yes—eventually.

FEMA recommends that we keep on hand enough food and water for each person for at least three days. That’s because they know it will take them at least that long before they can help us. Why?

We need to remember that FEMA, as well as our state emergency services, don’t reside next door. In the event of a disaster, they have to first just get here. That usually means they are coming in from out of state.

Once they arrive, they must get organized before they can help us. That means they have to set up and make sure they have security, and can keep what they call the “continuity of government” before they can start helping we the people. This all takes time. About three days worth of time—or more.

And, remember that this ‘help’ will be only the very basics for survival. What about your prescriptions or other special needs? Do you really want to take yourself or family to a ‘camp’ with hundreds or thousands of other people? Or would you rather stay in your home with enough food and water to survive until help arrives?

Excuse #6) I’ll Just Run Down to Wallmart and get what I Need.

Black Friday CrowdsReally? Let me remind you of our little corner store during the San Diego County blackout. Within one chaotic hour everything in the store was gone. Everything.

Now, let’s think about those crazy crowds at the department stores on Black Friday—the mobs fighting and trampling over other people—just to save some money.

Remember, these people aren’t starving. They aren’t fighting for their lives, or their children’s lives. What do you think those crowds might be like if they were? Do you really want to be anywhere near that scene?

So I hope I’ve given you some inspiration. Take some time and think about how and for what you are preparing. Every household will be different.

Then make it as simple as you can. Don’t try to do too much all at once. Take baby steps and you’ll keep moving forward. And that’s a beginning.

Do you have any other reasons that I didn’t cover?


  1. Mike Sirota

    Agreed, those are all lame excuses. And the one about the government taking care of it? Ha! Just ask the (former) residents of New Orleans.

    • indy

      Glad you agree, Mike. Yeah, the government and Walmart excuses make me laugh out loud, but not because they’re funny!

  2. suad campbell

    Good advice, Indy. I’ve started to incorporate several suggestions you’ve made when I’m out marketing and shopping.

    • indy

      Cool – I’m glad you find them helpful,Suad!:0)



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