Preparedness Meetings With The Spouse

Preparedness meetings. I believe that it’s a great idea to meet once in awhile with your spouse – about your overall preparedness. This presumes that your spouse is ‘on-board’ with the notion of general preparedness…

Lets talk about the advantages of having occasional preparedness meetings.

By the way, take notes! Review the notes next time. Make action items.

A meeting is, just a meeting – a joining of the minds, opinions, and thoughts about a given subject. You can take it as deep as you want, or simply keep it light.

One advantage of a preparedness meeting is that it keeps verbal communication going about your own “state of the union”, so to speak. The state of your household (which may include many subtopics).

Mrs.J and I have occasional meetings about our preparedness, seasonal goals, finances, “to-do lists”, etc.. I must say that it really helps. Bouncing ideas or thoughts off another critical-thinking person can reveal holes or flaws – things you might not have thought of. It helps solidify the right path.

Preparedness Meeting Topics

So, what are you going to talk about? Well, I would hit the high-level categories first. The 30,000 foot view. The sky’s the limit here, but I prefer to keep it simple so as not to take too long (otherwise you both might be discouraged to meet about this next time).

I hit the big topics first. Then I go back and drill down a bit if necessary. Sometimes we spend more time on a particular thing or plan. That’s okay – whatever works… Everyone’s risk-tolerance thresholds are different. We’re all in our own unique situations.

A few topic thoughts:

Water. Food. Shelter. Security.

Discuss the ’30-thousand foot view’ of current events at a global / national / state / local level with regards to potential risks or dangers out there. Some may have eventual impact on your lives in the near or distant future. Consider those impacts.

Discuss ‘what if’ scenarios for various hypothetical situations which would shake up your “normal”. How you would cope with each – given your current situation (whatever that is)? Do you need to take actions to become better prepared for any of those events?

Your wish-list of the things / projects / goals that you would like to purchase, build, research, learn, or accomplish. Then prioritize based on your instinct of what needs to be done first, second, etc.. given any constraints.

Talk about your current food storage. Evaluate what you currently have. Is it enough? Any holes? How long will it sustain your household. Diversified enough? Variety? Shelf life. Food rotation. Are you actually consuming what you’ve stocked up on? (FIFO). Etc..

Discuss your home security and personal security situations. Based on where you live, its demographic, may require adjustments depending on a hypothetical level of social collapse. Run through various scenarios and imagine how you would stay secure. Look for gaps. How might you shore up your home security?

Energy disruption (grid). Coping without electricity. Got what you need? Think of the season when it may happen (unique requirements?).

Your survival kitchen without the grid. Got the “tools’ that you would need?

Gardening and Preserving progress?

Review your financial situation. It’s different for everyone, but the topic is very important!

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. There are so many things that you could discuss. But the point is that it’s a good idea to do it – because it helps keep you on track and provides motivation to accomplish your preparedness goals.

 What about your ideas for discussion points during a preparedness meeting?

“Does your spouse agree with your prepping?”

We ran a Poll here on the blog and asked readers, “Does your spouse agree with your prepping?” After a few hundred responses, the results are in…

Yes, nearly 75% of spouses are on board with prepping, mostly, or all the way.

[ Read: How To Get Your Wife On-board With Prepping ]

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60 Comments

  1. Ken, I think you nailed the critical areas to discuss, review and plan, or update. The only thing my wife and I do additionally is discuss medical as an area. This includes dental, optical, physical checkups, any necessary body preventative maintenance hoping to avoid a human equipment failure (with older body mechanics, either muscle, ligaments, bones or joints act up trying crank away like a younger person). Even have a hot water bottle in medical storage, some folks might have to do “the googley” on that one. I have a back brace, knee brace, ankle brace, Velcro wraps, soreness tubed goop, hot packs, cold packs, half body length heating pad, the list goes on. More items than I can count for dings, dents, slices, nicks, abrasions, burns, thumps, twists, bonks and general lack of either coordination or brains events. Finally, stuff to clog and dress holes if i get one.

  2. It’s an on-going conversation at our place. Discussion revolves around: where are we? what if? and if then. Since the news changes everyday the discussion revolves around today’s news usually.

  3. My husband and I mostly discuss what scenario we are prepping for, and what we need to do. Then we discuss any big ticket items.

    Other than that, I do the prepping. My husband has less than realistic ideas. For example, he thought food storage would be a year’s supply of ramen noodles and multi vitamins.

  4. I’m one of the “hardly” guys. My wife has never been happy with it but she tolerates me even when I am intolerable. She is good at pointing out ‘what if’ issues, and see things way different than me.

    1. Same here Sam

      I usually just do my own thing. If she says we have enough bars of soap, I will acknowledge the comment and buy more soap when out the next time. No complaints about being out since I started taking over buying those things. Ohhh well, to each their own.

    2. Sam, Inprepper keep it up. My wife use to look at me like I was nuts. As times have gotten crazier and she’s seen the advantages of having a deep pantry she’s slowly come on board with it. Now at times she actually gives input and ideas that I have not thought of. For whatever reason there continues to be a stigma for being prepared, but I think (some) people are Finally starting to see the value and importance in it. Good luck!

      1. rb308, Sam, Inprepper –
        My wife didn’t stop after just looking at me like I’m nuts; she flat out told me I was nuts. But she works at a major SoCal grocery chain. So when March came, and she started to arrive home with a thousand yard stare, suddenly the snippy remarks – ended.

  5. I voted mostly because she does do the eye roll at times but in general the wife is on board. She figures if it is that important to me then I should be able to do what I need to.
    Now as far at as a meeting she won’t be doing that. She just depends on me to handle it.
    She has had her eyes opened some as she is seeing the empty shelves when she goes out

  6. Wife and I talk at least weekly about different aspects of our self reliant lifestyle . We are usually on the same page but sometime different paragraphs.
    Many discussions center around our neighbors that make up our rural area.We feel “close by people” will be an immediate issue to deal with in a catastrophic event.One of the thorny issues is who to help and how much help to be given and who to say a strong no to. Getting to know as much as possible about your neighbors and neighborhood is important.
    We do lots of what if scenarios, as we feel it will enable us to make better decisions in a tough time.
    Communication must be both ways to be of value, especially with one’s spouse.Two minds going in the same direction makes for a smoother trip.

    1. Bluesman so much truth in your comments. Most trouble will come from nearby and helping might not always be helpful. Especially the communications part. My wife recently brought up potential neighbor problems and the use of a duress phrase as to alert the other spouse something was amiss.

      Ours is the use of both the normal name and middle name to speak to the other.

      How would your spouse let you know she-he felt something wrong about a situation?

      I’ve learned to listen to my spouses intuition.

      1. NH Michael,
        Thanks for the good tip on communication with spouses.That intuition or small voice of warning is something to heed.

      2. We also have a duress signal. It is a name and the accompanying closeness of the relative description will tell the other how serious it is. If i would address her personally with the name she will know the danger is here and now.

  7. DH and I have been on the same page for 25 years. Having lived very rurally, we BOTH chose to prep beyond most issues. We are good for whatever SHTF comes at us. (we think)

  8. I am a mostly, guy. 47 yrs married.Preps as with everything else are mostly my ideas that she agreed to easily which is easy for me but I wish she had ideas of her own. As far as neighbors yeah, I am more concerned about them than the potential wanderers.My shortfall in $htf will be because I am the lone wolf type and don’t have any group.Except my son next door if his wife would let him help defend the place.I’ve got a brother in law that would show up for $htf . But that’s about the whole crew.I know it won’t go well. But I will NOT be removed from my home! Prep on.💀

  9. I am definitely for periodic scheduled meetings. Our after work/supper discussions are often counter productive. Sometimes we aren’t in the same mode – he might just be brain storming and I am thinking we are at decision stage. Or increasingly, when the discussion is brought up a day or two later, one of us has forgotten we talked about it. We have an annual “budget summit” where we set our financial goals for the year and establish our spending budget. We have been doing it for so many years I can’t remember when we started. I think I will suggest a monthly meeting on this topic. Maybe over breakfast – prepping and pancakes – I’ll call it.

  10. I didn’t even vote. Two years ago my DH just quit on this lifestyle. If I want to carry on – well, so be it. He doesn’t mind the lifestyle, just won’t participate. Has other things to do, lol! And he was very happy about the preps (TP, food, etc) during 45 days of Covid stay-at-home orders. I went through stages of anger, resentment, etc. Finally, said, “Oh well.” I love this lifestyle and I will continue it on my own. A lot of work, but oh so worth it!!! Attitude is everything! Instead of work, I call it “getting my exercise.” I get to shop and store. I get to make the decisions on what stays and goes. I raise the chickens. See? So we never have any meetings, lol! When new security lights are delivered, I say, “Get me the ladder out, k?” Then he helps. This is when I learned that to simplify everything is key, at least for me. When the neighbor remarried, the new wife just ruined the neighborhood group I had worked so hard to set up. Oh well…..guess they will all be on their own when SHTF. We do have some friends and family members close by for SHTF, and that will do.

    I do not lose any sleep over this. We all must adapt to changing circumstances – even within our own homes, our own groups. Whatever. I am at peace with the lifestyle here, where we are, and I have my eyes wide open about what’s to come. It ain’t pretty. As we know, and if you all don’t mind I will say it again: First the social order, then the economic order, and then the political order (government) will fall. Its their playbook.

    Get ready.

    1. Ken, if your article had a ‘spouse quit caring’ or ‘spouse doesn’t care” choice, I would vote on it. Lol! Great subject tho. Funny how we are all in different circumstances, eh?

  11. DW is a half the time. She is all about food storage. She also likes the idea of being armed with plenty of ammo but we have different definitions of “plenty”. She is tolerant of my other projects, like learning blacksmithing and hording all kinds of junk to make stuff with.

  12. When we lived in Florida my wife thought I was paranoid and wasting money on “all of that extra stuff” until we took a direct hit from hurricane Ivan. While everyone else was scrambling and looking for a FEMA/Red Cross handout she didn’t have to wait in long grocery lines, or gas lines, had a generator to power lights, refrigerator and small window AC unit, firearms to protect us, tarps to cover the damaged roof, etc.

    She listened to the complaining and whining from coworkers who were angry “the government isn’t doing enough” to take care of them and after 3 weeks the power came back on and she realized “all that extra stuff” was a blessing and made a tough time a lot easier. She hasn’t complained once since then and actually looks for deals to replenish and helps me keep stores rotated.

  13. Things change over time in regards to the political climate, the economy, the weather, our own personal situations, financial considerations, aging, etc.

    During the Obama administration, we lived in Ohio & hubby had a corporate job which required his travel all over the nation, all the time. We had a “tribe” assembled of 4 like-minded families who met almost monthly for fellowship & our prepping conversations. They were encouraging & I was able to accomplish a great deal w/ their encouragement. Hubby said “Go for it ” & was content for me to make any & all prepping decisions.

    When he retired 3 years ago & we moved home to Texas, I wanted to go rural but he insisted we downsize, simplify & stay suburban, just 2 miles from the son & grandkids. Okay … so our aging & limitations have required some changes but we still:
    stockpile water & food & supplies
    have a secure home
    practice tactical & gun exercises
    He is into ham radio now.
    Try to stay mentally sharp & spiritually prepared.

    And he still says “Go for it” whenever I make a suggestion!

  14. My advice if you are a man but the wife disagrees with certain purchases… Time is growing short before the REAL party starts.
    1. Time to get your House in order.
    2. Make those purchases that will keep your family safe.
    3. Prioritize.
    4. Be logical and realistic in your threat assessments.
    5. Create caches of supplies in alternate locations.

    Time to Nut up or Shut up. Do what it takes to protect your Family. Good Luck Everyone.

    1. WC, good comment. I saw a Youtube vide from a catholic priest today telling his parishioners to prep and stock up food and water now. And he means now! Don’t wait.

      1. I would love to view that video! I am going to spend some precious time searching. Thank you DJ5280 – that is the direction our pastors should be giving us!

          1. Thanks…I was able to check him out. I like his positive thinking even with everything going on. Also nice to have confirmation from a priest about what is happening. The Diocese really keeps a tight leash on what is said.

  15. I am in the “hardly” category.

    DH yoyo’s between thinking we will never need any preps, to thinking maybe it’s a good idea in moderation, but not too much because it takes up too much space, to a rare -“I guess it’s good you got all this stuff”. His normalcy bias is very strong.

    There are no meetings, but every once in awhile something comes up in a random moment that leads us to a specific topic such as safety in suburbia vs not suburbia, or a specific food shortage – that sort of thing.

    But, I keep reminding myself that I was not practicing preparedness when we married all those years ago. So, I am the one who has changed. All I can do is do my best and keep my eyes out for warning signs, since DH does not.

  16. Lol
    My FWTB was a left leaning….
    when we first met.
    Occasionally we have those discussions where the left thoughts may come out.
    But I tell ya what, she is and has become a hard core prepper, a ccw permit holder, etc.
    We almost daily talk of what ifs. How we should improve our well being. Not only for us, but for our families.
    She be my lady.

    1. Joe C, Ya mean that wasn’t a marriage proposal for So Cal Gal.?…. Sorry So Cal Gal, missed again. LOL he he he

  17. Old man and are both into prepping. And I like your idea of meetings. I have vowed not to buy any food and today I came home with more stuff. The shelves are getting real bare in the stores. I feel like if I don’t get it while it is there I won’t get it at all. I lost out to more wide mouth canning jars and now I hear lumber is getting scarce.
    Anyway, some friends who know I prep want me to make a list for them, since time seems short, of what they need to do. This article is prefect for that. Thanks for doing the work for me!

  18. Having lived our whole life in Hurricane country the wife and I were already in the preparedness mindset when we married. When Billy boy and Hittlery got in the WH we really started in earnest. Over the years we did the best we could while juggling kids, work, and life in general. I think we did pretty well.

    Usually when a significant purchase comes up we discuss it and most times go ahead if possible and we both agree, a partnership you see. Some items she rolls her eyes and says to go ahead so I just agree if she wants something that I don’t see as immediately necessary. :) (The secret to a good marriage.)

    As I have mentioned before some family had their eyes opened this spring. I hope to talk with them about increasing their level of preps above what is needed for hurricanes.

  19. My wife has never been on board with the prep thing despite the fact that her first husband blew through her savings when she was young and naive. My wife came from a family of career US Navy officers and enlisted. Many ( not all ) career military have come to rely upon their employer to not question things and asks/demands them to obey. This can be problematic when planning for retirement/investing/planning for the future. Career military come to over-rely on their employer to tell them what to wear, when to eat, etc.

    …then she married me…

    I have never been in the military. ( hats off to those of you that have served ). I did work for an underfunded civilian branch of the government in my early 20’s and several other police and fire agencies prior to going into my present job in the medical field. Sometimes I carried a gun as part of my job but the duties performed were on U.S. soil. From what I have been told as a child and what I have seen as a young adult working in Public Safety has made me deeply skeptical of the people I work with and work for.

    #1 lesson: You gotta take care of yourself because nobody else will look out for you.

    #2 lesson: Do not trust people, employers, people who try to be your friend or try to gain your trust in relatively short time. ( when my mom said I love you, I had somebody check it out.)

    #3 lesson: Make hay while the sun is shining. Noah built his ark before the rains began. Put away for a rainy day. Know that seven fat years are followed by times of famine that may last for 7 lean years.

    I married an only child where I was the youngest of many children so I saw examples of behavior that was both good and bad among my siblings. The lessons I learned came about through experiences both good and bad. My spouse is learning these lessons from me even today after many years of marriage.

    This most recent Covid 19 and the resulting recession and civil unrest is simply proving why we have plenty of food, supplies and ammo available during this time of uncertainty. My wife looks at me and says: “how did you know?”

    All I ask of her these days is to not give or throw away the canned food I have stored within our storage areas. ( years ago, she went on a manic-episode of pantry cleaning prior to arrival of a winter ice storm…Well, do you feel stupid now? A few days of having to eat the same old thing taught her a lesson in why I stock up on things ahead of time ). I will not drive on icy roads in a larger city just to get a few luxury items that my wife chunked into the garbage cans 48 hrs earlier. Time to do without…we will not starve in the meantime.

  20. We were “lucky” enough to lose power for 24 hours last week following a storm. Sparked a lot of good conversation on things we were lacking for a longer term outage and areas of strength as well.

  21. I am fortunate in that we are both on the same page in this grand adventure. In our household, large purchases have always been approved by both of us And that carries on into our unusual lifestyle choices. I am usually the one to say I need you to get more of this or a couple of these and he responds with a nod. I am the more organized of the two of us so I think in those terms….he is a do-er and a workhorse but does not like to follow a plan, which I think is critical. We think opposite in that respect but he says that is okay because we compliment each other.

    We do have daily discussions About what we are doing, etc. but have not really discussed particular scenarios….which we should. Thank you for the thought provoking article Ken.

    H

  22. We seldom have “meetings” but talk often. I like the idea of establishing an organized “meeting” with a scheduled timeframe. That’s a keeper idea.

    I voted “mostly” because of a few reasons and those reasons are not for lack of support. I have always been more involved in preparedness than my husband. So bumping it all up big time when Obama was annointed wasn’t surprising. Me, food; him, guns. ROFL But I’ve gotta say, the man truly questions the importance (and sanity) of having more than 600 rolls of TP, but then, he’s not the biggest TP user in the house. I’ve been the shopper so I win. :-)

    Then came the Covid-2020 shortages — TP, sanitizers, certain foods, and now certain lumber products. Those shortages have only served to prove my insistence on having a good supply of needed items on hand, and stored. I had all products stored except for the lumber which I have repeatedly mentioned, but never had much support on.

    When we rebuilt the entire chicken yard this Spring and he wasn’t able to get any pressure-treated posts, he got very frustrated after 3 worthless trips to different lumberyards. (And I didn’t even say “I told you!” Ha!)

    So those 2 areas were why I voted “mostly.” Then there is an area of frustration because my husband does not believe that the economy is collapsing. (I know…crazy, huh?) He is not a numbers-guy, and he hates anything involving finances. He’s actually rather ignorant about the economy, so no amount of explanations works. I suppose this is where ‘ignorance is bliss’ might work. LOL Thankfully, he is very content with me doing all of our finances and financial planning. And he is very frugal, too. In all other areas of politics, values, and beliefs, we have the same sentiments. So I just accept the couple of issues and keep plodding along, but at a much faster pace, because the clock is ticking and the level of insanity is unbelievable already.

    1. There used to be jokes about the “tornado room” not anymore! My current concern is crisis fatigue. The longer this goes on the wish for normalcy gets stronger and it starts to replace normalcy bias with desire for normalcy. Know must be ready however even as our normal changes. Frog in the pot. RLTW DOL

  23. There used to be jokes about the “tornado room” not anymore! My current concern is crisis fatigue. The longer this goes on the wish for normalcy gets stronger and it starts to replace normalcy bias with desire for normalcy. Know must be ready however even as our normal changes. Frog in the pot. RLTW DOL

  24. Our meetings involve going over lists of things to do,gear ya gotta get and budget planning.
    It’s somewhat embarrassing to say that my journey down the road of
    preparedness started by accident from watching “Doomsday Preppers”.
    My wife kept asking “don’t we have enough now”? She hasn’t asked
    that again for years.

    The level and extent of our prepping is geared toward someday being
    able to help and provide for our non believing children and grandkids.
    We don’t know if they will make it here but we keep hoping.

    Just “getter done” friends!

  25. We don’t have “prep meetings” as such. And DH is sorta-kinda on board, now.

    I used to get, “aren’t you going overboard” from DH.
    From our girls, “Mom. Really. You think it’s that bad?”
    Grandson says, “You’re a hoarder.”

    but then after the shortages, I got the comments:
    “OK, you were right.”
    “Mom, can you show me how to can?”
    “OK. You were right, but I’m not coming over for any food.”
    One daughter knew I had TP, and when she couldn’t get any she never came to me for any. Didn’t want to admit I was right.

    And, yes. I would’ve said “Told ya so” at least once (b/c she was warned).

    I keep working on the pantry and when we need a big purchase we talk about it, but mostly DH just goes along with what I think we need. I remind him to be sure to get his once a month ammo buying done. Otherwise, he’d forget to. He’s glad I work the garden, but he doesn’t want to be a part of that except to till it in the spring for me and he did put up an electric fence around it this year.

    So mostly was my vote.

  26. The only thing about prepping Mr. and disagree on is MRE’s. I hate MRE’s. They are heavy, taste terrible, have become very expensive, don’t last as long, and most of the calories are carbs mixed with some sort of acid tomato sauce. Not to mention some are so spicy a child would not care for the food. So we agree he can eat MRE’s and I will eat my FD food. He is very good at not saying a word about my herbal preps. What I need I can buy when budget allows.

    1. Mrs U
      In that case if I have not donated ALL those the “ready meals, that do not move in the lower regions of one’s inners after consumption”. Will ship them to your dh for eating.

      When I purchased them, we considered them a back up but after all that I have read. Well, let me say not my bag of food like you…lol

  27. For a few months, my wife was making all sorts of plans to leave our Florida home to travel to see all of our children’s families and all the new grandchildren, currently living all along the Western seaboard of the country. Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, & Seattle locations were on the planned trip.

    I knew from the beginning the chances of such a prolonged trip were extremely slight. But, I could not bring myself to even hint to my wife all her complex travel plans were not only foolish, but dangerous. I did not want to crush her hopes to see her new grand kids and visit with her children, nor instantly become the target of her ire.

    Well, today…she asked me out of the blue…”Do you think the trip is a bad idea?”

    “Yep.”

    “Did you say, ‘Yep?”

    “Yes,” quietly.

    “That is what my mother said, and our daughter, and both our sons, said, too.”

    And, with that…she finally accepted she needed to cancel the trip.

    I am much relieved.

    But, never-the-less, I would have never said a thing had she insisted on going…even if it meant we never came back.

  28. There is no real discussion around preparedness. I’ve always been that way. I suspect it was a side effect of living rural and having feast or famine years. My mother got us through the thinnest of times due to exceptional planning. I didn’t know how bad things were until I was much older. I just knew some days my Father was gone 15 hours a day 6 days a week and other times he was there 24×7 for months at a time.

    Largely I operate the preparedness for the compound. The rest fall into line and function within the parameters. There is a to-do list and a supply list shared by all in Google Keep.

    There have been times where I have been persecuted for being a hoarder and a tinfoil hat wearer. Recently we ran out of unbleached whole wheat flour and a look of disappointment was given. We also ran out of N95 masks, but mostly because we gave them away. I wear a respirator and I have plenty of bayonet filters so it doesn’t really matter as I do most of the high risk interactions.

    So I guess I could say we kind of have meetings but I would say the first three columns of the RACI chart is dominated by me.

  29. We have daily discussions on geopolitical events, finance, food preps, gun and run, shit and git, etc.. You name it, we talk about it. As it turns out, I am the hardhead in these discussions. Some may say I talk to myself too much about these topics. I am beginning to agree. But…that’s ok in my little world. They know me here.

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  31. I don’t have to talk to the wife about what I’m doing cuz she is right there, helping me and so is the little one. For instance: the little one and I took (2) 20 lbs sacks of rice and vacuum sealed them into 1cup servings. It took a little while but we got it done.

  32. I voted hardly because up until this pandemic I got “Nothing’s gonna happen , Government won’t let it happen, why do we have SO MUCH STUFF?” Well guess what? I had/have the masks, wipes, etc on hand. SO DH is not “discussing” the stuff I’ve been bringing home when I can. He takes the receipts(he has a system to organize what we spend to keep track of the budget) and is happy when I am able to get the extras(replenishing what we’ve used) when I go grocery shopping. Son2 is happy as we’ve been able to help them out as well, they had food and tp on hand but DIL2 was having a hard time getting the wipes and hand sanitizers. So I guess I wasn’t crazy after all LOL.

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