Uninvited Guests In Time Of Crisis

“If things get bad, I’m coming to your place!”

Guest post by Mr. and Mrs. restoringBrad

– How many of us have heard people say that, or something similar to it? Even if they were laughing when they said it, they might mean it.

Sure, some folks would say that jokingly, but others were either nervously testing your reaction to see if it was okay or inviting themselves to show up at your location in the least confrontational way they could… by passing it off as a joke.

 

Hearing those words will usually cause one of a few reactions:

1. A positive feeling because they were spoken by someone whom you would welcome into your home during a time of crisis.

2. A negative feeling because they were spoken by someone whom you do not want showing up at your home.

3. A feeling of unease, because the jury is still out on the person who said it. You’re not sure if they would be an asset or a liability, or what the people they intend to bring with them would be.

Either way, now the onus is upon you to deal with that statement. Be glad it was made! Whether or not you want that person or people showing up, be thankful that they warned you of their intentions.

 

Deal with it right then and there!

It will be easier to deal with this issue when the statement is made than when they simply show up at your door. It’s better for everyone concerned.

If you think someone else might want to evacuate to your location, then you should have given this possibility some thought already. Have your response prepared.

If you haven’t, now’s the time and you’re going to have to think on your feet.

The easiest way to deal with this is to prevent someone from judging your home to be the safe refuge that they should head to in the first place.

 

What motivated them to plan on coming to your location?

Before we look at the problem of uninvited guests showing up, let’s look at what would make someone decide that if there were a disaster they would want to come to your home.

You have control over some of this and may be unintentionally making your home an attractive choice in their eyes.

We are not referring to a disaster that would render their home uninhabitable while yours remains habitable.

We are referring to disasters such as societal collapse, infrastructure collapse, widespread or prolonged rioting, increased governmental restrictions such as martial law, etc. that do not destroy or render dwellings uninhabitable but effect both their home and yours.

Something caused them to compare their own location to yours and decide that in the event of a disaster, your location was the better place to be. So much better in fact that they predetermined they would abandon their home and head to yours.

 

What caused this decision on their part?

It could be any number of factors, so we’re only going to cover a few of the more common ones.

 

1. Your location is rural and theirs isn’t.

 

Generally More Suited

It is generally understood that in a time of civil strife, societal collapse, martial law, medium to long term infrastructure collapse (no electricity/water), etc., that rural locations are much more suited to surviving than urban and suburban ones.

 

Lifestyle

The lifestyles of rural people vs. urban and suburban people are starkly different at many levels, and evidence has shown that people in sparsely populated areas tend to fare much better than in densely populated ones.

 

“Live off the Land”

Look on any prepper or survival forum and you can find urban and suburban people who think that in the event of a large scale disaster, they will simply load up some camping gear and head out to the country to “live off the land”.

Sadly, that isn’t going to work for most of them. However, it is a general attitude so when they see that a family member or friend already lives out in the country, many will simply head to their house.

 

An Attractive Option

There isn’t much you can do to conceal that you live out in a rural area. Your location makes your home an attractive option to family and friends in a time of crisis.

 

Low Population Density

Add in the documented threat posed by high population density in urban areas during a prolonged crisis and compare that to the relative safety of the low population density of the countryside and fleeing becomes their prudent choice.

Because a rural location is frequently referred to as the most desirable location to bug out to, most of this article is from the viewpoint of someone living in the countryside. It still applies however to anyone living in any location who has reason to believe that others will seek refuge from them in a time of crisis.

 

2. Your home isn’t rural, but they see it as somehow safer than theirs.

 

Safer part of town

Perhaps you live in a more affluent neighborhood, or a safer part of town.

 

Your Skills

Maybe you’re a current or former first responder, or military. You posses skills that are seen as beneficial in a time of crisis.

 

Firearms & Freezers & Food

Maybe you have firearms and know how to use them, or have a freezer (or two), or tend to keep more nonperishable food on hand than average.

 

What You’ve Built

Maybe they know deep down inside that their lifestyle is more frivolous than yours and in the event of a disaster, what you and your family have built will be much more conducive to survival than what they have chosen to spend their money and time on.

These and more can be noticed by folks and may cause them to decide to show up on your doorstep seeking refuge from the crisis at hand.

 

3. Your lifestyle, abilities, mindset, and attitude are obvious.

 

Stark Differences

Many of those stark differences in the lifestyles of rural vs. urban favor the rural setting for survival.

 

Better Odds of Survival

People who grew up in the country as well as people who have lived there for a while are generally believed to posses skill-sets that would significantly increase the odds of surviving a crisis. These also apply to current/former military, take charge/do it myself types, etc.

 

Lifestyle

These kinds of people tend more towards being handy, knowing how to effectively garden, hunt, fish, preserve food, build better relationships with their neighbors, help one another, etc.

 

Do-it-Yourself

They tend more towards independence and doing it themselves than waiting for someone else to step in and do it for them. If you have this general mindset, it will probably be noticed.

 

The Attraction of the Countryside

Yes there are people in urban and suburban areas that hunt and fish, but guess where they have to go to do it- the countryside. Their gardens, if local ordinances and HOA rules allow them to have one in the first place, tend to be much smaller and consist of only a few different crops in smaller quantities.

 

Foregoing the Luxuries

If you and yours are doing without some of the shiny toys and vacations that others covet and instead are investing in the supplies, tools, and knowledge that will enable you to fare better in a crisis, it might be noticed.

 

Discourage Coming To Your House – How & Why

It’s not only the ability to hunt and fish in your own backyard that is attractive. It’s not only the preconceived notion that rural folks are like MacGyver in their ability to overcome obstacles, repair things, and survive.

It may not even be the myth that food is so plentiful in the countryside that it’s almost natures supermarket where one can simply wander around gathering up some of the bounty almost as easily as picking up food from a grocery store shelf.

All of those are definitely factors, but one of the biggest factors is You. More specifically, your attitude and personality.

As we deal with others, we are constantly adjusting our opinion of them on a subconscious level. The way you and your family interact with others who don’t live in your house sets the foundation for their decision.

I’m not saying that you should be rude, not at all.

 

Be who you are, but be clear about things

Chief among the things you should be clear about is:

1. Whether or not your household will be accepting them as refugees in a time of crisis.

2. And if so, what the requirements for showing up will be, as well as the requirements for staying. Yep, two different sets of requirements.

 
If you agree with someone before a disaster that they can seek refuge at your house, then you all need to agree on two sets of requirements:

1. What they will be required to bring and whom is allowed to come with them.

2. What their responsibilities will be once they arrive, and the rules.

If possible, they should start prepositioning supplies at your house so that nothing is forgotten in the stress of evacuation.

 

OPSEC

There is information that can and probably should be treated as private, for household family members only. This is called Operational Security or OPSEC, and not only does it work, it is vital.

If you allow others to be aware of this information, you are increasing the odds that they will decide your house is their bug out location.

Here are some examples of information that should be kept “close to the vest” as it may create the problem of uninvited guests by making your home and situation more attractive.

 

Loose Lips Sink Ships

Presence/quantity of Firearms and ammunition in the home.

Long term food/water storage or well above average quantity of food in the home.

Off grid survival supplies such as portable generators, hand pumps for water wells, etc.

Presence of off grid tools and equipment.

Abundance of local game/livestock and natural crops.

Existence of nearby private ponds or creeks for fishing and water sources.

Well stocked first aid or medical supplies.

Any and all preparedness plans such as taking in other family members or friends, coordination with neighbors for defense, food procurement, site security, etc.

Even with good OPSEC, a few folks are going to figure it out to some degree.

Some of your friends and family who come to your home, your kids friends, boyfriend/girlfriend are going to see that your place is the better one to be if things go sideways. And obviously, he or she is going to want to bring their family because well… who wouldn’t want to get their family to a safer place?

 

Serious Consideration Before That Day Arrives

Before that day arrives, you and if needed, your family, should have already sat down and given this serious consideration.

You are going to have to perform a sort of triage, where you take an honest look at the people who may want to show up at your home in a time of crisis and make that difficult decision as to whom you can accommodate and whom you must turn away.

 

There are many factors to consider

Here are some of the more serious ones:

 

How much do you love them?

Just because you’re related doesn’t mean they’re family. I have close relatives that are most definitely not welcome on my property, much less in my home. The law states they are family. I say otherwise.

I have friends I have known for years. We’ve bled together. I say we’re family. The law disagrees. They are welcome… those relatives are not.

 

Elderly or Infirm?

Is this someone who realistically could not prepare for themselves? Is he/she/they elderly? Infirm? Is this someone who is not going to be able to withstand the increased rigors of surviving without help?

 

How much do you have?

How much room do you have and how long will your supplies last? Can you realistically house and feed them? How long will your food hold out for that many people?

 

Will they Assimilate?

How likely are they to assimilate to your household, your security requirements, and your rules?

If they are going to be disruptive, it is a bad idea to take them in. They need to conform to you and yours, not the other way around.

At this point your home becomes a benevolent dictatorship with you as the head dictator. Nothing else will work for long. They can offer advice, but your word is law. No appeals, no negotiations, no votes.

 

Willing to pitch in?

Are they going to be willing to pitch in and help, or are they expecting to sit around while you and yours do all the work?

You’re not running a resort hotel. Your family will already be under vastly increased stress without adding entitlement personalities into the mix. Everyone needs to pitch in and do what they can, and in some cases- what they’re told.

 

How long will it last?

Is there a way to estimate how long the disaster in question will last? If this is short term in nature, more leeway can be granted. If it’s long term, less. A few people sleeping in the living room will work in the short term much better than it will in the long term!

 

What can they bring?

What can they bring of benefit? This may sound rather mercenary in nature but it is something that should be considered.

Let’s suppose that you can only take in a family of four. There are two families who have expressed interest in bugging out to your location in the event of a crisis.

One family has a former SOG member and a Trauma Nurse as the parents, along with two well behaved kids. They are of good moral character and their beliefs strongly align with yours. They intend to bring supplies with them and are happy to help you prepare your own home.

The other family has a Community Organizer and a Receptionist as the parents. Their kids are poorly behaved. They are of questionable moral character and their beliefs don’t usually line up with yours. They don’t mention that they intend to bring anything other than themselves and scoff at the idea of helping you improve your home to better accommodate them and increase survivability.

That’s an extreme example but it gets the point across.

The triage happens once you have made those decisions.

Now, you have to put them in order of importance. Who’s at the top of the list of people welcome to join you? Who’s after that? Who must be turned away even if nobody else shows up?

 

Not an Easy Subject

This is not an easy subject for many people to address because it forces them to take stock of not only the people who intend to come to their place, but also of themselves.

They are having to decide, ahead of time, whether or not they are willing to welcome the people in question into their home for an extended and probably stress filled stay. They have to face up to the stark realities about them, without excuses or sugar coating.

 

People will be offended

We’ve offended a few people over the years after they’ve told us they intend to come to our house during a disaster by advising them that in fact they weren’t.

Some were quite shocked at finding out that we’re not their emergency backup plan as they fritter away their money on toys and vacations while we endeavor to create a more sustainable household.

Were we being mean? No, and here’s why- We already knew that the person or people in question simply would not assimilate into our household. There are a variety of reasons but the result is that their presence would be far too disruptive and in some cases, risky.

 

Adding more stress

During a crisis, life will be stressful enough without adding more stress into your home in the form of people who are not going to conform to your family’s way of life and the lifestyle changes that would be required to survive.

By telling them politely but clearly that they cannot consider your home to be their bug out location you are not only protecting your own family, but theirs as well. This should cause them to take stock of their situation and hopefully start preparing on their own.

 

Deal with it now, rather than later

It’s easier and much safer to deal with someone who’s feelings are hurt (because you’re telling them that they cannot come to your house) BEFORE a disaster ever happens. To turn them away AFTER disaster has struck will be more difficult to deal with.

Telling them beforehand allows you to explain “why” in a calm setting, and to soften the blow. True, there will probably be some hurt feelings involved and you may even damage the relationship, but this is the best option. You need to prevent them from showing up on that awful day.

 

Showing up unexpectedly

They never told you they would come or they ignored you and came anyway.

Again, you hopefully gave this serious consideration before something happened and a car load or more of scared, desperate, and soon to be hungry people were suddenly standing at your doorstep hoping or expecting to be taken in.

If you wait until they are standing on your doorstep to advise them that they cannot stay, it’s going to be much more emotionally stressful for everyone.

It is also potentially dangerous. Even level headed people may not think logically when they are desperate. If they’re on your doorstep, there is already a level of desperation involved. How desperate are they? Enough to abandon their home and show up at yours.

 

Too Late, They’re Here

Now they’re here, asking for refuge. If you haven’t triaged this, you will have to do so on the fly, in an instant, under enormous stress.

If you decide to grant them refuge in your home, then the problem is solved.

What if you know that bringing them into your home is not going to work out and you have to refuse them?

Now in their eyes, you are standing between their family and safety. That is not a good place to be. They are not going to understand or accept your reasons for denying asylum.

You say, “There’s no more room at my place.”
They say, “We won’t get in the way.”

“We don’t have enough food.”
– “We won’t eat much.”

“There’s nowhere to sleep.”
– “The floor is fine.”

Whatever reason you offer, they will have a counter to neutralize it.

 

You Have it – They Want it

It may not occur to them that the safe haven they desire does not belong to them but in fact is your home. They may not think about how much of your resources that you have set aside to care for your family they will consume.

It may not matter to them if they do realize it. At this point their only goal is to secure that safe haven for their family. They may feel entitled to it, regardless that they did nothing to create it or contribute to it. You have it, and they not only want it, they NEED it. You are now the obstacle.

Depending on their emotional state they may try every conceivable type of leverage to gain entry, ranging from emotional manipulation to violence. They look terrified, children are crying, mothers are pleading, promises and bargains are being offered. How are you going to react to that?

What about those in your household? If they don’t already know who is and who isn’t going to be allowed to stay, they may start caving in, pleading on behalf of the people you have decided cannot stay in your home. Now maybe you’re the bad guy in everyone’s eyes.

 

Pure Emotions

You’ve already triaged this. You’ve already reached the decision that for whatever reason, these people cannot stay. You did so before the disaster hit, when everything was calm and you could use logic to game it out.

Now, you’re faced with almost pure emotion. How are you going to stick to your guns and turn them away. What’s going to happen when you declare your final refusal?

Emotional pleas aren’t working? Promises and bargains not producing their desired results? Violence is the next item on their menu if they don’t give up and leave. It can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

Desperate People do Desperate Things

They are desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. Even if you think nobody is coming to your home, if there is a disaster you should be armed. The appropriate members of your household should be armed.

Everyone should already know the plan if violence or the threat of violence is introduced. Everyone should already be practiced in their responsibilities and accept them.

 

Twilight Zone Analogy

Back in the 1960’s, there was an episode of the Twilight Zone that covered this very scenario. The title of the episode is The Shelter.

A guy had built a bomb shelter in his basement for his family. This was back in the days when imminent nuclear doom was on everyone’s mind.

They showed him having a party at his house and showed how well he got along with his neighbors. Then some news bulletin advised that unknown objects had been detected heading for the US and everyone assumed the nukes had started flying.

The guy takes his wife and kid and retreats to the bomb shelter he had built in his basement. It doesn’t take long for his friends, who apparently didn’t have bomb shelters, to seek admittance to his.

He explains that there is only enough room or supplies for his family of three and thus, sorry, nobody else can come in.

By the end of the episode, his “friends” had attacked his shelter, breaking down the door and rendering it useless to protect the guy and his family.

I don’t remember if it ended with nukes going off or not. The point was how the people seeking refuge acted against the man who had it.

 

Be Prepared for Anything

If you have to turn people away, be prepared for anything.

You don’t know what someone may do to protect themselves or their families.

Thus, the best way to deal with uninvited guests is to do so before they show up.

– by Mr. and Mrs. restoringBrad

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110 Comments

      1. Think of an historic air disaster, which left a bunch of soccer players stranded on top of the Andes Mountains….

  1. Ken,

    You’ve put a lot of thought into this subject. I applaud you’re effort. You have listed many concerns and possible answers.

    I have talked to very few on this subject, mainly because most of my family are the type that look inward for answers. That is, they don’t expect or look for help from others. Having said that, they are family, and as such, are welcome in my home, good times or bad. Together, we will find a way, will survive or perish together. I guess I differ from some with that thinking.

    I don’t expect the golden hordes from the cities that many fear, due to the fact that most folks are creatures of habit. Most will stick it out where they live, until it sinks in that nobody’s coming to their rescue. By then, it will be too late, and logistically difficult, to make the journey to my location. At least, that’s my thinking.

    I do expect that there will an influx of new faces even in rural environs such as mine. Many, if not most, will be be either family or friends of folks that are my neighbors. These strangers could pose a problem. I have many friendly acquaintances, few completely vetted, close friends. That’s true of most folks and the folks around them. My interactions with them will be predicated on the knowledge that I don’t really know them that well. That means that I may know their names, and have no reason not to trust them, but I also don’t know for sure I can trust them. Those folks will bear watching closely.

    I guess, like many veterans, and ex-LEO’s, I fear the sniper who takes you out from a distance and seclusion. I know that if I was planning on taking someones stuff, it wouldn’t be a head-on, close up encounter.

    Having said all that, I still plan on being as giving and helpful as I can, for as long as I can. That’s what I’ve tried to do all my life, and I will continue.

    I pray none of us will be put to that test. I fervently hope that, when I pass on, folks will have a good laugh about all the unneeded preps I left behind.

    1. Dennis, Though I agree with his thoughts, the article is a guest post by ‘restoringBrad’. Credit him (and Mrs. ‘restoringBrad’) for “You’ve put a lot of thought into this subject. I applaud you’re effort. You have listed many concerns and possible answers.”

      Everyone has their own opinion on this subject. It’s important to think about – even though we ‘hope’ things never get that bad to have to consider it.

      1. Ken, Mr. and Mrs. restoringBrad,

        Accept my apologies, please. Totally missed the credits at the beginning of the post. And yes, it is a subject we all have pondered. Just hope and pray we never have to face those decisions. I ‘xpect I will cross these bridges when I come to them, and try to listen to that quiet voice telling me what to do. I’ve listened to it all my life and it’s not steered me wrong. Not listening to it is when I’ve suffered.

        Good post Mr. and Mrs. restoringBrad.

  2. Good post. It’s been a topic of discussion many times round here.
    How it will be handled will vary greatly.

    1. The biggest issue I have is the group. It might not be one of mine but one of theirs that shows up. Who makes that choice?
      It’s tough. We’ve discussed it and that discussion actually tore a former group apart.

      As to what they bring if they come. I have an prepared email ready that I don’t mind sharing parts of. Obviously it only works if it isn’t an immediate action event and I suggest sending it periodically.

      “………..” will be the go words
      if it ever goes to poo and the rally point will be “…….” to start with. We might move from there but situation will dictate.
      ANYONE can call it based on events. Do not wait on me to call it.

      Items To Bring:
      Clothing- not just flip flops n shorts but real clothing for all seasons
      Food- all non perishable
      Guns, ammo, gear and anything related. By this time you should be armed and the co-driver with long gun.
      Fuel, propane, etc
      Medications
      Paper Goods TP, paper towels, paper plates, plastic flatware, trash bags, ziplocks etc.
      Batteries

      Water IF and only IF you have room and time. Containers are not a bad idea but again room/time considerations.

      Your fuel tanks should stay at half tank always. It will take more with traffic jams and loads to get from point A to B.
      1/2=Empty

      That’s the base of my prepared email. Use it as a base for yours if you’d like but change it to fit your needs/desires.

    2. Not sure if it’s already been mentioned but the perfect response to the “coming to your house” announcement for me has been:

      “You can come to my house if you know the secret password…. Which is “I’ve brought enough food, water, guns, ammo for all of us!”

      Usually crickets afterwards..

  3. This article brings back a nightmare I had. Many times after that I thought about what would have happened next.

    A couple who were friends were living at our house. The husband is a joy. The wife not so much. As the leader these were stressful times and I was constantly setting things down and then not remembering where they were. “A senior’s moment” was a running joke. Then one day I overhear the wife laughing and telling another woman how she kept moving everything I set down. That was the nightmare.

    Then I started thinking about what I would do. A meeting would be called, but what did I want as a consequence of it. An apology from her just wasn’t enough. Shunning would be difficult in such close quarters. Banning her would mean banning her husband as well and his knowledge and experience are important. The group would probably waver about banning because of the husband.

    For me, it had to be banning. Now, how to get everyone to accept that. “Know your enemy” came to mind. I had seen her liberal mindset at work during many social evenings. She arrives all smiles and friendly. Then a discussion begins and her countenance changes to one of bitterness and hate. There was my answer. Get her so riled up that she says she will go to town and tell everyone all the details about what is going on at my home. Now everyone feels the threat. She has gone from sabateur to traitor!

    It is important to closely watch and think about the people you might invite into your home. Definitely character and personality but also a close look at how they deal with stress. Stress brings out attitudes that aren’t normally visible in everyday exchanges. Tempers, spitefulness, withdrawal, hyperactivity are just a few. But if you watch for them, you will see them.

    What a great prepper short story this would make!

    Stay frosty.

    1. Found that out recently about someone I thought I could trust. Riled her up just enough she became a liability. was invited out of the house! (just there for a short social event…but nevertheless will NOT be invited back.

      1. PW,
        Ouch. It hurts to find out that someone you trusted, can’t be. Had it happen to myself recently, makes you 2nd guess your judgement. My daughter has had the same issue of late. As I told her, “the friends that I can count on, I can count on one hand.” It is hard finding good people, but you have to keep trying, and sorting out. You did find out before it was too late, so give your a pat on the back for that.

        1. Minerjim;
          I agree with the Friends counted on one hand.
          Have seriously been thinking on Selling out and moving to a new more remote area, had some of those, no longer, “Friends” turn on me for some stupid reason that I still don’t know what it was, unfortunately those were some of the “trusted” people that know about my “Living the Lifestyle” and the Deep Pantry….. CRAPO!
          So much for OPSEC. Maybe time to turn over a new leaf somewhere… NOT CA or Pot-land .. HAHAHAHA

          1. NRP,
            Still a lot of ‘hidee-holes’ in the area. Remember Butch Cassidy and Matt Warner hid out for years, and were never caught. Lake City country is pretty remote, still close enough to get supplies, and town dwindles to 2500 in the winter. Just saying you could slowly make the move over a year or so, and no one would know until you had to move the TP stash. That might be a logistics nightmare.

          2. Minerjim;
            Have contacted a good friend about the TP move, he has access to 4 “UH-60A “Black Hawk” Heavy Lift Hueys” he’s willing to loan me for a week. Unfortunately I’ll have to pay for the fuel… OUCH!!!!
            Sometimes it’s good to know High people in Low places… HAHAHA

          3. NRP
            Better had make sure you have no streamers flying on those crates of TP.

        2. Yes, glad I found out now. Still, disappointing to say the least. Have good plans in place here, and don’t want it spoiled by a selfish bratty control freak! Cut her loose and threw her back in her pond. Will not fish her out again!

          1. Pioneer Woman
            Sad to hear she abused your faith & trust . It is better to discover it now, than when the chips are truly down and find out she was beguiling.

  4. Will I take refugees or not depend from circumstances. First, what is disaster? Is it short term or long term? How long they need safe haven?
    Second who are they ? Good friends, family ?
    Some people will be welcome some not.
    My children and my brothers children are priority. All rest will be welcome if it is possible concerning situation.

    1. Well said, Veteren. A while ago I wrote in five questions to ask before admitting people or sharing.

      How long will the diaster last?
      How widespread is it?
      Who and how many are you responsible for?
      Is outside help coming?
      Has law and order broken down?

  5. We can’t be everybody’s savior.
    -Plain and simple.-
    I know I’ve posted time and time again about my coworker and how he jokes of, “going to your house”
    Joking back, I let it be known I sit on my porch with loaded rocksalt,
    and his wife is leary of me for that reason.
    Joking aside.

    I would not take in a soul that could not contribute/provide in some manner….and to be trust worthy.
    Closest and limited family first.
    My brother and myself have given subtle hints to my boy that a stock up is needed.
    Those that are trying to stock up will be given a helping hand. Those that think we are all nuts and continue to live one day at a time and and do nothing to secure their families future,
    *Knock on some elses door, as you and yours will be turned away.
    Rely on others to help us out in this time of need….
    Isn’t that what has been ingrained by our leaders?
    Pathetic
    ….and pathetic mindsets of the sheeple.

  6. Mr and Mrs restoringBrad and Dennis

    Good topic, great food for thought. Move to the farm coincided with a change to a more reclusive lifestyle. All the modern e-tech makes it possible to have good conversations without being physically present. Few have been here so my biggest concern is neighbors who have not prepped. However, the invitees most likely to make it here are strong-minded pragmatists. The DFMs most likely to try to give away to all and sundry also have the strongest normalcy bias and are least likely to make it here.

    I’ve got a couple substance-abusing neighbors with mental issues. When those of us who are laying up against an uncertain future talk, it always turns to how to protect our loved ones and the well-being of our groups from human predators.

    And some on this road don’t have two nickles to rub together, though they do have acreage. Like some on this site have suggested, will need to lay in more seed to share.

    Biggest concern is the nearby gimmedats.

  7. The rule in this camp ,,,find out if they have a skill set we need ,,,watch them like a hawk ,,,test them (we have ways ) make room in the outer camp , if not a fit send them away ,,,with a full belly and one bottle of water. Some kind of food is not a problem , food is our strength, and our weapon,as is having lots of eyes ,,long term we can produce food ,good people take time to develop , good people can teach new ones , and watch them ,paired one on one can teach and spot trouble,,, learn to think of the bigger picture,surviving the crash is about rebuilding when the time comes ,,and what are you bring to the party? What is the most valuable thing ? ????? your MIND ,that you think and then can do ,,,in fact that’s more important than all the ‘stuff’ ,,,,,stuff will feed you today , but your mind will feed you beyond , and alone stuff will get you killed ,there is no way I can protect every thing my self. The group can watch 24 /7. ,,,,,,,had some interesting things to share this week but I’m out of time for now ,need to take care of the cows ,darn came in for tea and did this instead

  8. An important topic. The answers we put forth will probably vary with our individual situations. Our closest family is 5 hours a way on a good day. On a large scale disaster they would probably never make it this far.If they do they are welcome of course.

    We are rural so our main concern is our nearest neighbors , some garden, some hunt, some put food away and others have skills to offer . They all have firearms. None appear to be of the same ” self reliant” mindset that we have and I don’t see having any of them move in with us. A 24/7 neighborhood watch would most likely develop at the onset of bad things.

    Wife and I often discuss “what if “situations to try and develop a foundation of thoughts on the issue in a time of stability instead of making a tough decision in a tough time . We just pray times don’t get that bad.

  9. One thing to keep in mind when some clueless parasite speaks about “coming to your house” is this: How are they going to get there? In just about every meltdown scenario, the mobs are out. If they see a vehicle with folks(especially white folks) inside, they will attack it. Also, if the folks who wish to beat feet to your BOL have to drive a substantial distance, they will undoubtedly run into roadblocks run by local militia, gangsta rappers, or MS-13 types. It will not go well with the refugees.
    If you sincerely desire to take in family members and friends with USEFUL skills and limited liabilities, PLAN with them. I know they are works of fiction, but the PATRIOTS series by James Wesley, Rawles covers bug-out and refugee scenarios relevant to this article. They are worth a read.

    1. Dweezil,
      I like your reply to the hungry do nothing. How are you going to get here? A good reply and an opportunity , perhaps,to give them something to think about .

  10. In keeping with my belief that there will be a slow decline of our society, financial failures, dwindling supplies, health issues, …

    As people loose their homes they will begin to migrate rather than see their families starve. They will use whatever transportation they can find, as in the great depression. By the time they get to your place, they will be road hardened, hungry, and angry. They may have lost loved ones on the trip.

    Many will be in disbelief that this could happen to them and blame their condition on everything and everybody – even you. They will be very hard to negotiate with or turn away.

    As we see the socialist movement gain popularity, more people will see what you have as automatically to be shared with them – be ready for the unrealistic expectations of some friends and relatives.

    1. I should add that the hardest thing for arrivals to accept will be the change from being able to get anything they wanted, all the time, and being able to make those decisions themselves.

      Many will not follow the rules you set down as the owner of the property and provisions. You may ask them to go out in the cold to feed the animals and you may get an attitude you did not expect, even though you were not trying to be tyrant but simply organizing the division of labor.

    2. Hermit,
      When I consider a slow financial decline I realize that it is the state supported people who will suffer less than the working people. The government will keep supplying them. The money will be borrowed or printed to keep them content. They won’t be travelling anywhere.

      1. Skeezix
        Yes, that is about 100 million. But that bread and circus will get slimmer and slimmer until the checks and EBT don’t get sent out. That is the slow decline I see coming.

    3. True, one real scenario is what happened and is happening in Venezuela. The situation there didn’t happen overnight. It took several years. A decline that started off slow and then built on itself.

      1. INPrepper
        It starts slow with more people wanting free stuff, less people working so less gov revenue to give out to the ones that don’t want to work, creeping inflation that is hidden in millions of products and smaller portions, … By the time the masses really become engaged, it is too late.

  11. We have made unannounced provisions for family. I spent 5 years raising my grandsons, and we spoke of the difference between family and friends. “If you are married to your lady, bring her. If not, don’t”. I was pretty blunt.

    The same goes with those who know something about what we have and where. “If you are invited, you know. If you’re not sure, you’re not invited.”

    I’ve heard the response “But you wouldn’t turn us away!” My immediate response was “Yes, I would. I will not take from my family to provide for your family, if you won’t.” Made sure they understood this was non-negotiable.

    And yes, I will use “extreme prejudice” to defend me and mine.

    1. JP in MT,
      Perfect response! “I will not take from my family to provide for your family, if you won’t” – perfect response, just perfect.

      Haven’t commented lately, but I’ve been keeping up with MSB. luv ya’ll, Beach’n

  12. In a SHTF situation, how far can one go LEGALLY with deadly force? Not willingly, or what you Think you will do. How far can a person go? At some point, there is gonna be repercussions, order is gonna be restored, Then what? I’m familiar with the way the law reads now, what about later, months or years after SHTF?

    1. This is always a good point and exactly why you should live in a place that believes in self defense and has the least restrictive gun laws to start with.
      Folk round here don’t get to wound up over a thief getting killed. You don’t see anyone burning down stores or taking to the streets when it happens. Libtards are already “what’s yours is mine” and will be more so after it gets bad.
      That’s why we fight so hard to keep our rights and uninvite or run off them that don’t hold our values.

    2. Stand my Ground- it’s going to depend on where you live and what the laws there are like before it all goes sideways. Where we live, we should be covered. Our castle law is considered one of the best in the nation. It covers our home, our land, our vehicles (even out on public roads) and it’s been upheld in many different scenarios in court.
      For example, here we can use deadly force on our property. We don’t have to be inside the house, nor does the aggressor. God forbid it ever gets to the point where deadly force is needed to prevent someone from forcefully entering our home, it would be treated as a home invasion.

    3. The standard under the law has always been this: Justifiable Homicide is defined when the threat of death or great bodily injury to you, family, employees, or even a stranger is Imminent(right now). The legal standard will be: Were your actions the actions of a reasonable person under THAT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES WITH WHICH YOU WERE PRESENTED WITH AT THE TIME?
      Now, if we are in a “ONE SECOND AFTER” meltdown, I will not give a thought to what will happen once order is restored; if it ever would be. The here and now is all that will matter. Read about what went on in the former Yugoslavia after it collapsed. You may also want to read: A FAILURE OF CIVILITY.

      1. DWEEZIL
        If it is a civil war (mass insurrection) the law will be what the winning side says it is. Fair or not, all of us may face retribution for defending our property and families. Justice does not always prevail.

    4. If the SHTF there won’t be any Law , the law and those that enforce it will be providing for themselves as you should, i.e. Wild west, the strong will inforce their laws.

  13. Most of the people who say this are joking–they do not honestly believe that such a “refuge” will ever be needed and will scoff at the very idea. However, when/if it does happen that conversation with you will be the first thing on their minds.

    I have a couple responses. One, bring enough gas to get you home again. Two, you’ll be welcome if you bring a year’s supply of everything for each person. Either one makes them do a double take when they realize that I am serious. Maybe it’ll make them think.

    1. I once gave a lady who i have known many years a list for a years food and household supplies. It included things like 250 cans each of corn, string beans, sweet peas, carrots,mixed vegetables.pinto beans, mixed beans.diced tomatoes and seasoned tomatoes( rotel type.) 12 each sweet relish mustard, ketchup ,mayo. .72 – 5 oz cans of each oil packed tuna, chicken chunks, turkey, ham 144 cans total/ 3 oz. assorted veinna, smoked sausage.potted meat, deviled ham 24 -2 lb hams. 25 2lb boxes elbows, spaghetti thin noodles, rotini, 120 packages of powdered pasta sauce and 40 lbs powdered assorted cheeses, 10 lg boxes powdered milk(properly prepared) 10 cans cocoa powder/(baking chocolate) 100lbs cane sugar, 10 lbs brown sugar, a gallon ea.of honey, cane syrup. 5 bags of Pyure stevia powder.160 lbs plain flour, 70 lbs plain cormeal, 2 lbs cream of tartar, 10 lbs baking soda,2 gals white vinegar 2 gals ACV. 1.5 gallon olive oil , 2 gallons coconut oil , 1.5 gal sunflower oil, 5 gallons lard prepared and packed in pint jars.w/o headspace.15 lbs Ea.. Oats, grits, cream of wheat. 20 pints of jelly (5 ea )strawberry, grape, blackberry, red plum. 24 boxes kitchen garbage bags,24 boxes 33 gal trash bags and 4 50 gallon heavy duty bags.. 240 double rolls of TP and 100 rolls of select a size paper towels. Medication for 6 months.(minimum) … and the list went on and on… as we discussed the list i told her if she came to my house without list… someone at would not be eating.
      She has expendable income and goes on frequent trips, my family sits home. It has been a few years since this conversation. Now she has some things to take her thru a short term emergency.

    2. Thanks for that, I like that reply. I get that, “I am coming to your house” constantly. I just say no I don’t think so, but they laugh. I think telling them to bring a years supply for everyone they bring and be prepared to work hard, would be an excellent come back.

  14. “I’ll come to your place when SHTF.” This is what I tell those people,

    No, you won’t. I will shoot you. If you threaten me and my family, I will use force to defend against any threat. And showing up at my place hungry and unprepared is a threat to me. You will eat my food and use up my supplies, generator, firewood, etc. That’s less of these life-saving things for me and my family. That’s a threat.

    Why should I spend my time, money, and stress just so you can waltz into my place and live happily ever after? I’m a nice guy, but – really? – I’m going to spend my time, disposable income, and domestic tranquility just so you can have a leisurely life and more material comforts pre-Collapse while I don’t? Why would you think I will sacrifice enormous amounts of my time and money so you can enjoy yourself, living off of my foresight, hard work, and sacrifice?
    You had years of time and very clear warnings to get ready. But you didn’t.

    Is this greed on my part? No. I will take care of the truly needy – those who cannot take care of themselves. But you are different. Very different. You had plenty of chances to prepare for yourself. If your “plan” for your and your family’s safety is to come to my place, you’re wrong. I spent a lot of money doing all these things. I have had several difficult times with my family because of all the prepping I’m doing; I could have easily done what you did, which is just not prepare because your family didn’t want to.

    When you show up, I’ll ask you to leave. When you don’t, I’ll point a gun in your face. If you refuse to leave, I will shoot you. You are a threat to me.

    1. SMG, when it get’s that bad in a SHTF situation, there will be no laws to consider. Only the Law of survival, you will do what you have to do to protect your responsibilities from any and everyone and ask God for forgiveness afterward. No easy way.

    2. S. M .G., I started to write an essay about how I would react to uninvited guests during a SHTF event but you have said it for me.

      1. Bingo! We were told as children of the grasshopper and the ant for a reason, some get it, some don’t.

        1. Or the updated version:

          The ant works hard all summer while the grasshopper plays. Come winter, the grasshopper demands his “fair share” and gets it. He is awarded the ant’s home as recompense for his emotional distress. He invites all his friends and they spend the winter destroying the neighborhood, eating the ant’s food and pulling property prices down.

          The ant creeps away into the dark and finds one of his stashes in a deep hole in the ground. Winter is hungry, but some spring he’s ready to work again.

          Meanwhile the grasshopper (not knowing the first thing about home maintenance) manages to set the ant’s home on fire. He and all his friends run screaming into the cold and freeze to death.

  15. I’ve had some friends and visitors here that joke about coming to our place when shtf. I have a couple of responses.

    If they are joking about it, I say “Sure! But you can’t come in.” And I add like others here have stated, “Bring a years supply of food and water.”

    And for some friends I always counter with, “But I know you! You will be too busy taking care of your family and neighbors to come here.”

    If I am irritated by some smug person rubbing me the wrong way, “Ok. I need the target practice!”

    I do intend to tell any people roaming around looking for help to head into town to the churches and fire stations. They WILL be helped and taken care of there. Keep going….just keep going….

    No doubt, family does come first, tho many of our kids are too far away and I doubt they would make it here without a miracle. Our neighbors are elderly and we will certainly help them. Certain friends are welcome. I think it would depend on exactly what happened for people to show up. Hm. Always a great topic to think about. Well done article!

  16. Very good post and lots of thing to consider.

    I have experience with family members who try to leach onto things that are not theirs. One big reason for my relocation to the Western Dakotas was to move far away from them. lol

    I only tell people I am into preparedness, survival, and bushcrafting. I avoid the word “prepper” and I will often tell people I do not prepare for “doomsday” events. Even though I do prepare for long term events. I really try to impart knowledge on people I meet. I try to impart the need to have at least one month of supplies on hand for their family. I only refer to things the average person understands, like hurricanes, blizzards, floods, fires, job loss, and war.

    Personally, I am fine with people I know showing up at my rural home. Even if they come unprepared. I just want them to come with the right attitude, morals, faith, and work ethic. Fortunately, I do not maintain friendships with people who do not have those traits.

    I believe a group is necessary for long term survival if you wish to maintain a good quality of life.

  17. As a refugee, I would hope I could at least arrive in my own supplied RV or trailer, and be ready to be an asset to the situation instead of a liability (such as help with perimeter watch, outfitted with my own gear… in exchange for water etc)
    Seems like being in shape and ready to work could help get me into the group.

      1. Yup like Tommyboy says that’s a lot. You don’t show up with the gimmie attitude and be a part of something that’s one thing….
        I’d try and establish that connection now though and not wait.

  18. I have family that I would go and get if I could to bring them here, but also people who are NOT welcome and they know it. Some are family and some used to be friends. All know where they stand. I also think u should discuss this before hand. As has been stated above, what if they come and are not allowed in? They already know u have something, if not the total extent of what it is. If I send them away, what is to stop them from shooting off their mouth to anyone they see thAt u have Something? OPSEC is shit and now u may have several people banging on the door.
    Scary thoughts
    I do have a bit to spare but not very much.
    I did very much like JP in MTs line why should I if u won’t.
    I will hope for the best of times and prepare for the worst.
    Great article Mr. and Mrs. Restoring Brad
    Peace to all
    MadFab

  19. Over the years i have tried to encourage my family in gardening fishing hunting and general outdoor pursuits . But the culture of our country has become so left wing that the vast majority of the subjects ( yes we are subjects not citizens )
    have a total reliance om the state . Younger generations expect to be taken care of by authorities . So whilst i prep for me and mine the rest of this country will probably wait for state help . Best way to avoid ” i am coming to you ” tell no one you prep !

  20. Our OPSEC suffered horribly when a family member moved in with us and saw most of our supplies. Of course telling everyone around her including family and friends of our supplies. So for the last couple of years I have been re-hiding and camouflaging supplies a little at a time. Using what we have that is out in the open, then shopping when no one is around and hiding the new food.
    Once you tell one person your secret, it is no longer a secret. I am the only one who knows about the extra food. I will continue with this ruse until it is all hidden, then everyone will think we are just as destitute as them.

    1. If you can’t keep your preps a secret, why do you expect anyone else to.

      Tell anyONE and it is no longer a secret.

      1. skeezix
        yep what they said :)
        the sentiment i was trying to express in my earlier post , but succinct !

  21. As a person who moved from a major city to a rural property, I have a few friends who come out for target practice and some actually come out to lend a hand. I evaluate their skills and self motivation.
    When they say “ I am coming to your place”, I usually say something like, “ well first thing we will need to do is dig a pit privy and outdoor shower and living facilities, as our septic will not be able to handle more people.
    I seem to remember a letter that was drafted to give to people who say that. Is that in an archive somewhere? I need that one or make my own to hand to them, listing all they need to bring for a reality check.
    Love the site, Ken.

  22. Extremely good article “Mr. and Mrs. restoringBrad” AND a lot of great comments…
    Still waiting for Ken’s comment and what he’s thinking.
    I will admit makes mine look like chicken scratch HAHAHA But Ken is a good editor for sure.

    My answer for those that declare that “I’m coming to your house when XYZ “……
    “That’s fine, here’s a key, because I’ll be going somewhere else, so don’t kick the door in and make sure you feed the Bear in the basement”.

        1. – NRP –
          Helped skin a 6’ alligator one time. He was in a friend’s lake where he presented a hazard. Remember how snakes keep moving even after they are dead? Finally drove my old school Camillus “Pilot Survival Knife” between his skull and spine to stop him moving as much. That skinning was a LOT of work (but did enjoy fried ‘poached’ gator tail that evening) LOLOL
          – Papa S.

          1. Papa Smurf;
            Dang there Sir, ya got me watering at the mouth for some good old BBQed Gater, has been a very VERY long time for sure.

  23. I have started to watch comments people are making are the current situation our country is in. That right there can almost tell you who will be a problem. Anti gun nuts, pro choice supporters and liberals will almost always cause a problem. Even if they seem “moderate” now. Deep down there is hate and a propensity to stir up trouble. Those people think things should be done their way and their way is the right way. Friends and family both. Nobody knows about our preps. Nobody. Our garden is just our hobby. Something we like to tinker with. Everything else is well hidden from family and friends. If and when the time comes and we see a family member in desperate need, we will invite them. Only if they will be the cooperating kind. We do not want the belligerent noise makers.

    1. Texasgirl

      Liberals won’t be the only problem. Conservatives who talk too much. And people of any persuasion who have mental problems. You might not even know it, since if they are on medication, they might appear normal. But once the drug stores close, you might be surprised what kind of person you find living in your house.

      1. DaisyK, you are correct on that ma’am. I intend to not just let anybody in my house. Only close family and maybe some friends. Maybe. It depends on the situation and person. But even then you never know.

  24. A difficult concept. I’ve mulled it over and over and over. Not many know of the various preps I’ve made. Family, of course and I hope they come. That’s the plan. What concerns me most is neighbors. Most will do fairly well on their own. Who knows, they may be better stocked than I. I will gladly assist my neighbors, the ones who have helped me before and visa versa.

    A few neighbors will be helpless and potentially dangerous, in a short period of time. One of my concerns; many come to me now, for pipe fittings, tools, advice etc. It always amazes me, how important one pvc elbow can be when they NEED it and how unimportant that same fitting becomes at replacement time. Often it never is replaced. Next time, I don’t have that!!! Now I’m the cranky old man, even though I gladly helped them in their time of NEED. It’s a long ways to the hardware store.

    None of us can make it on our own. We have to sleep and garden and hunt and fish and do all the things it takes to live. We all will have to change our mindset. I once heard; an armed people are a polite people. That’s likely to be true. Do we overlook slights from the past? Maybe. To me it is indicative of future behavior. Our opinions of others are constantly changing.

    That buddy from work, how well do ya know him? He may be holding his cards close to the vest too. He may have far more to offer than ya know. Could be a sleaze bag in disguise. It’ll be tough if he shows up at the door. We can’t make it alone, no one can.

    I’ve only given one invite, outside of family. All others, would have to be evaluated. Maybe no one shows. What then, we can’t make it alone.

    Dennis mentioned that far off sniper type, taking you out. Genuine concern, but what can you do to prevent that? Probably nothing, though I’m no expert.

    I’ve seen a lot of death in my time, way more than most. If shtf I’m sure I’ll see more, many more.

    1. Deliberately set up the perfect positions for snipers to take, which allow them to perfectly place themselves to take you out. But, each of these arranged sniper positions are actually a man traps, designed to terminate anyone taking the position in an aggressive manner facing your home…and letting those facing the other way, live. The “active” part of these traps can be left in “safe” mode, until SHTF…so as to prevent blowing up Troops of Boy Scouts.

  25. – I’m another who has given out very few invites, generally to people who are living far enough away that the only way they would show up here is if they are on the road and would be looking for a ‘port in the storm,’ until they could possibly be on the road going home, or otherwise. Most, not all, of my family would be generally included in the invites.
    I have real issues with people who expect my time, money and effort to be SPENT including things for their benefit. Sometimes, I just don’t play well with others, LOLOL.
    Plainsmedic – “I’ve seen a lot of death in my time, way more than most. If shtf I’m sure I’ll see more, many more.” Ditto, despite having fought against the Reaper most of my life.
    – Papa S.

  26. As we live on a working farm with dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, rabbits and chickens, plus an orchard and a family-sized garden, I would expect many people would think of us as a safe haven, especially customers. In truth, we would need more people than the 4 adults living here for security and doing farm chores. We have discussed trading food for work (especially neighbors). I think farm chores may be too dirty and unappealing for many, plus require more strength, stamina and knowledge than most have. How to treat refugees is still not a resolved issue for me. I would have to pray for God’s guidance in such a situation. I continue to search for scriptures that apply.

    1. RR, farm chores….too hard, take too much stamina, smelly, bloody, yucky work. Just finished telling DH that if someone shows up here I will put them immediately on butchering chickens. If they can make it through the first one, I will feed them chicken and dumplings that evening! hahaha….we are culling and canning 20 old gals today. UGH

      1. AND farm chores are in all kinds of weather. We’ve processed chickens in an open-air processing barn on some cold days!

  27. I have had many people say they will come to our house if things get bad. There would be several things to consider such as; is this a short term regional thing or a more wide spread long term event. Some will be welcome and many will not. I would be more tolerant if it was short term. I would accept some elderly people that may not be physically able to work but have useful knowledge. I would refuse some physically capable people because of attitude. At our house I am king and DW is queen if you have a problem with that then you must go. We have had several family members ask for help with groceries because they know we keep a well stocked pantry. Some of those family members have been offered food if they would come work in the garden or help process wild game. The refused to do any of the work. They will not be welcome. I’m sure this will cause hard feelings but that’s the way it is. When they say they will come to us when shtf I tall them not to expect a warm welcome. Most of the people that say they will come to us are told to bring food, water, guns, ammo and tp. They say “if I had all of that I wouldn’t need to come to you”. And they still don’t get the point. If it is a long term event it will not be survival of the fittest, it will be survival of the smartest.

  28. Love this quote and so true, “Just because you’re related doesn’t mean they’re family. I have close relatives that are most definitely not welcome on my property, much less in my home. The law states they are family. I say otherwise.” Restoring Brad hit the nail with the hammer on that one.

    We prep, but very few people if any know. As far as who would be welcome at my house would be nobody. I have already been thrown under the bus too many times to ever put myself or my family in a position like that. Great article Mr. and Mrs. Restoring Brad!

  29. All of my grandkids would be welcome at our home but not all of their parents would be. That’s sad to say but it is the truth.

  30. When the Mrs and I put this article together, we intentionally structured it to be fairly generic and applicable to more people. The things we mentioned are factors we believe most folks will need to consider. I didn’t focus much on things like the potential skill sets that an asylum seeker might be able to offer because for us, that is important but still takes a back seat to other factors such as assimilating to OUR home, abiding by our rules, and working to become an integral member of our group.
    We wanted to provide a motivation for people to start thinking about this issue now instead of during a crisis. I consider part of being prepared. Just like long term food storage, plans for water and food procurement, and learning applicable skills that will benefit us if a SHTF event occurs.

    As for us, it is a difficult thing to dwell on. One of the chief factors that we keep coming back to is the attitude and beliefs of the person in question. Are they going to keep their mouth shut about what we have? Are they suddenly going to feel that they have the authority to help others out now that they are in a safe place? Will they understand that this is still OUR home, not theirs- thus what we decide becomes the law of this land?

    Our number one factor however is God. Guidance from our Heavenly Father, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

    One can look in the Holy Bible and find scriptures that would support turning people away as well as support taking them in.

    The Father knows who needs help. He knows who we should take in, even if they seem to be someone we wouldn’t believe would work out. He also knows that there are people who will bring us and our families to ruin in such circumstances. He knows this far better than I do, so I will rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us.

    For example, here is something I don’t think I’ve ever revealed online before… for a few years when I was a pre-teen and teenager, we were homeless. I was moved around constantly, sleeping at one friends house for a while, then another, then a relatives house, then back to a friends house, and on and on. At one point, I lived in a borrowed, reproduction canvas civil war tent in a state park. My biological dad was aware of this and not only refused to take his two children in, he didn’t care at all that we were living in a park. That was a SHTF scenario for us.

    Then we were taken in by a family we were not related to. The wife was a friend of my mothers from high school. They opened their home to us and in the process DOUBLED the number of people in their home from three to six. They were devoutly religious and since the day they took us in, they have made me feel nothing but Loved. They have told me repeatedly that I am a member of their Family, and have proven it again and again.

    They were not rich by any stretch of the imagination, and the husband had to pick up extra shifts at work to keep everyone fed and housed. My sister and I got new bicycles for Christmas that year, and even though the tag didn’t say so, those bikes were paid for by him. They never made me feel like a burden, not once, even though I was one. My behavior back then was wild. I bucked authority, had no foundation for how to act, etc. But- they took us in. We call them Family now. The husband is my uncle, the wife is my aunt, and their son is my cousin. Even their son, who is only about 10 months younger than me never gave me any grief for losing the privacy of his bedroom because he had to split it with me. Losing the privacy of your room is rough for a boy. Losing it at the age of 13 is catastrophic! He never bucked it.

    I had no skills to offer, other than eating enormous quantities of food and disrupting their household. My mother had zero skills to offer. My sister was only 9- no skills there. By taking us in, they not only saved us from homelessness, but changed my life in uncountable ways for the better.

    Years after becoming an adult, I found out why they took us in. Because the Holy Spirit asked them to. It was as simple, and powerful, as that.

    They live about 25 miles from our place out in the country, and we are in frequent contact. In the past, I have made statements about Family members that I would fight to bring to safety if needed. They are the ones I am referring to.

    After all of the factors are considered, after all the triage is complete… Pray.

    1. restoringBrad;
      Well said Sir.
      There times in our lives, if we listen, whereas the answers come quietly with unspoken words; yet tis if the answers are loud and clear as a voice from within echoes again and again.
      We may talk endlessly of “what-if” and yet there can never be a decision until the wrath is upon us to choose.

    2. restoringBrad,

      A powerful and inspiring message to everyone. Thank you for sharing. The family that took you in were Saints already, whose reward is coming. I assure you, they did not see y’all as a burden, rather, an affirmation of their faith, a gift. They listened to that quiet voice that was guiding them. Honor them, and honor the One who spoke to their hearts. But,………I’m pretty sure you already have, and are. Again, thank you for the affirmation of your faith.

    3. RestoringBrad and Mrs. great article…keeps us thinking in the right direction as we ponder how best to manage. And what a beautiful story showing us Christ’s love through every day people in our lives. You are blessed to know them as they are to know you.

    4. Restoring Brad
      Thanks for your story, sir.
      Makes us all think after true to life stories such as yours, how greatful, how thankful we should be.
      How challenging and frustrating times can be, have been, or will be in our lives….and then there are those that haven’t been so fortunate.
      Glad your with us.
      Peace be with you.

    5. Brad, as Christians we will be tested. Family is those that love us. Blood may be thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood.

      1. Mrs. USMCBG-
        That is one of the BEST additions to that saying that I have ever read or heard. I’d like to use that, it rings true!

    6. Again, thank you to everyone who expressed appreciation for the comment I posted, but please thank the Father instead. I felt compelled to make that comment, to reveal that part of my past. I felt peace after I posted it. It was written and posted at His prompting.

  31. So many great points of view and things to think about. When the SHTF you will have to be looking over your shoulder constantly. Safety for my family is number one issue. Each person you turn away may show back up with others. Deal with them now, or deal with them later along with a group targeting you. I will try to work with people until they give me a reason not to, then it will end. Can’t really risk them leaving. One way or another, “Welcome to my home, how long you stay is all up to you.” May God give me the guidance to read people correctly.

  32. I have to say that we frequently hear the comment “I know where I’m going when things get bad”. This is usually stated because we live rural and have a farmstead. But also because of the types of gifts that we give our friends and family. When we put on a big spread for the family and friends, everyone enjoys the real food. At some point at these gatherings, that sentence slides out of someone’s mouth. Those who are close to our hearts already know they are to come. Those that we have not invited are the ones who make the comment.

    I usually take it as a compliment and laugh because I know they will not wake up in time to realize they waited too long to figure out there is a problem. They do not have the fortitude to make it to our place and they will wait for someone from the government to save them.

    However, I also have a very dear friend who is an amazing person and works her heart out for others who stated if the world ever got that bad she would not want to live in it. Outside of letting her know they (her adult son also) are welcome if they so choose. She won’t prep in any way, but if they came because she finally figured out it is God’s will, they would both work hard and contribute with their special talents.

  33. There have been different replies presented as to what to say when someone comes to your door asking for food.
    In a novel I read it was just to say, “No!”
    First though you must demonstrate your authority and insist that the person go back to your driveway or road. This gives you time to get your people to the perimeter and watch for any companions the person has brought but are sneaking around to the side. Also, you can then choose to remain unarmed if you wish but know that your friends have you covered.
    Regardless of what they say (my children are starving) (everyone needs to share) the answer must always be a firm “no”. Engaging in conversation or defending your position will only weaken your position and they will continue to push their case.
    Hopefully, there is a church or civic center has been set up where donations can be delivered or picked up. Send your person there but do not tell them you have made a donation.

  34. I will make one final comment on this subject. It seems that some might be confusing compassion with a lack of resolve to protect your loved ones. I understand the reasoning on their part, and do not condemn their thinking. I’ve read the same books many of you have, and the situations and responses the authors described. The problem is, these are fictitious situations and scenarios, painted from their imaginations. Might things devolve in the manner they describe? Possibly. Will their fantasies play out in a future world gone to heck? Maybe. Are there good points made in these books? Yes. Is there some outright stupid advice offered in their writings? Oh, yeh.

    As I’ve said before, I’ve lived an active and interesting life. I’ve been tested many times, made many mistakes, and yet I have survived. Experienced many brushes with death, seen (and dealt with) the worst of and best of mankind. Came within fractions of an inch of being killed one night in particular, only to be saved by the man I was in the act of arresting. I was in the process of ruining his life, only to experience him saving mine. So please understand why I make my plans based on my own personal experiences and plan on following the path that allowed me to still be around to be making those decisions. I’ve never said I have all the answers. My way may not be the best way, but it is my may. I would rather fail following my own intuition than because I was following someone else’s.

    Please don’t interpret this as an admonition of others, just an explanation of my position.

    1. Dennis,

      I have had many similar experiences. These experiences do “color” your thinking, but I knew I was on the “road to recovery” after I could once again feel compassion after a significant loss (my lovely LEO was killed in line of duty).
      So, now after a LEO career I choose to represent parents in trouble with DHS. OK, just totally blew my OPSEC by disclosing my dreaded profession….but many here have probably guessed by my years of silence that I am a lawyer anyway.
      No one can have all the answers. No one can tell anyone else how they can expect to react to any given set of circumstances.
      The best we can do is share our experiences and our wisdom with others, and at the same time protect ourselves and our loved ones.
      This is why I have chosen to live a rural lifestyle that gives me the sanity of all my collective skills (away from the humanity I represent on a daily basis). I have seen too much….experienced too much….to be compatible in a suburban setting. That however does NOT make me uncivil or unable to understand the feelings/dreads/fears of others. It DOES make me knowledgeable in criminal and drug abusive mind sets, and what may happen should they lose their freebees and lifestyle tickets. This is why I live miles from anywhere, and make a solid energy effort at being mostly self reliant. DH appreciates my attitudes as do most of my children (youngest in early 30’s). They all have transport papers and reserved gas supplies to get here should they need to. They all have signed their agreements for duties and assignments upon arrival. They all know to load their weapons, pets and kids with clothes and meds and get here ASAP. The rest will function when they get here. We will need all of each other, and we all know this. This is why we have taken ALL of our children, their spouses and their children to FrontSight for as much training as they can get the time off for. This is why we run quarterly drills for family on the ranch….and as many as can participate…do.
      Politics are pretty bizarre these days. Our children do not always see things our way….but we have agreed to disagree and to do what is needed when and if the SHTF. We also created a “holding cell” for those that just can’t handle the promise they made (and they all know I am serious about that).
      Seriously, these are questions every household should be discussing….even if it leads to discourse or disagreement. At least then you will know what to do next (or have an idea there is a problem).
      Peace and conversation folks….that is what is needed. Keep living the lifestyle.

      1. Glad to know you Pioneer Woman

        Started out with the guv working for DOJ in a now extinct agency – the INS. It’s a good thing you do for your loved ones. Informing, preparing, and educating; then ensuring participation and requiring responsibility.

  35. Pioneer woman ,,, as I suspected a member of the brother hood,, if your out this way,latch string is out ,,,,,,,
    Special tea and chocolate

    1. Thanks. Culled and canned 20 old chickens today in between hearings by telephone! Exhausted and going to bed! Love this MSB family. Take care all.

  36. To restoringBrad:

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is inspiring to hear and will provide motivation for me to do the right thing in the future. It made me realize that I can come across as a complete ogre that has a one-word vocabulary of: “NO!” especially in the context of this topic as presented.

    I do share within my community I live in. I choose to try to keep the donations private as somewhere in the New or Old Testament it says to make your donations and be quiet about it/ do so for the right reasons to bring glory to God and not to seek glory for ourselves.

    This was the concept of paying it forward because when I started out many decades ago, Many adults within my community took me under their wing and gave me a chance/ started me on the straight and narrow path of hard work and being a law-abiding citizen. The old cop that taught me to hunt and fish was one of my primary people listed on the background check when I applied for a Public Safety position.

    My father taught me the value of hard work and saving. I was not the smartest kid nor the fastest or most athletic but he also taught me to never quit. My step mom taught me that sh#t happens and when it happens to you, you get up from the ground and carry on. Nobody will be there to wipe away your tears one day. I was fortunate enough to come from and intact mixed family.

    I have reached out to others in the past and continue to do so these days. Part of my job is to train others so I try to continue to pay it forward by training relatively new employees and being a good husband. My job now is to tend to the sick and infirm. Many are just balls-out crazy. At least I can say I am part of a growth industry.

  37. The ending of the Twilight Zone story:

    There is no war, the civil defense radio announces an all clear. the shelter door is battered down by the male neighbors. The children are crying, dogs are barking and the home owner/ builder of the shelter gives an eloquent speech about how thin the veneer of civilized behavior is when life as you know it is under threat of losing everything. ( he thought he knew his neighbors. Now, he no longer trusts them.).

  38. As a very experienced LEO, I can tell you truthfully, that “No one really knows their neighbors”.

    1. Lawman
      I really know what my neighbors are (all but two), they are the lowest, …. can’t use anymore language to describe them on this site. I only took a few years and many disappointments to see them as they really are – not to be trusted in even minor emergencies.

      1. sorry to burst some people’s bubble about the civility of Idaho. There are selfish, lazy, stupid people everywhere, just not as many here as in some other places. :)

  39. Mrs. restoringBrad and I would like to thank everyone for your compliments and kind words!

  40. The only reason someone will be at my door in a shtf situation is that they feel I have more than they do and I am willing or obligated to share with them. News Flash!! I do not intend to open my door or answer the knock until way after the initial cause of the shtf has settled in and they have moved on. A knock will not be answered, a loud knock will not be answered, bang or kick too hard on my door or window, and I will defend my family and myself from the intruders trying to break in. Enough said!!

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