You watch what you do every day to reduce risk, you plan out how you will react to every scenario and you have all the right equipment and know how to use it. You are prepared for any and every eventuality you can think of. Nobody else even comes close to what you have put into your preperations. You and your family are certain to come through any catastrophy.
One day the situation you have planned for happens and you activate the procedures you have devised and tested to get you the few miles home. On the main road a maniac in a wagon racing home takes you out. You are dead. Do not pass Go, you are Go …. well Goo.
Lady Luck has let you down. Sometimes life sucks. The end.
Or is it? Your family is still alive and well back at your house. They followed the procedures and they all got home safely. They are now waiting for you who will never come, nor will they get a message or any notification as the world is rapidly going downhill. What will happen to them?
Will they do as well without you? The answer is probably not. There is usually one driving force in a family and that is you. Will they survive? Hell, Yes. You see you had considered this situation. Although your family didn’t do everything you wanted you have planned what to do. You have instructions for them, each bag is labeled and the contents defined. You have left instructions on what to do in every eventuality and you have given them key training. Everyone knows first aid, everyone knows OPSEC and they now understand exactly what you have been talking about all these years.
Would your family be in that situation? Could they survive without you? Do they understand what to do with your supplies? Do they know where they are? There is a big list of questions that you need to answer and you won’t be there so you have to consider what to tell them in paper format so they can read it when required.
My prefered method is to leave instructions in laminatated sheets. Simple step by step. A map of where everything is and the location of the data of what to do with it. A sheet with each bag on what the contents are and instructions for use. A sheet of simple do and don’t about the neighbours and visitors.
How I worked out what to put on the sheets started easy. The Map of where everything is and the contents of each bag were simple facts. The instructions that went with the bags were copied from manuals, refered to manuals or instruction sheets. The difficult part is writing the procedures for living while being Grey. For keeping your head down and handling neighbours whilst everything fell apart around them. How do they handle intruders? I can leave instructions but can they follow them? Can they pull the trigger if it becomes necessary. I suspect not but you can only do so much. There are some things that I have planned that I accept will never get done if I was absent. What alternatives are available for them? We need to widen our options to include actions that you would never need to do. You need to think differently.
I threw away my preconceptions of what I would do and tried to put myself in their shoes. I came up with a slightly different way of doing things which meant I had to modify my storage routine. No longer was I mainly looking at internal storage with an external cache but several smaller internal and external caches with the stores spread around so that one or two losses would not be catastrophic. It also meant that many of the items I had put aside for use were going to change priority. Items that were going to be used by myself were now placed at the back of the loft for barter and items that were more useful to the family were moved to the front. Being labelled means if I needed them I could find them if I was there with minimal effort. The grab bags were also revisited and new grab bags added to the list. Instructions and procedures have been updated and I’m still working on this as a project. It’ll be finished soon.
Consider also if you were bugging out, could they? What loads could they carry without you? Can they control the dogs without you? What about the radios? Do they understand enough to contact your group for pick up? Think end to end and plan alternatives. You are a prepper, so prepare for something that most have already dealt with, getting on with life after a loss.
This part of prepping is generally ignored. If you are serious you really need to include this in your prepping plans, discuss it and make sure that they understand where to find the procedures, maps and grab bags. Make sure that they understand key areas such as OPSEC, dirty water, being grey and the basics of what you are planning.
Sure their chances are still reduced even if your partner is heavily involved in prepping, you planned for a different requirement, but you owe it to your family to prepare for another eventuality. Ironically, the one that is most likely to happen.