Surviving With Family

After an apocalyptic event, surviving with family members can make life a whole lot easier or make it even worse than the disaster itself. While you will get all of the advantages of living communally with a group of people, with your blood ties and have long histories together it can cause difficulties as old arguments and debates can raise their heads again. The other difficulty is whether you draw the line at immediate family or you include your cousins and grandparents in the survival equation.



The advantages of planning on surviving with your family members are very similar to the advantages that come from planning your survival with any community of people. These include:

  • Shared knowledge — even if you include only your immediate family, you’ll be surprised at how much survival knowledge you will have already accumulated. This will include things like den building, simple construction and cooking basics. Each family member can teach the others these skills and this shared knowledge quickly becomes adapted and evolves into new ideas.

  • Delegated roles — surviving by yourself is time and energy consuming because you are responsible for every single part of your survival. With your family, you can delegate jobs such as wood collection, water purification and cooking to different people which allows them to hone their skills in these areas as well as reducing arguments about people pulling their weight.
  • A common goal — surviving with family members means that you already have one important reason to stick together in the face of adversity in your blood ties and extensive relationships. This makes it much less likely that someone will separate from the group or do something to endanger the safety of the family group.


For some families, the decision to work together in the face of a TEOTWAWKI event may seem like an invitation to spend a year in hell. The main disadvantages of surviving with your family members include:

  • Slipping into old roles — each person within a family develops a certain role as they grow up and as family members move apart each member develops his or her own individuality, separate from the familial role. However, once the family comes together over a long period, members try to fit each other into their childhood roles. Additionally, old resentments, hurts and angers can surface, causing problems with the entire group and even threaten the group's survival.
  • Vices — while you may know that you can survive without your vices in a survival situation, you may be less sure about your family members. If you have any alcoholics or nicotine addicts you need to talk to them ahead of time about whether they will be able to go "without" for months on end as you won’t be able to put aside precious storage space for these luxuries.

  • Common links — the old adage that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family becomes highlighted in an apocalyptic survival situation. You need to make sure that any family members who are part of your survival plans are ones that you would be happy to pass the time of day with on a repeated basis.

Who to Include

This last concern about surviving with family raises the issue of who you include in your survival plans. Obviously, you will need to make preparations for your spouse and any children, but beyond that you may find yourself limited by space and cost.

The idea of having your extended family staying with you may sound great in theory, but you need to remember that you’ll be living in each other’s pockets constantly. However, you may find that there are some people that you have to include such as your parents or grandparents if they already rely on your care, as well as any single siblings who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a communal survival group.

Warning: Who to Exclude

Almost every family has a black sheep, the brother, sister, son, daughter or cousin, etc., who has crossed over the line of legal and socially-acceptable behavior. Whether as a result of drugs, violence or fraud, they have proven to be untrustworthy and perhaps even a danger to not only to strangers from to other family members.

Someone who has substance abuse problems or is violent will be a definite disadvantage in any survival situation. You had better make up your mind now to not take in that fact, you shouldn't even let that individual know you are prepping and planning on surviving with family.

Return from Surviving With Family to Survival Team Building

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