I was asked recently what I felt was the single key to people becoming "switched on" to emergency preparedness. My answer then and now is the same - embracing the concept of self-reliance and emergency preparation is quite literally a conversion process.
People have to embrace these concepts just as they might adopt a new philosophy or join a new religion. I honestly don't believe being prepared is something on which you can "sell" people. Emergency preparedness and self-reliance are concepts that people embrace as a fundamental building blocks in the foundation of their lives.
So, how does one convert people to such philosophies? I don't profess to be the leading expert, but I do have a thought or two. The first rule of conversion is surely universal - live what we preach. Arguably, the best philosophers or evangelists follow this rule of life. To quickly discredit yourself, teach one concept, but live the opposite. People will tune you out faster than you can say hypocrisy. On the other hand, people respect and ultimately listen to those they deem to be honest and true to what they advocate.
Second is doing what we try to do in this company - provide information and educational resources about the subject to as broad an audience as feasible. Only by exposure to the philosophy of self-reliance, can you ultimately chose to adopt such philosophy.
Third - never, ever give up. Keep living the principles of emergency preparedness and keep educating those around you.
After all is said and done, the conversion process is really up to the individual. However, if we practice these three simple rules, I believe we will have a fundamental impact on the conversion of people to the Emergency Preparedness Philosophy.
So to all the existing emergency preparedness "converts" out there - keep up the good fight! Share information, educate those around you, and live what you preach!