How Do Different Generations View Preparedness?

Photo by: Yoni Lerner

As school is starting and I’m sitting in beginning of the year meetings, I tend to start thinking about the stuff I’m hearing in two realms.  There is the educational realm, where what I’m learning, listening to, being reminded of pertains to my day job.  Then there is the preparedness realm where I tend to think about how the stuff I’m learning applies to my current views of the world, how fragile and just “JACKED UP” we all are. (Yeah I went there)

One of the things that came up recently was a discussion on generations and how our students are “wired” differently than say “we are.”  I put “we are” in quotes because “we are” can consist of a few different generations too.  This is important because every generation has some general (notice that I say general) ideas, philosophies, attitudes and behaviors that characterize them.  This can be important to preparedness because it helps us to know where others are coming from and why they might have the ideas or attitudes they have.

One article that I read stated that their are 6 generations currently living today:

  • GI Generation -Born 1901-1926
  • Mature/Silents -Born 1927- 1945
  • Baby Boomers -Born 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X -Born 1965 and 1980
  • Generation Y/Millennium -Born 1981* and 2000*
  • Generation Z/Boomlets – Born after 2001*

Like I said, every generation has certain characteristics that helped mold their attitudes and beliefs on life.  For example, here is a graphic from (don’t visit the site, Malware Bytes blocked a Trojan there).

In an article by Value Options, Bob Mitchell, provides some insight in “Understanding and Managing Different Generations.”  For the sake of this post, I will just list the Boomers, Gen X & Gen Y.  (Check out the rest of the article)

Baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) are drawn to:

  • long hours at the office, including evenings and weekends
  • building their career over the long term and loyalty to their employer
  • viewing themselves and their career as one and the same
  • commitment to quality and doing a good job
  • “hanging tough” through difficult work situations and policies
  • finding solutions to problems
  • being in charge and respecting authority

 Members of Generation X (born between 1965-1980) tend to:

  • prefer high-quality end results over quantity
  • set and meet goals and are very productive
  • multitask
  • balance work and life; like flexible working hours, job sharing
  • see themselves as free agents and marketable commodities
  • be comfortable with authority but not impressed with titles
  • be technically competent
  • value ethnic diversity
  • love independence

 Members of Generation Y (born between 1981-1994) tend to prefer:

  • effecting change and making an impact
  • expressing themselves rather than defining themselves through work
  • multitasking all the time
  • active involvement
  • flexibility in work hours and appearance; a relaxed work environment
  • teamwork
  • on-the-job training
  • getting everything immediately
  • a balance of work and life

Do you think that this information might be relevant if you have a community or survival group?  What are you going to do when you the leader, (a Baby Boomer) give instructions to a Gen Y’er and they say they need a little bit more time off and they don’t really like the hours you are making them work to provide security?  Of course, things might take on a whole different feel when it’s TEOTWAWKI, but then again, the Gen Y’er in your group might not think so.

Ok, but let’s not jump to the SHTF scenario.  Let’s just look at the overwhelming desire that most of us usually feel when we start preparing.  How would it look if you approached various generations with the idea of preparedness?


Positive Approach to Preparedness: “I don’t want to believe that things will get bad, but I see some signs and I think it is a good idea to be prepared just in case.”

Negative Approach to Preparedness: “I trust the government.  With a lot of hard work we can get through this economic crisis.”

Generation X

Positive Approach to Preparedness: “I have some friends who are preparing.  I think it might be a good idea to prep too.”

Negative Approach to Preparedness: “Go prepare if you want to, just leave me out of it.  I’ll take care of myself.”

Generation Y

Positive Approach to Preparedness: “The Boomers and Gen X ruined our economy, now I need to prep as a precaution.”

Negative Approach to Preparedness: “The world is not going to fall apart on us, you’re crazy!”

Ok, will they actually say those things? Probably not.  But I’ve tried to pull some of the characteristics from each group to come up with my statements.

Having this information could also help someone “teach skills” to someone in a certain generation. If you know what makes them tick, you can approach the teaching of skills in a relevant way.

Lastly, take a moment to ask yourself, does your generation help to drive the way you look at preparedness/self-reliance/self-sufficiency?  You might find that you are a rare bird or you might see some of your generation’s characteristics in yourself.

For more reading: Multigenerational Characteristics

Check out this info graphic on each generation’s digital footprint.





Data Footprints by Generations


by NowSourcing.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.



This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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  1. Jamie August 12, 2013
    • Todd August 12, 2013
  2. Pingback: Top 10 on EtM | Ed That Matters July 26, 2014
  3. Chief Instructor May 23, 2015

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