Well folks here it is. I secretly love the idea of The End Of The World As We Know It. Truth be known I’d probably love the actual scenario a lot less than the idea. However I’ve spent the last couple years trying to boost my supplies and skill set just in case. The thing is, being prepared isn’t just for weirdos. You don’t have to be concerned about meteors, solar flares, EMPs or Armageddon. There are plain old natural disasters, job losses, and rising prices every day. I’m not saying everyone needs to be as prepared as I’d like to someday be, (you totally should) but you should at least think about last time the power was out. What would you like to have had on hand for comfort? Were you able to use your water? If it had gone on for several days could you afford to replace all the food in your fridge and freezer?
Now lets think about something we see in the news every day. What would you do if you lost your primary source of income? How long could you last on savings and supplies on hand? Really take a look and figure it out. I’m not talking about cowering in a bunker with a year’s supply of TP and iodide tablets here. It’s not about fear. It’s about going to bed at night and sleeping well because you know you can provide for your family through most anything. Our great grandparents didn’t have a special name for “preppers”. They wouldn’t even bat an eye at having a years supply of canned goods. That was just called putting up the harvest. I’m not against grocery stores and modern living mind you. I love having my hot showers. I would much rather spend 20 minutes driving to town than a day walking. I just feel like it might be a good idea to have a back up plan. Here’s some of ours:
We have a 72 hour kit and a plan as to how and when to use it. We hope we never have to evacuate our home…again. The fact is it has happened twice. Once we were able to return after 5 days, the second we came back the next day to a pile of smoldering ashes.
We have started long term food and water storage. My main concern here is extended power outages which would render our well pump useless, and hedging against future prices. Doesn’t seem like anything is getting cheaper so why not get non-perishables at today’s lower price? If you decide to stockpile, remember to include the value of your preps in your homeowner’s policy.
I’ve made a big effort to learn how to cook from scratch using staples. It does no good to store flour, salt and oil if all you can make with them is play dough. As it turns out play dough (though it’s tons of fun) is most unpalatable. Homemade biscuits use nearly the same ingredients in different proportions and are delicious.
We’re learning skills like gardening, canning and keeping small farm animals. Eventually those grocery store canned goods would run out if we had to rely on them heavily. I want to be able to re-supply without paying the higher price. Plus by putting up our own food we know exactly what we’re eating. Enter farming and canning.
We use credit very sparingly and try very hard to keep debt to a minimum. This way if we lose our income we can use our savings to pay for the mortgage and things we can’t produce. Cars, homes, and college are okay debt in our book, as long as we have a good rate and pay off as soon as possible. We do not use credit for things like new furniture, clothes, Christmas or vacations. It’s tempting, and new stuff and vacations are important to quality of life, we just don’t want to pay interest, so we do it backwards from how the credit card companies want us to and pay first.
Finally, we’re working on having three sources for everything we need. Three sources of water, three sources and types of food storage, three streams of income, three ways to start a fire, three ways to stay warm etc.
I’ll share more ideas on these topics in future posts.
How do you feel about preparedness and how do you approach it?