I Don’t Want To Be A Wanderer Forever…

incredients 4       As many of you are aware I started prepping as a natural progression of wanting to be self-sufficient. That change was spurred not only by what I watched unfolding economically and politically but also by my personal spiritual walk. I want to exhort each of you to prepare not only physically but also mentally and spiritually for the challenges we will face. Although all of you are not necessarily of a Judeo-Christian based faith, that should not stop this preparation for you.

If any talk of religion offends you, simply speed read through this post to the main points that apply. No offence taken. However I want to share an important spiritual parallel to the concept of prepping. Sometimes we stagnate, we fail to do anything because we feel so overwhelmed and we begin to give in to the feelings of fear and being unable to sort though our feelings and the roadblocks we face. Hiding our heads in the sand doesn’t just make us sheeple. It also puts us in the desert places like the Jews fleeing from the Egyptians. Think for a moment about the Old Testament Jews who were enslaved to Pharoah and how they prayed for deliverance. God heard their cries and sent Moses.

Moses     As God sent plague after plague, the Jews would cry out to God each time questioning. Once in the desert, they still fought back against everything Moses tried to explain. They literally begged to return to the “safety” of Pharaoh and the old status-quo of being slaves so they did not have to face hardships of freedom. All God was requesting was their faith in Him and they chose to instead seek the golden idols and a return to slavery.

Freedom isn’t free is a common enough expression but this is true not only in a militaristic sense but also spiritually. We pay a price for our liberty. Like Pharaoh’s slaves we can’t ignore that price. Moses wasn’t a dictator telling the Jews what to do – they had a choice. He did express anger at the ones who refused to accept a choice of freedom. It’s easier to complain than to actually help one’s self. He knew the security of being enslaved under Pharaoh wasn’t really a place of safety. Not only would they be subject to his whims but also to his need for them to serve his purposes. Even their food would be through him only. Through Moses leading them to the Promised Land, they had a chance at true freedom but instead turned to those golden idols and the lure of lies of slavery. Talk about an entitlement crowd – they were the original ones! They were in a prison of their own making for all those 42 years. This post isn’t meant to be simply a bible lesson though.

Noah025     So now take this and think about where we are as a nation. Freedom exacts a price – not only one of our lives in a military sense though. We’ve all joked often about Noah building an ark in the desert. Little is mentioned about what it cost his family in terms of livelihood, friendships with his community (no matter how far-fetched the boundaries of this community), and the toll it took about him spiritually. How often did Noah go to his Lord in prayer? “Lord, am I really supposed to be doing this? “ Or how about, “Lord I been at this a year or two now – am I wrong to want something to happen to vindicate me in front of the neighbors? They’re all laughing at me Lord?”  “Lord, my kids think I’m nuts here – what do I tell them now – they’d rather go buy a few more goats or sheep for the herd?” “Lord, I’m not getting any younger here – I have grown kids and they’re not too happy about this right now with me – it’s a lot of work hauling this wood after we cut it down.” Just imagine the ridicule this man and his family faced. I wonder what his wife had to say about spending his time and money on this project too. I’m also pretty certain it wasn’t easy to hide this big old ark in the middle of his land – talk about OPS failure! So instead we all complain how hard it is to find enough money to store those extra bags or rice and beans. We get overwhelmed worrying about where to stash it all. How about that sore back from mucking out the barn or chicken coop? Really? Or as I am prone to complain about – I’m not twenty something either – that garden is pretty rough on my tired old body too! Especially when the weeds grow better than the vegetables lately!

We can have lots of excuses and just as many valid reasons why we find ourselves not wanting to push ourselves out our comfort zones. We not only feel overwhelmed – we walk in fear of leaving our safe spot. We owe Him our faith in Him to break free of that bondage. To fail to do so is to wander in our own desert place. For most of us the price of a “Bug out location” is another house mortgage we can’t afford. Few of us can afford to buy 2 – 3 years worth of food for long term storage for twenty or so of our closest family members. Realistically most of us cannot hope to easily pay off house mortgages, car loans, and or student loans anytime soon either. Believe me, I am one of those so hampered also!  But all of us can take those first tentative steps out of bondage towards that “promised land”. We can focus on freedom from fear stepping away from our personal “Egypt”.

I dread thinking our country is changing so radically into something I am not sure I recognize any longer. I find it hard to believe that all we believed in is slipping away. I also think about other countries where free peoples witnessed their own country slide away from what they loved. Those lands slid into socialism, Nazism, fascism or worse seemingly overnight. Yet life continued for these folks – day after day, step after step. They still went to work, they ate, they laughed, cried, fell in love, married, raised family. Some of them never saw the changes because they were so far removed from where the changes took place, living out in the wilderness. Others ignored what was happening around them because it was easier, safer even, to ignore it. Others believed what they were told, that this would be a better world for them, for their families, because of those changes. They bought into the deception because the desert and the journey they would have to face otherwise was a scarier one than the bondage they knew already. Still others were like Moses trying to make them understand how short that journey through the desert could have been. He knew it shouldn’t have taken 42 years of wandering – that place of refuge, of freedom was so much closer if they only took those steps in strength together. Some of us will be put in that position. Some of us are already there – crying out for deliverance, crying out for others to follow us on the path already being offered. Some will even be called to pay more difficult prices – but we each can take a few steps now towards that place – by preparing now in whatever small ways we can, means a chance for the next generation to make it to that place of freedom and maybe ourselves too.

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Is It a Castle or a Storage Unit?

Move-Boxes-      I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to organize our preps. Florida homes are notorious for lack of space to hide things away neatly. We’re mostly short on attic, garage, and especially basement spaces. That makes it much trickier to tuck things away in an organized fashion instead of just where it will fit. That also doesn’t take into account that most of the stuff just plain doesn’t fit! Quite a few Floridians use outdoor storage sheds in either wood or metal but they usually are not climate controlled. The same problem exists with our attics and garages not being a stable temperature. It’s challenging but not altogether impossible.

Like many of us we live in the typical older Florida home – nothing fancy or showy but comfortable for us! We live in a pleasant town on the Space Coast of Florida. Most folks here would never expect riots or race wars or for the town to fall apart in any way. Yet most of the preppers will sagely nod their heads at this because they know even nice folks will do the unthinkable to feed starving family!

In the past year we have joined a couple different preparedness groups here on the Space Coast. The members seem to run the gamut from one extreme to the other concerning how far they take the issue of preparedness. All of them profess a sense of calm and peace before the anticipated collapse due to taking control of their preparations.

Roof-Of-His-Car      A few of the people are financially secure enough to own what is known as a “Bug- Out Location” or BOL. Many others like us plan to hunker down in place due to a myriad of reasons personal and financial. That just leads us to be more selective in how we prepare.   Simplistic-Castle-Tower-2        The old adage that a man’s home is his castle has been taking on new meaning thanks to a certain television production but I personally have yet to add a moat or drawbridge to the old homestead! Indeed there is no sentry decked out in full armor at the front door. Needless to say we have discussed security and do have things in place to protect ourselves should the situation call for it but we are hoping it never falls that completely apart! We choose to be low key about those choices and not advertise those issues for safety’s sake.  knight

So as we attempt to organize and inventory our preps, we find ourselves a bit lopsided at times and then we begin to lose the sense of organization. Over the course of the next few months I hope to share with all of you how I am dealing with these issues and I hope you will join in on the discussions freely. I’m sure many of you have similar problems and solutions – many of others will have questions we will all try to help answer! I certainly can’t know for 100% certain when and if things will collapse. I pray we all have enough time to prepare adequately as well as the finances and health to do so. I pray I will be able to help you along on this journey as we undertake steps for our own family and friends – and yes, community! It seems many of us feel a sense of urgency as we do this lately but with it also comes a peace and joy in knowing we are taking the steps to protect and prepare our families by each positive step we take. Let’s take the continuing journey together so we go about it without stress or fear!

How Many Bandages Are Enough?

Hurt lady      This past week I have been organizing and taking inventory of personal hygiene and medical preps. One of the big problems here is that in this end of Florida we don’t have attics and basements to store goodies – even the storage sheds are not great places because they are not climate controlled usually in our yards! Needless to say that means being creative and organized or else we will never find what we need if and when we need it!! For us it means several large totes stored under beds in addition to drawers that are set aside for items. Each tote and each drawer holds a different type of item – shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc in one tote, meds in another for example. Totes need to be labeled to help those helping you find the right items. Small first aid kits are good enough for a car but our home supplies are a bit more plentiful obviously. This weekend I learned how much more would be needed if in any bad situation.

Untitled            Did you ever happen to take a count of how many bandaids you go through when someone manages to hurt themselves? Working folks – especially those with messier jobs –  tend to change those bandages more often and many of the cheaper ones really don’t stick all that well anyway. That means more frequent changes and using more. Well if and when there is any sort of disaster or SHTF situation, cleanliness and being sterile is not going to be an easier task than now! That means more disinfectant and more towels or cloths to clean as well as water.My DH uses a blood thinner – so this weekend when he cut a finger, what should have been no big deal turned into a bit more of a complication for him. He was helping me with our animals as in rearranging hutches and animals when a small knife (very small one matter of fact!) decided to not lock in place but wrap itself around his finger! Sigh…. Now for myself or anyone else normally it would have meant pressure packing it and lots of tape after antibiotic ointment but not so easy for him. We had a trip to the ER for stitches and a tetanus booster.

The trip was actually not a bad one in that we had a chance to meet someone else who is “into” being self-sustaining too. We enjoyed our conversations and actually learned a lot. I received an impromptu lesson in suturing too! But then we went home where I suddenly was confronted with how different this seemingly minor incident could be in a SHTF situation. Now I am not really into warfare and preparing to do battlefield surgery after the zombies are defeated – but I am certain that even though I have a lot of stuff put up, it’s not nearly enough!     bandage guy

Cleaning up blood when someone is hurt is a mess in itself! Out comes the rags or paper towels and bleach or other disinfectant cleaners. Then let’s talk bandaids again! Oh my! The need for gloves also is an obvious one – can’t even do dishes with stitches or cuts on the hand! Having those animal chores is also going to be a problem to keep the cut clean! And rubber (or latex) gloves makes the hand sweaty meaning more bandage changes and cleaning to avoid infections! The need for plenty of antibiotic ointment is also evident based on what I have used up this week alone! Good old fashioned soap and water is the best germ and bacteria deterrent out there. Cleanup also means more trash bags too – or burning your waste later if safe to have a fire.

hurt dog      Hydrogen peroxide is one of those wonder products with so many uses, it’s crazy. Just do an internet search for the list – but it will remove blood stains in a fast minute in addition to cleaning a wound. The same day we had our finger cut situation, the dog managed to cut the pad of his foot. He also walked all over the white cement deck out back and dripped a continuous trail of blood in the process. One large bottle of hydrogen peroxide later, the white cement was clean. So was my t-shirt where he jumped on me to complain!

Keep your eyes open for great sales and coupons to shop at chain stores and the “everything for a dollar” type places are a great source for bandaids and gauze pads as well as medical tapes. I personally am not a fan of off label or unknown brand medicines because so many are not made to standards now. Things that get used and tossed like bandages are not as bad. I will warn you that cheaper ones are not as good at sticking as some of the fancier cloth ones but they can be useful! Trash bags are also cheaper there. Read labels to know where your medical supplies were manufactured. You may want to avoid certain countries of origin if at all possible – not all are as strict about sterile conditions and bandages and gauze should be sterile. Stores such as Aldi or Big Lots will often have great deals available on name brand items.

Prepper Books Worth Reading

There are so many great series of books out there worth reading, it seemed to me that most folks were already aware of most of them.  Yet when I get enthusiastic about certain books that I have reread for the umpteenth time, I often get asked why! I love to read – I read almost everything and anything within reason. I have been known to go into withdrawal when there isn’t a book laying around that I can quickly pick up and read. I love the feel of old leather book covers, the smell of the pages as I turn them. I enjoy looking at shelves and shelves of books lined up. For years I also bought several favorite magazines – a trait that is embedded in my DNA thanks to my father’s genes! He had subscriptions to Reader’s Digest books and Time-Life series and National Geographic as well as Reader’s Digest Magazines! We would fight to see who was going to read one first from cover to cover – we often had to have a truce – a negotiated agreement to leave the book in a common neutral place where either one of us could sit and read but not prevent the other a turn! I often think he would have loved being addicted to all of the information possibilities now on the Internet and electronic reading devices! I loved the availability and portability although certain favorite books have to be had in paper form too! So here I am now at a point of wanting all of you to read some great books that I have enjoyed that teach and encourage you on a prepping journey. For some it may be like reading science fiction or horror stories – they can have a bit of the fear factor. A few are a bit more strident in the “military” sense of seeing rebellions, wars, or general lawlessness being a reality to come. Yet I find that each series especially has something to teach each of us. Each of these books are eye openers to  what could be a new reality. What they depict may never happen but it is all possible and being prepared is never a bad thing. Again I am not suggesting anyone need to prepare for “Red Dawn” or “Revolution” or even “Walking Dead” but these are authors who have thought out what could happen and give you some vindication for being prepared for all sorts of possible disasters – some such as hurricanes, earthquakes, corona mass explosions, EMP, or worse. All of these are available more inexpensively on Nook and Kindle than in hardcover or paperback – I suggest the electronic versions and purchase later in hardcopy if you really like them! Remember Nook and Kindle can be read on your PC or phones in addition to readers. One caveat to reading ebooks – the auto spell check features are often an issue that authors need to then issue an updated version but don’t let that stop you from gleaning great information.

One of the first books I read because it was so well publicized was Survivors by James Wesley Rawles. He has also has several other books available that are educational on the subject of prepping and survival.

Next I was led to another well known book One Second After by David Crawford. This book starts out very low key and makes one really do a wake up by the end. The situation is a realistic one – and an true eye opener for anyone wondering what should they be concerned about. Set in NC, it featured normal people in real situational day to day reality.

From here I discovered Ron Foster and his great short series of e-books and then novelettes – The Preppers Road March Triology. He has also authored others that are as equally interesting and enjoyable reads. Again in this series I found the people to be realistically portrayed and lots of great prepping and survival tips and hints offered. I especially liked when some of the characters were shown to have flaws or to admit to not realizing how to be prepared for certain situations.

Not all of us are well to do enough to afford the fancy bomb shelters or thousands of dollars in 25 year foods and military surplus equipment. Many of us like to approach our prepping with some spiritual influence. It is here that I found I enjoyed the series Deep Winter by Thomas Sherry.  Although the main character is a business person who has more prep supplies than many of us could afford, he admits that he did it all on a budget and garage sales or auctions while foregoing big expensive toys such as new cars or boats. The series of natural disasters along with political fallout and war scenarios of the later books in the series all seem to be hard to fathom but Drummond’s lessons on preparing and what to be storing were great! The author writes a compelling series.

The Last Light (Restoration Series) by Terri Blackstock is a basic Christian based series – although not promoting any one denomination too strongly. The religious references are low key enough to not be off-putting to the main storyline of a power grid failure due to a natural pulsar event. In this series the folks involved were similar to folks here on the Spacecoast of Florida who lived in an upper middle class neighborhood that were not prepared in any imaginable manner for what took place. Again lots of good lessons learned here.

Another EMP book is 77 Days in September by Ray Gorham. This one deals with a fellow who was not prepared to walk home. It makes for an interesting read – just a good overall storyline.

There is also the Rural Ranger Series and The Foxfire Series available online. These are practical reads – Rural Rangers teaches a lot of lessons such as trapping, hunting, etc – but women will enjoy too. Foxfire is old timers (mostly Appalachia) telling how they survived a “hardscrabble” life. Good information and lots of hints for all of us.

This is only a beginning list of the books I have been reading and saving information from. I will offer more in more posts along with lots of how-to books and manuals – many offered free for limited time in Kindle or Nook. Hope you all enjoy – don’t let the books stress you – use the hints, tips, and lessons to be prepared!

Practical Tips to Make Prepping Easier

One of the biggest points along this journey is making this a less stressful or frustrating journey for ourselves. At times it feels overwhelming when we read and read and read so much information on the web and get lost in all of it. I don’t know about you but I must have over 500 bookmarks – many saved in nice little sub-folders. I try to remember to export those to each of the different browsers I use. (Yes, I am one of “those” who use more than one browser, not because I wear a tinfoil hat that tells me I am being tracked – it’s because some browsers just aren’t happy with certain websites I enjoy!) But what happens if for whatever reason the electric goes out? Yes, my laptop has a longer life battery and yes, I can recharge it via the car or a generator or a solar recharger. But do you really want to hope that you can access a website and find the correct information when in a stressful situation? Let’s face it – that will add to the stress as you remember that wonderful TV ad “You heard it on the Internet so it must be true!?” So what steps can be most easily undertaken to help alleviate some of this stress?

One trick I use is to make sets of notebooks. I purchased several 3 ring binders (some bought at my favorite flea market and some at garage sales). Then I splurged and bought a large box of plastic sleeves at Sam’s Club. I also bought black indelible markers and I was set to begin. I made my own topic tabs by making small slips of paper that I wrote topics on and taped to edges of a plan paper.  So now let us begin.

I do a lot of reading and research, studying to find the best advice and information I can on a subject. I rely on favorite trusted sources but I double check those too, never assuming someone is an authority on everything. As a young child my dad taught me to read and research for myself. He advocated reading everything one could get their hands on, even classified ads because some day certain bits of information would fit together to fill in the gaps on any given subject. This si something I still do and enjoy doing. I may not be an authority on a subject but I can usually ferret out the needed information from someone who is! That’s what counts – knowing where to get the necessary information. In this case it is information that may save our lives or that of someone we love later.

So one of my notebooks is First Aid and Medical Information. Here I also keep a page listing each person in the family and any pertinent information such as allergies and medications they regularly take. A list is also noted of all doctors they use with contact information. One notebook is labeled Herbs and Their Uses. Then I made Gardening, another is Canning Preserving and Recipes. Those plastic sleeves are great for protecting the pages against splatters and spills while cooking or canning.  Food Inventory is a constantly changing book. This notebook also contains lists of suggested storage items – such as items that will disappear from stores quickly or less thought of items that will come in handy. I tend to keep track of those items by taking a copy along with   me as I shop or garage sale. Quickly glancing over it jars my memory when I am out there hunting those bargains! It’s especially helpful if you can make notes about the prices of some of those items so you can tell if a bargain is a bargain or not! A General How To book is filled with articles that are more difficult to sort. Then there is a notebook on Tips for Preparing Against Natural Disasters. One section deals with storing water, how to purify water, and even how to find water. Here again one can get as detailed as one prefers. We worry about floods and hurricanes in Florida. Maybe earthquakes are your concern, or perhaps radiation. These can each need a lot of information on how to be safe and what to do after the initial emergency.

It may seem like a lot of work but once they were set up during a pleasant afternoon relaxing in the sun on my patio, it has become easy to print and file any additional papers. I keep all of these in one convenient place – in the event we ever had to actually evacuate due to an impending brush fire or hurricane, I could easily grab these to take along. This is also a great place to keep copies (not the originals) of all important papers such as photocopies of driver’s licenses, insurance cards, passports, home owners or renters insurance policies, etc. If you are in an area that often needs to evacuate, keep these in a handy tote or basket so they can be grabbed quickly.  I realize this may not be one of the more glamorous aspects of the prepping phenomena, but it sure is a helpful one. Remember we want to stick to budgets and have less stress – having the right information at your fingertips will go a long way to accomplishing this!

In the Beginning There Were Mistakes … and I Made Most of Them

DSC_0726       Today is Confession Day for me. If there are any mistakes common to all new preppers made on this journey I probably made all of them.

  •      The first and biggest one was to not spend a bit more time de-cluttering the house first before trying to bring in lots of new things to be stored. I’m not a hoarder but I do love my collections so have more and not less about the place. Because I have always enjoyed the vintage farmhouse look even here in Florida, I have my collections. With a husband from Italy, we enjoy espresso so I ended up collecting espresso pots by accident. I also love all the old kitchen goodies and have favorite green glassware and even old Ball canning jars. You get the idea — collections that take up space. I have learned now to use much of these collections to aid in storage instead of being part of the problem. But less clutter in the beginning would have made it all easier and neater!
  •      Another common mistake is to not buy what your family or group normally eats. That 900 lbs. of wheat or 400 lbs. of rice or 1,000 MREs all sealed for 25 years shelf life may seem like a good idea until you go to actually eat it. Have you tried cooking any of it before? Store what you can cook and what everyone will eat. Later as you add longer shelf life items, add them to the diet so everyone is used to them.
  •      Put your stores in small useable quantities. Having a couple hundred pounds in one large mylar bag means that you will have to use it up relatively quickly once opened. This would be logical only if you were feeding an army. Instead consider repackaging any bulk purchases into more manageable amounts. This helps to eliminate possible spoilage or contamination by insects and/or rodents.
  •      Organize right from the beginning. At least start a basic inventory and rotation system. Boy, did I make myself a mess on this one. I now have 15 cans of condensed milk I did not rotate, keep track of dates on, or even turn over every couple months because I lost track of them.
  •    Think about where you will keep any longer term items. Here in Florida most food items will be kept inside rather than in attics or garages due to flucuations in temperature. You want to keep wherever you keep the constant temperature at safer levels. Garages up north will freeze if not insulated.
  •     Put where you can find items and get at them easily enough to actually use. Once or twice during power outages here we couldn’t find flashlights without tripping over furniture. Not being able to find matches to even light candles didn’t help either. Maybe you live in an earthquake prone region. Remember to have sturdy shoes handy in case of danger. Same with that flashlight.
  •      Speaking of that flashlight, remember the batteries. Dead or missing batteries will not be helpful. I have managed this fiasco myself especially when it involves rechargable batteries I didn’t remember to recharge. While you’re at it, make sure radios and other such equipment are even in workable condition. Older batteries left in an appliance can leak and corrode making an item non-useable. This leads to the next common mistake.
  •  Make sure you know how to actually use anything you buy. Also make sure you follow any safety procedures too. Having a generator that you can’t start or burn up the first time you do will not leave you prepared for anything. Even a propane cook stove or grill has a learning curve associated with it. Practice and know your equipment and how to use it. This goes double for the next common mistake.
  • If you choose to invest in knives, swords, guns, weapons of any type, don’t do so without taking lessons and safety courses. I am not a weapons expert but I know enough to realize I don’t know how to use them properly or safely. Weapons of any type in the hands of the inexperienced can very well be turned against you even if you haven’t first hurt yourself or worse! For those who do choose to store weapons, obey all laws in safe handling and storage. Keep out of the reach of children — lock up to prevent thieves too. Take safety classes and practice proper usage at gun ranges. Then consider how to store all necessary supplies to go along with your purchases including but not limited to repair and replenish equipment.
  • Buy the best equipment and supplies your budget allows. Buying cheap will make you feel prepared but may give you a shock when you go to use any of it. Cheap equipment breaks easily — how will you repair or replace in an emergency? Cheap food may spoil rapidly or worse yet taste horrid. That bargain soap may smell disgusting.
  • Think location, location, location. Many preppers want a “Bug Out Location” (BOL) but if you buy one, will you be able to get there in a reasonable and safe, timely manner? What type of BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) will you use? Maybe like our family, you can’t afford a secondary location. Consider your present one carefully. Moving to a new place isn’t always possible either due to family or financial constraints. Think instead of what you need to do to this one to make it better for your family prepping. Research if your present location allows you  to have chickens for example. Maybe your HOA restricts this even if the local ordinances do not. Be informed. Some communities will try to discourage you even if the law allows it. Know your rights ahead of time. Collecting rainwater in some places is against the law. How deep you can drill for a well is often regulated also. You will find that even gardens are falling under some legislation now and zoning regulations. Be informed and have the homework done if you need to defend yourself!
  • Make yourself lists. Determine what your family needs and wants depending on the type of preparing you want to do.Certainly stocking 3 days worth of food and water is practical no matter what. But then are you preparing for a power grid failure – or maybe you think we face certain economic collapse. Are you concerned over terrorist attacks or a pandemic? In any event make a list of what you would need to meet the threat you are worried over. Perhaps you like ourselves are considering being generally prepared as the best scenario. Consider also how many you need to prep for and who they are. This will lead to an important suggestion for today.
  • This is a biggie and I’ve made it too! Be careful who knows what about your preps. Telling someone casually you plan to start prepping may seem harmless but it isn’t. First people will naturally ask you questions and then voice opinions you probably don’t want to deal with. It can become an ugly political hot potato depending on what your reasons for prepping are. Most of the people around me know I raise chickens and rabbits. They may even know I believe in storing extra food. Yet I also believe it is important to not let everyone know everything about what I do or have. Even though I post here and on other forums, no one will ever know totally everything about me. Some may suspect I have a lot more — and they could also be very wrong in making those assumptions. As I have said before, I am not one who is a fan of tin foil conspiracies and I do not advocate violence so many assumptions would be foolish to jump to about me. But the reality is that people do make those assumptions so you want to be circumspect about what you do or do not do. As my son often jests, “Hey I don’t have to prep. When stuff happens, I’m coming here for your stuff!” Sadly that is truth for many others! So remember many of those will be happy to come to your house too!
  • While organizing and researching, make notebooks. You will come across more information at times than you can handle. That’s okay. Simply save it for another day so you can study in leisure. Buy books when you can afford to. E-Books are great — I have a ton too but hard copies are good for referring to when working on a project. Watch for them at garage sales and flea markets — there can be some great bargains!
  • Last but certainly not least is the suggestion to not stress, don’t become overwhelmed by all of this. Have fun with it. Make this into family projects and fun nights. No, I am not referring to emergency drills on the front lawn in hazard suits and gas masks! But building our chicken coop and watching the chicks grow has been fun for all of us from the grandchildren to the great grandparents! Our learning curves on gardens also have been fun. As we go about all of this it has given us time to listen to the older generation recount stories of how it used to be for their families. We have learned so much from them in the process. Stick to the budget for your family so that you avoid stress of making more debt. The goal is to be more self-sustaining and prepared. Don’t become someone who needs a bailout!