Are you storing food, sundries, necessities and other things for an uncertain future? This is one of the main focuses in the Prepping (Preparedness) culture today. GET STUFF.
While being prepared with a ‘good stock’ of whatever is both prudent and a wise investment given the economic climate, I believe there are many areas of prepping or preparedness that are widely overlooked by folks who choose this lifestyle. Either because they are new or because they are panicked there is a great focus on the tangible prepping. Often the thought of prepping stops there with a well stocked bunker or pantry and toiletries out the ears.
In the days ahead, we are going to explore some of the non-tangible things to prepare. Things that rust and moth do not decay. Things that no one can come in and steal. Things that require practice, diligence and guts not credit, debit or cash.
As an Internet Radio Talk Show Hostess, I have many opportunities to talk with folks who have great things to share with the Preparedness Community. It is my desire to choose guests who have something to teach, or something to encourage listeners on to more preparation efforts. It is however inevitable, that ‘prepping’ seems to fall into only one perceived categories by main stream media and many preppers themselves.
The question often comes up: “What are you Prepping for?”
When I first heard this question, it threw me for loop. Never one to be at a loss for words, I simply shared what was on my heart. “We are prepping for life. Also to be a safe haven for those that God lays upon our heart.” For some reason, this did not fit the typical answers heard in the prepper realm of conversation. It appears I was supposed to list catastrophic event of some form or an actualization of a conspiracy theory come to life. To prepare for THOSE things never had occurred to us. Sure we are aware of the probability of any one of the theories becoming reality, to to prep FOR them seemed almost like shooting at the wrong mark.
We also have been asked to fill out the forms to be on the National Geographic Series “Doomsday Preppers”. I have interviewed the Executive Co-Producer of the show, he was very candid and very informative. Most people understand that the show is meant to be Edu-tainment with the value or educational points only found by those searching for the value within it. Television is made for ratings, and we don’t fit the Doomsday Prepper profile. To follow our family around in our daily life or see how we are rebuilding our food storage (after we already lived out of it for a year), grow, can, preserve, etc… would cause most viewers to snore.
Our Preparedness Journey has taught us that a cataclysmic event is not the mark to shoot for when preparing, because often folks will take a hit that is far more personal well be for the social fall out of society or an EMP hits us. We are not preparing for Doomsday…we prepare for every day. We have used our preparedness stock and continue to rebuild it and grow our own skill set.
We took this path of simplistic preparedness over 25 years ago and it has been an everyday growing and learning experience. If nothing ever happens on the global or national scale to force people to live like we have, we’re still going to be happy that we prepared for life every- single – day.
March 7th, 2012 was supposed to have one of the largest solar flares of the 20th century. Is this a sign of more active sun emissions or a cyclical pattern for which we had no technology prior to the last few centuries to gauge?
My belief is that it is a combination of both. We know more now than we ever did before. Research, technology, instant broadcasting (due to the internet) and even a wide array of ‘experts’ easily accessible to us like never before.
Does that mean that these happenings with the sun are changes to we must be alarmed? Or does it mean that we simply have recently payed attention to it in greater detail and thus it has taken a higher priority of focus?
Again, my belief is a combination of both. EMPs, Coronal Mass Ejection and Solar Flares have been around since the creation of the sun. From the audible ‘Let there be light.’ phrase was spoken – the sun has simply operated this way. Just because we had not the means to know it before, and it’s new to us, doesn’t mean that gigantic solar flares have not been effecting our environment for thousands of years. Our concern now is it’s affect on our lifestyle – electricity and the things it secures/provides.
Not only would an EMP or Coronal Mass Ejection be inconvenient, it would disrupt much of life as we are accustomed in the 21st century. Power grids would go down from city to city. With that, water systems and emergency management communications would not function properly. Security for prisons would cease to be in place. This is all due to our dependency on electricity and computers.
Even experts cannot agree on what the total impact would be or how long it would take to restore electrical order.
As close as only a couple of hundred years ago. A massive Solar Flare, EMP or Coronal Mass Ejection would not have put such a speed-bump into daily life as it would now. I highly believe that our planet was experiencing these solar issues at that time, perhaps not to the same magnitude, but still experiencing them. People who did not depend upon electricity, went about life as normal.
Now the ‘benefit’ of knowledge, technology and instant news can disrupt what is normal on both ends. Prior to any Solar Flare or such we can be warned and worry. After an EMP we would be affected greatly.
“Your Preparation Station” Radio show is interviewing the creators of Flare Aware on March 10. 2012 – if you listen LIVE or later (on our Archives) you’ll hear more about alerts to these events, the differences in an EMP, Solar Flare and Coronal Mass Ejection and see how you can at least be a step ahead.
Realizing that we can actually do nothing to prevent what happens with the sun, preventative measures to protect what you can are wise…but, controlling the situation completely is impossible. So rest in Faith and do not let your heart be troubled. Be diligent to prepare what you can, but put it into perspective that:
1. We may just be more edgy because more information is instantly available.
2. It wouldn’t be LIFE if you could control EVERYTHING.
Best Blessings and enJOY this Journey!
You have a great difference that rearranging that subject line above would make. It would read: “To get fear at bay, get prepared.” However, that is not how I feel the true prepared lifestyle really works. In real fact we humans haven’t chosen wisely when reacting to fear. Chaos, emergencies, and emotional instability often force us into feeling that it is necessary to make decisions immediately and many times on only partial information and worse, on little if no faith.
Fear is usually a motivator; however it will also be a jailer or even a manipulative tool utilized by others. Landing a grasp in how your ‘fear buttons’ are pushed is vital to know how you’re going to make choices and set up plans of action during the days ahead. As everyday life is changing, economics are changing and much of society has and shall continue to change, fear has topped the charts of what is on the minds and hearts of many people.
Yes, it truly is even very prevalent in the preparedness community that some people have discovered that “fear” is a useful tool. Lots of businesses that lack experience (not talking years here but investment of trials, some time and guts) or they have the wrong attitude to help are jumping into ‘survival’ mode in more ways than one and grasping at your fear to make a sale. These people in these companies will tend to use fear to be a manipulative tool to get individuals (who are now seeing the need for preparation) to do something. You’ll spot the red-flags if you read how they set off the fearful alarms within your own head and heart with their promotions and newsletters. Although there are plenty of things with this life for us to be worried over, if more than 2/3 of an advertisement or email newsletter is attempting to aggravate the fear in you and stir it up or whip you into a frenzy …. Well, you may wish to think for a long time before purchasing what they’re selling. Indeed, think of doing the same business with another company or person who will not prey upon the fears of other people. You get the same product – but more peace.
Fear can become a jailer. All people have familiarity with the shortcoming to shift forward due to fear. Often in the preparation lifestyle we run in to a greater number of people who are aware that “something” is occurring, however they would rather not give it some thought and ‘look weird’ by acting upon it. They could rationalize the act of doing-nothing-different when compared to being ridiculed for not following the status-quos just for the purpose of faking out their own fear. The unfortunate outcome of this choice has yet to become visible, yet if we will play out several scenarios and hypothesize the end result is not really a pleasing one for those that prefer to be jailed and stuck with their fear.
As a thoughtful motivator, fear fights a more useful aspect in our lives. While on this earth we will be unable escape impending doom of every form or being afraid of something. We may all possibly panic or have our buttons pushed by other people who are definitely more fear-mongering than helping. What we can do is put it into the proper perspective and take actions that could be prayerfully and personally esteemed as the top course for your family unit and loved ones.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hasn’t provided us with a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
This verse exactly mirrors the opening statement. The benefits to rid ourselves of fear can free us to do so much more in love of others. So now the useful character traits we’ve had bestowed upon us may appear, on our own accord and on the prompting of His Spirit. Not manipulated by others using fear, and not just stagnated by fear itself…but through power and self-discipline we can move forward in peace.
What does it mean to ‘Be prepared’? Of course it is the Boy Scout, or at least it used to be. I was never a Boy Scout. Also, there is a new verb in society now. That word is “prepping”? Isn’t that what doctors do prior to surgery? And just who are these people who are called “Preppers”? Are they all looking out for some Doomsday scenario?
These questions lead to the need of explaining exactly what preparation is or prepping. It is a little easier to breakdown the things that are included in preparation, prepping or living the preparedness lifestyle rather than saying what it is or isn’t because it looks different for each family.
Some things that it should NOT include are: Paranoia, Panic or Fearful Hording.
So with the ‘don’ts’ out of the way, let’s look at the wide variety of things that this newly formed verb of prepping may include. Below, not in any order of priority, is a breakdown of areas involved in living a preparedness lifestyle:
~ Securing an Alternate Power Source.
~ Planning for and practicing alternate Communications.
~ Locating or making a Drinking Water supply.
~ The right to bear arms for either hunting or security.
~ Learning Survival Skills, Techniques, Planning and Practice.
~ Learning and using Emergency Reaction equipment, tools and skills.
~ Planning for Terror, Pandemic or Natural Catastrophes to react in confidence and peace.
~ Building your Long–Term Workable Pantry or Food storage. This includes skills to use the food.
~ Self-Sustaining lifestyles and skills such as gardening, preserving the harvest, skills and equipment to feed from one’s own efforts.
This is a basic, brief list of things that are often included in preparation and by no means do we believe it to be fully complete, but we wanted a start. Each Prepper (one who prepares or is in the act of prepping for an uncertain future) has a flavor and focus of his/her own. As stated before, each family has the ability, skill and right to prepare as they choose. Your prepping doesn’t HAVE to look like our preparedness lifestyle…but we can share and learn from each other and be better prepared for it!
Most people don’t even give survival a second thought. To many people the the thought of survival means having air conditioning and satellite TV. But what actually is real survival and what techniques are needed or what skills and planning are involved if one were to have to survive, say without shelter or a stocked grocery store?
Potentially the list of survival skills could be endless. However, there is a hierarchy to deciding what is most important. The top priority category for me would be to find what is right for your surrounding and your climate.
If you are above a certain elevation only certain crops can be grown and are specific to your area. Growing or finding food and seeking shelter are different for this location than a coastal low land. If you live where animals were once the predominant inhibitors of an area and you suddenly have to survive outdoors, it would be prudent to learn how to coexist. Knowing how to deal with the local coyote or black bear or keep them away from what food you have is paramount.
No matter what skills or techniques one may study, until they are practiced, there is no way to be sure that any of the planning has paid off. Planning is one thing and it is smart. But practicing is the proving ground. Practice some survival skills to see what loop-holes there may be so you can truly survive if necessary in an emergency
By now you know me well enough that when it comes to food storage, I am not a big fan of ‘cheap food’, but I a also not fan of expensive food either.
Some people feel as though they have to get shelves and shelves of food that is quick and easy to fix in case of an emergency. These would be cheap foods with preservatives and artificial colors and a shelf life of a rock. Other people think they need to get the ready-to-eat meals (MREs) that are simply the ‘add water’ foods. Most MREs are far from healthy with high salt and fat content, and designed for combat caloric intake which most of us are not going to be in. They are often quite pricey as well. Why are folks so quick to pay the price of quality and higher cost simply convenience?
Having the skill to use real food will help your health now and in an emergency, when you and your family don’t need to also be battling poor nutritional sustenance at the same time as stress.
Here are some ideas for stretching your budget while buying real food for storage :
Coupons – This can be a simple start to saving on one purchase so that you can buy more the next time. There are FREE sites on the internet for finding out your deals. One trick is to use a coupon when your store runs a sale at the same time.
Buy one get one (free or half price) – Instead of just getting one at half price, use one store the other. This way you know you will eat what you’ve stored.
Find the scratch & dent or almost out of date section – Usually these items are found at the ends of some longer isles in the grocery store. Some items are still in great condition. It is still a good idea to stay away from dented cans. Meats that are fast approaching the ‘sell by’ date are often tagged differently or located at a different part of the refrigerated isle. Use or freeze the meat as soon as you get them home.
Cook from scratch – Often single ingredients stretch further due to the variety of ways you can use them vs. a one box mix food that can only be that food. When cooking from scratch, one item can be used multiple ways with the cost per use being drastically cheaper than if it were an ingredient in a box mix.
Look for an alternative that costs less. For example, buy the store brand of an item. Often the same exact growers, packaging facility grew and labeled a big named brand as the store brand. If it’s a storage can rotation system that costs over $200 that has you down, there is a less expensive (and in my opinion much more versatile) option here
There are many ways to stock up your real food storage, long term workable pantry and not break the budget. Just getting started is important. You’ll be happy you had even a little food storage on hand as prices continue to increase.