Sunday, February 24, 2013

Preparing for... what?


        What are you preparing for?  That's what people ask me most.  There are as many reasons for preparing, or 'prepping' as it's called, as there are people.  Unfortunately, people use that as ammunition against other preppers.  One person who is preparing for, say, a national collapse, will scorn another person who is prepping for a shorter-term thing such as an ice storm.  Another who only feels they need a few days back-up supplies makes fun of someone who is stashing away as much as they can in anticipation of hyper-inflation.  And so on.

        I've refrained from being too specific about my own preps and what I think could happen because I don't want to create a mold that anyone feels they have to fit into.  If I wrote that I believe a certain thing is a probability or possibility, some people would adopt that as their belief and plan accordingly, and I don't know anything for certain regarding what could happen.  Some things are a likelihood, such as hurricanes and big snow/ice storms in certain parts of the country, but I don't live in an area that experiences those things.  I also don't live where there are tornadoes or floods.  Those of you who do should have a plan and supplies for those situations.

        On the other side of that coin, I also get a lot of emails from people who warn me that I should be preparing for one thing or another that I haven't specifically addressed.  The people who see a revolution coming or some other kind of national disturbance want me to tell people they should prepare for that.  I have people writing every day from a wide variety of prepping stances: political, religious, social, domestic fears, world-wide fears, natural disaster awareness, etc.  If one of them would write in such a way that I could publish their stance as a post here on the blog, I would. 

        But so far they have been written in a way to criticize others who aren't prepping the way the writers thinks everyone should, or for the things (events or situations) the writer thinks they should.  There hasn't been even one email that was written to educate or share a view.  We've become a society of trying to convince others by tearing apart the other person or belief, instead of politely and intelligently explaining a view or trying to teach others.

        That's one reason I kept my book generic about the 'why' and 'how much' of prepping.  I gave examples but my concern wasn't why a person felt they should store food or other supplies.  It was that they knew how to get started.  They have to begin somewhere.  Some people have been doubful that there are people who have no food in their homes, but a surprising number of American households have less than one day of food in their homes.  If all they do is put away enough food to munch on for a few days in an emergency, then I think they've made a great first step.  And if all they put away is pop tarts and crackers, GOOD!!!  At least they did something. 

        And if they put away three weeks' worth of food, GOOD!!!  Some people, once they get started, will have the courage and desire to keep working at it.  Some people will stop at three days or three weeks' worth of food.  I'm not here to tell them they have to put away a year's worth or a lifetime's worth.  If that's what they believe they need to do, then they should work toward that goal. 

        Whatever reason any of you have for prepping, and whatever scenarios you anticipate down the road, are all equally valid for the purpose of this blog and the book.  I'm not here to preach any one of them.  There's an old saying that you can't please everyone.  It wouldn't matter what I wrote here, or what I wrote in the book.  Nearly everyone would have a different opinion or a different prepping plan or reason for it.  This site is all-inclusive.  We can learn as much or as little as we believe we need to. 

        I do appreciate the emails you send.  I've learned a lot from you and I wish more of you would write things I could share here on the blog.  I respect the privacy of those who asked me not to share their letters on here, and those who don't mind the information being shared but want their identity withheld.  I've enjoyed helping track down answers to your questions and hearing your concerns.

        Let's be supportive and encouraging regardless of what stage of prepping people are at, or what they're prepping for.  Don't say "You're only prepping for three days?  That's stupid.  Don't you know *this or that* is going to happen, blah blah blah".  Say something like "You have three days' preps?  That's great!  Have you thought about adding to it now, just in case?"   Don't say "You have three years' long-term food storage?  How dumb.  What a waste.  You must be a paranoid nut case".  Say "Wow, that's great.  I hope you never need it."

        Please keep writing.  Be true to yourself and don't apologize for your beliefs or preps.  Tell me why you're right, not why everyone else isn't.

        Susan

13 comments:

  1. And then, there are those of us who prep (or homestead) because it's our nature. There doesn't have to be a reason. I live this way because it's how I want to live.

    There's a primal satisfaction in running your hands through a pile of dried beans that you grew yourself, or in lining up jars of spaghetti sauce where every ingredient came out of your own garden. You just can't buy a feeling like that!

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    1. Absolutely! Wonderful! Thank you!

      I was right there with you, in my mind, running my hands through a pile of home-grown beans, and looking at my rows and rows of home-canned food!

      You've made my day! :)

      Susan

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  2. Well said Sue, the reason one "Preps" isn't near as important as the fact you are doing it.

    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

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    1. You're right, Dave. Well said.

      Susan

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  3. Realistically, life is a road littered with unexpected events. Some of those unexpected events are happy ones: meeting that special someone, running into an old friend on the other side of the planet, flowers growing out of a crack in the pavement.

    Other unexpected events are not so pleasant: stepping on doggie bombs in the grass, slipping on the ice, having a car accident.

    And some unexpected events can be life changing or life threatening: loss of employment, hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquake, meteorite impact, plane crash, fire on a boat at sea, war...

    We have car insurance, house insurance and life insurance because we realize this fundamental fact: life is full of the unexpected. Some of us, however, have a more comprehensive insurance plan in place.

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    1. That is perfectly worded. It sums up the whole reason for preparing. Thank you!

      Susan

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  4. I love that I have cans of homemade soup and can whip up a batch of homemade bread to go along with it for a sick church member, or that I can hand someone a jar of homemade jelly as a thank you for a neighborly favor!

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  5. How timely to come across this today. One of the blogs I read blamed procrastination for responding to a poll about having less than six months of preps.

    I haven't made predictions about how long my supplies will last, except the only thing that sends me to the store is when we run out of stuff that we'd rather not freeze. During those times, I do something akin to "strategic buying" as much as I can without coupons or proper loss leaders.

    Meaning I could probably spend an mildly uncomfortable few months in quarantine as long as the infrastructure stays intact.

    World goes to hell, I'd be lucky to last ten days.

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    1. At least you're thinking about it and working on it!

      Good luck, and thanks for your comment.

      susan

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  6. I do what feels instinctive for me to do. being barefoot in my garden caring for my food, knowing where it comes from and what it's grown with just makes me feel good. I can and store up food and other supplies because being prepared for the unknown makes sense to me. Also, If I know someone is in need I have enough to share and feel safe to do that. And well Heck I feel pretty good at being an old traditional style lady. We should all live how it makes us feel best. Not all women are natural homesteaders or nurturers and not all men are comfortable getting dirty or mechanical. Do what comes natural for you and you will be the happiest you can be.

    Angel

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  7. I don't live in a natural distaster zone, but you never know what could happen.
    I'm not worried about political or other types of upheaval, but you never do know.
    But I have seen a lot of people lose jobs and struggle and I know that it would have been easier with some things stored away.
    I do like having a supply of food that I know all the ingredients.
    I would love to see guest posts on here that tackle a specific need (like a flood area or something) with the information of how to do it from your perspective (without a lot of money).

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  8. Back in the early '70s I found myself suddenly single with 2 young daughters. I was constantly worried about providing for us. My first "preps" were my thoughts of "If Christmas was tomorrow, would I have something for the girls", so I started watching sales, etc. and putting things away. Then I worried about could I feed us if I lost my job, so I started buying 1 extra meal worth of food every week. I bought canned food that would keep for a while. My goal was 3 weeks of food and enough money for the perishables that we would need, like milk, bread, cereal. It took me a few months to get this together but once that was done, I had peace of mind that no matter what, we'd be OK.
    At the time we lived in FL and always had our hurricane supply box with batteries, etc. Now I had an emergency food supply box. I made sure the items in both boxes were rotated about every 6 months so nothing would go to waste.
    I am still doing the same thing, even tho now it is just me and my husband. Only now, I have supplies for at least 6 months. I buy what we use/eat on a regular basis when it is on sale and stock up as much as I can afford. And we eat from this stockpile, replacing things they go on sale so things are constantly rotated.
    I have also made sure I have an alternate way to cook, in case our electric is out for a long time. A Coleman camp stove and fuel and a small BBQ grill with charcoal are in my store room, just in case. (No sense having the food if you can't cook it!)
    When the government shutdown happened and there was talk of no Social Security checks, it was nice to know that we'd still be eating from our pantry!
    Prepping is my life style, for "just in case". I don't do it for a specific reason, no special disaster I'm concerned about. I do it so no matter what happens, I'm ready.
    And yes, I still Christmas shop all year long! With 3 grandkids, it's the only way we can afford to do as much as we would like!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Sounds like you have a good system, learned a lot over the years, and had the opportunity to give your preps a test a few times. I'm glad you came through all right!

      Susan

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