I am a single mother of two, and I am working towards self-sufficiency. One day I would like to have a fully self sufficient, off grid family farm, but for now, I will settle for just having band aids in the house when someone gets a boo boo.
Being prepared is not something that happens overnight. It is a journey. I would like to chronicle my journey in the hopes that it may inspire someone else to do the same.
What “Prepping” Used to Mean
Not too long ago, being prepared for emergencies was just part of everyday life. I remember my grandmother telling us stories of her childhood. Every family had a storm shelter (which were used as bomb shelters during WW1 and WW2). Every family had stockpiled food. Nearly every family had chickens for eggs, and a victory garden where they grew their own fruits and veggies. Every family had a civic duty to take care of themselves. In fact, it was the patriotic thing to do. We had a war to win, and everyone had to do their part. The average citizen took care of their own basic needs as best they could so that big farms could send food to feed the soldiers. They didn’t think of themselves as “preppers”, because everyone did it. It was just as much a part of life as family dinner.
What “Prepping” Seems to Mean Today
Today, we have become so comfortable with our modern conveniences that we have lost touch with what it means to be prepared. The idea of being a “prepper” conjures up images of paranoid fanatics stockpiling years worth of food and ammunition, and hiding in their bunkers with their guns, gold, and gas masks on. They imagine “the end of the world as we know it”, a world of anarchy and utter chaos. They imagine starving and desperate people breaking down their door to get the food that they have stockpiled, and they are ready to defend their preps, even if that means shooting their neighbor. This is extreme paranoia, and not what I believe real prepping is about. It is based on fear. It is not sustainable, and it’s a model that is doomed to fail.
What Prepping Should Mean Today
What happens when the bullets run out? What happens when supplies run out? What happens when someone gets terribly sick? The lonely preppers are back to square one, and end up becoming the desperate people they were fighting against. This is a very unsettling thought, and drives them to procure even more preps, and perpetually feeding into the fear.
My goal is to challenge this view of prepping, and bring back the patriotic perspective. Prepping is not about paranoia, it is about prudence. Prepping should be done out of concern, not fear.
I think many preppers believe that they have to prepare alone because too many people do not recognize the need to prepare, or they think “preppers” are crazy. Fear that others will be tragically caught unprepared is what feeds the notion that preppers need to plan for going it alone. It is my goal to change the negative stigma associated with prepping, and encourage everyone to take responsibility for being prepared.
So I named my blog “Prepping Matters”, as a play on words. I would like to discuss different matters regarding prepping, and shed some light on these matters for people who are just beginning to explore the concept of being prepared for emergencies. I also believe that prepping matters in the sense that it makes a difference for our communities and our nation. Prepping matters when disaster strikes. Prepping matters to the ones we love. Prepping matters because it is better to be safe than sorry.
Prepping matters to us all because our nation can thrive during tough times, instead of buckling under the strain. When our nation is under strain, we become vulnerable. In the end, our nation is only as strong as our citizens. I believe that being prepared is critically important, and I would like to inspire others to get back to a healthy perspective of what it means to be a “prepper”.
When I think of prepping, I imagine a world where people realize that we are responsible for ourselves, and we are all in this together. Rather than fighting with my neighbor, I would rather join forces with my neighbors and work to build a strong and resilient community.
There is safety in numbers, and we stand a greater chance of handling any disaster that comes our way when we stand together rather than trying to make a stand alone. When the shit hits the fan, I want the peace of mind knowing that I am surrounded by people who are looking after me, and I am looking after them. We are stronger together than we are separate. So my ultimate goal is to establish a network of people who are prepared to handle disaster situations in an organized way.
When people are working together, then the situation doesn’t seem so dire. When people work together, they don’t feel so desperate. When people feel taken care of and looked after, they don’t feel the need to steal from their neighbors.
But having this strong community takes prior planning. It takes time. It takes work. You can’t expect people who don’t know each other to come together and get organized during chaos. Everyone will be looking after their own families. So it has to start today. If you don’t know your neighbors, go introduce yourself. Get involved in the community. Join your local CERT team or other volunteer emergency response unit. If you don’t have one, start one.
I realize that building a sense of community is a lofty goal, but I believe it starts with taking care of basic needs. Our most basic need is survival. We survive by being prepared.
I Am Not Prepared…
I will be the first to admit that if something terrible happened today, I might very well be that desperate person breaking down my neighbors door to feed my starving kids. I love the idea of being a community that prepares together. Building a community takes months and years. In the meantime, I need to do my duty to make sure that my family’s basic needs are provided for in case something happens tomorrow. In his book, When All Hell Breaks Loose Cody Lundin said it best: “It’s too late to read the book on how to swim when the boat’s going down”.
I saw what happened with Hurricane Katrina. People were dying and starving while the government deliberated for weeks. I am not willing to watch my family suffer while I wait for someone else to rescue us. I am taking matters into my own hands.
But I am Working on it
Prepping is not something that happens overnight. It is a journey. I am starting today.
I will not stick my head in the ground and hope that if disaster strikes, someone else will step in and take care of us. Every citizen should be responsible for making their family prepared.
It starts with me.
Every post I make is another step in my journey. My hope is that it inspires someone else to take the first step in their journey to being prepared, building resilient communities, and a stronger nation.