February 18, 2012

How Should You Prep?

I meet with two fellow homeschool mom's almost weekly to do science experiments with our boys, and to just have some time to chat.  One of these mom's is from the local area and we get along well. We come from the same background.  The other mom is not local.  She is a woman takes her "status" very seriously.  Other than us, I don't believe she socializes with many "townies"...preferring to socialize with people like herself, that are transplants.  Disclosure: technically I am a transplant from CT, but I have been here since I was 7, so I am considered a native.  Also our family fit right in when we moved here, being rednecks to begin with :).

Now this mom keeps wanting to talk about prepping.  Every time we get together, she wants to know my thoughts on it, what I would do, etc.  I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination, most of what I know about taking care of my family I learned from my parents, or have learned about online.  And what works for one family, will not work for another.

One of her concerns that comes up constantly is the fact of how to make sure you are protected, and will the community pull together in a SHTF situation.  I told her, in my personal opinion, that two things will happen in our small town:

-Any one who didn't grow up here, who is a transplant, will sit and take a "wait and see" attitude about what the town leaders will do.  They won't have a clue how to care for themselves.

-Townies/locals will take care of their families first, and then get together with their close friends to help each other out.  They don't wait for the town leaders to take action, and never have.

She admitted that she doesn't have any close friends/family locally.  She hasn't made any attempt to befriend any townies/locals.  This is going to be an issue for her, and I told her as much.  She will be one of the ones waiting for the town leaders to guide her, because she is just not putting herself out there.

Now, I have to admit that it is mostly because of my father that I have the connections I do in town.  My father was always one of those men who put himself out there.  Not with the "uppity" of our town, but the regular folks like ourselves.  If someone need a roof repaired, 4 or 5 of them would get together and get it done over a weekend.  If someone needed help with most anything on their land, they got together and got it done.  You scratch my back, I scratch yours situation.  Back when we butchered our own animals, this is the way it was too.  A group would show up at our house for a day, help my dad get a steer or a few pigs done. Then the following day, they all went to one of the other men's homes and did the same thing. 

This mom has also brought up food storage.  I may be alone in this at the moment, but for our current situation (knowing we are going to have to move in less than 6 months), I am not storing much at the moment.  I have a month's worth of the basics.  Once we get to a place where we know we won't be moving (praying for this), my thought is a year's worth of food.  At one point I had our storage up to 6 months of food, and it was a blessing when I was in a very hard spot and had to live off that.

I think it is more important to store things like seeds long term.  Can what you need for the year, much like the pioneers did.  But to stock 10yrs of food seems foolish to me.  What if you couldn't stay in your current location?  If you had to leave your home, you couldn't take 10yrs of food with you unless you had a tractor trailer truck.  I think being able to grow your own food, no matter where you end up, is far more important, thus seeds.  They store well, take up little space, and can be taken with you.  Now, if I found a great deal on something that I know we use daily (toilet paper for instance), I would most definitely stock up.  I don't remember where I saw it, but someone online stored their toilet paper by flattening the rolls and putting it in totes.  This is a great space saver, and allows you to store more.

Along the lines of protection, she laughed when I talked about a young person I saw on a clip of the Doomsday Preppers show, who said that if marauders came he would just share his food and befriend them.  I talked about how foolish this is and she agreed.  But less than a half hour later, was shocked when I told her that she and her husband should learn how to shoot.  

In a SHTF situation, you have to have not only protection, but a way to hunt.  I hate fish...I refuse to live on fish for my meat.  I would rather have a 22 rifle or pistol, and be able to shoot some real meat.  She seems to take this in, but is also reluctant to really take it to heart.  You can give advice till you are blue in the face, but if someone isn't willing to really hear, or try new things, it is pointless.

My main advice to her:  Learn to do things for yourself.  Learn to shoot.  Learn to cook without modern conveniences.  Learn to do wash in a basic tub,and wring out by hand.  Learn to build a shelter. Learn how to cut down and split wood by hand (gives you both heat and cooking, and a way to preserve hygiene).

She asked what today's teens would do...would they survive?  Both the other mom (a local herself) and I piped up "Our kids will be fine".  See, all of our kids know how to use a bow, a gun, fish, etc.  They have learned these skills from us, their parents.  We learned them from our parents.  Yes there will be a learning curve on somethings that they don't have to do on a daily basis, things I did when I was their age, but they would learn, just like I did.  This homeschool mom is super over protective with her 2 boys (10 and 8).  They aren't allowed to do very many things that normal boys do, without her hovering over them, "don't get dirty" "don't hurt yourself", etc.  That's what boys do, it's part of how they become men.  Learning by trial and error.

All of this is a bit of a ramble, but I thought I would put it out there......How should you prep?  Thoughts welcomed!


  1. Hubby and I always talk about how the youth of today in cities are completely unprepared for ANYTHING. The kids in this area ALL hunt and fish and grow gardens. Town kids---they don't know a thing except TEXT TEXT TEXT......LOL!

  2. I am the 7th generation of my farm family back in this valley and I really don't understand how people live without helping each other. It's not even something we think about, we just go out and help the neighbors or they come here and help us. I meet people who talk about getting to know their neighbors and it just startles me for a moment. I would be broke if I had to pay for all the work neighbors have done for me. And vice versa.

    I have a couple different ways of looking at the gun issue. First, anyone who thinks they don't need one in a survival situation is a bit off their rocker. A gun is used more than just killing zombies for goodness sake. The are used for butchering big animals, hunting, predator control and even for communication. It's a sound that travels a long way.

    My other way of looking at things though is that if a person is thinking that having a gun is going to hold off hoards of people, they have watched a bit too much TV. Guns for protection are useless against many people. Not telling people about your stuff, looking scruffy and and hungry, and perhaps begging THEM for food (like you don't have any) are much better ways of surviving than trying to kill a whole batch of people.

    Even one very smart person can get around a gun. They wait until everything is calm, then they lob a molotov through the window. Nail the doors shut while people are sleeping and burn the place down. Poison the water source. Ther are many sneaky ways of killing people. Waving a gun around in the air may get a person killed faster than just pretending you are one of the sheep.

    A couple thoughts on my part. You wrote a good piece here.

  3. I think that you gave her great advice! I would have told her the same thing - and then to JUST START doing it!! It's overwhelming at first, but once you get going it all strts to fall into place.

  4. If and When the SHTF, People like your friend will not make it! And her kids will not make it. Until all people learn to prepair for that time, They will not make it!
    The Pioneers had it right! They could protect them self's and grow/preserve there own food, put a roof over their heads and Help others to do the same!
    For the most part, Man will not make it!

  5. It's probably about 50/50 here in our small town Sue.

  6. Great points Rea! Thanks for stopping by, appreciate your input.

  7. Couldn't agree more Mystic...you have to practice what you don't know, or aren't sure of.

  8. You are most likely right Tom...she is too busy thinking, instead of doing.

  9. Late though I am, I'll jump in here. The best thing any of us can do to be prepared for anything is to take back some personal responsibility. We have opted out on doing things for ourselves: hunting, fishing, sewing, gardening, cooking, cut wood, can and preserve, build an outhouse, all of the skills we used to know how to do to take care of ourselves. Now if we have the money we pay to have it done or expect others to do it for us. Take some personal responsibility in re-learning how to take care of yourself. Take a class (or classes) if need be. Read books on basic survival. Learn how to identify and cook/eat wild foods growing in your area. Learn how to cook from scratch. Stop using prepackaged convenience foods. If the trucks stop delivering to the grocery stores, "convenient" food won't be available. Stock your house with candles, lanterns, batteries for emergency lighting. Give thought to how you will get water if city supplied water isn't coming out of the tap. The list goes on from the very basics of food, clothing and shelter to re-educating ourselves on how to communicate with and be kind and helpful to our neighbors.

  10. I think that everyone's situation is different. We all have different needs and different priorities. But, we all NEED to be prepared for emergencies. I don't know about many youth but I like to think that my children will do OK. Some of my co-workers and many of my children's friends- not so much. I think we all have to learn what we need to do to survive. Sadly, my husband and I have different ideas about the gun issue. I grew up on a farm where we always had guns around. He grew up in the suburbs and has never fired a gun. I think we need a gun out here on the acreage for predator control (and security) but he disagrees. We'll work it out eventually.
    Good luck with your 'friend'. But really, you can tell people what they need to know and that is all you can do. You can't make them change their ways.


  11. So well said as always Mama Pea! That is one of the things I have kept trying to get her to understand....learn and do. If there isn't X, Y, or Z...how do you get it?

  12. You are right on all counts Judy, especially the last. She can ask, and I can answer till I am blue in the face, but if she doesn't take the actual steps for her family, then there is nothing else I can do.