21 things I’ve learned about preparedness in 2009

survival-mom-feature-prepared1. It sucks to be a prepper AND a perfectionist.  There will never be enough buckets of wheat or the right combination of hard white, hard red, and soft white.  We’ll never have enough ammo and there will always be, “just one more thing,” I need to put in our Bug Out Bags. 

2.  I’m not crazy.  As one well-known TV personality has described our uncertain future, “There’s a storm coming.”

3.  Ultimately, my faith is in God and His plan for my family, our nation, and our world.  Everything around me seems to be changing so rapidly that I’m not sure what my world will look like when everything has settled.  God’s word will never change, and it gives me confidence for each day and hope for our future.

4.  It’s easier to set priorities when I focus on preparedness basics.

5.  A stash of anything is useless if you don’t know how and when to use it.  Except for chocolate.  There can never be too much chocolate.

6.  After God, family is everything.

7.  Raising confident children with a self-sufficient mindset is more important now than ever.

8.  My preparedness efforts aren’t going to waste.  I’m investing in hard goods that will retain their value.  My family will make good use of those cans of chili beans, bags of pasta, and the twenty-two tubes of toothpaste, even if the apocalypse never becomes a reality.

9.  It’s unrealistic to think that all preppers will somehow be able to afford big plots of land up in Idaho, build zombie-proof homes and outbuildings, and suddenly have all the self-sufficient skills necessary for that lifestyle.

10.  It’s useless to try and persuade people who have made up their minds to ignore warning signs and continue to believe they live in Mayberry.

11.  It looks like we’re in for a much lower standard of living as a nation, and I might as well get started lowering mine now.

12.  There is still so much joy and beauty in life.  Whenever I doubt that, I just have to look at my children to be reminded.

13.  Preparedness includes storing dog food.  I’ve just gotta remember to put it up higher than the dogs can chew next time around.

14.  Every little bit adds up.  I didn’t store up 78 cans of ravioli overnight, but 4 or 5 cans every couple of weeks added up quickly.

15. Losing a home or a job no longer has the same stigma.  There seems to be a feeling of, “We’re all in this together,” so there’s no point in being judgmental toward someone facing eviction or long-term unemployment.  Next week, it could be us.

16.  I used to admire fashionably dressed and impeccably groomed women.  Now, when I see homely dressed women at the wheat and produce pick-up spots, I wonder what they could teach me about food preservation and living a more frugal life.

17.  It’s amazing how quickly kids get used to an adjustment in their reality.  Food storage and family outings to the shooting range are the new “normal” for my kids.

18.  There’s really no substitute for toilet paper.  It doesn’t have to be designer TP or two-ply.  One-ply will work just fine, thank you.  I’d rather have too much TP stored, even if it means getting rid of the boxes of brownie mix in order to make room.

19.  It’s not too late to begin preparing, but the sooner you begin, the better.

20. Tough times, really tough times, can hit anyone regardless of education, past income levels, and assets.

21.  Family and friends are everything.

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© Copyright 2009 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. says

    I'll add one thing. While it is useless to try and convince those that will never understand, find the ones that do and create a network. It will take a group effort to get through what's coming. I agree one hundred percent with the general tenor of your article; nothing big, no giant changes in the day to day, just prepare one little thing at a time. After a couple years things do add up. And, you can only carry so much, anyway. This is definitely a mental game. Preparing the mind and attitude for the adjustments of living even in the best case scenario of our future as we return to living as people did in the past will get you through most of it. Just as you have, we've already reduced our standard of living and made the changes in outlook that will be required of us anyway. And if nothing happens (yea, right) we can use the things we've bought in the normal course of life; if nothing else we will have bought food cheaply compared to what the cost is going to be. Also , changing to a simpler life has made us much happier people.

    The absolute, number one truest statement you made was that you can never have enough toilet paper.

  2. says

    I agree with Tom, it's a mental game. This post should end up being one of your top 10 posts of 2009 (the year isn't over yet.) It's my general theme too. As you know, I'm big on mindset. In any emergency, your knowledge will be your greatest asset. I'm glad you mentioned your faith, another mindset preparation, I would like to see everyone improve upon, including me!

    • says

      I'm going to print out your comment as a reminder, Raven! I tend to prefer social sports to working out on my own. I like step aerobics, water aerobics, anything with other people. Put my on a treadmill in my own bedroom, alone, and I want to DIE! I'll put your slogan to the test tomorrow and see what happens!

  3. chacha says

    I just found your website and have been very encouraged by what you have shared! We share the same concerns, and are also grounded by faith, that God will provide for us (it just may not look like what we want or expect!). Today I was out pricing bulk foods, and think that we'll get a lot of our basic foods via LDS–seems their cost is quite low when you factor in the storage containers that they can provide.

  4. Schmaral says

    What do you do with all the stuff you've saved over time when you lose your job then your house? You can't fit six rooms of prep/garden/living/ammo stuff in a cheapie apartment in the worst part of town. You can't afford a storage locker or you'd be eventually have to live in it.

    • RevLong says

      actually yes you can i lost my house back in 2001 and my larger stuff like 6 barrels and a woodstove and construction items went to my ex brother in law everything else got put in a U haul and brought to WV from PA..i have even been homeless 2 times here in WV and put furniture and gear in 8X10 storage sheds while my family and i lived in a hotel room ..when we found a house we moved everything there and then kept it untill the next move..

  5. says

    Well, you can hoard piles and piles of toilet paper, but I am thinking of a different way of doing it. Buy cloth diapers, cut it into fourths. Put a stack in the bathroom, along with a bucket filled with soapy water, like Dreft. Back in the old days, we didn’t have disposable diapers, we simply washed cloth ones and reused the again and again. So, use a quarter diaper to clean up and toss it in the bucket. Use a plunger with holes cut in the top of the bowl as a plunger and put a hole in the lid to let the plunger through. You now have a manual washing machine for all your bathroom rags…


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