Survival Mom to Survival Mom! Tips to help you prep,Part 1

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image by akk_rus

This month we had more readers than ever enter the Survival Mom of the Month, and they all had great tips for prepping. I wanted to thank them personally and include some of their tips here, so we can all learn from each other.

From TS:

  • Many folks who comment have been prepping for years. If you have a relative who lived through the Great Depression, ask about their life and times, it will really open your eyes.
  • I convinced my youngest to join scouting as a way for everyone to learn basic survival skills. I freely admit I was clueless in this area and needed help but couldn’t afford to spend $$$ on survival schools or take time off from work. However after joining scouting, we did plan our family vacations around badges and involved the whole family in the learning process. My son earned more arrow points for accoplishments than we could fit on his small uniform. This lead to my older daughter and son joining a Co-Ed venture scout organization. Where else could they learned how to scuba dive and shoot a .22 in one day?

From Cara:

  • Having a basement was a top priority when purchasing a home for my family. Both shelter and storage for inventory are resolved with this decision.
  • Begin a food inventory and track your families food patterns. Having the right food during a crisis will be comforting and create stability during uncertain times.

From Judy:

  • We have created a nucleus group of 4 families (My husband & myself; our daughter #1 & her family–husband, 2 children; our daughter #2–herself & her 11 yo daughter; and a close family friend & her husband). Each of us possess a skill set that will be invaluable in any of these events.
  • We have family meetings to review what we have learned individually & to plan for the month to come.

From Angie:

  • Start small. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Work on a weeks’ worth of food and water and build from there.]

From Liz:

  • We have watched online sales to stock up on long-term storage foods (Freeze-Dry Guy, GoFoods, Shelf Reliance). There are some fantastic promos, but you have to keep a sharp eye and price compare. Plus, we get a wide variety of foods, including some smaller pouches that are easy to pack and are great for family camping.
  • For birthdays in our family, each celebrant gets to choose a way to increase our preparedness or a camp-friendly item. It may be taking a class on how to build a solar panel (including supplies to build it!) or a campfire cooking rack.
  • Start with items you’d use for a weekend campout at a local park, then think of camping necessities if you had to camp in the back woods for a week. Finally, supplement with camping items that can be easily carried (e.g., personal water filter vs. Big Berkey). I like to think of prepping as multiple levels of camp readiness. The idea of being ready for a campout is more fun than telling your family and friends you’re prepping for a calamity.

From Kim:

  • We’ve stocked up on repair supplies, like plumbing parts and stocked up on firewood, batteries, etc. in case of power outages. Also, tractor chains to pull trees from roads, fuel for chainsaws to clear.
  • Give every family member a responsibility. Have a common meeting place. Give everyone the number for a family member out of the area to call in case of emergency, they can let everyone else know you’re ok or how to help.

From Louise:

  • Start with emergency kits and teaching your children how to use them, and how to utilize a family emergency plan. Make a “what my family needs to know” binder. Then start storing extra food stuff that you cook regularly, and start storing water. Eventually you will begin learning to cook items from ‘scratch’, because it is so much more economical and practical in case of a long term household income loss such as a job loss.
  • We practice bugging out in minivan and on foot, teaching my children how to cook with food storage and to forage for food while on bug-out walks, teaching my children first aid, teaching my children how to fix mechanical things (small engine repair, replace the brakes on our vehicles, change oil, etc,.) teaching my children how to use the contents of the their bug-out bags (build fire, setup shelter, purify water, etc,.), teaching my children about quarantining themselves from people who may be sick, and how to properly use a plunger. A LOT of teaching my children things, in case I’m not with them….practice, practice, practice.

From Jamie:

  • I am most concerned about natural disasters and food shortages/rapid price increases. It just seems natural to me to be concerned about a blizzard or about peanut butter prices tripling because both of those examples have already happened. So why not do the best that you can to be prepared?
  • I tracked how long it took us to use a pack of toilet paper and then used that information to stock up on a year’s supply when toilet paper was on sale. I always keep track of the sales and stock up.
  • At first I just started doing a little bit here and there, but then I came up with a master plan. This summer we are re-roofing and insulating the house and installing a container garden on the porch. Next summer we are going to install a wood burning stove (we live in northern Michigan) and plant blackberries/blueberries/grapes. Then the summer after that we will probably be installing a grey water system for the garden/lawn/plants and/or building a greenhouse.
  • Don’t stay up late at night worrying. Start now. Do what you can. And don’t get so caught up in the details and to-dos that you forget why you are preparing in the first place. Remember to relax and spend time with your family!

From Shannon:

  • Over the last few years I have educated myself more than anything, to prepare for a disaster of any type. I invest in myself and my family. We have been transitioning to become fully self-sustaining. We have skills that are necessary in today and tomorrow’s unknown.
  • The smartest prep I ever started was filling 2liter bottles and storing them in the freezer. We have had many power outages and those bottles have saved us in more than one way! Best piece of advice…have someone you can trust to discuss.

From Carol:

  • We’re using our second floor for most prepping supplies in case of flooding. Also looking into storing underground, with large concrete cased waterproof area for earthquake or flood situation.
  • I try to cover all my bases each time I purchase something or gain a new skill. Not focusing in on just one area for prepping is important. Food, water, clothing, shelter, “money”, electricity, all are important and should be given priority each week/month or however you purchase for prepping.
  • Make sure you have a way to protect yourself, your family and what you have so carefully obtained for your survival. It doesn’t have to be guns, but guns are the most versatile deterrent. Knives, pepper or bear spray, bats/sticks are all good as well. Even paint ball guns, air pistols and bows and arrows will work. A closed mouth attitude is also good, as you don’t want everyone within range of your voice to know what you have and where you live.
  • Apple cider vinegar is useful for food, personal care like hair rinse, antibacterial and disinfecting properties and it has many medicinal uses, so with the purchase of this one item I have many needs covered. Coconut oil is the same: it has medicinal uses, food uses, it can even be used as fuel or lighting. White vinegar is great for many cleaning and disinfecting uses.




There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2013 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

    Also check your state’s conservation website. The state I live in offers free basic handgun and riffle classes (they even provide the guns). They even offer one-on-one instruction courses where you bring your own gun/amo but the instructor time is free. As well as duck calling, crossbow and more. The outside range is only $3/hr which is great for those of us that are on a tight budget.

  2. Pat O'Cat says

    Nora, Wow!, what the heck state do YOU live in?! I may relocate!

    I’m in gun-grabbing Delaware and we are currently mourning the recent sale in our southern-most county of a major shooting range to the state gov’t, who is planning to turn it into offices for the state’s Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the storm troopers of our state government’s Agenda 21 push.
    Meanwhile, we’re sure they’ll be checking IDs and noting weapons of anyone using the range before they just shut it down… de facto gun-registry, precursor to gun confiscation…

  3. Pat O'Cat says

    But I would also like to say, I am appreciating all the tips collected here.
    I think a periodic collection of random tips like this would be great.

  4. Shannon says

    @Rozetta…I have a few friends and family members who have the “I have a small space and cannot store anything” mentality. The first thing I told them is to get under bed storage containers. They are long and not too high. You’d be surprised how much you can actually clear out of cabinets and closets to make room. Best start? Go through every room and ask yourself “What do I NEED?” Anything that has been sitting and not used for over 3-5 months, sell it or donate it. Use that space to reorganize and make storage happen. Some twin beds have drawers under them, some can have uplifters place on them. Bathroom cabinets can be reorganized and have the extras you may need. Under furniture, behind furniture…LOOK around, you’ll be surprised how much room you can find. Good luck.

  5. Mel says

    In terms of storage, storage is everywhere it becomes a mentality, I like my home to look like a ‘normal’ suburban home so dry mix soup, single serve vac bag rice etc. Can be taped behind cabinets, under coffee tables. In your study get a carton of paper after you have used half the box empty it put dry food, first aid or extra medication in the bottom and put the paper back in, don’t use that box for paper anymore, it’s disguised and you have a fuel source in a pinch.

    Also For our family smaller serves work better week in week out use, also I think if you needed to trade you can hand over a box or bag and your not giving everything away, same with theft. If your storage is small you can distribute it, hide it and use it more effectively.

    For my big storage tubs I don’t use clear I don’t want anyone looking in, I put colored stickers on the front so I know what’s in there eg. Green for food red for first aid, purple for toilet paper, feminine products, tin foil etc. This is also handy when you bury items you can put the same colored paint on your sealed tub if you’re madly digging for first aid you won’t bother opening a green tub because you know it’s food not medicine.

    Bookshelves are great for storage you can put tins in the back and lay the books sideways stacked, those books are now a disguise, fuel source and help reduce cabin fever and keep you sane. If you have kids make sure familiar comforting books are in easy reach.

    We have a one day per day planner I staple all our receipts in it at the end of every day, it helps you track price rises/changes, your consumption and step back and see what you’re spending your money on vs. Your need sometimes it can jolt you back on budget.

    Another thing we do is we have mixed 3 lettuce and 4 spinach plants into our garden bed out the front, you have to go looking for them but have a few edibles and herbal plants spread around gives you more room out the back for the serious veggie patch, plus there always seems to be one lot of plants that get sacrificed to the birds, bugs etc. So you might even have enough left over to eat! Lol

    On a feminine hygiene issue I know there a million uses for tampons but I use the washable liners 1. In an emergency situation you can sterilize them and use them to absorb blood from wounds, there is less waste so you’re not attracting attention to your home that someone is there. Also you may not want to advertise on your garbage that there are females in the house ( in paranoid mode now)

    At the end of the day survival is a mentality as a species we’ve lasted this long through famines, wars, diseases and we will continue to do so if you have the right attitude you can do anything

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