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