Yes, storm clouds are brewing. Here’s what you need to do NOW!

  • image by kevin dooley

    Trust your gut, your instinct, your woman’s intuition, or whatever you want to call it. If you’re feeling a little extra uneasy about the future, take some common sense steps to prepare yourself and your family.

  • From this point forward, make printed copies of articles, lists, how-to instructions, recipes, survival tips, etc. and begin a Survival Mom binder. A computer virus could erase all your bookmarked websites, a computer crash could “disappear” all your documents, a power outage could insure your computer becomes nothing more than a large paperweight. Hard copies organized by topic and kept in a 3-ring binder is your back-up .
  • Add to your stash of basic food products. This can be done easily with a quick trip to Walmart. Prices are increasing and will continue to do so. Food will never be cheaper than it is right now, so do your family a favor and, at the very least, buy the basics. M.D. Creekmore has put together this basic shopping guide of very inexpensive items. The key right now is to build up a good supply. You can add to your stash later, but get stocked up on the basics now. Here’s another food planning list for extremely tight budgets.
  • If Costco or Sam’s Club is more to your liking, I have a downloadable shopping guide here that will help steer you toward items that will come in handy in a crisis, including food.
  • Spend money sparingly. Inflation is a fact of life. There’s no indication, at all, that the prices of food, gas, energy, and other necessities will be decreasing any time soon. Buy second hand whenever possible. I’ve found that upscale consignment stores have amazing bargains on good quality, fashionable clothes and shoes. Let someone else pay top dollar! You have better things to do with your money.
  • Make a point to spend lots of time with family and friends. This is the time to build and strengthen bonds with people. Trust me. In stressful times you will be glad to have a shoulder to cry on, friends to laugh with, and family to hug. Invite another family over for potluck, a board game night, it doesn’t have to be fancy, and your house doesn’t have to look perfect. In the past week or so, my family has enjoyed spending time with two families over dinner, talking about our kids, news of the day, and yes, preparedness. It has been a relief, actually, to know there are others on the same page.
  • Spend some time focusing on feeding the spiritual you. Each of us is spirit, soul, and body, but when it comes to preparedness, it’s easy to focus on everything but our spiritual selves. Whether it’s prayer, reading the Bible, listening to uplifting music, or reflecting on inspirational quotes, we all need to feed and nurture the spirit.
  • �Start making more meals and food items from scratch. If you’re buying granola bars, find a good recipe and make them yourself! Any store-bought food can be homemade. Have you ever thought of making your own saltines or Cheez-Its? Challenge yourself to learn how to make homemade bread without a bread maker. Check out our Skill of the Month page for ideas and information.
  • Speaking of skills, strive to learn at least one new skill a month. This month my husband and I enrolled in amateur radio classes and later in October I’m taking a 2-day Wilderness FirstAid course. Keep learning something new every single month!
  • Start getting in shape. Hey, I don’t like exercising either, but I have made a point to walk several miles each week and work out on weight machines as well. I’m no spring chicken but after just a month, my muscles are stronger and my endurance has increased greatly. If you ever have to walk out of a disaster scenario or run for your life, you don’t want those extra pounds around your middle slowing you down! Remember, if you’re vulnerable, your kids are, too! A strong mama or grandma is far more capable of protecting the young ones.
  • Learn how to shoot a gun. I don’t care if you grew up in the era of, “guns are evil” or not. Don’t let some politically correct, ivory-towered “expert” convince you otherwise. The truth is, guns are simply a tool. Learn how to handle them safely, learn how to shoot with a degree of accuracy, and teach your children both gun safety and shooting skills. If you’ve never shot a gun before, start with a .22 rifle or pistol.
  • Stay focused and do something every day to become better prepared. A year or two from now if life has returned to the normal that we remember, pre-2008 or so, you will have money in the bank from your frugality, extra food in the pantry, a slew of handy and fun skills, and a large group of trusted friends. What’s the downside of that?

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.

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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.

(17) Readers Comments

  1. All great advice, as usual,Lisa.

    • As we are diabetic and cannot have white rice how long can we store brown rice or bismati rice which are lover in starch.

      • The colder you can store brown rice, the longer its shelf life. Brown rice can become rancid which is why most sources of information say it has a shelf life of just about 6 months or so, but I’ve known people who store it in basements and cellars and report that the smell and taste doesn’t change after 2 or 3 years, or more. If this isn’t possible, try storing smaller amounts that you will rotate through more quickly and be sure to include oxygen absorbers in the containers.

  2. I’ll pipe in with my bi or tri-annual challenge. You say: “Spend money sparingly. Inflation is a fact of life.”

    I’ll re-argue that if you think inflation is coming or we are in a severe inflationary cycle you should be spending your dollars. Why keep in the bank dollars that are shrinking. Buy necessities that have long shelf lives. If inflation is here they are wise investments. I’m seriously looking into propane as a back up heating source for this winter and think a cash outlay of $2,000-3,000 will leave me more prepared and with a better store of value than money in the bank. I should mention I live in one of the colder climates in the lower 48 and have only electrical heat right now.

    But even if you are in a southern state I would rather have my money on shelf stable staples on the shelf than shrinking dollars in the bank.

    If you want to stay liquid but fear inflation than maybe putting some money in silver might be right.

    Maybe if you said to spend money wisely then I’d agree, but spend money sparingly in times of inflation is a logical non-sequiter.

    • Well hello there! Again! LOL In this particular piece I am advising people to spend sparingly because most people have very spare money to spend! Maybe I should have clarified myself and used the word, “wisely,” as you suggest, because now isn’t the time for foolish spending.

      • Yep, I sometimes forget that families who have been following Dave Ramsey’s advice since 2006, have no debt, emergency funds and then some in savings accounts, are in the minority in the US (even for preppers?).

        Getting and staying above water is a bigger, more important step, than wise investing for inflation for most people. So from that point of view – you were right. I always suspected that logic was overrated.

        p.s. Yesterday I cooked up a pound each of dry lentils, dry rice, pasta, and wheat berries. Yesterday we had lentil and wheat sloppy joes – very tasty. Tonight I will make chili with lentils, wheat berries, kidney beans, etc. My family loves ‘em. They started as an experiment but for 6 months now my wife and boys like them more than ground beef. Its an odd and good feeling spending an hour and only $1.60 in staples and knowing they will be the basis for most of the week’s dinners. Particularly when you realize you are eating what you store and storing what you eat.

        Thanks for all your advice through the years.

        • Oops $2.60 in staples.
          .80 ~1 lb lentils
          .50 ~1 lb rice
          .50 ~1 lb wheat
          .80 1 lb pasta

        • Mike, I would like to try some of these on my carnivore husband. I could take or leave meat, but he loves it. Have you made lentil burgers? Before I got married I was pretty much 100% vegetarian and would make those on occasion. Good with various grated veggies.

          • Yes I have done some of that, making patties. We like middle eastern food at our house, so more often I make Kefta patties and even fry up falafel with chickpeas, lentils, or even yellow split peas. I’ve found that meals where the spice and flavoring seem to be strongest usually work very well with lentils. Chili, Sloppy Joes, tacos, even spaghetti.

            My wife thinks of them as guilt-free versions because of the lack of red meat and saturated fats / cholesterol. Its fun for her to remember she can have seconds (she always forgets that they aren’t meat at first).

            Lentils alone work well in the spaghetti and tacos, but for the chili and the sloppy joes 2/3 lentils to 1/3 wheat berries (both cooked pretty al dente ahead of time) give it a very satisfying texture. I start my recipes by frying the precooked lentil / wheat mixture in a tablespoon or 2 of olive oil just like you would brown ground beef (but don’t drain). Then after about 5 or 6 minutes of sizzling on a med high heat, I make the recipes as usual.

  3. Great list, Lisa! We, in our local Southern community, are really feeling those storm clouds brewing. Our local talk radio folks discuss it every day, and it’s really helped me kick it up a notch in the prepping department. Even my parents, who never cared about such things, are prepping, buying guns and ammo. Trusting the Lord and doing what I can to keep my kids and the rest of my loved ones safe.

  4. I was so inspired, I ran out at lunch and bought a 5 gallon water container, beans, rice, and some dry milk.

    It’s amazing how these little steps can be calming.

    • Good for you! You will certainly find uses for all those items, so no money has been wasted AND if there’s a big emergency, you are just that much more prepared. :O)

  5. This is a very good article! I especially like the points of strengthening bonds with relatives and neighbors, and ‘feeding the spiritual you’. I’ve linked to this article in one of my post. Thank you for your inspiration and so many great ideas.

  6. This post hit home. I have been fighting that “nagging feeling” lately. I need to stop ignoring it and do something about it. I have some supplies stocked up but definitely need more. Water being one of the big ones. Thanks for another wonderful post.

  7. I am having a VERY hard talking to my husband about this. He thinks I am //stupid// for thinking about this and does not support me. His eyes gloss over and he tunes me out when ever I bring it up. He believes nothing bad will ever happen – ever – even after all of the violence after this recent 9/11. Did yo uknow there were over 30 violent protests/riots/bombings and murders at US bases/consulates/emasies and not just in the middle east all across Europe and the Pacific as well. All with in a 4 day period after 9/11/2012! We have two small children, and without going into detail, presently reside in Europe, so no quick trips to Walmart for us or Sams for supplies. We could have to evacuate the counrty at a moments notice, or worse if we have to bug in here he will still have to go to work and we will be off in the community without protection or spare anything. It is not really feasable for us to stock up on a LOT of anything because we move so often and we can not ship food and water when we move. About a 6 month supply is all I can balance. I am currently stocking up on winter clothing and gently used larger shoes/boots/ clothes for spring and next summer as well. If I could have my guns here I would SO have them. I just have an increasingly bad feeling.

  8. Last year is when I beefed up my supplies-good thing too-this year-I am so ill and barely working and have been dipping into the big pantry. If I were jumping on the preppers wagon at this late stage-I’d be SOL. Now, I have to purchase as many gluten free products that I can find and have a long road to recovering my GI function again. I’m doing this under a homopathic Dr’s care-NOT big pharma!
    Does everyone here realize that 70% of your immune system is in your GUTS!?
    I’m saving the white flour for trade – as I can never touch it again- can’t have wheat or rye either.
    No wonder I was cranky after eating wheat toast!
    Does anyone else have to deal with this issue??

  9. Like to add in a major one … “don’t worry about perfection”. A lot of hardcore preppers get into the details of debating which gun is best, what foods are best, etc, etc. It can be daunting to a new prepper. The bottomline is, any preparation you do is better than no preparation. If it’s just a first aid kit under the sink, and some extra food and water, at least you’re that much further ahead. Likewise, when folks focus on “prepping” they think “once I’m done prepping, I can go back to living how I did”. The core of prepping is to live a different way. Even if no collapse or emergency happens, learning to live simply, efficiently and effectively will help you every day … to save more money, to have less stress, to always have a plan “b” if something goes wrong, to be self-sufficient. Calling it “prepping” is doing it a disservice, b/c it’s about altering your lifestyle to be more aware and in control…of you, your resources, and how you handle things.

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