Welcome to The Survival Mom!
The Survival Mom blog was launched on June 1, 2009, by super-newbie blogger, me, Lisa Bedford, and is now read by hundreds of thousands of visitors each month from around the world. When I first started the blog, it was partially a way to work through my own angst with the world in general and the economy specifically. It was a hobby, but one that kept growing and growing.
When I started prepping back then, it seemed like a fad – a temporary reaction to a bad economy and troubled times. Either things would truly and catastrophically fall apart, or things would go back to normal, like they did with Y2K worries. Several years, 1600+ posts, and millions of page views later, that clearly isn’t the case. Unemployment and record numbers of Americans on food stamps continues and a chaotic world has become even more unbalanced and unstable.
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Hi! I’m Lisa Bedford. Maybe I’m better known as The Survival Mom!
I’m the mother of two spectacular homeschooled children and wife to a kind and patient man.
I’ve always been a news junkie, but in early 2009, news headlines hit a little too close to home with stories of an American economy that was near to rock bottom, layoffs and bankruptcies everywhere, and with just a quick look around my neighborhood I saw how those stories were affecting everyday people like me. So many good, hardworking people lost their jobs, homes, and financial security, almost overnight.
I knew it could happen to us.
That’s when I began digging around the internet for information about how I, an average suburban mom, could protect my family and our lifestyle. It didn’t take long before I ended up in the realm of the doomers, survivalists with tips for food storage, purifying water, and dealing with snipers!
I sorted through mountains of information, found what applied to my family, and got busy “prepping”. I had no idea what preppers were. I only knew that I could be proactive and prepare for emergencies by doing what moms have always done — taking charge and getting things done!
Now I’m a prepper
In late 2009, I started The Survival Mom blog and, coincidentally, preppers hit the news in a big way. I was interviewed by a reporter from Newsweek magazine, just 4 months after my blog started. She had heard that prepping was a big trend. Many other interviews followed, but the problem for many of these reporters was that I was so…normal. Most of them were looking the dramatic, the weird, the fringe.
We didn’t have a bunker. We didn’t have drills to see how fast we could don gas masks and Tyvek suits, and we weren’t teaching our kids how to forage for edible insects. In fact, we were so much like every other family that one reporter said, “You seem so…happy and normal.”
Why, thanks! I like to think of myself as just a very smart and very aware mom who will do whatever it takes to safeguard her family. This article on Vice explains a bit more about my prepping perspective.
My blog is over 7 years old, with 1700 articles on just about every topic you can imagine. I usually write about:
Why read my blog? How is it different?
First of all, preppers are not survivalists. Preppers have chosen to continue a lifestyle that is outwardly identical, or nearly so, to any other person in their area. In most ways, there lives are identical to everyone else. The kids still have activities, most still go to day jobs in an office or store, and they celebrate holidays and do all the things everyone else does.
The big difference is that preppers quietly plan for the possibility of an emergency where all those things we take for granted disappear, even if it’s “only” because of a job loss or natural disaster. No one needs to see the deep pantry of freeze-dried, dehydrated, and canned food in their basement. Their choice to have an herb garden isn’t going to alarm anyone, but that garden isn’t there just for decoration. Rather, the preppers are learning about herbal remedies. That sudden interest in backyard chickens or raising bees isn’t just a fad to a prepper but just one more way to become self-reliant, whether it’s in the city, suburbs, or on a homestead. Preppers prepare their own families for lean times and worst case scenarios in a myriad of ways.
Just like grandma did it!
Here’s a simple way to look at it: Preppers strive to live the way our grandparents did, as self-sufficiently as possible. Admittedly, that includes things like solar panels to power modern gadgets and possibly Faraday cages to protect some critical electronics, but (electronics aside) it is closer to the way people lived 100 years ago than the average consumer-driven, just-in-time lifestyle so many live today.
You’ll find The Survival Mom site to be quite different from most other survival and prepper blogs and websites because, first, I’m a mom. There are plenty of blogs that revel in scare tactics and promoting one apocalyptic theory after another. Me? I just want to have a plan to handle everyday emergencies and am prepared for worst case scenarios at the most practical level possible. That’s why my Costco runs always including picking up 2 or 3 cases of their toilet paper and multi-packages of ibuprofen!
Are you old enough to remember Y2K? It was one very specific, easily-addressed issue. Once that was resolved, the immediate cause for concern was gone and people returned to their old habits. After all, Y2K prepping was largely about stockpiling for one specific event, and possibly some work to make your home off-grid.
As an FYI, preppers aren’t preparing for a single issue. Most are preparing for a variety of unavoidable real-world problems. Things like job losses, storms, power outages, and economic problems are a part of the cycle of life. We all know they will come, just not when. Preppers have made a choice to be prepared for them, whenever that happens.
Technically, the future has always been uncertain. A massive earthquake could take out half of the United States at any moment, I suppose. What makes right now different is the uncertainty on so many levels: the economy, national security, natural disasters, and a world increasingly filled with threats against our country and citizens. Prepping is about making sure you and your family are ready, no matter what happens!
Several years ago, I was approached by a New York literary agent, who asked me if I had ever thought of writing a book. I had, but was a little terrified at the prospect! He walked me through the process from drafting a proposal through finishing the manuscript (120,000 words!!) and then sold my book to Harper One. That was my first book, Survival Mom, a 300+ page family survival manual.
Now, a little braver and a lot more experienced, I’ve launched into self-publishing and have plans to publish a series called Survival Mom’s No Worries Guides. The first in that series is my newest title, Emergency Evacuations.
Several contributing writers to my blog have published books themselves, and you’ll find them in my Survival Mom Store.
20 Random things about me
- I once lived on a kibbutz in Israel and learned how to clean the guts out of chickens. (Dead ones.)
- I speak a smattering of several languages — sometimes in the same sentence.
- When I graduated from college I moved to a tiny town that bordered the Navajo reservation. That’s where I learned a few (naughty) words in Navajo.
- I used to live in a home that used only a wood burning stove for warmth.
- I really, really don’t like to cook.
- I’ve held more jobs than anyone I know.
- I’m the least domestic woman I’ve ever met. I have to hire someone to tell me how to arrange my furniture or pick out a paint color for my walls. Lame.
- In 2012, I published my first book. I was so proud that I was able to write 120,000 words.
- I used to own an all-women podcasting network. Maybe someday I’ll resurrect it.
- I used to be a classroom teacher and taught grades 4, 7, and 8.
- More than anything, I love to travel.
- I’ve been to nearly every country in Europe.
- I’m a 100% Christ follower. He has changed my life completely.
- I’m always second guessing myself. Maybe it’s the oldest child syndrome.
- I’m a starter, not a finisher.
- My kids are the best thing that ever happened to me.
- I rarely wear makeup. Not because I’m anti-makeup. I’m just lazy.
- I have a bad habit of binge-watching series on Netflix.
- I’m a news junkie.
- I live in Texas but couldn’t dance the two-step to save my life. Waltz across Texas? Nah.
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