The winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (April) is Jamie, aka Prepared Housewives.
What Possible Emergencies are You Preparing For?
MY REALITY CHECK:
A few days after Hurricane Ike hit I went to the store as soon as it re-opened to get some food for my family. I wasn’t expecting to find what I did… bare shelves! Anything left that looked remotely edible people were desperately grabbing at. All I could do is step back and wonder how in just a matter of 3 days we had come to this.
The kindness and compassion people once showed towards one another was quickly turning into selfishness and survival. Who could blame them, though? Our lives depend so much on having food at the stores, and gas at the pumps, that most of us literally don’t know how to survive even a week without them.
I may have walked out of the store empty-handed, but I left with a determination to become more self-reliant. I vowed I would do all I could to prepare myself and my family. I never again wanted to look my children in the eyes and apologize that I spent my money and time filling my closet instead of our pantry.
DISASTERS – Natural, Financial, Society, etc.
After Hurricane Ike, it made me realize things can happen, and when they do it can happen fast leaving you not much time to prepare! Luckily, the hurricane was on a smaller scale and not many people went without power for more than two weeks.
The question that really scared me and put things into perspective was, “What if it was on a larger scale for a longer period of time?” People could barely survive those 2 weeks, including myself, and I was determined to do more to prepare.
I originally just focused on storing a little extra food, but when Hurricane Ike hit I realized really fast, with no electricity, I had no way of cooking any of it. So first on my list was learning how to use alternative cooking methods. The word apparently got out, and now I have been stuck with doing the alternative cooking booth at the Community Emergency Fair the past 2 years 🙂 So watch out, someone might snag you too!
After reading the book “One Second After,” I’ve also started looking at different scenarios that I might be faced with and prepping for those too. The book made me realize I needed to look at having medicines for my family, consider how I would protect my home, and make sure I have some back-up plans!
Frankly, I hate going to the store, and adding 4 kids to the mix is a disaster in itself. Before I get to aisle one, I have the older kids throwing everything into the cart, and the babies throwing everything out. Becoming prepared is much more then prepping for major disasters, but for me, also prepping for those Everyday Emergencies!
Knowing I have enough tampons, toilet paper, detergent, food, cash, etc. right at home really brings me peace. I hated feeling chained to the store for EVERYTHING, and feeling like I always needed to go for one more thing. Not only have I worked on getting my year supply of food, but also a year supply of basic necessities. I only want to go to the store if I NEED to go, never because I HAVE to go!
What have you done to prepare your home and family for these possible emergencies?
For years I worked on buying a little extra here or there, which helped, but in the end I just had a bunch of stuff that I still didn’t really know what to do with. Last year, I finally forced myself to sit down and create a plan, and this is the first thing I recommend to ANYONE that asks how to start. If you don’t know where you are going you will never get there!
I went ahead and planned out 36 meals x 10 so I had 360 meals for the year. I did the same with breakfast, dessert and anything else I wanted in my food storage. I transferred all the ingredients into an excel spreadsheet which told me how much I need for the year, the shelf-life, a conversion chart, etc. Once I created the plan, the shopping was the easy part. All I had to do was go down my list each month and buy what my budget could afford. I replaced going out to eat, and instead used that $100-200 a month for things on my list.
DO SOMETHING EACH MONTH:
Becoming prepared for me was taking time each month to actually doing something to get there! You can give excuses all day why you don’t do things, I know because I’ve given plenty of them, but I just finally had to stop excusing and start doing! Here are some of the things I try to do each month:
- LEARN A NEW SKILL – Each month I try to learn or work on a new skill. Some things I’ve learned how to do is vacuum-seal chocolate chips, can beef/chicken, store food in mylar bags/buckets, preserve eggs, cook with freeze-dried foods, practice cooking with alternative methods. There is so much to learn, but doing a little at a time makes it fun and gives me a challenge.
- BUY MORE FOOD/SUPPLIES – I went ahead and set aside some money each month to go towards the food I needed from my plan or big purchase items. It ended up not costing as much as I thought, and now I’m saving money, because I know how to buy in bulk and actually use the food I’m storing.
- TRY TO HELP OTHERS: I definitely learn the most when I’m teaching or helping others, so here are a few things that’s I’ve tried doing.
- CREATED A BLOG – When I find out something that really helps me, it’s hard to keep it in. I would love to help others by prepping for them too, but that’s just not realistic, I’ve come to realize it’s an individual decision. I went ahead and decided to put my effort into helping others by starting a blog 6 months ago. I originally started the blog to help my family and people in our community become better prepared, but it’s been a great tool to connect with other preppers and open up a new world to me that I never knew existed. I was constantly being asked how I did certain things so the blog was a great way to post answers to some of their questions. My goal in the blog was to simplify and make food storage not so intimidating! I’m hoping people will be encouraged to take that first and have the tools they need to meet their goals.
- MONTHLY FOCUS – A friend of mine used to do a monthly focus each month and this helped me a ton. She would pick one area of preparedness to focus on and we would work on that. I’ve tried to replicate that and put an area to focus on each month with some goals on the blog. It forces me to research and learn new things so I can help share it with others.
- LUNCH BUNCH – It’s expensive to try some of the products out there like freeze-dried cheese, and you don’t want to buy a case just to realize you hate it. So I just formed a group to give us an opportunity each month to try out and sample different products. I think this will really help me a ton in my preparedness by giving me opportunities to practice and finally have an excuse to use some of the things I own. This month we are trying out our Wonder Ovens, so that should be fun! Anyone is always welcome to join us, or follow along on the blog!
What resources (books, websites, etc.) have helped you the most in preparing?
I have to give a lot of credit here, this is who truly inspired me and gave me that extra push and help I needed! I attended a few of her classes and when I went home I scoured her blog. It had so many wonderful power-points, documents, videos, and other tools that got me started!
Finally, someone who simplified everything! After watching Wendy Dewitt’s You Tube Presentation I finally had the feeling I could actually do it. No longer did I feel totally overwhelmed and confused. Her video is a must see, and her document (Everything Under The Sun), was the first resource that went into my Preparedness Binder. When learning new skills, and beginning my plan, I started with her recommendations first before moving on.
One thing I’ve always been a little hesitant on is starting a garden, that was until a couple weeks ago when I went to a presentation on the Mittleider Gardening Method! I can’t wait to try it out. My cousin just got her garden in and I’m starting mine this week. LDS Prepper has created numerous videos on everything about the garden to help simplify it for novices like me 🙂
PREPPER BLOGS & VIDEOS:
There are countless other blogs and videos that have helped me when I’m stuck, helped to open my eyes, or given me ideas! I truly appreciate the people that have taken time to post, make videos, and help me along the way. Often times they get nothing in return and sometimes have to deal with criticism and skeptics. I’m especially grateful for Survival Mom, who really supports all the women and moms out there when they need it most!
FINDING CHEAP STUFF 🙂
One of the biggest helps for me was finding bulk items for great prices. Here are some of my favorite places that have helped me finish my food storage and save me money!
- BOUNTIFUL BASKETS – This is a food co-op I joined and for a nominal amount of money you leave with a big basket of fruits and veggies!
- THRIVE LIFE– I love all their freeze-dried food options! I think what really helped me finish my food storage was joining the QClub where I could put all the food I needed to purchase in the Q and then they would send me food each month with the budget I set up.
- HOME STORAGE CENTERS: –These are operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but anyone can use them. I go here to get all the bulk items I can’t purchase at Sams or other stores!
- BITHELL FARMS – Whenever they come to our area I try and stock up on fruits to make jam with and put in my freezer!
- AMAZON – Pretty much everything else I find here! Surprisingly, they have a lot of preparedness products like oxygen absorbers, mylar bags, hand-held sealers, canners, sun-ovens and much more for some of the lowest prices I can find!
What advice do you have for New Survival Moms who want to prepare their families as well?
GET A BUDDY 🙂
Get a friend, neighbor, mom, sister, or even your dog, but having someone can help more than you know. Find a group in your area, or even be brave and just form your own. I’ve tried doing it on my own and that works, but this past year I really got serious when I started doing it with a friend of mine. We would inspire each other and keep each other going when sometimes we started to get a little discouraged in our efforts. At times it can feel like a marathon, so find a cheerleader to cheer you on 🙂 Plus doing things with friends is always much more fun!
FIND YOUR MOTIVATION!
Like anything, having a drive to keep you going is key. What is your true motivation? Some people are motivated by fear the world is going to collapse, others have lived through experiences they never want to go through again, and then there are people like me, that will do anything in their power to NOT have to go shopping with kids 🙂 Seriously though, what really keeps me going is what I mentioned earlier, and that is to NEVER have to look my kids in the eyes and apologize that I spent my time and money on frivolous things rather than preparing my family for hard times that may come our way.
I’ve often wondered why there are a lot of people that want to be prepared, but not many people that are actually trying to get there. I think it all boils down to making a commitment and following through! If you truly want to be prepared, you will find the time, money will be there, resources will practically fall in your lap, and you’ll be wearing a tiara on Survival Mom before you know it.
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