These tips come from readers who have entered our Survival Mom of the Month contest. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to select just one entry as the winner. Each of these women is a Survival Mom star!
- Each time you go shopping buy at least one thing extra. Shop at thrift stores, yard sales, and think beyond the box! Take the latte money and use it!!! Slow and steady always wins the race!
- Pray, pray, pray, —-hope for the best, prepare for the worst!
- This is the 2nd year we have had a vegetable garden. We planted our first herb garden this year, 4 fruit trees and strawberries. We got a food dehydrator, bought a vacuum sealer and have been learning how to stock up and store food.
- Each payday we purchase a couple of medical supply items and are starting to have a good collection. The next step is getting a medicinal herb garden going.
- A big thing we are doing is teaching the kids. Our youngest son joined boy scouts this year and he also now volunteers at Dream Catchers helping those with disabilities ride horses. By learning such skills he is preparing for the future, even teaching us how to tie knots. Camping and fishing are hobbies the family now enjoys.
- I attended the local Women in the Outdoors Event learning about survival skills and making a paracord belt. We joined a preppers community this past year, even attending our first expo.
- Don’t spend a fortune, look around for discarded things and sale, barter. Don’t reinvent the wheel, use the skills, tools and resources available on the internet and in books. Learning skills are the most important part, knowledge is something that can’t be taken away. And teach your kids, involve them and prepare them.
- Doing something is better than doing nothing. Join a group of like minded people. Look out for any classes on a variety of topics that could help you learn to be prepared for whatever is coming – try to take one class a month and learn something new or improve existing skills self sufficiency skills.
- Start small and work your way up until you have what you need and then start on another item until you get all of that and so on.
- While it feels like there are many things to be concerned about and not much we can do to prepare, that’s just anxiety talking. If you take is slow, make and plan, and have fun learning new things, it can be an adventure for the whole family!
- I’d say start with a way to make clean water, a way to store water, and a way to cook. After that I’d recommend buying one to two weeks of “instant” style emergency food (freeze dried meals that need only water). After that I’d go with stocking my pantry for 3 months of meals. Next, I’d look at long term food storage and begin adding those items as you can. And throughout, check out garage sales and thrift stores for camping items, medical supplies, and extra clothing. Set the scrapbooking aside for a while and think of it as your new hobby!
- No matter how little money you have just start -especially food and water. You never know when you might need them. The grocery store shelves empty very quickly when they say snow is coming-imagine if something bigger-like a gas & diesel shortage and trucks couldn’t make deliveries.
- Don’t try to rush in your preparations because you will burn out or become overwhelmed. Set a preparation budget to spend every month, no matter how small and stick to it. Remember the tortoise and the hare.
- As a family, my husband and I prepare together. We live in a tornado-prone area, so that is our first concern each spring. There is the threat of something more region or even nation wide, the dreaded TEOTWAWKI! We don’t dwell on, and stress about, these possible threats; we just do what we can with what we have.
- If we had to leave our home for an extended period of time, we have three options out of town in three different directions where we have permission to stay if ‘the balloon goes up’. Our support community is fantastic. We all met through Project Appleseed, my husband used to instruct for the USRA. We have built very close friendships and it helps to have somebody else to learn new skills with! We recently helped one family move out of the big city, they didn’t trust many people to help them move all their preps. They knew they could count on us to be helpful and respect OPSEC!
- I joke that our garden is in a constant state of experiment, we try all types of gardening, trying to see what will work the best for our soil & our family. We have three hugekulture piles, a space dedicated to the Back To Eden method, a three sisters corn patch, three Square Foot Garden boxes and new this year, Straw Bale Gardening!
- I would tell new Survival Moms the same thing I told my extended family when they ‘woke up’. Read Lisa’s Survival Mom book!
- Read a book that will teach you a new skill, or inspire you to prepare more. The newer genre of ‘prepper fiction’ can be good for inspiration, you can imagine ‘what if?’ and think about what you would do in a particular situation without having to live it out.
- Ultimately, I am preparing for life. Yes, I have specific concerns about the future, namely economic, which includes the decline of our society as a whole, and even down to our food being tampered with to the point that it is dangerous to eat ‘out of the grocery store’. While these things weigh heavily on my mind-I prefer to create a life with/for my husband and children that decreases our dependency on the grid as much as possible.
- In order to ‘prepare’ we moved back home to the family Ranch. It hasn’t been in ‘working order’ in terms of farming and raising animals in almost 15 years, but we are slowly bringing the place back to life. This land has been in the family for many generations and at one time was durn close to being completely self-sufficient. Our goal is to bring it back to that state.
- The way my family and I see it (husband and 6 children ages 18-5mos old) is that this is the way to live, to stay closer to our roots, to God and to spend our days working together and learning from one another. Yeah, some days it’s hard, but it is so worth it.
- For years I have been teaching my children the ‘old ways’ of doing things. How to mill flour and bake bread, how to grow peas, soak beans and cook them, how to can, how to grow anything year round, how to cook outdoors…how to spend time in the woods and not be afraid. How to hunt, fish, trap. We don’t see this as ‘running away’ from big society, but rather getting closer to our community, renewing old family alliances and becoming self-reliant, so if things in our country do indeed get worse (which I think they will, in one form or another) then we can just continue doing what we have been doing all along.
- My advice is to look around and understand what you are reliant on and begin to whittle away at it, and learn to rely on yourself. Even if you are growing a small window garden for a few veggies, start there.
- We have mapped out several routes and modes of transportation ( SUV, bikes with trailers, and kayaks) to our bug out location (my prepper brother’s cabin in the mountains).
- Being in the medical field, I am well versed in First aid and CPR and have sponsored classes for both for the layperson (my husband included). I regularly stockpile antibiotics and other common medications. We keep a medical facility type first aid kit at home and in my office. I am currently studying medicinal herbs ( Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs A Beginner’s Guide).
- Always pick up something extra when shopping: swap out the costly magazine or soda for something more preparedness orientated.
- Kick the habit! Most (bad) habits are just that…bad for you, bad for your budget, bad for your family. Stop smoking, drinking excessively, or cut out junk food. You will save money, be able to prepare better and will certainly feel better.
- Talk to the elderly, they lived in a time that we are preparing to face. Their wisdom is priceless!
From Ann Marie:
- When I started researching preparedness and survival topics, it seemed to me that the most common scenario is to be without power, so that’s where I started. I had a light bulb moment: “hey! it really doesn’t matter what CAUSES the power outage, we just need to be prepared to go on living without power for a while no matter what!”
- I first inventoried all of our camping equipment, made a few necessary repairs, and invested some money in stocking up on additional fuel (propane) to run our campstove and lanterns. I also reorganized and stored all of our camping equipment in a single place so we don’t waste time hunting for anything if and when we need it.
- I created myself an everyday-carry bag with some essentials, using numerous lists and reader comments right here on this phenomenal blog! (Thank you, everyone! I just love how we all pool our ideas. We are stronger as a collective than any of us alone!).
- I have been hunting for a local food preservation seminar or class, and I found one just today at an Ecovillage that is located a few hours away from here! I am planning to make a weekend of it and tour the Ecovillage, participate in a food preservation (canning) seminar, and camp for the weekend (which will also be a great test of my 3 day supplies and Bug-Out-Bags and camping equipment)
- I really,really hope that Nike won’t sue me for borrowing their slogan, but my best advice is “just do it”! You don’t have to spend a thousand dollars “prepping”. You don’t have to know everything and understand every possible scenario. You don’t have to read a bazillion books. You can empower yourself simply by buying a spare pound of dried beans or an extra can of soup and storing it away sensibly.
- It is an incredible feeling to start to be self-reliant.
- All the old staple advice is so true, also: Get out of debt. Save cash toward an emergency fund. Store safely and wisely and rotate extras of the foods your family really likes and will eat and which will sustain you. Store clean potable water. Save more cash. Inventory, rotate, and increase your food supplies. Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Also, the secret nobody tells you is, it’s really fun. It’s hard work, but deeply satisfying and I consider my preparations for the future to be one of my most important jobs. Good luck, share what works and doesn’t work with others, and keep on prepping!
- At this time in my life I feel that every option should be prepared for. When I first started talking about this my extended family called me Noah. Now they call me for advice on how to prep and what websites to explore. Yours of course is one of the first I give them.
- My motto is : The saddest words in any language are “If Only”.
- We have our bug out bags for everyone including our cats and dogs. Used an idea from the Cat Who..books and use a large roasting pan to hold litter if needed.
- Our cars are supplied with at least three days food and water. Also a stove in a can,hiking boots,change of clothing and blankets. I feel we could really live in my SUV for 5-7 days comfortably(?). Also in car are first aid kit and lots of trash bags.
- My biggest challenge was when my daughter went off to Grad School. Small apartment but I was determined she should have the same preps we had at home. I am proud to say she could shelter in place for a year and has a bug out bag at the ready. I also put a black permanent maker by her front door with orders that if she has to evacuate and phones are down she is to write on her apartment wall where she is going and who she is with. I will pay the apartment manager to have it repainted.
- I have turned my extended family into a team of preppers. That is my greatest achievement. They started with “You know how she is. She was like this as a kid” (I was) to “Sorry we doubted you. Wish we had started sooner.”
- Close your eyes and imagine that it is all gone. What will you wish you had?