Oblivion, the 51st State

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Every once in a while I’m asked what my friends and family think of our focus on preparedness.  My response is that I usually don’t talk about it with anybody. At first I did, wanting to be helpful, but after a while, I grew tired of feeling defensive about something that, to us, is just a rational thing to do.  One relative told me that God wouldn’t bless and protect my family because we weren’t relying on Him. Others have looked at me long and hard and then quickly changed the subject.  A few have taken my husband aside and asked, “Why is Lisa DOING this??”  It seems that the State of Oblivion is alive and well with an ever-growing population!

No one likes a party pooper, but just because something has never happened, doesn’t mean it never will! The current state of our economy is a man-made disaster affecting everyone, and few of us saw that coming.  Threats to our national security are popping up all over the place, and I don’t think anyone scoffs anymore at the idea of homegrown terrorists.  Although Oblivion might seem like a great place to reside, it’s about as safe as swimming in shark infested waters.  Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there!

There are no sharks. There are no sharks. There are no sharks.

Maybe becoming a “prepper”  seems too fanatical for your comfort level, and you’re not sure you want to leave Oblivion completely.  Consider taking just three common sense baby steps, if you haven’t already.  They’re not radical or kooky, and anyone can do them.

  1. Make saving money a top priority.  Pinch pennies every way you can.  Tell yourself it’s for the greater good.
  2. Get out of debt.  Read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey for inspiration and practical ideas.
  3. List five breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you and your family normally eat.  Begin buying ingredients for those meals until you have a one-month supply.  Repeat this step for a different set of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  Repeat again until you have at least a three-month supply of stored food.

Set a goal to see how far along you get in three months.  Trust me.  These steps are a small price to pay for the peace of mind they bring.  It’s been years since I lived in the state of Oblivion, and I don’t miss it a bit!

41 thoughts on “Oblivion, the 51st State”

  1. Another good post! I absolutely agree with #3. It's the best way to create short to medium term food storage that gets used! It's the cornerstone of our preparation efforts in my family. I go into the methods we use on my blog at http://preparingyourfamily.com/2009/08/31/a-concr

    Having three months worth of food stashed away gets you head and shoulders above the vast majority of your neighbors!

  2. Nice to hear from you again, Rudy! Often the best way to do anything is the easiest way. No need to make things complicated.


  3. TacticalIntelligence

    Thanks for this article Lisa. It still baffles me that people think others who prepare for potential disaster are in some way crazy. Does anyone see the irony in that? It's crazy NOT to be prepared.

    And as far as God not protecting those who prepare for the worst, it's my opinion that God gave us our talents, abilities and faculties so that we can do our best to bless our lives as well as others. Only then will He cover any shortfalls. That doesn't mean sitting on our duffs expecting Him to bail us out when times get tough. That sounds too much like Katrina to me and I don't think He works like FEMA ;).

    – Erich

  4. I agree completely! Being prepared helps combat fear and helplessness, both of which create victim mentalities. Thanks for dropping by!


    1. Noah built an ark. God made him get his own rear end out there and put some sweat equity into it. No one else did. Which one did God save? Exactly. The one who listened to his warnings and ACTED instead of sitting on his duff saying "God will save me, pass the Cheezy Puffs please".

  5. I completely agree with TacticalIntelligence! Wow Lisa, you hit a homerun with this post! I've been touting "Survival Made Simple – not Extreme" for several weeks now on my show, but I never thought about the "state of oblivion." Good one!
    As for God, he gives us all talents and all you have to do is read the book of Acts to find out what he expects us to do with those talents. Pay no attention to that comment from your relative.

    Today's Survival Show

  6. AmericanPrepper

    God Told Noah to Prepare, If building an Ark isn't preparedness I don't know what is. I'm sure there were many people who told Noah he wasn't trusting God enough to protect him from the storm without having to build a ship. I say, if God tells you to prepare by showing you signs of a collapsing society, (the clouds before the storm) then you better be trusting enough to follow his word and get prepared.

    Congratulations on the interview, I hope it went well

  7. I agree with you about Noah. What's more, it was MRS. Noah who had to figure out an awful lot of logistics, i.e. food and water for 8 people, supplies, etc. I think the concept of preparedness is foreign to most people because we've lived in security for so many decades. That's all most of us have ever known. In the Phoenix area, we don't even have to worry much about natural disasters — no tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc., and people who move here usually come here to get away from natural disasters, so preparedness is on very few minds around here.

    The interview went really well! We even took the reporter and camera-person to our favorite shooting range!


  8. God helps those who help themselves. It reminds me of that old joke:

    A farmer is at his house during a flood. The river is overflowing, with water surrounding the farmer's home up to his front porch. As he is standing there, a boat comes up. The man in the boat says, "Jump in and I'll take you to safety."

    The farmer crosses his arms and says stubbornly, "Nope, I put my trust in God."

    The boat goes away. The water rises to the second floor. Another boat comes up, and the man in it says to the farmer who is now in the second story window, "Jump in and I'll save you."

    The farmer again says, "Nope, I put my trust in God."

    The boat goes away. Now the water is up to the roof. As the farmer stands on the roof, a helicopter comes over and drops a ladder. The pilot yells down to the farmer, "I'll save you if you climb the ladder."

    The farmer says, "Nope, I put my trust in God."

    The helicopter goes away. The water continues to rise. It sweeps the farmer off the roof and he drowns.

    The farmer goes to heaven. God sees him and says, "What are you doing here?"

    The farmer says, "I put my trust in you and you let me down."

    God replies, "What do you mean, I let you down? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!!!"

  9. I have heard that joke, too, and it's a good one. :O) I actually had it in mind when I wrote this post. I don't think God intends for us to be helpless and do nothing. I've observed that most people who choose to not do anything make that choice more out of fear than anything else.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!


  10. Also, as far as trusting in God, Nehemiah trusted God for protection, but he still set a watch up around the city of Jeruselem when he was rebuilding it. I believe that God is not going to do something for us that we can and should do for ourselves. That would somehow lessen the value of our dependance on Him.

  11. I love that joke and actually had it in mind when I wrote this post! I'm glad to see that so many of my readers are survival minded rather than choosing to be helpless victims. When a person chooses to do nothing, they're choosing to be controlled by life's circumstances.


  12. Pingback: Today’s Featured Post: Oblivion, the 51st State | Preparing Your Family

  13. The Black Swans are circling overhead. Even those who refuse to look up will see their shadows cross their paths.

  14. Pingback: It’s Saturday Night: Turn Off Your TV And Read These Articles — Survival Blogs

  15. My late wife Sandie had a talent for being able to get across the concept of preparedness to (mostly) other women without making it seem strange or reactionary.I remember after hurricane Katrina we wrote a post on creating a g.o.o.d. bag. So many people responded positively that I've expanded that post over the years- i,e,,one friend asked simply, "what about a g.o.o.d. bag for kids? That sent us back to the drawing board! I live in the state of Vermont, where prepping is just daily life, lol! My friends in N.J., firmly inhabit Oblivion. These folks are fully aware of current events, have military experience, and have made a CONCIOUS decision not to prepare, not to save, and dig themselves deeper into debt. I don't speak with them much, and miss my late wife terribly… I've yet to meet a prepared woman since her passing.

  16. With sky-rocketing debt year after year and our already unaffordable government getting bigger, not smaller, we have probably passed a "tipping point" that will likely end in disaster. Obama's big government Keynesian economic policies have failed, but rather than admit failure he continues to push for more of the same. Insanity. Only Ron Paul wants to cut $1 trillion from the budget and balance the budget in 3 years. But we might not have even 3 years as the Euro could implode in 1-2 years, precipitating a world-wide paper monetary crises & economic collapse. What will you do if people lose faith in paper US Dollars? How will food get from farms to stores & people buy that food? How will bankrupt governments protect its citizens from angry, hungry mobs? These issues must be faced. We cannot continue with corrupt politics & crony capitalism as usual. We are on an unsustainable path. Our Founding Fathers wanted sound (gold/silver) money and a small, Constitutionally limited Federal Government with balanced budgets. It worked in the past. We don't have to re-invent the wheel.

  17. While Dave Ramsey is great on getting folks on the debt free track, IGNORE HIS INVESTMENT ADVICE AND ALL OF HIS INVESTMENT COMMENTARY! He is a as establishment as it comes in this regard.

    1. Hank, We have followed Dave Ramsey's advice for a couple years and you are comepletely correct. It is a FANTASTIC framework to work your way from negative to positive liquid net worth. My cousin has guided me toward the Austrian school [not necessarily an advertisement, here] as an alternative to Keynesianism or the Monetarist school [read both as establishment]. Since then, we have been guarding against potential [Austrians say inevitable] massive inflation by purchasing Gold and Silver. Just another Preperation technique.

  18. legalize freedom

    I scoff at the idea of homegrown terrorists. Pure government propaganda. There will be false flag terror attacks carried out by the shadow government and blamed on 'homegrown terrorists'. Look at the recently passed treasonous NDAA. Also look at the DHS definition of terrorist and see for yourself. Have more than a month of food stored up? You are a low level terrorist. Disagree with the government? You are a low level terrorist. Have a problem with the banker takeover and looting of the country? You are a low level terrorist.

  19. There is something rumbling just ahead and it feels like being strapped in the front seat of a roller coaster while it ratchets it's way up the track. Get ready for the most exciting ride in all of history!

  20. According to Larry Burkett (deceased) and my Bible 1 Timothy 5:8 says "If anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially his immediate family he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." Dave Ramsey is good for the immediate get started steps. Larry Burkett writings are good for the long haul.

  21. "A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty." Proverbs 27:12

    The next time you are riding in the car with your relative, casually ask "Why are you wearing a seat belt? God won't bless and protect your family because you aren't relying on Him." 😉

  22. Thank you for this column. Convincing people to exit the state of oblivion can only succeed with repetition, repetition, repetition, until the radicalism of the idea wears away and people can feel safe in thinking about it.

    I would add: In these tenuous times, making G.O.O.D. the top priority may not be the best course. Some economists are saying that while nobody can predict with certainty what will happen in the future, there is the possibility that things could break very bad, very suddenly. In that event, you want your stockpile and other preparations in place, the sooner the better. Beans and Band-aids will be far more important to your well-being than shrinking your household debt.

    Also, your advice to save, save, save is excellent, but do not forget to keep a goodly amount of cash in your home. Your savings will do you no good if the banks close their doors suddenly and you can't get to your money.

    We will hope that things do not break bad, and that that is the worst-case scenario. But it's far better to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

  23. While it is true that Americans are willfully oblivious of their country going to hell in a hand basket these days, I must confess that the first word association I made with the title was of the world of Oblivion, from the computer game TES IV: Oblivion. Collapsing both of these mental images into one gestalt idea, I came away with the following idea:

    "Oh, don't be silly. It's perfectly safe here, so long as you don't go swimming around in the lakes of fire. Oh hush now, those terrifying towers are there to protect us from terrorists. Flaying prisoners alive is enhanced interrogation, not torture. And remember, our Great Leader, Mehrunes Dagon, seeks only to liberate the heathens of Tamriel, because we are such a wise and righteous people."

  24. I find that "preparers" often have fears that are out of kilter with reality. Risk analysis shows that wealth spent preparing for over-wrought doomsday scenarios is often better spent on protection from more likely sources of injury or death.

    1. There definitely is a fine line between preparing for likely events, not preparing at all, and overdoing it. Smart preppers prepare in such a way that nothing they do or buy is wasted.

  25. I loved this, but I wish to take issue with one thing you said regarding domestic terrorists. As one of those so labeled, I can tell you that this is just another fedgov mind game. Think about it: fedgov doesn't like people like me because we are on to its agenda and methods. Fedgov wants to round us up or otherwise eliminate us, but they can't until they sufficiently demonize publically via media. Once the condiitioning has had its effect, Americans would cheer at my assassination. The only domestic terrorists in America wear suits and walk the halls of Congress and Wall Street.

    Augustine, in his play "City of God," penned an exchange between a pirate caught and brought before Alexander the Great. The pirate says, "Because I do it with one small ship, I am called a terrorist. You do it with a whole fleet and are called an emperor."


  26. I am always suspicious of these type of articles when one of the top priorities is "get out of debt". Seems like the banks commissioned the authors of these. Unless it is a secured loan, i.e. home mortgage or car loan, it could not be less important to pay off debt. Why are you going to need a good credit rating when society falls apart?!?!? Ridiculous!

    1. Believe me, I'm no bank employee! When someone has no debt, their earnings are their own, allowing them to save, invest, spend, prep, etc. If a big chunk goes to payments of all kinds, it's nothing short of slavery. "Debt is the money of slaves." Most people cannot pay off a mortgage easily, but if that's the only payment you have, you're better off than most. Some people will choose to gamble by paying very little toward their debt and saving money or spending it on preps. It all depends on what you think is the most likely course our country will take.

      1. Glad you responded to this. I know many people are expecting TEOTWAWKI, but maybe we'll luck out and just end up like our grandparents did in the 1930s; in that case, being debt-free will be a huge advantage. So the value of paying off debt shouldn't be discounted!

        Barb (mortgage-free and debt-free since 2002)

  27. If you prepare for something and it doesn't happen then that's Great! If something happens and you aren't prepared then that Sucks! Also buying extra food and water is never a waste – it can always be used. I have thirty gallons of bottled water stored, plus enough powered milk to make about 8 gallons, 3 large boxes of corn flakes, big jars of peanut butter and jelly, 4 loaves of bread, and lots of canned soup, veggies, and fruit. This all cost me probably less than $100 – that's nothing! Plus every bit of this stuff can/will be used eventually. Preparedness is not expensive and is not a waste – lack of preparedness is. What I see when people scoff or make fun of preparedness is just their way of denying that anything bad will happen – if they prepare for something then they have to admit to themselves that something bad might happen – which is completely contrary to their mental view of the world. They would have to admit that their god had failed them, their god being the government.

  28. Being prepared for days/weeks without power or water is always a good idea, no mater what the suspected cause may be. We've become too reliant on powers beyond our control to supply us with what we need to survive. I'm not going to go doomsday or terrorist, but I don't think anyone can argue with windstorms, natural disasters, or dwindling fossil fuels. The odds are very good that many of us will experience an outage/disaster of some sort in our lives. Being prepared for it, even if is only keeping some extra food and water around, is not only rational, it's good common sense.


  30. It amazes me how willing some people are to use God as a reason why they don't need to prep. It's the same belief system that justifies war in the name of God. Somehow God will choose to protect you from all evil so long as you choose to believe in Him. That just doesn't make sense. I suspect that God EXPECTS you not to be a fool AND to worship Him.

  31. Thanks for this post. My mom is like your relative, and while she hasn't come right out and said to my face what your relative said to you, I can tell she's thinking it. She refuses to do anything to prepare, and I think it's because she believes it shows a lack of faith, and no scripture I can point out to her about Biblical preppers has convinced her otherwise. She's part of the whole "name it and claim it,' health and wealth crowd and as such is totally the farmer on the roof expecting to be miracled to salvation. It's very frustrating.

  32. A. Money will be useless if society collapses

    B. getting out of debt i that last thing to worry about due to reason A

    C. its not your favorite foods you should worry about, but rather make plans for things you can make that would maximize storage and eliminate the need for a fridge, another thing that would be lost if society collapses.

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