Prepper to Prepper: Why did you begin prepping?

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Do you remember the moment you decided to become a prepper? I was raised by a mom who bottled fruit, raised chickens, sewed, and baked bread. I thought it was just how you do things. I carried that habit into my marriage.

Prepper to Prepper Why Did You Begin Prepping via The Survival Mom

Life has a tendency to teach us all lessons that we need to desperately learn. Ours was financial. I had a lot of homemaking skills, but I needed to improve my financial knowledge and preparedness. You don’t forget that a-ha moment when you are learning a lesson the hard way. These readers have some fascinating stories about the moment they knew why they needed to become preppers.

From Grinnan:

I was raised in the lifestyle. I worked as a kid with my uncle building bomb and storm shelters. Being dirt poor, a bunch meant you had to practice the lifestyle for real. There was no real a-ha moment for me.

From Maria:

I grew up in a family that practiced food storage, but until I was face to face with a hurricane barreling down on me I didn’t hold any value in it. 9/11 started my gardening phase and I am currently practicing prepping on every possible angle. Prep saved me during a season of unemployment and illness and in times I’m too busy for my own good.

Ems added:

My dad is a bit of a conspiracy theorist – and he never had sons, so us girls learned how to camp, shoot etc. As an adult I’m watching the way the world’s going and thinking even without a conspiracy type disaster, I can see how easily humankind could go a little crazy. So, we bought a small parcel of land and are busy setting it up to be self-sufficient.

Tip– Ems certainly had a dad who taught her how to be self-sufficient. How about your other relatives? Do they think like you? Here are some interesting conversation starters! There are ways to effectively encourage your family to prepare without being pushy or paranoid.

From Christopher:

I remember exactly, October 16, 1962. I was 6 years old and I watched with my family as the whole town lost its collective mind. Emptying grocery stores, furiously digging shelters, emptying gun stores, and then sitting in our shelter for 12 long days waiting to see who blinked first.

From Patricia:

I was a single mom a long time ago with 5 kids. We were homeless and hungry. We lived in a three-man tent at a cheap campground. I would not go on food stamps. I got two jobs and finally got an apartment. With every grocery run, I picked up extra. We had a hurricane in FL, my family had all we needed. My kids didn’t eat off the Salvation Army truck. That was my start, I never looked back I keep my extras in a separate bedroom that turned pantry. Never again. Hard work pays.

Pam shared:

Although I have been flooded out twice it never occurred to me I could have some sort of control in a disaster situation. I was totally oblivious when my husband, who had been researching, came across your book and asked me to keep an open mind and read it. Well, it scared me. You said if you’re scared “do something”, and I’ve been prepping ever since 2014.

From Linda:

It was the New England Ice Storm of 2009: my husband and I had a 3 1/2-year-old and a 1 1/2-year-old. No power, close to zero daytime temps. We cuddled together in front of our fireplace sitting on couch cushions and wrapped in blankets. My 3 1/2-year-old asked if we were going to be okay. That was the moment: I was kicking myself for the lack of being able to make sure my children were okay no matter what. That next day, I was a bound and determined prepper. Through many power outages, storms and trials, my boys have never doubted that we are going to be okay.

From Pat:

About 5 years ago I was the coupon queen around my parts. I started getting so much surplus that I was giving it away. I started to seeing prepper posts online and got interested and just kind of headed in that direction. Now, I prep for hard times and am always trying to learn and keep folders with information I think will be useful in a bad situation. I study herbology, holistic healing, essential oils, foraging…

Vicki added: I have always had a stocked pantry because I hate shopping! But the ice storm of 2000 made us realize where the holes were. We had no power for 11 days, in December and 23 degrees. Then the stock market crash of 2008 made us expand from just food…then I found The Survival Mom!

TIP– Living without power is so difficult! To prepare, begin by making contingency plans for the next power outage in your area.

From Colleen:

My husband used to work at Boeing. There was a period of about 3 years where he went from Warren notice to Warren notice (layoff notices). I made a point to of saving money so I could buy food. Shortly afterward, I started a food storage pantry, so I could feed us in case of lay off or injury so he couldn’t work. As I continued I started storing water and preserving food by canning and dehydrating. Still keeping emergency food storage, just better food storage.

From Teresa: My parents were prepping when prepping wasn’t cool. My moment came during hurricane Katrina. We don’t live anywhere near the areas that it hit but just watching the suffering the people endured was enough for me. We cannot in good conscience let the suffering of others go in vain. We should all feel a measure of responsibility to be prepared to take care of ourselves when disaster strikes.

Terry shared:

I was front line law enforcement at Ground Zero for Hurricane Katrina in ’05. Got a firsthand look at how quickly a system of government can fall apart, how quickly members of society resort to criminal acts, how quickly food and water supplies disappear as well as power and communications. And government agencies locally were as without as the business and civilian sectors. Side note to it, while I was in the city dealing with it my family was 50 miles away and also had no power which impaired the ability to keep food from spoiling as well as cooking it. I also had zero communication with them for many days during that time, they were basically on their own. Rest assured that professional and personal experience has me in a far different mindset and situation now.

From Shane:

Most won’t believe this, but at 5 I knew the importance of shelter, water, and food and was taught how to find them or make it happen. I learned how to network and even barter back then! We have even adapted our early learning from green lush areas to the high desert. I truly freak out when we talk with someone who has no idea how to fend for themselves if something ever goes wrong.

From Jimmie:

My mother taught me to prepare. She lived through the Depression in a tent City, as a young mother with two small children. Some days she didn’t have anything for supper and would be so thankful that my Dad would go out and find a job of some sort. He never failed to bring home food for their next meal!

Anthony added:

We were watching “Doomsday Preppers” and I said “Look at these freakin idiots” my wife turned to me and said, “well, what would we do if something happens”.

From Paula:

The day my husband said, “We don’t need to worry about stockpiling stuff. The government wouldn’t let anything bad happen to us. They are there to help us out and protect us if anything goes wrong.” He really meant that, no joke. At that very moment, I knew I was alone in looking out for myself and my (then younger) children if anything should ever happen.

From Shannon:

It was a sudden moment. A few years ago, Toronto had a massive ice-storm that knocked out power to tons of homes. I had been a nurse for over 10 years and had done lots of volunteer work with a local rescue squad, yet my own home was totally unprepared for any kind of emergency. I watched all the news reports and immersed myself in prepping videos, websites, and apocalyptic films. It actually really freaked me out for some time, and I started semi-frantically stocking food, water, and other goods. My family was actually worried about me lol. I went down the rabbit-hole with all the “reports” of the imminent financial crash and civil war. I’ve recovered since, and am more level-headed about prepping. Still not near where I want to be, as financial and physical hardship has hit me, but I’m further along than I ever was in life.

TIP– Like Shannon did, consider stocking up on the things you and your family will need. Here are 5 great reasons to stockpile.

Stephanie shared:

I am 65, I grew up in a “prepper” family but back then it was considered just being ready for a rainy day. About 10 years ago I began feeling a sense of “urgency” regarding prepping and when I mentioned it to some friends they had felt the same urgency. It has saved us more than once when we had to go periods without jobs or had family members in the same predicament. Some of our friends feel that God will provide for us if the worse happens but I just remember Joseph and his dreams and how they helped him prepare for a famine.

From Craig: I grew up in the sticks! We had long winters. Getting ready to get through that time of year was a ritual. Fill the freezer, can and dry your garden vegetables, get the firewood piled, stock the pantry. And buy your Christmas presents in August. (Along with anything else you might need) Back then it was just called surviving. I’ve never gotten over that.

Are you new to prepping? Check out some great information that can help you get started.

Prepper to Prepper Why Did You Begin Prepping via The Survival Mom

13 thoughts on “Prepper to Prepper: Why did you begin prepping?”

  1. I find it the definition of ignorance and arrogance to not be prepared for the many versions of disaster. There have always been weather and natural disasters, and in electrical fails and fires and it is incredibly stupid not to be prepared. If you cannot take care of yourself and your family without help for a minimum of two weeks, you are not a responsible adult. Because of a fire in the building my family had to vacate for 8 days. I was better prepared than my daughter and many other residents because of my go bag

  2. I grew up on a farm, so I was used to planning ahead and having extras on hand. We heated with wood, and trips to town were few and far between. In spite of that, my “aha” moment came as a newlywed during the winter of 1988/1989. An unexpected storm dropped several feet of heavy wet snow overnight. The trees and power lines came down. The roads were impassable. By the 2nd day, the water main froze. We were lucky enough to have a spring in the yard and were able to borrow a Kero-Sun heater, but over all we were woefully unprepared. I swore we never would be again.

  3. I have always lived in earthquake country, so all camping items were stored outside the house, along with food and water, in case of an earthquake. However, when I divorced and left the family home about 18 years ago, I found myself without power for 3 days while I was stuck in a 2nd floor condo with a broken foot. Ate cold food out of the can but felt like an idiot. Started my preps as soon as the power came back with the online purchase of a Coleman camping stove and extra flashlights. I now have cash, food, water, batteries, medications, first aid, toiletries, etc. for at least 45 days and weekly add to my supplies. In addition, my sister moved in with me and as she is as prepared as a 2 yo child, I have included her in my plans.

  4. I started prepping after 9/11. And then with all the other Terrorist attacks, it’s a must for me. My husband isn’t as much on board as I am. We have about enough food to last a year, a way to cook it, but, no water in storage. We do live by a lake, but they are draining it now. I do have a still to distill water. I’m just worried I won’t have enough of what we really need.

  5. Christina L Whipple

    Although I have never experienced hunger, lack of medical care, or dangerous weather, I have experienced blackouts, robberies, flooding, and multiple wildfires (including the loss of 2 homes). The most important prep is to have adequate insurance that is reviewed every single year! Insurance provides a peace of mind in emergency scenarios that nothing else can touch.
    I began prepping about 7 years ago with water, food, survival tools, as just another form of “insurance” to protect my extended family. We currently have a stay-in-place plan, meet-up and back-up meet-up plans in place, and have enough for 10 people for 30 days. The teenagers (now 14, 16, and 17) have been taught WHY we prep and have been told NOT to talk about it with anyone outside the family. Our code word for prepping is “camping”. If someone happens to see 10 cans of dehydrated food, I just casually mention that the boys like to go camping and this was the cheapest way to go. No one ever questions the camping statement.

  6. I live in a semi-rural area in the UK about 30 miles from London. I foresee two possible emergency situations here. The main one would be another – but worse – world financial crash than we had in 2007/8. The warning signs are already apparent with warning lights flashing red all over the world economy.

    This could lead to mass unemployment combined with rampant hyper-inflation followed by food riots and civil unrest. This might then be followed by a break down in law and order with home invasions by people desperate for food. I am in my late seventies and would thus be considered an easy target.

    The other possibility is some kind of non-military spat between the UK and/or the EU and Russia. The whole of Western Europe is dependent on Russia for energy, so any kind of spat might cause the Ruskis to turn the taps off, (as they did to the Ukraine). I am sure this would be timed for winter. Our oil and gas reserves are probably inadequate to keep us warm for long enough for alternative supplies to arrive from elsewhere. So we should be without energy to heat our homes, power our water supply systems or cook our food perhaps for months.

    So my plan is to ‘bug-in’ and use my home as a survival bunker. I have a small, but very thermally efficient ground floor apartment and I know where to obtain free running water and how to purify it. I have a stove to cook on that will burn anything combustible. I was a hill walker and still have my winter walking clothing. I have a garden in which I can bury excrement. Other preparations are en train.

  7. Oh I nearly forgot. There is a third possible emergency that could affect the UK. If the US and North Korea finally have a bust-up, we in the UK shall almost certainly become involved as an ally of the US. This could lead to a thermo-nuclear air blast being used on us by NK to take us out of the conflict. So I am also making preparations to protect my computers and various vital electrical or electronic emergency equipment.

  8. My husband read “How to Prosper from the Coming Economic Crisis” by Howard Ruff (that’s how I remember the title bur apparently it is “How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years”) in the late 70’s and that got us started. It was a big part of determining what kind of life we would live. We started doing things differently, buying in bulk, acquiring tools, changing our mindset and quit being just like all the other people we knew.
    Our biggest emergency was financial when we were on an unbelievably limited income for several months. My husband had a job but there was no money coming in and we were just trying to “tough it out” until he either started getting more than a token income or changed directions. We had money for electricity but gave up the phone. I bought a bag of potatoes and a few other really cheap staples every couple of weeks but mainly we lived on our food storage which was really just what I had been buying in bulk, nothing fancy or freeze dried. We had four children then and feeding them on what we had was a challenge.
    Do we have it all together? No. But we re-evaluate periodically, garden, have an orchard and nut trees and even lived without electricity for 3 1/2 years (and I don’t mean off grid,I mean no electricity) and without running water for the first 2 1/2 years of those years and with five children – one a newborn. My main takeaway on that is that I am really thankful for my hot showers but feel that I can handle most anything.
    We are obviously older than when we started. After caring for my mother for the last few years of her life we know that medical issues could do us in so we are very focused on healthy living. But a broken foot requiring surgery hobbled me for four months so anything can be the beginning of an emergency. My husband had to drive me to work the entire time. We worked long and hard to get out of debt after he couldn’t work for several years due to a health issue so we didn’t want to go there again. Money is even higher on our priority list than when we first read Ruff’s book, as we’ve had two financial emergencies in our lives.
    Yes we’ve lived in hurricane areas and flood areas and in the past few years there have been fires all around us, but we seemed to have been the financial emergency folks.
    Not sure what else will test us, but we will stick together and see it through.
    Warning – stress is really (flashing bold letters type really) hard on a marriage. Be as committed to getting through it together as you are to having stored beans. I learned how to humble myself to keep my marriage intact (not abuse, as I fought abusers professionally for years after I went back to work, but I had to accept that things are just not always my way) and I think I am a better person because of it. I also thinks it makes me more prepared for a crisis.
    Reviewing our experience may or may not help you but it helps me. Once again I have to look at our current priorities, evaluate the most important hole(s) in our planning, remember that there are two of us and it’s not just what I want and figure out how much do we want to have to do again if we start over — and the list goes on.
    Blessings as you figure out your priorities in preparedness.

    1. I was a stay at home mom when buying potatoes and had to go back to work after he got sick. That was not part of plan one or plan two but I had to adjust to circumstances. See the humble remark above.
      Part of being prepared is being willing to create a new plan.

  9. grew up in florida in a hurricane prepping family. my parents were small kids during the depression so prepping just came naturally.

  10. Well it’s 2022 and it’s not looking so hot. I am 40 I am from the country. I have for some odd reason alway been a prepared for what may come. I bought my house in 2003 as I looked at all I could of was the easiest of defending it if need be the fresh water the natural foods around I was like 22 then. I am what most call a redneck so I already hunt fish I took brink laying carpenter and horticulture classes as well as drifting & design. I have not become a big diy person I went from a 2 income family to 1 I am keep the farm/house 5ac I started reading on the shift and I proud to say between me and my boyfriend we have 18 of the 20 skill for survival. He actually have ones that people seem to forget or only think everyone lives in the city he can brake horse ride rodeo and we’ll bull riding don’t know how hand that be unless we start rustling them lol

  11. We live in fire country; family has already lost two homes. Parents and grandparents taught very practical life skills. I believe in appropriate insurance coverage (fire, earthquake, umbrella, health), and also tangible insurance like a second home, fully stocked pantry and water, toiletries, full gas tank, cash, bug out or get home bags, emergency totes full of ditto that fit in car, two methods of cooking without power, a Tesla whole-house backup battery for the frequent power outages we have here, staying healthy, walking everywhere I can, living within easy walking distance of farms where we buy most of our meat, eggs, and produce, living in a small community, keeping a small container garden. I can sew, crochet, cook, preserve, grow, mend, do laundry without machines, use mostly hand tools, etc etc. So much more to learn and do, but it’s a good start. Only thing I have not done is pursue weapons for self defense. I may be naive, but it is just not something I could do. I’ll be the one making bean and greens soup for the whole neighborhood.

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