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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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”.
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.
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.
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.
- Don’t know what to get first? See the top ten products for beginning preppers.
- Don’t go broke, learn the 3 ways prepping saves me money.
- Here is some great information from the pros! What gear do they recommend and use.
- Learn from others experiences. Here are 7 things someone wished they knew when they got started.
- Basic food storage is a great place to begin. Here is some wise advice from other preppers.