From Shelly


i am completely new to all of this and i am just scared to death! I am mostly concerned because I am a disabled mom of 5 ages 9 to 23- one of which is also challenged with aspergers syndrome. I am truly feeling panic because my financial situation is pretty dire. I do not have very much at the end of each month to put into storage and preparedness even though I feel significant pressure to get it together not today but yesterday! Any ideas or suggestions for me as a newbie? I need to get caught up ASAP! Love your site thanks so much.


It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of research and are faced with a lot of challenges when it comes to being prepared.  You asked for some baby steps for getting started, and today I posted your question on my blog (used a different name for you), because hundreds and thousands of other moms will read your question and offer their suggestions.  I thought that would be the best way to get lots of input for you.
For myself, I suggest taking an inventory of what you already have around the house, in the garage, the attic, in ‘junk drawers’, etc.  You may already have items on typical ‘survival’ checklists that you’ve forgotten about.  You didn’t mention if you’re married, but with your older children, get them on board.  They can help with the home inventory, decluttering, and learning helpful skills that will come in handy in the future, such as sewing, leatherwork, making herbal remedies…there are hundreds of practical skills that can even turn into money-making opportunities.
Can you prepare for a two-week emergency?  Have enough food on hand for two weeks.  It shouldn’t have to be refrigerated or cooked, just in case you don’t have power.  Keep it super simple and repetitive.  Oh, have your older kids make a homemade solar cooker.  There are YouTube videos and tons of directions on line.  That will give you an almost free method for cooking on days when it’s sunny.  Buy a $10 WAPI at as an inexpensive way to insure pure water if you ever need to.  Bleach is good for that but has a shelf life of about a year.
You’ll need a plan for staying warm in the winter if there’s a power outage.  That should also be a part of your 2 week plan.  What light sources will you need and do you have them?  Go to Target and buy the cheapest solar path lights they have.  I found them for $2 each one time.  Leave them out in the sun during the day and bring them in at night for very inexpensive lanterns.  If you hang them on a mirror, you’ll get twice as much light.
Basically, whatever you put in place for two weeks can be duplicated over and over until you have a plan and supplies for a longer period of time.
Keep learning and researching!  Even if you can’t act on everything right now, the knowledge may come in handy someday.  Stay in touch and let me know which tips were especially helpful.  I want to know about your progress.
Also posted on the blog.  You can read suggestions from readers here.

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