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New Preppers can be prepared too!

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Prepping is challenging enough at the best of times but when you come to it with a deep feeling of necessity, having seen the bleakness of the future, then tension adds to the burdens. So many of you here have expressed the feeling that you started too late or that you didn’t feel you could do enough in time. There have been many posts that talked about feelings of futility and the feeling that one is losing their sanity by trying to prep when those around you are oblivious to the need. It is those people whom I hope will be helped by this thread specifically though, others might find it helpful as well.

 

I will not mince words. The world we live in is in big trouble and that trouble is coming to your neighborhood very soon if it is not already there. There may be some diehard individuals out there that believe that it’s going to get better or that the Government is going to take care of things but those are not the people we normally see here at Mrs. S. If you are here at Mrs. S you more than likely came to learn about prepping but once here have found such a huge wealth of information it’s almost impossible to know where to start. Coupled with the latest news reports of food shortages world wide, rationing of basic staples, high prices at the gas pump and grocery store, the continuing mortgage crisis, and job losses and it could be extremely difficult to know what to do.

 

This thread is not about specifics, for each of you will have a different situation calling for different plans. There are as many ways to prep as there are preppers. There is no right or wrong way. What I’m going to discuss is just one way to get started. It is meant to teach you about tools you can use to help you do the job better, more efficiently, and hopefully with less stress. Those tools are within each of you and will cost you little.

 

The first tool you need is conviction.

You will never be able to accomplish what you need to do in a short period of time if you are not convinced that you need to do so. Many of you have had opposition from friends and relatives and that makes us second-guess the need. Sometimes you have a conflicting problem with spending the money on something that you ‘might’ use in the future as opposed to something you want now. Perhaps you can’t imagine having to live with preps and that makes it difficult to envision what you need. Whatever it might be that is your roadblock, if you can’t get beyond it, if you are not totally convinced that this is necessary to insure your future, you will have a difficult time going beyond a few months of food in the pantry. If you have not found that certainty yet then it’s time to step back and take a real good look at the situation as you see it today. Define what you perceive as the worst threat, talk with your family and friends once again and see if their attitude has changed any. If they have, then you have support, if not, then you will have to find that conviction within you to continue. Once you have that conviction you will feel some of the stress ebb. If it’s not all ebbing, don’t panic. Just keep working through these next tools.

 

NOTE: If you do find yourself with a lot of opposition you might just say that you did not wait to take out insurance on your house until the roof was on fire and you did not take out insurance on your car after an accident. Your preps are just another form of insurance.

 

The next tool is identifying the threat.

What are you planning to prep FOR? It is virtually impossible to be prepared for everything that could happen but you can attempt to identify the greatest possibilities. It is true that even the possibilities are changing very fast but many of your preps will cover a multitude of dangers and threats. Only you can know what you or your family might need to face. The one thing I suggest is that you do NOT delude yourself. Be realistic about it. While it’s doubtful that you would have a flood in the desert, you might need to deal with the lack of water. Do not, however, believe you will never have to deal with hungry hoards because you live hundreds of miles from a big city. You may not have to deal with a baby in the house if you are elderly or childless but then again you might! Only you can decide for only you know your situation. Whatever you decide, keep the conviction in place as you face the threat. Never feel you cannot do this.

 

The next tool is to identifying your assets.

Before you buy one more thing, you need to use this tool. This tool has you setting down with pencil and paper, making lists. Do not expect to finish these lists. You will continually be adding to them. Keep them near you. This tool forms the start of your preps no matter if you have never prepped before or if you have prepped for years and want to be sure you are up to date.

 

First make a list that assesses yourself and each member of your family or the group you might need to share a SHTF situation. List the strengths and weaknesses of each. List their skills, their knowledge and a short note on their personalities, things like whether they feel a constant need of approval of others, whether they could be a leader and whether or not you feel they would be solid during a crisis or fall apart. Assess their health and their medical needs. Assess their addictions like coffee or drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping etc. This list gives you an idea of what human resources you have at hand. Be sure to delve deeply into your own knowledge base as it pertains to survival at it’s basic. Do you know how to start a simple wood fire? Can you cook from scratch, do you know how to sew, repair, or have a good sense of direction? Can you follow directions from a book? Sometimes we feel we know very little but often we have more knowledge base than we realize. Even just growing up or being around knowledgeable people gives us perhaps untapped resources in our minds.

 

Next start a list of your actual and physical assets. Try to work through the house room by room with the exception that you might want to list all foods together on one list. A clipboard with multiple papers will help with this task. Be sure to list staples like spices, condiments and such on your food list. Try to assess how long each thing would last in normal situation. Be sure to list medical and first aid supplies. As you go through the house look at things with a “prepping eye”. Would those rags work as washable toilet wipes in a pinch? Do you have extra sheets for bandages or for sickness, towels that could be used as diapers, buckets that could be used for the laundry with a toilet plunger? How many clothes do you have for each person and how long would they last if there were no more available. When you assess your tools look at them with a prepping eye also. Would a hammer or screwdriver be useful as a weapon, do you have a saw that could also procure wood for heating in a real pinch, or would the tool box itself be a good hiding place for valuables? In other words, think WAY outside the box when you are assessing.

 

List your financial assets and liabilities. Later you will be looking at where the money is coming from for the preps you need but for now just list.

 

Next make a list of the resources in and within a safe walking distance around your home or apartment. Again, think prep. The water heater contains an emergency amount of safe drinking water? How much water is contained in your water pipes? Do you have a back yard for vegetables or fruit, a fence for security, a neighbor who would be helpful? Is there a park, field, wilderness, or other resources near you? Do you have a pool, or does the neighbor? If you have no land, are there resources near you? A city pond, a park, or an empty lot that might yield wild foods or be used for neighborhood gardens if necessary? Is the roof flat and would it be useful for gardening if you had the soil and seed on hand? Is it pitched and are their gutters for catching rainwater? What types of windows do you have? Are they advantageous? There are so many things that we have around us that we never consider as a “prep”. Find them and put them on your list.

 

As you broaden your knowledge base about prepping you will be reassessing those lists to tell you what assets you have for energy, lighting, heat, water, cooking, and various other aspects of survival.

 

The object of these lists is to let you know that you really do have more preps than you think. That will give you some confidence. They can also tell you where the holes are that need filling. If you are just not a list maker at least take the inventory mentally. You need to know where you are before you can move on or you will be spending money and energy needlessly and still not be as prepared as you could otherwise be.

 

Attitude:

I believe we could add attitude adjustments to the tools for prepping. I noticed that many preppers on this board and others tend to react adversely when anyone points out the terrible future we could be looking at. There are all sorts of reactions from denial, to justification, to refuting the subject.

 

It’s plain and simple human nature not to want change forced upon us. The future we are starting to see in the media and on the survival and watch boards is way less than optimal. It seems to be pointing out that we will need to give up a lot of what we consider luxuries and perhaps even necessities. Just the raise in prices alone makes us cringe but the thought of having to perhaps face TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) is even worse.

 

Why? I tried to get a handle on that.

 

Is it because you could have to do much more physical work than you’ve done in the past? I know it is more and more difficult for me each year. Is it because you love your present lifestyle so much that you can’t give it up? Perhaps it is because you want your children to have so much MORE than you did and that fear that they will have so much less. Perhaps it is because you see a future that looks too much like the past. Some of us have been there, done that and do NOT want to do it again. Some see the past as a time of degradation for those living through it.

 

There are a great many reasons why we do not want to face the future. But our attitudes about the future constantly dictate to our prepping. So, too, does our attitude about the past if that is where we feel the next future is taking us. When we think of the future as a terrible place to be, we cling to the present with every inch of our being. That means that we focus on THINGS for our preps; food mostly because it is often associated with the good life. Our first thought is to squirrel away all those things that bring us joy because we can’t imagine joy in the future facing us.

 

Certainly we will be facing some really tough times. If we have a SHTF situation it more then likely would cause widespread societal breakdown for at least the first part of that time. I won’t paint a false rosy pictures for you. The situation is worsening daily and much faster than any of us had expected but we can prep for that yet. It won’t be as easy but we can do it with a bit of ingenuity and determination.

 

Still, many people will still be prepping only for the short term because they cannot wrap their minds around trying to envision a future where we have to give up a way of life that we’ve grown accustomed to.

 

I believe a change of attitude toward that future might help us all to get beyond that. We aren’t really sure what the future will bring but even if it did bring us TEOTHAWKI why do we believe it will be a worse world? Is our world so perfect today that we don’t want to change it? You all know what is going on in the world today even if you choose not to acknowledge it. There is a lot of room for improvement. Who is to say that those improvements won’t come AFTER the SHTF? Each of us has different views for what the world should be. So also will each of you have different ideas for being prepared for it but changing our attitudes towards that future might make even a bigger difference in how and what we prep.

 

I can easily envision a future where we won’t have electricity which would mean giving up not only a lot of luxuries but possibly will bring a lot of extra physical labor I am ill equipped for. I would mourn that loss but I also look forward to the possibility that it might bring families closer together. I can envision no modern world interference in the time they spend together. No TV’s, Ipods, geehaws and gadgets that take attention away from family and focus it on individuals. Working together for survival can make for tighter knit groups.

 

When I realized that I changed some of my ideas about what to have prepared. I stocked up on popcorn, books, puzzles, and musical instruments. I made sure that I had lots of hand projects to do in the evening for idle hands are less productive hands and can lead to boredom. I invested in wind up clocks for I know that time has become an issue with us all and it will help to make that transition. I am especially careful to print out instructions for those things I feel we might need to know to make our non-electric lifestyle easier and have invested in non-electric items to insure a smoother transition. When I go to buy something now I ask myself if I could still use it in a non-electric world.

 

I’ve heard some of you say how worried you are about your kids in this new reality. They might not have all the wonderful things you wanted for them. Perhaps they won’t be able to go to college. Maybe they will have to give up something they are accustomed to having or do something they have never done before. That doesn’t mean it will be bad. If we truly have a societal change then they will not be alone. Their friends, and family will all be in the same boat. Changes happen constantly in young peoples lives. They are meant to. It’s how they grow and we see it daily now. Why do we think it will be any different after the SHTF? In fact, they will most likely adapt better than us adults.

Eventually there will still be schools even if it’s in your own home. Eventually new opportunities will open up for them to move into. It might be different than they had dreamed of but it will be a new dream. You can help with these transition with your attitude.

 

Attitude towards the future can make all the difference, not just to your prepping but to your whole well being and that of your family. Our ancestors the pioneers really didn’t know what their future was going to bring when they packed up their wagons and headed west. The knew they faced hardship and dangers yet they tried to be as prepared as possible for what might come. Some of them chose to go; some only went because their loved ones did. Some had no choice and felt forced into the trip but mostly they went with the attitude that there would be a new and better way of life ahead of them. After they had faced the deserts and the mud and the rain, after they faced the sometimes unfriendly natives who saw them as a threat, after they lost loved ones and possessions a huge percentage of them managed to find a new life, a better one for themselves and their family. Have we evolved into such puny pampered weaklings now that we can’t do the same? I think not!

 

 

NOTE that through all this so far you have spent very little and you have only left your house to assess resources outside. Free preps with little expenditure of energy and low stress so far.

 

 

By now you probably ARE starting to feel some stress as you think of all the things that could happen to you and your family. Don’t get panicky and if you find yourself doing so, don’t stop. With your conviction firmly in place just keep going.

 

Where to start?

FIRST- Bug Out Bags. Never forget that it could be possible that you would have to leave your home in a moments notice and the preps and resources you have may not be available. Bug Out Bags for each member of the family should be your FIRST Prep items attended to. There are numerous threads here on Mrs. S that will help you build them. Keep them handy. Have them in vehicles, near doors, even in the garage or an outbuilding. Learn to carry a mini BOB with you at all times. If you do them with some thought to where you will go, what will possibly happen in that journey and what you might need, you will have a better chance for survival. You will also have your first taste of security.

 

Second, take out that list of your and perhaps your family’s personal assets. Look at your knowledge base for the bare necessities of survival and self-reliance. Could you write a book on basic survival in the wilderness or in the city? Do you NEED a book on basic survival in the wilderness or the city? If you are unsure then buy a good book on survival at its basics and see just how much you already know and use the book for filling in the gaps. There are many such free books on the internet if you can’t afford or can’t find one to buy. At the least find a list of basic survival skills and choose to learn about those that are most fitting in your situation. Providing water, food, and shelter are the first things you need to know. Make sure you can do that in the City if there is no chance you will be leaving and in the city AND the countryside if it’s possible that you might. If you live in the country and already know basic survival there. LEARN about City survival. You never know where life will put you. And yes, there ARE books on basic survival in urban, rural and wilderness areas. You do NOT need to become an expert. Study the book thoroughly to help the info stay in your mind and pack that book or a copy in all your BOB’s, and keep it near as a reference.

 

While you are filling in the gaps of your knowledge base you can be starting to fill in holes in your preps. There are as many suggestions for stocking up as there are preppers. One size does NOT fit all. I suggest only that you check your lists to see what you need. Start with the most pressing ones first. There are numerous wonderful stocking up lists on Mrs. S. Use them as a guide until you can see for yourself. Do NOT be overwhelmed by them. They cover everything from food to medicines, to tools, to guns, to incidentals, to sewing supplies, and more. You do not necessarily need them all. They are not meant to be all-inclusive you may need something not on the list. They are only meant to help you think of things you might not have otherwise.

 

These lists do not just focus on food but preps of all types. I’m sure they will open up new areas of thought for you. If you have trouble finding the lists by using the search engine, just ask a mod or post in one of the forums.

 

Be systematic in your prepping though not dogmatic. Be flexible to find the bargains. Cross items off your list to show progress. Have two or three goals in mind, adding more each time you attain one. It is human nature that we rarely achieve a goal if we don’t have another waiting in the wings. Make sure your goals come from both adding to your knowledge base and adding to your physical preps. Variety adds interest and keeps you prepping.

 

Financial difficulties.

This is an issue for most preppers, new or otherwise. With the way prices are rising it will make it difficult but not impossible to prepare. It will depend on how well you completed your use of tool number one. If you are convinced that you need to do this you will find a way. It might help to realize that there are many here on the board who are below poverty level, elderly, disabled, or otherwise financially challenged yet they are finding and sharing ways to get and stay prepared. If you just cannot find the funds to buy food for your pantry and other supplies then it’s time to go back to those basics. There is always something you can do to work towards being prepped even if it’s learning how to start a fire or filling an empty soda bottle with water for storage. Making plans and maps for escape routes and packing BOB’s with items you have right in the house are a couple more. The internet is full of free educational material. Look for it, read it, copy it if you can and start a folder with emergency information you may need later.

 

Now that you have some basic information lets address the stress and tension you are feeling about being ready in time or having enough. Being prepped won’t cure that tension or stress. Those of us who have been prepping for a much longer period are also feeling it. It is not the stress of prepping that is the problem, the problem is the unknown, the fear, the certainty that something is going to happen but you can’t find the enemy. It helps to have a support system that believes as you do. We are not always fortunate to have that but with the threats looming more openly now you probably won’t be alone for long. Mrs. S is a great place to find online support also.

 

One sure cure for the problem though is ACTION. Setting around and fretting about what you CAN’T do is not going to help, either the stress or the preps. Focus on what you CAN do and then do it.

 

Okay, now VETERAN preppers!! Please feel free to add your own suggestions to this thread. I know there will be a lot of questions and I’m hoping that we can all work together to help everyone be prepared.

 

bighug

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I really needed to see your post a year ago Mother when I first started prepping, I was so lost and panicky.

You make very good points and give concrete ideas on where and how to start. I still consider myself new to prepping but I am so much further ahead than I ever have been in my entire life.

One thing I have learned after one year is that this process takes a very long time and after this much time I still think I have a long way to go before I consider myself completely prepared.

It's a lengthy road and for those who are new, don't let fear and vulnerability take over. There are so many bright minds and huge hearts here to guide and reassure us every step of the way.

 

An unexpected benefit of prepping is that my leadership skills grew. I was even promoted at work a couple of months ago.

I learned to actively take responsibility and take action for my family's well being and security and it began to show at work. They sought me out, I didn't ask for a promotion.

I became well informed, and more responsible, and proactive. Do I still make mistakes? Course I do, I learn from it and continue on.

 

Last night on coast to coast am, they were discussing how palpable the feeling of something big was coming. Millions of people listen to that show and I bet they were all nodding in agreement. Guests called and said a big change is coming and they couldn't identify what, where, or when but that it is clear something big is happening. My point in all of this? I am so glad someone sent me over here, what a blessing to find you Mother and others like you. smile

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http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showthread.ph...hlight=pandemic

 

I'll post this link (again) to a Hawaiian board where I began a pandemic prep thread a while back. Pandemic or other, many of the ideas are valid for any kind of prepping.

 

The language I use in this is more or less the local Hawaiian dialect, called Pidgin, but it can be understood. I got some stick at first from the locals who still live in Hawaii...and the thread even got closed...but nowadays they're used to me.

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OK....I'll just say where I began. I began before Y2K and I did not have a lot of money and it felt like there was that deadline looming.

 

SO, I went online and read everything about food storage at all the LDS sites, used the insight articles at Emergency Essentials, and I created 72-hour kits for the family first.

 

THEN, I decided to create one week's worth extra of groceries on the shelf. When I did that, I added another week. When I had a month, I started over.

 

I cut back regular grocery shopping by cooking from scratch, canning garden produce bought cheap at the wholesale farm stand near me. (If you buy a bushel or more of anything there, they charge you less per pound) My family used to spend a ridiculous amount at the grocery store. I reigned it in and found an extra $200 a month to use on preps. I used that money to send in monthly orders for longer term storage items such as number 10 cans of dehydrated veggies or cans of rice, grains, beans, etc.

 

When Y2K came along, I had nearly a half year's supply.

 

But then I got a little complacent until 9-11. Then, I began prepping intensely again. And yet....last year, someone directed me here and I am more deeply prepared with buckets of grains, grain grinders, mills, AND I'm learning more how to use my storage better. I also was prompted to save more and learn about weapons and hunting. We have teamed up with a neighbor family.

 

The result? I've lost 15 pounds. My family is eating whole grains. My bad cholesterol has gone down 20 points. My garden this year is the best and biggest it has EVER been since I lived here. When we had large medical bills recently I just told my hubby, "Use this month's grocery money to pay them..and the next..don't take any out of savings" and we lived on our preps plus a small amount from the grocery. (Preps are not static--they should wax and wane as you add to and use them. But always replace what you take out)

 

Don't have years you say? Then start with a week's worth of extra food. Then, create a month. Then three months....

 

Preps buy you a little more time when prices are high. So you can't spend as much this week? OK, you have toilet paper at home, don't buy this week, buy a bag of beans.

 

I strive to spend the same amount at the grocery store every pay period--and a certain amount on preps each pay period. The amount of the preps added has gone down due to higher prices, but the preps still build up.

 

The LDS distribution center online has inexpensive crates of long-term cans of wheat, rice, beans and oats. Spend $25 bucks and get the basic starter kit. It will also contain a booklet about how important it is to have at least a three-month supply. Then, next month, get yourself another crate of all wheat, and the following month, another one of rice, and so on...

 

I didn't have the money to buy an entire year supply at once and you probably don't either. But surely you can scrape up $25 or so a month to put a little bit in your long-term storage as you continue to buy extra items at the grocery store.

 

It's NOT too late to begin. It is harder now, but not impossible. SOMETHING IS ALWAYS better than nothing. Even an extra three days' worth is better than an empty larder.

 

My mother says the only way you can come out ahead on the food budget is to have a good garden. So make one if you can and take advantage of the opportunity that is there in your own backyard or in containers on your balcony.

 

If you believe we are in dire times and that there is urgency, do not let this paralyze you. Let it galvanize you. Focus on what you can do, not on what you wish you could do and cannot. The last thing you want to do is ...nothing.

 

It is said "Life is an occasion...rise to it!" That is the same with prepping. There's a chance to do some prepping--TAKE IT

 

 

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I've been somewhat of a prepper my entire 30+ years of married life. I grew up in an area that had a lot of tornadoes. Everyone had emergency supplies, food, lanterns, water, etc. for heading to the basement when the warning sirens blew. My parents grew up during the depression, so for us a full pantry meant security.

 

I am also old enough to have been shown civil defense films in elementary schools on how to survive a nuclear attack. They did not scare me, but I was impressed. I was fascinatd by the food storage and recovery lessons. I guess I had caught the prep bug even as a child.

 

I always had at least extra water and food stored for my family. I got way more serious for Y2K when I realized our house was all electric. I also renewed my efforts after 9/11.

 

I wish I could say we have a bunker jam-packed with years of food, ammo and medical supplies, but we don't. However as Judy said, SOMETHING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NOTHING.

 

My best advice is to remember that anything you do to prepare is a blessing to your family. An extra can of soup or packet of seeds is a blessing to your family as much as a crate of #10 cans. Sieze every opportunity to put a little extra something aside. It does add up!

 

Okay, raise your hand if you are a "perfectionsit". Come on, you know who you are. busted

 

If you are waiting to start prepping until you clean out that spare closet, or get the shelving organized in the basement, then you are the one I mean. You do not need a ten year color-coded and laminated food plan before you can pick up extra boxes of macaroni or bags of rice and beans and toss them in your grocery cart.DO NOT WAIT. Began gathering your supplies NOW.

 

Then let us know how you are doing. You will get lots of support here. smile

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Mother, I needed to read all that. Thank you for posting it!

 

*gets a notebook ready to write all her preps down in...and those PG still needs....*

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Cricket, I like your comment to the perfectionist! Had I waited until every closet was cleared, we would still be living week to week. I always had a few weeks of food, cleaning and hygiene supplies stocked up, but had quit growing food and preserving. Didn't have a stash of medical, lighting, heating, or emergency cooking stuff. I started out just adding a little from each category, each week or each shopping trip. I started growing veggies and canning and as I needed to find space for all this extra, the closets, drawers and whatever got cleaned out and organized as I accumulated preps. Baby steps! I find just as everyone else has said that just doing something - even if it is simply making an inventory of stuff already on hand, skills and knowledge - is so important and relieves that sense of gloom and doom!

Mother, you got us started on a great line of thought! And a great way to encourage each other!

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What has worked well for me is the 'if you need one, buy two' philosophy. I have slowly built up my peanut butter, apple juice, toilet paper and the other necessities of life with 4 kids in this fashion.

 

 

When you know you have 3 or 4 of each necessity in your stores, if you find a great sale on something (like tuna fish?) you can buy a LOT of that and know you won't be short of juice. Your larder saves you money now. Nice, huh? You've hit a point where you can take big advantage of sales and loss leaders.

 

 

So, prepping can build up momentum once you've really gotten started. You are more relaxed in the store because you don't HAVE to buy anything, you can think and juggle numbers and trends easier. I was able to buy 6 months of rice before the price increases hit. I'm able to get in a lot of canned tuna because I've read that price will be going up.

 

Hope I've helped!

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This has been helpful. I am very, very new to the idea of stockpiling but I am determined to do it even though we have NO storage space and aren't likely to.

 

Could someone give me a link to the LDS sites that sell the food?

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ANY prep you can make is that much more than you had before. And yes, start with BOBs...even if you don't or can't leave, you can live on what's in the BOB for three days if you must.

 

Mo7

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I was rereading my original post and talking to some people and realized that there might be another tool we can use to be more effective preppers. I will add it to the originally post for those who are reading it for the first time but will also put my thoughts here for those who have been following this thread.

 

Attitude.

I believe we could add attitude adjustments to the tools for prepping. I noticed that many preppers on this board and others tend to react adversely when anyone points out the terrible future we could be looking at. There are all sorts of reactions from denial, to justification, to refuting the subject.

 

It’s plain and simple human nature not to want change forced upon us. The future we are starting to see in the media and on the survival and watch boards is way less than optimal. It seems to be pointing out that we will need to give up a lot of what we consider luxuries and perhaps even necessities. Just the raise in prices alone makes us cringe but the thought of having to perhaps face TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) is even worse.

 

Why? I tried to get a handle on that.

 

Is it because you could have to do much more physical work than you’ve done in the past? I know it is more and more difficult for me each year. Is it because you love your present lifestyle so much that you can’t give it up? Perhaps it is because you want your children to have so much MORE than you did and that fear that they will have so much less. Perhaps it is because you see a future that looks too much like the past. Some of us have been there, done that and do NOT want to do it again. Some see the past as a time of degradation for those living through it.

 

There are a great many reasons why we do not want to face the future. But our attitudes about the future constantly dictate to our prepping. So, too, does our attitude about the past if that is where we feel the next future is taking us. When we think of the future as a terrible place to be, we cling to the present with every inch of our being. That means that we focus on THINGS for our preps; food mostly because it is often associated with the good life. Our first thought is to squirrel away all those things that bring us joy because we can’t imagine joy in the future facing us.

 

Certainly we will be facing some really tough times. If we have a SHTF situation it more then likely would cause widespread societal breakdown for at least the first part of that time. I won’t paint a false rosy pictures for you. The situation is worsening daily and much faster than any of us had expected but we can prep for that yet. It won’t be as easy but we can do it with a bit of ingenuity and determination.

 

Still, many people will still be prepping only for the short term because they cannot wrap their minds around trying to envision a future where we have to give up a way of life that we’ve grown accustomed to.

 

I believe a change of attitude toward that future might help us all to get beyond that. We aren’t really sure what the future will bring but even if it did bring us TEOTHAWKI why do we believe it will be a worse world? Is our world so perfect today that we don’t want to change it? You all know what is going on in the world today even if you choose not to acknowledge it. There is a lot of room for improvement. Who is to say that those improvements won’t come AFTER the SHTF? Each of us has different views for what the world should be. So also will each of you have different ideas for being prepared for it but changing our attitudes towards that future might make even a bigger difference in how and what we prep.

 

I can easily envision a future where we won’t have electricity which would mean giving up not only a lot of luxuries but possibly will bring a lot of extra physical labor I am ill equipped for. I would mourn that loss but I also look forward to the possibility that it might bring families closer together. I can envision no modern world interference in the time they spend together. No TV’s, Ipods, geehaws and gadgets that take attention away from family and focus it on individuals. Working together for survival can make for tighter knit groups.

 

When I realized that I changed some of my ideas about what to have prepared. I stocked up on popcorn, books, puzzles, and musical instruments. I made sure that I had lots of hand projects to do in the evening for idle hands are less productive hands and can lead to boredom. I invested in wind up clocks for I know that time has become an issue with us all and it will help to make that transition. I am especially careful to print out instructions for those things I feel we might need to know to make our non-electric lifestyle easier and have invested in non-electric items to insure a smoother transition. When I go to buy something now I ask myself if I could still use it in a non-electric world.

 

I’ve heard some of you say how worried you are about your kids in this new reality. They might not have all the wonderful things you wanted for them. Perhaps they won’t be able to go to college. Maybe they will have to give up something they are accustomed to having or do something they have never done before. That doesn’t mean it will be bad. If we truly have a societal change then they will not be alone. Their friends, and family will all be in the same boat. Changes happen constantly in young peoples lives. They are meant to. It’s how they grow and we see it daily now. Why do we think it will be any different after the SHTF? In fact, they will most likely adapt better than us adults.

Eventually there will still be schools even if it’s in your own home. Eventually new opportunities will open up for them to move into. It might be different than they had dreamed of but it will be a new dream. You can help with these transition with your attitude.

 

Attitude towards the future can make all the difference, not just to your prepping but to your whole well being and that of your family. Our ancestors the pioneers really didn’t know what their future was going to bring when they packed up their wagons and headed west. The knew they faced hardship and dangers yet they tried to be as prepared as possible for what might come. Some of them chose to go; some only went because their loved ones did. Some had no choice and felt forced into the trip but mostly they went with the attitude that there would be a new and better way of life ahead of them. After they had faced the deserts and the mud and the rain, after they faced the sometimes unfriendly natives who saw them as a threat, after they lost loved ones and possessions a huge percentage of them managed to find a new life, a better one for themselves and their family. Have we evolved into such puny pampered weaklings now that we can’t do the same? I think not!

 

 

bighug

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Mother, I think these are great posts, thank you.

 

Now I would like to know if new preppers can have a concise list of (a) what to store and (B) best ways to store it.

 

For example, I went to the mormon site and found they said 25lbs grain and 5lbs beans per person per month. They also said the next thing to store was milk, salt, sugar and water.

 

What's the best way to store this stuff? What are other good ways? What are poor ways?

 

Say I start buying 4lb box of powdered milk and 5 lbs sugar each week at the grocery store -- what are the best ways to store this? Should I seal them in seal-a-meal type bags? Vacuum or with oxygen absorber or both? Is there a better brand than seal-a-meal or do they all work. Is storing them in glass canning jars just as good or better? Again, vacuum or oxygen absorber? Do I have to fork out the $$$ for a Tilia, or is a $25 pump-n-seal just as good for jars? What's the best place to buy oxygen absorbers?

 

what else do I need? Oh! A good water filter? What's recommended?

 

 

See where I'm going with this? I appreciate so much the encouragement and such, but where does a newbie find the brass tacks? It seems there is a lot of information either understood by most members or buried in the forum and the search function doesn't seem to help much (i.e. when I search for oxygen+absorber+best+price, it still doesn't take to to any posts that might say where I can get the best price on oxygen absorbers).

 

Thanks,

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I just got my mylar gallon sized bags and oxygen absorbers. That's what I'm going to use for my grains and beans and such. I already have a heat sealer. Then put those into buckets or heavy containers for extra protection.

A couple of weeks ago, I went with my LDS friend to her LDS cannery with a big group. We canned up bunches of food! I didn't have an order in, but I got to purchase the "extras" left over from the last group, that they keep on a seperate shelf. They also let me buy a box of 250 of the mylar bags (they call them foil lined, I think),these are really tough, like 7mm. I already had the oxygen absorbers, so I'm all set, and got about 100 more lbs. of red wheat in the 10# cans, 2 cans of dried apples, 4 cans of dried milk, 1 can of dried onions, and 2 cans of dried carrots to add to my storage room. Woohoo! banana

I'm also putting nuts and smaller amounts of dried things in canning jars, pints or quarts, with the oxygen absorbers, I think that will work, too.

This is where I got my oxygen absorbers:

http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/index.asp...&ProdID=309

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And another thought - you may have these, too, Tracie, where you live. If you decide to do canning, you can get lots of good supplies from local Amish stores, like we have here. I buy most of our food from the Amish or Mennonite bulk stores. I don't even shop at grocery stores anymore, unless it's Walmart. At the Amish store, I can buy a whole "sleeve" of over 300 canning lids for under $30. It saves alot to buy these things in bulk. The Mennonite bulk store will also order 50lb. bags of things that I need, from flour to baking soda (for cleaning and such), to boxes of 15lb. of nuts, or raisins. And they don't overcharge on their "middleman" cut!

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Tracie, here I was just telling you to come read here and you already beat me too it. LOL.

 

Because I know that you are feeling the pressure, let me suggest that you start with lists for what you already have. You won't know what you need before you do that.

 

You are right. The search engine never works really well for me either but one thing I have found is that I have to put in less words not more and be sure to give it some dates, like newer than a year or two and older than one day. Another suggestion is to make sure that you mark to have it search in the most likely forum first, branching out if you don't get something in that. For instance, you might type in storing grain and highlight either the preservation forum or R you Really ready one. For lists go to the subforum here called budget and storage. Nana has a LOT of lists there.

 

From what you write, you are totally aware that things are going down hill fast and that you need to be prepped as fast as possible but take a few moments to stop and think about what you really might be facing in your area. Priortize somehow. Get the basics first and worry about storing them after you have them. The basics for YOU and for YOUR family could be totally different than fifty pounds of wheat and forty pounds of milk. It might be fifty cans of veggies and forty cans of tuna. They don't have storage worries nearly as much as wheat does and if you never have used wheat you may never be able to use it effectively during a SHTF situation. But I bet you know how to use tuna and pasta and veggies.

 

Please, don't get sidelined by all the preppers here who have a ton of wheat and four hundred pounds of sugar or some such. Do I store wheat? Yes, I do but I have used it for years so it's normal for us. I also have two or three cases of tuna stored, bought on sale. I have coffee stored for DH, I have buckets full of oatmeal, I have bottles of our favorite dressing and I even have some cans of ravioli 'cause the grandkids love them. Heaven forbid I even have hot dogs in the freezer along with our home grown meat. I have jars of home canned vegetables and fruit and cans of store bought ones.

 

Think basics, yes. Think things that you can stock up on that you will USE or stock up on them and START using them NOW. Rotate them. Make menus of what your family eats on a regular basis and figure out how much of each thing you would have to purchase for a month, six months, a year or whatever time frame you are planning.

 

Let me ask you this. Do you have water now? Where does it come from? Will you really need a filter for it? What is your knowledge base? Do you know how to boil water to purify it? Do you know how to use solar distilation or other ways of making water safe? Can you grow a garden? Do you have seeds? do you know how to preserve the food you grow? Protect it? Do you need to stock all foods or just those you can't raise yourself? This is the type of thing that will be on your list of preps you already have.

 

Once you know what you REALLY need, then you can start asking if you can't find things here. There's always someone to direct and help. Take a deep breath, count to ten, okay make that twenty, and then start by using your brain to help you prepare before you even get out your wallet.

 

bighug

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bighug

 

Thank you Mother! You just made me feel so much calmer.

 

Last month we bought 900lb wheat, and 180 lb pinto beans. I have a non-electric wheat grinder and have already made *delicious* bread with freshly ground wheat berries. I've known how to use dried beans since I was a child.

 

We have a garden - my husband is really getting interested in gardening and doing a fantastic job at it. He wants to triple the garden next year. I know I *can* garden. I don't like doing it, but it's good to see hubby likes it. I can can - just made & canned 16 half-pints of jam. I feel confident with my water-bath canning skills and have already a small stockpile of jars and lids. I can make jam without pectin (although I don't like it as much).

 

I can cook from scratch. I can sew clothes. I can knit socks and sweaters. Course that implies I can get my hands on yarn -- I am a horrible spinner.

 

I built a cabin I lived in for a few years, and hooked up the solar panels that ran what little electricity I had. I have lived with a wood stove and propane fridge. I can solar distill water (although I don't like the taste of it) and purify water by boiling it, but I am thinking a berkey would be easier and nicer. We have a *huge* late nearby, so I doubt we'll have severe water shortages.

 

Just that short little list makes me feel confident that my family can get through this. But it seems every day something hits me I never thought of -- like seeing the garbage problems in Naples Italy (they don't have garbage pickup now - couldn't figure out why). Or oxygen absorbers -- I had never heard of those before I came here.

 

You're right though, about everyone's needs being different. For example, there are *many* dairy farms near me -- several I can get to on a bicycle. So I probably wouldn't need to store nearly as many dehydrated dairy products as my MIL, who doesn't have a dairy farm within at least 100 miles.

 

Thank you so much for all you do here!

 

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Well, Tracie, I'm impessed, and not a bit worried about you. You will do great.

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thanks! Writing that out really did make me feel better, and a little less panicked about what I need to do in the next few months.

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Tracie, I don't know if you know about The website at Walton Feed, they have an amazing amount of info on storing food. You might want to start there.

For the foods that you are using I like the super pails with Gamma lids. I have pails with wheat, oats, sugar etc. Then they are easy to open and close. Very easy. You have a ring and then the lid is a screw cap and you can just spin it and it opens. They are really worth it.

I like to knit, I am storing lots of yarn, if anything it calms me to knit.

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Oh thank you! Yes, I heard about the Walton Feed website from this forum. It's wonderful! That's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of when I said we need to make lists for newbies.

 

The food we got last month was in #10 cans from the LDS church -- wheat, oats, rice and pinto beans. But now we are contemplating things to add. I've started putting sugar in quart canning jars, figuring that if TSHTF, canning jars could come in mighty handy. But you know, a superpail would be a lot more protection.

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Quote:
But you know, a superpail would be a lot more protection.
.... especially if you are any where near earthqua territory. wink


MtRider



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I think it's time to hit Sam's or Costco as soon as I get paid for a few things to get a big ol' bag of rice and maybe more beans and tuna...

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Originally Posted By: Tracie
I've started putting sugar in quart canning jars, figuring that if TSHTF, canning jars could come in mighty handy. But you know, a superpail would be a lot more protection.


Well, now you have your Foodsaver, Tracie!!! whistle

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