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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Why We Prep As A Family

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why We Prep As A Family

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'Do you really think something bad is going to happen? Come on, in this day and age, there is no way. And if it does, the government will help us!'  

   That whole statement/question really gets to me! There are various reasons why my family preps and not one is a conspiracy theory! Let me throw a few SHTF scenarios THAT HAVE ACTUALLY HAPPENED!

  • Hurricane Katrina 
  • Hurricane Sandy 
  • Mudslides in Colorado and California
  • Wild Fires ALL over the US
  • Tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma

     Google 'Natural Disasters in the USA' and you will come up with about 13,000,000 results. I could not even post them all. Every day someone, somewhere, is in a scenario they wish they had been prepared for. Do you save for retirement? That is you prepping for your future after you retire. Do you buy groceries for the whole week? That is you preparing to eat for the week. Do you buy clothing, bottles, diapers and wipes when you find out your are expecting? That is you preparing for a child! So why is it so crazy that my family is trying to be self sufficient and prepare for the future? I prepare for the 'Just in Case' of life's mishaps. What if one of us gets hurt? What if we loose a job? What if weather kept us from going to town to get supplies? And yes, what if the world changes as we know it? 

Let me tell you what personal SHTF situations our family has been through in just this past year alone.
  • My construction worker husband was out of work for nearly 8 months.  When my husband was out of work, we used nearly all of our savings. Luckily I had enough provisions in the house so we did not have issues with providing food.  My small paycheck helped to pay bills when needed and keep us a float. It was a trying time, but we made it. 
  • Winter storm blew through and froze everything. Everything was closed and half of the town did not have electricity for 3 days. I had my mom staying with us cause her house was not equipped for a power outage and temperatures as low as they were. While the power was out at my house we cooked meals on the wood burning stove and heated our house with it. I also had oil lamps and candles to help us see. Luckily, our power was not out as long as most. We were able to snuggle in and watch t.v. and play board and card games for the most part. 
  • My mother was in the hospital for weeks in an ICU and was sent to a hospital about an hour away from me. I missed a lot of work. Since my check pays for all of our food, we blew through all of my food preps again as well. Mom is fine now, but I can't imagine what I would have done if I had to worry about feeding my family at the same time I was worried about my mom. 
     I hate to think what would happen if I had not prepared ahead of time for these real life emergencies. Those extra bags of rice and sugar I picked up, along with all my other canned veggies, fruits, soups and munchies really came in handy. Did my kids think we were in dire need of money? Yes, they knew, but they knew mom and dad had prepared for the 'Just in Case.' 

     Prepping to me is not just about buying and storing, stockpiling items you might need just in case your world is toppled up side down. It is a whole state of mind and a way of life. Humans have not always been able to run to the store to buy a gallon of milk they forgot. Before grocery markets became so popular, people went to general stores and just bought big bulk necessities to make it though a certain amount of time. Everything else came from what they grew, raised and foraged. Summers were spent stockpiling for winter. Now don't get me wrong, I love being able to run to the grocery store after work cause I we ran out of milk! I am guilty of running in for just a few things just as much as the next guy. However, I am working towards not having to rely on the grocery stores to get basic daily supplies, and just use them to purchase my big bulk items. On my mind all the time is, "What if you couldn't go to the store for the items your forgot or ran out of? What if road conditions are too harsh? What if stores were closed?" My mind is not in panic mode, it is more that a strategy game for me. 
     Look around your kitchen, how long could your family go with out going to the store? Days? Weeks? Rarely does anyone ever have enough food to last months on end. We have fallen into the 'convenience' trap. 'I'll pick it up on the way home.' But if you think about it, prepping is not always about food storage that comes from a store. Let us play a little scenario game... 
     Let's say stores are gone, you have no elecricity and you only have enough food to feed your family for 2 months. Then what? How are you going to get more food? Most people would say, 'Oh, I'll hunt for my food.' or 'I can garden," but can you really? Unless you are an avid hunter, your hunt might not go as planned. What if you wait all day and you do not see a deer? What will you eat then?  Are you prepared to eat a squirrel, skunk or rabbit? If you do manage to get a kill, what if your prey takes off and runs away before it finally dies? Will you know how to track it? If you do find your deer, do you know how to skin and dress it? Now you can not possibly eat a whole deer in one day, so how do you preserve it? How do you keep it fresh enough to feed your family for a month? 
     Man can not live on meat alone, can you a garden? Do you have seeds? Do you know when to plant your seeds? Do you know how to fertilize your garden? Do you know how long compost must sit before it is ready? Do you even know how to make compost? Do you know what amending the soil means? Do you know what kind of manure you can put directly on plants? Which animal manures will burn a plant? What do yellow leaves on a plant mean? What if your plants do not grow? What if you end up having a great amazing wonderful green thumb? Will you do with the abundance of food to prepare it for winter? No electricity means no refrigerators. Do you know how to can? Do you water bath or pressure cook your bounty? Do you know about root cellars? Drying fruits and vegetables? If you do know about these things, do you know how to do them with out electricity? Gas? 
     These are just a few of the questions I ask myself all of the time. AND THAT is why I prep! I have not even touched medical, hygiene, livestock, mechanical, and school prepping! It seems a bit overwhelming at first. But baby steps are all that is needed! Just make sure if you are talking the talk, that you are also walking the walk! Get up and learn something! 

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