My husband and I have talked about prepping a lot lately and as happens my daughter has been drawn into the conversation a few times. We talk a lot about self-sufficiency too, which is just on the other side of prepping, but as with all 11 year old children my daughter worries. I worried about nuclear war at her age with the cold war, and now she hears all this talk about prepping and wonders if she will face a disaster in her life time.
Here is What I Told Her
I struggled to teach my daughter the different between self-sufficiency and prepping, and why we would be exploring both lifestyles. As I did, what I said surprised even myself, but it hit home and made sense to my daughter as well.
I told my daughter that our society has become entirely too dependent on industry, technology, stores and government to take care of them. That they have given up their power and forgotten how to take care of themselves.
I asked her what she thought under those circumstances would happen if something big did happen? She gave me the answer that I was looking for, that most of them would die. I went on to tell her that what self-sufficiency was all about, self-empowerment, taking back that power and knowing that we could take care of ourselves if the need should arise.
The Great Depression Should Teach us a Lesson
I pointed out to my daughter that the reason why so many survived the Great depression was because they knew how to take care of themselves, that the knowledge skills we were striving to gain had not yet been lost by the masses. I told her that if something like the depression happened now, many people would starve because they were dependent on the current order for their survival.
I also told her that I thought this is a lot of where prepping stems from, not that any certain disaster was imminent(although many do feel that way), but that we are all vulnerable, and that disaster can happen in an instant, with no warning. Look at Japan, and Haiti as examples of that. Prepping is a way that people can feel less powerless, more prepared and in more control of their lives.
She understood this, and I think it made her more comfortable with the concept of what we are trying to do on our homestead. Sure we want to raise healthy food for our family but even more than that we want to weather any crisis that might come our way. We want to be one of those that never has to worry about what might happen.
Prepping Makes Sense for Everyone
I see that a lot of people are making fun of those who prep, with all the increased publicity it has been getting lately this does not surprise me, people tend to make fun of that which disturbs them and the thought of harder times is enough to disturb anyone. But I believe in prepping, I do not think that one has to go overboard with it, and our motto is not survival at all costs, but we do believe is that relying on the government to take care of us is wishful thinking and relying on others that are more prepared than we are is just irresponsible. We also believe that the cost of food and energy is not going to get any better.
My goal is to be able to weather any short term crisis, and to be able to take care of ourselves without any help if need be. We do not believe the goal of self-sufficiency is at odds with this, in fact we feel that both goals meet well in the middle. We also feel that it is irresponsible not to pass this knowledge on to our children, to have it there for those of them that want it. What are the odds that the knowledge we gain and share may save a life in future generations even if it does not save one now?
Every generation that goes by, the odds are more and more in favor that someone we know or love will meet with some sort of disaster so I want my daughter to learn to take care of herself. My other kids are older now, and not as receptive, it makes me sad, but I am happy to know that they will know where to turn if they ever need to.
What are your thoughts about being prepared and how seriously do you take the concept of being ready for a disaster? Leave us a comment to let us know your feelings on this. In the weeks that go by I want to try to do a few articles on prepping, as well as share the things we do.
Frankly, I think prepping is only helpful for certain disasters-the kind that leave your house intact and there aren’t very many disasters like that. It works good for small life disasters such as losing your job, getting hurt and being out of work (we don’t have any insurance here). I prep here mostly for those types of disasters. I also prep for power outages which do happen here but aren’t usually more than a few days, still it helps to be prepared for them.
I work a lot more on being self sufficient but then it is a lot harder then just buying a few extras for the storage room so it takes a lot more work. I mainly do it just because I enjoy it though and feel “right” when I am doing it.
I mostly agree with you Becky and I have always looked at what I do as something I enjoy before anything else. I do believe there are disasters that can be prepped for, and I also believe it is useful to learn means to take care of oneself if ones house is not left intact.
I have never looked at prepping as being something where I go and buy a lot of things to put on the shelves, I feel that misses the point entirely, that we need to not forget how to do those things for ourselves.
However I guess the point of my post is that I try not to lean too far each way, but to find a sensible balance that leaves us prepared for most things we are likely to face.
I totally agree with that. I do some prepping and as much self sufficiency as I can. I likely won’t go crazy and buy a years worth of food at one time but I might still put together a bag for the car–just in case. And for self sufficiency we are raising pigs this year for the first time and plan to butcher them ourselves but it is unlikely I am going to try to get a cow as well, lol. I know some things are beyond my abilities right now.
Heather :) :) :) says
I think this is so smart!!!! I mean, I’m thinking of a time, years ago, when there was a flood in my town and knocked out the city water supply for 7 days…and if people didn’t have water stores, which most didn’t, it was hard. We had to depend on the National Guard for that…but in any case, there’s a lot of wisdom/common sense in growing as much of your own food as you can….and in being prepared for an emergency 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂
Rita Caldwell says
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! I’ve spent most of my last 30 years as a wife and mother teaching myself and my kids how to take care of themselves and more so in the last five. Our country is a mess and people need to learn how to feed and take care of their families in the event of another depression. My parents and grandparents told me so many stories growing up during the depression and the mind set of “it’ll never happen to me” is mind boggling. Stories of thievery (spelling?) and hurting others during the depression were the most frightening. I’ve tried to teach my children and my grandchild by throwing out questions of what would you do if . . . you didn’t have store bought food, new shoes every week or month, electricity, didn’t have gas to go to the grocery store or doctor, lost your home, and heaven forbid NO TV??? All I can do is pray they listened!!
Donna H. says
I love your post. I just taught my first Basics of Prepping class. Prepping has been a part of our lives for about five years now, and when the economy dumped in ’08, both of us had long term layoffs. Between ’08 and ’10, I had twelve mos. of work. Hubby was even less. Because we had our garden, canned goods, and storage, we were able to use what money we had to pay for other necessities. I was also able to help both kids when they had family crises.
Peace of mind is key. Even if you can’t control all of life’s turns, having control over a few key aspects will allow you to focus your energy on the other things that you must deal with. Sometimes it is the difference between an “issue” and a “meltdown”.
Wanda Faith says
I love your blog, found you on Pinterest. My husband Bill and I are starting to do the same thing. We moved in with his elderly parents to take care of them. Pop is 96 yo and Momma Bett is 81. They have a large ranch style house that has been added onto over the last 80 some odd years on 5 acres. When we moved in the land and outbuilding are rundown and acreage badly overgrown due to their age and disabilities.
The Mississippi Delta is nothing but gumboe mud. This is going to be challenging at best but we are determined to do this and become more self-sufficient, make the land pay.
I am eagerly going to follow your blog and perhaps at some point you could write an article for my blog.
Good to meet you and God Bless.
Wanda I am glad you like my blog! I would be happy to guest post when you are ready 🙂 just let me know. wish I could see your house, it sounds wonderful, I love old houses!! I wish we had more land like that, but we do good with the 2/3s of an acre we have 🙂
Just found your website through Pinterest and had this same conversation with my son when our electricity went off an hour or so ago. We’ve been prepping for several months (just buying some extra supplies along) and are preparing to can food for the first time this summer. We’ve had a garden for years and are now looking at ways to put up food outside of the freezer. Looking forward to more wonderful posts from your blog!
I enjoyed your article and You are a smart Mother to show your kids. I so wish I would have talked more to Grandma and my parents about the depression. Some call us fruitcakes but it doesn’t bother me as I will survive. I have only been prepping since 2012 but
feel I am in much better shape than some.
I have learned so much in the past two years by reading everything I can get in books and on the computer.
I have a garden fenced to keep all animals out and have the orchard I started inside the fence too. Also put in berries and
Has anyone made fruit juice and how?