Tag Archive: preparing


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There is no cure for ebola. There is no treatment besides supportive care for ebola. But there is one sure fire way to avoid contracting ebola. Isolation.

With growing concerns over the ‘first’ case of diagnosed ebola in the US many are now very scared. At this point in time, an entire apartment complex is on lockdown (quarantine) voluntarily. Family members and friends (including children who went to school after coming into contact with the sick man) are in isolation. Some hospital workers, ambulance workers and now some people who were in the ER when patient zero first sought medical help, are now voluntarily in quarantine. The schools where the children attended are being treated as a biohazard as is the ambulance that the man who knowingly brought ebola to the US was taken to the hospital in. The CDC is actively looking for people he may have come into contact with right now, and the latest number of people that are of high concern is 100 (as of 10 am on October 2nd, 2014). Currently, there is someone in Hawaii that is in isolation suspected of having ebola.

While at this moment in time cases and potential cases are isolated (that are known), ebola, as we have seen in Africa, this has the potential to turn into a pandemic. Right now, the CDC says it has a contagion rate of 2. That means for everyone person who has ebola, that they will infect 2 other people. Do the math, those 2 people infect 4, 4 turns into 8 and it grows from there.

There is research out of Canada that ebola maybe airborne or very well has the great potential to become airborne. They are saying that only direct contact with someone who is infected (showing symptoms) may cause infection. However, what they are NOT saying is this: Droplets from sneezing and coughing may cause infection. How? Through what I call the ‘sneeze cloud’. We all understand how the flu is transmitted, well, same goes for ebola in this sense, except with ebola, chances are about 50/50 of living through it.

Given that the flu spreads rapidly through populations (most quickly through highly concentrated populations such as schools, work places, malls, buses etc. any place where there is a high number of people) we have the potential for ebola following the same path ways. Door knobs and handles, table surfaces, cell phones and your very own hand. Any place that sneeze/cough droplets land gives rise to the possibility of infection. And just as with the flu, someone coughing or sneezing near you (towards your direction) that sneeze cloud contains the virus. And that can be quite a distance and can linger in the air. Once your hand comes into contact with the virus you can then become infected through a cut, touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And while it has yet to be scientifically proven, it wouldn’t be too hard to see how people could become infected due to the sneeze cloud.

If one thing becomes clear, it is that our very way of life (living closely together, handshakes, riding buses, constant touching of surfaces and then our faces) sets up a potentially dangerous scenario in which the ONLY real prevention becomes ISOLATION from others. There is a reason why those who may have been exposed are being quarantined (voluntarily, though I would place bets that some due to financial concerns will break it) it is because those in charge KNOW that the only way to stop a full blown pandemic from occurring is isolation. That means not going to work, no school, no shopping, no getting together at the local bar or playground. It goes even further. But the fact remains that social isolation is the ONLY sure fire way to avoid contracting Ebola. Period, end of subject.

Think about what this means…there is a reason why the schools where the children who were potentially exposed to Ebola by patient zero were closed (and cleaned up as a biohazard area) and why those children are in quarantine. Because officials know that isolation is the only sure fire preventative.

Are you personally ready to socially isolate you and yours? There is at this time no real reason to panic. And the best cure against panic and fear is to be prepared to stay home for an extended length of time. At the very least, be prepared to stay home (quarantine) for at least one month, if not longer. But start with one month and do it now. Waiting until official word of a epidemic or pandemic is not the time to begin. Now, before it happens, when the potential threat is present is when you prepare. Do it BEFORE officials make you stay home.

Basics of preparation for a potential pandemic is not that much different from preparing for a hurricane, except you are looking at a month, if not longer.

Get your emergency supplies together.
Food, water, medical supplies, sanitation needs, personal security. You want to get as much together as possible so that you do not have to go out. Remember, the only true prevention is limiting contact with others. If you question this measure you only need to look at what is happening in Sierra Leone right now. They started with a 3 DAY lockdown and now have an indefinite ‘quarantine’ in place in areas where Ebola has hit hard in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola. People are having a hard time getting food, water and medicine. The streets are empty, business are closed. These people were not prepared for a lockdown.

The ball was dropped many times in this last week by many people who are our first line of defense against infectious diseases. This means that while ‘systems’ are in place to protect us. WE the public become the last line of defense, for ourselves, our families and our communities. Now is the time to prepare for what could quickly become a dangerous situation.

For more information on Pandemic Preparedness please visit Tess Pennington’s website, Ready Nutrition

Be safe and be prepared.
survivingshtfmom

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I grew up in a family where we kept months of basic food stuffs on hand and only went ‘shopping’ 2 or 3 times a year and yes, this included toilet paper, dog food and laundry detergent. My father was a Reservist and we didn’t have access to the commissary all the time, so we just ‘stocked’ up when he was ‘on’. At the time, I didn’t think anything about it, but my mother tells me that this was drilled into their heads by the military during the ‘60’s ‘just in case’… so it was natural for me to carry this behavior into my adult life, even when I was living on the edge as a young mother and wife in my early 20’s. You just kept food in the house beyond your immediate needs. You only went to the grocery store to get bread, milk and eggs twice a month. I was just what I did and I was very happy to have that mindset in me as I started my own businesses…I always had at least a month’s worth of food on hand and tried my best to have more, but never let it fall below that level…you never knew or know when or if ‘pay-day’ would come and you have to eat right? So I was quite comfortable with my food storage even though I wasn’t a prepper, it was just the prudent thing to do given the circumstances of my life. But over the past few years, and especially this year, it has really come to my attention that our way of life here in this country is in a very precarious position and looking at my ‘storage’ which seemed so smart to me just even a year ago, I now realize just how unprepared I am/was when it cames to food storage and even I must do something to ‘fix’ that to be prepared for more than what I am now.

For those needing help in getting started, I have made some suggestions below to get you started:

Getting Started:

First, check your mindset: If you are not running to the grocery store every other day then you are probably already ‘storing’ food! Perhaps only for a week at a time, or even for just a few days, but you can take that and turn it into a solid food storage mindset and easily start extending that time out of what you already do to ‘store’ food. Instead of 6 cans of green beans that week, get 8. Instead of just 1 package of rice, get two and so on and so forth. Start looking into bulk storage items such as ‘staple’ dry goods or cases of canned goods that you use regularly this if you can afford it. Sam’s Club and Costco are great places to buy in bulk (just be aware that sometimes they aren’t the cheapest).

However, if you don’t already keep more food in the house than is needed on any given day then you need to ask yourself why you don’t keep a bit of food beyond the cheese-its on hand.

Ask yourself this:

What would happen if a storm hit and you couldn’t get out? Being a part of the stampede at the market before a storm hits isn’t too smart is it? Long lines, not enough food available and can be dangerous in the wrong conditions.

What would happen if you lost your job? Having a bit of food on hand for this emergency can save you money and give you a peace of mind that is priceless.

What would happen if your sole source of transportation (car) broke down or you couldn’t get gas?

Next I want you to think about these things:

Remember Katrina? There were people who DID all the right things, had extra food, water, basic first aid and STILL had problems surviving after a week.

Look at what is and what did happen inJapanin the aftermath of the earthquake and resulting tsunami…the shelves CLEARED in less than 6 hours and this country was considered ‘prepared’.

Then look at the list below:

Natural Disasters
Terrorism
Labor Strike

Economic Depression/Collapse
Drought
Crop Failure
Personal Tragedy
Civil Unrest

Unemployment

Inflation/Hyperinflation

What would you do if any of this happened to YOU? Do you really want to be apart of the horde that descends upon the Walmart or local grocery store? Or have to ‘get in line’ just to eat? I don’t mean to be a fear monger, but these things DO happen and they happen almost everyday somewhere in the world. You buy auto insurance, medical insurance and all sorts of ‘insurance’…just think of storing extra food as ‘insurance’…after all, without food you can’t live! So next time you are out, just pick up an extra meal or two. Get in the HABIT. Its pretty easy once you get going.

Now that you are getting the mindset…

Get a plan!

With pen in hand and paper in front of you (or your keyboard)…figure out what it is that your family LIKES TO EAT on a regular basis. Fresh fruit and veggies? Heavy meat eaters? Rice and pastas? I am not referring to fast food or convenience foods (though they do have a place in your food storage plan), but what I am referring to is this: what does your family eat if you MAKE the food yourself?

Staple items such as cereal, milk, rice, beans (or not), pasta, vegetables and meat will make the ‘core’ of your food storage preparations and you need to know what they are…my family doesn’t do beans that much so I won’t be ‘stocking’ up too much on these, but we do eat meat, so I spend my money ensuring meat and the occasional beans.

If you don’t cook yourself and rely upon convenience foods, take out and such that is okay! There is a solution for you too! Just figure out what types of foods you like to order  or pick up to eat at home (or microwave at home).

Make the LIST of your most common foods, from this list will come all your food storage items. List the drinks, the bread (if your family does sandwiches or eats rolls), the types of veggies and fruits, diary products, etc. You want a list that would show your dietary habits.

After the ‘LIST’ is made you then need to sit down and make another list…this time I want you to write down all the condiments that you use daily and even occasionally…ketchup? Salt? Vinegar? Spices? Mixes? The little things in your food life that often times we overlook as ‘using’ and being a part of our diet.

With both lists in hand you can then move onto the next stage of planning…just how much do you use and of what in any given week? (you can then plan from there on how much to buy and of what). This might seem challenging at first to figure out, but a simple way to figure this out is take the time to think about what your meals over the past week have been…this will give you a good idea of ‘how much’ you use in any given week, if need be, write a family food diary for a week, noting the ‘what and how much’. This even works for those of you who eat out a lot or use a lot of prepared food items.

For instance, if you eat cereal for breakfast each morning…how long does a box last for you or your family…1 week? A few days? A month? And don’t forget the milk! If you eat sandwiches and soup for lunch each day (lets say on the weekends) then how much do you use for you or your family? 1 can? 3 cans? For dinner, lets say you eat a steak, rice and salad with a veggie on the side or baked potato. How many steaks? How much rice? How many potatoes? You get the idea now…even if you eat out a lot or bring home meals that are ready made from the grocery store or buy those TV dinners you still know what is in them and you know what you like to eat. Just write it down. What is in your normal meal?

If you are into meal planning then figuring out what you will need should be easy. If not, make the lists to figure out what you need to get started. We can worry about drilling down to the details later.

Put your list into action!

With both lists in hand now you are ready to get going on your preparedness food storage…you know the basic ‘what’ and about how much without too much effort exerted. An extra box of mashpotatos, a few extra cans of green beans, an extra bag of rice, canned meat if you are meat eater. If you are a shopper who makes ‘lists’ when you go shopping, pick up an ‘extra’ of each of the basics you buy each time you go out. If you coupon or shop sales, more the better! Saving money is a great way to go and get prepared at the sametime.

For those who don’t know how to cook from scratch or don’t cook at all, go with can goods and MRE’s or other prepackaged meals that all you have to do is add water, like the ready made meals that many campers use. You can google MRE’s or camping food to find out where to get these. Walmart sometimes carry them in their sporting goods section. Ebay and Amazon are good places to look also as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods. But only buy what you KNOW you will eat. Or maybe its time for a change in your habits…learn now how to cook and prepare food yourself, only you can make that judgment call. But don’t let the fact that you can’t or don’t cook stop you from storing food.

Don’t try to do it over night, each time you go to the store add to your storage. Make a goal of having 3 extra days worth at first, then a weeks worth, then a months worth. Just keep at it. I understand that for many it may be hard to find the extra money to be able to store food…use coupons, shop sales, buy in bulk, cut back on fast food, eat a ‘cheap’ meal. Examine your expenses to find the extra money. It is there if you look. Do what you can when and where you can. If you find meat at a reduced price then buy all that you can afford and either dehydrate it or freeze it for food storage use. But make the commitment to have your food storage ‘just in case’. It will give you peace of mind by taking one less worry out of your life if something were to ever happen.

There are lots of ways to prepare your preparedness pantry…some people buy in bulk and store large quantities of ‘raw’ food stuff such as wheat, powdered milk, rice and beans and gather freeze dried foods in #10 cans. Others pick and choose between store bought items (can goods) and ‘raw’ food stuffs, #10 cans and canning and dehydration (this is what I personally do). Others go with can goods only. Others still go the MRE route entirely and there are a whole host of in betweens. No one ‘way’ or ‘type’ of food is perfect for everyone. That is why I ask you to make a list of what you normally eat and then buy that for your food storage.

 

REMEMBER the GOLDEN RULE OF FOOD STORAGE!!

 

Get what you will use!  people have this funny habit of NOT eating when they aren’t used to eating it. In fact, children will starve themselves rather than eat something unfamiliar. If you don’t eat beans, don’t get beans, if you don’t eat pineapple then I don’t care how good of a deal it is, it will go to waste and don’t fall prey to the ‘this is what is recommended’ food storage guidelines that are found everywhere. Store what you use and eat ONLY…it can’t be repeated enough…if you won’t it eat or use it, then you are wasting your time and money. As a by-product of getting what you will eat and use, you will also gain a sense of comfort and stability when things aren’t so good. Familiarity gives a sense of well-being that is priceless, and this includes food too!

At this point I should address something. If you like to eat bread or like ‘fresh’ veggies or fruit and want to incorporate pressure cooking or baking into your food preparedness plan, I will offer this caution. Learn to do it now and stock up while you are learning how to make your own basics. I can tell you that making breads and canning is more difficult than it seems and I applaud those who can do it with the grace and ease that escapes me at the moment. So for right now, I am buying a bit of the ‘from scratch’ basics and putting more money and effort into getting what I know I can cook with with ease until I am sure that I know what I am doing with the ‘basics’. This goes back to the ‘get what you will use’. If you can’t or don’t know how to use it then it will not be used.

General Guidelines for Food Storage

Once you are getting into the swing of the food storage mindset and acting upon it you will need to use the following guidelines:

If you decide to buy in bulk such items as wheat, dry milk, rice or other such items (dry goods) then be sure you have containers and packaging ready when you get home to put them into storage. There are a few ways to store dry good long-term such as bucket, mylar bags, air tight plastic containers, mason jars etc. You will need these items if you store in bulk. Do your research to select what will work best for you, your needs and what you will be storing.

Learn proper storage techniques: general rule of thumb, no extreme temperatures, no moisture. Food lasts longer the cooler and dryer it is.Think about where you can store your food storage. Your cabinets and pantry will get full. Think about the garage, under beds, in closets…I know some people who even put can goods behind books on the book case! Get creative.

LABEL your storage with what it is and date you put it into storage. This is especially important for bulk storage.

Rotate your food storage! The MOST IMPORTANT thing I can tell you about food storage is that it is necessary to ROTATE your food. Use the container (or can or package) that’s been stored the longest and replace it with newer stored containers behind the older ones. Food storage that spoils or lies untouched is garbage. This is especially important if you are freezing any items such as meat or buying frozen veggies. Don’t waste your time, effort and money by forgetting to ROTATE YOUR FOOD! Develop a method to rotate your food that works for you. Use what you store…this helps to rotate the food so you don’t waste your time and money.

So that is the ‘get you started’ basics in food storage. It is really just about recognizing the need, figuring out what you do eat and then getting a little more than you normally do. If you can afford to do so, do it quickly and if you are like me, do it one trip at a time, one item at a time as you can afford to do so. Just get started.

Here’s a good one that is rather telling: Yesterday in my mail I received a ‘renewal’ notice for my ‘new’ car tags. The tags which I just got at the end of May are good until May of 2013…and the DMV sent me a renewal notice that noted my tags were due for renewal (but clearly stated they were set to expire in 5/13)…now, I can understand a glitch that would send this out…but I am not the only who got something like that this week…Me thinks that the State is getting creative in finding money, after all, how many people get something like that and unthinkingly pay for it without a second thought? It is ‘just one of those things’ that you do, that you are trained to do. Of course I am not paying it and actually sent it back to them pointing out that I am not paying forward on a vehicle that I may not even have then (not exactly those words, I was a bit more creative).

Now, what does this have to do with surviving SHTF? It is part of the preparedness mind set. Understand, we have been taught to, more or less, as good little sheeple, to pay things like this on demand, without looking at it, simply because we get it from the state or the Feds or whatever ‘authority’ (including telephone companies, credit lenders, etc.) sends it to us. Many people get it and pay it without taking the time to look at the ‘bill’ to see if it is indeed valid. It is called ‘questioning’ what is the ‘truth’ or appears to be ‘true’ just because an ‘authority’ says it is true. Those who will survive turmoil in whatever manner it may come, will have the ability to openly question and spot BS or something that is not true. This is a survival skill folks, it is a mindset. And that mindset starts with LOOKING at what is being said to be ‘true’ and either confirming or denying it instead of just ‘assuming’ it is true. This means that you think for yourself and not follow the crowd or authority unthinkingly and without question. And yes, we are taught from birth to unquestioningly ‘follow’ authority even when everything inside us says that it is not right. We are taught, in this society that still holds to ‘conformity’ (and there is nothing inherently wrong with ‘conformity’ as long as it serves the good of both the individual and the whole), that to break away from the ‘herd’ means becoming an outcast and way back when, this meant death. People were cast out (literally) for not conforming to ‘community’ standards and group think. Think the Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials and even NOW, a woman faces jail time for going against ‘normal’ in growing her own food in the front yard. Yes, we are taught that to go against ‘norms’ and not conforming can get us in trouble.

In the media, the ‘survivalist’ movement and mindset is continually attacked with labels as ‘extremists’, fear mongers, and even the word crazy…uhuh. But what is really going on, underneath the surface in most cases, is that the people who live the preparedness lifestyle and have that mindset are going against ‘norms’ and groupthink. You are strange if you don’t have a college degree (or lazy or not smart) and the slavery known as student loan debt (and I have this puppy myself, but not a big one). You are strange if you put food up ‘just in case’ and don’t run to the grocery store every other day or don’t have a 401k plan and horrors…you are even stranger if you work for yourself or attempt to provide for yourself and have a weapon! You are going against the grain, against the group, against what ‘they’ are trying to say is ‘normal’. You think for yourself in most cases and this makes you QUESTION almost everything that you come across, simply because you don’t just ‘go along’ with the standard program and for someone who has the preparedness mindset, this is just ‘normal’ and becomes automatic. I like to think of this as the BS detector.

The powers that be know and understand that people are growing aware and asking questions, that their BS detectors are starting to go BEEP! They are just beginning to realize that perhaps, just perhaps, that they won’t survive if they don’t start questioning. But many people are still just going with the flow, ignoring their early warning BS detector beeps, which is just enough to encourage the ‘authorities’ to try things like sending out renewal notices or adding strange charges and such because they are playing the odds that you will ‘just do it’. Many people, who are questioning ‘the truth’ and just beginning to get prepared because they hear the faint beep, beep, go with the flow because they are afraid that if they don’t they will be labeled, cast out or thought of as ‘not being a good citizen’…they are afraid that if they are ‘found out’ they will get into trouble somehow. But as someone who is firmly set on her path of surviving SHTF in whatever manner it may come, I see it, I see what they are up to and call a spade a spade…yep, caught ya!  All because I question what the ‘truth’ is and am prepared to think for myself instead of just handing over my money, my property and liberty all for the illusion of safety and being ‘safe’. Does this make me or you a ‘radical’ or ‘unusual’ because of going against the ‘norms’? Hmm, seems to me the ‘norm’ goes against the natural order of things…

In my mind, one day, this non-sheeple mindset might just might save my home, my business or my life and that of those I love, but at the very least, yesterday it  saved me a nice chunk of change which I can put to better use right now. I am not going with the crowd, I am not giving up my liberties and I am definitely not being quite, but I am not an extremist and certainly not ‘unpatriotic’ nor ‘not a good citizen’…in fact, the exact opposite is true. But my mindset is preparedness oriented, on the look out and ready for whatever may come. I think and question and take action based on what I see to be the truth instead of being a part of the sheeple crowd…I can’t afford to be otherwise and neither can you…get your BS detector out folks…the beeps are coming hard and fast.

Are They Serious?

This morning while listening to CNN (okay, I am a CNN news junkie…it gets rather boring sitting at my computer all day long working without something going on in the background and for me, it helps me focus) I snapped to attention when an ad for Lending Tree came on offering…of all things…’new’ adjustable rate mortgages! yes, sir, one of the very same companies that I hold responsible for some of the mess we are in is back in ‘business’ with lines such as NEW LOW RATES OF 3.85% (um excuse me but whats wrong with a 4.5 % rate? or even a 5.5 % rate that is fixed?) and GAURENTEED UNTIL 2018 (yeah and then you will HIKE IT THROUGH THE ROOF based upon what fictional ‘basis’?) and then it will adjust ONLY ONCE A YEAR AFTER THAT (umm…yeah, so for the remainder of the life of the 30 year loan I can count on my mortgage rate going up anywhere from 1-5% a year and forbid that my credit rating starts having problems!) BUT WHY PAY THOUSANDS OF EXTRA DOLLARS IN INTEREST ON A HOME THAT YOU PROBABLY WON”T BE IN IN A FEW YEARS…are they KIDDING ME?!?! the market is in the dumps, foreclosures on the market that the banks refuse to sell at market rates and homeowners are upside in many markets and homes sit on average on the market for AT LEAST 9 MONTHS NOW? and you want me to get an ARM and think that I will be able to sell in the future to get out from under the ARM with ease and grace into something bigger and better? Um, excuse me, while I recognize that I am ‘just’ some ignorant homeowner who works for herself and has (apparently to them) no clue about the economic situation in this country, isn’t this an example of EXACTLY what got us here to begin with? (okay, I admit, it is a small part of it, but really!) I am really starting to feel like bankers are insane creatures who have no clue about what they did a few years ago (okay, I am giving them no credit for their intelligence, the DID KNOW and went after the quick buck and just figured they would be able to sell distressed properties to the next sucker when they repo’d it) but greed, I recognize has no boundaries it seems…so they and the powers that be it seems, have decided that in order to ‘sell’ overpriced houses they will give teaser rates again, but this time we will make sure they can afford it (uh, yeah, at the teaser rate) and cross our fingers that the snow blowing around about the economy will clear up soon. Sounds like a receipe for another meltdown…and btw…of interest is a builder in Florida who is so desperate to sell houses that he is letting people in with no money down and special financing again…

Me, I stay put and watch the warning signs and get myself and my family prepared to weather the coming storm…its kinda like watching a hurricane form on the weather radar in many respects…but I have to ask this one question:

ARE THEY SERIOUS?

I am almost 40 years old…a mother to 5 children and 4 Pitbulls…a small business owner (2 of them) so I work for myself from home…a prepper and very much a survivalist as I have survived some pretty ugly, life threatening and definately life changing situations in my life. I am very aware of just how quickly things can change in a heartbeat, either through my own decisions and choices (or lack there of) or by someone close to me or through the actions and decisions by others who are virtual strangers to me. So the question is what exactly is SHTF and TEOTWAWKI?

To start with, SHTF is $hit hitting the fan…or all hell breaking loose or really bad things happening that spiral out of control and where it stops nobody knows. It can be a matter of large or small, but in generally accepted terms and circumstances it means really, really bad things are happening that you are unable to control or stop. On a more personal level it could mean an ugly divorce, the loss of a job or unemployment benefits or even the car breaking down…A SHTF senario can happen on a world or country level, such as we saw when the banks almost collapsed across the global a few years ago, or the collapse of Argentina’s economy and Greece’s pending implosion or the world trade center terrorist attacks or the housing bubble and subsequent bank meltdowns for which they then asked for a handout. These are the root CAUSE of SHTF, but it’s the aftermath of the cause of the crap hitting the fan that concerns most. Many times the situation of the crap hitting the fan starts at the top until it reaches the individual where it is transmuted into higher gas prices, job losses, family members going off to fight a war, food prices going up and up and well, any number of things.  For many it can be a series of events beyond their control that turns their life into a living nightmare of nothing but problems with little, few or no good solutions that can leave one feeling helpless, confused and scared to death.

It is my personal belief that SHTF is happening right now and we are just beginning to smell it and just beginning to see it. SHTF changes lives and the way we do business and how we live…it is happening right now and it is snowballing into a TEOTWAWKI…(the end of the world as we know it which is the very bad end to SHTF).

Most of the media and others would have you believe that SHTF is some cataclysmic occurance and that TEOTWAWKI is something that will happen quickly. But that isn’t necessarily true…stop and think about it for a minute…for many of us, things are just harder and changing how we live though we grew up knowing mostly nothing but good times (but I remember the gas lines of the 70’s and listening to my parent lament about rising food prices at the same time). Growth into the McMansion era, good jobs and salaries were for the most part easy to come by, credit was easy to get for many things and in many ways. Food and gas prices until the recent past were stable and fairly reasonable for the basics. Home prices kept going up along with the stock market and investments…things were great in general, even after 9/11, though it came to our collective consciousness at that point that there were other in the world that hated us because we were Americans. I believe that that single occurance, 9/11 ushered in the first wafts of SHTF on a massive scale and that 9/11 was definately a TEOTWAWKI event that morphed our world into the current wave of SHTF that we are now experiencing because the policies that implimented in the 9/11 aftermath are primarily responsible for the state of the union and world that we now face head on with no escape and no good answers. (But not completely responsible, just the catalyst).

With record unemployment, (and the numbers the media uses ‘adjusted’ so that the truth is obscured), expodentially rising costs of fuel and food and housing, banks going under in record numbers, other countries going under even with ‘loans’, the weather events of the past few years, medical help becoming further and further out of reach as we need help and environmental concerns rising, can you honestly deny that we are in a SHTF senario that is TEOTWAWKI? This is what I am trying to survive through so that I may come out on the otherside alive with my family and friends alive too. I see the signs and you can too if you care to look…while it’s certainly possible that a comet may hit us, or some 2012 movie scene may happen or a dirty bomb will explode, I am not betting my last dollar on that nor do I worry overly much about things like that either. In the real world its the day to day grind and small things that add up to TEOTWAWKI on slow boil. Most certainly along the way big bad things will happen like Katrina (and if you didn’t get THAT message loud and clear that you are on your own please do so now) or the quake in Japan that caused several meltdowns to happen at one time, but again, I emphasize that SHTF, in reality, in the moment, is the series of small things beyond our control that in the end cost us big and make us change our life and lifestyle. We are in the midst of SHTF and witnessing TEOWAWKI. And I am sure, that coming up in the future that there will BIG sprays from the fan and leaps and bounds on the front of TEOWAWKI.

Do I sound like a doomie or someone who is paranoid? I don’t think so, I have just lived through my own personal versions of SHTF and TEOTWAWKI more times than I care to admit and I am a good student of history and human behavior…I am feeling a haunting deja vu but on a much bigger scale than in my own life. I see that we are all so very connected and that what happens ‘over there’ has a direct impact ‘over here’. I know for a fact that those who feel they are loosing power tend to exert it even more and do their darnest to take away freedoms in the name of ‘safety’ (this smacks of domestic violence). I know for a fact that when gangs of people feel free enough to walk into a store and take what they want and leave that something is very wrong. I know for a fact that when someone is half-beaten to death over an ipod on the open street that something is very wrong. And I know something is definately wrong when our Constitutional and Civil rights are thrown by the wayside in the name of making things better and safer.

Its really not that hard to miss or understand what SHTF is or that the result is TEOTWAWKI when you see it this way. Are you prepared and ready to survive? I am working on it, how about you? I am hedging against TEOWAWKI by gathering food, water and other essential items I and my family will need until the crap stops flowing. All you can do in a SHTF situation and in this very moment is to hold on for the ride and do your best to be prepared for what may come during and after the worst of the SHTF. And when you get to the otherside of TEOWAWKI and are in the reality of the flip side, I hope and pray that you got yourself ready as much as you could because I really want to see you there, whole and healthy. SHTF happens and TEOWAWKI happens, but that doesn’t have to mean you can’t survive it.

I get strange looks sometimes when I buy big bags of rice, or 4 packages of diapers or 6 12 packs of toliet paper (all at one time), and sometimes those looks aren’t from strangers. The poor UPS guy who delivers in my rural town (who must think I am sort of crazy survivalist) has delivered, this past week alone, a 50 lb bag of organic hard white wheat and boxes from Auguson Farms and 50 lbs of DE (amongst other things like a huge box of diapers, but that was Fed Ex and that guy knows for sure I am crazy). But its all good. I am just doing my duty as a good parent to ensure that my children are and will be taken care of no matter what. I am making sure that they will have what they need just in case something happens to my income or one of us gets hurt and can’t work or something happens that disrupts supplies (think storms, floods, pestilance of the crops, heck even the banks collapsing). Down where I live, when hurricane Isabel came through, they had no power for 10 days…there were reports of people stealing chickens and killing goats after 3 days…yep and that was just a little bitty hurricane. No power, no grocery store. And those great big trees across the road? well, that would kinda keep you at home wouldn’t they? and the county surely has bigger problem than my road, so no deliveries or movement for several days…but I digress…

When you are pregnant with your child you plan. You start thinking of all the things you will need for the precious child that you will be having soon in your life and next thing you know…you are getting PREPARED! You buy the crib, the car seat, clothing, diapers and any number of a million and one zillion things. You are getting ready for a life altering event…the end of the world as you know it right now…the birth of your child. You pick the hospital, your doctor, make arrangements ‘just in case’ this or that happens, you get your family involved (or not). You start making plans for what you will and won’t do after your baby is born, breast feeding or bottle feeding? Stay home or go back to work or even work from home? Daycare? All these decisions are called making plans which is part of you getting prepared for the arrival of your little one. Preparedness can be so much work! But you know these things that you are prepping for make a good parent…planning, preparing, getting things… being ready for him or her when they arrive and your world changes. Next, after the arrival of your new baby you realize just how much you don’t know about this thing called ‘being a good parent’ so you start asking question and doing more preparing for when they begin to sit up, eat solid foods, crawl, walk, talk. You have to get your house ready after all don’t you? Not to mention get all the information you can lay your hands on so that you can make informed and sound decisions about how you want to raise your child…this is all part of being a good parent. It just goes on and on this getting prepared for your child and it changes, evolves overtime to fit, upon demand, the circumstances and stages that you see coming down the road for your family as your baby grows and circumstances change. A good parent has…foresight, knowledge, leadership skills and techniques, tactics and supplies on hand for whatever may come at any given moment and sometimes, in a strange or odd moment…wisdom from past mistakes…Sometimes things just take you by surprise…can you say forgetting the diaper bag anyone? (this why you put a couple of diapers under the drivers seat)…or a fall or accident (speed dial and first aid kit) or someone notices that you are busy paying attention to something else and sticks the half chewed dog biscuit in the dvd player, managing to close it too…(say bad language and a screw driver when you find it later that night) but that is okay, you have thought things out enough to feel confident that when it happens you handle it with grace and ease (or freak out first, quickly regaining a shred of self-control). But my whole point is this…you planned and prepared yourself into being a good parent!

So, I, ever wanting to be a good parent have just taken things a bit further…preparedness is being a good parent. Being ready for when the crap hits the fan, in whatever form it may come to your door step, (think going into labor!) is being a good parent.   Having things on hand ‘just in case’ or for an emergency, is being a good parent (extra this or that, tools) and most certainly having a means to protect your family is being a good parent. It might seem a little strange at first, this new aspect of being a good parent, simply because you haven’t do so before. But that’s okay, you’ll get over it. You will gain a new sense of pride and confidence (hmm sounds just like what you feel as you get the grove of being a good parent!) as time goes by. You will find that you are less anxious and worried about the future. You will find that this new aspect of being a good parent will actually help you become a better parent as you gain skills in being self-reliant that will be passed onto your child…indeed, preparedness and parenting go hand in hand…and it is all part of the job.