Tag Archive: SHTF


Have you ever gone to make a meal, gotten almost done making it, and then viola! You are missing the last ingredient? Or how about outside working in the yard, pick up a branch or 2×4 or some such thing, gotten a splinter (why are you wearing work  gloves eh?) and then can’t take it out because you can’t find the darn tweezers? Or better yet, skipped putting gas in the car coming home from work even though you are almost on E and then wake up late the next morning (come on! Admit it! You have done this!) and getting gas is the LAST thing you have time for?

 

Well, these are all ‘little things’ that could really mess you up and points out an underlying principle in being prepared. Remembering the ‘little things’ in you plans. All the prepping and gathering won’t do you a darn bit of good and might even cost you your life if you don’t remember the little things. While ‘remember’ at the last minute right now might just be a hassle, if things get even slightly dicey (speaking from experience here and the little things that I overlooked for an itty bitty hurricane named Irene) you could find yourself up a creek without a paddle so to speak, and unable to get ‘it’ at the last minute.

 

So, a list of lists begins (yet again) of what I think some of the most often overlooked items to have. Some of this is based on personal experience and some is just plain knowing.

 

In no particular order except #1:

 

1)      keeping the gas tank filled…seriously, I am even lax about this sometimes and can find all sorts of excuses not to fill up the tank again when it gets down to half…bit me just today when lo and behold, when I went to go get my kids from the babysitters, gas had jumped 10 cents in just a few hours…sigh

2)      tweezers…these are great for all sorts of things but if you don’t have them, you don’t have them and I ALWAYS recommend having more than 4 in the house and even 1 or 2 in the car. From experience, don’t go ‘cheap’ on all of them. The dollar store ones are just fine for nabbing ticks or larger things, but have you ever tried to dig out a splinter with a rounded wide edged pair of tweezers. Not fun and more damage gets done than doing good.

3)      Work gloves, more than one pair and more than one type. You can often pick up wholesale lots on eBay or just wait for Walmart to put them on clearance. For some reason around my house one of the pair manages to disappear unexpectedly and sometimes that’s okay (don’t throw the lone one away!) but sometimes its not. I have a plastic shoe box full (over full really) of various work gloves including the plastic ‘chemical’ type.

4)      Needles as in ‘sewing’ needles. Not just for mending clothes but people too in a pinch, fishing out things in the skin, puncturing holes in things. The dollar store or Walmart will often carry big packs of them on the cheap.

5)      Electrical tape. No joke! Great for sealing things up tight, including leaky pipes in a pinch. Again, eBay has some great bargins on this.

6)      Cayenne Pepper. This great for all sorts of odd things in a pinch…bug control, controlling bleeding (including internal), clearing the sinuses and cooking too!

7)      Plastic Tarps…need I say more? How many do you have?

8)      Lighters. Anyone who smokes (no judgment here, we all have to have our vices) knows the frustration of not being able to find a ‘light’, but think about it. Small, compact, fire starting potential. Great for putting a seal on plastic (carefully) or even melting the end of a rope or shoe string.

9)      Nuts, bolts, washers, nails, screws…you get the idea. I absolutely HATE loosing one of these and then being SOL until I can make it into town. You can pick up ‘assortment’ packs at Walmart, Lowes, even the dollar store sometimes for a tiny investment. I particular LOVE LOVE drywall screws J Never have enough of these!

10)  A good set of hex keys, screw drivers (and not the little bits for the electric gizmos, but hand ones, unless you are lucky enough to get a non-electric ‘socket’ type screw driver set. But with that said, this might not fit in every where), tiny screw driver set. While the dollar store is a good ‘start’, I have found that the tools from there aren’t so great for heavy or hard use. Spend the money as you can to get a GOOD set. And don’t forget a good socket set too.

11)  WD40 or something similar. Oh the headache trying to break loose the oil drain plug on the new generator in 90 degree heat! I would have given almost anything for this right after the hurricane… but someone used the last of it and didn’t say anything to me about it…grrr…

12)  Manual Can Opener and more than one of them. I have used this type for several years, wearing them out eventually of course, but living out in the ‘woods’, weelll…lets just say I learned the hard way on this one. The can opener ‘died’ (wouldn’t work) and I figured out no one local carried them or didn’t have them in stock. 2 days without one really drove home the point on redundancy to me. And I don’t want you buying those cheap little skinny ones…those thing stink and are hard to use. Go to Wally World and spend the extra 2 bucks and get one with a nice size grip and twist handle. Your hands will thank you.

13)  Toliet paper and baby wipes…do I need to say more? Unless of course you are growing Lambs Ear in  your herb garden or plan on using your T-shirt in a pinch.

14)  Lots of batteries as money permits. Dollar store ones are okay. I have had some for several years that when I dug them out they still had juice. Can’t promise how long they will ‘last’ when used, but in a pinch, they work.

15)  Got pets? Don’t forget their food. I personally freak out when I have a full plastic kitchen garbage can full with one extra bag. 4 Pitbulls J they like to eat. But seriously. How many of you have pets and wait until you run out before buying another bag of food?

16)  Garbage bags…both the white ones (kitchen) and black ones (lawn/leaf/contractor) Great for a million and one things besides the garbage. How many do you have left in your pantry?

17)  Anti-histamines

18)  Got a baby? Diapers and more than one package of them.

19)  Scissors of all types and sizes from tiny to big.

20)  Zip Lock baggies of all types and sizes and not just a couple boxes of them…they are handy for a zillion things, reusable and take up almost no room.

21)  Thread, string, rope

22)  Salt

23)  A good book or two

24)  Comfort food, simple things, snacks

25)  OTC Pain killers

26)  Food staples such as bread, milk, eggs, butter, salt, rice (even if its freeze dried)

 

The list could go on and on, but these are some of my favorite ‘little things’ that when I don’t have them…well, I feel a bit stupid.

 

 

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year my fellow survivors and preparedness believers…I hope you had the chance to spend the holidays with your loved ones in peace and comfort. I had most of my family in my home which was good and led to some interesting moments and some truths coming out, but I am grateful for them and being able to be with them all none the less. But as you and I go into 2012 I am wondering what this new year will bring to us.

Last month, December, was a month that I don’t care to repeat financially however…as people beat each other up over waffle makers, maced each other to get the latest Xbox and took shots at each other over tennis shoes, my own eBay business tanked and tanked hard right before Thanksgiving. So much for the holiday spending and from what I also understood from other sellers, they didn’t have much going on either which is really strange for eBay during the holidays. For me, there were some obvious reasons as I lost my ‘top rated’ seller status thanks to a nasty little man who tried to get a refund from me without returning the crystal (which resulted in my listings basically being on the bottom of the pile) but there was something else going on too…and that was the Euro…a lot of my big sales that sustain me during the winter months come from Europe and the month of December saw a dramatic fall in the value of the Euro verses the dollar…not good for sales and the governments over there are really getting hyper about getting their VAT taxes on packages that come into their country, so those sales are disappearing somewhat. And there are those who still think that what happens in Europe stays in Europe…ha! We are pretty interconnected economically and I for one am very concerned about the drop of the Euro. It looks like Greece won’t be the only country going down in flames this year and the Lehman Brothers didn’t learn a darn thing…or did they?

But anyway, things turned around on eBay for me last week in a big way as soon as my ‘top rated’ status came back…interesting huh? Supposedly this ‘status’ isn’t supposed to be such a big deal, but as I found out, lose it and you are punished. Call me paranoid, but I am left with the feeling that eBay does its best to punish sellers who make some buyers mad and caters to ‘the customer is always right regardless’ mindset which is part of the problem in this country…And I am left wondering how to prevent this issue from coming back up without resorting to being held hostage by individuals bent on getting something for nothing with their Khol’s/Walmart mentality nor having to cut prices and giving free shipping to all to keep sales up…but this is what I am up against and trying to find a happy medium the beginning of this year.

I had thought that perhaps having other websites would be a safety net against eBay meltdown but have learned otherwise and this leaves me feeling very uncomfortable this new year with more questions than answers. But I will figure it out, usually do if I just let it sit for a while. Amazon is looking better and better but the cost of doing business there and the difficulty of getting a storefront together on their site makes me shy away from them, but I may have to bite that bullet.

A few things I did learn from this experience is that I have done pretty good on my preps. Didn’t have to worry about food or toilet paper or diapers while I had no money coming in  and figure that I could last upwards of 3-4 months even with a house full of people on what I have on hand right now which means I am making progress!!! What little came in went to gas for the most part and dog food (have you noticed that the prices of dog have gone up and you are getting less for it??) I am seriously considering going to the following recipe for my Pitbulls to save on money and be able to stock up for them. I have copied this from Survivalblog.com and will post the entire posting in a bit just as an FYI as a reference for you… this is the permanent link to the article on Survivalblog : How to Make Homemade Dogfood

 

The “Third Recipe” for Dogs:

White rice- boiled with an optional chicken bullion cube – carbohydrates for energy, easy digestion and bullion cube for favor. You can substitute potatoes occasionally. No pasta, will ruin a dog’s teeth.

Vegetables – frozen or canned or fresh – green beans or peas/carrots or mixed vegetables – I prefer frozen over canned – and green beans are best. Easily digested and have fiber.

Meat – chicken, turkey, tuna or beef or wild game or eggs

Two half meals – morning and evening- and the cup portions depend on the size of your dog(s). All ingredients are roughly in thirds, but if you have an active dog, use more rice.

Primatene mist has now disappeared from the shelves and is now illegal to sell at all. It seems that is a victim of the ban on CFC’s but my instinct tells me that big pharm and the AMA pushed this. Just another victim in the march towards control of the populace in my opinion. I suspect that we will see an increase in deaths from Asthma in the coming months and years as those who didn’t know get caught without emergency asthma control or run out of what they were able to stock pile or expatriation dates come due on what is had.

As an aside, Sam’s club in my neck of the woods has some awesome deals on cold weather clothing and socks.

It seems that the Judiciary in Virginia has declared a silent war on bailbonds and Constitutional Rights of its citizens…magistrates in my neck of the woods are telling those with secured bonds to bring cash or titles to their office to get someone out, that the person who has a secured bond can’t use a bailbondsman. Regardless of your stance on bail, you have a right to use a bailbondsman to post bail for you if you live in this state (VA), you don’t ‘have to post cash or land’ in order to get someone out of jail. And the dangerous part of this new trend is that the STATE holds your money until you are adjudicated fully which can be months and then they take out fines and fees before giving your money back to you. Interestingly enough, they aren’t telling people THIS little fact, but instead are telling people that if you pay a bondsman you don’t get the money back (which is 10% of the bond amount) but if you post the cash or title you will get it back. They forget to tell the fine print…

Now, with this said, the state of Virginia is having a hardtime getting its fines and fees from those court ordered to pay them and I suspect that this is an attempt to ensure that these get paid. And IF you are late getting to court or somehow or other miss your court date, well, guess what? You forfeit that money you posted immediately, no recourse, no hope…done deal whereas if you use a bailbondsman no worries, the bailbondsman has legal recourse with the courts such as a time frame to make sure you ‘appear’ before he has to forfeit.

Interestingly enough we (myself and my partner) have seen the courts changing dates and times without letting the defendant know about it. Their (the courts) answer to this is ‘well, its YOUR responsibility to make sure you appear and that YOU have your dates and times right’. Now, with that said, somehow the lawyers involved (mostly court appointed) know about the change but the defendant doesn’t get the message…makes you wonder doesn’t it? Sigh…seriously? Somehow I have a hard time accepting that the courts can just change things and then expect you to somehow magically know this without giving notice in writing like they USED TO DO. You’d get a letter in the mail well in advance, but now they just let the ‘court appointed’ counsel know and let it go at that…and this person just happens to work for the state… I smell something rotten going on and regardless of your opinion or stance on crime or belief about those who get arrested, it should worry you when the courts start demanding money for release and don’t give you the option of using a bailbondsman (in the states where this is the norm) and then start changing dates and not giving notice to the person whom it most effects. It just doesn’t sit right with me…sorry, my opinion and I am not liking the trend that I am seeing. I can’t help but wonder how many other states are doing this too to get money in their pockets.

And just in case you have been hiding under a rock…Obama signed the NDAA into law on the 31st.  Read more about it here…NDAA There goes your rights…though ‘they say’ that it won’t happen…uh huh…isn’t that what they said about Too Big to Fail and bailing them out? Happens everyday now…

Anyway, life rolls on and I was able to replace what I used for the most part and add a few goodies too…bit the bullet and bought a case of freeze dried yogurt bites from Thrive the other day. My kids will eat this and dairy is important to have in your diet especially if you are female. Found a good deal on cotton tube socks on ebay yesterday too. And just a heads up for those who are stocking up on antibiotics…tetracycline is becoming harder and hard to get so you may want to look into this since it’s a ‘go to’ antibiotic.

Lastly, the flu is going around and manifesting itself as a potentially nasty upper respiratory issue that comes on quick and lingers. I am just hearing this from people that I know looking for ways to halt the slide into pneumonia that seems to happen if you don’t catch it in time. Suggestion here…get the homeopathic Bronchitis by Heel…it seems to stop it (the pneumonia) from happening and for adults I wouldn’t be afraid to use Mormon Tea mixed with rosemary to help yourself.

 

Happy new year one and all, keep your eyes open and keep on preparing and keep your loved ones close to you this year. Mend the fences that need mending and let go those things that no longer serve you. Life is too short and unpredictable to carry burdens upon your heart and carrying these burdens gets in the way of being prepared.

Prepared people are positive people…let me repeat that…preppers are preparing because they are POSITIVE people. They do not lie to themselves, they see the world for what it is, they have seen the possibilities of ‘danger’ or ‘possible problems’ and have decided to take positive action. Preppers believe this…they can! You CAN! Positive action come from positive thoughts…that something CAN BE DONE and they, in fact are powerful enough to effect change in their own lives. Maybe they can’t change the world in which they live, but they most certainly can change their own lives and have an effect on the outcome of a negative event or situation.

The following I have posted on my Facebook account, under Rev. Laura Bradley and is what inspired this blog:

Positive Thinkers: a reminder from our angels: Positive thinking requires seeing life in a clear light, without lies or pretense. Positive thinkers do not lie to themselves. Often people set out to practice positive thinking, and they end up denying difficulties, disregarding pain, and practicing grandiose wishful thinking. All this is only a form of positive lying. Think about how positive your own thinking is and find ways to strengthen your resolve against the negative, without lies or pretense…you can be positive even while seeing negative and naming it for what it is.

Norman Vincent Peale wrote a groundbreaking book in 1951 entitled ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ and for the last 55 years, we’ve heard alot about the power that positive thinking brings. Positive thinkers have to be creative and intelligent in their thinking. Positive thinkers look beyond difficulties for creative solutions, seeing the difficulties in a clear light so that clear solutions will surface. On the otherhand, negative thinkers see difficulties in dark hues of hopeless despair and become overwhelmed and defeated by difficulties. We always have the choice to turn the lights on and take a good look at what we are dealing with, and we are always free to assume the best (without lying to ourselves or pretense or pretending).

I have taken this from Angel Wisdom by Terry Lynn Taylor and Mary Beth Crain and have taken the liberty to change a bit 🙂

Hmm…creative? No lying to ourselves? Turning the ‘light’ on? Assuming the best? Don’t deny difficulties or possible difficulties? Finding ways to strength themselves and their resolve against negativity? Gee…that sounds like a prepared person to me…and that is a positive thinker!

I have heard and seen the terms ‘doomers’ but is someone really a doomer? A doomer, by definition, is someone who sees nothing but the negative in this world and does nothing to counteract the negativity or sets about using negative measures to counteract the negative they see in the world…you may know the type and often will hear these sorts of comments: What’s the point? I can’t change anything. What will be will be (as they do nothing to help themselves). I don’t want to know anymore! Someone will come to help us/me if that does happen. And I am sure you can come up with even more statements yourself about doomer thinking or maybe not. Positive thinkers have a hard time thinking like a doomer!

Personally, I wouldn’t bother preparing me and my family against the coming storm(s) if I didn’t believe that we could survive and then thrive afterwards. And that is a positive attitude. To see the potential threat, name it, claim it, own it and then do what I can, where I can, when I can, to get through it as best as possible, so that when the dust settles, me and mine are still standing (hopefully with health intact).

But I will say this, positive thinkers pay attention, see the problem and then take steps to counteract the lies, problems and issues that are inherent in the situation that they are preparing to face, survive and then thrive in spite of. They do not DWELL upon the problem, they get to problem solving. While a positive person may see and name the negative forces or fact (and they certainly seem to be overwhelming at times) they get to problem solving as soon as possible. They may share what they see with others, but then encourage others in the same breath to get to problem solving themselves. If you can’t see the problem, then you are lying to yourself and that goes directly against positive thinking…you can’t ignore or hide or deny the problem exists and be a positive thinker. And you can’t stick your head in the sand assuming that someone else will ‘fix’ the problem for you. Positive thinking requires action of some sort.

Each person who is getting ready ‘for what may come, in whatever form it may come’ sees what they see. Some are aware at higher levels than others, and that is okay. Some of us prepare for literal ‘storms’ such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes. Some of us take it a step further and have identified other threats that can be from the fragility of our economy (loss of job), to the interconnectedness of our world financial situation, to peak oil, to the erosion of civil and constitutional rights and maybe even identifying that our country cannot continue along as it has with our governments fiscal policies. You name it, we all get prepared for different reasons, but that is okay! It is all identifying a potential negative force in our life, over which we may not be able to effect change at a level to PREVENT the negative influence, so we take steps to mitigate its effects on a personal level. We feel that we have the power to effect positive changes in our own lives to help guard against the negative outside influences that may or may not directly effect us at some time in the future. We are positive in our outlook that we can survive and maybe thrive through what may come in the future.

We are aware, creative and problem solving and learning each and everyday in our preparations for an uncertain future.

We are POSITIVE thinkers, not doom and gloomers. We are just aware and take positive steps for our future while others walk down the road of negative thinking…

Positive thinking requires seeing life in a clear light, without lies or pretense. Positive thinkers do not lie to themselves. Often people set out to practice positive thinking, and they end up denying difficulties, disregarding pain, and practicing grandiose wishful thinking. All this is only a form of positive lying. Think about how positive your own thinking is and find ways to strengthen your resolve and your life against the negative, without lies or pretense…you can be positive even while seeing negative and naming it for what it is.

Positive thinkers have to be creative and intelligent in their thinking. Positive thinkers look beyond difficulties for creative solutions, seeing the difficulties in a clear light so that clear solutions will surface.

On the otherhand, negative thinkers see difficulties in dark hues of hopeless despair and become overwhelmed and defeated by difficulties. They may choose different path ways to overcome ‘difficulties’ but those ways usually involve allowing others to do the work for themselves whether by denial or through directly abdicating their freedom and control over their very lives through dependence.

 

We always have the choice to turn the lights on and take a good look at what we are dealing with, and we are always free to assume the best…that we can overcome through being prepared…

Something I have noticed over the past few months that seems to be accelerating…goods are disappearing from stores. Have you noticed this? Stores are carrying more and more store brands (the quality of which I find questionable in many cases) and removing the brand names. Less of particular types of goods are being carried and by result, there is more ‘space’ in a store (less shelving). And goods are not being restocked and less is being restocked. This goes from Walmart to grocery stores to the local Sam’s club to Target even down to Pet Smart. (In fact, one Walmart store has completely removed their jewelry section). This is troubling to me and I can’t quite put my finger on ‘why’ this is occurring. I understand that we are in the midst of an economic depression that isn’t being spoken about and that sellers are adjusting to lower sales of ‘higher’ priced items (read that name brands) and that they are putting in less choice because they don’t want to put the money into items that are or could be slow movers. But not restocking? Is there a supply problem I don’t know about? Or perhaps shipments are being delayed because they are running less trucks and they are trying to save on money for fuel? (but give me a BREAK, fuel costs went up 2 years ago so that doesn’t float with me). Or is it that we, the public aren’t being told the truth about the value/exchange rate of our dollar and the supply problem (thanks NAFTA) is starting on the other end of just getting the raw product or item into theUS? Something is a miss when the Pedigree dog food I buy from a particular Walmart is ‘missing’ for weeks before they get it back in. Something is not right when a good selling product (such as organic canned veggies or even Dr.Pepper soda) goes on the missing list and I am told they don’t know when or IF they will carry it again. Maybe I am spoiled…but the list of things I have noticed go ‘missing’ is growing and rapidly growing, but the cheap crap from China (including food that is of  a questionable nature in terms of safety…such as apple juice of which over 60% comes from China and contains levels of cyanide that I find unacceptable…that stuff never gets out of your body and you wonder why I insist on organic??) is coming in here faster than it can be sold. What is the deal there? I understand that money is being deflated and costs are being inflated making it harder and harder for the average American to maintain a higher standard of living…but this is starting to feel like an attack is upon us…a trade/monetary war of which is not being spoken. Take a product away and they will buy something else from us. But what about socks? I swear a month ago I went looking for just run of the mill cotton socks and the local Walmart had NONE or next to none in any size, neither did the Target, neither did the Old Navy store near by. And it was only 2 weeks ago that they refilled the shelves. I even had a hard time finding ordinary socks online IN STOCK!! This just strikes me as very odd…and its alarming at the sametime to me, one of the indicators of collapse is the unavailability of goods for a length of time. And before someone points out this to me, I do understand that this past year the cotton harvest was abysmal, so that could be a part of the problem too. But I have to wonder, what are we not being told? Where is it going? And the big question…why?

With this said, I am going to give you a list of items that I have noticed are ‘disappearing’ or getting hard to get that you may want to get when you find:

1)      Cotton socks

2)      Fire starting methods (lighters, lighter fluid, matches, etc.)

3)      Quality Canned Goods (store brand is the lowest grade of food available, avoid if you can!)

4)      Bottled Water

5)      Baby Food

6)      Quality Pet Foods

7)      Ammo

8)      Batteries of all types

There are other things such as soda, garbage bags, detergent of all sorts and media (CDs, Books).

Anyone else notice the ‘disappearance’ of something I haven’t mentioned? Maybe I am paranoid or maybe I just spoiled about having choices, but what I am seeing is concerning me, anyone else? I know at this point, when I see these items I am very likely to get everything I can afford to…tell me what you think?

 

So the silly season is upon us, the opening shot fired being Black Friday…sigh…and so it begins. I will be honest in saying that I went out into that fray for one thing (okay, stupid! but I promise you it wasn’t for a toy or waffle maker nor electronic…in fact, it was for something that will help me when the crap hits the fan, but I will never, ever do that again and I am not sure that I even want to go into town ever again unless forced to…the madness, meanness and hatred that I felt in town that evening was hair raising and all that over some cheap items that had no real value in terms of survival (unless you call keeping up with the Jonses survival, but I don’t). It gave me a good dose of reality of where people are mentally and I didn’t like it one bit. Result? I am redoubling my efforts at being prepared…every penny will go towards being ready for a bad turn in the world and practical use.

Questions to determine value:

 

Will it keep me/mine warm?

Will it keep me/mine from being hungry?

Will it keep me/mine healthy?

Will it provide me/mine safety?

Will it give or provide me/mine the knowledge to any of the above questions?

I also keep this in mind…pay now, pay later, but pay you will…I use this saying and keep it in mind when trying to decide if the price in dollar terms is a ‘good value’. Just because its cheap does not mean it’s a good value. I’d rather pay more money wise and have it last and work long term than go ‘cheap’ and have it last 2 seconds and need replacing or repair quickly. And this includes FOOD. Garbage in, garbage health…again, pay now, pay later, but pay you will, some how, some way.

If the answer is NO to the above questions then I am not wasting the time, effort or money on it. Not going to do anything for me but take up space.

So what are items that I intend on procuring for warmth?

MORE Firewood

Extra clothing (gloves, hats, jeans, etc.)

A way to safely procure wood in the future.

So what are items that I intend to procure for the hunger question?

More can goods concentrating on meats and veggies

More #10 cans

A rocket stove

More raised garden beds (this can be done during the winter)

A small root cellar

More canning jars and extra lids.

Salt

Sugar (various forms)

So what are items that I intend to procure for the healthy question?

Multi-vitamins

More soap

Hydrogen peroxide

More Vinegar

Alcohol (it has many uses and not just for getting drunk!)

More solid shoes to be stored for later use.

So what are the items I intend to procure for safety?

A CB radio.

An external dial up modem to retrofit my computer.

More ammo.

One more weather radio, preferably solar/hand crank.

And on the knowledge front? Well, I have always been a collector of books but I will periodically check amazon for new ones and I am always interested in medical books…can never have enough knowledge.

So that is my list. What’s on yours?

I have been pretty feverish in my efforts over the last year or so and have a good start, these are the dirty little details that I am left with at the moment.

Remember, plan, set goals and then go out and do. Every little bit counts and gets you that much further ahead of the hoards. Your needs will be determined by your own personal situation, but the these questions will help you to determine what you need.

Lets talk…seriously, lets have a dialogue here and now about personal responsibility because at the heart of being ‘prepared’ is the idea of personal responsibility and taking responsibility for your future. Is personal responsibilty dead? Not for those who are ‘prepared’, not for those who deal with life on life’s terms… Its not about fear, its not about being afraid of the unknown nor being angry with politicians or corporations nor about feeling like the sky is about to fall in, though certainly these can all be catalysts and a spring board for wanting to be prepared and personal responsibilty is often at the heart of people doing the right thing…(is that why we are so fascinated with the news? are we looking for those who are responsible? examples that justify us in not being responsible ourselves?) It is well known and understood that human beings are generally self-seeking, self-centered and very short sighted…we would do well to remember that this is part of immaturity and that as we age, we are somehow supposed to outgrow this and become ‘mature’, meaning, we become ‘responsible individuals’ and personally responsible for our actions or lack there of and not expect to remain forever in a state of immaturity. The mature adult is rational and can see outside of him/herself and can see beyond the immediate, in the now, moment and can rise above base impulses sent forth from the reptilian part of the brain that seeks only to ensure its own survival and pleasure (though it is useful in dangerous situations!) It seems to me that over the past few decades, that many people have abdicated their personal responsibility in making responsible choices that not only take into account their own wants, needs and desires but those with whom they interact either directly or not. We as a people have chosen, even subconsciously, to allow others to take of us and decide what is in ‘our best interests’ and to ‘make’ us safe for whatever reasons so that ‘we’ may just listen to that part of the brain that tells us ‘if it feels good do it’ and not have to worry about our future and instead, be continual children under the hand of a parent. For some, it is out of necessity because we/they simply struggle to make ends meet and can’t for a moment look up and raise their voices…for others, it is because they made choices and decisions that put themselves in a position where they couldn’t say anything or do anything to help themselves, others, it is simply because they are too wrapped up in ‘getting ahead’ or simply don’t care because, after all, they are ‘safe’ and don’t do anything outside of the ‘norm’ and they aren’t ‘responsible’ for everyone else, aftger all, that is why they vote, so that others can speak for them…the list of WHY people have abdicated their own responsibility for their own lives is long and never straight nor simple. And many of, even though we are, in general, very responsible adults, sometimes make mistakes that cause us to abdicate our personal power/responsibility…to err is human and to gain wisdom is divine from our mistakes…to keep on making these mistakes, well, that would mean we aren’t responsible now wouldn’t it? Now, these are bold statements and may make you angry or sad…and you can disagree on the reasons why I feel that we are a nation of people who have abdicated personal responsibility to others, but we must admit, if all of US and that includes corporations, groups of individuals down to individuals have or had consistently taken personal responsibility for ourselves and actions, then we wouldn’t be living in a country that has a penal system that has exploded, with a social services system that can’t cope, with unemployment running rampant, with big government and regulations strangling businesses and people feeling the need to take to the streets in protest out of anger, frustration and finally waking up to fact that they have been asleep at the wheel for too long and now there is a train wreck in their front yard. Regardless of where you fall politically, religiously, ideologically…regardless of your race, color or creed, the core of being an productive member of society is personal responsibility and doing the ‘right thing’. I am not here to argue the finer points or details, merely to express that personal responsibility is ‘ours’ and ours alone and that as individuals we cannot and should not expect others to take care of us and mind the chickens that we have. To expect others to protect us fully and with our best interests at heart is to invite control over our lives. To expect that others will ultimately know what is best for us and ours is to invite intrusion into our lives and potential upset when we disagree or finally decide that we know what is best for ourselves. To give up our rights as individuals in the name of ‘safety’ is to invite control into our lives that destroys our rights. But to expect that we can do whatever it is that we wish to do without consequences or that someone else will take care of it also invites control of our lives by outside forces. With rights come responsibility and that responsibility ultimately rests on our own individual shoulders and begins with personal responsibility. And THIS is ultimately what is at the heart of anyone who prepares for whatever situation that comes into their lives. It is a guiding force that no one and nothing can take away from someone. To be a responsible individual you cannot go on wild spending sprees with credit cards and then not pay the bill. You can’t be a responsible individual and drink and drive…you can’t just eat whatever you want and then wonder why you have diabetes later on in life and you can’t NOT VOTE and then complain when a new law comes down taking away your right to own a fire arm or complain because you don’t like how things are handled. Personal responsibility is ACTIVE not passive. Personal responsibility is not just about you but in seeing the big picture and how your actions will have an impact upon others and then making a decision that will harm the fewest people and places and is in the best interest of all concerned without prejudice. (And yes, we do have that responsibility to have the wisdom to see how our actions may or may not support others that is part of being a grown, mature adult, its about not just thinking of ourselves). And collectively we should be responsible too…however, that is not the point of this blog article, the point is that the chickens are coming home to roost…for too long, too many have abdicated their personal responsibility, placing their trust, like a child, into people with whom they also placed their futures and now face reality or not. For those of us who are personally responsible for ourselves we prepare for life on life’s terms, we do not hand over our lives to strangers who may or may not have our best interests at heart, whom, for whatever reasons, may have agendas that suit their own sense of ‘personal responsibility’ but that may not match our own. When we recognize we may have made a mistake, we don’t run from it nor expect someone else to clean up our mess…we get into it, make amends and do what we can to remedy the situation and then get up and go forth, hopefully never to repeat the problem again. We, as personally responsible people seek not to force our opinions upon others, but make our opinions heard and then allows others to form their own opinions, whether we agree with them or not and keep on going. We support ourselves, don’t expect help but ask for it when we truly need it…we do what we can, when we can to minimize the help we need, but we are not infallible fortresses, one-man armies nor an island. We can see when others need our help or opinions or perhaps some sound advice and give it, not to engender them to ourselves but give them a hand up so that they too, may become personally responsible. And we are personally responsible in that we do no grievous harm to others or at the expense of others merely to promote our own well-being or that of our group. At the heart of someone who prepares for life and whatever may come, ie a prepper, is someone who sees and understands the wisdom of personal responsibility and then does something about it. Is personal responsibility so ‘out of date’ that it has become radical and thus something to be feared? Or has it been out of fashion for so long that to be personally responsible for ourselves, our family, our friends and our country and our world is something that we have lost the ability to be so? I think not, for to be personally responsible is a minute to minute, day to day choice and that is why growing numbers are becoming ‘preppers’ or being more prepared. Personal responsible gives one personal power and alleviates fear and calms the stressors in one’s life, is that something to be feared or mocked or marginalized…no, and I am proud to see more and more people in this world, for whatever their reason, becoming more responsible for themselves and their loved ones and becoming prepared to face what life will throw at them in the coming years. It need not be scary nor something that only radicals do, for truly, its all about personal responsibility.

And it begins with me…

Asking…what if?

Then I start to answer those what if questions and do my best not to assume that a parental hand will come along and pat me on the back or tell me…it will be okay…for I am my own parental hand and it is my personal responsibilty to take care of myself, voice my opinions, think not just of myself but of others too and then do what I need to do to be that hand for myself. It may include saving money for a rainy day, it may include getting extra food into the house. It may include educating myself on the ways of handling minor medical problems and having the tools on hand to do so (not to mention getting the wisdom to know when I can’t do it myself). It may include thinking ahead and planning for those those times that others can’t behave themselves and it most definately means that I act not as a child would in response to external events.

It is my sincere wish that anyone who has read this has a light bulb turned on within their own heart and mind and it is my prayer today that maybe, just maybe, that I have helped someone turn the page and begin to realize that they need to be more personally responsible, not just because its the wise thing to do and it will ‘save themselves’ but because it is the right thing to do in all of our interests and perhaps, just maybe, this will, in the end, save someone’s life and help all of move peacably past the turmoil in our world now.

And I really have to ask…what would the world be like if most people were personally responsible?