By December 21, 2012 Read More →

Why do I Prepare?

All photos by Stephanie Dayle ©2013

It’s not an EMP.

It’s not FEAR.

In short, it’s Self Reliance. 

What ‘makes’ someone start prepping is going to be different person to person, but when it boils down to it, I truly feel that it is all about our ability to be reliant on ourselves.  For me, it started when I was doing some research on our food supply, I learned how our food is delivered “just in time” to our stores and how we purchase the food “just in time” to eat it.  I learned that nobody stores food anymore as storage space costs money, therefore one small disruption in this chain of events lands us without a meal for the night. While my husband and I have always been more self-reliant than other couples around us of the same age, having both grown up homes that practice gardening, canning, hunting and livestock husbandry – some time around 2008 we both had an awaking to exactly how helpless we all are.

How dependent we are on going to the grocery store, on having electricity, on having running water, and having government services there to protect and save you.  What if those things suddenly were not there?  We had to take a hard look at just how dependent we’ve all become and to realize how fragile the whole system was.  It didn’t feel ‘right’ to us that we were so dependent, we liked to think of ourselves as independent.  After all I think each and every person out there likes to feel like they can take care of themselves right?  When we sat down and talked about all the stuff we couldn’t make or do without the ‘system’ there to support us we learned that we could not, in fact, take care of ourselves.

So, we started by preparing with the single-minded purpose of being self-reliant. Which is a little different that being self-sufficient, another word that people throw around. Being self-sufficient means you can produce what you need, self reliance means all of that PLUS you think for yourself, you rely on your own capabilities and judgement as well.

We asked ourselves “Can we produce our own food if we had to?” The answer was “no” so we doubled the size our of garden and learned to can our produce to store it.  We started keeping chickens and livestock, having both done this as youths it was second nature to us – but there was an urgency to it, a purpose.   If something failed and set us back, rather than give up and turn to another hobby we doubled our effects.  Now, we can answer these questions with a “Yes.”

Can you grow you’re own food?  Yes.

Can you store the food you grow?  Yes.

Can you do this without power?  Yes.

Can you cook the food you store?  Yes.

Can you get water without power to cook and grow your food?  Yes.

All photos by Stephanie Dayle ©2013

I cannot even begin to tell you the confidence and pride that comes with being able to answer YES to those questions.  We don’t just walk a little taller, it affects everything we do in our lives.  It gives me confidence and strength at work, it gives me confidence in my dealings with other people and I also feel a little more spiritually complete.  Being prepared and being self-reliant also puts us in a unique position most people don’t find themselves in.  In a position to help, and I don’t mean by handing out food or water.

We can help because we have the knowledge that self-reliance gives us.  We can teach others how to purify their water – we can teach others how to grown their own food.  We have become the new bearers of that old information.  If true disaster ever falls upon this nation, communities will survive because handfuls of preppers within them have made the effort to learn how to take care of themselves.  Many of us, like the APN, have taken the extra step of not waiting for disaster, but are teaching others about preparedness and self-reliance right now.

Can the unexpected still happen?  Of course it can.  But I have confidence, I will be ready for it and my family will be safe.  Can you say the same?  Either way you have come to the right place.

About the Author:

Stephanie is a writer for the American Preppers Network, a small local paper and for her blog, The Home Front and was featured in Marie Claire UK in the October 2012 issue that featured women preppers. She is also the credited writer of "Emergency Bag Essentials (Swatchbook): Everything You Need to Bug Out" released in August 2014 and available on "I write articles based on my own experience with emergency preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, food preservation and life around the farmstead. I grew up in a very rural area where I learned to garden, the art of canning, to hunt and fish, and to raise my own animals for food. I also spent 6 years volunteering for the local county Search and Rescue group where I learned a variety of survival skills and a little bit about law enforcement protocol. " "As a general rule of principle I do not write articles about information that I have only read - if I am writing about something it's because I have done it myself and gone to great lengths to provide you with the facts meshed with personal experience. My alter egos are as an full time mom, amateur photographer, and backpacker." Stephanie's past APN articles are featured below on several pages. To connect with her --> click on one of the many little square social media buttons below!

9 Comments on "Why do I Prepare?"

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  1. Great stuff Steph. I need to write one like this too :)

    • Thank you Lynda and Merry Christmas!

      • Randy Bock says:

        Good article. I, too, am concerned about our centralized support systems, be it food supply, electrical generation, whatever. Our community once had its own electrical generating plant. Now our power comes from miles away. A disruption affects many communities, not just one. You say you’re a ‘thirty-something’. I’m 60 and have probably been ‘prepping’ since before you were born. I’m still not ready, that is, self-sufficient (which none of us will ever be unless we’re willing to live under a bush and eat raw meat that we kill with a rock). I like my life-style and aim for a 5 year supply of everything I use. Energy is the hard part. Our well has a windmill that could be placed into use without much trouble. We’re expanding our chicken facilities (starting tomorrow, as a matter of fact) and plan to get some goats, as I’ll probably close my business by the end of the year and have the time…
        Are we crackpots? We laid in an extra supply of hard red wheat prior to Y2K (remember that?). We’re still eating it. I haven’t had any return from my homeowner’s policy lately, though. I’m probably better prepared than anyone I know for truckers’ strikes, some form of economic collapse, pestilence, a hacker attack on Walmart’s computer…We don’t have earthquakes, significant tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, forrest fires where we live. Hail. That’s about all. And some wind. But inflation is on the horizon. I don’t know if my ‘prepping’ will ever be put to the test, but I do know two things: If nothing happens, I’ll eat this food anyway. And, if something does happen, I won’t be as prepared as I’d like to be. Never give up.

  2. Great article!! Loved it!!


  3. Terry Wilson says:

    Great article, and changes the whole perspective of “prepping” into a realistic thing that everyone should consider for their own well-being.

  4. Charli says:

    I don’t think of myself as a prepper but rather as a realist. We’ve always kept extra food and other things just because I’m CHEAP (or as my MIL calls it Frugal). When I was injured way back in 94 the food stores we had put aside came in handy. It took 2 years to get my SSD and I’m still fighting work comp for a settlement of my claim (It’s a wasteful system that disabled more people then it helps). We had moved to a small “homestead” a couple of years before I got hurt and had stored canned goods and plenty of home canned foods. It’s my opinion that the best thing you can invest in is a pressure canner. I have 5 of various sizes. The small ones are great for cooking dinner while the big ones pressure can fish, mean, etc. I’ve eaten pressure canned good that are 20 years old with no problems. To many people think of preppers as religious nuts, Domesday nuts or only as conservatives. Many of us “hippies” dreamed of going back to the land and being self sustaining. Mother Earth News was one of the 1st magazines that spoke to those who wanted a self sustaining lifestyle. It (along with others) are a great resource for those of you who want to DIY your prepping rather then buying it from someone else. This is a wonderful site. Thanks for putting it together. I will recommend it to others.

  5. I loved your article!  I too am working on being prepared for emergencies or what ever may come. I’ve got a ways to go to be as prepared as you, but I will continue working on it.  One step at a time.  Thanks!