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By January 28, 2013 Read More →

The Why and How of Being Prepared

[intro2]Prepping is not only a way of doing things, it’s a mindset. [/intro2]

I want to give you a bit of history into why my family and I prep.  I hope that in reading why we do what we do, that you will choose to prep if you aren’t prepping or perhaps will renew your commitment to it.

To expect the unexpected: Long ago as child I was involved in Boy Scouts.  The motto is “be prepared.”  I never took that as being prepared for some things.  I took it as being prepared for all things.  You never really know what you may encounter out there from natural disasters, terrorist attacks, riots, etc.

To be self-reliant: I believe to be a good prepper you cannot rely on what you have stored away solely.  You need to put into place a system to replenish or replace your stores.  Gardening, raising livestock, etc are ways to do this.

To build life skills: Being a prepper is not just about stocking up supplies.  In relating to the above points, you need to build up skills in all areas (Homesteading, Self Defense, Fitness, Community Relations/Bartering, Medicine) which can help you in life not just prepping.  Goods and services can be taken away or prove unreliable…skills cannot.

To help others become better: Getting involved in the community and with like-minded folks to “have each others backs” should something happen is a good asset for all involved.

Empty Shelves (photo credit:

So what are we doing in order to be better preppers?  Well, we have stockpiled numerous goods to help us in case of a simple power or other utility outage.  Recently we had a freak snowstorm here in NE Texas and power was knocked out for almost 2 days.  Luckily we had food and water stocked with plenty of warm clothes.  Additionally we had numerous ways to heat up food and provide water for ourselves should the outage have lasted much longer than it did.  Not long after that the city water went out for almost a day and the entire town was turned off.  Luckily we had water stockpiled to allow us to stay hydrated and cook.  Having the basics of food and water for at least 72 hours is a start for sure and should take you through most short-term outages or disasters.   Long-term disasters also happen and its important to be ready.  Studies have shown that most supermarket shelves are  empty within 3 days if not sooner during an incident.

We live on rental property that luckily has a large lot.  After several years of dragging our feet, we decided to jump into the self-reliant end of things and planted a small garden of about 300 sq ft.  We planted the usual fares of tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, and a few kitchen herbs.  We had an overall good harvest and canned a lot of our yield that we didn’t eat.  We learned some good lessons overall, building on what we had and using what we learned from growing up gardening with our parents and grandparents.  In the short-term, even though we are in town, we plan on expanding our in town homestead to include chickens and a better compost system.  We have some seeds set aside but plan on picking up more later this year for safekeeping.  Someday we hope to move to our own property outside of town to have more flexibility with our self-reliance needs.


Skills are built by practice, research, and learning from others.  I have been in Boy Scouts for most of my life and earned my Eagle.  I learned countless outdoor skills in Scouts and still apply them to this day.  I earned a Forestry degree in college and spent the past decade of my life as a park ranger for two different park systems.  During that time I was able to further hone my skills and teach others how to build fires, hike safely, camp well, observe nature, and so forth.  Additionally, about half of that time I served as a commissioned officer and was able to get some good experience in Law Enforcement.  My latest adventures for this year include earning my Ham License, Going to EMT training, and learning how to reload ammo.  Skills like those come in handy and can never be taken away once they are learned.

There are numerous preparedness groups out there for you to get involved with in your community and maybe not the ones you may think of.  Local law enforcement, ambulance service, and fire departments may have programs in place for search and rescue, first responders, citizen patrols, etc.  Getting involved with one or more of these agencies/organizations almost guarantees you will receive training.  By being a part of these organizations you are not only helping you and your family be better prepared, but you are also helping others in your community.  My wife is an EMT and is involved with the ambulance service to provide medical services to our area and additionally we are involved in a few local preparedness groups to help get organized and to learn skills from each other.  I have been writing about preparedness topics for a little over a year now and like helping others learn new things.

Practice makes perfect (

All in all, prepping can be a lot of fun.  There is a lot to it and no one can be completely prepared for anything that might happen.  If you are already preparing, keep it up!  If you haven’t started yet, now is the time.  Times are tough now and don’t look like they will improve overall anytime soon.  I encourage you to get busy now and start learning!  Thanks for reading! Happy Prepping! Please comment below with your comments, suggestions, or questions.









The Preppers Reference Library (short list)

The Encyclopedia of Country Living

SAS Survival Manual

Prepping 101

Survival Medicine Handbook

The Survival Mom

Grow your Own Groceries (DVD)

How To Compost: Everything You Need To Know To Start Composting, And Nothing You Don’t!

Build the Perfect Bugout Bag

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8 Comments on "The Why and How of Being Prepared"

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  1. The Why and How of Being Prepared | | February 12, 2013
  1. Bo berdeaux says:

    This is great for my family as beginning preppers 

  2. Hmmm not pulling up pictures….

  3. Mandaid says:

    Everyone’s book list should also include:

     When Technology Fails (Revised & Expanded): A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency. 

  4. Randi says:

    Good article. Anyone looking into groups to help your community while getting so good training for free should check out their local CERT team.