This took on a life of its own and has almost turned into a mini book. With that being the case I decided to turn this into a 3 part series. Bear with me, It’s been a lot of years since I have had to write and it’s taking me bit to get warmed back up.
I am often asked exactly what am I preparing my family for. A total global economic collapse? An earthquake? Nuclear war? A Depression? Zombie apocalypse? How about the Mayan predictions or maybe the mother ship is coming to take me home? My answer is: Absolutely! Obviously some things are not very likely to happen but many are very real possibilities and those are the scenarios that I am preparing for.
Figuring out where to start is always the hardest part of any endeavor one takes on and it is no different with prepping. I had so many scenarios dancing in my head I finally had to break everything into groups that I found most could fit under. I am sure there are a lot more you can think of and I would love to hear about it so leave a comment when you are done reading.
1. Group one would be things that are most likely to happen. Someone you know, maybe it’s even happened to you, has probably experienced them. These are the little disasters that are hitting US citizens every single day. You see these scenarios every day around 5pm when you turn on the news. You should already be prepared for these situations, if you’re not then start your focus here.
2. Group two will still be scenarios that are likely to happen maybe not tomorrow or next spring but most probably within the next 10 to 15years. Some of these are situations your grand parents can give you firsthand accounts of and some of them you have seen yourself in your lifetime or have heard of it happening in another country.
3. The third group will be those that are least likely to happen and yet are in no way so far out of the realm of possibility that I should forego thinking about them.
Let’s talk jobs. How secure is your job? Are you thinking pretty secure? Are you sure? Well finding a job isn't as easy as it used to be. As of July 2012 the national unemployment rate in the US was 8.3% with Nevada and California leading the ranks at 13.8% and 11.9% respectively. That means of every 100 people in Nevada almost 14 are unemployed. Do me a favor now. Go outside and take a walk. Walk 2 square blocks and look around, 8 of those neighbors are looking for work right now. That’s a lot of people without a paycheck to pay their bills, to feed their families and to keep a roof over their children’s heads. What are they going to do?
If they made just a couple basic preparations they will have given themselves a bit of breathing room. Maybe when they went grocery shopping they picked up extra of canned goods when they were on sale? Maybe they bought flour, rice and sugar in bulk because they use a lot of it. Maybe they have a small garden in the back yard. According to data I got from the USDA the average family of 4 spends about $182.70 a week on groceries. That is $730.80 a month that family was able to save while they looked for a new job. That’s quite a bit of relief off their shoulders. Let’s take it one step forward.
This is a family who probably also lived frugally, meaning they didn’t spend more than they made. Maybe they gave up movie night or got rid of cable, whatever saves them a couple bucks and they were able to sock some away and pay ahead on their mortgage and car payments. One thing that I hear about that I love is paying extra on your mortgage. The best advice is when you have the extra money-instead of wasting it on stuff you don’t really need-pay a month in advance. What a load off to know you will still have a roof over your head for a month or more. Depending on where you are that can save a family up to let’s say $1500 a month. So between the groceries they saved and paying ahead on their mortgage they are looking at not having to worry about coming up with a bit more than $2200 for a month at least but hopefully 3 months.
That is a pretty local scenario. It is pretty much your house, your family and your problem. Not completely the end of the world as we know it but definitely hard times.
Let’s expand from there. Almost every part of the Earth is affected by some sort of natural disaster. Hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, flooding and drought are all happening right now somewhere in the world. These are the scenarios that you know are going to happen this year or next year. You probably talk about getting a kit together maybe putting away a gallon or two of water just in case a storm knocks out your power but life gets in the way. I know that. It’s certainly happened to me more than once, but I had to make prepping a priority. You can only talk about it and research it so long before you finally just have to do it
On August 28, 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Louisiana. Because of the ferocity of the hurricane and an out dated levy system New Orleans became like a third world country over night. Because of some ‘misunderstanding’ between the Governor of Louisiana and the former FEMA chief, Michael Brown, the southern parishes in Louisiana did not get put on the list that President G.W. Bush used to declare states of emergency the day before. FEMA showed up late for that one. You can’t always depend on the government to come and rescue your butt with government aid.
By August 30th looting had started. Just two days after a hurricane New Orleans society was collapsing. The rioting and looting stretched the search and rescue teams so thin that there were victims still waiting for rescue on rooftops days later because the law officials and rescue teams were trying to keep control. A police officer was quoted as saying “Go to hell it’s every man for himself”. That’s pretty scary. In 48 hours it started becoming an everyman for himself scenario. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they don’t think most people would behave that way after all we are civilized even knowing what they know happened after Katrina. You think so?
Catastrophic things happen all over. Tsunamis devastate coastlines, tornados tear up homes, heck I lived in Cordell, Oklahoma back in 2001/2002 and went through a tornado in Oct. 2001 and in February of 2002 there was an ice storm that left us without electricity for a week or so. Had we not always carried at least 3 months worth of food and water in our house and had a generator we might have got through as well had and been able to offer assistance to another family of five whose home was all electric.
Our country right now is having one of the worst droughts we have seen in a very long time. Because of this 51% of the corn crop was described by the USDA as being “poor/very poor” according to an article businessinsider http://www.businessinsider.com/what-the-threat-of-a-global-food-crisis-means-for-world-markets-2012-8#ixzz23vJ7lNOv. Consider a food shortage on top of a drought piled on top of an economy that is shaky at best and that is piled high on top of a population that is increasingly agitated with a government that seems to care more about big business making money that it does the rest of us. I can see that going to very scary places and I would like to be prepared for that. Unless we get rain soon this will be a real problem real soon affecting not just us but a lot of the world. The United States is the world’s largest exporter of corn.
These are a few of the most likely scenarios that could disrupt our lives. I am hoping you can look at those and thing to yourself that you can prepare for those with no problems. When you go to the grocery store just pick up a couple extra cans of what you eat and put it away. Don’t buy things your family doesn’t eat though. If you have a scenario where you are having to use your supply it’s already going to be hard don’t make it worse by trying to cram cans of spam down your families throats if they don’t like it. Store what you eat and eat what you store. Just make sure you use the stuff that will expire first.
And as always feel free to leave comments on both the blog and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ThePreppingPrincess .