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When did you start prepping and why?

This post is part of a week long cross blog celebration of national preparedness month where we, as blog owners and preppers, answer five interesting and pertinent questions–one per day–and request that you, the reader, provide your own answers as well in the comments section below. Equally important, we request that you visit the other awesome participating blogs as well in order to get to better know the blog owners and their sites. The other participating sites are mostly sites that I highly recommend you visit anyway and include: ApartmentPrepper.com, DoomAndBloom.net, IfItHitsTheFan.com, ModernSurvivalOnline.com, SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com, and The Retreat. Please choose to visit these other sites and give feedback. Thank you.

You would think that most people come to an “awakening,” if you will, at some point in their lives and choose the path of preparedness versus the path of the sheeple. Unfortunately, or otherwise, I cannot say that. The closest I can come to a point in time where I decided I need to better prepare myself and my family is 9-11.

In reality, I was naive back then. I had recently graduated college, went to work as I was supposed to, and thought that the world was as it should be. Perhaps some of this naivety came from the fact that my parents took very good care of me as a child, I wanted for nothing, and was essentially spoiled as a youth… okay, very spoiled! I don’t know what the root cause was but I do understand the change in mindset that came about more gradually than in my face.

More likely than 9-11, however, was the fact that shortly after that event my first child was born. As a result, I began to see life differently. That was yet another “rude” awakening that I was wholly unprepared for and still am to this day. Now, it wasn’t so much about me or even my wife anymore, I had something to protect and care for that REALLY needed it. I was truly responsible for the first time in my life and that was a shock to me!

Strangely, instead of doing what most Americans do–save for college, buy a bigger home, etc–I began to think differently about life and what may lie ahead. I don’t recall why, but instead I choose to focus my efforts on ensuring my family was ready for… life, and that includes natural disasters. I didn’t have any idea what disasters, in particular, but since we lived in “tornado alley” I figured that was a good place to start.

So, I began to surf the WWW and happened upon many interesting websites, most of which tried to sell me on a number of survival products, plenty of which were successful. As I’ve stated in the past, if it had “survival,” “emergency,” or “preparedness” stamped on the package, the chances were pretty good that I would buy it… I just didn’t know any better.

What I did know was that I needed to be READY. It’s been several years since I’ve began my preparedness journey and it seems like an eternity now. I’ve even become so confident in my knowledge that I created this website. :)

What I’ve learned from my interest in emergency preparedness is that (1) it’s a lifelong journey and not something to be mastered and then tossed aside and (2) it’s really a lifestyle and attitude adjustment. Alright, maybe these are roughly the same thing, but the point is that you either “get it” or you don’t. And, once you do, you never look back.

To be honest, I don’t understand why more people do not “get it” as I (and you) do. This is especially true of my extended family and friends since I’m completely open and honest with anyone who will listen. It’s not like I hide what I do or who I am. I know this violates the most basic rules of OPSEC but I feel it’s my duty–perhaps moral imperative–to bring what I know and believe in to as many people as possible.

Last, it doesn’t matter to me how or when you choose to get prepared. Even if it was yesterday, that’s one less person (and family) that’s likely to be dependent on others to care for them. That’s one less family standing in a bread line. And one less family that may feel the need to take from me and my family that which I’ve rightfully gathered.

That, to me, is the true power to speaking up and of being prepared: empowering others to do the same and walk a righteous path to self-reliance.

7 comments to When did you start prepping and why?

  • teabag

    i started prepping shortly after hurricane katrina. it was wednsday or thursday of that week when cnn reported on the plight of the people trapped in the superdome. they had no food or water, babies were starting to die of dehydration, and so on. i was so shocked and indignant that i shot out of my chair–i knew that fema had helicopters available, but they hadn’t dropped so much as a bottle of water down to those people! at first i assumed it was simple racism, tho now i think it was closer to classism (of which racism is usually a subset anyway) and maybe some general indifference. regardless, it dawned on me that the government cannot be relied on to help disaster victims. (mind you, i’d been reading sci-fi since age 11, so i’ve read plenty of post-apocalyptic novels….but somehow the lesson had never quite penetrated until then. go figure.)
    anyway, i slowly got started on a get-home bag and food storage, and (as you put it) have never looked back. as a middle-aged woman with some chronic health problems, i’m just getting into the physical fitness aspect, but something is better than nothing, and i’m building up my somethings as my budget will allow. and learning, of course, which is more rewarding than i thought it would be. also more empowering.
    thank you for your good work, and i’ll keep doing my own. as you might say, every person prepared is one less person unprepared, dependent and unnecessarily traumatized.

  • I started prepping in 1998 -for Y2K. Well we didnt have to grocery shop
    for a full year (except for milk, eggs and a few other items.) We already had a wood stove and back up gas heater and then a generator -I continued
    lightly prepping on and off then natural diasters occured here,then Sept 11th .When the Preppers show came on I evaluated our preps and we have been prepping hard for the past 18 months or so.We live in an area that loses power several times a winter and we get ice and snow and we are far from grocery stores. We live on a farm . We are very glad we have prepared so
    fully and will continue to do so -just in case-anything happens and with the climate changes and the world political instability its better to be safe than not prepared. Arlene and family

  • T.R.

    No matter when and why a person decides to do this ( and you made a good decision ) . My question to myself is …..how far do I take it ? Only I can answer that but its a question a lot of us have . Prepping takes money , space , planning …..and yes a lot of stress .

  • Martin

    I started shortly after 9/11 myself. It was an awakening for me too. And, of course, kids change the equation more than we realize.

  • Bev

    Very interesting! It is amazing how a child changes your life and perspective on life!

    • T.R.

      Funny you say that , my boss’s son is a tattoo covered , brawling , heavy drinking kid . He got married about a year ago , they now have a child of their own ………..about the only thing that is the same about him now are the tattoos , all the other things stopped over night .