What Got You Into Preparedness?


Discovering the reasons how and why others have developed a mindset of preparedness should prove to be an insightful exercise.

Lets hear from you, your “how’s and why’s”… ?

Here’s some from me…

As I reflect on my own reasons while I think back through time, it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific trigger event – although there were events which called out (highlighted) my preparedness mindset…

While we enter this world as minds full of mush, we become ‘who we are’ through life experiences. Everyone has different experiences but everyone also has common experiences. Throughout life we develop who we are, perhaps with a few changes along the way.

The survival instinct is ingrained in our DNA as two-legged predatory beings high up (on top) of the food chain. Our modern world has greatly suppressed that instinct for most of the masses due to a living environment in which all of our basic needs (and more) are fairly easily met – without significant threat. For some though, it seems apparent that the survival instinct is closer to the surface than others. Perhaps some (more than others) recognize the systemic risks that go hand-in-hand with our modern way of life. Or maybe it’s that some people have more common sense than others and/or the ability to see through the BS better than others – and are the same people who simply have a ‘sense’ of the need for preparedness – a heightened survival instinct. Well, whatever it is, some people ‘get it’ and some people don’t.

That said, I suppose the first time I recall my sense of intuition throwing up red flags was just prior to the dot-com bubble burst. (Yes, I’m old enough to have been through it). The vast new technology area of the new internet had led to insane stock market speculation and IPO’s. I recall having invested some of my money back then in this area (everyone was doing it!) but there was a time when I definitely realized that this thing was not sustainable. Much of it was reaching a point of euphoric insanity. I got out and sold everything (before it crashed). And guess what… IT CRASHED. The Nasdaq eventually lost 78% of it’s peak.

The next significant event was the housing bubble burst. During that time period I was living and working in the ‘high-tech’ sector in California. When I had moved out there (for the job), I had bought a modest and fairly small home on the outskirts of the region – although it required a daily commute into the city. Throughout the years that we lived there, nearly everyone we knew (friends at work, etc..) were ‘trading up’ and buying bigger houses (flipping their previous homes) because home prices were going up ‘abnormally’ quickly – which enabled significant profits on selling their existing home and moving into a much bigger and fancier home – some were outright mansions it seemed… Well, we never did. Something told me that this was unsustainable and I didn’t want to get locked into a bigger mortgage. It just didn’t feel right. Well guess what – IT CRASHED. Suddenly you had all these people with all these big mortgages and the value of their McMansions plummeted below the ‘real’ market value. The gig was up. When I left California and sold my modest home, because I had not traded up (and instead had been paying down my mortgage) I was able to make a nice profit because I was not underwater. It just seemed to me like common sense. I guess not everyone has it. The bursting of the housing bubble just reinforced my notion in being prepared, recognizing the risks before calamity and doing something about it.

9/11. When nine-eleven happened, I will never forget the moments when I first saw it happen on TV after flipping it on while getting ready for work in the morning (still living out in CA during that time). I saw the 2nd plane hit the towers live as it happened. They’re burned into my memory like a laser. That event changed me forever. We are vulnerable, and even to this day. Especially today! – given the current policies of the current ‘administration’, open borders, etc… but I digress. While reflecting back, this was the time frame in which I actively started preparing. Having just gone through the Y2K scare (which no-one really knew for sure what would happen), 911 sealed the deal.

Today, I feel that our bubble ‘economy’ is very much a false economy (not all, but lots of it) and everything that the FED (and others) have done to prop things up since 2008 has just made it worse for when it finally crashes. And I know that it will. I can feel it. And when it does, it’s going to be very, very bad. In fact I believe that it could be much worse than anything we’ve ever experienced – given the number of people who are dependent and/or ‘on the edge’. While I hope I’m wrong, this is in fact my primary motivation for today’s preparedness. I feel that (depending on the crash) it could even become quite dangerous in places. Therefore I have moved away from major population density, I am becoming more self sufficient (one never seems to be finished in that department), and I own my home outright. I was able to do this based on years of a mindset of preparedness, the survival instinct, common sense, and managing not to get drawn into the mania of the mainstream indulgences.

So, what got me into preparedness? I’m not sure. It’s just the way I am. Maybe it’s because much of my ‘training’ and career(s) has had lots to do with servicing of equipment in various technology sectors (which has lots to do with maintenance, keeping things running, spares, dealing with equip. issues and breakdowns and people who would rather ignore ‘preparedness’ because it ‘costs money’, etc..).

Now it seems that I acutely recognize that we as a nation (and much of the so called developed world) are navigating iceberg filled waters, uncharted territory, on a ship filled with 7 billion people – having gone through a staggering population growth. The world is in debt to apocalyptic amounts. We’re going to hit an iceberg. And I’m concerned that the ship will sink…

While there’s more to the story, I’ll turn it over to you. What got you into preparedness??


  1. Many years ago we had a snow storm that shut down the airport stranding people without food ect for a few days. Then we had a hurricane that took out the power for 8 days. No food or water in the house at the time. I was heating cans of soup over a tea light. ( not very effect) O yea, I was home alone sick with bronchitis, it was ugly. Never again will this household suffer.

  2. Multiple, seasonal power failures due to ice, snow, or wind storms while traveling for work. The wife spent 9 days without power one winter with our brand new born daughter while I was halfway across the globe enjoying the summer.

    That was just my initial wake up call and things pretty much evolved from there into the realization that we were ill-prepared in a lot of ways and should get to work or face the consequences.

    My transition from “sheeple” to “sheepdog” occurred after attending a speech by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman. From there, situational awareness was never the same, nor was my view on protecting my family.

    It’s been an evolutionary journey ever since and a struggle at the same time to keep things real…

  3. I’m one that generally has to learn things the hard way. Growing up I thought it was strange that my maternal grandmother had her own garden where she grew most everything she ate, never had more than one light on, raised chickens, hung laundry on ‘the line’. Didn’t realize that making it through the depression and ‘the war’ (WWII) meant anything. That was lesson No.1.

    Lesson No. 2 After getting married, divorced, through about 4 jobs, and making only enough to pay the mortgage, feed the dogs, cover the utilities, fill the gas tank and have just enough left over to feed me, kind of, there had to be a better way. At 6 ft tall, 116 lbs, stretching a 3 lb box of minute oats three months, I decided I would never be hungry again. Me or the dogs.

    I, too, survived the ‘dot com’ crap. I survived the ‘telecom corridor’ debacle. I survived minute oats. (Since then I have never, and will never, eat another oat of any kind.) I not only have food stored, I have religiously dropped all coinage in a jar at the end of the day. I have saved paper money by tossing some of whatever is in my wallet into that jar. Am now exchanging all that for the shiny stuff. I have a travel trailer and a cargo trailer. Either, depending on the situation, can be loaded fairly quickly and on the road. I have enough gasoline, in the vehicle and in cans, to get me at least 500 miles. If I decide to bail out of here, I have what I feel are the needed amenities to survive and are ready to go. If I have to stay here, so be it. That can be done also.

    I survived high school. I survived Viet Nam, and other places. I survived the robber barons of the industrialized US society. I survived Minute Oats. I will not only survive the mindless idiots that think they control this country and its inhabitants, I will survive anything that bunch of scum throws at me. They can steal my bank accounts. They can steal my retirement. They cannot take my will to survive.

  4. My email contact in California. She was filling cut-off old blue jeans legs with sand her neighborhood was so bad.
    She knew she needed to leave, but had remodeled and it was a nice job in the pics.
    She told me what she had stored and why. She was my inspiration.
    I researched online and the rest is history. My first purchase was a case of green beans. :-)

    I have years, not months of food and supplies and I am scared.
    This house is NOT the type to hide anything in any room.
    I’ve read all the articles about that and it just isn’t my thing.

  5. I’ve always been a pioneer at heart. That and my grandmother’s frugal post depression lifestyle (till the day she died in ’88) had the greatest influence on me.

    Read the foxfire series and pioneer adventure books.

    Married a man whose parents and extended family all lived the same frugal post depression lifestyle my grandmother did.

    Hubby was a fireman and it seemed prudent to be prepared just in case the worst should happen and we (&2 girls) were suddenly w/o his job or him.

    Then 2008 and as my dad lay dying of cancer, he & I watched the value of his life’s accumulations, including the value of his condo in Hawaii go down the tubes. Friends I knew lost homes, jobs, spouses (stress)–some have yet to recover.

    Prepping now is a life style, cause it just isn’t gonna get better. It used to be called frugal. Guess I’m a frugal prepper :)

  6. I can’t say exactly when it hit me to prep hard, but I would have to say that the mind set came from a culmination of events through my life. The first was hearing stories from my parents who lived through the dust bowl years and the depression. Then I remember seeing a picture of a family that lived through the great potato famine in Ireland. The thing that haunted me about the picture is that the mother and three young boys aged maybe 8 to 12 years old, all skinny as heck and all with green stains around their mouths as they were eating grass to survive.

    I think the worst was when early in my marriage my husband was laid off un-expectedly. I wasn’t working at that time as we had 3 young ones at home. We literally only had about $5 left each week for food after all the bills were paid. I had some food stocked to help as I was already in the preparedness mind set, but not enough. None of the kids today will eat another hot dog as that was about all we could afford at the time.

    Once we were back on our feet, I started with stocking and preparing for any type of set back. Even now that I have recently been laid off we are pretty comfortable with our stores to carry us until I find another job. Even though there is no money right now we are prepping still in other ways. We are finding and cutting up free scrap wood to burn in our stove for heat in the winter. The prepping never stops.

  7. It started when we were young & farming & money was always tight. You paid the farming bills & whatever was left you could buy food & clothing. Therefore you grew a large garden so you could can & freeze a winters supply. When we moved away from the farm & got better paying jobs that mindset stayed with us. While I could have afforded more expensive clothes & toy & just couldn’t waste money that way. Therefore I bought very nice clothes at a local 2nd hand store for a fraction of the price.

    My 2nd awakening was with my job as special ed. teacher I was working at least 60 hrs per week & just letting the bank look after my retirement money & we all know what the bubbles did with my money so I decided I’d better watch what was going on in the world better & my oh my was I shocked.

    My 3rd boast to preparing came when working up north & the power would go out several times a year for 8-12 hrs. When that happened in the winter at -30 it got quite uncomfortable. Therefore when we retired & moved back to the southern Canadian prairies I told DH we had to do 2 things…buy a generator & a wood burning stove because as we age we will be less able to cope with inconveniences like power outages. Guess what shortly after we got the generator we had a plow wind that went through a large swath of the province taking down trees & power lines. Also we had had a very wet spring & the water table was close to the surface so the sump pumps were running steady. With the generator we were OK & able to keep the water out of our basement. Others weren’t so lucky. We were also able to lend out our generator to several people to keep their deep freezers opperating. For us it has been a lifetime of learning & pushing us into being prepared

  8. When I was a kid Carter was president and we had this thing called inflation. Being a kid I don’t remember the lines for gas or anything like that. My parents owned one of those mom & pop corner grocery stores. Part of my chores was to help out in the day to day running of the store. Stocking the shelves and taking trips with my dad to the local wholesale house where we bought the majority of goods sold in our store. One day he sat me down and tried to explain to me about pricing. He said this 10 cent candy bar would someday cost a dollar. I laughed and thought there was no way that could ever happen. In my childish mind I tried to see it his way and thought about how many pop bottles I would have to find in the neighborhood to cash in for the deposit just to get one of those dollar candy bars. It just didnt seem feasible to me. Not long after that, along with everyone else, we had to raise the price of our candy bars to 15, 20, then 25 cents and I “began” to see the light. Over the years I quietly watched prices of stuff to see where they were going. Buying, selling, pay checks, bills, one thing goes up, then another and another.

    Then there were blackouts. They happened a few times every year during the summer and lasted much longer than today’s brownouts. For a kid they were exciting and frightening at the same time but most of all they were boring. But not as boring as they would be for kids today, because most of the stuff we did was outside anyway. We didn’t need electricity to play baseball, tag, kick the can, hide and seek, red light – green light, etc. We got to stay out a few minutes longer too since the street lights weren’t coming on! Back then we might miss a TV show we liked, but today kids’ whole lives shut down when the power goes out. Anyway, even back then I knew that electricity wasn’t a permanent thing. And even then I started thinking of alternatives. Either a different way of doing something or just plain doing something else instead.

    After high school I joined the Army and one time when I came home on leave I found that my parents had closed the store, as had many of the corner grocers in the neighborhood. Today, they’re all gone, the liquor store is the only one still there after all the years. At first it was because of the supermarkets, that took down a bunch of mom and pop stores, then the big box stores and their JIT delivery systems and low prices and that killed off all the rest along with a bunch of the smaller supermarkets too. The domino had been pushed and all that was left to do was to watch them fall. I’m curious to see what’s going to come along that’s going to be the thing that knocks out the big box stores. I thought maybe it would be the Internet but that hasn’t happened yet. Then again, it took some time for the big box stores to do their damage.

    What got me into preparedness? I dunno, I guess just being alive and paying attention is enough to do it.

  9. In 2009 I read “One Second After.” That was the immediate reason.

    But I already had LITTLE start. Back in 1977 I was a newly divorced single mother. I hadn’t been able to find a babysitter for my 6-year-old, so I went into the day care business myself. I was licensed for 5 children and I charged $35/week per child. Because I was licensed, I received calls from parents who were eligible to have Social Services pay for daycare. I had 3 kids who were Social Services kids and 2 kids (brother and sister) who paid me directly. The $70/week from the self-pay kids paid for day to day expenses including food for me and my kids. The money I received from Social Services on the 5th of every month paid house payment, utility bills, insurance, etc.

    The family with the 2 kids moved and so I lost that income. No problem. I just called the parents of the first two kids on my waiting list. It turned out that both of them were Social Service kids. So I didn’t have money every week as before; all my money came on the 5th. Until one day it didn’t. I called Social Services to inquire and they said that there would be a delay this month but I would be paid in full on the 25th. My house payment was due on the 15th and I had NO money to buy food. All my relatives were poor, but I had a very good neighbor. I borrowed $250 from him and resolved to never be that short again. I started buying extra groceries so that I always had enough to last 2-3 weeks. I tried to keep a little extra in my bank account. And I got a couple of credit cards.

    That worked until I read One Second After. Now I have a year of groceries, quite a bit of money in the bank, a few hundred dollars in cash, 2 revolvers and about 6 boxes of ammunition, a 6 foot fence around my yard, and a large garden. This year I planted potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, lettuce, radishes, onions, yellow squash, cucumbers, I should also get a nice crop of rhubarb and raspberries from the plants I put in last year.

    Many people on this site are more prepared, but some have been working at it for longer and most have more income than I do.

  10. As a young person I was living in the Philippines. Was witness to and lived through a coup d’etat, in fact a couple of them. It is important to be ready at a moments notice to get your butt in gear and moving out of a war zone. The zone was very fluid and sides were difficult if not near impossible to identify at the most intense of the fighting. Been mindful to be prepared ever since.

  11. Living in earthquake country, I started stocking a few extra things in 2005. In 2006-07 I started reading material that caused me to believe something in the not too distant future was going to go very bad economically. When the crash of 2008 came, I could tell “they” were making things much worse by QE and zero interest rates. As a result, I know something economically is going to explode soon, (perhaps also a war). As a parent, I am fierce about providing for my family. As a result, food, water, guns, ammo, and many other kinds of preparations have been made.

    Reading One Second After sure didn’t help either. Scared the crap out of me, (even already being one into preparedness). I pray often but keep a vigilant watch, trying to gauge what exactly may be/is coming..

  12. Why have I become a prepper? All my life something has always warned me of impending bad events ahead of time. This includes the death of my father, step father, my best friend when I was 11 years old and so on. I even knew ahead of time that I was going to loose my first wife. This list of warnings is quite long. I have told other people ahead of time about some of these warnings(sometimes in great detail). These discussions with other people have often scared them deeply when these warnings have came true. Sometimes when these warnings come true and I have told other people ahead of time about what is going to happen then afterward those people will not come around me or have anything to do with me.

    Well, starting sometime back I have had (and it continues) this very strong feeling that the human race is about to experience a major calamity. I will not go into detail but only say there will be great loss of life. Somehow I always seem to know what I need to do with respect to prepping and I do it. I have spent a lot of time and money in an effort to protect my family. I just pray that this time what I seem to know is wrong but I know it would be unusual for this feeling to be wrong after being right so many times.

  13. Our lives were turned upside down with the birth of our youngest daughter. Due to complications, she suffered a brain injury that left her extremely medically fragile. (trach, g-tube, oxygen, wheelchair, night nurses in order to sleep…)
    To say that we were overwhelmed, would be an understatement.

    It was during this time that, most of the people (family, friends, church) that I thought would help us through this heartbreaking time didn’t. Oh they said all the “right” things, like “if you need anything, let me know.” Yet, when I swallowed my pride and finally asked for help, they would tell me that they would check their schedules and get back to me. Somehow, most never did.

    We learned to come together as a family. It was so very hard, but with God’s help and a few dear friends, we were able to find our new normal.

    We had to get a generator because our daughter’s life depended on her machines working.

    We became housebound. Her immune system was very compromised and we had to take lots of precautions to protect her from germs. As a result, when I was able to get out to the grocery store, I would stock up for athe least a month at a time. If there was a sale on what we normally used, I would buy as much as I could. (We ate a lot of cereal at this point and if it went on sale for a dollar, I would buy a hundred dollars worth.)

    Dear daughter needed a ton of medical supplies for her daily care and to help keep her alive. We were blessed to have private medical insurance along with a medicaid waiver. I watched as our premiums went up and her services got cut. I never knew if something that she needed was going to be deemed “unnecessary” and become an out of pocket expense. So, I saved everything and reused as much as I could.

    For the first two years of her life, her trach needed to be sectioned every 30-90 seconds. Extreme, yes, but if I didn’t she ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. I held her and sectioned her for sixteen hours a day until my husband or a night nurse could take over so I could sleep. My entire world opened up when we set up a computer next to our chair. I was able to use the Internet to have contact with the outside world.

    It was at this point that I was asked by someone at church to be in charge of my congregation’s emergency preparedness committee. I was told that, “it would give me something to do that didn’t require me leaving my house.” I remember my jaw hitting the floor! Here I was, with a very complex and medically fragile kiddo, being asked to make sure that everyone else was taken care of in an emergency. That was when I realized that my family was totally and undeniably on our own.

    That was my defining moment. From then on, I started reading preparedness websites and getting prepared.

    (Btw, I told them, “No!!! That should something happen, I would be busy taking care of my family.”)

  14. We were married during the Carter Years(Debacle) and well remember the gas lines and 20% prime rate interest! I vowed to NEVER see my wife that terrified again “of the future”. So far, we are doing OK. Now, I’m concerned for our grand children’s futures. Don’t like seeing them being mandated by the Fed/Feds as economic slaves to debt/derivative losses that are surely coming.(as well as Cypriot-style Bank account haircuts”bail ins”).

  15. * Four hurricanes as a kid and my parents were never prepared.
    Serving in the military and realizing I always needed my kit to be ready at a moments notice.
    * Ice storms without power for days on end.
    * Being a Christian and realizing the Bible has stories of “preppers” (i.e. Joseph) and God wants His people to be prepared.
    All cumulative have made me into a zealous prepper.

  16. First: I began stocking food and buying silver when Y2K first hit the news. The medical clinic I worked at at the time had a great, “far-thinking” operations manager and we stocked up on medical supplies and water in the clinic. Our thought was that everyone is still gonna need medical care and we would need to continue operating no matter what happened.
    Second: After that came Hurrican Katrina. I witnessed first hand the chaos in (and out of) New Orleans.
    Third: Then hurricane Ike. BOTH of Katrina and Ike resulted in HUGE evacuations and traffic was backed up on IH-10 and IH-45 for literally hundreds of miles. I am now prepared for “sheltering in place” or “bugging out”.

  17. Some unbelievable stories and lives, Thank you all for opening up and being so very honest.

    With everything I have read I feel like my short story is rather benign.

    I guess I have actually been a prepper all of my life in one form or another, I remember collecting and saving all sorts of things when I was just a little tike. As I got older and took on more responsibility I would always buy one more than I really needed, “just to have it”. Once I was married I probably drove my late wife crazy when coming home with a case of something she would ask me to “pick one up on the way home”. I have been very lucky to mostly have what I needed/wanted when I decided to get something.

    I have lived through a lot of bad times, very bad times, and have been prepared for most, but that’s not the point, I believe that the old saying of “situational awareness” is all so important. Be aware of what’s going around you, and going on in the world. Do NOT wait for anyone to tell you the SHTF is happening; know for yourself when to pull the plug and what to do about it.

    I think that in the last year or so I have kicked it (prepping) into high gear because of this “gut feeling” I have. It has never let me down so far so I will pay attention to the “gut” and do just a little more than usual. Maybe it’s the fact I’m getting a little older and fixing to retire, maybe it’s just that I’m getting tired. But I swear life feels different now. I’m extremely worried about the future of the US and the “norm”.

    I do NOT trust Obummer, the sluverment, or anyone that will tell you “everything is OK” especially any alphabet agency that wants to “help” you, remember it took FEMA 5 friggen days to get water to the Super Dome after they told sheeple to go there and be safe, and the DHS is here to protect us, From Ourselves?????? Yea right…….. Make decisions for yourself and be safe knowing you don’t need or want “their” help.

    Read “One Second After” and the entire series by A American (Going Home) they will scare the crapo out of you and maybe wake up some people that you loan the books to after you read them.

    Lastly, practice your preps. Try turning the water and power off for a week, Eat out of your stores for a week, Go camping without the 35 foot motorhome, Learn how to survive with only what you can carry, If your reading this and you’re on this Blog, than you have made it 10,000 times further than 95% of the other sheeple you see every day.

    Be safe, be prepared.

    1. Yea, the gubberment is the last people i want any “help” from, they will be the LAST group on my contact list

  18. Miss perfect walking out the door. Getting the phone call about dad. Unemployed and 2 daughters to take care of. Seeing a lot of third world countries in the military. Bad things can and will happen to good people. Bad things can and will happen to good nations. The math for America does not work out. To the extent that I can I prep.

  19. After the orphanage, the family that place me into slavery.

    I still in touch with my adopter brother. (we both run away @ age 15, never came back.


  20. My parents married in 1933 during the depths of the great depression, they lived in a chicken coop. My brother and I were born during WW II. Both of these world changing events were common discussion in my family in the 40’s and 50’s. We grew up poor and unlike today we actually knew what it meant to be uncertain where the next meal would come from. My parents grew a large garden and canned food. My father would store food on the dirt floor of the cool basement that we would use all winter. I grew up thinking everyone did this, certainly all the families I knew did. In the late 50’s and 60’s life was better, I had a job and family but along came Jimmy Carter and hyper inflation and recession, etc. This along with a subscription to Mother Earth News made me think about what I had learned at home. I became a prepper to survive economic hard times and that concern has never been greater than it is today.

  21. The Roman Empire lasted approximately 671 years (give or take) and was probably the longest lasting empire of all time. The British Empire has been gone since the end of World War II.

    What caused the destruction of the Roman Empire:
    Government spending more than they took in

    1)Sending gold to the east for spices and silks from China and India. They ran out of gold to make coins.

    2)Mass immigration from Visigoths who eventually rebelled and sacked Rome.

    3)Power moved from the Senate (representative government)to the Cesar’s who became so powerful they declared themselves god.

    4)Breakdown of the family

    any of this sound familiar? History repeats itself

  22. Terrorism and the overwhelming number of threats that exist in the world today that could and probably will lead to WWIII … we have enjoyed the safety and security of wide oceans in past conflicts … but I don’t believe that will be the case in the next one.

  23. for some reason I was always drawn to it. no one in my family prepped (other than the required earthquake pre-packaged kit). No one was interested in any gear (other than my dad loved flashlights & radios for some reason). But even as a child I was drawn to movies & books that involved surviving while others couldn’t. I won a jelly bean counting contest at 7 or so & could choose 1 book from the library’s kid section. My mom thought I was nuts but I choose Survival! At Sea & absorbed every bit of it.

    Then as I got of adult age, 911 happened. And the economic crash. And everything else. The carefree childhood of the 80’s-’90’s was gone & harsh adult reality set in. People wonder why millennials are less risky with their money – take a look at what we grew up with! Why should we trust the system when it had so much trouble right as we were about to take advantage of it?? And with all the natural disasters growing in frequency as it gets closer to Jesus’ return, you see that it won’t be hours if something happens to you. I won’t be days! You’ll be lucky if you get help within a week. You have to figure out what to do until then.

    Fukushima brought me to this site & at that time even my parents decided to get iodine pills & beef up on earthquake supplies. I still woudn’t consider myself a “prepper” per say, but I am further along than my other relatives & certainly my friends. But I’m not ready by any means. a long unemployment took much of my preps savings. & just as I was starting to rebuild I get word that I’ll be laid off again shortly. Am I ready for anything? heck no! am I ready for common stuff? maybe… but at least I’m trying to do something about it & I’ll be a lot more knowledgeable than the people around me when something happens so that’s gotta be at least a bit of a help!

  24. A major ice storm hit our area. We were out of power for 7 days. We were lucky some people in our area were out of power for 17 days. No heat, no water (electric pumps), no lights and it was very, very, very cold! After that I made sure I was well prepared for anything.

  25. started out at 16 , saw my first shooters survival guide been prepping ever since.

  26. The thought of myself or my family being at the mercy of the government during a crisis is terrifying! I would rather take matters into my own hands and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I see so many with their heads in the sand and ignoring the signs. I try not to let anyone know because I can’t stand the thought of turning them away when the time comes… but I will. I have spent much time and money to be sure my family is safe, warm and fed. I was raised by my grandparents and we were always prepared for what ever came along. It stuck with me.

  27. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest thru the 1960’s. My parents where poor, we lived a very self sufficient life style. We all had chores each day, to care for animals, ect. We learn the “Midwest work ethic “. Up early, work, school, work, home work, dinner.

    We all had to participate in day to day support of the family.

    Life was hard and humble. What little we had, came the hard way!

    So as Ken had said, it’s what your life experiences are. That make you the person, or personality you become.

    Life never got any easier, I lost my father at the age of 15. The doctors, hospitals, and banks, took what little we had.

    My mothers mental health took many years to recover. My younger sisters lived with relatives. I managed to live on my own, working several part time jobs. And completed high school, the only thing my father wanted.

    Since then, I have always had to care for myself.

    Prepping? Pretty much a way of life for me, im always ready for what tomorrow may bring. Yearly I take a couple of weeks, off into the woods. With as little as possible. Minimalist survival!

  28. Mine is purely by luck, I purchased for my self in 2010 a Coleman 6500 watt generator for Christmas . Spring of 2011 I had my house electric panel upgrade form fuse circuit to breakers. The electrical contractor said if I paid in cash he would throw in a gen switch box for my generator. The generator is able to light up the whole house & furnace. The only draw back. No cloths washer or Drier or Stove top oven. Not less then a month later in May 2011 an F-1 tornado ripped through my yard causing tremendous neighbor hood damage in Bristol Conn, And by the grace of God turned away form my home as it neared. All the while my wife & 2 boys watched every thing unfold before them. I still had a broken window and a 150 ft pine tree fell and clip my shed avoid some serious damage to yard equipment in it. Several surrounding streets loss power for 3 days. I was able to stay home & repair the damages. I didn’t have to pack anything up and relocated while the power was restored.

    Fast forward to Fall of 2011. October 2011 Conn had a freak ice storm that brought this state to its knees. My neighbors lost power for 7 days. I was once again able stay in my own home the entire time. The only issue I had was to locate a station to fill up my truck and spare gas tanks.

    Because of those 2 major life changing issue that occurred. I have taken a more pro active stance to make sure the necessary improvements are in place. Purchased wood stove spring of 2012 for heat. Major cost set back , but has paid for its self already. No longer at the mercy of Big oil company.

    My last item I will say is this. Seeing something on T.V. is no where’s compared to actually living through it. Words and video can not capture or convey emotions of the people living through those events.

  29. A few years ago a co-worker turned me on to a t.v series called “Doomsday Preppers”. A mocking dialogue ensued for a few days as I made fun of him and these ‘crazies’ until he made one simple statement…Only dead fish go with the flow, and I don’t want to be a dead fish.

    It was at that moment that I saw just how trough fed I had been by the media and government, just how I would just ‘go with the flow’ like all the other mind numbed masses.

    I started reading and researching, practicing new skills and quickly turned on the prepper mindset…no matter what is coming, I’m definitely going to be swimming upstream.

  30. Moved to a home 4 miles or so from the san andreas fault. Then a few years later we had a power outage in a snow storm. After inside temps hit 45, I was really happy for the gas generator in the company work truck when I got it wired up to the central heater.

  31. I was in cub scouts. I remember when we had to put together a “survival kit”. I used one of the old Band-Aid tins, and put in some matches, a pocket knife, a compass, and a few other items. It was awesome! I grew up hunting, fishing, and camping, and I always enjoyed finding something useful at a garage sale. My wife and I have always had a deep pantry, and I used to shoot more ammo in 1 day, than most people stocked up for y2k. I don’t really think of myself as a prepper, because the transition was so seamless. The biggest difference in my lifestyle now is…stocking up on T.P.

  32. Life experiences taught me to prepare while growing up and after I became an adult. I won’t get into detail, but life was rough. Primitive survival was a hobby of mine since 1971, and learned about wild eatables, fishing, primitive camping, hunting, tanning hides, and making clothing from them. It was when this socialist administration came into power in 2008 that my preparations skyrocketed. I was always a woods person, living in forested lands or wilderness areas to keep close to my hobbies. I’m certain my “hobbies” will become my means of survival soon.

  33. I don’t think I ever ” became ” a prepper I more evolved into one. Up into my early thirties I worked in the construction industry building houses which meant 12 hour days in the summer and days or weeks without work in the winter. As I was young the concept of living on a budget eluded me at the time. I did however have enough brains to buy extras like canned goods,beans,rice, spices ect each week to store in case we needed food to help in the winter. I even bought small toys and things each week in case I was broke at xmas time my kids would at least have some presents to open. When I became older and switched to a 40 hour a week job the habit of buying extra didn’t go away and I realized at some point I had hundreds of pounds of beans,rice,pasta and cupboards full of packaged goods built up.I then started on other things I might need as I do live in the mountains and lose power at least a couple of times a year. I guess I have always tried to prepare for WHAT IF. Now I just keep going as I am convinced that WHAT IF will happen at some point and if it doesn’t then I will have bought myself some peace of mind over the years.

  34. It’s great to hear everyone’s stories. There’s no such thing as a good or not-so-good one. We ALL have our own reasons and there’s certainly no requirement to having actually lived through (personally experienced) a disastrous event – although such a thing would certainly be a big wake up call!

    I’ve added a bit more to mine:

    9/11. When nine-eleven happened, I will never forget the moments when I first saw it happen on TV after flipping it on while getting ready for work in the morning (still living out in CA during that time). I saw the 2nd plane hit the towers live as it happened. The event and images are burned into my memory like a laser. That event changed me forever. We are vulnerable, and even to this day. Especially today! – given the current open-border policies, etc… but I digress. While reflecting back, this was the time frame in which I most actively started preparing. Having just gone through the Y2K scare (in which I did start prepping, no-one really knew for sure what would happen), 911 sealed the deal.

  35. I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast most of my life so we always prep’ed for hurricanes. I wasn’t until the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that I ramped up my current prepping activities. Although most of the news focused on New Orleans, Mississippi took the bulk of the tidal surge which wiped out most of the homes south of the railroad tracks. Check out google maps and look at the number of slabs that remain after the surge wiped them clean. Three days after the storm I went to check on my father in Gulfport (I was living in New Orleans). As I approached his house I could not see it from the road. There were eight oak trees down around the house. As I made it through the tangle of trees, I found him sitting on his porch in a folding chair with a pot of cowboy coffee brewing over a small burner. The electric power pole and transformer were lying on the ground and from the condition of the power poles & lines in the street, it did not appear that he would have power for months. I asked him why he did not connect the generator to the pump house and he told me he did not know how to hook it up. I later found out that when he ran out of water and traded his gasoline for water from one of his neighbors so that would not die of thirst. Without the generator, his food in the refrigerator spoiled and he did not have any canned or dried goods.
    With all of the communications down, there was no way for us to communicate to each other. This was my first decision to obtain a Ham radio operator’s license (my father was a former Ham Operator). On the day I found my father, I had to take him to the hospital for dehydration and other medical conditions normally found with an 80 yr old senior. My second decision that day was to obtain a Medical Responder Certification so that I could at least provide some basic medical services. From that day forward, I began developing skills that would allow me set up aquaponics and grow fish & produce vegetables, set-up solar power, build a wood gas generator, generate methane gas from manure, prepare for home defense, eliminate my debt, and understand how to live off the grid (if it came to that). I now have a General Class Ham operator license for UHF/VHF & HF. I volunteer with the local Office of Emergency Preparedness for emergency planning and work as a volunteer Ham radio operator at the State Police / DHS Offices (during emergencies). I am also a Medical Emergency Responder. I have had to use these skills a few times with my neighbors. I plan to retire soon and relocate to a small community in southern Alabama adjacent to a wild life management area. I will get involved in the local preparedness organizations and do my part to help the community & my neighbors “weather the storms” so to speak.
    I hope that many of your readers do not have to experience events that would leave them in a position that they would find themselves unprepared. Learn skills and stay safe. Regards.

  36. Living in a hurricane zone is what got me started in prepping. The threats from terrorist, sink holes, EMP attack, the Govt prepping have pushed me further into having fariday cages, guns, ammo, seeds, and freeze dried food buried!!! Plus to get in shape and train for the worst!!!

    Stay Safe!!

  37. Please consider developing an alternate place to bug out to very soon away from the coast. Perhaps a friend or family member in Ark, Missouri, Tenn. away from a populated city. Not if, but WHEN things start, you must MOVE, don’t hasitate. Chaos will start within 48 hrs after the initial event and martial law restricting movement will follow within the next 48 hrs!! Store extra gas safely and rotate. you don’t want to be in line for hrs getting gas when you should be on the road. Plan alternate routes.. Get a flamable lig. rated hand pump to get gas out of under ground tanks if just in case the grid is down.Very important to guard knowledge of ownership of this pump from others. Also if you are armed, hope you have reived training and you are mentally ready to pull the trigger to defend yourself!!

    Stay Safe!!!

  38. As a member of the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, I had to attend SERE ( Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) course for high risk jobs. I learn d a lot in that course and really started to study how to do things without the correct things.

    I was always interested in the tales of the mountain men while in school. I remember writing an essay on Jim Bridger and having the teacher ask me who he was.

    One of my dreams as a kid was to live a year on my own in the mountains with only what I could carry on my back. Have not done that yet but feel I could.

    1. @Coffejoe
      I don’t know if you’ve read this book already, but I have a feeling you would like it, “Alone In The Wilderness, by Joseph Knowles.” It was written in 1914 but you can find digital copies online. I think my copy was a free Kindle download.

      Summary: The guy gave himself the ultimate survival test. On a challenge he walked into the woods naked (during winter in Maine) and lived alone in the woods for a month. (I forget the timeline if it was a month or two months) He managed to kill a bear, several deer, lots of small game, and through self imposed discipline he avoided all contact with other people including a persistent game warden who was tracking him for killing the deer out of season. It reads quick because you end up wishing you were this person even if for just a short time.

  39. I guess I was raised that way. Coming from a large family growing up in the 60 and 70’s, we were not rich by any means. It took a lot of effort to beg a nickel from Mom so we could go down to the store and get a candy bar. During my teen years I wanted things, like “guns”, and the only way I could get one is to make money somehow. This turned out to be trapping muskrats and selling the furs. So after school I would gear up and go out and run the trap lines, come home and skin them out and put them on the stretcher to dry. Every few weeks, Mom would take me over to sell them. Another thing I did was my high school sport was rifle team. Yes my school gave me a gun to shoot! Actually took second place in the state championship when I was a freshman. My coach was a darn good teacher and I learned a lot of firearm skills from him. Too bad for all the woodchucks afterwards. I also learned how to garden as that was one of my chores which I hated but it sticks with you for life and now I appreciate all that I learned back then. One year we harvested 26 bushel of potatoes. Come spring time, I didn’t want to ever see another potato again!!! All winter, every dinner, potatoes. Now I prep because at 53 years of age, I see the world for what it really is and how our .gov is the biggest terrorist in the world and also how screwed up our financial system really is. There is no way for a country to survive like this. This is why I prep, to be able to survive long enough to be able to go down with a fight when the time comes.

  40. Life got me into preparedness. I never heard it called “prepping” until recently. We just hunted and fished and trapped and gardened. We bought things that lasted and knew who to go to for skills we did not have. Except for very expensive items we needed (thus requiring the services of a bank), we used cash or traded. My dad became a union man about the time I got into sports, so overtime bought a lot of shoes for my siblings and I. My grandpa (R.I.P) lived across the field. He had an 8th grade education in school but knew how to make use of everything outdoors, from ginseng and peppermint to coonhounds and the Sun. He knew the 25 mile radius around his home and seldom left that part of S. Ohio except for a few years when he was younger, when he became fascinated with exotic islands like Saipan, Tinian and Peleliu. He taught me what I’d need on a walk. Blade-fire-shelter-water and food. So, the blade. Later, I became a grunt for some years and learned that I could travel the world and live comfortably out of a pack and a seabag. I have lived in societies between people bent on destroying each other and others where people focused only on making money to buy more stuff. I have experienced the mountains and the jungle and desert, cold weather and hot, cities and towns and villages, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes and an ice storm that powered down a city for a week (Durham, NC – can you believe it? They couldn’t). Except for my age and my fitness level, I’d say I am as prepared to survive as I have ever been except for the fact that this Earth has a lot more people now that are not. Therein lies the rub.

  41. “I don’t fear a storm, I don’t panic…”

    That’s exactly one of the payoff’s for being preparedness-minded. It’s a result of having built confidence and thinking and ‘doing’ outside the system. Being more self sufficient and more self reliant. All the things that current guvment doesn’t want you to do ;) Good for you and thanks for the comment.

  42. Cuban missile crisis when I was a little kid….

    Later, it was Y2K… But nothing happened. A few of my friends gave me a hard time for preparing for Y2k. So when 9/11 happened I was mostly prepared, the same friends who mocked me for Y2k, where the ones calling me on 9/12 asking where to get survival supplies. Hurricane Sandy was an excellent real-time test for one’s preparedness skills as we had no heat/electricity for 12 days. It gave one an opportunity to see what worked/what didn’t and what needed improvement on…..

  43. coming from farming folk it was and is common for them to raise there own gardens and to can food themselves. It is just something we all do. Then the cuban missile crisis when I was a kid showed that it can happen here very fast. In a few hours all the food in the grocery stores was gone. Ever seen an empty grocery store with row after row of empty shelves? IT HAPPENED HERE ALREADY FOLKS. we are not immune from that. Where I live power outages lasting days can happen in the winter and cold is cold. Like the boy scouts say be prepared. At least they used to say that when I was in that. Some people I find are totally unwilling to accept the idea that anything will change. Get mad if you talk about it. They will learn

  44. I guess what got me prepping was reading the book “Joshua”. It’s a fictional post apocalyptic book of what happens when the government taxes everyone so heavily to pay for all those freebies that it’s just not worth the effort to work so everyone just started migrating and how inhumane some become when there is no law enforcement. We also lived through Hurricane Dolly with the accompanying 95 degree temps during the day and no a.c. or power for six days and eating trail mix. I also read the Joel Rosenburg blog where he talks about world events looked at through the political/ economical/ biblical prophecy lenses and just how clueless and naive is the current commander in chief. I think something will happen in 2016 because the world knows we don’t have strong leadership now to react to an attack. A point a few brought up with the discussion about the Syrian refugees being mostly young men is what happens when their families are brought over, the costs involved. What if the Chinese and Japanese want all the money we borrowed from them back? Ted Koppel in his book says our power grid has been hacked, will it be turned off if we don’t pay up? Stay safe friends

  45. I grew up the youngest of 5 in California and I remember when Prop 13 was passed when I was a child in primary school. At that age I had already been tracking and noting that my father was spending $260.00 + in cigarettes each year. I was in High School when Carter was president and this country saw double digit inflation and lines for gasoline. My formative years in school were marked by government cutbacks and adults telling me what I could and could not do. I resented the heck out of it all. It lead to me becoming very independent as a young adult. It also made me keep my eyes open and scan the horizon for more weird stuph heading down the pipe towards us. I saw people working so hard with their nose to the grindstone that they got run over by the same grinding stone. Casualties of a changing world economy.

    I left home early and attended a variety of schools for several years. I worked my way through college via a succession of skilled jobs. ( Prep cook and baker, Wildland firefighter, EMT to Paramedic, Landscape work removing hazard trees/limbing, 400 hour POST academy) I eventually graduated with a double major in Economics and History working my way through as a Seasonal Firefighter/Ranger. For 3 of those years I lived off-grid. The 1980’s were the Reagan years and as a federal worker, he wanted young employees to be cops. It was peacetime though we had several brushfire wars going at the time.

    I eventually realized I had skills and talent in the medical field and went back to school to become a ventilator technician within a large hospital. I did not have the time/financial resources to become an MD but I went on to get other professional licenses in my effort to become recession proof. I now work within large hospitals and have been doing it for over 18 years. This was on top of being a cop in California for over 6 years and being an EMT/Paramedic for 8 years off and on. My views on the Human Condition are very jaundiced at the present time but life dealing with people at their very worst will do that.

    Along the way, I had a lot of help from friends and family that spent time with me and talked of growing up in the Great Depression, The Internment of our family during WW 2. The Portugese families that kept our Family Farms until we could return after the war. I fell in with “the wrong crowd” as a teenager. (a group of highway patrol officers and a couple deputy sheriffs who took me along hunting and fishing.) They kept me away from the drug experimentation. They were my references when I later became a Ranger and reserve deputy while in college. Now I am older and I try to do the same for my young coworkers and friends. I DID NOT DO THIS ALL ALONE. I had a lot of help along the way.

    When I saw this post years ago, I started chiming in. There are good topics and good input from most of the regular bloggers that also chime in. Keep up the good work to all out there

  46. I never thought of what my parents did as prepping–it was just life. They were both raised by their grandparents who lived through the depression and they raised all of us on one income with no debt. :)

    Personally it just grew on me. I like knowing that if the unexpected happens I’ll be OK. I like learning new things, being able to do things no one else can do (or would want to do), and I appreciate having the resources around me to do those things. I like being independent (except for water and electricity–haven’t figured those out yet, although I’m working on it) and not having to RELY on anyone.

  47. Y2-K My husband and I gave up our careers in the late 80’s and bought a large piece of property in the Ozarks. Our plan was to become as self-sufficient as possible, while running a small scale cattle farm. We were city kids. A year later, we listed, made a profit and left. During that year, I bottle fed caves, milked our cow by hand twice daily, raised food for the year with a garden, chickens and two pigs. We also had a steer processed. My husband came to realize the dangers of farming. We put up hay and watch our neighbor get his knee crushed in a squeeze shoot. He had farmed all his life
    A year after leaving Y2-K was explained, at length, by a guy named Gary North. We had learned about non-hybrid seed, from a female Dr. who sold seed packages that grew well in each location, to which they were sent. She and. I started an internet friendship. In about a month, she started getting large orders from the D.C. area, with recognizable names. These included members of congress. That is when I started running around the house like aa chicken with my head cut off. We bought an old log home out in the middle of nowhere and worked as fast as we could, to restore what we had. Savings went to non-electric butter churns, yogurt and butter makers, solar, new well. We bet the farm that this was a real thing.
    Feeling more than a little foolish, we went back to our old lifestyle. Then something happened. I felt very vulnerable, unable to not have backup, in the event of an “event’… While I no longer milk a cow, I can. I know I can do most anything I need to survive. My only major concern are the masses. While we are pretty good with self protection, number could take all we have worked for. Can you get your family to your bug in location? Who knows. So long story…Been prepped, been. unprepared…prepped is better.

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