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What triggered you to prep?

Hello All! I’ve observed that many preppers have had some sort of (sometimes traumatic) event that woke them up to the fragility of normal modern life. In my case, when I was about 10 years old my family was snowed in at our remote farm in northern Montana for 6 weeks. I learned to drive the bulldozer so my dad could pitch hay to the cattle. I vividly remember seeing the snow machines from town 26 miles away bringing supplies to the stranded farm families after a several weeks of isolation. I didn’t give much thought to it until I had little ones of my own and the Y2K scare came along. I’m really enjoying the tidbits of stories that I’ve seen here on the forum and have gotten curious. What sorts of things have motivated y’all to feel the need to prep?

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  • Comments (113)

    • 9

      Boy Scouts.  Their motto is Be Prepared.  I took it to heart.

      • 3

        They’ve been a great source of inspiration for boys through the years!

      • 3

        Growing up as a Girl Scout I was jealous of the Boy Scouts and I think I started prepping just to have fun in learning to do things the way Boy Scouts did. My husband is an Eagle Scout, so jealous lol

    • 11

      Getting married actually.

      I want to take care of my family no matter the situation or circumstance. Be it good times like now, or if I ever lost my job or an asteroid hit the earth, I wanted to be able to provide for my family. I have taken the teachings from The Prepared and have an emergency fund, am storing water and food, and other things to be able to feed and care for those I love. 

      One of the most heart breaking things I could imagine would be to be in the middle of some Walking Dead scenario where food is scarce and danger is prevalent, and my little daughter saying “Dad, I am so hungry and thirsty”. It would break my heart if I then had to reply with “I’m sorry sweetie, I don’t have any food or water for you”.

      • 6

        Yep, family provision is a huge one. Those little darlings need so very much. 

    • 7

      Two major events:

      We had a major ice storm here in Tennessee in the winter of 1994. We didn’t have power for a week and some houses didn’t have power for weeks. Thankfully we used gas heat and we had plenty of canned food (And I had a Game Boy). It was a pretty pleasant time all things considered, but it was a formative experience.

      Watching live streams of the Ferguson riots in 2014. Not just the street violence, but the police response. I’ll never forget seeing heavily armored cops marching through neighborhoods and shooting tear gas everywhere, even into houses. Watching all of that set off alarm bells in my head, and I knew there would be much more to come, and unfortunately, I was right.

      • 2

        Interesting! I also considered being snowed in as kinda fun in a way, since we had no school (yay!), wood heat & plenty of food. But when I had my own kids, the framework changed. 

      • 5

        Always stock up on extra AA’s for the Gameboy!

    • 5

      I know religion isn’t permitted here but there is a scripture that I think of often that I believe everyone here will agree with. “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear

      This is so true and is a mantra for me as I prep. As I prepare more and more each year, my fear for the future and the uncertainty that shall come decreases. Prepping truly brings me peace and comfort.

      • 3

        I certainly agree! To quote a similar source, you’re preachin’ to the choir on TP. It’s another form of insurance, just in practical, solid form(s.)

      • 6

        prepping should be advertised and marketed by insurance companies and then it would be considered normal and popular

      • 4

        So true! New business venture?

      • 7

        Good morning Pint,

        Good point.

        Once the insurance companies push the prepper theme, this place will be safer.

        Only the industrial and large commercial (eg airlines) is the prepper theme marketed. 

        At the private citizen consumer level, this is the national problem. Let’s hope that soon enough the issue will be forced on the public; either prep or pay much larger insurance premiums to cover the costs of required prepping done by others and charged for – as part of the insurance payments.

    • 5

      Good afternoon CR,

      It was my early childhood that got me started to prep. WWII just ended and I was saturated with the horror stories. I actually entered the prepper world as a Cub Scout, circa 1954, dusting off some Geiger Counters at an armory. It was part of the national Civil Defense program of the Cold War. All this got me started and the Boy Scouts continued my efforts.

      • 1

        Wow, Geiger counters, yikes! Crazy times…

    • 8

      Truly, I can’t remember not. The word “prepping” is the only thing new, LOL.

      My grandparents were pretty well off in the 1910s to 30s, had land and oil wells in Oklahoma… but they became refugees. They didn’t bug-out, they were run off. My mother and grandmother along with an uncle moved to CA to work in the fruit and then the war effort. Mom met my father in a labor camp. They were living in tents, sweeping the dirt. As I grew up I never saw them take anything for granted, they remembered their relatively comfortable life blown away, oil and cattle were worth so little the more they produced the broker they got.

      Their day-to-day frugality and prudence made an impression on me. My motivation changes over time: hippy back to the lander, seasonal carpenter forced me to put-by, then wife and kids and even now I’m self-employed for 25 years so gotta try to be prepared because no one is gonna take care of me. Of course there are all the threats, nukes, environmental degradation, limits to growth, .gov insanity, diminishing returns… 

      I hate more than anything anticipating a problem but neglecting it and having it come back to bite me.

      • 2

        Yes, that family history would really be persuasive. It’s always cheaper to learn from and avoid the mistakes & hardships of others wherever possible. 

      • 2

        Wow! What a story. 

        That is one of the main lessons I’ve seen people learn from the Great Depression. Frugality, repair instead of replace, and not taking things for granted. Unfortunately, all things our normal society needs to learn again

    • 5

      Many of my hobbies (hiking, hunting, fishing, gardening) overlap with prepping, so making the transition to “prepping” was natural.

      It started off as a slow, piecemeal transition, but then after reading some of the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb—who coined the term “Black Swan”—I began to take preparedness more seriously. (Also, having a degree in civil engineering and being aware of the shaky state of American infrastructure (see ASCE’s infrastructure report card here: https://infrastructurereportcard.org) certainly contributed to feeling the need to be ready.)

      Events in the last 18 months or so have only strengthened my motivation to be prepared.

      • 4

        It’s certainly a good excuse for the hobbies mentioned above, all of which we also enjoy. I added beekeeping 3 years back & am having fun learning about it now too. Black Swans are rare, but how life changing, right?

      • 3

        Good morning Mensch,

        Just surfed around the infrastructure report card link above. I liked the “Explore Categories” set up.

        I worked inland waterways during the Cold War as a reserve Federal Emergency Manager specializing in emergency resupply of petroleum and some refinery spares. Our intercoastal waterways can still use some dredging so the national population  doesn’t freeze in the dark while hungary.

        At the ports category, I believe we can guess why “inland ports … have difficulty competing for federal grants”.

        I’ve got Nassim Nicholas Talem’s book “Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymetries in Daily Life” here.

    • 7

      I got the flu for the first time in my entire life when I was in college. This was around 2010 – 2011, when the Swine Flu was spreading. The campus was quarantining students, and I was alone for the first time ever, since my parents had moved back to the Pacific Northwest months prior. I was 20, and stupid, and terrified. When I got better, I realized that I couldn’t afford to be that unprepared ever again, and I didn’t even know what prepping was at this point. I just knew I needed to do something. I needed to be proactive somehow. I built my first Bug Out Bag that year and I’ve never looked back. I don’t believe in zombies taking over, and don’t care if a meteor hits the Earth, but I do believe in hurricanes and tornados, and I especially believe in pandemics! 

      • 6

        My introduction to prepping was in college as well. Some idiot jacked the battery right out of my motorcycle leaving me without a way to get to school. Police couldn’t do anything because there wasn’t a serial number on the battery, and I didn’t record it if there was. Someone probably made $10 off of a core charge at a Autozone and I had to go hitch a ride to that same Autozone and buy a new one for $60.  After that, I went in full lock down mode and secured my things, took pictures, saved receipts, and did all I could to prevent things like this from happening again. That lead me down the rabbit hole to where I am today here on this site.

      • 3

        Ugh, thieves are awful. I vividly remember years back, coming out after work to find my little car all torn up for the probably $20 they got for the stereo. It cost hundreds for me to fix it, at then minimum wage job. 

      • 3

        Crysis, That’s good, sound wisdom in response to a legitimately scary experience! It’s great that you used it constructively instead of just worrying about the next thing coming. 

    • 3

      You’ll Keep Your Family Safe – Fundamentally, prepping ensures that you make the necessary preparations to keep your family safe in a survival or disaster situation. This is your primary motivation to prep.

      • 2

        That’s why I’m here. Family is so important to me and it’s my job to protect and provide for them no matter the situation.

    • 6

      I grew up in an area that experienced all 4 seasons.  Preparing was just common sense in my family and the local rural culture.   We had a large garden, canned food, and had a freezer full of our own raised beef.  Prepping as Pops so well put it is the new term. But, it may not have had fully hit home until the blizzard when I was 11 years old.   Our entire county was in below freezing temperatures with drifting snow that would cover over the roads as soon as they were plowed.  Much of the county was without power and some people died in their homes.   That was startling to my young mind.  It was the actions afterward that probably solidified my prepping attitude.  My father realized that had we lost power, we would have had a much different experience as we had no other source of heat.  He put in a fire place that summer and got kerosene heaters both of which served us well in future winter power outages. 

      • 4

        That would have been absolutely dreadful to freeze to death in your own home. 

        With those kerosene heaters, do you need to have an open window to run those so you don’t die of fumes? Does opening a window and having all that cold air coming in defeat the purpose of having a heater?

      • 4

        Yes, dreadful.  The folks that I recall having the most issues were ‘elderly’ or ‘shut-ins’ as they were described in the news back then.   I still could identify with it even as a child.   

        The kerosene heaters were efficient and rated for indoor use.  It was like this one.  They did have a bit of a scent especially when you filled it.   We could get kerosene at the gas station.  

      • 3

        Thank you for sharing a link to one. I didn’t know if they could be used indoors or not. That’s not too bad of a price either!

      • 4

        You’re welcome. I’m not sure where I’d find Kerosene at my current location in SoCal. So be sure you have a reliable source. 

      • 2

        Used one very similar, to heat a third floor apt, one winter.

      • 3

        Wow, that’s a tragic & certainly formative experience! You can get little camping propane heaters too that can be used indoors, there are several on Amazon. Propane might be easier to find & less stink. 

      • 5

        Indeed!  I have a propane Mr Heater Big Buddy based on this site’s recommendation because propane is so much easier for me to find in my current location and it stores forever unlike other fuels.  I also got the adapter so it connects to the larger tank that fits the grill.  

    • 3

      For me ……it is because of fear I think…… that you cannot protect your family by adequately providing for them in adverse conditions…….

      Additionally there is an element of society that seems heck bent on wrecking it in any way they can from a economic, social, and moral aspect……. and as soon as it hits the fan you……… in many ways …..will be a target…..and left to your own devices only.

      We have been bred to believe that our governments will be there to help you in a crisis, yet history shows that is far from the case. During Katrina….. in the richest country in the world…….. is what I would suppose to be typical if we do have a collapse of the system.

      People needing help, and no one giving it…… each turning on the other and having absolutely no idea of what to do……people having no water……. yet surrounded by it. These days the whole power grid can go out in an instance because someone presses ‘send’ to a wrong thing on a computer……….

      Our lives are vulnerable from start to finish if we do not prepare! Think of it as a home insurance policy!

      Perhaps an alternative question may be “Why have you not got motivated before?”

      • 4

        Thanks Oldprepper. It certainly is a useful, constructive response to such fears. In reading the book recommended on this site’s book list: “A Paradise Built in Hell” I was struck by the concept I hadn’t considered before that government’s actual main goal is self preservation, not looking out for the little guy. That explains a lot about its response to major catastrophic events including Katrina. I was both comforted and aghast at the different scenarios the author relates from past disasters’ reactions by regular citizens vs. the civil authorities. 

        Being prepared to care for your own family at the very least, and perhaps to also be a resource of both tangible help and valuable expertise to your community is a worthy goal for us all, not to mention the peace of mind it brings!

      • 2

        I would offer this advice…. learn how to do something that is tangible…….. mechanics….. medicine……. carpentry…… something you can barter with if you do not currently have skills.

        Learn to use what is around you…. (I would wager that most of your mechanical needs are less than a mile from you right now)……… adapt to use it.

        Pay attention to “The Rule of Three’s”

        Stock up on vitamins, medicines, foods, water supplies and defense.

        Have a couple of dry runs……. (Switching  off your power NOW…..for today and tomorrow will tell you most all the things you need to work on)

        Good luck!

      • 2

        So true! When the kids were little we’d have “pioneer nights” when power went out & we often left it off well after it had returned. They loved it & never saw it as any kind of prep. 
        We’re handy folks ourselves, and taught the kids that what you’ve learned to do (knowledge) can never be taken away by someone else, and will always come in handy somewhere. 

      • 2

        CR – Those sound like nice memories. I can’t wait to have kids and teach them about prepping.

      • 1

        I honestly do not think there is anything better to pass on than knowledge …….. and without it we are just doomed to make those same mistakes our fathers made……..

      • 6

        Oldprepper – I like this a lot! Excellent observations. You show how delicate and fragile even the best systems in the world are and that we can never truly rely on others to swoop in with perfect relief just in time. 

        I also like your last question, “Why have you not got motivated before?”. I would like to go out on the streets of a big city and ask people this question, interview them, and see how I can help them to be more prepared. 

        It’s just like car insurance. You see people getting in wrecks every week right? And I’m sure you know of a family member or friend who has totaled their car and was made whole by insurance. So why do so many when they see natural and man made disasters happening all around them say it won’t happen to them or just ignore it? My guess is that they don’t know where to start (link them to this site), or they don’t want to put in the effort and work to learn and prepare (it’s  much easier to pay a car insurance company $100/month and be done with it than to go out and study how to build a BOB and use it).

      • 3

        Robert……

        The motivation is simply not there…… as they will not listen to the ‘insurance’ perspective………..

        You never realize quite how good some things are….until you lose it……. and then it is too late eh?

      • 4

        Can’t argue with you there.

    • 3

      I saw a news story on television where the reporter told a family that they had 15 minutes to leave their house and decide what they needed to take.  They left things like their cell phones (before smartphones) behind.  It motivated me to start planning for scenarios and being ready for unexpected events.

      • 3

        That is such a short amount of time to get things together. I just packed up for a trip the other day and I was going all over my house and it took about an hour of packing. Having a go bag is handy to know you have the essentials, and then you will have 14 more minutes to gather luxury items.

      • 5

        When you’re attempting to get all the irreplaceable items, even an hour flies by.  Luckily, when faced with this, I had several hours which was still a challenge and I’m fairly organized.  You’ve described my philosophy well that I mentioned on the Modular BOB thread.  Start with the BOB and augment based on scenario and available time (with sane prepping in mind to get out early).  Depending on the situation, you may have days to pack as you act early while monitoring the brewing storm or wildfire progression.  

      • 2

        Good tips here Alicia.

        When you had to evacuate before, were you married or had kids? Who took charge over the evac and how was responsibilities divvied out?

      • 3

        Sorry that I missed this earlier, Mike Hill.  I am married, without children, but do have pets.  I’m fortunate that both my husband and I are pretty practically minded and fairly calm in emergencies.  I have more prep experience and so was the lead on this (and the pandemic) but we collaborate well together.  I recall him asking if I really needed to screw the plywood over the attic vents now. It was a yes given that it was necessary to help the house survive the wildfire (prevent embers from blowing into the attic).  What I’ve not done well is make these steps clearly documented somewhere if I weren’t home.  

      • 2

        I’m the prepared one. My husband is the one who freaks out. If leaving by vehicle, his job is to grab his favorite mandolin, mine is to grab the cat. Our go bags + extras are already in our vehicles, parked facing out, full tanks. If there’s time, he’ll hook up the teardrop trailer. If it’s a bug out on foot scenario, it’s “grab the go bags from the vehicles and start walking.”

        And although we have all sorts of possessions, I refuse to grab any or worry about “stuff”. Just get the hell outta Dodge before everyone else.

    • 3

      I use to be much more prepared when I worked in EMS full time, kept a 72 hour kit in my car with extra uniforms and supplies.  Since then I have been fairly well prepared for wilderness and medical situations, since I do a ton of climbing and mountaineering. But really the last year and a half has gotten me to prepare more broadly and for a longer term situation.  Moving back to NH from Boston has also made it much more practical as well for some things like gardening which I enjoy anyway.

      • 2

        Hey scott,

        how did you get into climbing and mountaineering? Did you just go out with friends and learn about it over time or did you have an instructor?

      • 2

        I started out hiking when I was younger, but then started climbing in a gym.  My wife has been climbing since she was a teenager so we do that together.  We took a few classes together, mostly for anchors and those sorts of things.  Then I started on the AMGA progression and have started going out on guided days more to work on skills I need for upcoming courses and exams.  So I learned initially over time and reading, but recently it has been more formal and much more accelerated.  

    • 3

      I’ve told this story on here before, but for me the proximate catalyst was getting a puppy when I was 28. I was able to do that because I moved from the SF Bay to a teeny tiny rural town— like, regular power outages in winter (the locals knew the tavern with the genny), both roads into town would wash out or flood, gas came on a truck, and sometimes in drier summers even water had to be trucked in. It was the first time I was responsible for another living creature and also felt like it was going to be a long winter on my own. 

      But, I also have vivid memories of the ’89 earthquake and I made my mom buy an earthquake kit when I was in middle school, so this didn’t come out of nowhere. ;D

      • 3

        Yep, caring for others really can bring out the prepper!

    • 6

      One word: Covid-19

      I’ve always been a bit of a prepper, it’s just the way I am, even as a child I was always the one who brought a shelter tarp, guy-lines, a metal canteen and fire lighters on days out walking in the hills, just in case. Disaster movies have been my favourite for as long as I remember and I guess I learnt from them without knowing it

      then when I was in high-school me and a small group of friends decided to “prep for the apocalypse” but we had totally the wrong idea, we prepped for zombie contagions and alien invasions, and I have to admit, it was just an excuse to collect cool stuff, I don’t think the thought that we actually might end up needing any of it ever crossed our minds, we trusted the system to much without even realising it, we thought disasters were just the stuff of movies. Then when I left school, life and work took over and most of the stuff was lost in house moves and forgotten about

      Then covid happened, everyone was scared, shops were empty, and for the first time ever I actually realised how much I had just trusted the system, and more importantly that the system didn’t always work

      And after half a year living under the pandemic our household had a few months stock of everything we needed for life (assuming electricity, water and gas kept on coming), it was then that I realised I had graduated from the tinfoil hat wearing nutcase I had been in high school to real prepper

      then I wanted to make my preps better so I set out researching and found this site

      • 2

        Haha, I have to admit, that during the time when The Walking Dead was popular when it first came out, my preps were weapon, improvised weapon, and bunker down heavy. I liked watching that show and thinking what weapons I would use to hold off hoards of invaders.

      • 4

        LOL, I enjoyed it too, against my better judgment. Gotta cringe over so many really bad choices throughout! Though it wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining or thought provoking if they’d been better prepared. I’m glad to have found this site to offer so many practical and tested ideas to be realistically prepared. 

      • 3

        Thanks LadyKaos! You had a perfectly reasonable response to current events! Glad to hear your story & see you on this site. And, of course, collecting the cool stuff never gets old…

      • 3

        NP 🙂 I just thought I’d share my experiences, and I agree, cool stuff is always good

        @Mike Hill “my preps were weapon, improvised weapon..”

        I hear that, I guess that in recent times I have come to terms with the all important fact: “you can’t eat knives and crossbows”

        interesting though, I wasn’t joking about tinfoil hat wearing, we actually got hold of Faraday cage baseball caps woven with a conductive material, I wore one for over a year in high-school with the idea that it would stop alien telepathy and prevent air-waves from dissolving my brain or something. Then I tested one in the physics lab at college and it turns out that the inverted dome actually focuses “air-waves” into your brain – hopefully there are no long term effects LOL

      • 3

        Uh oh, now we know why you’re REALLY a prepper. 😂

      • 4

        But those knives and crossbows will bring you in more food and keep you alive to eat that food 😉 Now to the store to buy more knives and crossbows… 

        I get what you are saying though.

      • 2

        yeah, that would be true but I live in an urban area so there’s not a lot to hunt 😮

    • 3

      I was born and raised in earthquake country (San Francisco Bay Area). I’ve always been somewhat prepared, but really took steps to prepare for disasters once I had children. I started by moving all our camping gear to an outside shed, then start adding food, water, medications, clothes, etc., then started rotating the food, meds, water, and clothes. Always had food, water, and baby supplies in my mommy van and diaper bag. Didn’t even know that what I was doing had a label other than just being organized!

      • 2

        Good job & thanks for sharing your story! Having someone depend upon us certainly changes the picture. 

    • 2

      Sorry I know this is an older thread but I just joined as was reading thru old topics. For me, I feel like it comes in cycles with something triggering me to get back to prepping at almost every stage in my life. I became interested in emergency preparedness when I was very young and saw what happened to Florida during Hurricane Andrew. We live in Texas and I knew I spent regular nights sleeping in our indoor shelter room due to tornado threats. I ended up talking my mom into letting me use some of the grocery budget for canned goods and flashlights to leave in the shelter room. Probably watching what happened during Katrina triggered the next cycle. At the time I was living/helping my disabled elderly father on the gulf coast. Realized how vulnerable he was going to be if something happened here. Kicked it into a higher gear. Then I started med school and lived thru Ike. I was the only person with more than 2 meals in my apartment and back up cooking source. Then I read “One Second After” while pregnant with my first. And mommy hormones made my “nesting” look a lot different than other moms. The pandemic and SNOVID is what finally got my husband more on board but I think he’s still only just tolerant of what I do. But he did let me get solar and battery backup for the house and put in 200 sq feet of raised beds in the back so there’s that. 

      • 2

        Hello MommaDoc & welcome! Thanks for sharing your prepping journey! It’s fun to hear people’s stories & how different events shape our actions. I find my own enthusiasm waxes and wanes too, and suspect that’s a common thread for many on this site. This is the first one I’ve ever joined, and I really enjoy how nice, practical, & level headed everyone on here is. 

      • 1

        I tend to follow a similar pattern and guess I should be grateful for the fear mongering that the news encourages as it gets to me and kicks my butt into gear. When a major disaster somewhere happens, I hear about it and then prepare a little for the next while before getting distracted and lazy until the next time the news is warning me about something else. Wish I could be more steady with preparing.

      • 2

        Mike, steady or sporadic, both get the job done! Think of the fable of the tortoise & the hare, both reached the finish line in the end. News cycles can make us aware of a threat so we don’t have to learn the hard way. 

      • 2

        Thanks for helping me feel better about it, and you are right that both get the job done. Guess I just beat myself up a little when a disaster hits like the recent heatwave in the north west and I feel that guilt and panic that I’m not as prepared as I would like to be. I need to change that guilt and panic to a controlled rational approach to look at my home and supplies and what I need to not feel that way again. Prepping brings comfort and stability

      • 2

        Well, yes! This last winter a transformer blew nearby in a storm. We just heard a big boom, lights went out, and we saw a creepy blue glow & humming sound on the other side of our neighbors. You bet we had a moment of ‘Oh no!’ But then we got out flashlights, etc., kept woodstove going, & got power back after a couple days. The panic moment is real though, even when you have things mostly ready.  

      • 3

        I’m squarely in the waxing and waning camp as well. You are far from alone. And remember that you’re probably better off than you think: 20% of the effort gets you 80% of the way there. And I also understand wanting the calm that comes from knowing you’ve done all you could (which as CR astutely points out doesn’t stop the initial panic upon realization of a need). I’ve attempted to address my feast or famine tendency by getting more organized (inventory in a massive set of spreadsheets in one workbook file) and scheduling a date/time on my calendar to review and update the contents as well as a separate date to at least go through plans and supplies with my husband. I’m still not ‘done’ but this has helped get me back on task faster as I don’t have to actually go to the physical location and re-inventory every time I get back to it.

      • 1

        Hey Mike, just like Alicia said, you should be proud of what you have done and it’s certainly better than many other people have done. Keep up the great work!

    • 4

      Actually, both side of my family were homesteaders in the Azores, so I grew up considering that making your own wine, making moonshine, grow your crops and kill or fish what you eat were just a normal part of human life, the “US Cavalry” catalogs came later on.

      Living in the Azores meant hurricanes, tropical storms and earthquakes were usual events, at least a couple of each every year, prepping was normal and helped us when the huge earthquake of 1998 destroyed our house, power lines, water pipes and roads in our island (Fayal) and unlike our neighbours we barely noticed it.

      I moved to Lisbon in 2002 and remained a refurbished urban prepper up to 2015, when I had a mini-stroke that left me helpless for a few weeks and thought “hell, if I can’t prepare for this, why keep bothering with it?”

      I resumed prepping in 2019 focusing more on my family than on myself (if a serious stroke hits, they will be better off if we are prepared before hand) more as a hobby and I’m back at full prepping in the city and getting ready to move to a small homestead in the country side since I’m all fed up with city life and working everyday in an office with people I deslike, we are mixing our preparedness and homesteading with a tiny FIRE mindset this time.

      I’m surprised how popular prepping became in Portugal and Brazil since 2015, I was out for just a few years and I’m meeting a whole new generation of preppers.

      • 3

        Wow Flavio, great history! That would motivate anyone to be prepared. It does all change as we get older, and switching to prepping for others is a generous and logical step. 

      • 3

        Bom dia! – My wife is learning Portuguese right now and is teaching me a bit.

        You have quite the life story there! I admire you getting back into being prepared to take care of your family. That was a main motivating factor for me. If I was ever to have something horrible happen to me like a stroke, then they will be taken cared for, at least for a while. Or if a big natural disaster happens, we won’t be nearly as affected like you experienced as well and I can keep them fed and happy.

    • 4

      I first started thinking about prepping around 2008. I wasn’t yet aware of or effected by the recession, but I was getting ready to move into my first apartment without roommates and for some reason I became hyper aware of how fragile that situation was. At that point I had only started to think of being prepared so I purchased a tent, sleeping bag, and lifestraw. When I lost my job and then my apartment in 2011 that became the traumatic event that triggered my next wave of prepping. It wasn’t very healthy at first. I was fearful, depressed and anxious and was obsessed with the apocalyptic mentality of prepping. But over the next few years as I put my life back together and invested in therapy I was able to go from wanting to run away to the woods to seeing a balanced way of creating a more self-sustainable lifestyle. I found an awesome man, we bought a house and together we are teaching ourselves gardening, fishing, hunting etc. His military background has been good for the self-defense angle, while my  background in kitchens has been vital for organizing food and nutritional details. The pandemic really brought us together as a team. Our newest projects are building a greenhouse, learning more outdoor cooking skills, practicing with slingshots, and taking up fly-fishing. It just feels good to gain skills. In public I say I’m on a quest to become the perfect redneck. haha. 

      • 2

        That’s beautiful that you both complement and fill in missing areas of each other’s knowledge. 

        Sorry if this is personal, and if so you don’t have to answer. But after you lost your job and apartment, what did you do? Did you go live with family? Did your preps help out at all during that time?

        I can’t wait to pay off a house and own it outright so even if I lost a job, I wouldn’t lose my housing. It will be a good comfort to me and a very essential prep.

      • 3

        Hi Robert. Nice to meet you.

        Back when I lost everything, I was still very much single. I moved with an aunt and uncle across the country (I live in New England). As I only had a sleeping bag, tent and lifestraw lol, I didnt have any actual prep that was useful. I skipped a whole chunk of time when I was giving my run down so Ill add some details.

        While living with family in California I learned how to safetly use firearms. My uncle was a shooting instructor. I was in California when Fukishima happened and remember everyone on the west coast buying Potassium Iodide. That was another thing that made me aware of how fragile comfy life really is. My family out there isnt into prepping but that instruction on firearms was very helpful. 

        A year later I moved back to New England, and thats where I started getting my shit back together. A few years later I was still living in apartments but was now working in a food pantry. Prior I worked in restaurants, but this new job exposed me to a very high level of food wharehouse organization and taught me how to cook anything using anything. Those skills also have become invaluable. Eventually I met my now partner, we bought our house, and have moved into the next levels of prepping or as we like to say “recession-proofing our lives”. 

        In my time here, I have learned how to operate many types of firearms, how to shoot with bow & arrow and a slingshot, basic gardening, using a compass, basic fishing, preserving food with canning, dehydrating, drying, fermentation, and salting, Homebrewing beer and mead, growing herbs and plants of all types legal in my home state, and basic first-aid. We have gathered what I called level 1 preps so batteries, a generator, outdoor cooking, and alternate heat sources. Prior to Covid I started jacking up our food pantry and am actively working out our tracking system for food so we have balanced nutrition and the right amount of calories. One cant live on instant oatmeal and dehydrated Mac and Cheese for very long. Ive researched shelf stable fats, and even done some work in collecting medicines for a real SHTF situation. We installed several basement grow tents and I grow herbs year round. they are also great for seedlings.  

        Now we are moving into a deeper level of self-sustainability. Our garden is expanding. A green house is being built. He is wanting to raise chickens. I want to raise bees. We got our hunting licenses and we are doing our best to self-educate. I have recently added fly-fishing, knot-tying, and we are beginning to think about solar and collecting water. For two people who grew up in Local Big City, this is new and a lot of fun. I still feel like a beginner. Its like “boy scouts” for grown ups. 

        I have tried to gently get friends involved. Covid was an eyeopener for a few. At least they are keeping a few weeks worth of groceries on hand. Unfortunately, a few folks flat out told me they were “just going to show up at my house” if things went bad. My partner and I had to figure out how far outside our circle we would assist and came to an agreement on turning away everyone else. In this regard, I keep my prepping off social media and what I do share I present more as a “hey look at me doing country things”. Whatever we all might personally think about covid, it was certainly at the very least a test-run for how things might get some day.

        We dont have kids, but I am now an aunt. Im excited to show my nephew things as he grows up. I am very uneasy with the state of our country. Ill leave this post on that note. Overall I feel a lot better knowing I have skills.

        We are also thinking very long term. We feel we are still uncomfortable close to Local Big City, even though we are rural. We have plans to buy a large piece of property way up north and take what we learn here, and apply it there. I also hope to make it available for family especially younger family, who may take up an interest in self-sustainability.

        Another thing we did together as a team was we got our finances in order. Lately I have been seeing financial order as being mentioned in the prepper community. Without being stable and having safety nets, no amount of food or guns is going to matter. Get out from under the weight of debt and breathe free! Its part of being responsible for ourselves.

      • 2

        I didn’t know about that fact of residents living in California during Fukishima, that’s interesting. 

        You both sound  very smart, hardworking, and self sufficient. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you on the forums and what new skill you are learning this week. You aren’t doing too bad for some big city folks 😉 haha

        What has been one of those skills you have learned that you just think is amazing and everyone should learn how to do it?

      • 3

        “I didn’t know about that fact of residents living in California during Fukishima, that’s interesting.” – oh yeah, I’m sure there was not a peep on the news about that I just know it was sold out everywhere. Also I remember watching the news talk about the radioactive plume on its way to the west coast every day for a week and then *poof!* not one more word was uttered and it just ceased to exist. Ugh.

        There’s a lot of amazing things I have learned. But I feel very strongly that the most important skill everyone should learn is how to actually cook, and cook the food you are storing. How helpful is that 5 gallon mylar lined bucket of dried pinto beans going to actually be if you have no idea how to actually cook it and make something edible? 

      • 2

        That’s a great lighthearted way to explain it to others, (learning to be a redneck) Jen B! Also those skills you learn, whether self taught or not, can never be taken away, and come in handy throughout life. Glad to hear you found a like minded soul to share it with. Thanks for sharing your story! Oh, and regarding bees, check out Top Bar Hives, cheap, easy to build & maintain. Built a couple 3 years ago & have loved learning about it all. Might do a post soon…

      • 1

        Thanks for the tip CR, checking them out now. I hope to learn from everyone here too. Bee well (Ill see myself out)

    • 2

      I am sorry to say it guys…… but my preparedness is absolutely and totally selfish………

      I watch as society falls apart (well it seems so to me)……. I look at New Orleans Katrina and so many that had no idea of how to even get the most basic things without help………

      Then these days some of the young people have absolutely no respect for anything…. taking what they feel from wherever they want…. give it up or you get hurt…..

      Then you have the more extreme protesting rich kids that believe the way forward is protest and socialism…….. not really knowing the benefits of what was achieved by some that have gone before them.

      At 67 years old…… I will not be a victim of something I can cure with a little education and forward planning…… because at my age I would hate to have my last words…..

      “You could have survived that if you tried”

      NOT gonna happen.

      • 4

        Oldprepper, you may enjoy this little video. Now she WAS prepared! 82 year old lady beats up an intruder. It’s great. 

        https://youtu.be/gYLaobn-YVM

      • 3

        Love it absolutely love it……… sometimes you do not have to be a victim……

        Thanks!

      • 3

        God bless that woman! I wish I could buy her a beer. 

      • 2

        I am definitely inspired to up my physical body prep!  

      • 3

        She can inspire us all! So feisty…😂

    • 2

      Reasons I prep—Wildfires (lost a house), live in earthquake country, winter snow/rain storms power outages, getting older/less physically resilient, COVID, husband who is uninterested in prep.

      • 1

        Oh no!!! I am sorry that you lost your house before. What was the insurance process like for that and do you feel like you were able to be made whole and they replaced everything?

      • 2

        Navigating payouts from insurance companies is always a slow nightmare. That said, I was a real estate agent at the time (meaning knowledgeable re: insurance) and had insured my house as well as its contents with super low deductibles and high replacement value. Plus, I had my entire house and contents photographed, had a spreadsheet of the contents, and receipts for high-ticket items.

      • 2

        Yikes, A2! That’s a serious motivator to prep! I have friends who made it out of their home just barely ahead of wildfire, without any preps. She’s still quite traumatized several years later. Thanks for sharing solid tips regarding insurance. 

    • 5

      With the way things are today, the old saying…”I’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”  As a beginner, I needed to start somewhere, and this site seemed to be the best way to do that.  

      • 3

        Welcome Deb! It’s a great source for a well balanced approach to preparedness. 😊

      • 2

        Another user just shared that quote over here: https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/some-interesting-prepper-quotes

        Welcome to the world of being prepared! If you need anything, just ask. 

      • 1

        Good afternoon Deb,

        Had missed this.

        Here, too, is my warm welcome both to TP.com and prepping in general.

    • 3

      I was sitting round a cooking fire in the army in 1979 discussing with my CO the new NBC gear and vehicles being issued to the British army.   I said to him ” Sir with us getting all the new NBC gear etc what is the government doing to protect our families if the cold war goes hot?”

      Nothing was his reply, ” The government has decided its not economically viable to build bunkers etc for the civilian population”   BUT the bloody government had just spend millions on a super bunker in Canada for the royals to flee too, they had dug a city under Corsham in Wiltshire to protect art treasures, the Crown jewels, works of art and priceless documents. They had dug tunnel, bunkers, command centers etc under places like Liverpool, Edinburgh, York, Dover and of course London to protect the ruling elite and politicians. But they could not spend anything protecting the families of the military forces tasked with protecting the ruling elites.

      Thats when i starting looking into survivalism as it was called and by coincidence I found a copy of an American magazine called Guns N Ammo and it had very basic articles about survivalism, plus survivalists were in the small ads looking to contact others like them.

      Then I found a new series of paperback novels called THE SURVIVALIST by Jerry ahern, and it though highly fictional gave me a better insight into what we now call preparedness.

      So I joined them and the likes of Ragnar Benson, Jeff Cooper, Mel Tappan and became a very poor example of a survivalist.  40 years on and I’m still prepping and struggling 🙂

      • 3

        Yep, that would do it, Bill! Nothing like finding out what government really cares about. I remember reading that government’s actual basic goal is self preservation, which of course in a severe crisis does not extend to include the governed. 

      • 3

        Good morning CR,

        (I’m up for Wednesday and will be on road soon.)

        Now it’s worse.

        Military families were encouraged to flee to an emergency shelter. With COVID-19, “congragrant” (cots on floor of a school basketball court environment) is not authorized or encouraged by the States. 

        The non-congregant sheltering is now motel rooms for families, dorms at colleges … Red Cross recommended bringing in a cruise ship for water areas.  LOL. Political subdivision governments not funded to rent motels, dorms, boats.

        I represented my rural county at the state’s largest exercise to house military families with disabilities in well-funded emergency shelters. A famous military town where this is applicable is Norfolk, Virginia.

        The UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply generator – in this well-funded town did not work. Pure gallows humor.

        At least Preppers have an acronym to cover all this: YOYO.

        YOYO = You’re On Your Own.

      • 2

        At least the British Army COs are honest, Bill.

        I have a hunch the US is arranging quietly and flat profile to introduce an Ottoman Janissary Corps.

        Originally the Ottomans started with children captured during military conquests.  They were forbidden to marry until mid-age.

        Fill in the blanks.

        Janissaries have no families and thus no “take care of the families” need.

        The 18-20 y.o. new FEMA Corps looks like a model for a Janissary program.

        In summary: We’re YOYO. You’re On Your Own.

      • 1

        YOYO is good, The Government is not your friend is another.

        ALL governments exist only to serve THEMSELVES they just need us to fund it.

    • 4

      Like many of you “The Boy Scout  motto  “Be Prepared” has been a big part in my preparedness life, but in reality I think it actually bit me at the the age of 5 after I watched my first Tarzan movie. He had his trusty knife and I have been a knife & gear nut ever since. I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t prepared.  I have always had an EDC of some kind as a kid a knife. As I got older and of legal age my EDC included a firearm, knife, multi tool, flashlight, spare mag, fire starting rod etc… My travel kits that have always been bug out style kits, with the highest quality gear and when flying they are packed with my firearm in my locked Stormcase check bag. My remote country hunting gear is much the same plus my rifle usually a 338 Win Mag in N America. A 375 or bigger in Africa. My remote hunting and remote travel gear has an extensive medical kit. Last but not least the craziness that has been going on in this wacky world for decades has been an ongoing catalyst to keep on prepping.

      • 2

        I always carry a knife on me. Not being able to carry one in high school was difficult. It’s such a versatile tool.

        My dad in elementary school used to play mumblety-peg during recess. Wikipedia does a good job explaining it, so I’ll copy and paste their description for those unaware of this game. 

        “Two opponents stand opposite one another with their feet shoulder-width apart. The first player then takes the knife and throws it to “stick” in the ground as near his own foot as possible. The second player then repeats the process. Whichever player “sticks” the knife closest to his own foot wins the game.

        If a player “sticks” the knife in his own foot, he wins the game by default, although few players find this option appealing because of the possibility of bodily harm. The game combines not only precision in the knife-throwing, but also a good deal of bravado and proper assessment of one’s own skills.”

        Maybe there is a reason they don’t let kids bring knives to school any longer…

    • 2

      I’ve been a prepper in one form or another most of my life, I grew up with WW2 parents, of course it wasnt called prepping back then the word hadnt been invented, it was called “COMMON SENSE” !!

    • 4

      Hi CR,

      I’m new to TP and prepping in general, and I thought replying to this thread would be a good way to introduce myself.

      Growing up we never had any preps. Mum always made sure to teach us to save money “for a rainy day”. Once I left home, planning ahead for me never really went beyond what I needed for the week’s worth of groceries and juggling wages in versus bills out, all the while maintaining that rainy day fund in the event of car breakdowns etc.

      Then I moved from NSW to QLD (Australia) to be with my partner and was suddenly exposed to the idea of a storm shelf, that is, a shelf in the pantry with dedicated items in the event of a power outage if an East Coast low, or worse, a cyclone was to hit. Mind blown. Where I lived in NSW, those kinds of severe storms weren’t really a thing.

      Not long after the move, my partner and were were desperate for work and he found a job, which was great. Unfortunately, it was toxic, not only with its WHS but its workplace culture as well. I wasn’t working at the time, and I decided that I needed to make our home as “clean” as possible (not using chemical cleaners, food as organic as we could afford, etc). I discovered that I quite liked my version of “The Good Life” (awesome 1970’s BBC show, by the way) and found my Zen. My dream of mostly living off grid was born (and it still a work in progress eight years later).

      Like Lady Kaos, my prepping has really become more front and centre because of the pandemic on top of what was already starting to become quite the apocalyptic-like year (the 2020 massive bushfires, as well as some flooding in rural QLD). As for the continuing saga of the pandemic, while we’re a whole lot better situated here in QLD than a lot of other places in the world, including other states in Australia, I feel things will only escalate when the state begins to open up and stop having lockdowns after the vaccine rollouts hit a certain point. 

      Finding online help planning my preps was initially quite difficult, given some of the “apocalyptic mentality of prepping”, as JenB so succinctly and correctly put it. I then discovered TP and, after devouring most of what’s on this site, I’ve definitely got a handle on where I want to take my preps beyond three days of food on the storm shelf (get home, stay home, but can evac quickly in the event of a major storm) thanks to the awesome people on this site and forums. You guys all rock! 

      • 2

        Good morning GB,

        Welcome to the Forum.

        Even for you to identify yourself as a slow starter re prepping, you’re doing everything right:

        extended inventry of food and still prepared for a necessary evacuation.

        Again, welcome !

      • 2

        Welcome GB! Sounds like you’re on a good path, and it’s fun to hear from someone from your region.  

        This site is great, nice folks who are sensible, knowledgeable and kind, which can be a challenge to find online in this crazy day & age. It’s the first & only prepping one I visit. Thanks for chiming in and introducing yourself!

      • 2

        Thanks for the warm welcome and support Bob and CR!

      • 2

        Welcome GB!    We all learn from each other here. I like the term Storm Shelf.  I now have a Pandemic Pantry 🙂  

      • 1

        I love your idea of having a storm shelf with all your preps and gear. Easy to access in case of an emergency at home or an evacuation. 

        Beyond wildfires, what are some of the disasters you are likely to experience? There is a forum thread I started on here called What does prepping look like in your area of the world?  We’ve had representation from New Zealand and South East Australia so far.

      • 2

        Hi Alicia and Robert!

        Robert, I cannot take credit for the idea of a storm shelf. My partner grew up in Darwin where cyclones are not an if scenario, but a when, and that style of prepping moved with him when his family came to QLD.

        I’ll head on over to your thread and add my locale’s preps.

      • 2

        Thanks GB.  Interesting how the cultural influence of a region is carried by the people.  And now with the internet and TP, it’s going global.   I know about Storm Shelf in LA now.