Lecturing or trying to scare people into emergency preparedness (or anything else, for that matter) doesn’t really motivate people to make long-term changes. A few people might get alarmed, jump into action, and go out and buy some prepper supplies, but I suspect most of those people might do some shopping, then say they “prepped” and are done or lose interest.
On the bright side, there are lots of people who are well-prepared, who have experience gardening, canning, know how to improvise, know how to make food stretch, etc. and these people could easily become beacons of hope and leaders within their own families, circle of friends, and community in a crisis.
Many of these people are already online, in the homesteading and prepper communities, or you can go on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and there are still plenty of cooking, gardening and preparedness blogs & sites around. Just type into a search engine what you want to learn and you’ll find loads of useful information, tips, advice and many excellent how-to (step-by-step) videos, blog posts, articles, etc. I’m constantly learning new things and better ways to make things, grow things, stock up, store things, and organize by watching videos, reading information online and in books – even in some of my old cookbooks.
In the past week or so, I’ve come across several videos I want to share in this blog post. First, I recently came across this homestead channel, The Hollar Homestead, that I had never seen before. In the video the man was fabricating his own contraption to pull logs and his making stuff with junk appealed to my “trash to treasure” nature. I watched some of their other videos. Here’s one I’d like to share:
I believe everyone should be learning new skills and stocking up on food and basic supplies and working to become better prepared for emergencies. I’ve always believed that. I also believe working hard to get your personal finances in order, cut expenses and eliminate as much personal debt are not only important preparedness tasks, but can relieve a lot of stress in your life and open the door to opportunity. Dave Ramsey’s approach to getting out of debt works and while I didn’t follow it to the letter, I did stick pretty close to it to pay off all my personal debt, put money in savings and pay off my house. I read his Financial Peace book many years ago, when I found it at a yard sale, but it took me many years to really get serious about eliminating personal debt and I’m still working to change my spending habits and develop better saving/frugal-living habits.
For a glimmer of hope on building community, here’s a video by a nice lady, Jess, at Roots and Refuge Farm. I’ve enjoyed her gardening videos over the past few years:
A lot of videos are lists and I saw this list video yesterday at Homestead Corner and agree with this lady’s 10 things, although I haven’t invested in precious metals and probably won’t (just a personal view). I want to mention though that in many countries with currency instability, people invest their money in items that have value, which they can use to trade or pay for items. That approach of owning things with intrinsic value, besides piles of money, that may become worthless in a currency crisis, has merit. I just have always had a lot of faith in the US dollar, but these days not nearly as much as I used to. I still cling to hope America is not Argentina, Venezuela, Zimbabwe or Russia. In Russia it’s common for people to invest their money in items of value they can trade when there’s a currency crisis. Here’s her video:
Instead of getting angry or upset with people who aren’t preparing for emergencies or doing it how I think they should, I’m trying to stay positive each day.
An economic collapse inflicts long-term pain and the actual situations people face can change over time, but it can also vary regionally and especially differing impacts on rural people vs. urban dwellers. There isn’t any perfect preparedness plan, because there assuredly will be all sorts of other emergencies and crises that could (and likely would) impact us, beyond food shortages. If you’re a “what if” type person like me, the alarming scenarios that cross your mind can make you want to bury your head under your pillow and that’s definitely not a good way to prepare or face adversities.
To buckle down for the long-haul takes a long-term approach – not rushing around in a panic, trying to buy this or buy that every day, in hopes of beating the panic-buying or collapse many people predict is coming soon. People who try to do too many things at once, out of fear, often burn themselves out quickly (and make a lot of poor decisions). It’s important to pace yourself for the long-haul. And yes, both panic-buying, which could clear out grocery store shelves quickly and an economic collapse are very real possibilities in the very near future.
Before 2020, lockdowns and massive civil unrest didn’t seem probable to me, but since then I’ve worked continuously on stocking up more, trying to learn new skills, plus brush up on old ones. During that Covid craziness of 2020, I focused on having all the things I needed for my husband’s care while he was on home hospice care and it was much harder for me to get out to the store. I had to arrange for one of my sons to be here with my husband, to go anywhere, so I made lists and did a lot of shopping online.
Now, we’re facing worsening financial chaos and I’m prepping for one person, but I think about my kids, grandkids, other family and friends when I’m stocking up on food and supplies. I am sure they likely have items or skills that I lack and will help me too, even though some of them aren’t stocking up on as much food as I think is prudent.
It’s important to not only work to figure out ways to boost your survivability chances in an emergency, but to preserve as much of your quality of life as possible too. We should all want to strive for long-term sustainability, not just focus on crisis-planning everyday.
There have been people mentioning their grocery stores being out of saltine crackers and I noticed that a few times where I live, so I printed out several homemade cracker recipes and they’re going into a three-ring binder I started for recipes and information I print out or write down. In case the internet goes down in an emergency, I want to have paper copies of stuff, so the binder was an easy, cheap solution. Here’s Miss Lori, a wonder of down-home cooking, at Whippoorwill Holler, with a homemade cracker video:
I absolutely love Miss Lori’s YouTube channel and have been watching a long time. She makes me feel like I’m sitting right there in her cozy kitchen watching her cook.
All across America, and beyond, there are good and kind people, many of them online, sharing ideas, finding solutions to problems and offering up heaps of good cheer… and good cooking too.