Although it is difficult for many to accept, there are and forever will be events that are beyond our control. In many cases, emergencies don’t announce themselves, they just show up and expect you to make due while they are present. These events could be so severe that they have the capacity to bring us to our knees.
While some choose to prepare for these unforeseen events, there will be others who choose to stay complacent and turn a blind eye. The choice of not to prepare could be for a variety of reasons:
- Some simply do not see the need to prepare
- Or, do see the need, but make excuses why they can’t prepare
- Are overwhelmed by the enormity of preparedness
- Are afraid of the unknown
- Have a fear of other’s opinions about preparing for extended emergencies
- Or, have the fear of admitting to themselves that devastating events can penetrate our lives and effect us
But in the end, life is all about choices; tough choices. In this preppers opinion, taking the active steps to prepare for an unforeseen disaster (one that we honestly don’t want to happen), was the only option that made sense, but it took courage and a big leap of faith to get started.
Taking the leap
Like many of you, when I first began preparing, I started with small scale situations and then began prepping for longer-term disasters. I made the same mistakes that many of you made in the process, and learned from them. What I didn’t understand was the importance of being spiritually and mentally prepared for the magnitude of a long-term disaster. As a result, it sent me into a tailspin of negativity, and my writing and articles reflected it. I eventually came to the conclusion that even though we sometimes don’t see the bigger picture when we’re in the middle of what feels like chaos, there is a larger picture at play, and we have to wait to see what the universe reveals to us in order to take the next steps.
I realized that I didn’t want to promote distress, or for that matter teach others to live in it. Rather than staying in the presence of trepidation, I chose to take another daring step and search for a way to prepare but do so in a way that promotes the freedom and gratification we are all searching for. My goal was to be 100% self reliant during a short or extended disaster. Luckily, I stumbled across the concept of homesteading and instantly knew that was I was searching for. Once I adopted this mindset, my attitude shifted from living in fear to living with courage of what may come. I had found my balance.
As Amelia Earhart once said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
My new approach to prepping brought a renewed sense of self and a passion that I wanted to share with anyone who would listen. I have mentioned before that showing others how important it is to be prepared and teaching them the necessary survival skills is something very dear to me, and a cause that I feel is greater than myself. I started the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series as a result of this realization. There is nothing more important to me than seeing that communities of people are prepared for what may come. But in order for an entire community to be prepared, it takes one person at a time to keep the preparedness fire lit.
Trust your gut
As James T. Stevens says in his preparedness guide, Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook, a paradigm shift occurs once the mindset changes from being prepared to living a preparedness lifestyle, “suddenly it’s neither so daunting or burdensome – it becomes your routine – the way you live on a daily basis!”
That being said, once I adopted this new lifestyle, I realized that my current living situation did not support what I wanted or needed to achieve. Changes were made. Some of those changes have been met with resistance from friends and family members. (Something I am sure that many of you have first-hand experience dealing with.)
As the saying goes, “Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
Despite the contradicting view points from others, I still felt strongly enough to take my preparations to the next level. In time, I hope that many will understand why I felt so passionate about this.
So what are you, a prepper, a survivalist, or part of a community?
As a whole, humans like to compartmentalize things. We naturally gravitate toward this mindset and feel more at ease when we are part of a group. I have read in other blogs and forums where people are discussing whether there is a difference between being self reliant, being a survivalists and being a prepper.
Once again, we have compartmentalized ourselves. Well, I hate to break it to you all, but we are all one in the same. That’s right folks, same group, different names. Potato, potato. There are however, varying degrees of preparedness and this is where the difference lies. Preppers range from having a first-aid kit in the car to having an underground bunker. That said, it’s about time that we start embracing one another as a preparedness community and be more positive and uplifting towards one another’s endeavors. Our overall goal is the same: to be self reliant and have preparations in place to withstand the after effects of a disaster so that we do not have to compromise our morals and values.
Disasters have been going on for centuries and for one to think they are untouchable is naive. Taking the necessary steps to being more prepared begins with you. If you see a need to prepare for something, start taking the steps to get ready for it. No time is better than today! If you need a preparedness path to follow, consider signing up for the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series where the overwhelming nature of getting ready for life’s unexpected events is simplified and broken down into comprehensive and easy to follow lists.
My purpose in all of this is not to promote fear and doom, or to teach others to hide from life, but to help others be aware that disasters do in fact exist and can affect us. Moreover, my goal is to teach others that they can find freedom through self reliance. My website is a testament to my personal preparedness journey, and a way for me to help others become more self reliant in the process.
In closing, we are all different and come from different backgrounds, have diverse goals, conflicting points of view and various forces that drive us to be who we are. My preparedness goals may not be the same one that you have. However, my hope is that you take the experiences that I post, the lists that I made and the mistakes I have made and learn from them so that your transition into preparedness is simpler and easier.
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Contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.