Author Topic: What made you get into survivalism  (Read 21699 times)

Offline flagtag

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #60 on: April 24, 2009, 02:31:56 PM »
Gloria:
Welcome to the site.  It sounds like you have had a very "full" life.  I bet YOU can teach US much more than most of us can teach you.  (I'm sure of it in my case)
Glad to have you on board.

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #61 on: April 25, 2009, 08:27:36 AM »
Geez, I will try to answer this without writing a book. I am the youngest of 5 children, by 8 years. I have memories of growing up as the daughter of a widowed mother and her having to work. My older siblings have memories of life with both parents on a farm in NY state and I have often heard the stories of how it was, both good and bad. It is like I am from a different family as they grew up with these memories and I did not. Shortly before my father died, we moved to Florida and those are what my memories consist of: living the Florida lifestyle and my mother scrapping by to get us grown... No vegetable gardens, no farms, just working hard to live hand to mouth. That is what I learned and admittedly patterned for myself. Not pretty but more typical than not.

I met a good friend years ago who was born prepping. She never lived on a farm but knows how to pinch a penny. In fact, she says her father said he could hear the buffalo cry when she pinched the nickels!  ::) I am up to my eyeballs in debt and she lives without a mortgage and so on... how did THAT happen? She's shown me how she lives below the poverty line, not great but making it better than myself on maybe four times as much income. Hmm.   8) What is wrong with this picture?

2004 was a sentinel year for myself and my friend, women living alone who basically fell through the cracks. That was the year four hurricanes hit Florida and 3 out of 4 came close to a direct hit for myself. I sat here without a phone as both landlines and cell towers went down. Not enough ice. No generator. No worries on the food as I could buy more but miserable just the same. My above mentioned friend had to sleep with her gun as the police advised her that they were searching for someone in the woods behind her house, considered armed and dangerous. She could not call for help or even to just vent. Like siting ducks. Later, married couples bragged to me how they helped each other, shared generator power to keep their food and so on. I was not amused and I don't know if they realized how that hurt to hear. My fault. I take responsibility for that. Need to learn to do better, I thought.

I know personally I have got to do better than I have in the past. No children to turn to in my old age, it's not going to be pretty for myself if I don't adjust what I am doing - disaster or no disaster. I have had a nagging thought and also dreams (before 2004) that the future is not going to be as the past. Time to honor those thoughts and dreams. I could go on but that is it for me in a (big) nutshell.  ;)
D
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 08:31:49 AM by Sister Ant »

Offline eph2

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2009, 02:26:02 PM »
There are a lot of really cool women on this forum!  I wish we all lived next door...

Offline TXChikk

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2009, 02:42:19 PM »
There are a lot of really cool women on this forum!  I wish we all lived next door...

Wouldn't that be grand? Sister Ant if we had that kind of community women like you and I (childless) would (ideally) have fewer concerns  :)

Welcome everyone  :)

Offline FreeSpirit

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #64 on: May 15, 2009, 01:08:32 PM »
A fascinating thread. Many common bonds, some unique between us.

For me, it can be easily summarized:
I grew up in a large family. It was necessary to be resourceful. My grand-parents passed on a lot of great wisdom from their earlier days. Watching my parents struggle gave me insight and motivation to prep. I have been trapped by my own lifestyle too many times. Experience says that you cannot truly count on very many things in life. Your own faith and determination go a long way. I make it a daily routine to prepare in some way. Mental, physical, spirtual - very important to cover the bases and deal with the WHOLE man/woman.

My life experiences have exposed me to a large variety of survival skills and interests. (If most people took the time to study their own lives, they would see a similar thing with their lives) I am an insatiable learner. When my knowledge is put into practice, it becomes sealed to my being and is truly a part of my life. Practice makes perfect!

Most that know me, would say - "he is a survivor", but have no idea what they are really revealing about my person. ;)

The reason I posted here is BECAUSE, WOMEN have had the most influence in my life with respect to preparation. Not to slight men, but WOMEN seem to have an intuition about these things. I try to listen often.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 01:11:00 PM by FreeSpirit »

Offline Kellib

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #65 on: May 15, 2009, 07:59:35 PM »
My life is my own that is why I prepare. My husband is my strength. But what if something was to happen to him. I need to know how to survive on my own if it comes to that. And if it doesn't, I will have prepared and be able to contribute to the survival of us both.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #66 on: May 16, 2009, 01:58:22 PM »
For me, it's two-fold. First, it's the arriving economic collapse. Second, I want to be more self-reliant. I've become such a huge fan of freedom in the last year.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2009, 07:52:41 PM »
My life is my own that is why I prepare. My husband is my strength. But what if something was to happen to him. I need to know how to survive on my own if it comes to that. And if it doesn't, I will have prepared and be able to contribute to the survival of us both.
I love your first sentence.  I lost my husband two years ago, and my years of prepping are really coming in handy.  It's a lonely journey; however, you have a great outlook on survival.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2009, 08:37:03 PM »
I'm really pretty new to this... but have to say that, for years, we (husband and self) have not been happy with the Fed Reserve system, taxation, continual erosion of our freedoms... intrusion of the govt into personal lives...

But, life has been good to us... and we've lived a soft life for many years -- not really as badly prepared as the majority of Americans, but not really thinking in terms of survivalism. We invested in gold many years ago as a hedge against disaster... have plenty of weaponry and ammo, have no debt except mortgage (but now wish it were also nonexistent).

I think this recent economic situation has really brought our thinking to a more survivalistic mindset. We are now thinking more in terms of food storage and gardening... and have been sharing the warnings with friends and family. We are not even nearly close to being ready for any sort of major disaster but are at least making strides in that direction. [ I know that many folks out there would think we are a bunch of nutrolls, but I don't so much tell them all the things I think could go wrong when I am trying to get them to stock up on food supplies... I just tell them that inflation is probably going to kick in and they should stock up on the food they eat as an economic measure, if nothing else... ]

Positives:  Grew up in a large family... learned to can and preserve as a kid... know all sorts of homemaking stuff (quilting, knitting, crocheting, sock-darning, sewing, baking, cooking from basic ingredients -- no mixes here). Husband has a military background and knows lots about survival techniques, weaponry, defense, military tactics, etc. We homeschool our kids and have enough acreage that we could most definitely survive on the land we have if need be...

thanks for all the tips and support!

I'm hoping for the best and trying to plan for the worst.

Offline Kellib

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #69 on: May 20, 2009, 05:51:34 PM »
Life is so full of unexpected turns that we owe it to ourselves to take the time and cherish our family every minute and to prepare for a possible life without them. Pets are a great comfort also in times on a lonely journey. I wish you all the best.

sage0925

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #70 on: June 01, 2009, 11:45:44 PM »
President O-dingbat. The way he carries on has scared the crap out of me. As soon as he got elected, we started collecting food and trying to figure out ways to get by without electricity. Started working on our greenhouse this spring, so we could work out the bugs (no pun intended) on growing food in the Idaho mountains. It's not easy...lots of rocks and sand, extreme highs and lows of temperatures in the summer. Have to have heirloom plants that are heat AND cold resistant, and that mature early.

I have felt for about 15 years that something bad was going to happen. When Obama got elected, I was certain that he was going to be the catalyst. *shrug* I might be wrong, could be an EMP, or swine flu...no way to know for sure...just a feeling, you know? Anyway, better to be safe than sorry. And with this many people feeling the same way, you gotta wonder. I am of the opinion that some people have better intuition than others. Let the sheep get along best they can.

One thing I can say for certain, run-away inflation is on the way...best get prepared for it now. Food riots are on the way. I'm certain of that, too. A good part of America's food basket has been shut down (central CA) due to some 2 inch fish that's supposedly endangered. For those who don't know, they shut off the pumps from N. CA that irrigated that area. Food shortages this winter, unless you're prepared. We're shorter on ammo than I'd like, and still haven't figured out how to operate the well without electricity, but we have a good start.

And a big thanks to the creators of this website. It's turning out to be invaluable.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #71 on: June 02, 2009, 11:44:10 AM »
I have been a prepper since the towers fell.  I started by utilizing the Red Cross website.  They focus on Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Water.  It was a great resource and I began to stock the home.  I set aside flashlights, candles, food for about three weeks, batteries, and a radio.  The website was very realistic, and wanted you to prepare for natural disasters in your area.

 

It felt good to do something for myself in light of the situation in New York. I stocked up, gave some blood and about a week after the towers fell, I slept calmly for the first time.

 

Then, the government started hyping READY.GOV.  This time the focus was on man made disasters and acts of evil men.  I stocked up again, this time buying plastic sheeting to cover the windows, dust masks, and duct tape.  I had an emergency contact list made.  And for the first time, I put together an EVAC plan. I felt I was prepared for the imminent attack.

 

But then I started reading.  I picked up a book by Richard Preston called the Demon in the Freezer.  Then gobbled up his book, Hot Zone.  I read some books by C.J Peters about being a virus hunter.  I hit the CDC website.  For months, I read and chewed my fingernails.  What was plastic sheeting going to do in case of a bio hit?  What good is a dust mask?  I looked at all my preps and shook my head. 

 

I went out and got several N95’s, Hand sanitizer, Bleach, Lysol, chemical gloves, rubber boots, glasses and face shields.  I researched Positive air pressure rooms.  I priced out heap filtration systems.  I started building a room in my home that was SAFE.

 

I was ready for a tornado.  I could survive the typical annoying flood. I am almost ready for a bio or chem situation. But I realized that all of my preps were just to sustain me until someone came to help me.  I no longer wanted to be helped.  I wanted to put my fate in my hands.  I wanted to become a survivor, not just a prepper.

 

So I went to an outdoor survival camp.  Great instructor and if you ever want to do an interview I would highly recommend him.  The Midwest Survival School with  Tom Laskowski .  His classes are really focused on people new to survival.  I learned about my local edible wild plants. But something hit me when taking the class.  I asked Tom, “How long do you think you could live off of all these plants?”.

 

His response shocked me.  “Not Long” he said.  How in the world could you NOT be able to survive on the plants in the area?  I mean, the deer live off the plants, and they are as big as we are.  People had to live off the plants before agriculture.  But Tom told me, you have to hunt. You eat protein or you stop eating for good.

 

So now I headed to Dicks and purchased a 12 ga.  It is a cheap model, but I have never operated one before so I started off with a less expensive option.  I did research on different loads and capabilities and settled with this option.  I live in the suburbs, and I can’t hunt locally.  I am not very worried about home defense.  But with this option, between bird shot, buck shot, and slugs . . . I can handle almost anything.  I grabbed several boxes of different ammos, and I signed up for a hunters education class.

 

So now I am thinking . . . I am ready for anything.  Then I started reading again.  Two books come to mind when I look back on my preps.  Lights Out by Halffast  and One Second After by William R. Forstchen.  If you haven’t read them, please do.  Both are the story of a group of people surviving an EMP burst (or I should say the effects of the burst).  Again, I looked at my preps and discovered; I am not ready.

 

So, back to the sporting goods store for a 10 22 this time.  Thousands of rounds.  Home Depot for a generator.  More food, this time better organized.  Meats in blue Rubbermaid’s;  Carbs in Grey Rubbermaid’s;  Cans in green ones.  I am up to about six to nine months depending on the calorie sized rations.  I got flower pots and started growing lettuce, blackberry bushes, onions, and strawberries.  I got some seeds, a few shovels, and some steel rakes. 

 

And now, just when I think I might be ready; What about bugging out?  I can’t take all this stuff . . . :)

i am very thankful for this forum as a resouce.  i wish I had found it years ago!

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2009, 12:07:38 AM »
Wouldn't that be grand? Sister Ant if we had that kind of community women like you and I (childless) would (ideally) have fewer concerns  :)

Welcome everyone  :)

I wonder how many of us single women are out here, with no "tribe" or "group"...

It sure would be nice to share the prepping load, ya know?

Offline JeanetteW

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2009, 09:43:56 AM »
I wonder how many of us single women are out here, with no "tribe" or "group"...

It sure would be nice to share the prepping load, ya know?

I am single, but it seems I have a tribe coming together quite nicely. Most of my neighbors are coming around - albeit slowly. I even have a few friends that are starting to take a good hard look at basic emergency preparations.

If you are single, or even if you are not, you should be doing your best to build a tribe. We can't all do the lone camo-clad survivalist in the woods thing. For those of us who cannot, building a solid community is a super option
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Offline JeanetteW

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2009, 05:09:44 PM »
What made the hubs and I get into this lifestyle? Wow!

  • The Desire to live an abundant life: Hubby and I realized early on that we'd get the most bang from out buck if we followed a simple formula: Wealth = What you produce - what you consume. When we started out, there wasn't a whole lot we could do to influence what we produced - in terms of money - other than to devote ourselves to climbing the career ladder. Ok, we accepted that. But there was a LOT we could do ti influence what we consumed. We simplified our lives and focused on eliminating any and all regular drains on our financial resources, like credit and debt.  Later we realized there we things we consumed that we could produce, like food and energy. We chose to find abundance by reducing what we consumed while replacing some of our consumption with production, all the while seeking career advancement. It really paid off!
  • Security: I think it was Buckminster Fuller who defined wealth as the number of days you could live if you never worked again. Hubby and I took this to heart and sought to build the biggest "work free" buffer we could. The good news was that we also realized that our commitment to the wealth formula we had already committed to was a great way to do this. Great!
  • Its Fun! Finally we realized that living a frugal lifestyle was fun and it brought a lot of additional excitement into out lives: rural living, chickens, sheep - what a party! As it turns out - at least for us - living frugally is its own reward

Ok, that's my story, What's yours?
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 Jeanette
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 06:45:53 PM by JeanetteW »

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #75 on: July 09, 2009, 05:32:22 PM »
...I think it was Buckminster Fuller who defined wealth as the number of days you could live if you never worked again. ...
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 Jeanette


Wow!
A Bucky quote!
+1 (+10 if I could)

Hellchick

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2009, 11:20:10 AM »
As I posted in another thread, I've always had a self-sufficiency bent...when I was a kid I was fascinated with learning to fish, making my own bows and arrows or fishing poles from branches and junk, trap animals, etc. No one in my family did this and I think they all thought I was a pretty crazy kid. I still don't know where I really got that from. I attribute it to having read "My Side of the Mountain" when I was a kid. I want to buy every kid a copy of this book. :)

As an adult, I've continued to be really interested in self-sufficiency skills: hand spinning, knitting, gardening, canning, etc. But what I HAVEN'T been good at doing until just now is actual prepping. And I'm finally starting to do it. I'm trying not to feel panicked when I look around me and realize that I don't have things like a 30 day supply of food, an emergency kit, a contact list, water stored, etc. But I'm starting to do these things -- yesterday I sat down and created an emergency contact list and felt like I'd done at least one positive thing to ease my mind in case of emergency. I'm also starting to finally free myself from massive amounts of debt -- I was married to a man for 14 years until two years ago and through that marriage we accumulated a TON of debt, partially because of some very poor, large decisions he made and partially because I didn't wise up and take enough control of our finances and instead let him control everything. What's worse, what little savings we had in the last year of our marriage were wiped out through some poor decisions he made. That was one of the last straws for me.

But I'm on the road to financial recovery now -- I just got laid off from my job BUT I have enough money to last three months if need be without one. That may seem shaky to some but it's a far better place than I was two years ago. I regret not having wised up years ago (I'm 37 now), but you can't change the past and I'm willing to put in the work to make up for it now.

Fortunately, my boyfriend that I've been with for the last year is a natural-born prepper. He's debt-free except for the house he bought last year -- wisely, putting in a huge down payment and doing a fixed-rate mortgage -- he could easily live for a year without a job if necessary, he's a hunter and fisherman, and his elderly dad is an expert gunsmith, fisherman, and hunter. (And he's 6 years younger than me...just galls me that he had the smarts to be that way long before I did! Hrrmph! :) ) His family has a cabin on land that's been in the family for a couple of generations out in the boonies (but accessible to us) that they've done the work on building, so with that and the fact that my family also lives an hour away on a large place with chickens and a huge garden, there's always somewhere to go if a local emergency happened and we needed to relocate. It's a comforting feeling.

He's as much into self-sufficiency as I am and we had a conversation a couple of months ago about how it seemed like a good idea to store some food and water for emergencies, so we're starting to build up our stores now. He's the best guy in the world to go hike with: always prepared with things I just don't think about (the last time we went hiking water leaked into my boots from a stream we crossed, but we still had four miles to hike back...he whipped out a dry pair of socks from his bag, something I didn't pack for myself, and saved my feet a LOT of potential pain and anguish). I'm learning a lot from him!

We've begun our small garden this year and we're expanding it at the end of this summer in preparation for next year. We have alpacas now so that I have fiber to spin yarn from (an alternate revenue stream for me as well as just having the source be controlled by me), and we're planning on getting chickens sometime this year as well. We've got plans to do rain barrels before the rainy season here in Washington kicks in. Our long-term plans are to install alternate forms of energy like solar power (we have a house, barn, and large toolshed with roofs that are begging to be used for it).

Our philosophy is pretty simple: we want our lives to be in our control, not someone else's. We're not big believers that The End of the World is happening any time soon but we don't like the idea of having any important facet of our lives being in someone else's hands. If we're living totally on the grid then our lives are at the mercy of the power company. If we buy all our food from the grocery store then our lives are at the mercy of stores and agricultural companies. Anything we can do to be in control of anything that touches are lives is just one less worry about someone else's potential panic or incompetence.

Offline HelenWheels

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2009, 02:17:05 PM »
The seeds of survivalism were planted early in me. Unfortunately, I didn't take very good care of those seeds for a long time. I've always had some natural survivalism tendencies but nothing organized, thought-out or even really acknowledged.

Then 9/11 happened.

I was supposed to be working at a customer site in the Sears Tower that afternoon. As I was getting ready for work, the Today show was on as part of my normal morning routine. I couldn't believe it... an accident at the WTC - some poor pilot hit the tower. Figured it was bound to happen sooner or later, having lived in NYC and seen the craziness of how close everything was to 3 major airports..

OMG, the other tower was hit. No accident after all.

WTF, the Pentagon. Definitely no accident.

Time to circle the wagons.

I took off my "work clothes" and put on more rugged clothes, including my work boots. I headed to the grocery store a few blocks from my home. I was really surprised that there weren't more people there ... guess they were still glued to their TVs. I stocked up on beans, rice, pasta, canned meat, canned fruits and veggies, crackers, salt, oil, dog food, tin foil, matches and gallons of water. Got the maximum cash back allowed with purchase.

Then I headed across the street to the gas station, thankful that it wasn't busy and that they hadn't raised the prices. Filled up the tank as full as I could get it.

Back home, I started mentally planning what was getting loaded in the car and which ways I would use to get out of Chicago. Didn't matter where my eventual destination was, I was heading west because that was the most expedient way and I lived in the western suburbs, so I had a good headstart for open land if needed.
Got as far as getting it all written down on paper so I wouldn't forget.

I didn't have to bug out then, thankfully. But I started thinking about what would happen if I did have to?

Slowly but surely I am refining my ideas and decisions... and my preparation methods and contents.

Thanks to everyone who helps all of us along the way with good ideas, constructive criticisms, alternate views and just plain ole good friendship!

Houstonmom

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #78 on: August 01, 2009, 10:21:35 AM »
I thought we were prepared until Ike hit.  It was a good test and proved how much we needed to do.  We've done more prepping to get ready for the next event and are better off than one year ago.

I also think we're headed into terrible political and financial times.  Wars, worldwide economic depression and hyperinflation.  We have 3 little ones and want to protect them.

I HATE STANDING IN LINES!!!!!  So I'm doing everything I can to avoid future lines.

We still need to find a bug out location or similar minded group to prepare with.  Those two are harder to knock out.

MrsBarber

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #79 on: August 01, 2009, 12:15:54 PM »
I worked in public safety for most of my life.....in law enforcement and firefighting. In those fields P&P helps you plan for the worst.....at work. I had to retire from public service 5 years ago due to a back injury. My husband and I started prepping just by gathering supplies in our basement for severe weather warnings since we live in Ohio's Tornado Alley.

Then last September, Hurricane Ike blew thru Ohio and caused wide spread loss of electric power throughout the State. Some people were without power for weeks. We were lucky and were only without power for 24 hours. But it was long enough to let us see how unprepared we were for a situation like that.

We started prepping hard core after that. Gardening, Food Storage, Water Storage, Home Security and more. We are always reading and researching to learn more and to prepare better.

So that is our story. Looking forward to seeing what all the other ladies have to say.

Carolyn

Offline mamabear

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #80 on: August 14, 2009, 12:54:58 PM »
I started stockpiling food and HBA items as a means to save money about 1 1/2 ago. Then I decided I need to make sure I had enough on hand to make it through and extended unemployment period as things were not looking so good at work. That then led to thinking about how would I heat my house, water for showers, pay for the water....On and on and on. I found this website and am now looking into more than stockpiling food. I am hoping to get some kind of place out in the rural areas to have sustainable living. I have miles and miles to go, but I have taken the first step. I am on my way.

Offline Ann

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Re: What made you get into survivalism
« Reply #81 on: September 27, 2009, 05:33:25 PM »
My husband and I really started our "prepping" by deciding we would be better serving ourselves and our lives by getting out of debt.  We are out of debt except for the house, and some recent (but relatively small) medical debt.

Towards the end of our "debt free journey", we visited a friend and had a chat about how things in general were "going to hell inna handbasket".  She made a glib remark about, "if you want to read about life in hell, read Lucifers Hammer.  Well, THAT lit a fire, lemme tell ya!  It's not that I really think the world is going to be mostly destroyed tomorrow.  However, it gets more and more tense at work, because of the economy and layoffs.  My dept is ok, and so is my job, for NOW.

It just got me thinking what we could start to do if things got REALLY bad.  We could probably scrape by on one income.  But basically we're also thinking about the early flu.  I get the report from the local health organization that lists the number of flu cases.  They are literally increasing exponentially weekly.  We're really worried NOW about being quarantined.

We have a friend that works with the CDC.  She and her husband ARE STOCKPILING.  It's scary.

I'm also trying to prep for the idea that we have good stores and good habits for when we retire.  I want to get experience at a garden that will feed us.  I don't want to have to depend on BUYING all of my food.

We have a good month's worth of food.  We're working on more.  We have a week's worth of drinking water, and 3 wks of rain water that we can filter outside in the rain barrels.

I have MORE HOPE for our future being a "prepper" than I did over a year ago when we were just looking at paying down debt.