hey y'all I'm dixie. I live in Indiana and have a full time job. Having grown up in the country, was always taught to be self sufficient, prepared for whatever, and how to survive and work to make my way. always been outdoorsy, I remember being surprised when I went to town as a youngster found out most people bought their groceries at the store, and what they cost. Guess it never occurred to me that some people don't know where their food comes from.
I guess 9-11-01 was when I finally faced up to what I already knew; the world as I knew itchanged drastically that day in the near future. Either a natural disaster or a man made one will occur within my lifetime. I didn't really start ernestly prepping then though, just took a few precautions like stocking extra groceries as a hedge against inflation, and tried to have a little cash on hand, basic first aid supplies, basic home defense, flashlight, tools, etc. Basically, being prepared like any country person would do, but not really giving it any thought.
So January 2009 when a giant ice storm pretty much knocked out power to the entire state of KY, where I was living at the time, we weren't as bad off as most people. for the first two days, we had no cell coverage, we didn't have a land line, and there were power lines down between our house and the 5 miles to the state highway. We heard on the battery powered radio that the local authorities wanted everyone to stay home so they could assess the damage. We didn't mind, we just split wood and stacked it, living like we were camping in the cold. The power was out for 18 days, and our house was all electric. I found myself stocked well with food, had a propane camp stove and fuel and a wood stove with plenty of wood so I could cook, but I had too little oil for my oil lamps, not enough candles, and no heat source in the house. We couldn't buy a generator, kerosene heater, or any other supplies within 2 days of the ice storm because the stores were sold out due to all the people that had prepared nothing for an emergency needing stuff. Didn't matter for most folks, there was no way to use debit cards to buy them if they were available.
After a few days, we finally got a call out to some friends who lived 4 hours away to let them know we were ok, and they suggested if we could get out and drive up there, they would loan us a generator and kerosene heater to help us get through. My husband dropped me off at work in town 25 miles from home and drove up there and back in time to pick me up when I got off work that evening. For the next 15 days, we used the generator to keep the freezer and fridge running about 8 hours a day, heated water on top of the kerosene heaters to bathe, and kept the house warm enough at night with kerosene to keep the pipes from freezing and allow us to sleep comfortably. We were on city water even that far out, so we had water the whole time, fortunately.
That ice storem taught me alot. We learned some things then, and I guess that's what got me really starting to think about what we could have done better. I guess you could say I started taking note of what my hindsight could see. The things we wished we had during that 18 days I have since found a way to make sure we would have if it happened again. The things we really didn't use that I thought would be important I have eliminated.
For me, being prepared is about what MY family needs to survive, not what anyone else thinks they need or what they might think I need. I know my abilities, and those of my family members, and I know our likes, dislikes, and the things that make us comfortable. My goal for prepping is to provide water, food, shelter, and security for my family, and nothing else. I don't care if the rest of the world goes to hell in a handbasket, but foe me and mine, we will be as ok as we can make each other based on the sustainable lifestyle we try to lead.
Good luck to everyone else, and thank you kind and generous souls willing to share some of your knowledge with those of us less informed folks. I've learned much here and hope to enjoy your company more in the coming days.