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I'm not a prepper but....

A “prepper” is someone who is preparing for some unknown, but catastrophic eventuality, variously known as “a zombie apocalypse” or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). Some preppers are more specifically preparing for such things as the collapse of world financial systems, peak oil and/or a coronial mass ejection. Whatever the reason, the idea is the same, to be prepared to live self-sufficiently, to be able to provide for the needs of oneself and family without assistance from the outside world.

eight acres: a few things that I do that are like prepping but I'm not taking it that seriously....
this is my "overflow pantry" in the spare room, its mostly dried good bought in bulk
This means setting up systems to provide food, water, shelter, and often defence, in case of any of the above catastrophes. Pete and I are not preppers as such. We are not preparing for anything in particular, with no real urgency, but we do get a sense of comfort from knowing that we are in control of our food and water supply. Even in minor disasters such as the flooding we have experienced over the past couple of summers, it has been very reassuring to know that we can survive isolation from local towns, from shops and even the grid electricity supply. Although we’ve only been tested for a few days at the most, I am certain we would be fine for weeks. And I suppose this is how some people react to all the doom and gloom in the media these days, if you can’t control what’s going to happen, you can at least feel prepared….. for something.

eight acres: a few things that I do that are like prepping but I'm not taking it that seriously....
making soap - prepared for not being able to buy soap
Being self-sufficient is also a very frugal way to live. Growing your own food and using what you grow is far cheaper than going to the supermarket, and with the time I’d waste driving around shopping all the time, I can spend some peaceful time in my garden instead. We still go to the supermarket for a few things, mainly bananas and potatoes, but we will grow them too eventually. While prepping can take the form of stockpiling dried food, I prefer to keep our food “on the hoof” as OFG says (and I like to keep some of my seeds in the soil, if I don't save them carefully and ruin the whole jar, at least some will come up next year in the garden). This is far more sustainable as we can keep producing more, as long as the animals keep breeding, rather than having a finite amount of dried food that will eventually run out.

Preppping usually also involves some form of escape plan and “bug out” bag. This is not a bad idea considering that we are at risk of evacuation due to either bushfires or floods through most of summer (depending whether it rains or not). This should include a plan for animals that can’t travel with you (oh the thought of leaving our cows behind is too much for me!). Your bug out bag should contain various survival needs for a few days and essential documents. Some preppers even have “retreats” set up in the wild where they could go to hide in the event that SHTF (sh*t hit the fan), but I think we already live in such a retreat.

eight acres: a few things that I do that are like prepping but I'm not taking it that seriously....
first attempts at growing potatoes, the purple ones happen to grow well here!
While we are somewhat prepared for being stuck at home, until now we hadn’t done much about being prepared to evacuate. This seems like a good idea, whether or not you consider yourself a prepper. There is a wealth of information out there, so even if you are not a serious prepper, its an opportunity to learn how to be more self-sufficient and live well for less money. And you don’t want to be one of those people that needs a food drop after only a few days in an emergency situation.

Are you a prepper?  Any good resources or ideas you'd like to suggest?


Comments

  1. We aren't 'preppers' as such either. Our pantry is always well stocked though and we do store some water. At the moment we (and a number of other people) are investing a lot of time in establishing a community garden in Woy Woy. I like the idea of having a communal "food shed" that's living and accessible to all. Sharon Astyk's book "Independence Days" is a great resource if you want to be more prepared to survive temporary and longer term disasters.

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  2. I'm not a prepper either but we had the getting ready for cyclone season talk and the lets just make sure we have extra tinned and dry goods in the pantry and gas so we can cook and well the water we always have a storage of fresh water instead of town water that we use all the time anyway.

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  3. I'm not a prepper as such but when you start down the self sufficency route then it's kind of what happens. For the last 15 years or so all my skills and learning have been to make me more indepentant from the modern world. Now we've brought our little farm to grow our own food, I earn a living from what I can make as a carpenter and my children will be brought up learning all these things. I'd like to think that if there was a major event that made us cut off from the modern world then I could provide for my family and we'd still live quite comfortably. In the meantime I enjoy what I do, we eat better than most and save money so it's all good!

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  4. I know people who spend alot of time stressing about all this stuff and their quality of life as a result when there is nothing really bad going on right now isn't so great. But I am still a prepper I guess in a relaxed kind of way because what we doing is prepping without doing it on purpose. I know at the moment there could be a flood coming, but I have fresh goats milk, veges in the garden, fresh bread baking and a pile of stockpiled soap...so in the event of an emergency we will be clean, have water in our tanks and plenty of food and milk . I think prepping is a great idea for any event ...even just getting the flu and not being able to get to the shops works out when you are prepared.

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  5. Our climate makes it very hard to stockpile foods like dried goods. We do keep cans of food, just because I like to know that I can cook something and find those basics in the partry without running out to the shops. Funnily I was just looking at my lettuce bed that I intensively planted during the dry season. A lot of those lettuces have gone to seed, and I will just leave them there to self seed for next year - love that idea! We do make sure we are stocked up well for the cyclone season as we often get cut off with flooding over the road. I also like to make sure I have books to read, or some crafting to do.

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  6. Not a prepper either. Just progressing to living 'simply' as yourself. I do not worry over all the scenarios, but rather take comfort, like yourself with producing what you need. It is a year round thing. Something you are comfortable with all the time. When a time does come with a disaster, you are not so stressed and worried. You 'simply' do what you have always done. Live. :)

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  7. Living 200km from shops means we are prepared for all sorts things, not just food and seeds. My pantry is always well stocked with basics but we keep extras of just about everything....windmill parts, fuel, oil, pipe fittings, tyres, stamps etc. I keep a present box stocked with a variety of gifts to post for birthdays etc as well as spare cards. Luckily I have a big house! One thing that I sometimes run out of for some reason is dishwashing liquid....don't ask me why! Flood can cut us off from supplies- very occasionally! I wouldn't mind a little flood right now, it is desperately dry here in the Murchison.

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  8. The best preparedness site we've found is http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/. There are some topics which are USA specific but overall the large majority cover self sufficiency. This is not a podcast about the end of the world but more about not being a victim in the event of a disaster. Great topics on evaluating the likelihood and impact of different emergency situations such as flood, fire and simple situations such as both income earners losing employment. There is an expert panel which covers areas such as gardening, permaculture, backup power, medical, finance etc. Little thought provoking issues such as how do you maintain the freezer if the power is out for a week. The catch cry you will remember from this podcast is "two is one, one is none" e.g. if the power is out you can always cook on the gas BBQ except there is only one gas bottle and it is almost empty and you are flooded in.

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  9. One only has to observe the aftermath of recent disasters to know that some sort of preparedness is a good idea. Visions of empty supermarket shelves and packed community halls and stadiums filter across the screens and newspaper pages.

    The survivalism movement turns people off through its obsession with short-term sustenance, fire power and inalienable selfishness. And that's why we all need to look past it and see preparedness for what it can be rather than what it has become in the United States, in particular. I had a "robust discussion" with a few god-fearing, libertarian survivalists on Twitter recently. They claimed guns were about self-preservation and an exercising of rights. I questioned why they then had picture after picture of fancy guns and ammunition and paraphernalia adorning their feed. If guns are admired for their utility, what's with all the rampant consumerism that surrounds them? You know you can by gendered guns now? There's a website called Gun Godess that stocks a wide range of gendered weaponry and accessories for the gal that wants to "pack some heat".

    Preparedness is about protecting against the proverbial rainy day. Where, for whatever reason, you need to have a stock of things because you can't access those things some other way at that time. Perhaps there will be an alien invasion. How cool.

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  10. Well you certainly look prepared that's for sure............I made some soap for the first time last week which was exciting....here's my post.

    http://www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/our-adventures-in-making-soap.html

    And yesterday made some laundry washing power which was also very rewarding.

    http://www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/home-made-laundry-washing-powder.html

    Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  11. We try to be self reliant and part of that is being prepared for whatever...
    it takes time and we do a little more each year.

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  12. I happened to watch a show last night called "Aftermath". If you haven't heard of it, it's one of those "what if" type shows, this one predicated on "what if all the oil in the world suddenly disappeared". It astonished me that they predicted that something like two years after all the oil 'disappeared' people in places like New York would be dying of starvation because they couldn't get supplies through (though they did talk about self sufficiency increasing generally). I just spent the whole time watching it thinking "but why don't people just grow more stuff!"
    Christine

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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