PREPAREDNESS IS NOT ABOUT EMERGENCIES, IT’S ABOUT A LIFESTYLE.
But not necessarily the lifestyle you think ….
Take the scenario of my friend who is highly focused on being prepared for an earthquake. He lives in the middle of earthquake country in California. He has bags at the ready, his family does routine earthquake drills, and he is uber-focused on being prepared for the big emergency their family is likely to face.
What he is not prepared for is the layoff that both he and his wife experienced this summer that has left them almost destitute after three months.
Or take the case of another friend who is the model of a food storage guru. She has planned for a year of food storage for her family. They have boxes and bins and cartons and containers full of food ready to feed their family when an EMP strikes, and there is no more food on the shelves to purchase. She knows that they need more than a year worth and is currently budgeting to do a full second year. She has charts and graphs and records to make sure she doesn’t waste a thing.
What she isn’t prepared for is her food storage going bad, or a missing link in a supply chain that can’t bring that extra food to her to store. She knows little about gardening, even less about raising chickens or rabbits, and relies solely on what she can purchase from the store or food storage business.
Or let’s look at my friend who is finally making his dreams come true – he’s sold his business, moved his family to a homestead and is living the life that we’re all supposed to desire.
What he’s not prepared for is the fact that his health was already failing, and the stresses of a life on a homestead has made his health worse. He is far from a decent medical community to help, and spends much of his time traveling for medical needs, leaving an unprepared wife to care for the homestead that she knows little about. The medical emergency they find themselves in has left them unable to truly take care of themselves.
None of these scenarios is our reality, and I’m sure it’s not the reality of many of you reading this right now.
The problem that I see, so often, is the singular focus of a family, focusing on one aspect of their lives, trying to prepare for the one “big thing”.
Stop thinking that PREParedness is only about surviving a major emergency.
Yes, PREParedness can get you through life’s BIG emergencies. But our goal shouldn’t be that. Our goal should be to develop a preparedness lifestyle that is one that is naturally prepared for anything.
While I may always talk about preparedness in terms of emergency management and planning as a family, the goal is that preparedness needs to become a part of the lifestyle. A lifestyle of someone who is looking to do more with their life, to become less reliant on agencies to do things for us, to begin to break free from depending on corporations to provide for us, and to make our way, no matter where life has planted us.
We need to prepare for those big emergencies, obviously, but in that endeavor, we should strive to become prepared for so much more.
- Job layoffs
- Family Emergencies
- Localized emergencies
- Financial setbacks
- Government shutdowns
- Delays in food distribution
- Medical emergencies and long-term needs
- Financial realities
- Outside influences that keep us where we are
For years, I’ve wanted to move to a homestead out in the country, far from the maddening crowds, raising my own food, working alongside my family in developing skills that allow us to thrive.
However, my reality is far from that. I’m tied to the area I’m in because I have family who need me to be here to help them in their own life. I have a husband who is obliged to remain at his job. Moving away would mean him being on the road for all of his free time, and none of us want that. We live in a suburb on a small plot of land and cannot raise our own meat, but we persevere by doing as much as we can with what we have.
Your reality doesn’t mean that you can’t live a prepared lifestyle to the best of your abilities and use your talents where God has planted you for this season of your life. My hope is that you embrace that, do what you can do, and be prepared.
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On a side note: For those of you who have embraced this life, but still feel the shame of the label some try to put on you, don’t. If you are doing your best to be productive, to protect your family, to provide for your family, and to prepare for your family in every way that you can in the area you have been planted on during this season, know that no label defines you. You aren’t less because you can’t be called a homesteader, you aren’t less because some label you a prepper (because this lifestyle isn’t about being a prepper), and you aren’t less because you haven’t embraced the call of a world who says that you cannot be different. Have faith!
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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.