Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our Pre-Packaged Life

Food.  Communications equipment.  Weapons.  Ammunition.  Pre-64 silver.  Medical knowledge and equipment.  Off-grid systems.  Fuel.  The list of skills, equipment and knowledge required for living in an end-of-the-world scenario is simply overwhelming.

Where meat really comes from!
When you consider the fact that we live in a pre-packaged society, the systems we need to have in place for grid-down situation seem almost insurmountable.  And, in truth, they are - but only if we try to do everything at once.

Everything we know comes pre-packaged and ready for our use.  Electricity is threaded down power lines, waiting for our consumption.  Meat comes in little white packages covered in plastic.  Milk comes in handy white jugs and bandages come with adhesive strips ready to apply.  Cell phones, email and Skype are readily available for our communications needs and debit or credit cards provide instant currency.  Someone, somewhere, anticipates our needs (or our wants) before we do and rushes to provide products and services so that we need not involve ourselves in the day to day drudgery of providing for our own selves.  And so, the thought of providing for even the most basic necessities of daily living overwhelms us to the point of paralyzation.

Where power comes from

Where power really comes from
So, where then do we start?  We start with something.  Rather than looking at the vast list of things to do to meet the end-of-the-world, we start with one thing.  Rome was not built in a day, it was built from the foundations up, one brick at a time.  Your preparedness goals will not be met all at once, they too will be built over time, one can of beans, one radio, one brick of ammo at a time.  Start with what you know.  If you like to eat, begin with food.  Buy canned food, learn about wheat, buy a grinder.  Start with something.  A little every week will build the foundations of your preparedness plan.  Don't, however, assume that buying things will make you prepared.  Gaining skills and knowledge is every bit as important as acquiring goods.  Take a first responders course.  Become an EMT.  Learn to be a HAM radio operator.  Take a self-defense class.

The reality is that you will never truly be ready.  You will never get to the point that you sigh and say, "that's it - I'm ready for the end-of-the-world".  But, just by starting, you are one step closer to preparedness.  Rather than obsessing about all the things you don't have, all of the skills that have eluded you and how short the time may be, start.  Build your foundation and your fortress will stand.

The-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it will not be pre-packaged.  It will not be convenient, simple or ready-made.  The sooner you begin to think outside of the package, the easier it will be when the package is no longer available.  Don't do it all at once, just start.


  1. Excellent post! Prepping can be overwhelming even for those of us who have been doing it a while. I try to not watch the news too much because I get all hyped up and want to go, go, go!

  2. When people ask me how to start prepping, I suggest they begin with what they already have. Got camping gear? Then you've got temporary housing, an extra set of cooking equipment, and undoubtedly a way to make a fire. Got tools? Then you've got the basics for doing repairs when the repairman isn't around anymore. Got extra space in the closet? Then start putting canned foods or bulk foods in it. Got a big pot? Then learn to do water bath canning and move up to pressure canning when the confidence level is there.

    Like everyting else in life, take it one step at a time. Making a list really helps. Learn a new skill each month and practice those skills. Before you know it, you'll be better prepared.

    NoCal Gal

  3. Great post, and so true. Prepping for my family has been like slipping into a rabbit hole... and then there's another tunnel, and another. The more I get done, the more there is that still NEEDS to be done. But I try to focus on how much better off we are now, how much more self-sufficient, and that keeps me going. Really, I'm not sure God expects any one family to be totally self-sufficient. I prefer to think that He means for us to still be connected, helping one another, looking out for one another. But the more we have done, the better we'll be able to help others as well as ourselves. May the Lord be with us all!

  4. To paraphrase a character in one of Robert Heinlein's books, humans are generalists, specialization is for insects. I insisted when they were growing up that our boys learn cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, & mending clothes along with the more traditional things boys like to do. I told them they had to be able to deal with anything in life without having to call on someone else.

    We buy our meat in the store because it is easy and cheap. Nothing wrong with that as long as we have the knowledge and tools to get meat some other way if we had to. It might be a good idea to know how to cook tasty and nutritious meatless meals if meat became difficult to obtain.

    We get our power from the electric company because it is easy and cheap. While the power from the grid is in general of better quality and more reliable than power we can make at home, having a reliable supply of power is so important to our lives that we also have two generators and two solar electric setups.

    We heat our house with gas from the utility company because it is easy and cheap (notice a common refrain?) Having heat in the winter is so important to us that we also have multiple other ways to heat our house.

    If something is important to our lives, we need multiple ways to do it. This is called redundancy, and is a powerful technique for building what the computer networking folk call "highly available systems". When a prepper says "one is none, and two is one" they are merely preaching the virtues of redundancy. When someone in show business says "the show must go on" they are preaching an important attitude, but also probably have multiple ways of doing all the things needed to allow the show to always go on.

    People joke about "Murphy's Law" (If anything can go wrong it will), but folk who are serious about living their lives and running their businesses will always take Murphy into consideration in their planning.

    When you read the news, and think about the future, remember Murphy's Law. It applies to governments and economics as much as it does to everything else in life (except God!)

    Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy!

    God bless you for all you do!

  5. Dear Enola,

    This is unrelated. Sorry. I wanted to let you know about the site . Currently there is an offer for Bloggers to receive a copy of her books in exchange for a review of them. I do not know about the rest of the books, but I recently purchased her Dining On A Dime, and I thought you might be interested in it. Check it out if you like.

    God Bless and keep up the good work!

  6. Enola,

    Thanks for this post. I really needed it today. As I was driving to work this morning, I had the strong feeling that TEOTWAWKI may be close at hand, and I just don't feel ready. I have lots of bullets, beans, and band-aids, along with a great deal of other supplies, but I just don't feel READY. I guess I never will, and no matter what happens, there will be something that we forgot or didn't even think about. Still, just knowing that we've managed to do what we've already done is comforting.

  7. Wow! I so needed to read this today. I too am feeling a "looming doom" for lack of a better way of putting it. After work today I planted peas, transplanted cauliflower and cabbage, and have spent quality time on the internet comparison pricing bulk items. I've been prepping for 2 years now and CONSTANTLY feel overwhelmed and have to remind myself this fact... I will never be ready. But through God's grace and providence I will survive and hopefully be in a position to help others along the way. Please keep your blog going. It encourages and teaches me so much! God bless!

  8. I don't always agree with Karl Denninger but today he has a great post:

    His theme is how unprepared most of us are. He does point out that on a personal and family level we can do something about it:

    "It's not really all that hard, by the way, to fix this over time."

    God bless you for all you do!

  9. Even if all the preparation was in order ( not necessarily achieved) we could be hauled from our homes and put in a camp like FEMA for proclaiming the Name of Jesus.

    "How difficult it will be in those days for pregnant and nursing mothers"- Jesus

    Somehow the Gospel of Peace makes the tyrannical nervous.

    Great posts as usual, Enola

  10. I had the kids and grandkids all come over for dinner tonight. We had home grown and home butchered chicken. We also had homemade bread and home grown potatoes. My daughter-in-law ate the chicken. So did the two grandkids who helped me with the butchering. Nobody else did. They couldn't stomach eating the cute little chickens that used to run around the coop. They'd rather believe that chicken just magically appears in those plasic trays.