As a single mom of two children, I had never thought about preparing for any type of disaster. During Y2K, I was young, in love, and newly married. During 9/11, I found myself newly divorced and raising an infant and toddler by myself. Prepping was the last thing on my mind. I was happy just to get by day by day. In the years since, I realized the awesome responsibility of raising children. I am not only responsible for their physical well being, but their emotional and spiritual well being as well. During a church service, the pastor spoke about the difference between the “wise” and “foolish” bridesmaids (Matt. 25:1-13). He said that the only difference was that one group was prepared and the other wasn’t. Having no real “skill” set, I realized that one of the most important skill sets for newbie preppers to acquire is the willingness to learn.
I began reading a variety of websites and blogs about prepping. As an amateur gardener, I was already able to grow certain vegetables. I learned about canning, bought some fruit trees and bushes, and obtained a small greenhouse. Since my son was in Boy Scouts, I decided to take a couple of NRA classes, and now have learned to shoot with a handgun and shotgun. I also got a fishing license and am beginning to learn how to fish from a friend of mine. It’s very important to get over any “reservations” you may have- such as touching and filleting fish, as is in my case.
In speaking with my neighbor, I learned that they are preppers too. We were able to learn from each other – well, mostly I learned from them, but there is strength in numbers. I now have six months of food stored, a bug out bag for me and each of my children, a small water filtration system, and a short term alternate heating system. This summer, another neighbor and I are going to try to “live off the land” and try out my gear for a week. This means to purify our water, fish and forage for food, start a fire without lighter fluid, and experience what it’s like to live off the grid. My guess is that a lot of people have done this while camping, but not being a camper; this will be a whole new experience for me. My next goals are to be able to hike 10 miles with my pack on, to have a fall/winter garden, and to acquire a generator.
For newbie preppers I would suggest the following steps:
- Start browsing the web, visiting websites and reading blogs.
- Take an NRA class. They’re relatively inexpensive and provide excellent training.
- Learn how to garden – you can even grow food in containers.
- Initially, get yourself and your family prepared for common disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, tornados, earthquakes, and the like.
- Keep learning – many things come and go in life; people come and go, things come and go, money comes and goes, but an education can never be taken from you.