When Time Is Running Out

by Sandy Taylor


Do you ever have a “holy crap” moment where you suddenly realized that you aren’t ready – that you aren’t anywhere near as ready as you’d like to be?


It’s like when all the birds suddenly lift off at the same time and make a rapid exit into the horizon. You watch, and you wonder what they know that you don’t know.  When all the animals in the woods freeze around you. Or when you see your neighbor on the Gulf Coast putting up hurricane shutters, and you wonder if you missed something pretty important about that day’s weather.


I always have a vague and building sense of unease about not being prepared enough, especially since we do not yet live at our ideal rural homestead. But my last “holy crap” moment that almost knocked the wind out of me (figuratively speaking).


Survivalblog.com went down over Memorial Day weekend.  In reading commentary about the crash, I learned that many fellow preppers have the shutdown of SurvivalBlog as a major sign that it’s time to bug out. It would appear that this crash isn’t the result of the closing noose of government intervention, and so those folks aren’t heading to the hills just yet, but when I first read that, I had a “holy crap” moment when my mind wandered into the actual possibility and logistics of bugging out – what if it was time to bug out? Right now? What if you had a few day’s notice, even a week?  Are you ready?


Of course not.


As you know, there’s a delicate balance between living a normal life and being a prepper. You don’t go out and rack up thousands of dollars in credit card debt to buy all the latest survival gear. In fact, you pay down your debt, you live frugally and you try to expand your prepping inventory amidst the rising prices and diminishing quantities of today.


I often tell myself that we have time. We take it one day at a time, one prep at time. First, the Berkey water filter. The firearms, ammo and training.  The extra foods. The medical supplies. I tell myself that we have time to get to our homestead, to find our homestead, to move there, to make a life there. But when you have a holy crap moment and actual consider the possibility of the S Hitting The Fan right now, and you realize you aren’t ready, you might have the figurative wind knocked out of you too.

So what do you do?


You focus. You still don’t go out and rack up debt on preparedness supplies. You take a hard look at your life now, and think long and hard about where you want to be.  If that’s on a rural retreat in a nice small town with close-knit neighbors, a coop full of chickens and a root cellar full of food, how are you going to get there here?  Focus.


Can’t move out of the city, you say? Why not? Can’t find a job in the country? Not right away, you can’t. But maybe you can learn something that would make you more employable. In our little team, one of us went to nursing school so as to become employable in a small town. That takes time, and it takes focus.  What can you do now, before it really is time to head for the hills, that will give you a better future when you get there? Nursing, law enforcement, mechanical skills or the willingness to put in a lot of hard labor are all good places to start, but start now.


What about money?  I have a list, and I’m sure you do too, of all the things that I consider vital and necessary, and I surely can’t afford them all. One by one, over time, I can get there though, starting with that Big Berkey.  And if you are a serious prepper, you probably already don’t choose to spend extra funds on movie tickets, dining out or cable TV. But what if you have a family, or social obligations, or, heaven forbid, teenagers [kidding]?  Focus, and talk with them. Get them all on board, even if takes a pretty major lifestyle change. You certainly don’t want your kids to be scared, but maybe they need a holy crap moment too. Zombie movies are a good start, and so is fiction. Noah’s Castle is a good teen-friendly novel to start with, so is the Tomorrow Series by John Marsden.  Watch and read with them, and use the stories as a platform for discussion.


You can’t prep alone, not if you have a family. You can’t plan ahead without their support, and you can’t get to that stage of readiness without everyone being ready together. Don’t have the next holy crap moment alone. Channel that energizing sense of urgency into a focus on the future, and into a dedication to get to where you want to be.  The idea of the S Hitting The Fan is still terrifying, as it rightly should be, but I know I’m on the right track, even if I’m not there yet. Are you?


About the Author

Sandy Taylor is the rogue behind the Wild River Rogues and through their blog, shares their team’s adventures into preparedness.  From range practice to homemade laundry detergent, from mushroom clouds to wet and wild camping, learn with them as they build a successful and strong community for an uncertain future.


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  1. I log on Survivalblog periodically. I read the TEOWAWKI book when we began prepping. In my opinion, Rawles is the survivor “guru”. I credit his input in getting me started, after a financial adviser, Porter Stansberry, convinced me that we are pending economic collapse. Anyway, I cannot remember Rawles saying anything that was anti- government to the point where the FCC would shut him down. Perhaps I should read his work more often. Or, maybe the folks that write for his contest that make the site a target? Regardless, I only want to make one point today and that is about credit purchases. We charged ALL of our supplies. My wife and I are both disabled. When we got started (March 2011), I was awaiting a disability decision from the Veterans Administration. We were living off my military pension and my wife’s Social Security check. We would have nothing without Mastercard! I did pay off most of the charges when I finally received my award (or the back payment 7 months after the decision). I have since charged more food, guns and ammo. I make a sizable payment each month. My thought is, that we are much better off buying supplies now BEFORE hyperinflation and the collapse of the dollar. Who can predict what the dollar with be worth when we lose our status as the world’s reserve currency? Now, I intend to pay every penny back. But, if the SHTF tomorrow, the ammo, medical stocks and freeze dried food that I charged is worth far more than money in a savings account, or the stock market. I am not advocating that everyone do what I did. I just ask that you take a look at what you REALLY need to survive a crisis, then make a judgment on what will help you sleep better a night: items that have value post crisis/disaster, or money in the bank. The Mossberg 930 SPX & 160 rounds of #00 buckshot I charged last month can save my life. No one is going to die at the empty bank headquarters when the stock market crashes. My $800.00 payment won’t keep the bank solvent, should I decide to pay it off when the next statement comes, either. Six months from now (when I paid them off), all I really lost was a few (worthless) dollars in interest. After reading about hyperinflation in Germany (post WWI), Yugoslavia and Argentina, I was scared into getting our necessities right now.

  2. Sandy,thanks for your beautiful entry.The photos were calming -your style of writing sound and simple. Keep prepping and you will arrive where you wish to be. Arlene

  3. Thanks Sandy for reminding me I still have things to do and to get going on them. One reminder for everyone is to look for like minded ppl in your area. I live in Las Vegas and found a group called Las Vegas Roadwarriors and they are good folks with kids and animals and just ever day good people that are learning the skills of survival when the SHTF. I loved your pics and will get off my duff and continue my projects. Rusty

    PS…hey Irish…I do everything by card too…except the ammo….paying it off as I go. Otherwise I would not have some of the things I really need….like food!!!!! Thanks for the memo…Rusty

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