In 2002 I was given the boot from a small start -up company with no direction and even less capital. I was basically out of work with very few prospects for a job. I had invested all my savings, IRA and many thousands of dollars in credit card debt in order to both help fund the company and keep myself going until the company was successful.
During the nearly six months of unemployment I had a lot of time to ponder my situation and reflect on where I went wrong and how did I let myself get into this mess. During my unemployment I did landscape work, odd jobs and any other kind of handyman type work I could find. Finally in August of 2002 I was offered a well paying job and started back to work. I think back on those six months of no steady income and increasing debt and wonder how we survived. The only conclusion I can come up with is we managed by the grace of GOD. I thank GOD for getting us through it and I pray for continued employment, among other things. After about three years of trying to keep up our lifestyle or actually trying to keep up with the Jones, I decided I had had enough making minimum payments on the credit cards and other revolving credit and needed to make a plan to get out of debt. I did not know it would be such a difficult road, but hoped the pain would be worth it. Little did I realize at the time that this difficult road would lead me into preparing for disaster in whatever form it could take?
My first step was to get on a plan to get out of debt and amass a fund for emergencies. The plan for getting out of debt and saving up a fund for emergencies would take me another four years. By 2009 I had paid off all credit cards and revolving debt and had a nice little emergency fund. I was about this time is when I woke up to our staggering National Debt, huge deficit spending, decreasing value of our dollar, incessant borrowing by Federal Government and what it is doing to our buying power and savings. This is about the same time I started paying attention to several radio talk shows, web sites and blogs about food storage, protecting savings with precious metals and generally preparing for disasters and emergencies.
I started looking at how long we could make it through tough times, be it food disruptions, power outages, water outages, increased inflation or whatever; we were poorly prepared for even a brief emergency. I don’t believe we even had enough food or water to make it three or four days without going to the grocery store. I realized that I had failed to provide even the basic necessities for my family and I had to do something about it.
I or I should say we, my wife and I started to take stock of our lives on how we could build ourselves a cushion for disaster. We are by no means dedicated preppers, yet, but I plan on continuing to increase our level of preparedness. I can’t really define prepping or preparedness in general terms that would apply to everyone, but to us it has been a GOD send to have things, food, tools, water, standby power, small garden, greenhouse, and other personal items on hand. Knowing we have extras of almost everything we use on daily basis sure does give us peace of mind and will help us get through most any short term difficulties. As a neophyte prepper, the best advice I can give to other newly initiated to preparing is read, read and read some more from every source you can find on emergency preparedness, self-reliance, alternate power, gardening , handyman skills etc.