By Linda Leonardy

            Visiting St. Augustine to see the lights at Holiday time is an age old Florida tradition. It wasn’t that long ago I was sharing the revelry with a group of friends. As we went from one ancient tavern to the next I remember saying a silent prayer of gratitude. Walking ahead were 2 young married couples laughing & singing Christmas Carols. The times were affluent. The hotel we were all staying in was as grand that day as it was when Henry Flagler built it a hundred years prior. The young couples in our party had good jobs, new houses & were talking about planning families. My own young twin sons were graduating from High School in the spring, one son had his sights on West Point & the other was planning on a future in Business Management. I remember as if it were yesterday how proud I felt to be an American. My  own ancestors had actually walked those same streets that I was on & been part of the history that had carved out this part of Florida before the American Revolution. How safe and secure it felt to be in my world at that time.


That was thirteen years ago. That was before the events of 911.  My sons were lucky. They were able to follow their dreams. But my prayers were entirely different as I sat through my sons graduation from West Point 4 years later knowing he would eventually be heading off to war.


My attitude about being prepared has altered radically in the last several years as well. Of course as a Floridian we always have a supply closet. Over time the cans of Spam have been replaced by more responsible alternatives, but making sure the basics are up to date as well as sufficient has always been a way of life.  It is hard to define the moment that you realize things are not the same and they are never going to be again. Political and Economic Greed, Bursting Housing Bubbles, Real Estate Decline, Job Market Evaporation perhaps not affecting everyone, only a few, promises on the evening news that recessions were not depressions  it was all only temporary.  Maybe that was when I started taking a hard look at the cans of Spam, or perhaps that is when I made a designated trip to Home Depot to take a serious look at learning to grow my own tomatoes. I am not sure.


There is one thing I do believe has changed radically and it effects how we prepare. When research is done on Prepping we all know that we are preparing for a big TSHTF event. I think that has changed. There is always the inevitable possibility of a Cataclysmic Natural Disaster or  Alien Invasion from another planet but either of those events could just as likely end life as we know it on our planet as well. What we prepare for is to have the ability to live out our lives & sustain the future of our generations through any unfortunate and unforeseen survivable events. So we read volumes, save voraciously, train ourselves & our families into a sleek well oiled unit and we wait, we watch and we listen. When the lights go out is the grid down? When the flu virus mutates is the Pandemic on the way? When the ATM is out of order are the Banks insolvent? No I do not think so.



What I suggest is there is never going  to be a perceivable major event. That would be to defining. We are already there. Like a thief in the night, silently TS has HTF and by the time it has identity it will be too late.


I have never been one to believe that my glass was either half full or half empty, but have always subscribed to the theory that it was simply the wrong size glass. So now it is time to change the glass. If lettuce in the local supermarket having gone somewhere in my lifetime from 79 cents to $2.00 isn’t heralding a global economic collapse I am not sure what will. So now the choices are to pay it, to grow it or do with out. There really is no great food value in lettuce. But then again I have not ever thought of lettuce  as an expendable luxury.


I myself of late have been taking an even harder look at my pantry. Once again being semi retired, on a small fixed income I am most certainly going to feel the impact sooner. Sort of like a barometer for the future generations. Aggressively  I am trying harder to  store what I actually eat and eat what I store, rotate and double up even more when I go to the market.  I take a harder look at what really is unnecessary & what can be held longer for the future when it may not even be affordable.  I work with increased  diligence  at a sustainable lifestyle today regardless if it is in my food clothing or recreational choices. These are not grand gestures but they are the ones I still can control. Do I think there will be anarchy, civil unrest, safety issues? Look around you, even today I do not stop to put gas in my car after dark. Do I think if you are young and strong and capable of defense that you should train to be effective? Every great skill requires practice, practice, practice. If  protecting your life and family is totally dependant on a bug out plan then I would say look really hard at how you are living now. Put your efforts into getting where you want to end up today even if you have to make sacrifices because tomorrow may be too late.


There is a comfort in thinking you are planning for an unforeseeable future and that you are attempting to cover all the bases. That you will be the leader among the masses in some major event. That the world as a whole will be in upheaval and you were the one that had the forethought to plan. That may still be true. I simply challenge you to not just prepare but to live prepared for I can still hear the echo’s of that laughter and past innocence  on the cobblestone streets of Old St Augustine one Christmas Eve only  thirteen years ago.

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  1. great article. I think we can all relate to more innocent time, regardless of one’s age. Time’s are definitely different today, having changed insidiously, slowly at first post-911 to greatly accelerating lately, almost exponentially with the corruption of your once great nation. Everyday I wake up to more societal polarization, threats domestically, economically, internationally. I wish my wife thought more like me, waking up to the impending SHTF situation and preparing together would bring us closer together- sadly she is like so many sheep out there. She thinks I am crazy, so i prepare stealthily. As you stated, preparation brings piece of mind. God bless true patriots everywhere

  2. Linda, thank you for such a thoughtful and well written expression of your feelings… I couldn’t agree with you more. Yes, there will always be the “natural disasters” and “tragic occurrences” to plan for, they… after all are the easy, shorter term inconveniences to overcome. What I and many plan for is the slow, steady, and obvious decline of America. It’s far more than the struggle to maintain “lifestyles” or combat falling wages, increasing costs of living and education or the constant slip of our liberties. We are determined to insulate ourselves from struggle, from need (and thereby authority), and to insulate ourselves from unhappiness. Our country’s population is dividing up, no, that’s wrong; being divided up into wanten groups. There are those who are and will continue to do very well in these troubling times… just look at the stock market. There are those who sell their vote (and their souls) for free housing, free food, free phones and cable TV, there expectations are low, as long as they continue to rally, riot and protest on cue they will likely do fine in the future, as they have been for some time. My concern and compassion lies with the majority that is left, and of which I am a part. My concern is that most are not involved, they are disconnected, and can’t be inconvenienced with saving themselves….. this will prove tragic. My compassion is with those that see fully what is happening, and in their attempts to save themselves and America they are labeled the most grotesque names, demonized and targeted by the powers that be. A perfect example of this is the monthly jobs reports. Each month we are informed that things are improving, we are in “full-on” recovery mode…. last month 195,000 jobs were created. When we point out that 240,000 private sector full time jobs were lost last month and 360,000 private sector part time jobs were created… well, we are accused of talking down the economy, being overly negative or usually told to just “shut-up”. Mediocrity is now celebrated, the need for government assistance has become the accepted and encouraged norm…There is some hope left to correct all this, though admittedly not much hope. Perhaps rather than excepting a lesser future as just the natural evolution of things, people will realize that more should be expected, that mediocrity is unacceptable.

  3. Warrior4JC, I, along with many can sympathies with your predicament. I can understand, as you can, your wife’s resistance and it would be wrong to hold it against her. I don’t know any who would want to consider, even for an instant, the possibilities that preppers must consider. I often wish my wife didn’t understand why she works so hard growing and canning food. Your strategy is probably best for you. Quietly and with stealth… prepare. You and your family will benefit from it, in some form…. that, there is little doubt.

  4. I am grateful that my wife supports the preparedness ideology. I can imagine how hard it would be to hide the purchase of all these supplies. A suggestion, Warrior 4JC, ask your spouse how long your family will be solvent if you borrowed 46 cents of every dollar you spent. Most women can relate to finances. It was a financial adviser that convinced me, Porter Stansberry, over 2 years ago. Our fiscal path is unsustainable. I am also observant enough to see what happens when society’s leaches are finally cut off. I think that Europe is a microcosm of what is to come here in the United States. The media has avoided honest coverage of the riots in Greece. Can we even fathom what will happen in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago when the Welfare and Social Security checks stop, or when a month of food stamps won’t buy a loaf of bread. While I agree with Linda that many of the hardships we feared have already arrived, I disagree with the assessment that “there is never going to be a perceivable major event”. Please forgive my paranoia (or caution), but what I am expecting with economic collapse will make our current situation look wonderful.

  5. I live in Los Angeles Calif. Right Now & eventually will be bugging out to the Central Coastal Mountian Range when the need ARISES ! & To Agree with IRISH-7’s following statement : ” The media has avoided honest coverage of the riots in Greece. Can we even fathom what will happen in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago when the Welfare and Social Security checks stop, or when a month of food stamps won’t buy a loaf of bread. ”
    Just look back & find News footage of the Rodney King Verdict here in L.A. or What happened when Rage Against the Machine played during the Rep. Debates several yrs. ago, or when the Lakers lost 2 Champion Ships in a row. There were FULL SCALE RIOT’s over absolutely minor things that didn’t concern those involed (as far as it wasn’t their law-suit or their Champion ship Bounuses on the line), or were completely out of their control to change the outcome of !

    & Yet they will Riot, Loot, & Burn over these thing, I think their Won’t be a New York, Los Angeles and Chicago when the Welfare and Social Security checks stop. They will burn it too the ground Looting every step of the way ! & I Pitty the Moron that comes bagging on my Door when it finialyy comes to PASS !
    As 90% of the World’s Population are alive today because it’s Ilegal to SHOT STUPID PEOPLE ! Qoute from S.O.F.

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