PREPPERS! When some people hear this word they immediately think of tin foil hat wearing, conspiracy theorists salivating at the idea of an apocalypses coming to a town near you. Granted, we have had a few discussions with people who somewhat tilt towards this way of thinking, but for the most part the people you find within the self-stainment community are focused on ensuring their families are taken care in the event of an emergency. We have taken to the prepping lifestyle for a few reasons and hopefully this will somewhat ease the stigma that comes along with the prepper label.
Once we left the confines of city life and staked our roots in the star filed skies of the country, we quickly realized things were going to be a little different than what we were used to. To give you a little back story, the day we completed moving into our homestead, Hurricane Matthew decided to come through North Carolina make his presence known. As we were piddling around the house, unpacking boxes, radio playing some forgotten song (little Golden Earring shout out right there), all of a sudden everything but the wind and rain went quiet. Losing power is not anything new to us, and since it was still daytime, we just kept pushing along as though nothing happened. But lurking in the dark recesses of the evil “lost electricity” empire was a horror I could never imagine! I took a quick break to use the restroom, pushed the handle down on the commode like I have done countless times and to my dismay nothing happened. I pushed it down again, over and over, thinking to myself great, we have only been here a couple hours and things are already breaking. I slowly walked back to the living room attempting to find a gentle way to break this unbearable news to my bride. I explained to her what I had found and to help ease the pain I promised I would have it fixed as soon as possible. She looked at me with that I love you no matter what look in her eyes and calmly said “We are on a well now baby, the toilets won’t work without power.” At that moment there was going to be some serious changes around here for us!
Tune into any prepping or survivalist television show and you will see and hear some pretty wild things. Some of the reasons behind their preparations, EMP attacks, reversal of the polar access, etc can seem outlandish to alot of people. Personally we don’t knock anyone’s reasons for becoming prepared, it’s all about personal preference and what each individual feel’s is best for their family. For us though, our motivation comes from a more common potential occurrence. Here in North Carolina, we are blessed with all four seasons, and with that, we have the potential to be affected by various weather related instances.
Whether it is the threat of hurricane’s, ice storms, tornado’s or a multitude of other acts of mother nature, emergencies such as loss of power, unable to access roads or in one instance we had this past winter, not able to leave the driveway for multiple days, we felt being able to sustain ourselves during these types of crisis needed to be at the top of our list of things to do. The question was, what do we need to help us make it through these types of situations? Neither one of us are huge fans of milk sandwiches, so we put together a list of must have items just in case we cannot make it off the homestead. The WaterBOB Emergency Drinking Water Storage (100 Gallons) is a perfect addition if there is the potential to lose power for multiple days. Like I stated above, if we lose power, we have nothing. This is perfect for providing us with all the drinking, cooking and even flushing water we may need until we are back up and running again.
Im a big guy who loves to eat, so I can only survive so long on protein bars and water, I need me some meat! Having multiple options to cook is always a great approach, as they say one is none and two is one! We have a charcoal grill but sometimes things can get too nasty outside and we have to cook in the screened in porch. A couple options for that are the Camp Chef Cooking Stove and the Char-Broil The Big Easy Oil-less Fryer. These are both great in that you can cook about anything you want but not have to worry about the carbon monoxide working it’s way into the house.
You can have all of the means of cooking you want, but what good is it if you don’t have the food to go on them? Access to your refrigerator and freezer is going to be sporadic if you have lost power. You obviously want to limit how much you open and close the doors to try and preserve as much of those items you can. There are quite a few options out there for meal replacements which provide all of the nutrition and protein you will need. We keep a few of the Mountain House individual freeze dried meals around to help us through those long periods without power. Another option is, any of your big box stores will sell pasta packs that you can pick up at a relatively low cost, separate the boxes into individual servings using the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System and tuck them away with a few cans of sauce in the pantry.
I could go on for hours about this, but hopefully this has given you a new perspective on being prepared. Not all emergencies involve the undead or the world turning upside down, but as I like to say, it’s better to be prepared and not need it, than to need it and not be prepared!