There’s a sense of urgency in the prepping community lately that is at an all-time high. Between the global elite warmongers, the impending financial collapse as the government makes plans to attach pension funds, the new viruses, Monsanto’s GMO seeds running amok and threatening the world’s food supply, and Big Food’s toxic food-like substances in the grocery stores with no regard for actual nutrition, it is clear that we are going downhill fast. The soothing ”everything-is-just-fine” propaganda is so blatant that even the most die-hard zombie is beginning to see that something is amiss and that a massive change is soon to take place.
Many of us have stocked our homes to the rafters with beans, rice, bullets, and band-aids. Each trip to the store adds more to our stockpiles as we try to get what we need before time runs out. Newbie preppers are feeling even more frantic, wondering how to prepare when each week it takes more money to put less in the grocery cart. (If you’re new to preparedness, here’s a little primer with some great links.)
With the situation looking more grim by the day, it is very clear that stockpiling is not enough. No matter how many cans of green beans you have stored away, one day they will run out. We have become so dependent on the “buy it as you need it” lifestyle that despite our food storage, there are still gaps that must be filled.
And the only way to fill these gaps is through that which is a step beyond prepping…self sufficiency.
Self sufficiency is defined as the ability to provide for oneself without the help of others. No amount of stockpiling gives you true self sufficiency. It is a combination of skills, supplies, attitudes and habits that mean the difference between a person with a great pantry and a true survivor.
Self-sufficiency is for…
- The day the grocery stores close their doors or become so expensive that people cannot afford to shop
- The day that the FEMA Camp gates open in only one direction
- The day that the banks go on an indefinite holiday, after draining depositor savings accounts and pension funds
- The day that electricity and heat on demand become so expensive that only the wealthy can afford them
- The day that medical care no longer exists for the average person, or is directed by government death panels
- The day that a natural disaster or false flag locks down the country and completely, irrevocably changes our way of life
The list could go on and on. These things are hurtling towards us and we must be ready. Self sufficiency, unlike prepping, doesn’t cost a lot of money – it’s about planning and acquiring basic skills and tools. It is about putting your plan into practice before you have no other option but to do so.
What would you do if you could never go to a store again? If you could never have utilities provided by a supplier again? What if you were truly on your own, forever?
For some situations, prepping just isn’t enough. If you don’t have plans for the following, you cannot consider yourself to be truly prepared.
- Rain barrels (which are beginning to be illegal in some states)
- Less obvious water collection containers like pools and ponds (don’t forget the roof if you live in an apartment building
- Water purification methods
- Locate nearby lakes, rivers and streams
- Wells (including non-electric pumps)
Many people believe that they will just be able to stick some seeds in the ground and feed their families year round. It isn’t that easy. You can only learn the foibles of your bit of ground through trial and error. It takes a lot more veggies than most people think to feed a family for a year. Anything from a blight to bad weather to a horde of hungry bunnies can wipe out all of your hard work and leave you without a bite to store away. Look into some of these methods:
- Gardening in your backyard or on a balcony
- An aquaponics or hydroponics system
- Raising chickens and other micro-livestock
- Hunting and foraging (a nice supplement to your diet but a risky plan for long term survival when everyone else has the same idea)
- Full-scale farming
- Rooftop gardening
- Greenhouses and cold-frames
Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we can grow food outdoors all year long. For the rest of us, food preservation is a lifeline in the winter. A few basic supplies and tools are needed. Just like food production, it’s important to practices food preservation and work out the kinks now, while you still have moderately affordable groceries as a back up. As well, this allows you to rely on healthy, non-GMO foods instead of the inexpensive, highly processed garbage at the stores. Learn the following skills:
- Salting and curing
- Root cellaring
Reduce dependence on utilities
Whether you live in the country or in a high-rise apartment, you need to take steps to reduce your dependence on electricity at the flip of a switch, water from the tap, heat from the thermostat, and cooking at the turn of a dial. As the divide between the rich and the poor widen, there could one day be a choice between food and electricity. Your priorities are:
- Electrical power
- Refrigeration or other method of safe food storage
- Cooking methods
Every situation is unique so start now to amass the necessary tools to meet your needs should the lights go out on a long term basis.
This is the sticking point for many people. But if you can’t defend your supplies, your home, and your garden, you don’t really have them at all – you are just using them until someone better armed or tougher comes and takes these things away from you. Look at Argentina’s economic collapse as an example of what could happen – violent crime there increased by 35% in one year. One study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution: ”Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during the ultimate crisis in Argentina.Some solutions for personal defense:
- Arm yourself and learn to use your weapon of choice
- Stock up on ammo while it is still available
- Have secondary methods of defense in which you are proficient
- Learn basic hand-to-hand self-defense skills
Not only should you be prepared to defend your home, but you should try to avoid the fight in the first place by securing your property.
- Make your property less accessible by fencing it
- Install heavy doors in reinforced frames
- Install sturdy brackets to hold a bar in place on either side of the doors
- Growing thorny inhospitable plants under windows and on fences
- Place alarms on windows and doors
- Install security cameras (even if they are fake and just have a blinking light)
- Keep a low profile – if no one else has lights or power, cover your windows thoroughly so that they cannot see that you have them
- Don’t be ostentatious – keep your property looking similar to everyone else’s in your neighborhood
- Keep all windows and doors securely locked
- Consider the potential necessity of standing watch in shifts if the situation has thoroughly devolved
Change your perspective on finances
Devastating financial changes are coming to a location near you. Wouldn’t you prefer to make the cuts now and adjust accordingly, instead of having them forced upon you through evictions, foreclosures, repossessions, and other painful methods? Making some difficult changes now can provide a stable standard of living in a world that is going downhill at breakneck speed. By decreasing your monthly output, you can hang on to necessities.
- Redefine what necessities mean to you
- Get your money out of the banks
- Convert fiat currency to tangibles like seeds, ammo, food, medical supplies, real estate, and precious metals
- Don’t be in debt
- Reduce your monthly expenditures to the bare minimum
- Spend more time at home
- Learn to enjoy productive hobbies
- Prepare for a potential barter-based economy – what skills do you have that could be traded for essential goods and services?
The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally. The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.
No matter how much food you buy, it may not be enough to get you through these difficult times. You must learn to be self-sufficient in order to remain free from the control of those who would offer you sustenance and shelter in return for your fealty.
Instead of a huge, life-changing calamity, consider that it may be the culmination of many small events, rising prices and lower incomes, and the deliberate erosion of our self-sufficiency by those who would control us that cause TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It).
The lists above aren’t comprehensive – they are jumping off points to apply to your own situations. Wherever you are planted, you need to come to grips with the fact that the world as we know it is undergoing massive changes. Figure out now how to make the best of it and not only survive with your family, but thrive.
Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those items were abundantly available. Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders.
Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American. Our debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.
Today, you still have stores at every corner, reliable utilities, and social safety nets in place. These may soon become a thing of the past and if you wait before preparing, your window of opportunity may slam shut.
I’m not suggesting that you stop prepping – your stockpile is vital insurance that can help to cushion you when things go downhill. But along with your food storage and your rocket stoves and your medical supplies, begin creating a self-sufficient lifestyle that will carry you far beyond what mere prepping ever could.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org