Why did we get started with prepping?
A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)
It all started with Phil
About a year ago, my husband came to me with a conviction that we should begin to prepare for a future that might be much different than the life we live now. We started on the journey of becoming what are commonly called “preppers.” Preppers are people who are actively preparing themselves to be able to ride out an emergency or disaster. What type of emergency they anticipate affects (or perhaps dictates) the types of preparations they make.
This isn’t our first rodeo. Phil and I did a bit of prepping during the Y2K scare. Because we made our living with our computers, we recognized the potential for disaster with a global computer malfunction, did some research, and prepared accordingly. While nothing came from Y2K, Phil has felt that it was a training ground or “dress rehearsal” for some future event. And Y2K was a time when I learned the value of having a well-stocked pantry. Prior to that, I had kept very little food in the house and any time I needed something, I ran to the store to get it. Now I love being able to run to the pantry – saves time and doesn’t require boots, coats and gasoline!
But I digress. [ To read the rest of Sandy’s story, click here to go to her personal blog, www.ApprehendingGrace.com. ]
Sandy just told you how she got on board with the idea of actively preparing for a potential emergency that could disrupt our lives for a period of more than a couple of days. In that blog, she credited me with being the impetus for her decision. I thought you might be interested in hearing how I came to the conviction that we need to be prepared for hard times ahead.
The spring and summer of 2012 was a time of relief. It looked like the nation was finally pulling out of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn of our generation. The recession had left a broad swath of financial destruction with jobs that were lost, homes that were foreclosed, and retirement savings that were wiped out. While (by the grace of God) none of these financial disasters touched me personally, I knew several people who were deeply affected in one or more of these ways.
So while there were some indications that we could finally start to put this devastating recession behind us and collectively begin to move forward again, I was seeing other clouds on the horizon — unsettling indicators that there were more bumps in the road ahead.
What kinds of indicators am I talking about? Take your pick:
- Civil unrest in Europe due to the nations of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The weight of their federal entitlement programs and the demands of labor unions were crashing the financial foundations of these countries, requiring massive bailouts by other nations.
- Political upheaval in the Middle East with the overthrow of Libya’s Mohamar Khaddafi (spell it any way you like) and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak by the violent Arab Spring movement. In the immortal words of The Who, “Meet the new boss — same as the old boss.” (From their song Won’t Get Fooled Again.)
- Saber-rattling between age old enemies Iran and Israel. Iran was (and still is) putting all of their resources into a military build-up which includes the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that could deliver them to downtown Jerusalem (and beyond).
- Solar flares. Yeah, I know. Sounds like I’m venturing into science fiction here, doesn’t it? But we’re in the midst of a period of heightened solar flare activity. The smart people at NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) track these things and have put out a bunch of warnings. Solar flares have the capability of creating an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) which can disrupt the power grid, knock out satellites and computers, and (gasp!) interrupt cell phone systems. While most of us were doing business as usual, airlines, electrical energy providers, and communications companies were on high alert.
- Drought. The record warm winter of 2011-2012 was great for folks like me who hate to shovel snow, but it caused me to wonder if it would be pay-back time when summer came. It was. Record-setting heat waves scorched much of the Midwest, the “bread basket of the world.” And it’s not just us. Drought is hitting other areas of the world as well.
- The national debt. Need I say more?
I could go on, but I don’t want to be accused of being a buzz kill.
The point I’m trying to make is that the world is in a very fragile condition on a lot of fronts. Within our lifetimes globalization has occurred. China used to be on the other side of the world from us. Now it feels like they’re just down the block. When banks in Portugal fail, it affects financial markets in America. We are all more connected than we used to be. When America sneezes, Europe catches a cold. Like they say in that horrible ride at DisneyWorld, “It’s a small, small world.” (And now you’ve got that song stuck in your head. See what I mean about things getting bad?)
So what other clues was I picking up about trouble on the horizon? I work second shift three or four nights a week. I listen to a talk radio station on my way home. Every night as I drove home I’d hear a commercial sponsored by FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Administration) that was urging business owners to come up with a plan for their businesses for dealing with the impact of a natural disaster.
I live in a small town whose newspaper mostly features stories about high school sports and the decisions handed down by city council. (I once got my picture in this paper for having a weenie roast in my back yard.) Imagine my surprise when I saw them run articles about the importance of citizens being prepared for emergencies.
During the same time, someone at my church posted a flyer on the bulletin board announcing a training program being put on by Franklin Graham’s ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, to train emergency response teams to be sent out anywhere in the world where catastrophe strikes. They would bring relief to survivors of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, wild fires, you name it.
Everywhere I looked, I found the same message, over and over again. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Sandy and I got the heebie-jeebies back at the turn of the millennium about the Y2K scare. Being in a business where we earned our living working with computers all day, we didn’t want to take any chances. Neither did other businesses, large and small, around the world. A lot of computer systems got upgraded to avoid any issues and the fateful date came and went without incident. Sandy and I prepared by loading up our pantry with canned goods. While nothing ever came of Y2K, we decided that this well-stocked pantry idea was a pretty good one. It was like having a convenience store in your own home. We’ve kept it up, more or less, over the years, and it has served us well. But I always had an underlying sense that Y2K was just a “dress rehearsal” for a future event. The things that we learned about disaster preparedness for Y2K could still be put to good use for any other disaster. So I started buying some extra food again.
About this time I finally got around to talking to Sandy about my concerns. I’ve had a tendency to go down a few rabbit trails over the course of my life and I’ve always counted on Sandy’s common sense to reel me in when I’ve needed it. But this time I was stunned as she caught what I was saying quickly and got completely on board with me in it. This was not what I was expecting from her. She went from a state of total unawareness to a position of committed buy-in in no time at all.
These things were weighing on my mind a lot. It was building up to a critical mass. I didn’t say much to anyone about it, but one night while at work at my part-time job, the topic came up with the person I was partnered with that night. I told her that I was starting to stock up on food in the event of some disruption of normalcy. She agreed that it was a good idea and went on to say, “You know, if you’re going to have extra food in your house to prepare for some disaster, you also need to prepare to defend it against people who will try to take it from you.” I was shocked at hearing such a thing from this soft-spoken Christian lady. I learned that her husband used to be a pastor, but now he was a police officer. They had been thinking some of the same things that as me. She went on to tell me, “We’ve got a gun in just about every room of the house.”
I had shot handguns before, but the last time I did it was in 1976. The only gun I owned was a 20-gauge shotgun that Sandy’s dad had given us for the purpose of home defense. We’d had it for about 10 years, but neither of us had ever shot it. We really had no interest in firearms and truth be told, I think we were both a bit afraid of it. I mean, the first thing I did when we got it home was to take the bolt out of it and store it and the shotgun shells far from the rest of the gun. You could say that we weren’t “gun people.”
But as I heard my co-worker talk about the need to be equipped and trained to defend yourself and your property, it all started making sense to me. I’m a researcher. I like to learn about new things. I began mining the Internet for information about guns, home defense, and personal protection. I was reading things by Christian gun owners that blew holes in my “I’ll do nothing and just trust God to protect me” theology. Hey, trusting in God — that was a big part of my concept of spirituality, right? But now I was seeing that God doesn’t always prevent bad guys from attacking good guys, and He allows the good guys to defend themselves. But Sandy would never buy this.
Wrong again. I brought up the things that my co-worker had said about needing to be equipped to defend what is ours and Sandy’s reaction was, “We need to take a course in how to use a gun.” So I sought out an NRA-certified instructor and we took a course. And we both liked it! This led to both of us purchasing a handgun and enjoying weekly dates at the practice range.
Our journey into preparedness didn’t end there, but this story does…for now. How far did Sandy continue with me in prepping? To give you some idea, this website was all her idea.
We aren’t experts in prepping, but it has become an integrated part of our lifestyle. We don’t prep out of fear, but out of faith. We both believe that God is warning us of turbulent times to come and is leading us to prepare for it. We believe that it is our responsibility to warn others to take shelter from the coming storm. The ultimate and most secure shelter comes from receiving Jesus Christ as your savior and lord. If you skip that step, nothing else really matters. Apart from Him, there is no escape from the greatest storm of all. But once you’ve found the security that comes from forgiveness of your sins and being reconciled with God, you too can begin to join us in this journey of becoming a lifeboat for those around you.
So what’s your story?
We’d love to hear how you became interested in getting ready to face the future. Send us your story in the Comment field below.