It's NOW, not When

I frequently hear people say something like “Well, when everything goes South, it won’t matter if we have paid our mortgage.  “When the earthquakes and the tempests take place, it won’t make any different whether I have water or not. Or “When the EMP hits, it won’t matter if I have a concealed carry permit.” To be quite frank, this kind of thinking is flawed. Our need for preparedness is not due to a single, massive, chaotic event.  While I don’t dismiss a belief that there will be such an event, I firmly believe that we will be wise to properly anticipate the series of events which may seem quite devastating at first blush, but unfortunately, as foreign or perhaps unfathomable as they may seem, they qualify for key aspects of preparedness to be deployed right now. Whether it’s the Second Coming, the end of the world as we know it, or World War III,

we will benefit significantly more from our preparedness efforts if we put the most likely of events into their proper perspective and most likely prioritization.  And even if we find ourselves surrounded by a rough situation for which we wished we had already prepared, it doesn’t negate any cause we may have to still do better with the next round of great trials, and the next.  You see, preparedness is so much more than “preparing for the big one.”  It’s about being able to endure the speed bumps, the hills, the mountains, and any other analogues fluff-words I can come up with NOW before any grand finale takes place.

Allow me to share a couple of obvious trials that we are in the midst of presently in hopes that we all may take notice that the time to be prepared for what we’re living through right now has actually come and gone. What we’re seeing paraded through the news headlines are simply the consequences of an unprepared people and a people who as a whole placed no value in being independent and self-reliant.  As such, when fallible men make foolish or conniving decisions, it’s not a matter of IF we will be affected, but how intensely we will be.  That intensity of the “refiner’s fire” is solely contingent upon our preparedness efforts today.

While there will surely be more trying times, we can’t give up on our preparedness efforts simply because we are handling this crisis “just fine.”  We still can focus and really prepare for what comes next, and then the next, and the next challenge.

For starters, is there anyone who does not have reason to be concerned with the Federal Reserve’s latest news that they will purchase AT LEAST $600 billion to $1 trillion worth of federal debt notes?  Folks, this is the debt that we normally sell to foreign nations because one should never pee where they sleep. But since we are soooo far behind in the amount of debt that our government needs to sell in order to simply stay afloat, we’re asking the Federal Reserve to print more money to purchase this debt.  Just to give you a picture that can help you understand the significance of this, the Federal Reserve purchasing U.S. debt to help the U.S. government stay afloat is significant—it’s like borrowing money from the Mafia in order to pay the Mafia what you owe them in interest this week. Even more important is that the whole world knows that the U.S. government is cornered into going to the Federal Reserve.  This is like Jimmy Stewart’s character in “It’s a Wonderful Life” going to the greedy, conniving Mr. Potter to borrow money.  Mr. Potter has him right where he wants him.  So, tell me this…what part of this scenario does not scream and holler “Hello—we better get ourselves out of being so dependent on our credit card debt, home equity line, and other ridiculous debt just to survive because the dollar which pays for those debts isn’t going to stay sufficiently valuable for much longer”?  Yup. The writing is definitely on the wall that the time for preparedness in this principle of preparedness is fast approaching.

Another example, have we not yet recognized the litany of evidence that violent crime has risen over the last 5 years in nearly every single county in the United States of America?  Does MS-13 still not mean anything to anyone? Does that mean we still wait naively until “the big one” to take action to try and physically defend ourselves?  No!

So yes,  those naysayers are right…while the world is in turmoil “shaking to and fro” it won’t matter whether or not we have a concealed carry permit, but it sure as heck may make a difference to someone in the next 5 seconds who’s the unnecessary victim of a violent crime.

OK. So forget the concealed carry permit for a moment. How about just locking the blasted doors to your home when you come and go?  You may have some cute and quaint little reason why you leave your home unlocked, but I assure you that that reason won’t get you very far when YOU are known by your neighbors to have purposefully invited crime into their homes too because you thought you were the exception to the need for an “ounce of prevention.”

Next, many companies have come right out and said that they will be raising food prices dramatically as of “immediately.”  Do we have any reason to not believe them?  It cost $2.49 for four pieces of something that McDonald’s dares to call “chicken nuggets.” Do we have any reason to believe that in spite of the tales of horrendous weather, famines, wet season, and other inclement weather that’s abundantly available on the internet and news stations, that for some reason we still have reason to believe there will be a bumper crop this harvest?  Really?  Here’s another tip for you in this regard. The DAY after Five Star Preparedness closed out their special sprouting group buy deal last month, the prices of almost every single one of their sprouts were hiked up by the manufacturer by 40-60%!!!  The hike was so substantial that the wholesaler sent out a somewhat apologetic message to all of their distributors, blaming the rise in prices on the harvests from all over the nation and parts of the world.  So doesn’t this particular reality demand our attention and our wisdom in storing up food and water and other necessities while they are still available with our currency?  Doesn’t this scenario make couponing as well as learning to prepare meals with what you have on hand seem a bit more practical? I sure hope so. Because your mealtimes are about to get a bit more stressful, and I’m not saying that just because Junior decides to stuff an entire plate of spaghetti in his face.

We’re already being hit head on with a tough employment situation that is clearly affecting more than the 10% unemployment number we’re being fed by the “talking heads.” In fact, two weeks ago, “60 Minutes” featured just one town in Iowa which was experiencing a jaw dropping 26% unemployment.  The week prior to this episode, the same news show reported how an astounding number of doctorate and master degree holders were going on two-plus years of unemployment regardless of how low they set their sights for employment. My point in making these statements is that nearly 25% of our entire nation is already in a position of earth shattering need-- 25%! For the most part, these people never envisioned this kind of instability in their lives, this much need, nor this such significant level of humility.  Preparedness, or rather independence for these people, as well as ourselves, is demanded of a quarter of our nation—at the very least—right now, not “when the big one hits.”  Seriously, do we have to wait until we see nothing but broth in our bowls before we will awake to our realistic circumstances?

My point is, there is plenty of evidence for several plausible scenarios which are so close to transpiring and there are certainly plenty of troublesome scenarios which plague us presently.  Don’t you think it’s time we started living in the “NOW” and not the “when” when it comes to our preparedness efforts?  Perhaps it’s because we’re actually living in it right now that makes us so myopic and unable to see conditions around us as they really are. Perhaps it our emotional defense mechanisms which shut out the possibility of tougher times ahead.  I personally have known several friends who don’t want me to mention anything that has to do with the realities of the need for forward thinking and preparedness.  The saddest thing I can hear though is these same persons are actually trying to live through a devastating Life Event for which they were woefully unprepared.

I will leave you with one last story. A friend of mine relayed this story in which she was attending a preparedness class. She had cause to make some comments that were to benefit the group and in doing so apparently caught the attention of one of her fellow churchgoers.  After the meeting he came up to her and complimented her on her contribution to the meeting and proceeded to ask her if he could see her food storage, ostensibly to get some ideas for his own. The woman wisely but kindly told him “No. I don’t show that to anyone.”  At this response the man immediately became verbally abusive with her and quite hostile, even going so far as to threaten her with some social shame.

Now when I hear that story, my thought is this: Here’s a man who will turn on a dime and become ugly when times are relatively good. Imagine what kind of ugliness awaits us when things get a bit tougher?  We have much to be prepared for…fortunately we have much to be grateful for as well and we still have some time to get busy and focused in truly providing for ourselves and our family in tough times ahead.

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People who leave their garage doors open, so anyone can walk up and enter their home via the laundry room (or whatever) and not really be noticed makes me crazy! We live in one of those communities that specifically states you MUST keep your garage closed (from public view) when not in use....yet certain people continually do this and some all night! I keep waiting for the home invasion scenario to happen. BTW, (my dad was a big city cop, what can I say)

Even keeping the garage door closed means nothing. There are devices that can scan your frequency in seconds. We had it happen to us and a number for neighbors too. They stole my tools, food storage, emergency kits, ammo, and spare car parts for a car I was restoring.

They even came into the house while we were sleeping but one of my kids woke up and made some noise that scared them off. The cops said they must have been in my garage for several hours for all the stuff the took, including emptying my storage unit on the side of the garage.

So are you saying that folks should not even bother closing their garage doors or lock their doors?? I'm certain that both practices mean a bit more than "nothing" for the majority of persons, regardless of how evolved technology comes. Yes it's true, for every lock there is a pick, however, anyone who's served in law enforcement will tell you that the majority of crimes of home invasion and theft were EASILY preventable.

I have never had an automatic garage door opener on my garage. I have two entry doors (side and rear) and one garage door which must be opened from the inside by sliding a latch after going through one of the entry doors, which have key locks. My garage was still broken into and robbed by a neighbor who pried the door open at the doorknob. So I came up with the idea of installing outside hasps with weatherproof cut-resistant master locks on both entry doors plus a master lock on the inside sliding latch (which came with a hole in the end of it for that purpose). I also had a security system installed by a local security/surveilence company in both the house and garage and cameras everywhere. I have warning stickers on all doors. I have had no more problems. I know this won't mean a lot when the SHTF, but for now, the manual locks help a lot. You just have to unlock manually to go in and out of the garage. It might be a pain for most people, but not for me.

If you do not follow the rules and you get be it. I don't believe your insurance should even reimburse you.

Put an alarm on your house, get a dog, put "tougher' locks, follow the rules. Prepare..

It has been discussed on multiple sites that whenever you have no intention of heading out through your garage door for anything, to use this method in securing the large garage door shut. This works well for when you go to bed or travel away from home. Don't get lazy and slip up; not even once. You stick a long bolt with a nut on it, or another method of choice through one of the small holes in the metal rails that the door slides on. If you place the bolt near the top of the door when closed, it only allows the door to be raised approximately 3 to 5 inches. I do not know of anyone that can crawl under that gap. This method means that you have to have windows and other exit doors to the garage secured in the right way as well. Steel doors, bars or cages over any garage windows, etc. We have been doing this and short of ripping the rails out of the ceiling in the garage, the garage door can not be opened. Yes there are obvious ways in, like a chainsaw, but any other method that an intruder uses will make so much noise. Oh yeah, it helps to have a big dog!

P.S. I do not believe in using a garage for both a work shop AND a car port. I think you should have one or the other. My garage is a workshop only. My cars are parked under a car port. My basement is for storage - not for a play room or extra bedroom. If you use your garage for a car port, don't have anything else that anyone wants stored in there. Folks, if you have room, have a workshop built extra on your property. If you don't have a basement for storage and you do have some yard in the back, have a cellar with an outside entrance (they make steel entrances for cellars now) dug up against your house for your food storage. If you block it up, paint block filler on the walls (it's white and waterproof) and install electric lights and outlets and a drain in the floor, you can put in a dehumidifier in there and it will be dry all the time.

I think the key concept about prepping and encouraging others to prep is "loose lips sink ships." Only my fiancee and two prepper friends know what I'm doing, but they're doing the same things. I tell people I have a food dehydrator and that I'm dehydrating fruits, veggies and meats for long-term storage because of economic uncertainty, and that it would be wise for them to do the same. What I don't tell them is that I actually have TWELVE dehydrators (Nesco American Harvester, the best low-end dehydrator on the market--bought 'em all over the period of a few years on eBay) and that I have the theoretical capacity to dehydrate nearly 100 pounds of food a week, if I were to run all 12 machines simultaneously (although I only have the counter and table space for six dehydrators at a time right now). My goal is to ultimately have enough food for 10 to 12 people for two years so that we can form our own 24/7 watch group and not have to worry about food after the crash finally comes. It's a challenge to try to get non-preppers to think of how bad things could really get and to respond in like manner--I just hope that they will get with the program quickly even despite what I may say to them. Unless they have their own "inner fire" to prepare, nothing I can say or do can compel them to act.

I have been in several situations when the water has been turned off for either hours or a day or two. Luckily I had water stored. Pipes break, freeze, other repairs have to take place with the water turned off. Every once in awhile, we hear of water being contaminated in towns or cities, and therefore drinkable water is unavailable. While these situations are not "the big one" and are mostly an inconvenience, it does make a big difference with our daily lives if we are prepared.

We can also have situations when we cannot get to the store; ie: we might be sick, we may be snowed in, we may be too broke, or any Number of scenarios. AND, who knows? The big one may happen tomorrow, whether it is a personal disaster, or a major one for our area.


Fabulous comments. Thanks again for all your diligence. My story is sad but true. My husband and I have been working on preparedness for years now and moved to Utah 2 years ago. Last year we were called as preparedness specialist in our ward. We have done that in many of the wards we have lived in and taught classes as well. We ask when we could teach our class and our leadership kept putting us off month after month until we finally stopped asking in April.
We just ask to be released since they would not allow us to do anything. The leadership said it was simply no a priority and after all we did not want to scare anyone in the ward. Ahhhhh so all is well in Zion and Zion prospereth......

I'm sorry to say that I hear of scenarios like these far too often. Unfortunately, it doesn't lessen the problem for anyone.

Outstanding post, Kellene! We are already in the midst of "troubled times". I must be like the frog in the pot that didn't realize the water was getting warmer. Thanks for changing my thinking pattern.

I gave myself a little pat on the back "Yeah, I was right!" Then it it was darn I was right, that bad times are coming and so many folks are still behind or not prepping.
I have been so blessed this year. I have done and learned so much from you and others. I got my first bottled butter done and finally got a handle on waxing cheese. Mom gave me a dehydrator and I dried some hamburger, onions and tomatoes for my own soup mix. You should use a lean mix 85/15 hamburger, mine was 73/27 and still feels a little greasy. So I'm storing it in the fridge, still lasting longer (3 weeks so far) than if raw.
Mom and I are still working on getting other family members on board but it's not easy. I'm afraid if they don't see a crash of the markets or a run on the banks and grocery stores because of a disaster it won't be real to them.
Well I won't let the perfect, be the enemy of the good. I know there is a lot more I can do to prepare and I'll keep working at it.

Jamie, if you cook the meat and then rinse it off with warm water, it will eliminate the greasy content and will enable you to purchase less expensive meat. Just FYI.

Whoa, wait just a minute - you can dehydrate cooked ground beef?!?! HOW? Please share some info about that, pretty please! ;O)

Again, you are succinct and get right to the kernel of truth, the example of the last story rings true!! We have a family WWII story of a relative in Austria who during hard times poured surplus soup down the toilet so that neighbors would not know they had more than others and become a target of ill will.

Awesome, thanks for the info. First time dehydrating burger of any sort. I got instructions off another site and it sounded like something to try. It turned out pretty well considering it was my first try and with less than optimal conditions. I did cook the meat but only drained of the fat before drying. I didn't rinse it.
Gosh I'll be canning and dehydrating my socks off thanks to you and my Mom. Mom is bringing over jars and butter for bottling.I Bought chicken on sale and I'm looking forward to canning it. Bone in so I can use it for stock.
I know you said prior to waxing cheese make sure you had a dry product. I found it easier to let the cheese dry a bit in the fridge ( 2 days- week) and let a rind to develop for a couple of days and then dip the cheese in wax, I brush on wax on the missed spots. Yes I'm using a natural hair brush and bought extras. LOL It went much better than my first try at waxing and I learned a lot.
Just like the 1st few times you make bread you will make a few mistakes along the way. I know my biscuits and rolls could be used as bricks or hockey pucks. It's a learning process. Get it down now and don't wait to learn when it is critical.

Crystal I found a good recipe. It seems a lot of food is good for drying/dehydration. I knew that but I looked to meats for jerky never thought about burgers of any sort. That thinking out of the box idea is awesome. I just try stuff and I am very good about sanitation. It seems if you dry properly and go with a lean mix/ vacume seal in jars hamburger can be dehydrated and vacumed packed in jars and be good for a year. I have not gone a year on drying burgers and vacume sealing in jars. But I could see it being doable, after dehydrating.
I did not trust the first time of doing jerky though it was safe. I'm doing the same on other dried products I do. If I kill myself from stupidity I can deal with that, and I dont want to die. I test my food after about 3 weeks on average. It has to be processed well, a good smell and look good. As Kellene say's the nose knows. If you have a hint of doubt toss it. A couple of pounds of meat is not worth dying for if you have a choice.

I'll have to work a recipe for dehydrating for burgers/sausage. I think I got the basics. You just caught me between tests. I'm no pro I just try new stuff with a bit of science and history. I may think out of the box but Kellene snatches me up and says pay attention. She's cocked locked and ready to rock.

Thanks for the reminder. The more I have prepared the less I discuss this with anyone outside of the family. Thanks to the ideas on your site and others my whole family is now on board. By family, I mean parents, and sibling's families. This is a big peace of mind and I see a lot of prepardness items as Christmas presents. On a side note, Kellene you gave a site for ordering from the LDS church for number 10 cans of wheat, grains, beans. This has been a blessing as shipping is included, even to rural Alaska. This is by far the most economically way I have found to get grains for storage. A dozen cases in my storage building and I sleep better at night.

SO glad it helped you! And even happier that you've taken advantage of it! Sweet Dreams. :-)

I think you have tons to learn at Kellenes site. I did the drying from another site but Kellene done it as well. My bottled butter, cheese waxing and canning meat have worked out well. Though not perfect, Heck I'm learning stuff! I did find my marbles. LOL
You find what works for you and then make it better. No one has all the answers. Just some are better at pointing us in the right direction.
the cheese waxing worked out well with a few tweaks. the bottled butter worked out well with a few tweaks. Not Kellenes fault, I'm learning new stuff and ways of preserving. Sure I've screwed stuff up trying new new things. But I have got some basics down. You can't be afraid to try new stuff. I have screwed up enough, yet I learn and to keep trying new stuff. It's never perfect and always learning.

We are buying jars, lids for meat of all sorts and butter. We are getting ready for down times, and saving family and neighborhoods. I'm waxing cheese, canning and multi-tasking. If your not, why not? Do you think costs will go down in 2011?
Do you trust the U.S government?

yes ground beef can be dried/dehydrated. I think starting with an 80/15 % mix would be best in drying to start off with. But even my first shot at burger nuggets at a 73/27 % ratio. Darned ol' kellene has an answer you think she may have tried it, LOL
I just did it as a a test for giggles to see if it was possible. It is and very possible. Now I'll be canning bacon, burger,chicken and butter. Before you tll me it's imposible read Kellene's archives. Or to costly how much do you spend on canned bacon or butter?
Heck, you can call me all the names in the world but I have canned bacon and bottled butter. I'm good to go...

Crystal I have a little cheapo dehydrartor, A heating element no fan. How I preped the burger is I cooked it in a skillet. Drained away the fat, then heated again to make sure most liquid drained away. I then placed it on the dehydrator and dried for a good 24 hours.
A few lessons learned. Fat content is critical on drying. When you make jerky it is the same and starting with a lean cut is the best. I did not know you could rinse the meat until Kellene told me, though it make sense. I just tried it to see if it could be done.
What I'll do next time is start with at least an 80/20 mix. Season the meat with salt and let it set in the fridge a couple of hours to drain off a little liquid. Next season it how I want to use it. The plain ground beef was a bit bland and did not absorb spices well. I'm thinking a Mexican, Italian and maybe some oriental 5 spice or curry spice when cooking before drying. I'll see how that works out and get you an update.
I really think this is a great idea to preserve meat if you don't have a pressure canner but have a dehydrator or an oven.
Kellene you will be happy to hear I found my marbles. LOL It was diffacult. As a kid marbles were everywhere nowdays not so much. I guess they are dangerous, or not so popular anymore. I will be dong up about 10# of butter for me and Mom. It'll be next week when I break out the pressure canner and get the chicken burger and bacon canned.
I do have a question on the canned bacon. I'm getting a good bacon but it's ends and pieces. I know you said roll up the bacon strips for canning. Can I do a loose pack of the bacon ends? I'm still learning canning and the books don't cover this.
Hugs and Happy Thanksgiving!!

What is the reference to "marbles"? I must be missing something :)

You'll have to be more specific for me; I'm not following your question.

It won't happen until the end of this year, but one of the improvements we'll be making is translating everything into Spanish on a mirror site so that we can begin having an impact in nations that don't speak English traditionally. I suspect that it will be helpful here in the U.S. as well, however, I personally believe that one should make the effort to learn the language of the nation one is living in and as such I don't typically cater to that specific demographic.

Just seeing this America needs men and women of wisdom to stand up and speak the truth--not necessarily of thoughts rooted in religious text, but of the inevitable pain fast approaching. Keep preaching this gospel, sister. Shout from the rooftops if you have to. The sheeple who make up 99% of our population are about to get a shock. I'd like to see some cultural penetration, particularly in the Hispanic communities. Could you try linking up with a fellow prepper from that side compare notes and even try to reach them as well? A great opportunity to make more friends and basically network. There will be cultural strife in our near future. It's being brewed in California as we speak. Peace and be blessed.

You never know when, where, or how! My husband was employed full time and I was the homemaker. He retired. The economy tanked along with our investments. He has a part-time job now, but we are on the tipping point with our finances. Fortunately, we had a good garden last year and have been stocking our pantry. No commercially purchased freeze-dried food, but at least 30 days of home canned and frozen foods are no problem. Without our pantry, we would be in much more serious trouble. We went from a bountiful life to a financially challenging one relatively quickly. Fortunately, our eyes were opening to the prepper-nation and with that mind set we were prepared for one aspect of this challenge. I am confident that the rest will follow. Thank you for all of your information, Kellene. You are making a big difference in our lives.


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