The Honor In Being Prepared

Preparedness is a full-time job for me. I live it, breathe it, and think about it constantly. Obviously I teach and write about it regularly as well. I used a Saturday this weekend to learn about how I can be better prepared. Then I spent some more “spare” time reading a novel that illustrates other possibilities I may not be prepared for yet. Why? Because I believe that preparedness is about honor.

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

US Military in Iraq, February 2008. Photo by Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

Many people would label those who strive to be better prepared as paranoid lunatics. And yet they would not think of calling our honorable men and women who serve in the military, who are on night watch with AR-15s in hand right now, “paranoid.”

Are those of us who are watching carefully to what is going on around us and trying to mitigate our losses of life and freedom “paranoid?” No. A person who is prepared is honorable. They are willing to carry their own weight to protect themselves and those they love, instead of naively or cowardly delegating that responsibility to others. We are all night watchmen. We all need to honorably command our posts as careful guards over our family’s safety, nutrition, and peace. None can delegate that responsibility without bringing shame upon themselves. It’s hard to think this way when we’re enjoying life’s luxuries or being tossed to and fro with life’s schedule, but it doesn’t change the state of what truly is. There is honor in being prepared, not paranoia.

Police Firearm Training photo c/o

Police Firearm Training photo c/o

If you’re not paranoid, then surely you must be crazy, right? Tell that to the police officer who disciplines himself to train 3 times a week with his firearm instead of relinquishing his lifesaving skills to the whopping TWO times a year his department pays for firearm training. He’s not crazy. He values the breath of life—whether it be his own, his partner, his family, or members of his community. The Supreme Court says he’s not obligated to protect any citizen—he’s only required to protect the interests of the State, City or County he’s hired by. So certainly he doesn’t require shooting practice 3 times a week to protect a non-living, breathing entity, right? (Yes, that’s sarcasm.) We are ALL defenders of our community, family, and selves. We cannot delegate that responsibility to someone else—not today and certainly not in the future in the midst of some disaster. There is honor in being prepared, not a label of being mentally deranged.

Preparedness isn’t about hoarding. It doesn’t mean you have a scarcity mentality. If that were the case then there are millions of farmers, Amish, and Mennonite people throughout the U.S. that believe that the world as we know it will end tomorrow. (This list would also include the founders of Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s!) It isn’t hoarding to have a year’s supply of food, water, and other necessities. Rather it’s the epitome of the Boy Scout theme! Having supplies of food and water has nothing to do with hoarding. It’s about fighting back against inflation, poisonous food recalls, disasters, crazy crowds, limited time, future “nutrition” manipulation, water contamination, etc. It doesn’t take much more time to pay for 6 cases of chicken than it does to pay for one. And at least one who prepares is PAYING for their items. Would our critics prefer that we simply become looters in a time of trouble and chaos? I watch herds of looters on my television screen every time a disaster of a hurricane or tornado is imminent. And I still have yet to seen one of the cowardly opportunists be prosecuted in court. Is it not more honorable to financially stabilize our homes by being prepared with the bounty that is available now, rather than become criminals or desperate cowards in the future? Clearly, there is honor in being prepared, not a scarcity mentality.

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o

There is honor in being prepared. Image c/o

Is there one shred of honor in the person who claims “I’m coming to your house when things go south” and means it? How would you respond if a person were to say, “When I run out of money, I’m coming to your bank account”? Or “When I get sick because I was foolish, I’m bringing my disease to your house to let you care for me.” “When I lose my job, I’ll just eat your food, have you pay my bills, and pay for my schooling.” Of course there’s no honor, integrity, or virtue in these thought processes. And yet it is these same individuals who mock and impede those who would prepare themselves for just such occasions. When one takes themselves out of the selfish “me, me, me” mode and begins to think about the care and nurturing of others, there’s honor. When one decides NOT to violate eternal laws by delegating the responsibility of taking care of their fellowmen to some governmental agency, there’s honor. When one looks past today to prepare for the well-being of those they love tomorrow, there’s honor. When one actually prepares to put themselves in a position where they actually HAVE something to share with others who have nothing, there’s honor.

Yes, there is certainly honor in being prepared.

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What is a simple bob?

Ahhh! Kelleen,

As usual you write about a topic that I am inspired by. Slowly but surely I am trying to help my husband understand this concept; you make so many valid points that help me when I have discussions with him. Thank you. Just wish you lived closer so I could attend one of your classes. ~Shawna

Wonderful Post!!! The people that are going and blowing so to speak are the ones that are going to come with a hand out wanting what we have and each one of us have them in our on family. How self centered most of them are! I would not go to my child house and take what they have from my Grand Children. I do not see how people can be so blind! I think alot of it is they just do not want to sacrifice anything that will take away from what they want at this moment...their pleasures and fun! It is so sad! I agree this post should be in all newspapers! Lets pass it around in emails! Thanks for what you are doing! Lets keep the honor!!

"When I run out of money, I’m coming to your bank account”? Or “When I get sick because I was foolish, I’m bringing my disease to your house to let you care for me.” “When I lose my job, I’ll just eat your food, have you pay my bills, and pay for my schooling"

This is seriously what people are thinking, "I will come to your house so you can feed me"

Will I share, Of course I will, but I will share what I chose to share. It will not be taken. I have enough to share a meal. I do not have enough to keep you alive and my kids and grandkids also. Sorry but they are priority.

I stand once a month on Sunday's and try to help people to prepare. I get deer in the headlight looks. I think when they ask for food they may get deer in the headlights back.

My friend had this great quote posted on her fb wall today: Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient - Aristotle


YOU are an amazing woman and I so appreciate you. This post is so correct and should be at a minimum in the editorial section of every newspaper in the country. Perhaps if more people thought about why to prepare they would be more willing to do it. Then again, there are those who are the takers and for them I guess we will have to decide on an individual basis how we will handle them when they appear at the door with their hand out as many are now doing at the door of our government coffers.

Ditto to everything you said. After so many years of hearing that we should become self reliant I am amazed of the amount of people who still disregard this wise council. Have you ever considered running for public office?

I gave up preaching preparedness long ago but last year I mentioned that I had a single MRE in the backpack I take to work and received the doe in the headlights stare from one of the girls when she asked why I had it. I said that since I live 32 miles from work (she lives substantially farther) I might get hungry if something bad happens and I have to walk home. After the Rodney King riots in LA, Hurricane Katrina and 9-11, some people still do not get it. They never will.

So many people have so many excuses. Preparedness needs to be a PRIORITY. Sometimes it takes sacrificing something else in able to get those supplies. It's also an attitude. Thank you for all the helps and information that you give us. Even though I have been working on preparedness for a long time, I keep learning new things.

Thank you again.

I think that people who understand prepping under estimate how hard it is for others to understand. It takes a lot of thought and understanding to get it down pat. On top of that it can be expensive. Please don't think I'm making excusses, I'm giving you my perspective before I got on board. The same thing applies to good nutrition, it is hard to change life long habits.

If you are trying to get friends on board start with some really small examples. For example people we know just lost their appartment to a fire. The didn't even get out with their id's or debit card. No food, no money, no id, no debit card and no where to go.

A simple bob would have saved them all that headache.

I think you should study something that you are passionate about and teach them in Oregon. Seriously. What I do isn't "special" per se. It's simply concentrated. The fact that you would even think of learning the classes and teaching them says volumes about what you're capable of. And a little studying and experimenting will get you on the road to doing that!

Ah Barb, you're the best cheerleading angel on the planet!

I'm afraid that I would be just a bit too controversial for public office. I usually say what I"m thinking and don't sensor myself very well. :-)

I think there's honor in preaching preparedness as well. After all, it's just as important as having some extra supplies for others as to teach them to have their own. They may not listen but at least then our hands are clean. And that's really what I care about if I were to die tomorrow.

You echo my thoughts nearly exactly. I have been "preparing" for 27 years, I read nearly every "millenial or teotawki" book out there. Our kids grew up knowing to place newly purchased canned foods in the back and use from the front. They were taught to go to the back of the store and shop from the sales rack, before paying full price. As grown, married women they too are following in our footsteps. That to me is the greatest blessing of preparedness, passing it on to loved ones.

Thanks for the post. It helps to have the encouragement.

Thank you for this article. It says what I try to convey to people all the time.

I really appreciate this website and your efforts.

I would love to learn you classes and perhaps teach them here in Oregon.
Is that possible?

Great post!

When I became aware of the need to prepare and safeguard my family, I often felt embarrassed when "caught" doing something to prepare. I felt like I was "crazy" or "weird", but I continued on. Slowly but surely, I've come to realize that I am doing the ultimate service for my family and my community. I've developed an internal sense of pride to be doing the best I can to be ready for what comes my way.

Thank you so much for your encouragement, Kellene

Thank you for this article! We have often been treated as if we are crazy or a bit "off the wall" by many we know (even questioned our sanity ourselves). Even our grown daughter says "I'll just come to your house if things get bad". She is finally starting to be more aware and letting us know where the good buys are and will call and ask if we want her to pick some up for us. (Baby steps) Thank you for this perspective.

I too have felt sheepish as I stock up at the grocery store during great deals. Isn't it normal to by 10 boxes of cereal and 15 bottles of ketchup at one time? I just found your site and love it. Thanks for all the info. you provide. It helps me to focus better and get one step closer to self preparedness for my family.

I don't understand why people want to give up personal responsibility when they can keep it. While there are people who really need help, and I have no problem with people who really need help getting it through programs that are already in place, I don't know why some people want things done for them when they could do it themselves. There is so much more freedom and choice when you choose to do things for yourself rather than having the mindset that other people should prepare, pay, provide, etc. for you, and a lot more security because you know what will actually be available to you. People might not understand why some people prepare, but those who prepare might not understand why some people refuse to--it works both ways. Great post.

Very good post. All the comments were worth reading too. Your site is very motivational to me who has been preparing for 30 years as my parents always did.

Sorry, Bug out Bag, a Bag with your basics in it that you grab in an emergency. For example it could have a little food, some cash, copies of ID and important papers. think of the things you would need if you had a house fire, put copies of them in a bag for quick grab and go.


This post rings true. Preparedness should be looked on as a good thing not something to be ashamed of (it's funny how things get twisted nowadays with all the political correctness and such).

Shannon, I laughed when I saw your comment. I've had the same feelings when "caught" as well like I was doing something wrong.

- Erich

i personally think that there is balance in all things. i think that being prepared is something that many don't do at all, and that is bad. but at the same time, i think that it is possible to live so much for preparing for tomorrow that you don't live in today. i think that there has to be balance. if i did everything that you, kellene, did to be prepared, with everything else i have going on, my life wouldn't be in balance, but i am however, on my level working on becoming more prepared as i can. and where it may to some seem overwhelming, and crazy to spend that much time focusing on that, i think thats just because they haven't started at the beginning steps.

Loved it - thanks! But I have to say that I don't feel like other people look at us as crazy, weird or paranoid because we prepare.... I think it has made them analyze themselves more and recognize that it is something they should be doing as well. However, if the time ever comes and they are not prepared, it will be interesting to see if the mentality changes.

Lanie, I'm glad that you haven't been subjected to the heartwrenching judgments of others. But I will say on behalf of anyone else here who's noticably diligent in their preparedness efforts, you are the exception. :-)

Well stated Kellene! It brings a sense of peace that our storage will keep away the temptation of resorting to criminal action in the event of an emergency. It's fun to see people's reactions when they see our storage. Last night was showed a friend our storage of hygiene products we have since we started couponing and her eyes got wide and her mouth dropped. That was pretty fun! :)

Balance? I understand you to be saying that water and food, controlled by yourself and not some store or government entity is not a high priority. As a human being you need food, water and air. I am not sure what balance you want to strike. Is TV/cable more important? Maybe a big house?
I don't know, you will die without food, water or shelter. Not a heck of a lot of balance to be had there. You may have time to prepare but what you need never changes.
Seems to make it at the top of my priority list. I'll strike a balance after that.
You want balance when you need to what you want, prioritize. What balance can there be?
Food for a year or a LCD TV? Buy the food first then get the LCD. This is life or death stuff, lets say we are all wrong. At least you have food and water, a garden, maybe small livestock. Saves you money.
What if we are right? There is no balance in survival. Either you live or die. Simple equation,Elegant as the mathematicians put it.

You know this very thing crossed my mind...a few months ago, and I thought maybe it was a little over the edge but it did make me think... and develop a few things.

I had a sewing machiene, took sewing in 4-H and decided that what if I could not buy my sons clothes, or fix mine or my fathers? So I reaquainted myself, freshened up my sewing box and purchased two books. "Sewing 101" and "How to make your own clothes"

I have to admit its not my favorite thing to do but it is a barterable skill and if I had to I would get exceptional real quick, practicing as we speak.. just in case

I learned how to make soap, candles, and cheese... I retaught myself how to crochet, make blankets, and COOK really cook.

I am taking up the art of spinning, I have several animals that perfect for just that, or even if I learn to card well...another marketable skill.

I have the materials to homeschool my son, or tutor anyone elses up to 3rd grade...

Is my body up to these tasks? It is debateable, but for my son i feel it is my duty to try the hardest to say I gave it all I have!

If the scenero is rainbows and butterflies? Then I have renewed some hobbies that I have wanted to stir up for awhile


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