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What Do You Tell People?

You have boxes of storange/dried foods mailed to your home. Twice a week you bring lots of bags into the house from the dollar store or grocery or camping store. Friends and neighbors walk to your house to see boxes and storage buckets neatly labeled "peas", "sugar", "rice", "first aid". You practice regularly at the range. You attend gun and ammo shows every chance you get. You order special supplies over the internet. You subscribe and have delivered to your home several militant magazines. You have a warren of rabbits and cages full of "quiet" quail that increase and decrease on a regular basis.

What do you tell people?

That you're planning for the end of the world? For the s*** to hit the fan? For earth changes? For the next blizzard or earthquake or flood?

Yeah, right.

If you tell them all or any of that, chances are they'll be the first people on your doorstep when anything hits the fan. Gas prices go up again? They'll be 'round asking for a couple of gallons from your big reservoir that you'll never miss. Grocery store has a run on bread and milk just before a storm? Hi... can we borrow some bread, milk, meat and rice... just until all of this blows over?


Here's what we do... since, for the most part, we're kinda anonymous with our blogs. We aren't impossible to find, but still.. our friends and families know we're store some things but ... we just say, our main purpose is to prepare for the next blizzard. For the most part, that's accurate

What do YOU tell people who ask "what on earth do you have all this for?"


ConfessionsOfAnOverworkedMom said...

Most people know I'm very frugal so I'll generally make some type of comment that I got a really good price on it. Much of our surplus is hidden out of sight so unless they happen to be in our closet or poking around in our pantry, they really won't see much out of the ordinary. We're also in the blizzard area so we will also say we're stocking up for the next snow storm.

Melonie said...

I'm with Confessions - most of our heavy supply is out of sight to the average visitor. We have two pantries that are right in the kitchen and they are kept at decent levels. But the neighbors know I'm an avid couponer and "love the deals". The biweekly commissary runs I do look normal since most people around us live paycheck to paycheck. We have the same number of bags, it's just that mine contain items for food storage AND the nex two weeks, not just a week's worth of junk food. ;-)

Plus we live in earthquake/typhoon territory and are told by Uncle Sam on TV every day to make sure we're ready for typhoon season with bottled water and it doesn't really look *that* odd to most folks when I bring home a couple cases of water. For all they know, we drink it and it's gone.

Everything else stays behind the scenes, as it were, and isn't discussed with the neighbors. My husband and I discuss our preps privately, as well as who we would help out directly in a crisis, as opposed to an anonymous donation through the unit chaplain or Red Cross.

Anonymous said...

I was searching for help on gardening tips in Denver and was really delighted to find lists on urban homesteading. I do most of these things--my parents taught me this stuff and I this it's good for the environment & just good sense to be prepared. Every tree in the city should have fruit!

While I applaud your work educating others about the issues (gardening, storing foods, survivability, learning new skills etc) in your blog I am deeply disturbed by the undercurrent of fear & paranoia.

Our neighbors are NOT watching what we bring into the house. They are watching reality TV. You really ought to consider how it sounds that you believe people are watching you and that you have to keep your garden a secret.

I grew up doing all the things you mention and have a lot of experience with others doing the same--though admittedly, not in the city. This fear and paranoia is a stage a lot of people go through. Unfortunately, the stress (your first suggestion is NOT TO STRESS) of all the fear and paranoia is probably the main factor in breaking down sustainable communities. Fear and paranoia break up relationships and are not sustainable.

This is not a new movement. It was probably much bigger in the 70's. Obviously I don't have stats. But we have got to learn from those who tried before us. Where are all the sustainable livers before us?

I can speak for my parents, who are currently living that way-- they are certainly not paranoid and fearful. Instead they are very hard working. They has also learned the value of community. Living off the land is a hard life.

In order for any of this to work, it has got to be EMOTIONALLY sustainable. The fear and paranoia attract the emotionally unstable and those are the last people you want when you're trying to survive.


NVG-WmsFam said...

There isn't an undercurrent of fear or paranoia here. I have actually been asked by the postman what is in all the boxes I get from Emergency Essentials. Which is a stupid question considering Colorado USUALLY gets bad weather at least a couple of times a year (we're getting our first "Winter" blizzard right now!).

As we say numerous times on our site... we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Here's an example, tho. We had stored foods for an emergency. Lots of rice, beans, canned foods, etc. Then we hit a financial hardship, like many people these days. If we hadn't stored these foods, we would have been one of those families down at the food bank, grabbing unhealthy loaves of bread and too-ripe veggies.

It's perspective. But... thanks for the comment. I hope you come back, and that you'll visit our other sites. Try - will be active Mar 28 2009.

Thanks! Vikki