Is Your Heart Ready for the Unthinkable to Happen?

Are you prepared?We can prepare all we want, but it is just as important (or more) to think through how you will react when the unthinkable happens.  People who are preparing usually have all the bases covered.  Food, seeds, gardening tools, canning jars, lids, medical supplies, you name it and we’re collecting it.  Many have gone back to basics, becoming or are self-reliant.  But I would venture to say, not many have thought about actually defending themselves or their family.  I’m sure most of you have guns and ammo, but having them and using them are very different things.

In all your preparations for difficult times ahead, how much have you prepared your heart?  What happens when your neighbor comes to take what he can at gun point?  Or a stranger?  How do you deal with the idea of shooting someone to prevent them from killing you and taking your food stocks?  If they ask nicely would it make a difference?  What about the family members you warned numerous times?  The ones who thought you were crazy.  What do you do about them?

What if all the stores close down?  Now you are dependent on what you have stored along with what you can grow.  Will you share?  What are you going to do to protect yourself and your family?  Can you protect them?

Do you have a circle of family or friends who are like-minded and can band together with you?  If you do, can you trust them with your life?

No one wants to think about these things. In a recent conversation, my husband was put on the spot when another man asked him if he would actually shoot someone who came to steal from him.  His answer was yes.  The other man was shocked.  This was his response:

“The Bible tells me I’m responsible for my family first. So if I have excess, I will share. However, if what I have is all I’ll be able to get, I’d have to say no. If they wouldn’t take no for an answer, I’d have to defend myself and my family.”

I have written Flee to the Mountain a fictional story of a community of people who see difficult times ahead and prepare for them. They establish a small ranch completely self-sufficient and off grid. When chaos reigns and terrorist strike, they must pull together to survive.

Right now, this seems extreme, but it wouldn’t take much for it to become reality.  All of the questions raised above need to be settled in your heart (and your spouse’s) before the situation arises.  It is especially important where family is involved.  These are life and death decisions.  Your survival, and that of your family, might come down to the determinations you make right now.  You are preparing because you believe something is on the horizon.  I urge you to at least consider your options and discuss them with your loved ones.  Don’t wait until a split second decision might put you or a loved one in grave danger.

 

Recycle and Reuse Series: Glass

All glass can be recycled and reused.Glass containers are a good recycle resource for preppers because glass can be used over and over again.   That empty spaghetti sauce jar?  Store your dry beans in it.  Plastic bags get nasty over time, your beans will stay fresh longer in the glass jar.  Storage of food and beverage items is only the beginning.  Glass bottles can be converted to drinking glasses.  The discarded top of the bottle can be used for other purposes or melted down.    Those wine bottles?  Use them as candle holders or cut them at the neck and convert them into pencil holders and flower vases and pots.  In the sewing room, they can contain those pesky pin and needles as well as button and other notions that tend to fall to the bottom of the sewing basket.  Outside uses include laying them on their sides like bricks using cement to make a decorative wall.  In the garage they become perfect storage for nails, nuts and bolts and other hard to keep track of items.

Some things to remember when storing glass for recycling or reusing are:  sort according to previous use:  glass used for food storage will have thicker walls, smooth interiors and be free of bubbles inside the glass.  Glass with thin walls breaks easily.  Broken glass any where other than where it needs to be is dangerous.  When you are considering what to do with glass objects, if it has bubbles in the walls, do not use in the oven or fill with hot food.  The bubbles are unpredictable will burst and break the container.

As with any job, the right tools make all the difference.  Glass cutters will help you make desired cuts and sandpaper will smooth sharp edges.  Safety is important too.  When working with and sanding glass always wear eye protection and breathing masks.  The last thing you want is glass in your eyes and lungs.  Your imagination and common sense can tell you what glass does to eyes and lungs.  If you decide to use a heat source to remelt the glass, there is a whole new set of concerns and skills you will need.  See to it that you get them from the best sources and teachers available.  The last thing anyone needs is injuries that can happen to people who are not prepared to work with molten glass.

Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 6

Power tools come in a variety of prices and purposes.  Some things to consider when choosing power tools are purpose, frequency of use and affordability.  We have quite a few Dewalt tools, but we also have some lower end power tools. If we know we are going to use it often enough to have significant wear and tear on the equipment, we buy tools by which ever manufacturer that produces the best tool for the job.  However, it is important to know that the lower end tools of any brand are not intended for everyday use.  They will last for years if your purpose is to use them occasionally and not under difficult circumstances.

Power tools are useless if you don’t know how to use them effectively or if you don’t use them at all.  Choose tools for projects you intend to make.  Do some research before you choose the tools.  Check the warranty.  If you choose cordless equipment, it is important to have enough batteries to finish the project.  Unfortunately, the batteries are almost as expensive as the equipment.  Since most of the brands are not interchangeable, that is another consideration when choosing tools.

Air tools are great.  We love them for big jobs.  But our finishing and framing guns are useless if we can’t run the air compressor.  That’s another thing to consider.

Usability during power outages is important.  In my location, if a natural disaster hits, it is likely to be well over a week or maybe a month or two before power is restored to this area.  We need tools that can be used under such conditions.  Unfortunately, they require some manpower.  The wife informed me she is woman power and I can do the manpower stuff.

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Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 1

I’m not talking to the ones who have stockpiled enough food and water to last decades.  This is for the individuals and families out there who are working with what they have to prepare for the emergency they might be facing next week or next month or even next year.  That’s the thing about emergencies.  You don’t know when they will come or how bad off it will leave you.  It is comforting to you and your family to know if things go bad, you have a plan.

Being prepared is difficult because it requires planning, action, prioritizing, and dedication.  Everyone would like to have cash on hand, a secure source of food and water, and a safe shelter.  Unfortunately, as with anything else, available resources matter when it comes to preparing for an emergency.  For these reasons, many people don’t try to prepare.  They succumb to the fatalistic view that if it happens it happens and they accept a dismal fate in the face of an emergency.  You are not like that or you would not be reading this right now.  For you, regardless of your monetary resources, there is a way.

So, lets talk about how you can acquire needed items for your preparedness plan if you don’t have the money to buy it.

Start with taking inventory of these things:

  • banking and savings accounts
  • hand tools
  • power tools
  • take inventory of the garage for wood, hardware, and the like
  • everything with an engine or motor
  • all fuel types on hand
  • assess how long your existing food supply will last
  • assess your utility usage
  • emergency medical supplies
  • reliability of available transportation in an emergency

All of this is just part one of getting prepared.  You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you are.  Tune in for part two of this series tomorrow.   Have your inventory notebook handy.  You’re going to need it.