Andrea and I are becoming regular blogging friends. She found me first, and I happily discovered that we had a lot in common. She blogs about frugality and sustainability of course, but that includes many topics I feel passionate about myself – gardening, homeschooling, herbal medicine, and survivalism for a few examples. Earlier this year I participated in her 23 Days to Frugal Living Challenge. So when she shared with me some of the steps she and her husband have been taking to prepare their family for the unknown, I knew I had to have her share her story with you! Please consider the things she and her husband have done to keep their family safe and let it mull over in your own mind. How can you apply her story to your own life?
How to Create a Backup Plan for Your Family
Can you think of a time when being prepared is a bad idea? Preparedness, whether we realize it or not, is a part of all of our lives. For example, every evening, after the children go to bed, I make preparations for the next day. We prepare for vacations and times when we are away from home. Meal planning is another common form of preparing for the days ahead…
Likewise, preparing for emergencies and sudden disruptions in “life as we know it” is a wise choice and should naturally be a part of every family’s budget, routine, and lifestyle.
My Family’s Backup Plan
A few years ago, my husband and I began actively preparing our family’s backup plan. The fact that we currently live in the Desert Southwest really frightened me — concerning the lack of water – tons of questions started to roll around my head. What would we do if anything happened? I can’t live to see my children suffer! Where would the water come from? It all just snow-balled from there.
Both my husband and I are medically trained; therefore, we tend to think in terms of basic human survival and work our way up from there. This way of thinking provided the basic framework for our backup plan:
I began storing a small amount of water in mylar bags, we located our nearest water source (http://www.findaspring.com/), and have learned how to purify in any situation. For those of you living in areas where it rains and water is abundant, I encourage you to begin with a few water barrels and a small scale rainwater catchment system.
Our family lives off of one income, so a large budget is not something we are accustom to. Over the past few months, we have slowly been able to transition our monthly food allowance in the direction of bulk buys. We, by no means, are able to afford the fancy-pants dehydrated meals (although I do have several bags of homemade dehydrated veggies from last year’s garden), yet over the course of one year we have been able to store nearly 8-9 months worth of beans, grains, and spices.
Developing relationships with like-minded families, farmers, and businesses has been vital to our backup plan. I strongly oppose the term “self-sufficient.” There’s nothing “self” about it. In the case of an emergency, it is the communities that come together to help each other out that end up thriving. It is vital that our backup plans include a community – a group of people that will be there for each other.
Preparing a homestead — or at least a place outside of the masses – was another important element to our plan. But remember, we are not wealthy, in fact we live on a super tight budget. Buying a tract of land seemed near impossible. However, we began looking for land being sold on a land contract or owner financed. And by the grace of God we, along with my sister’s family, were able to purchase 20 acres of raw land. It is rich in timber, pasture, and has 2 fresh water springs. Slowly we are making attempts to develop the land and one day soon we hope to move there permanently.
There were those times when we became so focused on our backup plan that we lost sight of the one that truly provides for all of our needs. God is our provider at all times. He is the one that sustains us. Our family’s backup plan includes our meager efforts — and I believe it is God-honoring – yet I fully expect to see days in which manna falls from heaven and my jars are filled with oil.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “ –Matthew 6
What does your family’s backup plan look like?