Tag Archives: Be Prepares Series

Being prepared isn’t a bad thing

Be Prepared LogoIn today’s society and current state of natural disasters being prepared isn’t a bad thing. Many people associate being prepared as being a “prepper”.  Would you call your grandparents “preppers”? Is that what you have in your mind as a “prepper”? I put it in quotes because so many people have a stereotype of what a “prepper” is, primarily based on TV, or the “reality TV” shows. Folks, this isn’t reality.

My grandparents stored canned goods under every bed, in closets, had a spare freezer, and kept jugs of water in a back bedroom. Granted they were retired and lived out literally in the sticks down a dirt road, at least an hour from a grocery store. There was the bait, tackle, gas station place down the road, but that was it. I used to stay with them in the summer when I was out of school. My grandfather hunted, fished, we had several gas cans always full, and gardens. I never thought this as being a “prepper”. This is how they lived. Later I learned they went through the great depression and stocked up when times were good, so that when time were bad they could still feed themselves and the family. They had “been there, done that” already and knew enough, that was a lesson learned.

I see today that they  have these sensationalized people on different reality shows talking about the end of the world and what they are preparing for. This is NOT reality, and NOT how many of these people really believe or act. Out of the 600 hours of taped material, careful editing, and down to 40 min of making people look like nut jobs the producers have done a great job of blurring reality. Would my grandparent be labeled today as nutjobs or “preppers” because they lived through hard times, and were just being cautious? Would they be labeled as preparing for the next great depression or total economic collapse?

I don’t consider myself a prepper. I am a homesteader, and I prepare my family for the unknown. Being prepared is not a bad thing. There are any number of natural disasters or situations that we may encounter in our lives that a little bit of extra planning or “preparing” would pay off. Even most disaster relief agencies state you should have 7-14 days of supplies on hand. No one knows what the future holds. Could we get a major earthquake here in Indiana? Yes. Do I think it is likely? I am not sure. Most of the houses and structures are not designed to withstand an earthquake of a large magnitude here. Having lived in California, where earthquakes are common, buildings are built more resilient. Could I have a tornado, flood, or ice store that could knock out my utilities for days? Yep.  Do I go around worrying about this? Nope. Why? Because, I have taken little steps here and they so that my family and I can be prepared for any number of situations, and it won’t majorly impact us. No power, not a problem. No water, not a problem. No Sewer, not a problem. No gas, not a problem.  How many in today’s society can say that? Many people flip out if there is no internet or power for 3-4 hours, let alone days or weeks.

When you go on a trip, you prepare by packing clothes and things you need for your trip. Maybe you get the car tuned up, pack some snacks, toiletries, and things you may need. Does that make you a “prepper” because you prepared for things you may encounter on your trip?

Friends and family make the joke when they come over, or things come up during conversations “Oh you are one of those prepper people aren’t you? What disaster are you preparing for?” I smile, say I prepare for the unknown. Then the comment is made “Well we will just come over to your house if something happens”. I smile again, and inform them that “While it may be a joke, I take my family’s safety seriously, and no you won’t. You will be met with a smile, a reminder you too should have been preparing for life events, and here is your go away bucket, you can take it and leave, or I can demonstrate our security for our home”. That usually ends the laughter and jokes. But it is a serious statement. We have made buckets with food, fire making materials, and water purification. “We like you, and that is why you at least get a bucket”. Do I ever think it would come to that? Probably not, but then again, I bet people of the great depression, hurricane Sandy, and hurricane Katrina thought it wouldn’t be that bad either.

Why do people mock being prepared? These are the same people who will come to your house because you did the work ahead of time. I believe it is fear. They don’t want to have supplies because then it is making their fear a reality, because “someone” will always be there to take care of them. Ask Katrina, or Sandy victims who was there and how much help they received. I also believe it is laziness. People just don’t want to put forth a little extra effort, as more and more today things are just handed to people, and handouts and aid are expected. Did you know that there is no requirement for any agency to respond to 911 calls? Think about that the next time you dial. The police, fire, ambulance etc, have no requirement to respond to your pleas for help. Thinking being a little more prepare is better option now?

If you think about Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper, being prepared  is no different. Except our modern story books have changed the ending so that everything works out in the end. Because there are always happy endings, right? The real story is the ant, allows the grasshopper to die in winter because he didn’t prepare for the long months ahead. The grasshopper was warned to start preparing for the winter months but didn’t heed the warning. Here is your warning. Rather than mock people for keeping a few extra canned goods, and gallons of water, maybe you should be doing the same. For most people I know who do keep extra food, water, gas, won’t want to share with the grasshopper who mocked them earlier. Granted in the true story the ant ate the grasshopper, but that is WAY beyond any sort of comparison.

People mock the prepared people stating, “Are you preparing for the zombies?” Truth of the matter is, we kind of are. A bunch of mindless people, cold, wrought with hunger and thirst, which move from house to house or town to town looking for handouts. The people who mocked those that prepared, they are the zombies. Have you ever seen photos of refugees, or disaster victims after the events? Resemble zombies from the movies. Does it sound crazy to store extra food and water knowing you live in an area that has a potential for natural disaster, or is it crazy to not heed the warning and advice for a potential natural disaster? Before you mock someone for being “one of those crazy preppers”, maybe you should ask, am I crazy for not keeping a few extra things around the house? The same people who mock, are the first to say they will be coming to your house. They call me crazy, but then they want to be the first in line to my house during the crazy time of a disaster?  All I can say is here is your bucket, grasshopper, now be on your way

1391797_568973436507889_510742523_nIf you are unsure where to begin, or feel completely overwhelmed, you are not alone. That is why I created the Be Prepared Series. I want people to take control of their own lives and not rely on the handouts from others. Be the ant not the grasshopper. I want to educate not castigate.

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Wolf-Beach Farms updates

My posts here on my blog have been irregular at best. Many irons in the fire at the moment, but follow me on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, or through e-mail and get the latest updates. Here are some of the current happenings and publications. If I am not writing here I am writing for one of the places below.

 

November 23rd full day homesteading class.

 

Midwest Sustainable Education Conference – As a co-founder, and presenter for the January conference, I have been helping get all the ducks in a row and organizing the space and materials. I have also been writing blog posts for the website and Facebook. Helping manage multiple websites, and social media accounts can take a drain on time resources.

PREPARE Magazine – PREPARE is a digital subscription which is free to sign up. I have had a couple of articles published here and even made the cover story once. PREPARE has stories on becoming more prepared for a variety of situations, as well has becoming more self sufficient, self reliant, and different how-to articles.

Aquaponics Survival Community – I have written a few articles for this paid subscription magazine which focuses on becoming more prepared and harnessing the great food production process through aquaponics. Articles on different techniques, problems, and solutions to what many aquaponics growers face.  

Brink of Freedom – Brink of Freedom is an online community page with a variety of contributors on topics of personal defense, permaculture, self reliant living and self sustainable lifestyles in addition to off-grid living. Brink of Freedom is now moving to both a online article community to a digital magazine publication as well. I have an article in the 1st issue, and one of my online articles we trending as #2 as most popular. Given some of the contributors, it was a shock to me when I looked at the stats.

New food project – No name for this project yet, but throwing some ideas around. I am working with a local chef to put together a class on using your food stores to make edible meals. Many people are starting to store some longer shelf life foods, for any number of reasons, but do they know how to make edible meals out of them? Rice and beans may store for a like time, but have you ever tried plain rice and beans? Have dehydrated or freeze dried foods? Can you make a decent meal even the kids would eat if the internet was down or you had no power? This class and possibly cookbook is the answer. What foods you should store, how to store them, what not to store, and then how to prepare them, even if only using a singly burner stove. Interested? Let me know, so we can start moving this project up on the list. You don’t have to wait until a situation requires you dive into the food stores. You should be rotating them as part of your every day meals. Eat what you store, store what you eat.

Permaculture consulting – Responding to projects, design questions and e-mails add up. I am consulting on a project in Central Florida, and a new project that a friend is starting up there. Consulting on a 300 acre farm here in Indiana, another 6 acre farm transformation and doing some experimenting with different techniques, plants and concepts here on my 0.2 acre property.

Be Prepares Series – Designing and construction of the individual sessions for the Be Prepares Series has taken some time. So many topics that could be covered in any given series they are really starting to add up.

Then there is the day to day here. Finally finishing off storage and preparation of the 500lbs of apples we picked this year. Apple fruit leathers are the latest preparation. Basically it is the dehydrated applesauce recipe using one of our food dehydrators. Tearing down our greenhouse for a new hoop house this spring, fodder system in the garage, milking goats in the spring, aquaponics in the garage, and making more food and supplies for scratch, and that is just some of the latest projects. Apparently everyone loved the home made pretzels this week. 4 trays of them were gone within 24 hrs. Super simple to make with easy ingredients. The home made croissants and buttermilk biscuits went over well, although I cannot claim them. The wife was on a baking kick last weekend.

If you ever have questions feel free to ask.

Be Prepared Series

Be prepares is a series offered by Wolf-Beach Farms. It is designed to be a multiple series of classes picked by the audience, and delivered as often as you would like. The course designers pick from a series of classes or all of the classes. The class on average is about 2 hours and can be one a week, twice a month once a month or every other month. The goal is to fit what your needs are in the time you have.

The series starts with an opening class to go over what and how the classes will be organized. The beginning class the participants will be given a binder. This binder will hold the class notes, handouts, examples, etc. from that particular topic. Each class, the participants will get the handouts, listen and participate in exercises and gain useful insight into the particular topic. Each class will have a section in the binder. At the end of the series the participants will have a handy binder with the necessary information all in one spot. This binder can be used as the “go to” book whenever it is needed.

Classes can be purchased on an individual bases, a series of classes (at a discount) or a whole series at once for a set number of participants. Pricing and classes are flexible and affordable. These series can be customized for your group. Do you want a stronger community built around your church group? When an event happens, who in your group or organization has the skills to help the fellow members out?

Be Prepared series were designed to give participants tools and information in case something happens. This is not to instill fear or doom and gloom. This series was design to help participants face challenges and situations with knowledge and strength rather than fear and ignorance.

Here are some examples.

When a snow storm is announced, what happens at the grocery store? A rush on bread, eggs, and milk. Is everyone going to make French Toast during the storm? These are the wrong things to be stocking up on. Two of the three require electricity to keep them cold and preserve freshness. What if, an announcement was made of a bad storm and you and your family didn’t blink an eye, because you didn’t need a single thing at the store, EVEN if the power went out for days?

Here is another example.

A family of 4 on average spends about $400 per month on groceries according to recent information. Some may be more some may be less. What if I told you that our family of 6 can spend less than $275 per month? It isn’t rocket science, and our pantry is completely full. We eat three meals a day. We even have reserve that if needed could outlast any storm sent our way. Hurricane Sandy had some people without power and local groceries for 6 weeks.

In both cases people say they will just go to the store. Having worked in a major grocery store I can tell you what you see on the shelf is ALL there is in the store. There is little to nothing in “the back room”. The fancy scanner that is used to checkout automatically places an order for the item as it leaves with the warehouse or distributer. IF the trucks are running and they are able to get on the roadways it is 48hrs or more before delivery. The benefits of on demand stocking.

A tornado comes in and wipes out your house. Everyone made it out to safety and you had the keys to the car and everyone is in their PJ’s. You are thankful your family is OK. You return home and everything is gone. How do you document who you are, what you had? Where are all of your papers for insurance, mortgage, bank accounts, and credit cards? In this day and age fraud is rampant. You will need to prove who you are, that your kids are YOUR kids, that what was once your house was YOUR house. Can you imagine the stress, the heartache? Taking a few simple, easy steps and proving who you are, and all the important information will be easily retrievable. Better yet, what if you left, but each had a bag that had cloths, the documents and everything you needed for three days. Three days to put things in order, Three days to not worry about where to sleep, clothing, feeding the family. Sounds like a lot but it is easy to accomplish.

Did you know if you drive a car, SUV, truck etc. you already have access to a generator capable of giving you power in your home if the electrical grid goes down?

Did you know you may already have access to 60+ gallons of water in your home if the water is shut off?

Did you know that you can still communicate with loved ones if cell towers are overloaded?

Did you know that you can produce 800+lbs a year of food on less than 1000sq feet of yard or patio?

Did you know that you do NOT need a rooster to enjoy the benefits of backyard fresh eggs?

These are just a few examples. The Be Prepares series allows you to plan ahead, so that IF you ever have to use these skills, tools, and tips it was planned and thought out when you had a cool, calm, and collective thought process. Here are just a few classes

The series is designed for groups as small as 5 and up to 100 or more.

This is for the average person. It explains things from a basic point of view and uses practical, real world solutions. The series explains how to use what you already have. This isn’t a demo of the latest and greatest gadgets. This is how to accomplish your goals with little to no investment and on a budget.

Do you already have a meeting location? Church space when no services being offered? Meeting rooms, halls apartment club house? All can be used. No location? We work with various venues on different sides of town in and around the Indianapolis area.

Contact us for more details or to start scheduling your own series.