Winner - 2020 Hope for Survival 1st Anniversary Article Category - Preparedness Newcomer of the Year
When reviewing this article it was very difficult initially to place this person in the bucket with others who already had the needed mindset. In a single year this person has transitioned their mindset while starting the preparedness process. ECG's willingness to read, learn, step out of comfort zones to totally new areas was totally out of character for her. Determination to overcome obstacles to become self-reliant and develop an ability to protect herself drove her to new levels. Congrats ECG on your new mindset and way of life. Keep charging.
Baby Steps - My Journey to Preparedness
East Coast Gal
When I think back a year and a half or so ago, I realize how very different my life was. I didn't really have the mindset of a prepared individual. Numerous talks with a dear friend got me to thinking differently. When I read the Hope for Survival book my life began to change even more.
My first steps were to address the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of my life. While I knew I was a fairly healthy person, my physical condition needed work. That became my mission. I began to really pay attention to the type and amount of calories I was consuming.This led to a significant weight loss and it also allowed me, with my doctor's blessing, to eliminate by blood pressure medication. I also started exercising on a regular schedule. Today it is not uncommon for me to walk 6 - 6 1/2 miles most days of the week.This lead into becoming mentally and spiritually prepared. I became much more confident about my ability to take control of my life. Being out and about in nature, on my neighborhood walk or on a hike, is a great time to think about your preparedness plans and to talk to God about your plans, concerns, and many blessings. Once I was in a place where I felt I had some control over these aspects, I felt ready to think more about how to prepare to survive the various events that could impact my life.
My friend's encouragement led me to a careful reading of the Hope for Survival book along with other books dealing with being prepared. This most definitely changed my life for the better. Am I 'all the way there' yet - no. Am I further along than I was - most assuredly yes.
The Hope for Survival book emphasizes four key aspects of preparedness - food, water, shelter, and security. I started with the security aspect of being prepared. I realized that if it came down to it, I may not be able to protect myself. I didn't grow up in a home where there were weapons of any sort. Although I'm physically stronger than I was, I knew very little about self-defense. I began my research on why type of handgun would be appropriate for me. The Hope for Survival blog often has articles about various types of weapons. I'll admit to being overwhelmed, but reading, talking to others and visiting gun shops helped me find a gun that works for me. Over time I've become more comfortable with shooting and have since purchased more guns. The book also suggests carrying a whistle and/or pepper spray. Both are now a part of my everyday life. I have also learned things about home security that I'd never thought of before. For example, my car is always parked in my garage which should be safe, right? No, not really! All someone needs to do is find entry to the garage and then they can access my private information from the vehicle registration or insurance card in the glove box of the car. I now lock my car at all times, not just when I am away from home. It may not stop someone, but it will slow them down. there is still much that needs to be done at my home security wise, but I have become much more aware of potential problems.
During this time, I also began working on my food pantry. I was already stocked comfortably for a two week period but I knew I needed to prepare beyond that. I began by simply purchasing extra items each time I went grocery shopping. I also made sure to have food in my vehicle and backpack. At this point, my food pantry is still a work in progress as I need to add more items and have a better storage area. I also need to stock items that would be easier than canned goods to 'grab and go'. In case of a power outage, I do have propane for a grill and a camp stove on hand that would work for the short haul. The Hope for Survival book has been a tremendous help. The food calculators provided great information to use in planning. This year I have decided to give gardening a try. I've never had my own garden, only a few plants in containers on my back deck. I have fond memories of going to the garden with my grandfather and I can only hope some of his wisdom rubbed off on me. I'm starting very small but hope to be able to enjoy some fresh veggies during the summer.
Water is an absolute necessity. While it is very easy for me to purchase bottled water and containers to store water, my problem was where to store it. Over time, I've been able to create some storage area but really need more. My backpack has a life straw for when I'm out hiking and I have water in my vehicle. This is an area where I need to do more planning.
Sheltering is the area in which I would say I have the most work to do. Even though I don't live in a city, I do live in a neighborhood where the homes are close together. While my yard does have fencing, it is not totally enclosed. I do not have a cellar or basement to use as a bunker. I'm not completely certain where I would go to bug out. I have at least one place in mind but haven't been able to set it up with food and water as of yet.
The Hope for Survival book and website have opened my eyes to the necessity for planning for my safety. I continue to reread sections of the book to make plans. The newsletter on the blog is always offering me a new perspective of current events and alerting me to things I might otherwise have not known about. Everyone needs to share the book and website with all their friends and family. If they aren't already like-minded, I believe they soon will be. I know I am!
Bravo Echo Out,