The Family You Choose

What Is Meant When We Say Family

Our immediate family

I talk a lot about the importance of family. How we are doing this (prepping) for our families and how we have these responsibilities because of our families. But what does family mean?

Ryan my biological son & Chanse our 'chosen' son

There’s a quote I like that says, “There are the families that we are born into, and there are the families that we choose – our circle of friends.” Another says, “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” When I use the term ‘family’ I don’t just mean the family I was born with and the family I brought into this world, I also include the friends I choose to call family. I believe family is how you define it.

As preppers it is important–and I believe may become much more important–to develop significant family support. Hopefully our families will be there to assist, defend, educate, and care for us. If possible, now while things are ‘normal’, coordinate with your family. Discuss with family members what your evacuation plan is, let them know when and where you will go. Encourage and assist them in developing their own – possibly one that mimics or overlaps with yours. Talk about possible BOLs*. Do you want to find a place together? Is it better to simply be close enough for mutual support? If a family member lives in an urban area and you live in a rural area, encourage them to bug out to your home. And, if that is the plan you decide on, coordinate with them in the interim to store extra food and supplies at your home (or vice versa).

We all have family members who aren’t interested in prepping at all and see the whole concept as somewhat idiosyncratic if not downright crazy. If pushed, their entire prepping plan is to “worry about it later”. If you love them, and know that if they come knocking on your door you will let them in, then plan for them. Plan to welcome them and, to the degree you are able, prepare for them now. In a world where human labor may be required to provide food, water, shelter, security and energy; additional people–who you know and trust–will be an asset.

Booth family reunion

Adams family reunion

Just as the last couple of generations have mostly forgotten about the importance of being prepared and of “laying up stores for the winter”, many have also forgotten about the strength, support, and love that their chosen family can provide.

(Wednesday: Walk A Mile In Your Shoes)

*For my list of abbreviations and other information, open the above ‘Check Here…’ page tab.

(added 12/29/11) Great family quote: “Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what.”

Advertisements

What I Did This Week To Prep

& What I’m Thankful For

When I thought back to what I’d done this week I realized I hadn’t done much prepping. When I wondered why I realized, oh yea, it was Thanksgiving week (did I mention we had a house full of family?). So I decided this week–keeping with the Thanksgiving theme–to also talk about what I’m thankful for, especially in the prepper aspects of my life.

But first the couple prepper things I did do. As anyone with a deep freezer knows, it’s hard to keep track of what is in there – especially at the bottom. I didn’t come up with this idea, but I’m trying it and passing it along: how to keep a simple food storage tracking system. As shown on the right, using graph paper, make a list of all the food items you store. Then make a slash (/) for each item you currently have. When you remove an item, turn the far left / into an X; the remaining slashes show your current count. When you add more, add more slashes. When you take things out change the appropriate amount of slashes into Xs. For example, bacon: X X / / / / /, would show that you currently have five packages of bacon. When you take two out, it would now show: X X X X / / /. Hopefully that makes sense. We stapled the list to the wall, and hung a pen, next to the freezer so everyone can add and deduct as necessary – we’ll see how it works.

At Costco we bought less normal stuff and more stuff geared toward Thanksgiving and the holidays. The only good sale item which we got for our preps was D cell batteries. Batteries are, by definition, a finite/self-reliant source of power. But short-term they’re very nice and convenient to have; they are also one of the first things that sell out when the masses rush to the stores for a pending disaster. If you store them correctly and rotate them appropriately, then it’s good to buy and store extras (not much different than how we do all our preps).

During this time of year we celebrate the bountiful harvest, and we lay up stores–so we know we will be prepared and we will make it through–for the coming winter. I am thankful for:

  • my wife and children. Without them I wouldn’t be doing most of this; I prep because of my family. I love and care for them very much, and I believe it is ultimately my responsibility to prepare to keep them safe and secure in case things ever go bad.
  • my wife Sarah. I’m thankful I found, fell in love with, and married her. I’m glad we’re partners in this life. I’m thankful for her support, advice and active assistance (and tolerance) as I prep and plan for our family. I’m thankful for her help with this blog; three times each week she reads through and makes sure it’s well written and makes sense.
  • being able to live near my kids (it hasn’t always been this way). Ryan, Brynn, Emily, and Alison (and Chanse). I’m glad I can see them on a regular basis, really get to know them, and be an active part of their lives. I’m glad I can be their dad and do my best to watch over them now, and teach and prepare them for the future.
  • the rights and liberties that are recognized in this country that allow me to be a prepper, to move as I choose, to own firearms, and complain about my government.
  • the members of our military; especially the true warriors, the ones who keep the wolves at bay.
  • true friends who stand by and support you through thick or thin. “Friends help you move, good friends help you move bodies.” I’m thankful for body-moving friends.
  • the many prepper resources available (especially for Jack Spirko’s TSP). I’m thankful for the internet where all compiled knowledge is at our fingertips, all we have to do is search for it.

What did you do and what are you thankful for? (Feel free to put what you’re thankful for in the comments.)

(Monday: Only Seconds To React)