Why did you start your preparedness journey?

We all want to protect ourselves and our loved ones — and that goes beyond carrying a firearm for self-defense. We prepare for emergencies at home, on the road, and at work or school. From first-aid kits to self-defense gear or fire starters to water purification tools, we’re prepared to take care of our loved ones.

When and why did you begin your preparedness journey?

Looking for ideas for a bug-out bag or first-aid kit? Check out these threads in the Community:


I started in 2012 because we had been living in Florida for less than a year and Hurricane Debbie parked herself in the Gulf of Mexico for five days. I began thinking seriously about surviving hurricanes and their aftermath. That preparedness grew into understanding the responsibility I have for protecting myself and my family. We now have a solid plan for hurricanes, everyday errands, home, and everything in between.


I guess I started to prepare in 2008 when the world started its downward spiral. 2001 was an eye opener, but our country always pulls together. However while on Chantix in 2008 at the behest of my grandchildren, wife and doctors to quit smoking, unbeknownst to me, there were some side effects.
One of those effects is severe paranoia. The looking over your shoulder type paranoia!
This was after two weeks. Went to doctor immediately, said “doctor, I’m paranoid!, please help.” He asked what I was paranoid about? I didn’t know and couldn’t answer the question. He said, “well you can’t be paranoid”.
Why not I asked, he explained. People who are afraid of flying are only afraid when they get to the airport, not while sitting at home watching TV, people who are in fear of snakes/spiders are only afraid when one crosses their path! So he asked , “are you seeing things, hearing things, are men in black chasing you”? I said “of course not.” He said, “then you’re not paranoid, have you been on any medication”? I said yes, Chantix! “Stop taking it,” he said!
I stopped and have never picked up a cigarette again and all the money saved went to educate myself in the ways of self defense. My eyes were opened to the very scary world around us, including the administrations surrendering of sailors on their knees. I knew then things were out of control. We ceased to be the powerhouse I left behind.
I went full out preparedness, first aid training, self defense classes, CCW, carried right from the start in condition 1. Had some training prior but never for self defense. Been shooting for over 40 years. But now it’s become a matter of life and death. I practiced, pre covid-19, three times a week, joined USPSA eight years ago. The journey is continuous. I’ve since trained, my daughters and all my grandchildren. We all carry, we all keep first aid kits both on person and in vehicles. Youngest daughter became an EMT! Safety and awareness are this family’s motto.


Have you ever been in a situation where you did not have money or food? I have, and from there I have vowed to have things just in case of another bad situation. I will always have Ramen in the closet, the more the merrier. I am not going to list all my stash but I feel safe for about a year.


I’m not sure there was ever a specific reason for me, much less an exactly time. I started to seriously get into guns just before I moved out on my own. I started to get into things like EDC knives and such just because, my social media idols were, so I figured I should be lol. My first year by myself, I had to deal with things like a busted gas tank on my car and thunderstorms which repeatedly knocked out power. That stuff got me thinking seriously about simple items I did not have but probably should. More recently, Covid forced me to get into emergency food supplies, though I always intended to. So I guess it’s just be an evolving process for me the last couple years.


I started, because I am my families 1st and last line of defense. The older I get, the more I have begun to realize what is going on in the world around us. So, I exercise every right I have to defend my own.


2015…I caught a couple of sites like Full Spectrum Survival and Canadian Prepper and while I didn’t agree with a lot of what they said a good chunk of it made sense particularly as a Scoutmaster and always preaching to the boys on being prepared I thought about taking that on and treating the family like a troop (it was about this same time that I started my conceal carry journey).

Started small, with putting together an enhanced medical bag for the family and making sure they all had “essential packs” (72hr bags).

Then, based off a recommendation from Canadian Prepper’s channel, I read the book On Second After…and then Going Home (not sure how I heard about that book)…that’s when I sort of kicked it into high gear and started taking a number of different actions from water supply to food stuffs, to ammo, to feeling out different people to consider them for a “SHTF Defense Co-op” (because you’ll need a group)

Not quite where I want to be yet (particularly in regards to water), but I’m a lot further from where I was.


When I started with the fire department in 1985 I learned quickly to keep a bag in my car with a full change of clothes and two pair of socks. That was followed by first aid gear and spare fire equipment. The list has gotten longer over the years and there are several bags always in the car ready to go or grab and go.


I think I sort of inherited it. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up and like a lot of people from that generation they were “depression burned”. From livestock to large gardens they could produce almost all the food they needed. And the basement was full of canning jars and other stores. What they did buy at the store was not only for the food but the jars that were repurposed to containers and drinking glasses. There was not much that couldn’t be fixed by something we found in the barn, shop, or kitchen junk drawer.


2005-Hurricane Katrina, after watching FEMA and Dubya drop the ball. I started out with $50.00 and now have enough for a year with plans for beyond. :+1:


When a viable threat was made to me against my life I started preparing myself back when I was: 13. Then as I grew my other tools came into play I’ve never stopped being prepared. Because I do not know if that threat is still viable. I keep tabs on them to keep myself aware but I’ve been preparing for a long time and then as my circle oh loved ones grew so did my preparedness.


Mine started when I became a boy scout, and because I became a boy scout. The rest was just affirmation.
It’s a shame what’s happened to that time honored institution.


November 2018.

I was pro gun and everything and had thoughts about eventually getting a CHL when I was 16. I was very pro-gun and more so after I took my government class and learned about stand your ground and castle doctrine.

I kind of opened my eyes up a bit, when I worked at Kroger’s at 18, in 2016. During my time there I’ve ran into all kinds of weird people. I’ve had to help Old people to their calls who didn’t know where their cars were, had to stop carts from flying and taking old people with them.

There was a time working there that there was this guy I packed groceries for, asked him if he wanted carry out he would come out and say “I ■■■■■■■ LOVE YOU MAN, I LOVE YOU! I know you’re out here having to deal with the public and ■■■■ but I love you.” Just started acting strange. Later people told me he was a registered sex offender and that to avoid him. During that interaction I felt almost as if he was going to shove me in the car. So then I started questioning the job, what if one of our 16 year old baggers get kidnapped? What protections are in place?

If I could go back in time, I would tell my 18 year old self. Here have some pepper spray you’re going to need it just incase. But I wasn’t fascinated in pepper spray. I was fascinated in having a dash cam, getting a new Apple Watch an iPhone my first car.

Things went downhill at Kroger’s and got hired in at a gas station on June 21st 2017. A few months into working at the gas station on October 26, 2017. Around 3am I got an eerie feeling and I thought to myself should I make a drop right now? I’m like nope. I’ll make a drop when I pull shift. 3:23 comes. I’m cleaning a coffee pot, and I’m listening to music and the next thing that comes into mind is “Did I just hear what I thought I just heard?” I didn’t even hear what was said or knew what I heard. Like my brain automatically knew what I heard but I didn’t. I looked back, there was a guy in a mask 5’2-5’3 and I turned back to where I was looking originally and just froze. Thoughts running through my mind like, “Is this how it’s supposed to go? There’s not big guys coming in with guns?” I was so confused. I looked back at him and I said in a confused voice, “what?”
I turned around with my arms up, I started asking myself what is company policy? Give him the money that’s right. Then it hit me, I forgot to do my drops. So I told myself repeatedly in my mind, “open the drawer 10’s 5’s, 1’s shut the drawer.” Over and over and over and I did exactly that and he left.

A few nights later October 29th 2017 Just came into work, I’m working on the coffee trays. I’m paranoid, and I just happen to turn around at 11:40 and see a guy running up to the gas station he opened the door, he was a lot bigger than me probably around 6’5 and he acts like he pulls a gun and I froze, and puts his hand 2 inches away from my face, not saying one word. I seen he had no gun and I pushed him back, I told him I’m giving you your money, and opened the drawer. He slammed it shut, told me no that’s not what I’m after and pushed me down, went into our office grabbed our change box which was change in a jewelry box and ran off with it.

Both guys were never caught and I started carrying Mace and a stun gun.

A full year later…

November 12, 2018. I my coworkers just set up a new drawer for me at 10pm. Around 10:16pm they leave. I have a kid come in the store around 10:22. He’s asking me questions about where things are and circling around the room. He gets in a position where he can see the robber, and when the robber makes a go for it, he asks do you know where the chapstick is, which was right across from the door. I come from behind the counter and point to it, and the next thing I hear is the door ring and I’m right in front of this door. I looked back and seen a guy in a mask.

He acted like he pulled a gun in his pocket demanded the money and left. He was later caught along with the driver in the case. The robber got 5 years and the driver got 2 years. That weekend I got my first handgun went and got my CHL on the day of the pre-liminary hearing and in January when I got scared of getting hit again I decided to get USCCA.

Haven’t been robbed since, and I’ve taken the extra pre-cautions thanks to USCCA’s content.

More people need to be armed and now I feel unsafe without some of my tools like a flashlight, mace, and knife.


My agency was the first federal agency with boots on the ground assisting with Hurricane Katrina. We were there before the National Guard or any other LE agency. Our mission was a humanitarian relief effort. Evacuate the ppl from the city. After seeing first hand what the lack of a plan, resources, and preparedness looked and felt like, I vowed to try and be one step ahead by simply having a plan for basic and worse case scenarios. Most think it’s paranoia, and sometimes it teeters along the line, but who cares? Our life experiences shape our actions and lucky for me, I’ve been stress tested on and off the job to the point where my mantra is “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Stay sharp ppl.


I started in 2000 right before hurricane Floyd. I moved to GA in 98 from Philadelphia, where did not have to worry about hurricanes (not so now). I started researching on bug-out backs and survival. My family had to evacuate in 200 when Floyd landed. The bug-out bag severed its purpose. I have since prepared bags for my 2 sons and now they are grown and have their bags with them. I have a three day bag and a two week bag prepared for me and the wife.


I had camped all over Oregon in my early 30s and had much of the equipment one might need if a disaster struck. I worked at a youth facility managed by the forest service and it was 20+ miles from town. Students had gone home for the holidays and there were about 30 staff members left. I lived in a mobile home on Gov’t property and had a wood stove. Not everyone did and I saw how desperate it became for those folks in 30° temps. I don’t have a stove now but have made sure I’ll always have fire.
It was during this 2 week period that an avalanche and super high flooding occurred. The power was out and there was only one way down the hill. A 4 hour trip in a 4wd as opposed to half an hour. My Festiva’s 12" tires would not have made it.
My neighbors and I made it through those 2 weeks but not without new knowledge of what could have been if we hadn’t banded together and shared resources. From then on, I have tried to have multiples of things so I can share or barter with others. Some of those things will be like gold later on.

1 Like

I had fun with Chantix too. I knew it could cause depression and suicidal thoughts so when it started happening, I said to myself, “Oh, I’m thinking suicidal thoughts. Must be the Chantix” I continued another couple of days and haven’t smoked since. Chantix is now listed as a drug I’m allergic to in my health records. :grin: