Letter: Asking for Preparedness Advice

Hi there!

I heard JWR on InfoWars speaking on investing. This evening, my husband and I looked up your website and found the investment area and read your wisdom. We really already knew what to do, but I find myself overwhelmed and then get distracted. Your advice was to get prepared for a crisis first with beans, bullets, and Band-Aids! I love that. So now we’ll get going back in that direction.

We have 13 children. And that’s not a joke. We were wondering if your readers could please point me in a direction that would give me a simple guideline of what my family needs in case of a crisis? It needs to be basic to start with. We live on a 120 acre farm in the east and raise beef cows, dairy cows, hogs, and chickens and have learned how to grow food on a large scale now. We know God has led us to learn these things for a time of crisis. Not only for ourselves but to help others. We’re happy to be introduced to you!

In Him, A.P.


  1. Crikey! you could field a rugby team. I would suggest since you have the ability to produce food in quantity, you should invest in a good canning setup. Pretty much all the food you produce can be preserved using canning. It is also something you can invest in over time, increasing your supplies of jars and lids gradually so you don’t have a huge up front expense. However, you will want to get a decent pressure canner. I would suggest an “All American model 921”. It is fairly tough, doesn’t have seals that need replacing, and will process a full flat of pint jars at a time. However, with your crowd I would suggest mostly using quart jars. I prefer wide mouth since they seem more accommodating for filling. Yes, it is a bit of a cash outlay initially. But the money you save in time will pay for the equipment and supplies and beyond. Plus, you will know the content of the food you eat, instead of the chem list on the labels of commercially processed foods. I’ve been canning most of my life (I am 55 years old), and I’ve never had a single issue with spoilage or contamination. It just takes some due diligence and a little knowledge, usually gained by watching/learning from someone who is already an experienced canner like myself.

    The nice thing is you can take advantage of the harvest to save a lot of money, get a quality product, and become more self-reliant. I’ve canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and even dairy products. I can my own beef stew, chili, and turkey/rice soup. I’ve even some canned premium hot dogs that eat just like regular hot dogs a year later. Cheap hot dogs turn out more like vienna sausages after being canned. I have also canned my own version of spam.

    I would also recommend getting a decent manual powered grain mill and putting up some bulk hard red winter wheat. The wheat stores well, and lasts almost forever if stored properly, unlike flour. With the grain mill, you can produce flour on demand from you supply. 13 kids cranking on a grain mill can produce a lot of flour in an emergency, or you can buy attachments to run it on electric or even a small gas motor if you are ambitious enough. You can grind other grains and such with it as well. I have one myself, along with 200 lbs of grain, and I’ve used it to make loaves of bread. Cranking the grain mill by hand was some work (took the better part of an hour to convert 2 lbs of grain into suitable flour for baking).

    I’d also learn the art of sausage and cured meat making. If you butcher your own, so much the better. But being able to grind meat into sausage or how to cure and smoke pork belly helps to preserve that precious meat supply. Again, grinding/processing it yourself lets you know what is going in the food you are feeding your kids.

    Perhaps the best thing about all this is that you are not only acquiring skills that will help you, but you can then teach your children these same skills, so they can tend to their own needs when they are grown. Knowing how to preserve food can be just as valuable as being able to acquire it.

    Once you get these things going, I’m sure you will find it much easier to expand into other skills, like soap and candle making, knitting, leather work, and so on. Canning is a good starting point. Were I in your situation, this would be a top priority for me in learning prep skills and making the most of the resources you already have.

  2. You’re off to a good start already. But, as always, there are shocks to be met.
    Electricity is something to consider. If you don’t have it, will you have water? Do you depend on stock-tank heaters? What about the kitchen? Laundry?
    Will you be able to feed your livestock without ready access to diesel and gasoline? Will hay be obtainable?
    Medical–regular medical supplies (for humans and animals) may be difficult to acquire. So, learning to use the natural elements of water, earth, plants, sunlight, charcoal, etc. can be priceless (even in times of plenty).
    Education–invest in skills, and in the knowledge of how to align with divine Providence. Cease to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
    Clothing–hopefully you are skilled in sewing, maybe knitting, spinning, felting, tanning, flax/nettle processing? Leathercraft?
    Family unity–the hearts of the fathers need to come close to the hearts of the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

  3. You certainly have the land to do so many things I cannot….have not
    this is my plan…………………..40 years too late
    Plant fruit trees
    plant berry vines
    plant an Asparagus bed
    plant nut trees…you might live to get nuts..maybe your kids
    plant shade trees if you need them…the A/C MIGHT DIE
    plant…improve..work on a small woodlot for fire wood
    if you don’t have a wood stove………..keep your eye out this summer and buy one…if you do not want to use it now store it in the barn…buy and store the pipes and parts to make it work
    build a small greenhouse or a large one

    I KNOW…………you got NO TIME to do all of this today………….this week……..this year or next

    a today plan
    a this week plan
    a this month plan
    a this year plan
    a 5 year plan…the world may not end this year
    a 10 year plan …………..you MAY still be here
    OK………5,10,20…..a long range plan…..you MAY live to be 80
    you can all ways change your plan…………you will
    AND you WILL wonder WHY I did not do….this or that,,,,that or this

    today…..this week….this month….this year…………..you can not do everything
    today…..this week….this month….this year………….YOU CAN DO SOMETHING
    look on the plan and see what you should be doing

    1. Amazing start to a great lifestyle of preparedness!
      Rather then repeat all the good comments above , I would like to make this suggestion: locate the nearest community emergency response team training (which is free, 20 hour training) near you , and think about taking it as a family. (This course can be done online, however you will not be certified because of the skills that need to be tested.) CERT will provide a great foundation of the skills needed for the correct response to basic emergencies and disasters . Welcome to the wonderful world of being prepared.

  4. Hello A.P.,
    You are way ahead of most of the population, congratulations!
    I would simply suggest 2 books. Both written by JWR. “How To Survive the End of the World As We Know It” , and “Patriots”. These two books were crucial to me becoming a prepper. The first is non-fiction and covers a myriad of topics. The second is fiction and is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It actually shows how a situation could unfold and applies the information obtained in the first book in a life like setting. From my personal viewpoint, you have so much going for you that my priorities would be an alternative power source in case the grid goes down, and arming and training for the small army you’ve already been blessed with. Gods speed!

  5. Practice!!! I found the best way to learn my shortfalls is to practice. Turn off the main circuit breaker to your home for a couple of days. Don’t burn gas or diesel for a couple of days. You will be amazed how dependent you are on everyday things and then find an alternative method. It is better to learn now rather then when you cant turn the power back on.

  6. I have learned a lot about prepping from reading survival novels, James Rawles’ foremost among them. Read the entire series. It’s an enjoyable way to gather a lot of information. Another thing that is helpful is scenario based role play where you think of different possible situations and how you would deal with them. This could be a family activity which would tune everyone to how each other would react to events, and particularly into what the parents would expect of them.

    I recently binge-watched the Jericho series and took note of things done right and things done terribly wrong. It also highlights that human nature and personalities will have great impact on fluid ongoing situations. Savage barbarism is only a few layers deep under our thin veneer of civilization. Having recently moved from gang-infested southern California to the American Redoubt, I can testify that there are people now in many parts of our country who would as soon shoot you as look at you. This reality needs to be accepted and planned for. It’s not the same old place we grew up in. Wish it were not so, but we can no longer presume the best about everyone.

    Make sure every member of your family knows what to do if SHTF while they are away from home. Everybody needs at least basic survival skills as soon as you can arrange it. Self defense, escape and evasion, concealment, situational awareness, navigation, shelter, bushcraft, are the new ABCs. Native Americans (ultimate survival experts) used to drop off their boys miles from home with no supplies, make it home or die. No snowflakes in their culture.

    Very important is to NEVER tell anyone outside your immediate family about your preps, and make sure your children are trained to keep their own counsel as well. Your preps should be concealed as if they do not exist. People have long memories, and those nice neighbors (plumber/ mailman/ check out clerk/ babysitter/ Fedex guy) may not be so nice when their family is starving. Your confidantes can only be people you trust with your life, people you would give your life for. It will come to that level. Hunger does weird things to people.

    Write stuff down! Can’t tell how many great ideas I’ve had then forgotten for lack of a journal.
    Be methodical about tracking your inventory. Make a list of all the things you need to buy and learn about, and organize by urgency. Then set fulfillment dates. And know that the prepping NEVER ends!

  7. Without knowing your current situation I’m not sure where to start. If you try to tackle preparedness all at once you will quickly feel overwhelmed and discouraged. The basics are always food and water preps, I also have a large family and it comes with challenges that most preppers never really consider, money, clothing for growing children put back, etc… There is a lady by the name of Wendy DeWitt she is a member of the LDS church and talks to groups all over the US on easy ways to prepare, her website is http://everythingunderthesunblog.blogspot.com/
    you can also see some of her presentations on youtube. Her canning and planning ideas are a good place to start. The biggest hurdle most people have is money this is only made worse with a large family, being completely out of debt is one of the greatest blessing you can have so I would put this right up next to food and water preps. The reason is simple if you didn’t have any debt how long would it take to get all your other preps done, and when you’re in debt you are literally working for someone else. The other prep that is just as important are skills. You can always lose stuff but short of be incapacitated your skills will always be with you, I make a game and family activities with learning new skills, everything from gardening and camping to ham radio and weapon training. The kids enjoy spending the time with the parents and everyone comes out better than they started.

  8. Along with everyone else’s comments I would add go buy some books so that if it all falls apart before you have time tp learn the skills you need at least you have some place to turn for the information… A good place to start is the List of Lists on this site. The http://www.backwoodshome.com/ site is a treasure trove of information! The Encyclopedia of country living is also a great how to resource https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WL0JUQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 along with the Where there is no Doctor https://www.amazon.com/Where-There-Doctor-David-Werner-ebook/dp/B00CYQARUQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1518742189&sr=1-1&keywords=where+there+is+no+doctor these are some great basics to start with. If you want some more basics the foxfire books are a great compilation of skills that every old country village used to have, but not so much any more… https://www.amazon.com/Foxfire-Book-Collection-Books-Brand/dp/B01HUQY2TQ/ref=sr_1_cc_7?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1518742788&sr=1-7-catcorr&keywords=foxfire+set
    Buy the hard copies as much as possible so you don’t have to worry about your batteries dying and how are you going to access all of this information…. Either that or a good printer to print out a hard copy of all the E-books that you have bought.

    Enjoy the journey…. it is a change of life style and really should be enjoyed for its own sake.

  9. I suggest you carefully recruit a team to help keep that farm when the SHTF. You can provide food/housing for comms and shooters. You’re actually the flip side of what most preppers ask for – good job!

  10. I would suggest getting the survivalblog archive to start. You may be in a position to submit an article that could help other readers. Good luck and congratulations on having a good jump on being prepared. thanks

  11. Baby steps:
    Start out preparing for 3 days.

    Have on hand enough “way” to heat your home and cook for 3 days.

    Have enough water on hand for all 15 of you to drink, cook, and spit wash with for 3 days. 1 to 3 gallons/day/person for drinking/cooking/sanitation.

    Have enough no cook, little cook, or cook food on hand for all 15 of you for 3 days.

    Have enough seasonal appropriate clothing for all 15 of you for 3 days.

    There are already a number of good places to go and read listed. Here are 3 from the .gov


    The base url for them https://www.ready.gov/.

    AFTER you get the 3 days taken care of do a week.
    Then a month. Then, if you’re following the LDS prep guide – a year.

    You’ll get there, even with baby steps.

  12. Can you secure your place and animals along with having a water source that doesn’t require electricity to aquire…If not then my highest priority would be to move to somewhere you can do that…Next would be having your kids each master a new skill that will help if/when it all goes south…JMHO

  13. A good place to begin your search for low cost helpful supplies, like those mentioned above, is at thrift stores and garage sales. I’ve found many useful items, such as: candles, oil lamps and oil, hand crank food slicers, matches, and books. I’ve bought a library full of reference books, medical journals, instruction books on sewing, knitting, bread making, seed collection (for non-hybrid seeds), and all manner of leisure reading. Happy hunting!

  14. Good for you for wanting to get your family prepared for a disaster, or any thing really. There are lots of informational websites to get you going.We have found if you live near a Latter Day Saints provisional store (they sell to the public). We have been able to stock up pretty good with their products and they are long term. Skills, Skills, Skills. Really important! In your family everyone could learn a different survival skill to help the whole family. Keep going and you’ll get there.

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