The Illusion of Preparedness: Our Story

Think You're Prepared? So did I... 
If you had asked me a few months ago if I thought we were truly prepared, I would have confidently said yes. It turns out I was wrong... and I have the feeling that others may have fallen into this same thinking. So what changed my mind?
The answer to this has a few moving parts really.
The first, was that a few months ago my husband became very ill. (The reason for my absence the last few months) Though he had been having some slight issues with a high liver count and joint swelling. Since all of the many tests came back clear, the doctor felt that it was nothing more than a fatty liver and arthritis. The doctor said that this could be solved quite easily with a better diet, exercise, and of course medication. He made great strides with this new regiment too, in fact he lost 30 pounds and felt pretty good. Now fast forward to 8 months later... he had mysteriously turned very jaundice, could not walk, barely moved, had gotten double pneumonia one week, pleurisy and lung scarring the next, a liver count at nearly 1000 (normal being 0-65) and he missed weeks of work. Honestly, I wasn't sure that he would make it or that I could, without him either.
What does this have to do with prepping...? Everything!
One thing that some people might not generally consider is the "here and now" when it comes to prepping. What if your spouse/partner becomes ill or worse? Have you made provisions for that? I know that it may seem morbid to think about now as we are all trying to prepare for the future or even a post-shtf existence. But what if? You may have read articles on preparedness that advise you to get out of debt or straighten out finances and if you're anything like me, you may have not given it much thought. For me, that has definitely changed. I realize now that our family would not only be emotionally devastated, but because he was the only income...also financially.


The second time that we realized that we were not as prepared as we thought, was in early February. After having a very mild winter, the snow and ice finally came. When it did, for the first time ever our pipes froze and stayed frozen for a week. Sure we had provisions, but we soon learned that it was nowhere near enough. So the lesson here my friends is, if you think you have enough stored water...triple it, you don't. It took a lot more water than expected for drinking, bathing, cleaning, laundry and caring for our pets. We won't make that mistake again !
Our most recent slap in the face, was this tornado season. As some of you know we live in Oklahoma...and tornadoes LOVE us, but the feeling is definitely NOT mutual! On May 6th a tornado was heading straight for us (again), but turned and hit a few miles down the road. It destroyed many of our friends and neighbors homes. Now don't get me wrong, I've been through them before. I've even lost a home to one back in 1991 when I was a kid. But being a person who thinks of themselves as "preparedness minded", I would have never imagined how unprepared our family truly is. We've only been living in the illusion of preparedness.
 I'll share a prime example:

Yesterday while at work another tornado was tearing through Pocasset and making it's way towards us. Since we have no shelter in the trailer park, my family promptly came up to be with me at work. Though we have no shelter there either, it is not a trailer and does have an area for staff and residents to hunker down in.
Does the husband grab our pre-packed bags of important items? Negative. Does he grab the firearms and ammo? of  At this point I was thinking, it's a tornado not a dang invasion, sheesh !
What Have I Learned....?
Being fully prepared is an illusion.
However, there is a point to this personal saga. We are just like you, we still strive to be prepared. Everyday gives us the opportunity to access our preps and most importantly our plans! We have definitely found some issues that we need to work on and changes are in the works.
As cliché as it sounds...
A preparedness lifestyle is all about the journey, not just the destination!




  1. We are in Oklahoma too. We read "one second after" and it destroyed our illusions of preparedness. That and the electricity being out for a measly four hours. So far our record is ten days no running water.

  2. A very good article, and an eye opener for many, I am sure! We need stuff like this now and then to help keep us on our toes. Thank you.

  3. Thanks for this sobering post! I wish the best to you and yours and I'm sure you will be preparing for the worst. I'll pay attention to your experience and try to learn from them.

  4. That which does not kill you only makes you stronger, right? This is how we became more prepared over time. Starting in 1991 when an ice storm crippled our region, we couldn't have been any more unprepared. It was a truly eye opening experience. No power for 2 weeks, well pump needs power, so no water. We hauled water up from a creek to flush our toilet. We had to go to stores many miles away to obtain drinking water and by then the price had tripled, same with candles. Then came snow storms, black outs, another ice storm, each time we got better. It took 15 years for us to get where we are, learning more each time, just like you. If I hadn't been through these events I'm not sure how prepared I'd be today. It's hard to get through to people who haven't had any issues in the past. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to get people to realize what it takes to get your financial house, your supplies, your skills, & your mind in order. Sadly there is not. You have to experience it for yourself. Even then I'm sure there are plenty of people right now living in tornado alley, a hurricane zone, a flood plain ect. who would have a hell of a time even finding there flashlight. If you are new to this "prepping" stuff heed the authors words, and mine as well. Because someday "it" will come.