In the seventh interview of the series we speak with Cass. Cass is a single mother from Texas focusing on becoming more self sufficient.
How long have you been prepping?
Was there a specific event or reason that lead you to realize that you should begin prepping?
After the passing of Obama care and the reelection of the president I became increasingly worried about the rising prices of food and everyday items. As a single mother I live pay check to pay check and I plan every purchase and payment I make.
Are you located in an Urban or country setting? Are you planning on bugging out or bugging in?
I live in the city but am planning to move to the country as soon as my son graduates next year. I want to get started with animals and a garden. Until I am able to move, I plan on bugging out. I don’t feel my current location in a townhouse will be safe. The windows are floor to ceiling in all the rooms on the ground floor, I know that goods and services will begin to disappear and do not feel safe where I am.
How did prepping change your lifestyle?
I notice things around me differently. I work out of town on a daily basis, I can easily drive over 150miles a day. I know several different ways home from where ever I am. I keep more supplies with me in my truck. When I bought a new vehicle recently I kept in mind having to Bug out, I have a large 4 door, 4×4 truck, not practical in my line of work as a home health nurse but I feel safer in it than a small economical car.
In a SHTF situation do you plan on working with a group or independently?
I belong to a group who have several members that will bug out. There are several locations across our area and while we will be spread out communications have been set up between the Bug out locations. We have many options if anything happens at any of the locations. Several “family” groups will be working together to keep each other safe. We work together to help each other and we attend trainings and have regular meetings.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you made that beginner preppers should avoid?
I bought small. What I mean by that is I bought a couple cans here and a few boxes of that there. It means if I bug out and have to load up in a hurry I have to transport a lot of small items. I joined Sam’s club and now buy in bulk, I keep the items in their original packaging as far as canned and jarred foods. Anything else gets packed in mylar with O2 absorbers.
Do you have children? How do they feel about your preps? Do they participate? If so how? If they were hesitant at first how did you get them to come on-board?
I have two children who are older, 20 and 17.
My daughter feels I am wasting my time and money on supplies for something that will never happen.
My son feels that everyone needs a hobby and mine happens to be prepping.
It’s okay that they feel this way. They are still young and have not had the responsibilities of being the provider either for themselves or their family yet.
Do you tell your friends and family that you are a ‘prepper’? How do they usually react?
I do not tell my friends, that is more because of privacy than the reaction I would expect. I love my friends dearly, but I do not have the funds or supplies to take care of everyone that would say, “I know where to go if something DOES happen.” Everyone is adults and we all have the same information and opportunities, if they choose not to prepare I can not support them all.
I have a small family and my children, mother and brother all know I prep. I have even prepped for my mother’s boyfriend, however I have told her I can not prepare for his family. My mother and brother are acutely supportive but do not help with my preps.
What if nothing happens? Would you consider all your prepping a waste of time and money?
I would not consider my preps a waste of time and money. I look on my preps as an investment: I am not good at saving money, one day I will need to retire. I will have a large supply of dry goods, personal hygiene supplies, dehydrated fruits and vegetables and so on. If nothing ever happens and the S doesn’t HTF, I will be able to live on my preps and hopefully the land I plan on getting and be comfortable.
What advice would you give a newbie prepper?
Plan for where you are going to be long term, either bugging in or bugging out. Find other preppers, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. It took me several months and missteps before I met a good group of people who were willing to let me in and embrace my questions and suggestions.
Plan for your family or bug out group. As I have a small family when I pack away dry goods in mylar I pack them in one gallon bags as opposed to 5 gallon bags. That way if I need to open the bag it won’t go bad before I am able to use the whole 5 gallons.
There are females so I plan accordingly for them, personal hygiene products, deodorant, also items such as hair products, extra personal garments, etc.
What is one item that you believe most other preppers overlook?
Knowledge. If the SHTF you may need to know how to do things without electricity and modern conveniences. I pick up old how to books, home maintenance how too’s and books on sewing, gardening and the like. I find them at estate sales and garage sales, thrift stores are good places to look also.
Is there anything else you want to share with everyone?
Don’t try to do everything at one time. Make a list of things you need/want. Work on one thing at a time. Remember safety and security are important but food and water is what will save you in the end.
I want to thank Cass for sharing her story with us!