Long Term Preparedness & Self-Sufficiency

When it comes to preparedness, our main concerns are usually centered around how much we can stockpile, and how long we are prepared for. Most preppers tend to fall short when it comes to long term self-sufficiency.

Having a years’ worth of food stored is great, but what do you do when that runs out? And not many of us have the means or ability to store a years’ worth of water, so what do you do when that runs out?

While most disaster scenarios will not require you to have a years’ worth of water stored, the larger less likely disasters will have far more devastating consequences. Even a depression type event that wouldn’t “devastate” the U.S. could last several years and require some life changes.

SPP276 Long Term Self Sufficiency For Preppers

This week Lisa and I talked about considerations for when the well runs dry so to speak. It’s easy to go out and buy all our preparedness supplies, but what do we do when that options disappears. 

Water: Without water, everything else we have done to prepare is worthless. Water storage is fairly simple, but storing the amount you would need long-term is not.

Regardless of how much water we have stored, we will eventually need a long-term sustainable supply. Lakes, rivers, and wells are all great options, but are they available to you? 

Gardening & Animals: As with our water storage, at some point our food storage will run out. Our food storage should be used as a buffer to get us by until we can produce our own food.

Gardening & raising animals are great ways to supplement your food storage, but both take time and practice. The time to learn these skills is now, and not in a SHTF scenario.

Bartering: After the dust settles and the most dangerous aspects of a disaster subside, people will begin forming communities and trading supplies and goods. Bartering can (and will) also include bartering your skills.

We may not be able to produce enough food to barter with, but if we teach, repair or lend a helping hand, payment would be in goods rather than paper money. 

Food Preservation: Along with the ability to produce your own food, knowing how to preserve it is also important. Some of your meat and your harvested fruits & vegetables will need to be saved for future use.

The most popular method with preppers is canning, but there are a number of options when it comes to preserving and food storage. Dehydrating, smoking, curing meat, and root cellars are other options. 

Cooking Options: Something we take for granted (just like running water) is the ability to cook. The first question is when the grid goes down what emergency cooking options do you have? The second question is what will you do when that fuel runs out?

There are not many cooking fuel options when you start talking about long-term situations. The first that comes to mind is wood, and the second is solar cooking. We have an All American Sun Oven and plenty of trees around us, so I’m fairly confident in our ability to cook dinner.

Getting Out of Debt: Something that seems impossible for most people these days is getting out of debt. but for preppers this is a crucial part of preparedness. 

Whether it’s a personal doomsday, an economic crisis, or just being financially responsible, the less you owe someone else, the more you have for the important stuff.

Alternative Energy: People have survived thousands of years without electricity, but that doesn’t mean we have to also. We may not have the option to power everything in the house, but we should try to have some options. 

Although there are wind turbines and hydro power options, the most realistic option for most people is solar power.  The ability to create power when everyone else is without could be a game changer in a survival situation. 

Be Prepared to Adjust: As they say “Prepare for worst, and hope for the best”. We can plan and prepare all we want, but the truth is, we just don’t know how things might unfold. 

This doesn’t mean stop planning, it means be prepared for that plan to fail. Be prepared to pivot and change course depending on the situations you encounter, and the challenges you face. 

Mental Health: In a podcast Lisa and I recently did we talked about how people will become the X Factor. We not only need to worry about the people who might want to do us harm, but we need to consider the people around us, and ourselves.

Each person handles crisis and traumatic events differently, and we need to be aware how that might affect our preparedness plans. 

Grid Down Challenge

In the show this week Lisa and I talked about doing a “Grid Down Challenge”. You may have heard about people going the entire weekend without power to test their skills, but our challenge is a little different.

Ours is to see how long you can go without using anything powered by the electric grid for the entire day. This gives you a chance to use some of your preparedness supplies, and also gives you an idea about how things would really be without electricity. 

If you have kids in the house it’s also a little less traumatic to them when they only have to spend 1 day without their cell phone. 


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    2 replies to "Long Term Preparedness & Self-Sufficiency"

    • john chamberlain

      Hi Dale & Lisa, greetings from sunny OZ , my wife and I [retired] live on 5 acres where we built our own house and moved in over 2 years ago
      I like the way you present your views and agree with most of them
      where we live it usual for people to there own water supply we have
      2x 5000 gallon tanks filled by rain water plus a small lake , it was cheaper for us to go complete solar with electric and hot water than connect to the grid, we grow some of our fruit and veg and you right when you say now is the time to learn not when it all goes pear shape,on 5 acres we raise our own pork & beef and the meat taste better than from any shop, you have inspired me to stoke pile dry goods and other house hold supplies , we are both trained in first aid
      we make our own beer and cider from a kit and it taste great and is 10% of the price you have to pay normally .
      So a big thank you for inspiring encouragement and best wishes to you both
      Kind regards John

    • Doug

      Didn’t plan to but Mickey put my power out for 4 days. Ran 10 gallons of fuel though genny during the day while charging solar batterys so the wife could have elec/water/etc at night. Some work but it worked!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.