SHTF not always the scenario you think about

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by John I

When I have read about the SHTF scenario in survivalist blogs and articles, I had visions of nuclear attack, virus outbreak, zombie apocalypse, etc. It takes a lot less than that to upset your personal life and put you in a SHTF scenario.

We have always kept extra supplies and food on hand. We lived a lavish and wasteful lifestyle. We have a huge house, expensive cars, nice furnishings and lots of electronics. I work in IT and have always made great money.

My wife worked as an Xray tech and was always unemployable but made less than half the money I did. Our household members at the time consisted of my wife, our daughter, my mom (who was disabled in 2003 by a stroke) and myself. My wife and I have always enjoyed firearms. As most Americans, we didn’t have any savings and had an embarrassing amount of credit card debt.

In Sept of 2010 I lost my job, the first time in nearly 16 years of our relationship I haven’t been employed. The old job paid me out vacation and my wife was able to juggle the finances to get us by without much disruption in our lifestyle. I was out of work for a month. Luckily, I was able to secure a two-month contract for about 95% of my last salary. In the middle of December, I was once again unemployed. If you have ever been unemployed in December you know that it is a tough time to find work.

January 1, 2011 is SHTF day for me, my wife informs me that our 15-year marriage is over and she is moving in with her boyfriend. I am unemployed losing another income, still have my disabled mother to take care of and my daughter wants nothing to do with her mother. All this and not to mention I am losing the love of my life, best friend and feeling very betrayed.

I was lucky that we had a lot of extra food on hand and also a lot of toilet tree supplies on hand. I had to buy a few fresh things like milk but overall the months of January and February were pretty light on buying retail items. My 401K at my old job had to be cashed in to pay the mortgage and other bills for the next couple of months.

I was able to secure a full-time job in mid February 2011 but it paid about 75% of my old job and also my soon to be ex-wife income was gone. This left me with about a 40% gap of yearly income. Our daughter was finishing her 8th grade year and would be starting high school in the fall so I did not want to move. She has been through enough and needed some stability. All this made me figure out a realistic budget that we had to follow since our finances our so tight now. I had never bothered with a budget before.

In the end I am stuck with half the credit card debt and the big mortgage. On the plus side the only personal change in the house is the loss of the ex-wife. This means our daughter lives with me full-time (she sees her mom a few times a month for a total of maybe 10 hours a month). My mom still lives with us too and still needs my assistance.

Although we never considered ourselves as survivalist, we were lucky that we had a lot of supplies that got us through some tough times. My point of this article is that catastrophe doesn’t have to be a national disaster; it can and probably will be a personal disaster. FEMA and the federal govt doesn’t come to the rescue for personal issues. This is the disaster I should have prepared for better.

My 2012 Goals:

  • Get in physical shape. This is a relatively cheap thing I can do to get me through the next SHTF. I plan on doing an obstacle course marathon like Tough Mudder to test my skills. If I can finish the course I should be able to escape the zombies. 😉 Even if I can handle a firearm, it doesn’t mean a lot if I can’t find cover and be able to evade the enemy.
  • Continue to pay off my debt and do not create any new debt. I hope to have my half of the credit card debt paid off in five years.
  • Continue to encourage my daughter through high school and prepare her for college.
  • I am taking my first stab at gardening this spring, I hope it is a success.
  • Only buy what I need and not buy things just cause I want it (easier than it sounds).

Lessons learned:

  • I will never rely on a two-person income. If I cannot afford it on my income then I don’t need it.
  • I will not charge things on credit cards unless an absolute emergency (I honestly can’t think what that emergency would be). I use my debt card to buy things but I do not buy items on revolving debt.
  • I keep at least $100 in cash on me, just in case.
  • My pantry will have at least two months of food and personal items such as razors, shampoo, soap and other person hygiene products. I know this is light but I live in a tract housing community.
  • I doubt we would make two months before the mob would come knocking.
  • After having extra time to read these types of sites, I now have an everyday kit and a three-day kit in my car.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

Please Spread The Word And Share This Post
About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.

Comments

  1. Bless you for facing a difficult, painful situation head on, learning from it and getting to work on your future. Your mom and your daughter can be rightfully proud of you. Best of luck to you and your family.

  2. Sorry to hear of your problems. Been there, done that. I had 5 kids when my x decided to run off with a guy to Florida. You will make it. I isn’t going to be easy at first but you have your daughter and mother for support.

  3. snickerflix says:

    Wow!! You’ve been through a lot. I’m glad you were able to get it together without ending up on the street, that’s happening too much these days.
    I’ve learned a lot from this site too. A lot of these articles I print out along with the comments and put them in a binder in case the SHTF and I need an answer to a question if we don’t have electricity or internet. I couldn’t for the life of me remember all of this stuff.
    Good luck on your gardening journey.

  4. john -you have my admiration for pulling through in hard times especially for your daughter and mom. hope things will get better soon.

  5. Mark Odenbach says:

    This personal account is an excellent way to open peoples eyes to the absolute wisdom of the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared. The only certainty in this world is uncertainty; stability is fleeting at best. The baby-boomer generation, of Americans, is still making plans and decisions from a paradym which is no longer valid. Marriage, retirement, job security, employer provided health care, etc. are no longer the norm. We must adapt or die, and the sooner the better.

    We have drifted away from the moral society of our Founders, and we are reaping the consequences.

    Brace for impact, and get down on your knees and pray for protection, because we are all going to need his help and guidance.

    Mark Odenbach, an American Patriot

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Mark Odenbach, um, I happen to be a Baby Boomer and take exception to your criticism of my generation. You paint with too broad a brush.

      You apparently read the Bible, did you miss this part? “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

      Marriage may not be the norm, but are you saying we must adapt to not being married? So shacking-up is your plan for survival? Wow, I’m so glad I’m not part of YOUR generation.

      • Hey Lint, I don’t think the ole boy meant it quite the way it sounds. At least I hope not. It’s our generation that gave the younger folks all the technology and progress they take for granted today. We made our misstakes, of that there’s no dought, but not as bad as those being made lately. Even in our senility, we at least know who NOT to vote for. Just my thoughts . . .

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Rex J., maybe I misread his comment or maybe I took it too personally. So, I thank you for your reply. If I over reacted, I apologize.

          • SurvivorDan says:

            Indeed I was bristling until I realized that if I took out the word ‘marriage’ his statement rings true. Things are not what they were. Young folks can’t expect to put in ther 25 or thirty and have a guaranteed pension , let alone SS. I don’t think he was making a cheap shot at us elders. If he was we’ll get an over-the-hill-wolfpack-gang together and go give him hell! Whippersnapper! lol

            • Encourager says:

              Perhaps he meant marriage was not what it used to be. As in the people getting married don’t believe in fidelity or personal responsibility? Come on, Mark, set the record straight! I, also, am a ‘senior’, and have seen the decay of our society first hand. I have told my sons since they were teens, not to count on Social Security. I thank God my hubby and I DO get SS, because his company cut his pension (after forcing him to retire or be fired) by the amount we would have gotten from SS…whether we wanted to get it or not, we were forced to. Learned to live on about a 40% reduction in income. The first few years were the hardest; we are doing okay now. Our root cellar is full, I have enuf TP to last 6 months, lol! Life is good! ;o)

            • Mark Odenbach says:

              Interesting comments everyone. My point was simply that our overall societal morals have decayed to such a point that we all need to wake up to that fact and get to business restoring them. I have been happily married for 24 years and believe that the Sacrament of Marriage to be one of the three pillars in a moral society. I’m glad that some of you took offense with your interpretation of what I said. It means that their is still some hope.

              Still, brace for impact and protect as many as you can, because it will get much worse before it gets better.

              God Bless you all.

              Mark Odenbach

        • Well not to throw stones but you all where the ones back in the day who didn’t keep the politicians accountable in the first place.

  6. GT Urban Prepper says:

    I am sorry to hear about your rough times. I would also suggest having some plywood and 2×4’s on hand, as well as a basic tool kit. You never know when a basic, yet solid set of tools and supplies will come in handy.

    On the getting in shape, don’t skimp out on the shoes, do a lot of research into what shoe is best for your body type and intended use. A bad shoe or inappropriate shoe could do a lot of damage to the joints and keep you from getting in the shape you want to be in. Also suggest loose fitting clothes but not baggy. A heart-beat monitor is also a handy device for knowing when you are entering a good range and when you are starting to over exert yourself. And always bring some fluids and nutrition with you when you exercise, if you plan on wondering too far from home.

    Last but not least, develop a personalized plan for bugging-in or out and get your family all on the same page and DON’T tell just anybody. Your survival plan is just that, a plan to survive. If everyone in your neighborhood or at your place of business knows that you are prepared , they might just try to come and get at your supplies.

    Looks like you are on a pretty good track to getting ready! Oh and before I forget, redundancy. You need a “plan b” and “plan c” for pretty much everything from food to medical supplies to weapons and tools.

  7. wannabemountainman says:

    Hell of a story, bro!
    You made an excellent point…sorry you had to write from first-hand experience…it’s not all “Zombies and Red Dawn” we should be prepared for.
    I’ve been there, having wads of disposible resources one day, and nothing the next, so I can relate. I now by extra during my weekly shopping trips, even if it’s just a pack or two of dried noodles.
    I wish all the best for the three of you, and thanks again for the insight.

  8. I feel your pain! You are on the right track, my ex forced me into bankruptcy, do everything you can to avoid that. #2 left me while maxing out a LARGE line of credit I was trusting enough to let her have access to and that caused me to lose my home and land.

    You are so correct in that there are personal SHTF situations not affecting the public at large but just your family. Like you I had always had a big pantry mainly because it was just cheaper to buy in bulk when things were on sale and that habit plus selling off some things that were not needed and side jobs kept me alive through the bankruptcy. I have never been at such a low point in my life as when I realized what she did plus losing a loved and trusted spouse. It got worse when I realized I had no option other than bankruptcy, I will be ashamed of that for the rest of my life.

    Thank you for telling your story, I was ashamed to tell mine for a long time but after I let it go I felt so much better and also found out that there are lots of stories just like ours. I tell folks to watch your finances and really think about the damage that someone can do if they decide they don’t love you any longer and want out.

  9. This sounds familiar, unfortunately. My ex-husband left me (for a teenager whom he got pregnant right before he tried to come crawling back to me!) while I was unemployed. I had been the one making the larger income, and when I was laid off and needed his income, he bailed. I also had some medical issues at the time. (What a great guy, right? Thank goodness we did not have children together.) Anyway, I got through it due to budgeting my small unemployment income & thanks to a decent sized food stock. (I did manage to shed a few pounds though, which wasn’t a bad thing!) I sold all of my (and most of his!) stuff, put the money in savings & was luckily able to move in with my mom until I got back on my feet.
    It all works out for the better in the end. You just have to remember to be prepared for ANYTHING!

  10. Texas Nana says:

    John I
    Thanks for sharing your story, you make a very good point. A lot of people think that the “SHTF thing” is going to be something big. Your personal story shows how the SHTF event could be a very personal time. With more and more people becoming unemployed or under employed the risk is high that others will suffer a similar event to your own, lets all hope a prayer that they can be a prepared as you were. It’s very hard to be prepared for your spouse to announce that he/she is leaving, but it happens.
    I’m glad you have been able to retain your home, you are correct in looking to stabilize your daughter’s and mom home life. A stable home is huge in rebuilding your life.
    Good luck in the future, and may God’s grace bring a measure of comfort unto you and yours, in these uncertain times.

  11. A great article. A great story. We all tend to think of mass disasters rather than personal stories. Such times can be just as trying. Thankyou for alerting us. I hope all works out best for you.

  12. I’ve had some health situations in the past that are similar to your challenges. And I have seen many other folks in similar situations over the years. The biggest difference I’ve seen in most of these folks is that some give up, blame it on everyone and everything else but themselves, and end up in perhaps worse shape than they would have to be in. I’ve also seen others that man up, grab their bootstraps, pull them upright, and make a plan. It looks like you’re in the latter category, and you should be congratulated for it. These next years will no doubt be trying, but if you keep your head up, keep your spirits high, and keep moving forward, you will someday look back at these days, perhaps even with a smile. Things will get better, and life will no doubt continue. The real thing you will look back at five years from now, are the lessons learned, and whether or not you came through the trials and tribulations with a poor attitude or a smile. I think in hindsight the lessons learned will be better if they came with a smile. Keep that good attitude and good luck.

  13. Keep your chin up and continue to prep for the unexpected. You are right in that a SHTF scenario is not always a natural disaster, etc., but a personal situation. Congratulations on a good attitude and taking care of your mother and daughter. A great book on dealing with the financial end of things is Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. The principles in the book helped me greatly a few years ago as our family struggled under a mountain of debt. Now we are debt free with the exception of the mortgage and we are chipping away at that. Good luck.

  14. John, I am sorry that you have had to go through so much but I want to say thank you for sharing your story with us.
    While I will continue prepping for the possibility of a huge event, you are right in the fact that S hitting TF can and most likely will be a personal event. Many of us have faced some sort of loss such as losing a home, loved one, income, ect. While each of these things are never easy to deal with, I would agree that it is our attitude that gets us through or not. I know I have dealt with some very trying times, and have been told I am a “victim” of this or that, but I refuse that mentality. I have been in a situation where I walked out with my daughter on my hip and the clothes on our backs, nothing else, and I felt lucky.
    The will to survive and to get through any situation is a strong tool, one that we can not buy or store, but one we have to build up inside of us.

    • TG,

      You are so right here. Perseverance and determination go a long way towards getting us out of messes.

  15. John,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I think you are absolutely right that the most likely SHTF scenario is job loss/economic stress. It looks like more and more Americans are walking up to the possibility of economic disruption and the necessity of preparing for life’s unexpected downturns. Life presents challenges, and the better we can prepare for them, the better our families will get through them.

  16. Sorry to hear about your problem’s , But may I suggest you buy some polish for your right boot so it will look good when you introduce it to your Ex’s Ass.
    You have handeled it much better than I would, I hope and pray for your recovery in every way.

  17. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Just this morning I was thinking about the personal “disasters” that afflict all of us at one time or another. They are inevitable, although the type and duration of personal disasters do differ.

    I will not go into personal stories since I’d written about them before here on MD’s blog, but I have had my fair share of troubles and was always grateful to have had the forethought (through divine inspiration, I believe) to have had supplies and food on hand in enough quantity to get me through the toughest times. I was raised to be conservative (small “c”) with my hard-won possessions, and that is why I became a Conservative (capital “C”) when I was old enough to vote.

    There is always going to be a rainy day in our futures – always. And being as well prepared as we possibly can will help us get through those tough times. But don’t forget to live a little, too. 😉

    • "Big Jim" says:

      Your so right Lint . We all have to remember that our problems
      may not have a quick fix , but they most likely are fixable . We absolutely have to live a little and then a little more ! As the old saying goes – “free your mind and your ass will follow” ! Just make sure priorities are forever considered first!

      Good luck John ,Lint, and the rest of the pack !

  18. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    John…thank you for sharing your story. It’s through people’s experiences that I learn and grow.

    For myself, I went through some very hard times a couple years ago (poor health, major family changes, some deaths) that brought me to a standstill. I had to let go of my ideas of how life is SUPPOSED to be to be able to move forward. Then, two other things became important: FORGIVING the ‘wrongs’ done to me (by people and by ‘life’), and looking at the hard changes as CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES instead of devastation. It looks like you are well on the way to these things!

    And I see you having your daughter and mother as blessings… something to be active with rather than being alone with your grief.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

  19. Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

    My husband left when my kids were 5 and 3. Actually, he cheated, tried to come back and I kicked him out. Things were really bad for a bit. I had to send my kids to live with thier grandma while I stayed with my boyfriend (don’t worry, I found him after the divorce). I got my job and my apartment, moved the kids in and struggled for years. I am now re-married (to that boyfriend) and we stock up. I stock up mostly for worldly SHTF events, my husband is very kind and very rugged and would “probably” not screw me and the children over should something happen between us. It’s comforting to know that should one of us loose our jobs, or something did happen, that we have food for at least two months in the home. On that note though, if he did leave, I can pay the rent and utilities on my own. We both made sure that we would rent a home where we could pay the bills on one salary.
    Now, to the point of my post. My sister (younger) has been with her husband going on a decade or so now. He is 32, she is 28. They have a 2 year old boy, a brand new house with a good sized mortgage, 2 new cars, every electronic on the market (you get the picture). He doesnt want more kids, she does and because she does, they are trying to get pregnant again. As an outsider looking in, I don’t think he is very happy with life and she is very strict. She doesnt allow him to watch dirty movies (a womans personal choice), she doesnt allow him to visit his family without her permission, she makes him fix things in the house while she sits on the couch etc., I worry about him leaving her. He is the bread winner. She works as well but on her paychecks she couldnt even afford the house. They shop for food on a weekly basis, because that is all they ever have. They don’t have any stock on anything. No extra food, water, diapers, batteries, nothing. I am scared for my sister. I try talking to her but she still has her rose colored glasses on and I am not sure what to do…..

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Jennifer,

      Keep talking. Find examples where other people have been hurt, the kind that she can relate to and show her how close she is to the same conditions. Hasn’t the fear of job loss then home loss entered her head?

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Jennifer (Prepping Wife), you cannot protect people from themselves. Some people have to learn the hard way, and that may be the case for your sister. It’s hard to watch, but you really can’t do much else. IF you interfere, she may resent you forever. All you can do, perhaps, is print out this entire guest post (comments included) and ask her to read it when she has a few free minutes. Somewhere in the back of her mind, these comments will stick with her and maybe sink in.

      You’re a good sister because you care.

    • Pineslayer says:

      Sorry about your ex, this story is all too common. As for your sis, more kids make these relationships worse more often than not. Sounds like your brother-in-law knows this or isn’t the big family type. Either way they need intervention. As hard as it will be, it can be worse, imagine 2 kids or more in a deteriorating relationship. Your and your family need to sit her down and read her the riot act. Better to have her pissed at you for a while than deal with the fallout of another failed marriage with kids. You will be happier in the long run if you speak your mind now, rather than later. Sorry if I come across as pushy, but sometimes I think it is better to stick your nose in early and try to avoid a bigger problem later, like them moving in with you.

      Good luck in this tough family situation.

  20. Kudos to you on fighting through your troubles. It’s difficult to keep getting up when life kicks you down. My husband and I have seen our once comfortable lives dwindle to where we’re now homeless. While we didn’t have a fancy house or cars, we always had enough to pay our bills and a little left over. With the economy crashing, all of that is gone, and now I’m unable to work due to assorted medical issues that have worsened through the years (due to lack of health care). I wish you luck.

  21. Sorry to hear of your troubles but remember: Job 5:7
    “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.”
    I remember that passage everyday after the tornado.When God made us he gave us free will. So sometimes things dont go good.
    I suggest you lookaround for any free legal advice in you community. There are good samaritans who can assist you in making the best decisions. Pay off the cards, dont use them. Keep you mind on not YOUR future but your childern’s future. Personally, I’d pretty much stop prepping altogther for some time- months or years. Unless it was stuff you can get for free and have place to store it. Cheer up- as I stare out over a barren landscape that had been a city , I remember places like Greensbugh Kansas and Zenia Ohio– there did not seem to be a future for those folks after the storm, but IT WILL GET BETTER. Keep your BIBLE handy, and maybe look at joining a support group.

  22. Forgot to say: keeping $100 reminded me of the old-west gun fighters- They’d sometimes keep a $100 bill rolled up in an empty cylinder so as to buy a “hundred dollar funeral” from the undertaker when they lost on the draw…

  23. Copperhead says:

    John I,
    Thank you for sharing your story. There are many lessons in it that we can all learn from. And I, like others here, have learned some of them through experience. Mine through the death of both husbands.

    May God bless you and your little family richly as you travel this road. I pray that you will succeed in all your plans.

  24. 1st thing , find an undocumented vertical mine shaft , if you live in the southwest they are all over the place , left over from the 1880s . Then you shoot the guy and toss the body down the shaft . It will never be found . Then you wait a year , going about your business until people no longer ask any questions . After that , you track down the ex and give her a permanent disability , loss of sight comes to mind , take her purse so it looks like a mugging . Then lead your anonymous life knowing justice has been served . Buy your new wife an expensive purse for her birthday , and forget to mention the tracking device sewed into the lining 😉

    On a serious note , sorry to hear that man , but you do bring up good points to what constitutes a SHTF situation , and the wisdom of prepping for just in case . I read a similar story about a man that lost his job , but because he was prepping , he also had some of the basics to keep his family going until he found work again . SHTF can come in any form , it doesn’t have to be a wide spread calamity . Those are more easily predicted . Hang in there , as somebody mentioned above , things do get better , just be open to it .

  25. Were I you, I would increase your pocket cash to something more than $100. That is a little light if something major happened and there were no banks or gas stations open. ATM machines and credit card machines are so very very vulnerable. As for the rest, you are on the right track! Keep your spirits up and look at your mom and daughter for the blessings that they are.

  26. Thank you for sharing your story. I have found most hardship is a beautiful opportunity to grow, change, adapt and learn. The pain fades and leaves a new improved version of yourself. Like shedding a skin.
    You are blessed to have gotten her out of your life before she caused some real damage.
    I lost a husband years ago to suicide and raised two boys on my own, while running my own business and working a small farm. I decided I did not want other people to raise my children so I adapted and thrived. I look back and see that when I lived in the little old farmhouse, every inch remodeled and shaped by my own hands. Two boys, many animals and the gardens, I was truly happy and blessed. I was born a prepper. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. But a happy one. And I believe that you will be too.

  27. John, at the end of your life you can look back and know you did the very best with situations you were handed. Every girl needs a daddy she can look up to — not only will your relationship with your daughter affect her selection of a husband and therefore your grandchildren, but our relationship with the Most High has a lot to do with our relationship with our earthly fathers. People who have good interactions with their dads have an easier time of trusting their Heavenly Father than people who were abused or abandoned by their biological dads. How can they trust a Heavenly Father? Good job, John.

    Thank you for being a blessing to your mother. Did you know the fifth commandment is the only commandment that comes with a promise? “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

    I commend you, John, for fulfilling your duties. I will pray for you by name. Someday you will look back on today, standing in amazement at how far you’ve come.

    • For us people who were abandoned by our biological fathers, our Heavenly Father IS our father, He looks after us and we have a loving relationship with Him.

  28. SurvivorDan says:

    Sorry about your troubles John. It does sound that you are persevering and will overcome your difficulties. The kid does provide inspiration and motivation aplenty, eh? Times were I wanted to give up but looked at the Mrs. and the kids and kept keeping on. Good luck buddy. Stick around.

  29. Sometimes SHTF is a tornado that leaves you nothing but the foundation of your home. Saw the news about the tornadoes in Alabama this morning. The aftermath pics got me thinking more seriously about separate underground storage.

    • Encourager says:

      Me, too. I am now thinking which small hill should be the one we dig a root cellar into. Don’t know the first thing how to do that, or how to keep the stuff in there clean and dry and bug-free. Folks, think about secondary storage! Those tornadoes in the wee hours of the morning destroyed many peoples lives. Praying for them. Am so glad we have a basement!

  30. Uncle Charlie says:

    I feel lucky. My wife and I parted company amicably after 35 years of marriage when we were empty nesters. No cheating that I know of or suspect on either side. Technically we’re still married, but we just live apart. I have a man condo instead of a man cave. We get together for family gatherings since I’m still on good terms with her siblings and we have a son and 3 grandchildren in common. We just can’t be together for too long a time but we manage a couple of group vacations together with old high school /college friends twice a year. Nobody else has mentioned this, but are you getting child support? You have a legal right to it right up to the time your daughter turns 18. As an x-ray tech she is almost always employable and your daughter has a right to it (even if you make more than she does). No matter what you both may think about taking money from her, do it. If for no other reason, you can make it your prepping fund. Don’t let her (and her boyfriend) off the hook. It’s not revenge, it’s justice.

  31. breadmomma says:

    John, tough situation, but you sound like a great dad and a very good person…we all hit our personal SHTF moments in this life…adversity and tough times can make you or break you…sounds like you got the best part of the deal, a great relationship with your daughter….I WISH my dad were still alive…I miss him every day…had a cat for a mom…but my dad made my life…gave me the tools to make it and be a successful and happy person…the gift you are giving your daughter is immeasurable…and remember, you do have your friends here pulling for you ….big hugs out to your way.

  32. I have no family, no kids, no wife, no girl friend, no parents so I cannot give you any advice on your situation.

    But, I can ask – is it better to have loved and lost or to have never loved at all? I mean a lonely life for decades…

  33. robert in mid michigan says:

    hell ofa story, i can relate on the job front and have been very lucky that my wife still wants to be around me after twenty years. keep doing what you are doing you are on the rite page i believe.

    the only thing i would advise you to do is not give up on a possible love interest in the future someone you love can make that bad situation a little easier. i understand living on your income and basing the budget around that and that is a good plan. if you do find someone in the future keep your cards and thiers seperate, use any eccess cash from two incomes to destroy bills both yours and thiers. make sure you live well with in your means. i went from 57k+ a year to 18k last year depressing but we are better for it.

    i would advise the dave ramsey baby step program, cant emphasis this enough for everyone really, it has changed my life. the only thing i would argue with him on is keeping one card that i pay for my gas with ( survival food as well) and pay off every week except the ten dollars i keep on it. you never know when that card will save your butt. i have one card left to pay off 350$ and im out from under them. then just the 50k on the house and i am debt free.

    as to your original point i completly agree personal shtf is far more likely for each of us and is not really a matter of if but when. many on this site have faced it in the past and learned that they did not like it and have changed their lives to make sure we can limit the damage.

    good luck in the future keep doing what you are doing and life will gete better. say a couple of prayers and know that you are in most of our prayers as well. god helps those that help themselves.

  34. Life is like a left hook to a glass jaw. The pain and suffering we bestow on one another and trials and tribulations we go thru is nutz, but in the end we individually or together perservere. Hang in there young man your daughter and mother depend on your mettle.

  35. I appreciate everyone’s comments. I have been busy and I apologize that I did not respond sooner. Your kind words mean a lot to me.

    Happy prepping,

    John I

  36. axelsteve says:

    We had a earthquake a couple of days ago. it was a 3.9 not even a coffee stirrer however it could have been allot worse.I am starting to pack up a go bag and a get me home bag.Just in case.My son may be moving in a few weeks.I will get him a bag also.

  37. Been there, friend. Sorry you’ve been there, too. SHTF scenarios are more often this than zombies, although, a I think about the suffering, a zombie attack would have been refreshing. As we age, SHTF will more likely take the form of failing health and employment issues. The poor policies of our great country frighten me, but not nearly as much as a stroke or fall down a set of stairs.

  38. And of course, thats the whole point, really. Be prepared for a rainy day. It rains all the time, The other stuff, not so much.

  39. Trailoftears says:

    A point well made, what happen to you suck’s and I feel for you, but at the same time you, your daughter and mother came out the other end am sure stronger and better prepared, as long as that lessen is learned, than your well on your way. good luck, survivalist/prepper

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!