The past two years have been challenging at best. What have we learned?

Learning Never Ends

You may have thought you knew all there was to know about preparing or that pandemics could never happen again, but we learned we did not know or understand all we thought we did.

  • Did you learn Non-food items are important to store? We all remember the TP panic of 2020.
  • Did you learn Medical items are important to store?
  • Did you learn Five-Day Kits are not just good for evacuating? We used our N95 masks, cash, medications, and more from our kits.

Ports and Trucking are Essential and Affect Everything

  • We saw and are still seeing empty store shelves.
  • We experienced shortages of medicines and vaccines. We understand much of these supplies are made in China.
  • The price of shipping and transporting good has up increasing prices to consumers. Ocean shipping from Asia to the United States and countries outside of Asia has gone up 400%.

Climate Change Affects More Than We Thought

Whether you believe climate change is the result of human activity or it is part of a natural cycle, it is happening.

  • We have experienced crop failures due to drought. Grains have been in short supply for feeding livestock. Prices increased on fruits and vegetables as farmers could not get the water necessary to plant crops or to support trees producing fruit and nuts.
  • Natural disasters have increased. Last February saw a deep freeze in Texas, unheard of. The freeze resulted in crop failures, increased food prices, and shortages of chips used in cars, appliances and electronics of all kinds.
  • Tornados, the worst recorded, hit an area 220 miles long. Fire swept thru Colorado in December due to dry grasses fueled by winds that destroyed 1041 homes. These and other natural disasters have caused the price of wood and building material to skyrocket, when you can get them.

Inflation is Devastating: Worst Since 1982

  • Price increases reduced real wages by 2.4%
  • Food prices have risen 7% the past year.
  • New vehicle prices have risen 11.8% in a year.
  • Gas prices have risen 41.5% in a year.
  • Apparel up 6% in a year.
  • Energy up 30% in a year.
  • Beef up 22% in a year.
  • Baby food 8% in a year.

All these increases documented are by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We could go on.

Violence Has Increased

  • Rioting has gone on and been allowed in cities nationwide.
  • Smash and grab robberies have resulted in millions of dollars lost and store closures. Major chains are pulling out of cities.
  • Smash and grab robberies have resulted in deaths and fear of shopping.

Change Can Happen Overnight

  • The pandemic shut down travel, closed stores and restaurants and resulted in limitations of how much you could buy, all within two weeks.
  • Mandates have been changing in most areas weekly. It has been hard to keep up.
  • Schools closed and all activities were canceled overnight.
  • All non-emergency surgeries were canceled.
  • Temple attendance was canceled.
  • Church meetings were canceled.

Fear Can Kill Optimism and Joy

  • For those unprepared in Texas, the freeze left them wondering how they could survive the cold and left many wondering how they could keep their family safe.
  • Lack of food storage meant relying on others or going without and leaving many wondering how they would feed their family.
  • Panic set in for those unprepared with medications which were no longer in reliable supply.
  • Fear of catching COVID kept some from leaving their homes for weeks or months.

We Are More Resilient and Creative Than We Thought

  • Many began home schooling.
  • We learned to cook from scratch.
  • Our home improvement skills improved.
  • We learned to navigate new technology.
  • We held drive-by birthday parties and zoom wedding receptions.
  • We learned to evaluate what really matters most.

Preparing is not glamourous. It is often mocked by family and friends. It does not happen overnight. Peace comes at a price and can be uncomfortable requiring sacrifice.

The time is now. The world is waking up to the need to prepare ahead of a crisis. It is  go-time. What does that mean?

Study what we have observed and learn from it. Take a hard look at yourself and your family and honestly assess what you still need to learn. Are there skills you do not have? What skills would have helped you navigate the past two years?

Problems at the ports and with trucking are expected to last until the end of 2023. Do you have and are you accumulating what you do not have to meet needs, medical, food, clothing, power outages, etc.? Are you discovering Made in America shopping or looking for items made in the country in which you live so you don’t have to rely on imports?

Natural disasters are increasing. Have you done a home inventory, created a binder with important information and one with tips for preparing and dealing with a disaster? When a tornado threatened in Kentucky and fires swept thru suburban neighborhoods in Colorado there were only minutes to react. Do you have an evacuation plan? Neighborhood fires are becoming more common as we have built on smaller lots and droughts have increased fuels.

Violence can happen in any neighborhood or at any event. Does your family know what to do if caught is a frenzied crowd? Can you hunker down at home and truly not leave your home for any reason for days at a time?

Circumstances can change quickly. Fear due to lack of preparation can paralyze you. BUT you are creative and resilient. Now is the time to honestly examine where you still have gaps in your self reliance journey. We all have them, I do too.

We do not know what the next challenge will be. When I wrote about a pandemic in October of 2019 people thought I was crazy. Most believed with modern medicine that could never happen again. It did. We have read the scriptures, listened to modern day prophets and we know more difficult times are coming. Prepare a little each week and your family will survive and thrive. You can do it, you can do hard things!

For help with food and non-food items look up last year’s posts at totallyready.com or on Facebook. Scroll back thru the weeks for weekly challenges or purchase the ebook General Store Bundle with all the posts and additional information. Please direct questions or suggestions to [email protected].