• Trent Hess

I'm not a Prepper... But the COVID-19 Panic may make me Reconsider

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

I've never been a prepper. You don't know what a prepper is? You know, the crazy people who fill their pantries with canned food and water bottles, build bunkers and have plans in place so that they can survive on their own if the world falls apart. It always seemed over-the-top and paranoid to me.

One of our new chicks

All of the “self-sustaining” activities that we've undertaken here on our small Southern Lancaster County PA property have been purely as a hobby, because I love doing them. This has included gardening, strawberry beds, chickens, fruit trees, canning, berry patches, composting, and occasionally raising our own meat. These are things that I did for fun, but I never really thought of these as ways to provide for my family in the event of a catastrophe. In light of the Coronavirus chaos of the last couple weeks, I'm beginning to reconsider.

Like many of you, I've been shocked at how quickly everything can change. We can go from the most prosperous economy of our lives with abundance like has never been experienced in human history, to our economy near collapse and grocery stores bare... all in 2 weeks.

Here in Pennsylvania all “non-life sustaining” businesses have been ordered to close. In other parts of the country people have been ordered not to leave their homes. The most unnerving aspect is that at this point we really have no idea how long this might last, so presumably things could get much worse. I'm beginning to realize that our stable, prosperous society is more tenuous than I may have thought.

Yesterday while I was talking with my neighbor about the current situation, they mentioned that they couldn't find any eggs in the grocery store. We currently have 5 chickens, which lay about 4 eggs per day on average, so eggs are one thing we can provide for ourselves, so I offered them eggs. This made me think – wouldn't it be better in our current situation if we had more eggs than this? So this morning I went to Tractor Supply and purchased 11 more chicks, along with 4 Pekin Ducks. The ducks will be for meat purposes – we can butcher them ourselves in a month or two and put them in the freezer. The chicks will take many months until they begin producing eggs, but who knows, at that point we may be glad to have them. They can also be eaten if necessary. We'll also be getting a piglet soon, which we will raise and have butchered in the Fall.

Freshly laid eggs from our current chicken flock

11 chicks and 4 ducks

Oldest daughter helping to get the pasture ready

Our small pasture, ready for the Spring animals

I also added another section to my raised strawberry bed, and will plant it this Spring.

Strawberries are my favorite thing to grow

I hope to add a fruit tree or two, and additional berry bushes this Spring as well.

Peach tree almost ready to flower
I still think that our society completely collapsing is a very unlikely scenario, and I certainly pray that it never happens. But, I'm coming around to the idea that it isn't as unlikely as I once thought.

Maybe the Preppers weren't so crazy after all? Maybe having plans in place to survive independently isn't a bad idea. Maybe having guns and a stockpile of ammunition isn't as paranoid as it sounds? Personally, I'm going to be more intentional about making sure my family is at least moderately prepared for a crisis.

What about you? What previously held assumptions are you questioning during this pandemic crisis? What changes will you make for you and your family in the days ahead? How do we continue to have faith in God and not be ruled by fear, yet make reasonable preparations? What do we tell our children during these crazy times?

These are all questions that we should be pondering.

But folks, don't despair. In the end, I'm confident we'll come through this and be stronger, better people for it.
Lord willing, America will prevail!

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