Jennifer: We have a great guest today. I have an interview with Lisa Bedford, unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere you probably already know about Lisa and she really doesn’t need an introduction, but I’m going to try my best to introduce her properly. She has a well-deserved following and audience of people who love her, including me! At her core, Lisa Bedford is a homeschooling mom of two children and a wife. In 2009 in the middle of the recession, she became a guide and an advocate for all moms concerned about the what was happening in our country and in the world when she created The Survival Mom. Since then she has been teaching us how to be prepared for anything so we can worry less and enjoy our families more. She’s an author, a speaker, she’s been on TV, you might even recognize her from a trailer she did for the World War Z DVD.
And you can find her at TheSurvivalMom.com
If you haven’t been there you must go! Wait until after the show over, but you must go to that website, it has got so much information for everyone. If you’re a mom you’ll want to read through that because she has great tips and things you should know.
Lisa Bedford: Thanks Jennifer.
Jennifer: For those people who have been living under that rock and don’t know you. Can you explain a little bit about your website and your mission?
Lisa Bedford: You know, moms worry about everything. They even start worrying before we have kids; that’s why we do the prenatal vitamins route and we stay away from anyone who is smoking a cigarette or looks like they might strike up a cigarette or something. Those really don’t go away and so we want to make sure our kids are well fed and when they go outside they are dressed just right and we teach them safety rules. As you mentioned back in 2008 and 2009, during that window of time things got even more worrisome. It wasn’t so much “do I bundle my kids up on a cold winter day”? It was what’s happening with the economy. The neighbor down the street just lost their house. And things have really not gotten better – maybe in some pockets of the country they have – but now we have on top of economic issues and some of these big concerns we have terrorist attacks, in places where we’ve never seen them before. I think that’s unsettling and things are just kind of piling up. So as a completely ordinary mom, part of my mission is just to put tools and information in the hands of other moms to help them worry less. Once you put these pieces in place then you can sit back a little and say “at least that’s something I don’t have to worry about”.
Jennifer: That is concerning when you say things really haven’t gotten better. How did you come to know that the answer was preparedness? How did you figure that out? If I do this then it’ll be better down the line?
Lisa Bedford: No, that’s actually kind of a hard question to answer because I did not grow up on a homestead and my parents weren’t LDS Mormon so the concept of storing food and that kind of a lifestyle never occurred to me. A story I tell in my book is of going hiking with my Mom on a very easy wheelchair accessible trail – it wasn’t like we were hiking up the Andes mountains or something. So she wanted to sit down and relax so she sat down and pulled out a pouch and I thought she has a pouch of water or food or something. Well, she pulled out a whole array of lip glosses, every color and some matte and some sparkly… and that’s my heritage. So yes, I probably was the least prepared person to get into this niche. I have a Mormon friend in Phoenix and she cracked up when I was teaching food storage classes, because that’s not my background. But you know, that isn’t the background for probably 90% of people. We grew up in a pretty stable world and then all of the sudden now we’re feeling that things are getting rocky and maybe asking what’s happens next. When might a terrorist attack happen a whole lot closer to home? You know, might my hours be cut? When might we realize one month that we’re not going to make it financially? That kind of happened to my husbands business, his business phone just stopped ringing for days on end. I didn’t want to say anything to him. I didn’t want to get him worried but he had noticed too. I realized that there had to be a way to be prepared and proactive. That’s probably one of my core values I use is just to be proactive so I just started digging around and found websites like the Survival Blog and I got scared of course. When you start hearing about all these possible collapses that never even crossed your mind. It really did lead me down a road that was calmer and more sane. I wasn’t so much looking for rural property that had thick walls and was safe from rifle fire, like a lot of the stuff on The Survival Blog would talk about. I guess I had been an educator and a trainer for so long that it became a very natural progression to start talking about what I was doing and to start writing about it and that’s when the blog happened.
Jennifer: I’m one of your biggest fans and what I think you do so well is you actually translate some the stuff from The Survival Blog some of the more extreme stuff and you kind go through those things and translate them it for us normal people. Could you tell us how you’re different from someone who is a “doomsday prepper”?
Lisa Bedford: I was on Doomsday Preppers.
Jennifer: I remember!
Lisa Bedford: They edited my words to make me sound like I was more extreme than I was and boy was that a turn off and a disappointment. Prepping is a part of our lives. I homeschool our kids. I’ve homeschooled them from kindergarten and my daughter is now a senior in high school. I am like every other mom out there. I get behind in my everyday grocery shopping. My daughter will open the refrigerator and ask what are we going to have. She’ll make grocery lists for me and then I don’t go to the grocery store. But I’m just like every other mom. I think when you wake up and become aware, there’s a part of your brain all of the sudden that just activates and then when I go to the grocery store I think maybe I’ll go ahead and buy a few more pounds of salt. I just try to keep a running tab in my mind of what I want to do. My husband sometimes works in downtown Houston and that’s not the safest place to be. It’s the 3rd largest city in the country. So we’ve talked about how he might get home if something happens. If there is a riot near his building what would he do? But that’s not where I live. I live where everyone else lives. I’m looking at my floors today and thinking dang, these have not been swept in two or three weeks now. Maybe longer, we get lazy over the summer. I think it’s just that part of the brain that gets activated and then you just start putting those kinds of things in place. Getting educated and researching and becoming more self reliant like what you’re trying to teach people to do. That’s all a part of it.
Jennifer: In other words, your mom instincts just kick in there. So we’re talking about moms so what kinds of things should moms be prepared for? What kinds of things should you start with?
Lisa Bedford: You don’t want to jump in and start preparing for a nuclear war and you don’t want to jump in and start preparing for a total collapse a society or the economy. And the reason for that is those things could happen, but what could happen in the next few days or the next few weeks? Your car could break down. Maybe you’re out there on a hot summer’s day and you have the kids in the car with you. You don’t have water, you don’t have snacks and your cell phone is almost dead. Those are the kinds of everyday emergencies that you prepare for first. And the good news is that when you begin to prepare for those basic steps it’s like creating a foundation in place. Then you are a little more ready for that worst case scenario. So now if you’re stuck on the side of the road and you’re surrounded by flood waters. Well, that’s a little worse than your car breaking down. Now, you have the water and you have some things to keep the kids busy and you have maybe some snacks and you thought beforehand and you have an external battery charger in your purse or something. And in way does this remove the joy of living. That’s big. Some people have this misunderstanding and maybe they get it from watching things like doomsday preppers or reading some of the more extreme blogs. They had an idea that this just overwhelms your life and everyday you wake up afraid. And every night you wonder if you’re going to wake up alive. That’s the case for a lot of people around the world. It is not right now the reality here. So yes, make the plans for your kids birthday party. Make plans this weekend for something fun, but when you lay this foundation it kind of frees up your mind where you have some peace there. So you’re thinking if the car breaks down I’m ready. If we get laid off of work if we lose the hours we’re ready financially. We’re ready in different kinds of ways. I talk a lot about food storage on my blog. I have a couple of chapters about food storage in my book because literally grocery shopping for the future. So someone loses a job and typically they might spend between $400 and $600 a month on groceries. If you have a month’s supply of groceries or if you have 3 or 4 months of supply, well, that is that amount of time that you are not spending that grocery money. You have grocery shopped for the future. Those are the kinds of things that bring peace but they are also just so common sense and they really don’t destroy the joyous moments of life.
Jennifer: I love the way you’re saying you’re doing all this so you can free up your mind and you’re not overwhelmed with that anxiety and so that brings the joy back into living.
Lisa Bedford: Let me give another example if I could. There was a time in my life where we didn’t have health insurance as a family and then there was another span of time where we didn’t have car insurance. I will tell you during those two periods of time, I was not at peace. If I got sick or if there was an ache or pain, I was too afraid to go to the doctor’s office. I didn’t know know what the expense would be. We tried to not get sick and fortunately we were healthy but there was always that underlying worry. When I didn’t have car insurance there was that underlying worry that I had better be extra careful today. When I’m out there driving what if someone hits me. When we got that insurance we could relax a little bit. I didn’t become a reckless driver and we’re not running to the doctor you know for every little tiny thing. But we have that as a safety net and that’s what preparedness is – a safety net.
Jennifer: Yeah that is so true and like I said you do this wonderful thing about you know letting us know some of the important things without being scary and without bringing all of the fear of “Oh the world’s going to end!!” into it. And I love that and I’ve always loved that about you. Tell me a little bit about what you write about on your blog because you even bring in homeschooling to all of this so how do sort of thread those things together with survival and maintaining a balance and then homeschooling. We’ve been talking about that but could you tell me a little bit more about just kind of the day to day things and the things that you write about?
Lisa Bedford: Well on my blog, there are some areas of being prepared that aren’t popular and they’re not popular because they’re not glamorous. You know most people, most preppers, would love nothing more to spend a hour, two hours, years debating what should go in their bug out bag. Honest to God you go to some of these survival forums and there are bug out bag threads that have been going on for years. However, what about the people that need to lose forty pounds? What about the people that are just living paycheck to paycheck to paycheck just barely and they’re spending money maybe foolishly. And it’s the areas of health and fitness and finances that are not glamorous. And yet how far are you ever going to get if you ever have to run for your life and what about finances? You know you talk about a Berky, you talk about all these things that you want for your bug out bag. You talk about getting property that’s out of the city. You talk about maybe being able to leave a job that’s located in the city someday. Well, you have to pay attention to finances. And again none of those are fun to talk about. You know I don’t want to talk about losing weight. It’s not that’s fun but those still have such impact on our actual real survival. A couple weeks ago we had Selco at shtfschool.com as our guest and he was a Bozean war survivor. And it was the people during that time span who were mentally fit but they were also physically healthy. When there are no doctors, when there is no dentist. You know wherever you are right at this moment in your health in your financial situation that is where you start surviving.
Lisa Bedford: And maybe that hits home for someone listening to this because right now if there was a calamity you don’t have time you know start working out you don’t have time to start doing push-ups and going for walks. You don’t have time to see where your money’s going every single week and month. This is it you know it becomes reality and so what makes the different and what we cover on the blog are those categories. And you’ll notice we have a lot of family type articles. You know things to get the kids involved, things that are beneficial to a family as a whole. I had one of my writers, Beth Buck, write a series on preparing kids – the supplies kids need, the practice they need, the knowledge they need at their age level. And I would like to write more about homeschooling. I have several articles on the blog. Homeschooling is a passion of mine. Last fall I helped a high school homeschool co-op get started in my town and it’s going strong – this will be it’s second year. So really it’s something I’m committed to and I think preppers should consider homeschooling. I think that for so many reasons it’s a good choice but we’re committed to homeschooling and on my blog there are numerous articles on the subject.
Jennifer: Yes well I agree and I love that, definitely. Let me ask you this: now there’s always, you know, here and there on the internet, on Facebook, whatever there’s always somebody. And sometimes they’re you know some guru or somebody of some stature and they’re always giving you a warning.
Lisa Bedford: I know where this is going.
Jennifer: Three or four months out you know “hey it’s coming it’s coming” and you know it seems like there’s a warning every two or three months. You know how do you separate those warnings and how do separate that from real life and how do you organize that in terms of your thoughts?
Lisa Bedford: You know one time I Googled “economic collapse 2013” and got a bunch of articles. “Economic collapse 2014” – got a bunch of articles. You know, you can pretty much go any year for the past five, six, seven years. And in fact, I remember back in the 70s there were books about the coming collapse of the dollar. First of all the economy is just a massive, massive machine beyond anything that we could ever really picture in our minds. And it’s not just dollars and cents. It’s not just goods. There are also the human factors and so we have Americans out there. My husband and I were talking just this last week about how the American mindset is “I lost my job ok how do I solve this”. We’re very much problem solvers – “I’m going to go take some classes. I’m going to finish a degree. I’m going to take on two jobs.” And maybe that is part of the reason why we haven’t seen more of a disintegration of the economy. Yes, the warnings come out on a regular basis. I get them. I get messages from people. And first of all, here’s what I do when I get afraid and just feel the fear. I got some information this last spring and from couple of sources and they were credible to me as far as I knew. And they were very unsettling. And it just scared the crap out of me. And I’m thinking “ok, is my family ready for this?” Let the fear sink in because I’m not going to deny the fear; I’m not going to say “That could never happen”. Because we’re looking around the world and we’re seeing things that could never happen and they’re happening. And there is no moat around the United States – there’s no moat around your city or your state or your neighborhood. There’s not a moat there. There’s no you know super high electronic fence that’s going to protect us. So those things could happen but what I’ve found over the years Jennifer is that the fear, it kind of dissipates and then what is left is “how am I going to deal with it… You know I have a clear mind now. OK, this threat is there this event could happen.” What are we going to do now? Are just going to sit back and wait, are we going to watch TV you know every single night? And we’re going to out at restaurants which we do sometimes. You know I even said before we don’t always remember to grocery shop. But I feel that fear actually is a useful thing if you use it correctly. If you take in something and you acknowledge this could happen. And then how do we prepare? It could be a cancer diagnosis and realizing this cancer runs in my family and my gosh how would they cope without a mother and so on? You feel the fear for hours maybe a few days whatever and then you say ok I’m going to go get a checkup. I haven’t had a mammogram in few years. You know this is what I’m going to do. So it can actually be a very useful tool and I would just suggest that future calamitous predictions that we do see. I would never say that such an event could never ever happen but just got to let that sink in and then you know what are going to do to be proactive? That’s a big question.
Jennifer: To ask yourself, that’s great. Yeah, I totally agree that’s wonderful. Well, you’ve taken this a little bit further because you have created something that is even more helpful than your website. So could you tell us why and how you decided to create the Preppers University?
Lisa Bedford: Yeah, you know the seed of that was planted this spring when I did get some scary information, predictions about the future. And I thought, you know, I’ve written a book and so have a bunch of other really smart survival and prepper types. We’ve written our books. We have our websites. We’re putting stuff out on social media. Well, there has to be something more and then I realized a year ago when I started that co-op that I mentioned – that homeschool co-op – I realized that I had just been kind of floating along as far as prepping went. I really wasn’t actively prepping. I was so consumed with this other project that that was taking up such a big chunk of my attention, just my mental energy, that I really just wasn’t a prepper anymore. And I thought well Lisa if this can happen to you and you know about the food storage and you have the food storage you have these different components then I would bet anything that it has happened to other people. Where they know they should prep and they know why and maybe they got started and maybe they’re actually pretty far along the journey but then you just life happens. So Preppers University is my answer to that I knew I couldn’t do it alone so I asked Daisy Luther. Daisy is a very prolific blogger. She has a brand knew website were she opines about more political things – daisyluther.com – and I just texted her on Facebook – “Daisy do you want join with me in putting this together”? So what Preppers University is now is that it is really something that holds people’s feet to the fire. If you’re serious about prepping and if you know sometimes… deep down inside we think ok I just need accountability. I say I’m on a diet and then there’s Whataburger. I say I’m going to work out but not tonight. Accountability is really what made things like Weight Watchers and makes personal trainers and different kinds of counselors and so on so important for a lot of us – they hold us accountable. And so that’s what we have at Preppers University. We have weekly assignments. We have assessments. Every Sunday night we get together in a webinar room and we just go down the to-do list for the week. All right, how many of you downloaded this free book about wilderness first aid or whatever and we really do hold people accountable. They have membership and they have access for a year. So we saw some student starting falling further and further and further behind but they have the access for a year so they can go back and to the same to do list the same assignments same check lists and all of our webinars are recorded. So we brought in Daisy and I taught several webinars ourselves on things. She wrote a book on water storage. I have my Survival Mom family survival manual. We both taught classes but then we wanted to bring it outside experts. So we had Michael Snider and Ferfal, Fernado Ergwara was a speaker and Selgo. Cat Elise she’s an excellent herbalist. So we brought these speakers in to really give our students even more depth and more information. So the feedback we have gotten really was overwhelming because neither Daisy or I, I didn’t know if ten students would sign up. We had no concept. We ended up with close to 130 and the feedback we have gotten has just been overwhelming. I mean one point Daisy wrote on the Facebook page I think I’m going to start crying because I think so many people were hungry for this. That’s what Prepper University is and that’s how it started and registration for our next session opens now. It just opened today. So good timing!
Jennifer: Well that’s what I was going to ask you because there is a lot of people in the comments and they are saying that this sounds so great and so could you tell us that link again and we will have that in the show notes and we will also go back and put that in the comments too. So could you tell us that for those who are listening?
Lisa Beford: It’s preppersuniverity.com and when you go there you’ll see information. And really I haven’t even really touched on everything we have to offer. We just opened up a brand new membership only student center and the the student center has tons of resources. So when you sign on for a ten week we call it an intensive and maybe people aren’t familiar with intensives in homeschool circles we are familiar with intensives. An intensive is you know maybe like two or three solid days where you do all the chemistry, experiments from your high school chemistry class or something. It’s just like bam bam bam and it’s painful but when it’s over you know you’ve made progress you’re done and so the intensive it’s ten weeks long the price is $169 dollars access for a year it also includes a year membership to our student center and the student center has a library it has a forum oh my goodness so much. We’re adding some mini courses that people can take 24/7 at their own time, they’ll have access to the webinar recordings, so there is a lot there for our students, it really is amazing, but membership opened today. The first day of class is, and we did not plan this, but it’s on September 11th. We had to time it for that Sunday, we have an orientation for that evening, and if you can’t make it, all of our webinars are recorded. We had to get that in two weeks before Thanksgiving, and so we’ll take a break over the holidays and we’ll resume in January, but, yeah, September 11th is our first day.
Jennifer: Wow, wow, that’s just kinda, kinda surreal there.
Lisa Bedford: I know!
Jennifer: That’s great, and like i said, people in the comments, people are saying that that sounds fabulous, well can you tell us a little bit about, maybe there are people out there that, all of this this sounds great, they want to get in shape they wanna do this and that and they wanna be prepared, but they’re not in the best health, for whatever reason… Maybe it’s something like they need to lose weight or maybe it’s a chronic condition, or whatever,what advice do you have for those people?
Lisa Bedford: I think some of the best advice came from Theodore Roosevelt. I may not get the quote verbatim, but its, “you start where you are, with what you have” and that is really where anybody starts. If all you can do is just add a couple cans of soup when you go to the grocery store… If you’re using an ebt card use the ebt card to get very basic ingredients of different varieties of beans and rice, grains, canned vegetables, seasoning, salt, pepper, and spices and herbs. What’s ironic is, those kind of food actually have lower prices, when you start adding into your cart, the processed food, that’s when those can add up. But start with just very basic items, and then if you’re, “okay i’ve never made beans before in my life lisa”, then you just start learning how to put those ingredients together. Also, it does have the benefit of being healthier, you’re not going to get high fructose corn syrup, the high level of sodium, all those chemicals that you see in processed food, because part of starting to be healthy is starting on the inside, and just kind of healing your body from the inside out.
Lisa Bedford: Also, my son… here in texas, as you know Jennifer, sports are insane. When my son joined the competitive baseball team, we didn’t know this, and anyone from outside of texas will not know this either, but little kids, 1st or 2nd grade, their parents hire baseball professionals, former baseball big leaguers to teach their kids. This was news to us! We did hire Sergio, because my son never really played baseball before, and all of the sudden he was on this team with kids who have been playing since they were six. When Sergio found out that we were considering joining a gym, he was horrified! And Sergio was Cuban and we love him and he said, “you can walk outside your door and walk, you can walk outside your door and run”. And he didn’t say this but you and i know, you can take a gallon of milk, fill it halfway with water, and now you have a four pound weight. You don’t have to go to a gym for that, you don’t have to go to a sports store and buy something special. Youtube, the internet, they are full of exercise routines where you just use everyday things around the house, so as far as getting healthy, that’s what i would say.
Lisa Bedford: Also, an annual physical is something that is free on insurance plans, and check if you have… if you’re under the Obamacare associated insurance company, see if at least you can get the physical for free, because with that physical, if they’ll want blood work, they may want some different tests – all of those I believe are incorporated into the cost of that physical. So when I got a physical this last March they wanted blood work and then they wanted your annual female exam and the mammogram and… so I actually got a head to toe checkup, very thorough, and the insurance paid for it. And also I will tell you from the time we didn’t have insurance, just to call around and ask. In Phoenix I found a clinic – I went in and I paid $35, I was seen by the doctor, no other charges, paid cash, and I was out the door. So here in Houston I went to downtown Houston for this, there was a very low cost ultrasound place, $80 cash, I was out the door, with an ultrasound that my doctor had prescribed. So there are low-cost options out there for healthcare that will take cash. See what your insurance will cover – honestly that’s where I would start, with getting healthy.
Jennifer: OK, yeah that’s great advice and we have some people in the comments – we have Pat saying that she took the summer session Preppers University and she said she learned so much and that it was worthwhile. And then we have Christina and she’s asking questions about membership options. She’s asking – there’s a one-year and a 10-week so could you explain a little
bit about those two options?
Lisa Bedford: I think on the registration right now there is the 10-week prepping intensive – that includes a one-year membership to the student center. That’s $169. There us a one-year membership to the student center only and that’s $10 a month – that’s $120 – but you know what? Honestly, I would pay the extra 49 bucks and i would get that ten week class. You get the ten week class and access to student center, but we put the student center option there just for someone who might just want to, you know, check in from time to time to see what resources are there, chat on the forum now and then and they don’t really want the ten week class. But yes, those are the two options.
Jennifer: We’re almost in September and that is National Preparedness month so Survival Mom, do you have a challenge for our listeners in September for preparedness?
Lisa Bedford: I guess the challenge would be to ask yourself four questions and these four questions will help you prioritize. I think sometimes we get so overwhelmed we just feel almost dizzy when we think about everything about preparedness. We want our kids to be prepared… you know if we work, how will I get home; if we travel, how do I get home from hundreds of miles away. And pretty soon you know, we just get all… our brains are just all muddled and “where do we start first”? So ask yourself first, what are the most likely and imminent extreme weather events that could happen where you are? And then ask yourself what are the most likely and imminent natural disasters where you are? And you might say, well, the most likely is an earthquake, it might be imminent or not. Well then, just earthquake. The third question – what is the most likely man-made disaster? And that could be anything from a nuclear event to a terrorist event to riots to a dramatically increased crime level where you are… man-made events, a pandemic (well if you’re a conspiracy theorist) – you know anything man-made. And then the fourth question is – what is the most likely personal disaster – most likely and maybe imminent? And if you’re looking at maybe the hours being cut at work, you’re looking at maybe losing your home or being evicted from an apartment, that’s what you want to concentrate on first. And I think your answers to those four questions will really give you a lot of information just right then and there. You can take that a step further and then prioritize those answers and say “OK, I have earthquake, I have terrorist attack, I have a blizzard and I have losing my job”… well, of those four, really what’s your top priority? And that will be different for everybody, but if you can start the month of September by answering those questions, looking at your priorities… that will help you know better what to do for the rest of the month and then moving forward from there.
Jennifer: I can’t have you on the show and not ask you about World War Z so can you tell us about the fun side and the serious side of that?
Lisa Bedford: You know it was all fun. I was contacted by the people who were doing the promotional material for the movie. I didn’t get to meet Brad Pitt – that would have been fun. I hope he and his family are peppers… I doubt it but maybe. Actually, there are a lot of celebrity preppers. So I was contacted and we tossed around ideas of what I could talk about. And I know they were bringing on a doctor, I think they had these promos by maybe two or three other people, and so we kind of settled on talking about growing food. And then at one point they kind of threw in “what about canning?”
Lisa Bedford: And so the garden in that promotional video, the garden you see behind me – that was not my garden. I found an amazing urban gardener in Phoenix. Phoenix can be the most amazing place in the world to garden because you have an almost year-round growing season, and it can also just be a disaster. You know we had… that was maybe one of our better gardens in Phoenix. But this woman, not only did she have amazing gardens but she actually had a business where she had so much produce she would go and sell the produce. And she also had chickens and goats and she had a nice little business there. So when you see that, that’s where i am. The kitchen i’m in where I’m cutting up those tomatoes, they kind of threw that at me and I thought, “well dang, you know they have jars and I have tomatoes what can I do?” One woman said “I’ve never seen anyone can quite like that before” – I said yeah because I’m not really canning, I’m just kind of going through some kind of a motion here, so they can put a voiceover on top of my actions. And even the tomatoes and the cans in the kitchen – none of that was mine.
I really liked film – what they used to produce that versus the TV video. I thought it was more flattering to me. I think I actually look better – my skin tone looks better (which is very vain)… but there really was… it was just a lot of fun and it was done a lot more quickly than I had expected. It was just maybe an afternoon and boom, we’re done.
Jennifer: Wow, that does sound like fun! I’ve never seen you look bad so I don’t know where you’re getting that! Let me ask you this – there are a lot of people out there online, if you’re part of groups, if you’re part of preparedness groups, and the thing that comes up over and over again is “Well, I’m preparing, I’m preparing, preparing, but I’m just not ready, I’m never gonna be ready”. And it’s like a panic, anxiety thing and what do you tell people that say that and what do you tell people that are reading that?
Lisa Bedford: You know, one time years ago, we were preppers by this time, and we were at Disneyland. And I remember waiting in line for a ride (or an attraction as they call them) and I remember just watching people just come and go on and I thought “You know what? These people, probably almost a hundred percent, are completely unaware”. And so no matter how much progress you’ve made you are better prepared than almost everyone else around you – maybe everyone else. And if something does hit you have rehearsed in your mind what you would do, where you would go, who you would contact, what supplies you would need. I think a lot of it is the mental preparedness – kind of thinking through scenarios. And that is a form of preparedness – it’s not just stacking toilet paper and beans and bullets to the ceiling. A lot of it is mental where you are… you hear gunfire and immediately, first of all, you recognize gunfire. If you have not been around a shooting range, if you’ve never shot a gun in your life… I’ve even heard an experienced policeman say that on occasion they have been mistaken when something sounded like gunfire but it wasn’t. Or the other way around. So, you hear gunfire… well maybe over the months you’ve been playing your mind “OK, I’m out shopping with the kids, I hear gunfire, what do we do?” And at least you’ve rehearsed. So while everyone is scrambling and panicking maybe you have walked in and immediately automatically looked for some exits. Maybe your kids know if mom ever grabs your hands, if I ever give you an order then you follow my order.
Lisa Bedford: When you have kids – this is another part of preparedness – when you have kids part of that training is for them to obey you quickly and immediately. I am a laid back mom… my son, he’ll laugh about how spoiled he is. I am not the strict militaristic parent – my husband maybe more – but I’m not. However, one time when my kids were younger we did a rehearsal, and I said “OK kids, what if I’m telling you we’re outside in front of the house and I say hey Andrew come here, hey Andrew, come to me quick I have something.” And then I said “What would you do?” Well, they’d probably look up, kind of interested, kind of curious… and then I switched it around. I said “OK Andrew, what if you hear me say it in this tone of voice: Andrew come here” – and it’s more of a demand than it is. And I have told my kids that as a parent I’m something like an air traffic controller. I’m up here not just because I’m taller because now I’m the shortest one in the family, but I’m just more aware of stuff and I can see things and I notice things that as little kids they just didn’t. And so part of that training was quickly and immediately you listen and you obey. And when you start thinking about scary experiences and am I ready or not, part of that being ready is just thinking in your mind and processing through your mind. What would I tell the kids, do we have a code word? We joke in our house our code word is “The black cat crows at dawn.” So if you ever get this text message “The black cat crows at dawn” we’ll just all laugh because that’s just like a funny codeword.
Lisa Bedford: But you know what if you put it into place and preparedness can be a whole lot easier than you might think. A whole lot less extreme than you might think. And it doesn’t take a whole lot to get ready. As I said earlier, if you worry and are spending too much time in fear then you just have to look around and acknowledge what you have accomplished. Maybe just make a short list – you know, what are three things I can do this week to be a little better prepared? Then really feel good about what you’ve done because I guarantee you that the U.S. military, no matter plans they have gone through in their minds and they have rehearsed and they’ve put gear and they have put supplies and people in place… There are unintended consequences, there are things that no one can predict and you just can do what you can do.
Jennifer: Just let the anxiety and the fear, like you were saying earlier, just go through you even if you have to do that for just two minutes every day. Let that go through so you can move on. Ok, Survival Mom what is the best preparedness skill that you are good at? What are you a rock star at in terms of preparedness?
Lisa Bedford: In terms of preparedness, I would say it would be utilizing the stored food. I can take freeze dried food, I can take whatever we have, and I can make a really good meal. I do not like to cook, but I can, and I can use different cooking methods. So whether it’s solar or whether it’s cooking over a campfire, whatever… I’m pretty darn good at that. Rock star level, you’d have to ask my husband.
Jennifer: I can’t have an interview with you and not mention your book because it’s kind of the bible of preparedness. It’s called Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios, and I had to read that because it’s really long. I just say “Lisa Bedford’s book” most of the time, because it is the bible of preparedness, at least for moms, and so my question is: is there going to be a sequel to this book?
Lisa Bedford: Oh boy, well that’s kind of the joke around here. Daisy Luther and I, we joke because between the two of us we probably have five or six unwritten books. And I did write a book that zeroed in on emergency evacuations and I just self-published that – it’s available on Amazon Kindle as well as a hard copy. I focus on emergency evacuations in that second follow up book; it’s a short read, it’s a smaller book. But because there’s so many scenarios that could force us for our homes or force us from a place at work, and thinking through that and having plans really sidelines the initial panic that all of us would fear no matter how well prepared.
Lisa Bedford: You know, you wake up and you smell smoke and “Oh my God, the house is on fire!” Well, this is what we’ve done – the kids have been trained, this is what we do, this is what we grab and we’re out of here. Or it could be a chemical fire nearby or something happening at a plant near where you live or maybe you’re driving by and something happens. So I focus on that. That again is just on Amazon. And in the far recesses of my computer somewhere I have a book started that kind of combines lessons from the Great Depression with living a frugal but enjoyable lifestyle. I have an agent, and that’s something that I’m hoping that once this next preppers intensive gets rolling I can go back and focus on that again.
Lisa Bedford: I have an EMP book that probably is about half… thirty, forty, fifty percent or more started. It’s just time, Jennifer, it’s time. And I know because I homeschool and I stayed home, maybe the concept, the idea from an outsider might be “Oh, she has lots of time”, and like I said at the beginning I’m just like every other mom out there just trying to squeeze stuff in and enjoy my family and what I do. I do love the blogging and I do love everything I do as far as Survival Mom goes.
Jennifer: Now can you tell people how to find you because I know your website and social media… you know I just love having you on the show, it’s been an absolute joy. But if people want to know more can you please tell them where to find you?
Lisa Bedford: You know the main blog, which really is the heart of everything I do is, thesurvivalmom.com and you can go there. There are, gosh, fifteen, sixteen hundred articles there. So just have fun browsing. I’ve tried to organize it by categories but just have fun browsing.
Lisa Bedford: The books as Jennifer mentioned are available on Amazon, just look up my name – Lisa Bedford. Preppers University, our next class series starts September 11 and I recommend that highly. I know I have some other websites… I just started working with someone to kind of revamp a blog that’s been around a long time: preparednessadvice.com. The man that ran that – old-time prepper – and I have been working with Noah and we’ve been having fun digging in… because he’ll write about how to cook a raccoon. Cooking a raccoon never crossed my mind! So the kinds of things that he’s written about over the years we have really loved digging in and refreshing them with graphics and so on… but that is another fun website with just kind of – it’s all about survival, preparedness… but just click the channel – Survival Mom’s on one channel, and this is what I do, and here’s preparedness advice, and it’s a little bit something different. Those are the main places where I’m found online.