Welcome to Survive and Thrive with Permaculture. Our goal is to help you become better prepared for disasters, emergencies, and life by applying Permaculture Principles.
Other preparedness experts focus on certain aspects of survival – especially when they are trying to sell something. Some even portray that disaster is imminent and use fear to try to get people to prepare, but that isn’t the case here at Survive and Thrive with Permaculture.
We understand that being prepared is a form of self-reliance, and we lead you through the process to be prepared for just about everything physically, financially, and emotionally. This leads to increased self-confidence and feelings of security. You will begin to feel empowered when you realize just how much of your situation you can actually plan and control.
Principle number one: survival sucks. If you are ever put into a situation where your goal is to survive, then you are in a terrible situation. Those who fantasize about being survival situations such as the zombie apocalypse don’t understand what it is like to be in a truly desperate survival situation.
Principle number two: having the right tool at the right time with the right knowledge turns a survival situation into an inconvenience. For example, if the power goes out and you have flashlights and phone chargers and/or a generator, then that emergency just became an inconvenience.
Principle number three: you are in charge of your own preparation. If you are hoping to escape to grandma’s house in the country, then you may be disappointed by traffic and other obstacles along the way. The only way to be truly prepared is to have your own preparations that you have and know how to use.
Principle number four: financial preparedness requires financial wellness. According to the Federal Reserve, “Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.” How can you honestly expect to be prepared for an emergency of any kind if you don’t have enough money to buy a set of new tires?
Principle number five: slow and steady wins the race. Get rich quick schemes and stockpiling too much of anything is unhealthy. Be sure to take a well-rounded approach while acquiring supplies. Remember, when you are in an actual survival situation you are better off with a variety of supplies rather than a lot of any single item (even food and water).
Principle number six: money is the grease for the gears of life. Learning how to manage your money will make life a lot more enjoyable. I highly recommend listening to Dave Ramsey for money advice. After reading his book The Total Money Makeover, I implemented the baby steps (as seen below) into my own life and swear by them.
Principle number seven: work with nature and not against it. Paul Wheaton, the Duke of Permaculture, said: “Permaculture is a more symbiotic relationship with nature so I can be even lazier.” Let nature work for you by taking advantage of different aspects that are needed in your climate.
Principle number eight: the problem is the solution. Got a problem? Under what circumstances can that problem become a solution? You can use hungry farm animals like pigs and chickens to weed, eat bugs, and till your garden before you plant in the spring.
Principle number nine: integrate systems to form cycles. Once you understand the basics, you can form complete cycles to create a self-sustaining ecosystem in your own backyard! You can use a paddock shift method to periodically feed your animals and fertilize your pasture.
The Game Plan
Step 1: Have a $1000 emergency fund, a 72-hour kit per person, and go to a local Permaculture farm/class.
Step 2: Pay off debt (except for the mortgage), have 3 months of “every day” food storage, and start a garden.
Step 3: Have an emergency fund with 3-6 months of expenses, a year supply of food storage, and start a “food forest.”
Step 4: Invest 15% in retirement and learn about natural remedies for your current health problems.
Step 5: Save for children’s college, “A Thomas Jefferson Education” library, and permaculture books.
Step 6: Pay off your home early and use renewable resources as much as possible for utilities.
Step 7: Build wealth and give.
My plan uses Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and takes these principles a step further. Survival and Permaculture principles are added at the appropriate steps to guide you to each level of preparedness.
Step 1 prepares you for a short-term emergency (i.e. a fire). You may be required to leave your home and take only what you can carry with you. You may be lucky enough to be able to stay in a hotel, but if not at least you have the essentials. Knowledge is the ultimate tool since you carry it with you wherever you go.
Step 2 prepares you for a moderate-term emergency (i.e. a job loss). Paying off debt allows you to accumulate more wealth by helping you regain control over your money. In an emergency, you may have to rely on food storage for a couple of months until you get back on your feet.
Step 3 prepares you for a long-term emergency (i.e. an economic recession/depression). The best way to be prepared for any crisis is by having an emergency fund and as little debt as possible. Supply chains may be disrupted by natural disasters making food unaffordable or unavailable, so having your own food supplies will be critical to survival.
Just like Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, steps 4, 5, and 6 can be done simultaneously. Any health problems that you have now will still be around or even get worse in an emergency. Kristen Bowen’s website livingthegoodlifenaturally.com is an excellent resource for powerful and natural remedies for several kinds of health problems. I am already relatively healthy, but I have lost weight and lowered my blood pressure without medication by following her advice.
A Thomas Jefferson Education is an excellent resource and contains a list of classics for every age group that is critical for homeschooling future thinkers. Most people never think about education or entertainment during a long-term emergency, and these books are good for both. Most of these books are in the public domain and are a lot cheaper than contemporary books.
Renewable energy is becoming more efficient and affordable every day. I recommend using renewable resources as well by capturing rainwater, composting, and other low tech methods of “recycling” around your own home.
Finally, step 7 is self-explanatory, so there is nothing left to add.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best,
Founder of Survive and Thrive with Permaculture