Prepping as a Single Parent

Preppers come from all walks of life. There is no common demographic, ethnicity, country or religion that is owned by people who call themselves Preppers. Preppers range from the working class poor to ultra-wealthy and everyone in between. People who are on their own in college to multi-generational families call themselves preppers so there is a high probability that what you are looking at within your own prepping sphere of influence is not going to be what all others are dealing with. Each person, family or group that is concerned about the future, or the possibility that they may have to live through some form of emergency in their lives brings their own knowledge, skills, fears, bias and resources to the survival game and that is one of the things that makes us preppers stronger when we can learn from each other.

I view prepping from my own lens or understanding of my world and how it relates to me. Most of my articles relate to prepping for those who have a family and that can easily crossover into a group. It’s simple to extrapolate the concerns and challenges of protecting your own family to those of a larger group you are part of. In a lot of cases, the group you go through stressful times with becomes like a family to you so the connection is real and it makes sense. I have a wife that I lean on and she factors into all of my preparations for any type of grid-down event or emergency. She is a partner I can rely on if for nothing else support. She is a sounding board and vital part of my team. We depend on each other and will strengthen one another during any crisis we may be faced with.

But what if you are alone on this journey of prepping as a single parent?

Single parent families have different considerations than your traditional family or even couple. As a single parent, you will have to make decisions for your family without the benefit of perspective that a spouse would bring. Some might argue that would make things simpler… You don’t have the issues that would accompany trying to convince someone about prepping when you are the only one who cares about prepping in the first place. The streamlining of the process aside, you still have the same things to worry about but you don’t have someone to help you. Where do you start? Is this something you should even consider as a single parent?

I’ll write my opinions here as if I am talking to a woman with children. That does not mean I think women are in any way less capable, but I do believe that women who are single mothers and who are just awakening to the concerns that a lot of other preppers have been thinking about, can use a little advice so as to not make some of the same mistakes I have. I will also assume for this article, that this woman has children and little to no experience with some of the key concepts, has no basics stored up and no real means to protect herself and her family.

First things first – Priorities

In a survival situation, you need to have basic items for you and your children to live on. Having these items taken care of well in advance of any emergency situation is your goal. Start with what you need to live and work your way up to nice to have items later.  Each of the articles on our site can be printed out and saved for later so use them to start your preparations with your family. Another good place to start would be our Prepping 101 series.

WaterMust have – The average person can go only three days without water and that is assuming you aren’t in a high temperature or high exertion scenario. I have written about how to store water in the following posts that you can read for more details. If the electricity is out the pumps that bring water to your house may stop working. Don’t rely on anyone for water in an emergency. Make sure you have your own supply and a way to get and filter more if you need to.

FoodMust have – The average person can go three weeks without food but food and water are the two things people run out of first. These are also the first items to disappear from the grocery store shelves in any disruption. Make sure you always have at a minimum 30 days of food stored up for your family. Below are additional articles that can help you.

Security – You have food and water but that isn’t the end. In any emergency, bad people will do bad things if they are motivated by extremes or they are simply evil. Make sure you have a way of protecting your family now.

Shelter – Normally, this would be first in the rule of threes as you can only live for three minutes without shelter. That usually means extreme temperatures and doesn’t apply to most of us. If you are homeless, that’s different but if you are homeless I doubt you are reading this right now. For the rest of us, we have a place to go and there aren’t too many people dying of exposure so this is lower on the list than water, food and shelter. Does that mean you don’t need shelter? No, and shelter isn’t simply a roof over your head although in some respects you could look at it like that. Shelter is a place that can keep you safe from people, predators and the elements. Your apartment might be fine right now, but what if the building you are living is is destroyed by fire or a flood?

Shelter could mean leaving where you live and going somewhere else. Make sure you have a plan for evacuating or bugging out if necessary in an emergency.

Now what?

I have only scratched the surface but I wanted to throw this question out to everyone who is reading this article. What other considerations should someone who is a single parent think about? Please answer in the comments below.

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  1. I believe that having a good mentality is is good place to start. Staying calm and thinking things through can help in the worst of a situation. As a parent remaining calm, focused and clear headed will help put you and your family ahead to make smart choices when it comes to your survival. Also when the SHTF your children’s world is going to be turned upside down.

    1. Great comments! Thanks Dionne.

      You are right about that. Your kids will go off your actions and emotions and rely on you for strength and guidance as well as keeping them safe.

  2. I would also include a few items in the emergency kits that are items of comfort for the children. A toy or two that will help work as a diversion from a typically terrifying situation.

  3. Should’ve kept your article geared towards the single parent, not the single mom. You wouldn’t have had to include a whole paragraph apology.
    I am not sorry for the brutal reply as reality is just that, brutal.
    Be prepared or be sorry, regardless of your personal situation.

  4. I am a young, 31 yo, widowed mother with 2 small children. Thank you for all of your posts. I’ve read quite a few of them. it’s stressful to think about the what-ifs, esp not having the companionship and emotional support, but maybe having a neighbor or family member in a close location, check up and make sure things are ok in a disaster. I’ve learned I can’t rely on anyone else, so I’ve begun my search for answers for peace of mind. education and preparedness is the only answer for me. 🙂 thanks again

    1. Thank you very much Laura,

      I am so glad that our site has been able to help even in some small way. Your children have a great mother who obviously cares about them. The good news is there are tons of people just like you and millions of resources to learn from on the web. Your willingness to learn and step out there speaks to your determination and your children are lucky to have you. Keep at it and you will meet people to partner with along the way.

      Pat

  5. As a single parent, you always think of the “what ifs”. Involving your kids is helpful. My kids are 8 & under, but they take in stride all the prepping. They know where everything is and what its for. Everyone on the same page will alleviate some stress of doing it all alone.

    1. Thanks for your comments Jean,

      There is a never ending list of what if’s isn’t there? I know that we can never know all of the answers or even be prepared for every conceivable event but it does give me some measure of comfort knowing that we have a plan and our kids are on the same sheet of music as me. Glad to hear yours are too.

      Pat

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