In the recent wake of the coronavirus, everyone seems to be stockpiling. Bags of rice, beans, and lentils are running low at stores from suburban Atlanta to Berlin. How and why and for how long we should accumulate food, and stuff in general, no one really seems to know. In fact, most of us admit that none of us really seem to know what we’re doing; we’re junior woodchuck survivalists — we don’t know who to follow, what to imitate.
In early 2009, as the economy tanked, Lisa Bedford saw her husband and the majority of people around her lose their incomes, their livelihoods, and their security. She decided to take action and self-educate, diving headfirst into survivalist studies, taking her homemaking to the next level. She’s now a self-taught pro: a survivalist, homeschooler, and urban homesteader who runs a popular survivalist website called The Survival Mom, which teaches other moms how to do everything, from making soap to evacuating one’s family from a hurricane.
GEN: When did you first start prepping and how did you first learn about it?
Lisa Bedford: I grew up a city girl in Phoenix and knew nothing whatsoever about homesteading. My family wasn’t Mormon so there was no concept of doomsday. I remember when Y2K happened — that really got my attention — and I felt the need to protect my family. Even then, I didn’t really get into food storage, but I did stock up on water and toilet paper. It all went to waste, which is ironic thinking about what’s happening right now.
I went on with my life for the next eight years. My husband’s company was connected to the construction industry and when the economy tanked in 2008 it was a significant loss for our family, especially in Phoenix, where there had been a real construction boom. His phone stopped ringing, literally. He was getting 50 or 60 business calls a day, and suddenly it was like a switch flipped and there were no calls coming in. I was worried and I knew he worried too. The value of our house dropped maybe $250,000.