Consider Your Family Size When Preparing Your Homestead for Survival

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When we talked about Picking Out the Right Land, we mentioned looking for roughly 4-5 acres when searching out a plot. The reason for that was we were looking at the fact that you need to consider your family size when looking for a homestead.

Consider Your Family Size when looking at preparing your homestead for survival picture of a family

How many people are in your family? Will you be adding any extended family members or close friends to your living situation? These are important things to know in the beginning planning stages.

You need to look at your home, an emergency shelter, your livestock, and garden space…

Consider Your Family Size When Preparing Your Homestead for Survival

Families who begin preparing for chaos and disaster (or even self-reliance) can prepare a home on any end of the spectrum – from a crude bunker that’s just enough to protect you from immediate harm, to a lavish homestead that anyone would love to live in even during normal times.

Safe rooms are becoming more popular in everyday houses, but some preppers take the safe room mentality and turn it into an entire safe house option. Every room is built like a safe room – protecting you from intruders, weather, and offering plenty of room for storage of supplies.

You can have an above-the-ground homestead or have one build below ground, kind of like a basement – only the entire design is built underground, offering more protection due to the fact that it’s cloaked a bit better.

You can build small cabins out in the woods, or full-on hard to enter shelters. The key is to find a property that provides the best options for you as a prepper. You want something that’s easy to access for you, but not so easy for others to locate.

Ideally, it will be near a city, but not right in it – giving you enough space to live freely without intruders. You also want it to have great soil for growing foods and if possible, its own water supply.

There are some communities springing up where you can buy land and live with other preppers. The home plans will be up to you. In addition to having plenty of room for your family and storage room for supplies, you’ll also want to build other structures on your property.

A chicken coop is a popular item for preppers, and some families even have a rabbit coop. You may also want to build an entire barn if you’re going to house dairy cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. Some families even build a smokehouse to prepare and store meats.

A greenhouse may come in handy if you plan to grow foods outside year-round. You can have small ones or large ones. Of course, you have to plan properly so that your property has enough room for all of your structures.

You can get free plans for building all of these items online, or you can have a builder customize a plan that works best for you and your family. If you’re going to make this your permanent residence, then you may want to go that route so that it’s exactly how you want it to be.

Make it Just Right

House should only be as big as it needs to be. Forget the McMansions as they are not only a hassle to heat or keep cool under dire situations, but they are taking up valuable land space that you could use for necessary living items.

You don’t need something extravagant, but you should get it just big enough to house your immediate family and potentially some close friends or extended family. Figure out how many people you are going to house, and then plan on rooms for your food prep, food storage, relaxation, and maybe a library or homeschool set up.

You want something large enough that you are not all on top of each other and driving each other nuts, but small enough to easily take care of without a lot of fuss.

Shelter in Place

Get a sizeable shelter for emergencies. Occasionally, when the SHTF, you might have marauders. We will talk about self-defense and protection more later, but we are looking at a “panic room” of sorts. Somewhere you can lock yourself in, ride out a storm safely, and then go back out to deal with the aftermath.

ADVICE FOR PREPPERS BURYING SHIPPING CONTAINERS video

You don’t want everyone crammed together in a tiny shelter, especially if you’re there for extended periods of time. I talked about shipping containers before and they can make for a great option – and are easy to put underground with a hard-to-find entrance.

I know this seems over the top – but there are so many different things to consider when looking at all of this.

One thing we learned from the riots of 2020 was that everything burns. You would hate to be holed up in your house and have them set fire to it, trapping you inside.

I may have seen too many doomsday type movies, but that seems like the worst possible way to go out – at least to me.

Stock It Up

Make sure you’ll be able to provide for all you are taking on. This means enough room for food and water storage for everyone. That is why it is important to consider your family size!

In your panic room/shelter – it can be as simple as bottles of water and MREs. But in general? We need to talk about how to be self-reliant for food. We aren’t going to be doing the weekly grocery shopping so it means planning for your animals and garden.

Generally speaking, 200 square feet of garden space per person in your family will allow for a harvest that feeds everyone year-round. So, for an average family of four, plan for an 800 square-foot garden—a plot that is 20 feet by 40 feet in size should do the trick.

How much food are you going to need to can for long term storage? Will you be dehydrating things? Freeze drying? Smoking meats? When you consider your family size, all of these are items you have to consider.

You need to look at planting the big five and then rotating around other items that you can seasonally. The big five are potatoes, corn, beans, winter squash and perhaps grains such as wheat.

If you are going to have livestock, you need to figure out what you want to feed them and see if you will have enough land to do just that. You also need to account for the land you will need to shelter them, let them graze, and get them exercise.

Switch it up

If you are a little shy on land for your gardens, look into vertical gardening, container gardening, using pallets, and so much more. There are ALWAYS alternative ways to accomplish your goals. Consider your family size, and the age of everyone to figure out how much food you will actually need.

Find your peers

May I suggest you join a few online groups for homesteading to talk to people who are actually doing what you are planning to do? They might have additional insight into what you are looking at or see as a potential problem.

Consider Joining a Prepper Community

Sometimes the mainstream media demonizing the prepper community – they act is if they’re extremists. You don’t have to tell a soul about your preparations, and in fact you really shouldn’t broadcast it because in the event of a true emergency, you don’t want panicked people coming after your supplies.

A prepper community, though, can give you that camaraderie that you seek as you make preparations to survive through a disaster – or simply live without relying on mainstream services like electricity.

There are three levels of prepper communities that you can participate in. You might start off in one and then advance to something else as you learn more about this lifestyle. There are meet-up groups, online forum communities and membership sites, and local communities that you can live in if you’re approved.

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Online forum communities

Online forum communities and memberships are the first level of interaction most people have when they’re actively seeking to learn about prepping and survivalist ideas. You can use phrases such as “prepper tips” or “survivalist forum” to find like-minded people to communicate with anonymously.

There are even specialized membership sites, such as prepper dating sites where men and women who both share the same prepper lifestyle can meet and begin dating or forming a romantic relationship online.

Meet-up groups

Meet-up groups are local groups or groups that host seminars and events in a specific location so that people can get together and view products, share strategies and discuss concerns about the community and its movement.

Some groups actively meet up to form disaster plans as a group. For instance, in New York City, there’s a group of survivalists who have plans to help one another during an event. Because space is limited in the city for storage, they all make a commitment to storing certain items – enough for the group during a disaster.

Local communities

Local communities to live in are sprouting up everywhere. Land is being purchased for prepper families to move into but many of them are very picky about who joins, requiring you to have a certain amount of items stored up, or bring something to the table that the community might need – like the skills of a doctor or a tractor that can be shared.

You can also form a prepper community with people you meet and enjoy on your own. All of you can purchase property beside one another and form your own closed community.

Don’t be intimidated

Keep in mind that you are not alone in this. You are not the only one to do everything from collecting the eggs to weeding the garden. You have other family members who will be there right beside you. It might be like those old hippy communes of the 60’s – 70’s, but without all the Kumbaya.

Unless you like that …. ha!

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