Introducing Nettie David of Preppers Survive
Nettie David is the owner of Preppers Survive, a website devoted to spreading awareness and knowledge of emergency preparedness. Nettie is on a mission to educate and motivate others to become self-reliant. Fortunately, Nettie has been incredibly successful to date, having created one of the most successful prepper blogs out there! An avid reader and hiker, Nettie believes in both mental and physical fitness. She and I dove into her journey to becoming self-reliant, the importance of community, and how to prep on a budget. Below is the interview transcript:
How a “Girl Scout Prepper” Got Started with Preppers Survive
Bob: In a post on your website, you quote the following Girl Scout Motto in the 1977 handbook:
“Be prepared! A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.”
I love this quote because it underscores the importance of both willingness and know-how. It’s clear that you’re willing to educate the prepper community. I’m curious, though, where did the know-how come from? What motivated you to begin your preparedness journey?
Nettie: I started prepping a little after the housing market crashed in 2008. My husband and I were real estate agents during the crash, but we were lucky because we worked with foreclosures. There were many agents that lost their source of income and their homes. It was an eye-opening experience that I needed to be prepared for economic downturns. Like with any new venture, the know-how came from trial and error.
Bob: On Preppers Survive, you state that you’re passionate about serving the community. Not only do you educate people about emergency preparedness, as a foster parent, you selflessly provide a home for children in need of one. How did your passion for community ultimately evolve into your blog?
Nettie: When scary things happen in this world, like the stock market falling, natural disasters, house fires, power outages, etc. people start thinking about emergency preparedness. I would get calls from family, friends, and church members because they know I am a prepper. I’d get questions about what I put in my bugout bag or what food I keep in my prepper pantry. It was a lot of work to remove everything from my bugout bag, take photos, and list all the items in an email. After doing this several times, it seemed easier to write an article and post it for anyone to reference.
Nettie’s Thoughts on Self-Reliance
Bob: At it’s core, I think that prepping is about becoming self-reliant. With the ubiquity of cell phone applications like Uber, life has become pretty easy. I imagine that if cell phones were rendered useless, most people would panic. As someone who emphasizes the importance of self-reliance, what do you think about society today? Are people prepared for a SHTF event?
Nettie: When the pandemic hit in 2020, some Americans lost their jobs. The news would show footage of incredibly long lines at food banks, so it does not seem like society is ready for a SHTF event. It seems like many people are hoping the government will provide for their needs.
Bob: I’d argue that the opposite of self-reliance is reliance on the government. Until recently, government officials have proven themselves to be pretty useless in combating the coronavirus. Were you surprised by the fact that governments across the world botched the coronavirus response? Have these developments strengthened your conviction about the importance of prepping?
Nettie: It did not surprise me that many governments did not have an effective plan to combat the coronavirus. This is new territory for world leaders, so they do not have all the answers. I remember being shocked when they told us to not wear masks.
As a prepper, I had medical preps set aside including masks to limit the transmission of germs. It is funny to me that there is such a big debate on if masks have protection properties. Before there were mask shortages, it was common knowledge that masks helped prevent the spread of illness which is why doctor’s offices would ask you to put one on if you were sick to prevent you from spreading your sickness with everyone else in the waiting room. Did the coronavirus pandemic and the government response strengthen my conviction? Sure. Anytime something goes wrong it strengthens my convictions regarding the importance of self-reliance and preparedness.
Prepping on a Budget
Bob: In a popular Preppers Survive post, you discuss how to be frugal while buying blankets to stay warm. It seems like many new preppers think they need to break the bank in order to be prepared for the worst. What frugal prepping tips would you offer to those new to the prepper community? Where would you suggest they get started?
Nettie: My sister served a mission in Paraguay where they taught poor communities how to start storing food. In these impoverished areas, when the adults went to work, they would get paid at the end of the day and buy food with their earning. If the adult was not able to work, then there was no food for the family the next day. For these families to have food storage, they would take a portion of dry rice or pasta that they brought home and add it to an empty two-liter bottle and then cook the rest. Doing this small act everyday would eventually fill-up the two-liter bottle giving them some food storage.
From each paycheck, set aside a little food and money. It will add up over time and you will have some much-needed resources during economic hardship.
For more tips for newbie preppers visit: https://www.prepperssurvive.com/prepping-for-beginners/
Bob: Not only is it important to prep on a budget, but it’s important to focus on financial preparedness in general. Financial security is key to preparing for the economic stress many Americans are currently enduring. What financial preparedness advice to you offer to those concerned about economic hardship?
Nettie: Live below your earnings! There is a saying that the difference between the rich and the poor is two cents. The poor man earns a dollar and spends $1.01, whereas a rich man earns a dollar and spends $0.99. Develop this rich man habit!
Preparing the Whole Family for the Future
Bob: I love how you advise parents to teach their children about how to be prepared. Not only is it important to warn kids about stranger danger, it’s also critical to ensure that children are prepared for a rapidly changing world. When do you suggest parents start to broach the subject of emergency preparedness with their children? How are you helping to ensure the children you’re fostering grow up to be prepared adults?
Nettie: It is important to teach kids that they are capable. You can start teaching this at any age. When a child knows they are capable they tend to be prepared adults. If our kids were age 5 or older, I would ask what they wanted to learn and then help them develop skills. They would learn how to cook, earn money doing chores, budget and save for things they wanted, sew on buttons or patch holes in clothes. Developing skills is one of the best ways to become self-reliant.
Nettie’s Influences and Collaborators
Bob: I’d like to return to the subject of community. You explained that your passion for community motivated you to teach others about emergency preparedness. Has anyone in the prepper community served as a mentor or influence over the years? Do you collaborate with anyone on a recurring basis?
Nettie: I have had many mentors and individuals that have had a profound impact on who I am and my belief systems regarding preparedness. I guess it started with my parents. My father was a seasonal worker, and my mother was a full-time mom. If we did not plan for the downturn in our finances as a family, we went through some really difficult times. I have collaborated with other emergency preparedness bloggers, Facebook communities and preparedness groups (like Family Preparedness & Grid Down) have also had a significant influence on me. Attending local preparedness fairs is another way I connect with the preparedness community and learn from other preppers.
Staying Current with Nettie
Bob: I have no doubt that our readers want to stay up to date with your latest posts and advice. Aside from Preppers Survive, how can people follow your latest updates?
Bob: Nettie, thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. You’re such an important part of the prepper community. I really appreciate everything you do.
Nettie: Thanks Bob! It has been a pleasure to get to know you and your site better and it is always fun to visit with someone who is passionate about self-reliance and preparedness!