"It really started with emergency preparedness. I help manage the family farm, so whenever the power goes out in winter everything goes out, including the farm well," she said. She estimated that the power there goes out at least 2 to 3 times per winter, for 3 to 5 days at a time. "Hauling buckets from the stream is not pleasant in minus-degree weather, so I started thinking about it there and it kind of spread."
Yurkiewicz took an approach similar to Havenwood's.
"I read everything that I could get my hands on, because I knew that so many people made mistakes; you don't eat what you get, you get too much, you spend money on what isn't good," she said. "I researched everything. The Mormon websites, all of them were fantastic. The Mormon mothers blog group really got me excited about everything."
Weiss, an author of the blog "Food Storage Made Easy," was surprised at how many of her readers weren't LDS. The discovery came when she and Moore created a Facebook page for their blog, which today has almost 13,000 fans.
"Before we had it, we assumed that anyone that read our blog was surely LDS," Weiss said. "But then we got on Facebook and used it like a regular person, and noticed a lot of people — just little clues they weren't LDS, like having their morning coffee stored or like going to Mass. "
Weiss identified many reasons for storing food besides religious teachings.
"Health reasons, economy, disasters . . . When there was the swine flu and people were afraid to leave their houses, or you have a baby and don't want to go grocery shopping because you're so busy. Nobody's immune to job loss, and nobody's immune to potential crisis," she said.
Anthony Trupiano, who heads an insurance company out of Jacksonville, Fla., said he sleeps better at night knowing his family is prepared with a food storage that could sustain them for three years.
"I think it's part of being a responsible citizen, that if there's a crisis you don’t have to be in that mob running down to the store, stripping everything off the shelves," said Trupiano, who also isn't a member of the LDS Church.
Though disasters that could call for food storage are infrequent, it can be beneficial to everyday life.
"We're a lot healthier now that I think about what we're eating. And I share, of course, everything with the family," Yurkiewicz said. "Whenever the power goes out, I load everything in my jeep and we have a little cookout."
Havenwood also identified health benefits and said her family has seen a "tremendous" financial difference.
"The month we started tracking it, we spent 33 percent less on groceries, yet had more food in the house," she said. "I feel like because we have everything on hand, I tend to make rather than buy things."
The preparedness trend has definitely been picking up, Weiss said, regardless of whether or not a person is LDS.
"I don't know if it's a fad, if it will go away, or if it will stick around, but it's definitely grown," she said.
For Havenwood, it's sticking around.
"I truly, deeply believe in the importance of prepping," she blogged. "It makes good financial sense, and it provides supplies for my family in case of disaster. Prepping is a perfect outlet . . . for my deep-seated desire to make my home a self-contained sanctuary for those I love."
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