I had the pleasure of speaking to Sharon Ross this week. Among her friends and family she’s simply Sharon, but once the heels come off and the boots are put on she transforms into the Afrovivalist. Sharon is what you’d call a prepper, but I hesitate to use the term “prepper” because it often conjures up images of a paranoid guy burying shipping containers in his back yard and hording beans and rice in the event World War III were to start at any moment. In reality, we should all be preppers in a way, ready to overcome adversity or disaster.
Sharon’s story is unique and interesting because not only is she a female prepper, but she is a black female prepper and survivalist. When asked about the events that inspired her to head down this road, Sharon recounted her early days of being a single mother. “I came to the conclusion that I’ve always been a prepper/survivalist…after I got divorced I had to get my hustle on”. With a daughter to provide for, planning and preparedness wasn’t a hobby, it was a lifestyle. The reality of the lack of preparedness really hit home for Sharon when she saw a story on TV. There was a story about a mother in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina who couldn’t find milk or water for her baby. The mother had been looking, but the stores had been looted or were sold out of milk. Sharon stated, “Unlike earthquakes or other natural disasters there was ample warning that the hurricane was coming, we often have days if not weeks to prepare for hurricanes. I thought to myself how could you not be prepared for a shortage of milk!”
Post Hurricane Katrina Sharon decided to do something about her own situation to ensure she was ready in the event of some unforeseen natural or man made disaster. The journey wasn’t easy, and along the way she lost some friends, got the odd stares however she’s also made new friends and has learned a lot of new skills.
A lot of the skills needed to prepare for a natural or man-made disaster are actually similar to the skills any outdsoorsman would want to have when going out to the field. For example, you want to understand how to find and filter water; a human being can go three weeks without food but only three days without water. When in the back country you want to understand how to find and prepare food, how to communicate with the outside world, and how to build shelter.
Sharon recently launched her website, Afrovivalist.com where you can tips about getting yourself prepared for a disaster. You can also follow her on her journey to be more self-sustaining and prepared for what the world may throw at her.