Monday Musings 3/2/2015 Update on Selling CDs Online

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Monday Musings 03022015 Update on Selling CDs Online

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

Why I’ll be busy for the next couple of months

I’m working on my next book, The Penny-Pincher Prepper: Save More, Spend Less and Get Prepared for Any Disaster due out this October.  

The Penny Pincher Prepper pic

I’m excited that it is now listed on Amazon, driving me to work harder on it every day.  I’m still posting articles on Apartment Prepper, just not as frequently.  And, I read all comments, though I may not be able to respond to all of them.  I appreciate all your support!

Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway:  This week you can enter our latest giveaway, Daisy Luther’s latest book, The Organic Canner.  All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment answering a quick question – Have you done any home canning, and what is your biggest challenge in this area?  Winner will be chosen on Saturday, March 7th at 8 pm Central.

Sellling CDs online update

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned we were decluttering and trying to make extra money at the same time.  I’m happy to report I got my first check from Second Spin and now I am encouraged to sell more.  I am not affiliated with them, just passing info along in case you want to try making money off old music CDs, DVDs or games.  Read their Selling Help page carefully before proceeding.

Now for the links…

Free water webinar hosted by Gaye Levy and Glenn Meder: How to Properly Treat Water in an Emergency Situation
This online class happens Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. CDT, (8 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. MDT / 5 p.m. PDT).

Click here to reserve a spot Free water webinar

Simplifying Life Today

10 Daily Habits of Frugal People

Which Saves the Most Money-Dehydrating, Freezing or Canning?

How do I Store That?  Vitamins

Here is an infographic with good information on recommended storage times for frozen food from freezerlabels.net

Frozen Food - Recommended Storage Times

freezerlabels.net

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2015

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The Organic Canner – Interview with Daisy Luther and Giveaway

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The Organic CannerThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we are featuring The Organic Canner by Daisy Luther.   For anyone who is not familiar with Daisy Luther, she runs The Organic Prepper and her articles are widely publicized in alternative media.

I was excited to read The Organic Canner.  Canning is a great skill to learn for self-sufficiency, and it’s a way to add to your food storage supplies at a low cost.  Learning how to can has been in my to-do list for some time, but I have not undertaken the challenge due to lack of space and a degree of uncertainty.  Let’s face it, a lot of dedicated DIY folks are intimidated by canning.  “What if my home canned food turns bad?”  is a common objection.  Well, The Organic Canner is exactly the type of book for newbies like us.

Written in a conversational tone, Daisy makes you immediately comfortable you picked up the book.  She walks you through the most basic steps, in easy to understand directions – you will feel she is right there with you.  You can tell she speaks from a wealth of experience, which gives you confidence that she knows what she is talking about.

The recipes are simple with easy to find ingredients.  I enjoyed reading The Organic Canner, and contacted Daisy with a few questions of my own.

Here is the interview:

1.    Many apartment dwellers feel reluctant to try canning due to the equipment involved and space required.  How might a person who lacks space get started?

As much as we’d all love a Better Homes and Gardens kitchen, it’s not necessary for preserving your food. Canning doesn’t take up as much room as you would expect. You need a small amount of counter space – enough for a canner load full of jars, and a stove.

2.    The book gives great instructions for water bath canning and pressure canning.  If you had to choose between the two, just to get started, what minimum equipment would you recommend?

If you’re just getting started, the easiest way is with water bath canning. The equipment is far less intimidating, and you’ll find that jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa are difficult to mess up.

3.    I already own a pressure cooker, how is this different from a pressure canner?  Can a pressure cooker do the same thing?

It isn’t advised to pressure can in a pressure cooker. Canners have a valve and gauge, and it’s vital that you be able to accurately monitor the pressure. Underprocessed food can be  source of deadly food poisoning.

4.    Another issue people worry about are the risks of contamination.  There is always some story in the news about people getting sick from home canned food – what are your thoughts about this?

There are definitely risks involved if you don’t do things properly. It’s important to follow the instructions very carefully. If you err, err on the side of adding more time. Your pressure must be held consistently in order to be assured of safety.  Botulism is a type of food poisoning that can cause symptoms as extreme as permanent paralysis or death. Now that I’ve sounded really scary, I want to reassure you that if you follow the instructions, your product will be safe and nutritious.

5.    What are some tips that you personally use to save money on organics?

I buy a lot of our food from people I know. Many local farmers raise their crops and livestock organically, but they can’t afford to jump through all of the hoops the government requires of them to become “certified organic”.  If you can get to know people well enough to learn about their practices, you can save a substantial amount of money over “Whole Foods” prices.  You can supplement your groceries with things that can be grown in a small yard, on a balcony, or even in a sunny windowsill. Pick your battles – not everything has to be organic. Every year, the Environmental Working Group comes out with lists of the foods that are most important to buy organic and those which aren’t as bad when purchased conventionally-grown. Finally, shop in-season. Even organic produce is much more reasonable when you buy it at the right time of year.

A big thank you to Daisy Luther for answering our interview questions!  If you have an interest in canning, you should read The Organic Canner.
Now for the giveaway:
I am happy to add that Daisy Luther also provided a copy for giveaway.  One lucky winner will be chosen via a random drawing.  To enter, please answer the following question in the comments:
Have you done any home canning, and what is your biggest challenge in this area?
The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, March 7th at 8 pm Central.

*Winners will be notified via email. 

*Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

© Apartment Prepper 2015



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Sharpen a Knife Using a Common Household Item

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Sharpen a knife using a common household item

A friend told me about this knife sharpening method and I got really curious I had to try it myself.

Dull knives are dangerous!  I’ve cut myself a few times by using a dull knife – instead of cutting properly, dull knives will skip or slip and cut you.  That is why I am obsessed with always having sharp knives, and a knowing a few ways to sharpen knives comes in handy.

I have a few other ways I want to try, but today, I will tell you about sharpening a knife using a coffee cup.

You need:

knife

coffee cup

stable surface

Turn the cup upside down on a stable surface.  I used a chopping board.  Using your right (or left if you are left handed) hand, hold the knife at about a 30 degree angle against the unglazed bottom of the cup.  Make sure the blade is facing away from you.  Run the blade across – I did an upside down U from left to right, then from right to left.  This way the blade is always facing away from you.  However, my friend just draws the blade across the bottom of the cup, as though cleaning the blade against it.  Either way seems to work.

After about five to six swipes, the knife should be sharp.

I tested the blade by cutting downward a piece of paper with it and it was very sharp.  It was much easier to slice and debone a chicken with my newly sharpened knife.

(Your results may vary.  Take precautions and go slowly when trying this out.  Make sure there are no kids around who may be tempted to try it.)

 


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Monday Musings: 2/23/2015 Making Butter from Heavy Cream Experiment

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Making Butter from Heavy Cream Experiment

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

Ready Made Resources Mountain House Sale 

Our sponsor, Ready Made Resources is having a huge Mountain House Sale.  They are offering pre-1965 Silver dimes for every $100 worth of Mountain House ordered.  Plus free shipping!  Check it out, this is a good deal not to be missed!

Giveaway this Friday  

We took a break from giveaways for the last few weeks but we are ready to get started again.  Believe it or not, a lot of entrants never check their emails and therefore lose out by not responding to their notification email.  We’ve had several giveaways were we’ve had to do multiple drawings just to find a winner who responds!   In spite of this, we keep trying and eventually a winner who is actually excited about winning responds and gets the item.  Check back on Friday for our next giveaway – this is a good one!

What happened to my butter from heavy cream experiment?

I was excited to try making butter from heavy cream – all the instructions I’ve seen mention adding heavy cream to a Mason jar and shaking it for 10 minutes or more.  Well, I shook and shook and shook some more…  For about 15 minutes and all I got was whipped cream.

What went wrong?  I think I should have added less heavy cream given the size of the jar I was using.  I also noticed the lid started to leak after a while, so my jar may have also had something to do with it.

As you know I share both successes and failures.  I call this one a fail for now…  But I am not giving up!

Now for the links…

Seed Starting: Indoors and Out

Be Anti-Fragile: Prepare Modern but Practice Primitive

10 Ways To Deter Burglars

No, You Can’t Come to My House

Disabling an Attacker’s Sight, Wind or Mobility

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

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Dealing with Prepper Burnout

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Dealing with Prepper Burnout

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I know a couple of people who were obsessed with prepping a couple of years ago, and now have completely dropped out.  From our previous conversations, I think they got burnt out from prepping.   Discouragement is fairly common-it happens to all of us.  The trick is to overcome it.  The doubting thoughts start small but can slowly take over.  Watch out for the warning signs.

How does happen?

  • Nothing happened.  Many people started preparing for disasters during the financial crisis.  Near panic prepping reached a fever pitch right before 2012, and dropped off soon after.
  • Discouragement can happen when you compare yourself to others – those we might view as the more “advanced” prepper who have a bugout location, a fully loaded bugout vehicle, and loads of supplies stashed away in both home and retreat.
  • The partner may not be supportive.  Having a partner who thinks you’re nuts for prepping can get to a person sometimes; of course the flip side is, if something happens they will be grateful that you prepped.
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of money

How to deal with prepper burnout

  1. Prepping is not a competition – quit comparing yourself to others.  Even if you just started this week, the extra supplies you’ve built up make you a lot better off than you were before.
  2. Realize all the benefits you get from being prepared – less stress, saving money, saving time by not having to run to the store all the time etc.
  3. If your partner is not on board, learn a few ideas to help you cope.
  4. If money is an issue, learn new skills instead:  watch YouTube videos for survival tips, learn a skill such as gardening, canning, first aid, from someone you know or free community classes.
  5. If time is an issue, do quick preparedness projects that you can finish in one weekend such as this one
  6. Rotate your supplies constantly, and you will see how having a stockpile benefits you in the long run.  Just make sure you replace items you use up.
  7. Just because nothing disastrous has happened does not mean nothing will – emergencies can happen at any time, and when they do, you will be glad you prepared.
  8. Watching disaster or even zombie flicks gets you in the mood to be prepared.  Watch The Walking Dead or movies like Day after Tomorrow or even Independence Day; think about what would you do if you were in their predicament.
  9. Don’t wait until you’re completely stressed out.  Take a break – everyone needs a breather now and then.
  10. Do something fun – go target shooting, visit a gun show, teach your kids fishing.  Prepping does not have to be all training and stockpiling.

Think about why you started preparing – you want to protect yourself and your family just in case.  Be grateful that you have been fortunate thus far, and you have the luxury of time to learn skills and continue to build your emergency supplies.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

 

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How to Trust Your Gut Feeling

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How to Trust your Gut Feeling

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Not too long ago, I posted an ad to sell a game console on Craigslist.   A buyer contacted me soon after.  He sounded friendly and knowledgeable; we agreed on a price.  Knowing you should not trust anyone to give your home address, I set up the meeting a meeting at a McDonald’s.   The guy showed up a few minutes late and was very apologetic.  We discussed the item and payment expected.  He seemed to hem and haw about the price even though we already had already agreed on the phone.  He seemed to “forget” certain details about our conversation.  I got an odd feeling about the whole thing.  Then he said he really did not have the money, but a couple of friends were meeting him at the location and were only a few blocks away.  That’s when I got a really strong feeling to just get out.  I quickly stood up and said, “Thanks, but I am moving on.”   I quickly left and drove off, looking behind my rear view mirror in case I was followed.   I was relieved when I was out of there.  I may have lost out on a sale but I felt a great sense of relief when I left.  I feel I avoided a potentially bad situation.

Animals have a sixth sense that protect them from danger and so do we.  We use different terms to describe it:  some call it intuition, a gut feeling or inner voice.  Whatever you may call it, I believe we should trust our gut.

How do you know you can trust your gut feeling?

  • A real gut feeling manifests itself physically:  you get a feeling in your midsection, like a knot, or the hairs in the back of your neck prick up.
  • You tend to be calm when you get this feeling.  Unlike an an anxiety attack, there is no fear attached to intuition.
  • After you make a decision after having trusted your instinct you feel even calmer and somehow lighter, like a weight is lifted off you.

How do you develop it?

I believe that experience has a lot to do with developing your gut instinct.  Just like working out your muscles, you can strengthen it by using it.  Pay attention to your surroundings, using your keen senses to experience what’s around you.  When faced with a decision, even minor ones, pay attention to how you feel about your choices.  Notice if your thoughts are negative or positive about certain things.  We’ve all met people we’ve instantly like or disliked.  Oftentimes, there is a good reason why these intense feelings come over you, and you prove yourself right.

In relation to survival, trusting your gut is a big part of the survival mindset.  I am not saying blindly make an “on the spot” decision.  I still believe you should consider all angles, make a knowledgeable choice.

For example, you are about to walk in an elevator and someone walks in with you that you get that “funny feeling,” would you continue walking into that elevator?  Or, based on the information at hand, you know you can walk away and catch the next elevator, no harm done.   Many rape or crime victims who were interviewed after the fact admit that they later regret they did not listen to that “little voice” or they second guessed themselves.  If you turn out to be wrong, then all  you did was waste a little time or appeared to be paranoid.  So what?  The life you’re saving could be your own.

Whether it’s to make an important decision, such as changing jobs, or moving locations, or even deciding to bug out when the time comes, I think we should take into account all factors involved, review the pros and cons, then trust our own intuition to lead us to make the right choice.

I am still grateful I trusted my gut about that Craigslist transaction that went awry.  That day could have turned out badly had I ignored it.  Start paying attention to your gut feelings, intuition or inner voice – you can count on it to save you.

© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

 

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My Every Day Carry Items

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Everyday carry

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

An emergency can happen anywhere, anytime and you may have to cope with only the items you happen to be carrying with you.

Over the years I have changed a few things on my every day carry (EDC) list.  On one hand, I don’t want to be carrying a huge purse that attracts thieves; on the other hand, I like to be prepared.  I like to make sure each item is useful enough to keep around, even if there is no emergency.

What are my every day carry items?

  • Solar watch – A couple of years ago, I decided to switch to a watch that runs on solar power, as I got tired of having to buy new batteries.  Even my dressy “Sunday” watch is solar powered.  I have never gone back to battery powered watches.
  • Paracord bracelet
  • Taser/flashlight – I researched choices between stun gun, taser or pepper spray.   When making your own choice, check the laws in your state, as some states prohibit them.  Before carrying, know how to use it as there can be unforeseen pitfalls.
  • Pocket aid kit - has various sizes of band-aid, pain reliever, diarrhea and allergy medicine; I also added a few prescription medicines that the family uses.
  • 8 oz Bottled water
  • Small granola bar, 1-2 pieces of candy, gum
  • Sunglasses
  • Swiss Army Knife, safety pin
  • Small wallet that includes ID, insurance information, debit card and $20 cash
  • Pen
  • Small book of matches
  • Cell phone

Of course, I also have a car emergency kit in case I get stranded.

These items have come in handy more times than I can remember; that’s why I never leave home without them.

What’s in your every day carry list?  Please share in the comments below!

© Apartment Prepper 2015

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The One Simple Secret to Surviving any Crisis

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Simple Secret to Surviving any Crisis

Written by Daisy Luther

This article first appeared in The Organic Prepper

When disaster strikes, will you be ready? Will you be organized, calm, and ready to adapt to whatever the situation brings? Sometimes we have some warning, and sometimes things happen out of the blue. There is one simple secret that will allow you to sail through nearly any crisis. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, or take up an entire roomful of storage space.

It’s your ability to accept the scenario.

The more time you spend denying that this could ever happen to you, happen in your home town, or occur at all, the less time you have to take definitive action. In fact, your willingness to accept that disaster could strike before it ever does puts you even further ahead, because you’ll be ready for immediate action without wasting valuable time wrapping your brain around it.

We recently hovered on the edge of evacuation for 12 days due to the King Fire, a forest fire that nearly reached 100,000 acres.  We got up on a sunny Saturday morning,  never realizing that would be the day an angry man would punctuate a domestic dispute by setting fire to a tree in the other person’s yard. Certainly, no one expected that one act of anger to set off a fire that would exceed the size of the city of Atlanta.

However, he did set that fire, and it came as close as 2 miles to our home over the almost-two-weeks that we watched with bated breath.

During the fire, I joined a number of local groups online so that I could get the most up-to-the-minute information, and during this time, I took lots of notes of my observations. The thing that was very clear is that those who were at least somewhat prepared handled the situation far better than those who simply couldn’t accept that this threat was actually happening to them.

As someone who has studied preparedness for many years, I witnessed firsthand the classic exemplar of human behavior during a disaster.  Tess Pennington, the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, wrote an article last year called The Anatomy of a Breakdown. In the article, she pointed out that in the event of disaster, society devolves in a predictable pattern with four distinct phases.  Her observations were accurate during our experience.  As we watched the events unfold, some people changed dramatically.

The difference between the people who crumbled, becoming easily offended, snarling, and hysterical, and the people who were generous, calm, and effective?  Their levels of preparedness, both mental and physical.

Think about any stressful situation that has ever happened to you.  Once you accepted the fact that it had happened you were able to set a course of action. Once you had definitive steps to take, you probably felt much calmer. You took control of the things you could, and you executed your plan.  Only by taking that first step – accepting that this mishap had indeed occurred – could you take the next two.

1.) Accept

2.) Plan

3.) Act

No matter what situation you find yourself in, these steps will nearly always see you through.

Here’s what we saw.

During our own experience, here are the things I witnessed. They could apply to any type of disaster, natural or otherwise:

Bug out bags are absolutely the first prep you should make. If you’re just getting started, do this one thing. You can do it without spending a penny, by just gathering up things that you already own. You may not have a top-of-the-line, ready-for-the-apocalypse bag like THIS ONE, but you’ll still be far ahead of most people.  When we first learned of the fire and realized that evacuating might become necessary, I had only two things to do. I had to get documents from the safe (the documents, by the way, were already housed in a plastic folder, so I only had to grab that one thing) and pull the pet carriers out of the shed. In less than 5 minutes, we were ready to roll. Had it been necessary, we could have left with only the photocopies of the documents, because those always remain in our bug-out bags. Having your bug-out bag ready means that you have accepted in advance that disaster could strike.

Any time one disaster strikes, several more are sure to follow. This is highly probable.  Some people in the fire zone not only stayed on the edge of evacuation for nearly two weeks, but they also lost power due to the fire.  This greatly reduced their ability to get news and information, which is vital in a disaster situation. It leads to even more worry and stress, and while you’re dealing with the potential of your home burning down, you’re also living through a power outage lasting several days. Getting prepared for a two week power outage is absolutely vital and can see you through most regional disasters. Also, when it finally began to rain, although it helped to quench the flames, firefighters were suddenly threatened by flash floods,. These were made worse because the areas no longer had the same natural obstructions to deter the flow of water.

Unprepared people panic.  Some people panicked initially. When we got the first evacuation alert (a notice that evacuation was highly likely within the next 24 hours), a woman who lived down the street was wailing and sobbing as her husband tried to pack up their vehicle.  She was rendered absolutely useless by fear. Meanwhile, my 13 year old was fulfilling her list while I fulfilled mine and we quickly made an orderly stack of important belongings, then turned on a movie to beat the stress. Had our area actually been forced to evacuate, those who panicked would have either been the last to leave, or they would have forgotten important things as they left in a disorganized rush. It’s important to decide ahead of time who packs what, and for each person to have a list. Sit down well before disaster strikes and make an evacuation plan with your family.

Get organized.  All the lists in the world won’t help you pack quickly if you don’t know where things are. One change we’re making is that all of the items we deemed precious enough to pack and take with us will now be stored in one area so that we won’t have to look for them when seconds count.  Another friend ran into the issue of dirty clothes: he actually had to evacuate with hampers of unwashed laundry. Having your home tidy and organized (and your laundry washed and put way) will help your packing go smoothly in the event of a sudden evacuation.

You can’t be prepared for everything.  Disaster situations are always fluid and they don’t go by a script. It’s vital to be adaptable to the changing situation.

Keep your vehicle full of fuel.  If you have to evacuate, lots of other people will be hitting the road too. When you’re stuck in traffic, you don’t want to be worried about your fuel gauge dropping to the empty mark, leaving you stranded in a dangerous situation.

The criminals come out, like cockroaches. Within 24 hours of the first evacuations, we learned that the local scumbags had looted some of the homes that had been left unattended. Within 48 hours, we learned that the scourge had reached the outlying areas, with these people breaking into cars that had been loaded up with the things that families had determined to be most important to them.  Of course, if you’ve evacuated, there’s nothing you can do about what’s happening to your home. But before evacuation, or in the event of civil unrest, it’s vital to be prepared to defend your family and belongings. In these situations, the first responders are busy, and that’s what criminals rely on. You should consider yourself to be completely on your own, and be ready for trouble. Keep in mind that during the civil unrest in Ferguson recently, the only businesses that didn’t get looted were the ones at which the owners stood armed and ready to defend their property.

The longer the stress lasts, the worse some people behave. As continued stress is applied, the true nature of a person becomes evident. People who formerly seemed like perfectly nice individuals were on the local message forums saying terrible things to one another. They were verbally attacking others for imagined slights and taking offense at things that would normally never ruffle feathers. Some folks were launching tirades against the very people who were performing the greatest service: the admins of the webpages who worked round the clock to keep us informed. If it was this bad in a potential emergency, can you imagine how bad things will get in a truly devastating long-term scenario?

But then…some people are wonderful. Alternatively, sometimes you see the very best of human nature. The generosity of many of my neighbors cannot be overstated. They housed livestock, pets, and families full of strangers during the evacuation. People showed up at the shelter with food and comfort items for those who had been evacuated. Firemen who came from near and far to fight the blaze were constantly being treated to meals at local restaurants, as other diners surreptitiously paid their tabs. Watching the kindness and gratitude helped to restore some of my faith in human nature, after seeing the squabbling and crime. It was interesting to me that the people who gave the most generously were the ones who were the most prepared. These folks were calm and could focus on other things besides “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what to do!” We definitely learned who the people were that we wanted to surround ourselves with when the S really HTF.

Take steps now to be one of those calm people later.

Today, I want you to think about disasters. It’s certainly not a pleasant thought, but considering these things now – when there’s no fire bearing down on you, no hurricane heading your way, no chemical spill poisoning your water, no pandemic in the next town over – allows you to think more clearly and make a definitive plan of action.

So…

Check your bug out bags.

Organize your most precious belongings.

Discuss the plan with your family so that everyone knows what to expect.

Make these decisions now so that when – and it’s always “when” not “if” – disaster knocks at your door, you’re prepared to respond immediately. Learn about what to expect from others in order to keep your family safe and on-plan. Human nature isn’t as much of a variable when you can predict their behavior.

What to pack:

Here are the things we packed for our potential evacuation:

  • Bug out bags
  • Cell phone
  • Address book with important contacts
  • Money, credit cards
  • Pet carriers – I prefer the hard-sided ones so that our pets are sheltered better in a crowded vehicle
  • Pet food
  • 2 weeks of clothing
  • Extra shoes
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Documents (identification, insurance, passports, etc.)
  • A utility bill or other proof of residence
  • Small Portable safe for valuables
  • Family photos
  • Items of sentimental value
  • Reading material
  • Laptops
  • Water
  • A small fire extinguisher
  • Extra fuel in a safe container
  • Phone and laptop chargers
  • car charger
  • On the recommendation of a friend, I threw our swimming goggles in, to offer eye protection in the event we had to drive through thick smoke

Your list might also include:

  • Security items for children
  • Items to entertain children
  • Prescription medication
  • Allergy medication
  • Religious items for comfort
  • Food (If you go to an evacuation shelter, you may end up having to purchase meals out or make due with very small rations)
  • Bedding

Make a written checklist that you can easily access. You might include the location of items that are packed away. Decide on these things now, when you have the time to calmly think about what items are the most important.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of those sentimental items.  We feared that if we had to leave our home, we might never be coming back. Identify the things that are dear to your heart and put them in a place where you can grab those treasures quickly. Insurance can’t replace photos of those who have passed on, special gifts, and items that bring you memories of loved ones.

Have you ever evacuated?

If so, what items did you take with you? Are there any items you forgot?

About the author:

Daisy Luther  lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States.  She is the author of The Organic Canner and The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

 

 

 

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Protect your Computer and Smart Phone from Ransomware

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Protect your computer and smart phone from ransomware

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I heard on the local news that a lot of people have been victimized by “ransomware”  According to the people who reported the crime, their computers are held hostage for ransom and unless they pay, everything in their computer or smart phone is no longer accessible.  The scammer gains entry when the target clicks on a link usually sent through one of those phishing emails.   Other reports indicate entry could also be through unsecured wifi.  A few hours later, when the victim turn on their device, a message flashes across the screen saying the computer has been frozen and payment must be made to unlock it.   Amounts demanded can vary between $100 to $600.    Even police stations have fallen victim.

Think about what you can lose if your smart phone or computer gets frozen:  your contact list, irreplaceable photos, music, documents, bank information.

Your emergency contact list

What if an emergency happens and your phone is frozen?  How would you get in touch with your family and friends?  In the old days, everyone kept an address book, or even better, memorized frequently called numbers.  Mr. Apt Prepper and I had this discussion and quizzed each other on how many phone numbers of our siblings did we have memorized.  We had a poor result.  We do have a small address book that has all the contacts, so at least that was not a total failure.

How do you protect yourself from ransomware?

  1. Backup your phone and computer on a regular basis.  Use an external hard drive for your backup.
  2. Always have a virus and malware protection program on at all times.
  3. Only download apps for your phone from Google Play Store or Itunes.
  4. Backup your phone contact list with a hard copy.  You can do this quick project on a weekend.
  5. Be cautious when clicking on links sent via email.  Phishing emails can look authentic by being cleverly designed and worded.
  6. Avoid accessing personal data on public wifi sites.
  7. Avoid surfing suspicious sites.
  8. If you have a lot of important documents stored in your computer that are not backed up, print hard copies and add them to your grab and go binder.  This helps you prepare for emergencies at the same time.

What can you do if your phone or computer gets infected with ransomware?

Law enforcement personnel recommend reporting the crime immediately.  They also advise against paying the ransom because this just encourages more of this type of crime.  There is also no guarantee that you will even get access back even if you pay the ransom.

Many victims who do not pay the ransom end up buying a new computer to replace their frozen computer.  This can be costly and traumatic, especially if you lose important or irreplaceable documents.  Take the steps to protect yourself now!

© Apartment Prepper 2015

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Monday Musings: 2/9/2013 – Make Money on Clutter

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Make Money on clutter

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

A few days ago, I had written about increasing storage space in a small apartment, and this week we are in the decluttering stage.  This time we are looking at every item closely:  If it has not been used in the last year, out it goes.  At the same time, we are also trying to raise some cash.

How to Make Money on Clutter

  • Hold a garage sale.  I think we may have some restrictions on holding garage sales in our building so I will try to sell online as much as possible.
  • Sell DVDs and CDs online – try www.selldvdsonline.com  or http://www.secondspin.com/   I have not sold anything yet as we are still gathering items, but these two seem to be recommended by several money saving sites, so I am going to try one of them soon.
  • Sell books on Amazon.
  • If the book does not sell on Amazon, I am going to take them to a local bargain bookseller for credit, and choose new books to read.
  • List furniture on Facebook pages of community garage sale sites.
  • Any items that do not sell will be donated.

Most of these were bought during my free-spending days.  As I price these items, I realize how little they are worth compared to the initial purchase price.  But at least getting something is better than hanging on to stuff that is no longer used.

As I get extra funds from these efforts, I hope to apply them toward paying off debt.

Now for the links…

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last Monday Musings post – this week I have lots of great links for you.

Deal or No Deal? Comparing Dollar Stores to Walmart & Others

Measles Outbreak 2015: What’s the Big Deal?

Headache prevention: A basic tutorial

5 Steps to Become the Smartest Person in the Woods

6 More Uncommon First Aid Items

How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne

DIY Hobo Stove

4 Ways To Make Essential Oils, Right In Your Home

8 Keys to Self-Sufficiency

Take care and have a great week everyone!
© Apartment Prepper 2015

 

 

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