Check out our New Banner Ad, Through Many Fires by Kyle Pratt

Please check out our newest banner ad, Through Many Fires, the best-selling post apocalyptic novel by Kyle Pratt.

I have read the book and it is a fast paced thriller.  My interview with Kyle Pratt is posted here.  Kyle will soon be publishing the sequel to Through Many Fires and the next book will be called A Time to Endure.  In the meantime, go read Through Many Fires and get caught up!

Through Many Fires

ALTAI Tactical Boot – Review and Giveaway

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

We got an opportunity to try out the new ALTAI MF Tactical Boot.

What are ALTAI MF Tactical Boots?

They are lightweight boots that are built to be sturdy and comfortable at the same time.  They are water resistant and have non-slip soles.

Here is the box they came in.

ALTAI BOXALTAI Open BoxConstruction

The upper portion of the boot is made with “Superfabric” which is a breathable material that is sturdy and durable at the same time.

Here is a closer look:

ALTAI Boot closeupThe out soles are made from Vibram, a long lasting material that prevents slipping in rough terrains.

 

Here is Mr Apt Prepper’s review:

When I first saw the boots, they appeared really different from any hiking boots I’ve owned.  I am used to the leather uppers and I felt unused to the fabric.  But they look well constructed and I was interested in testing them out.

Comfort

I hiked around in these boots for several hours and found them to be comfortable and light-weight.   My feet felt a bit warm after a while but the material was breathable so they did not feel overheated.

Water Resistant

I walked around while it was raining, through puddles and mud, and water did not penetrate the boots.  I hosed it down to get rid of the mud, and the boots continued to keep my feet dry inside.

ALTAI BOOTS IN the rainTraction

The soles have a good tread and you can tell with each step that the boots have traction with surfaces, whether wet or dry, even or uneven.

Flexibility

These boots are quite flexible and do not pinch or hurt while giving some good foot support.  I did not get any blisters or chaffing, even when “breaking them in.”

ALTAI FLEXIBILITYWhat can be improved?

If I had to be picky about something, it would be that the boots only comes in one style and one color.  They have a look of police or military type footwear, that I normally would only wear for hiking or outdoor work.  However, I did find out that the company will soon be adding more styles in a few months.

Overall, the boot itself is well-made and the price is reasonable as compared to other similar boots.  It’s a great pair to have in case you ever need to walk out of the city, or for if you just need some sturdy, comfortable boots for everyday use.

ALTAI Tactical boots are available through the ALTAI Gear website or through Amazon

by clicking this link:

Notes about Sizing

For men:  The sizes run large, so if you normally wear a size 10, choose half a size smaller and buy the 9 1/2.  Even with thick wool socks, the smaller half size fit well.

For women, it is suggested that the size ordered should be a full size smaller than the stated boot size.  So if you normally wear a size 8, order the ALTAI Tactical boot in a size 7.

Now for the Giveaway!

ALTAI MF Tactical Boots giving away one pair of boots to a lucky winner.  To enter, please post a comment below regarding:

Do you feel there is a possibility you may have to walk out of the city in a disaster?  How are you preparing for this?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  April 25th at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.
 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

 

Downsize Before You Have To

Downsize Before You Have ToThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I don’t know about you but my finances have been feeling the pinch lately.  I’m not even talking about all the dire economic warnings, but on a personal level, it feels more of a struggle this year than last year.  For one thing my paycheck is smaller:  health insurance premiums as well as taxes increased.  When I go grocery shopping, the same budgeted amount of money buys less food – beef prices have increased due to the drought, and so have fruit and vegetable prices.   On top of that, gas prices are higher too.  The economy does not seem to be getting any better, and we can all feel it.

What’s a person to do, having to cope with these financial difficulties?

Downsize your lifestyle before you are forced to.

Lowering your monthly expenses will ensure you are in a better position than you may have been, in case things get worse.  And if things stay the same you won’t feel as financially stressed.

  1. Consider moving to a smaller house or apartment.   When your lease is up, evaluate whether it’s a good time to move to a smaller, less expensive space.  Your payments will be lower, allowing you to have more money at the end of the month.  At the same time, your electric bill and gas utility bills will be lower as well, since you are not having to cool or heat a large space.
  2. Give up the “hundreds of channels but nothing to watch” cable plan.  Cut out cable, or do it gradually by switching to a lower plan.  If you are on a one or two year contract that charges high penalties for leaving, here’s some good news.  I had one of those contracts too, but I called the company and found out the contract is to stay with them for the specified number of years, not stay on the same plan.  If you switch to a cheaper plan, you will not incur any penalty.  As long as you stick with them until the end of the contract term, even if you downgrade to the lowest plan, you won’t be charged the penalty for early out.  Talk to your cable or satellite provider and see what you can arrange.  Another thing you can do is negotiate a lower rate just by asking.
  3. Shop for a lower cell phone plan.  Once your contract ends, go month to month for a while and shop for a lower rate.
  4. Shop in your own closet before heading to the mall.  We recently went through all our stuff and found so many unused items and duplicates even though we try to be careful about that.
  5. Lower your food budget  Opt for cheaper cuts of meat, and buy produce in season.  Dust off the cookbooks and search for simple recipes that don’t need a lot of unusual ingredients.  Avoid waste in the kitchen.  Quit buying bottled water and use filtered tap water instead.
  6. Review all your insurance policies and find some discounts.  I recently got a renewal statement for our renter’s insurance and it was $200 higher than last year’s.  I called the agent to discuss ways to lower the premiums.  I opted for lowering some of the coverages and also found a few discounts.  The call resulted in a lower premium overall.
  7. Use less of your household and personal care products  I remember my grandfather used to use masking tape and a Sharpie to note the date he started using each item.  I didn’t understand it when I was a kid, but it to keep track of how long the item would last with normal usage, so he could adjust his habits accordingly.
  8. Stop using credit  It might be tempting to use credit to make ends meet, but charging up the cards only compounds the problem.  Your debt obligations will only increase, adding to your stress.  Instead, use cash for all your purchases and start lowering those balances.
  9. Choose free or low cost entertainment   We used to go to the movies at least once a month, but now that DVDs come out just three months or less after the movie originally came out, we just wait.   Now we have movie night, complete with popcorn, candy and snacks (bought on sale)  Read the community bulletin or paper for events such as school plays, events at the park such as Easter Egg hunts, etc. Having fun does not have to cost much, and for even more free fun, check #10.
  10. Get a library card.  I used to buy books all the time, but found they just add to the clutter once I’m done reading them.  Sell your used books and make some money.  The library also carries music and magazines.  Make the most out of your library visit by checking your book’s availability online first.  Most city or county libraries allow you to place a hold on a book, and they email you when the book is ready for pickup.
  11. Take less expensive vacations    Many frugal families splurge on the family vacation.  However, now is not the time to wipe out your savings for short term enjoyment.  It’s good to take a break – don’t forgo your vacation, but try something closer to home.  Consider camping and hiking – you get to experience nature, and learn a few skills at the same time.
  12. Make things last longer  Try to repair before you replace something, and find a way to repurpose your items.
  13. Let go of wasteful habits   Turn off appliances when not in use.  Guilty of this one – I have a bad habit of leaving the light in the closet on.  You don’t need to wash towels and sheets after just a couple of uses.  Unless you sweat heavily, you may not need to wash your hair everyday.  Combine your errands into one trip instead of spreading them out.  Stop eating out for lunch everyday and start bringing lunch from home.  These are only a few ideas to get started.  Don’t just do things because that’s how you’ve always done it.  Evaluate whether your hobbies are costing you way too much, and find more economical ways to get your materials.  Once you really think about your habits, you will find lots of ways to save.
  14. Find ways to lower your tax bill    There is no “one size fits all” advice for lessening the tax bite (legally of course), but we can all use a few tips.  See this article on how one couple manages their taxes
  15. Put the brakes on “lifestyle inflation”  If you are fortunate to get a nice raise this year, don’t increase your expenses in proportion to your income.  Put your new higher earnings to good use – pay off debt, add to your emergency fund or buy emergency supplies.

Do the above tips only if they make sense to you, and if they fit in with your overall lifestyle.  Keep up your prepping efforts, because they also help you in the long run.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Monday Musings: 4/14/2014

 Monday Musings 4142014

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps. 

First the blog updates…

I am working on a new round of reviews and projects that I will be posting about soon.

One of the projects I had hoped to get going hasn’t worked out just yet, the Back to the Roots AquaFarm which I mentioned last fall   I originally purchased it to try an aquaponics project indoors, but found out during the set up that we don’t have a good spot for it.  I didn’t realize this before buying it, but found out later, that it cannot be near any bedrooms because the pump generates a steady noise.  At the same time, it needs a sunny spot to work properly.   I’m not saying it doesn’t work – we just don’t have the right space for it.  Back to the patio garden!

New Mountain House products for 2014   I received an announcement from Mountain House announcing their new 2014 products:  

 ·       Mountain House® Biscuits and Gravy: This traditional breakfast comfort food provides the energy outdoor enthusiasts need to fuel up before or after vigorous activities. Unique in the industry, Mountain House developed a recipe for biscuits in a creamy sausage gravy that offers a perfect combination of soft, yet crunchy while maintaining just-add-water convenience. Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy come in a 4.94 oz. pack with an MSRP of $5.99.

 ·       Mountain House® Apple Crisp: This classic dessert can be enjoyed as a breakfast, snack or by the fire as the perfect finish to a satisfying meal in the outdoors. Mountain House Apple Crisp provides that homemade flavor and comfort outdoor enthusiasts crave at the end of a strenuous day. It comes in a 4.59 oz. pack with an MSRP of $7.49.

 ·       Mountain House® Fire Roasted Vegetables: The savory, delicious taste of fire roasted peppers, corn, and onions with hearty black beans is the perfect side dish for favorite Mountain House meals. One serving contains 100 percent of the daily Vitamin C requirement – just the nutrient replenishment needed after activity. They come in a 1.48oz pack with an MSRP of $3.99.

 ·       Mountain House® Just In Case… Breakfast Assortment: This 16-pouch assortment includes 29 total servings, including: Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Scrambled Eggs with Ham & Peppers, Granola with Milk & Blueberries, and the Breakfast Skillet (Hash Browns and Scrambled Eggs with Pork Sausage, Peppers & Onions). Each breakfast provides plenty of fuel for when it’s needed most. The assortment comes in a reusable bucket and has an MSRP of $89.99.

The Biscuits and Gravy, Apple Crisp and Fire Roasted Vegetables are available in cases of six. The Just In Case… Breakfast Assortment is sold individually. All four new products are available now to retailers nationwide.

I’ve tested their beef stroganoff and their spaghetti and meat sauce and they turned out well.  When I try some of the new offerings I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out.

News about my new book, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure:  A Prepper’s Book for Kids

The release date on Amazon changed again, but the publisher tells me the books are shipping out this week.  It’s available for pre-order.  You still have a chance to enter the Goodreads giveaway- deadline is April 15th.

Enter the giveaway by clicking on the the Entry button below!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure by Bernie  Carr

Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure

by Bernie Carr

Giveaway ends April 15, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Good luck!

Now for the links…

So many data breaches, so little time  Last week it was all about “Heartbleed”  And it’s not even over yet.

 The Heartbleed SSL Flaw: Are You Affected?

Not another one…

Massive U.S. credit bureau data breach has experts worried

More earthquakes than California   An area not widely known as an earthquake zone, Oklahoma has been experiencing a lot of earthquakes:

Oklahoma rattled by an uptick in earthquakes

Good life lessons  Interesting article from someone who has been through his own personal downturn.

The End of the World: The Sequel

Don’t neglect this   Good reminder about a prep that is often neglected.

Your Most Important Prep

Remedies for a common problem   A lot of people suffer from acid reflux, and taking over the counter medicines may have undesired side effects.  Check out this article for some relief:

Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

Easy-peasy    Making homemade butter seems easy enough.  I hope it works when I try it.

Make fresh homemade butter with heavy cream and a mason jar

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Get out of debt

10 Prepping Tips for New Parents

10 Prepping Tips for New Parents

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

On one of of the blog comments, a new mom expressed her concern for the safety of her young child in the event of a disaster.  It is bad enough worrying about yourself in an emergency; it is only natural for a new Mom or Dad to have extra concerns about protecting their young children.

If you are a parent of young children, here is a quick list of actionable steps that will help you be more prepared AND ease your mind:

  1. Make a list of all the essential baby items you use on a daily basis from the minute the baby wakes up until you put him or her to bed.  You would be surprised at all the items you use.  Once you know what you need go to the next step.
  2. Build a three month supply of these commonly used items.  Of course you will want to stock up on baby formula, diapers, wipes etc.  Buy the next sizes that you can foresee using in three months.  Don’t forget to rotate your stock so nothing goes to waste.
  3. Stock up on extra water for yourself and your children.  Don’t forget you will need water for washing and cooking.
  4. Always keep a flashlight next to your bed:  in case of an emergency in the middle of the night, and you lose power, you can get up quickly and run to your child’s bedroom.
  5. Children outgrow clothes very quickly so you will need a stockpile of clothes in varying sizes.  To save on cost, visit consignment stores or thrift stores and buy the next sizes above what your child is using now.
  6. Always carry a well-supplied baby bag in the trunk of the car.  Include extra clothes, diapers, wipes, snacks, a toy or two for each child.  This will come in handy for any minor emergencies, such as a child throwing up in the car, getting stuck in traffic or the child getting fussy.  It’s not a bad idea to have a small suitcase that contains extra clothes for each member of the family in the car, to be changed seasonally.  This is in addition to the emergency survival kit that every car should have.
  7. Consider lower cost or home made alternatives to the store bought supplies you are currently using:  cloth diapers, homemade baby food, wipes etc.  The savings can be substantial.  After I discovered how easy it was to make baby food from normal recipes such as spaghetti, chicken and rice soup etc, I cut down on using bottled baby food.
  8. Don’t forget to include baby supplies in your go-bag, in case you have to leave your home in an emergency.  Include the baby sling and stroller on your way out in case you have to walk out of the city.
  9. Keep a list of emergency contacts not only in your cell phone, but also a hard copy, in case your cell phone isn’t working.  Build a texting tree in case of emergency.
  10. Become familiar with the emergency procedures at your day care center or pre-school.  Leave an extra set of clothes, food and prescription medicine at the care giver in case of emergency.  Learn alternate routes to your child’s pre-school, back to your home from the office.

New parents have their hands full, and realizing the fragile state of the system does not make it any easier.  Taking concrete steps to become more prepared will make you feel more in control of your situation, and you will feel more confident you can handle both small and large emergencies.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Find Cheap Emergency Lighting Before the Next Power Failure

Find Cheap Emergency Lighting

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A couple of weeks ago, the main energy provider for the city had two transformers blow up and over 13,000 residents in one part of town suddenly lost power.   It happened right around dinnertime – I am sure a lot of people were caught unawares.

So I thought, why not take a weekend and put together a bin or bucket of emergency lights, so you are ready for the next power outage.

Here are just a few options:

  • Hit the garage sales and thrift stores and pick up candles.  When I was at Goodwill I saw a lot of unused brand name candles, selling at a fraction of their original price.  Garage sale season has started – you may get lucky and find camping lanterns and flashlights at the same time.  I know candles can be fire hazards, and you can’t light a match if you suspect a gas leak such as after an earthquake, but for a simple power outage that randomly occurs, candles will suffice.  Practice common sense and keep them away from children, curtains etc.
  • Pick up tea lights at a discount store or at the dollar store.  Obtain baby food jars for free from friends who have toddlers, and use with the tea lights.  Don’t forget to pick up a pack or two of glow sticks a the dollar store.
  • Go to a home improvement store and buy solar garden lights  The beauty of solar garden lights is you can leave them out in the sun, they get recharged and you can bring them inside when it’s dark.  Place in a nice vase or stand and you’re all set.
  • Tap lights are great to have on the night stand, as well as in closets and garages.  Pick up a dozen and place them all over the house.  The next time you have a power outage, just reach over for instant illumination.  Just make sure the batteries are fresh.  Tell the kids where they are so they can always find them.  (Just be aware:  kids who love to read will use them as lamps after you’ve tucked them in!)
  • Before an emergency happens, take the time to make a cheap emergency lamp from household items, or a bacon grease lamp.  Or learn how to make a 2000-hour flashlight.  These are all super cheap and made with things you already have around the house.
  • Make sure you have enough matches and lighters.
  • After you’ve obtained emergency lighting, go a step further and prepare for the next power outage.  Having these items on hand will also ensure you won’t be one of the hapless crowds running to the store right before a hurricane or ice storms when all these supplies sell out.

Anything can happen that interrupts our electricity.   Hopefully your next power outage will be a short one, but if you do the above, you’ll be ready.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Monday Musings 4/7/2014

Monday Musings 04072014

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps. 

First the blog updates…

I am excited to have been invited to participate in a couple of podcasts this week:  PrepperRecon and TrayerWilderness

Once they are scheduled, I will post a link.

Final day to enter.   If you haven’t already, please submit your entries to have a chance to win some great prizes.  Today is the last day of the Prepared Bloggers Spring Giveaway  

Now for the links…

Solar storm risk  Even Lloyd’s of London recognizes the need to protect the electric grid from threats.  They published their assessment:  Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electric Grid

So much shaking going on   Last week was quite the busy week for earthquakes, everyone is wondering the same thing.

 Earthquakes in Chile and L.A. Raise Fears About ‘Ring of Fire’

Bookmark this site to stay informed   It updates Emergency Alerts and Disaster News from around the country 24 hours a day.  Region Specific pages are also updated around the clock.

You can find it here:
http://usdipole.com/ncisar/

When weight is an issue  Every ounce counts if you have to carry your bug out bag across a distance.  Here is a good article to help you lighten your load.

6 Strategies to Lighten Your Bug Out Bag

How to have a successful bug-out    While we’re on the subject, check out

5 Tips for a Successful Bug-OutCopyright © 2014 – Survival at Home – Read more at: http://survivalathome.com/5-tips-for-a-successful-bug-out/

5 Tips for a Successful Bug-Out

Might be a good time to stock up    As people cut back, retailers are offering more deals.  Shop wisely and give your emergency supplies a boost.

Discounts Are Piled On as Americans Buy Fewer Basics

Great instructions to make kombucha   Kombucha is said to have a lot of health benefits including immune system support, digestion aid, etc.  I picked up a bottle to try from the health section of the market, and it was on the expensive side.  Why not make your own-this article has some good instructions:


How To Make Kombucha The Easy Way— Rule #1 Don’t Start With A Dehydrated SCOBY!

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Using Four Year Old Rice

FourYearOldRiceThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

We are rotating the first batch of rice we stored away and replacing it with the new batch.  I bought the rice back in April 2010 but did not repackage it for for long term storage until November 2010.  Usually, rice that is left in a pantry with no special packaging will last one to two years.

Since this is the first time I am using my rice storage I was really curious as to how the mylar bag/oxygen absorber packed rice held up.  We don’t keep it especially cold in our apartment – usually 75-78 degrees, and it does get humid indoors sometimes.

First, Mr. Apt Prepper opened up the five gallon bucket.  I didn’t realize they are not the easiest things to open, which is actually a good thing, because you know the contents are safe.  After he released the plastic zip seal, he had to slowly pry open the lid with a butter knife.  It would have been easier to have a bucket opener so I added one to the Amazon wish list.

Rice in mylar bagOnce opened, we examined the mylar bags inside and found them to be the same as when we packed them nearly four years ago.  The bags were still very much air tight as they shrink around the food once the oxygen absorber activates.  When I opened a bag, I found that the oxygen absorber was still soft and fresh, and did not harden as expired ones do.  I poured the contents into a jar, and cooked up a batch.

Pouring rice from mylar bagThe rice tasted good and there was no difference in taste or texture at all.  I am really glad the process works, and feel confident the food storage will hold up for many years.

Buying food in bulk and repackaging it yourself is a cost effective way to store for emergency long term storage.  As long as you keep rotating your food, it will not go to waste.  If you’d like to get started repackaging bulk food for long term storage, the easiest method is described here.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Tinctures, Salves, Poultices and More

Home Remedies

I have not given much thought to tinctures, salves and poultices until I read the e-book Home Remedies by Alex Smith.   We will get back to what they are in a bit.

First, let’s talk about the book.

Home Remedies is exactly that:  a book that gives cures for common ailments using easy to find household items.  The conditions are listed in alphabetical order, making things easy to find.  One thing I did not expect was, the book also gives tips for general cleaning, deodorizing, doing laundry… even starting an herb garden.  It even includes home remedies for pets!

Now back to tinctures, salves and poultices…  The book gives great definitions of the terms used, as well as examples throughout the book.

What are they anyway?  From what I learned from Home Remedies (paraphrased):

Tincture is a mixture created by soaking an herb in alcohol or vinegar, helping draw out the properties of the herb, while preserving it.  Salve is an oil with wax added.  A poultice is comprised of a bandage combined with a paste or moist mixture and is placed on a wound, rash or other affected area.

Here’s a handful of fascinating things I learned…

  • Cornstarch can help soothe a sunburn
  • Cherries are good for the nervous system and stress relief.
  • Eating caraway seeds can calm an upset stomach.
  • Sucking on a lemon helps relieve nausea
  • Eating a banana helps calm a hangover (replaces the potassium lost)

I don’t want to give away too much… you’ll have to read the book to find out more.  It’s a good book to have around, to help you find simple home remedies for quick relief, until you can get to a doctor.  You get lots of “good to know” tips at $3.99 for the Kindle edition.  It is also available on paperback.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

7 Cost-Cutting Moves that can Backfire in a Disaster

Broken FenceEveryone is trying to save a few bucks these days and I can certainly relate.  But there are certain instances when the cheap route is not the best for surviving a disaster.  Fortunately there are workarounds.

Buying the cheapest gear.

The temptation to buy the cheapest item is strong, but not good for the long run.   You run the risk of the item breaking down on you when you most need it.  For example, walking shoes.  I’ve gotten some cheap shoes myself (at a popular “Buy One Get One at Half Off” place)  that fell apart with normal use after just two weeks.  The sole started to shred and pieces of rubber were actually flaking off as I walked.  Lesson learned.  If you have to walk out of the city, you need sturdy but comfortable shoes.   You won’t get very far if your shoes caused you blisters or the sole falls off in mid stride.  The same goes for other equipment such as water filters, backpacks, emergency stoves, flashlights etc.  I’m not saying get the most expensive.  Do your research to get the best item in your price range.   If you find gear at a garage sale or thrift shop, make sure the item works before you buy it.

Giving up your only means of transportation.

I see this advice a lot, especially in big cities that have public transportation.  But if there were a disaster and the trains or buses were not running, you’d want a reliable way to travel.  You may not need a way to get out of the city now, but you might need to in a disaster.  No, I am not suggesting for you to go buy a car now either.  Even if you were to travel by motorcycle, bicycle or carpool, at least have a plan.  Or, make arrangements with a nearby friend or relative you can ride with, if anything were to happen.

Using coupons to buy unhealthy processed foods.

I like coupons as much as the next frugal shopper, but I have noticed most of the coupons in the Sunday paper are for processed foods.  Being healthy is an asset whether in normal times or disasters.  It is much cheaper to make your own dishes from inexpensive foods such as rice and beans than to use coupons on products that are not good for your health. In the long run you will save on medical bills and prescriptions by choosing the healthier foods.

Not paying your premiums for home or renters insurance, giving up flood or health insurance.

All too often I hear about the unfortunate victim of a flood or fire on the news, and the last thing that is mentioned is, “unfortunately the property was not insured at the time of the incident.”   This is one of those things you hope you never have to use, but it’s there if you need it.  Saving the cost of the premium is not worth the risk of loss if a disaster were to happen.

Not filling up your gas tank in a timely manner because you were waiting to find a cheaper station. 

Gas prices have been getting higher lately and lots of people “drive on fumes” waiting to find a cheaper gas station.  You not only run the risk of running out of gas, if you put off filling up the gas tank and a disaster happens in the middle of the night, you will be kicking yourself for not taking care of it when you had the opportunity.  At a minimum, don’t let your fuel level go below a quarter tank before you gas up.

Not getting your home and car repairs done.

Putting off much needed home repairs such as a fixing a leaky roof or a bad fence is not a good idea, especially when a disaster hits.  A hurricane or even a bad storm will only make these problems worse, and the cost of the repair will just get bigger.  Same thing for apartment dwellers – if you notice something is broken, report it to management right away.  Sometimes it takes a while to get the maintenance crew to fix things.

Similarly, if you keep putting off needed repairs to your car, because you did not want to pay for it, you may regret that decision in a disaster.  I realize sometimes people just cannot afford to get all the recommended repairs.  And sometimes the service centers do recommend additional repairs that are not crucial to the car running well.  I always ask them how critical is it if I hold off one to two months.  The honest technician will tell you which ones you cannot put off.  Compare prices around town and see if your dealer will match their competitors’ prices.  Or, you can learn basic car maintenance such as changing the oil and filter etc.  If you are good with cars, like my brother, order the parts and do it yourself.

Using up your emergency supplies for daily use and not replenishing them because “nothing ever happens.”

I am all for rotating your storage supplies to avoid waste, but that means always replacing what you used up.  I have heard of people that get involved in prepping then lose interest a few months later because nothing happened.  Prepping is just like having insurance.  You don’t drop your car insurance because nothing happened.  No one ever hopes for a disaster to happen but if it does, your supplies will save you.  To avoid waste, check your stock a couple times a year.  Use items before they expire, and replace them.  Many items are still good after the expiration date such as coffee.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Get out of debt