How to Protect Your Family from Enterovirus D68

How to Protect your Family from Enterovirus D68This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

We’re now hearing that more states have been reporting cases of the Enterovirus D68, the virus that has been sending many children to the hospital due to complications.  This article discusses symptoms to watch and how you can protect your family.

What is Enterovirus D68?

The symptoms caused by the virus start out similar to cold:  sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing.  Many cases turn out fine, and the sufferer recovers on his or her own.  However, a percentage of cases develop complications, such as trouble breathing.  According to the CDC, the virus had not been very common in the past.  IN recent weeks, many states such as Missouri, Illinois, Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, etc. have been reporting that hospitals’ emergency rooms are full of patients with respiratory problems.  The virus especially affects babies, children, and teenagers.  Children with asthma are most at risk.

Treatment

Just like the common cold, there is no specific way to treat patients afflicted by Enterovirus D68; you can only relieve the symptoms by taking over the counter remedies such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprophen).  If symptoms worsen and the person has trouble breathing, see a doctor as soon as possible or go to the nearest emergency room.

Prevention

Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family.   (Note:  I am not a medical professional – these are steps I personally take to keep from getting sick.  If you are unsure and need personalized advice, see a doctor or medical practitioner.)

Avoid crowds   Being among lots of people increases your chances of getting contaminated.

Frequent handwashing  Get everyone in the family in the habit of washing their hands as they come home from public places and before eating.  If you cannot wash your hands right away, use antibacterial wipes.

Stop touching your eyes and face  It is very hard to keep kids from touching their faces, but you have to try to teach them this lesson.

Disinfect surfaces around you  Keep a box of antibacterial wipes and clean door knobs, light switches and other commonly touched items around you.  Keep a canister of Lysol wipes at the office and disinfect your desk, keyboard and phone on a regular basis.

Stay home if you are sick  Avoid going to work or sending the kids to school if you notice any symptoms.  Staying home and getting plenty of rest will not only help with recovery but also prevent spreading germs.

Bolster your Immune System

  • Get enough sleep and rest.
  • Relax and avoid stress.
  • Exercise at least three to four days a week.
  • Eat a healthy diet.  Avoid eating processed foods too frequently.  Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your menus.  Take vitamin supplements if you feel you don’t eat well enough.

What to stock up

You hope no one in your household catches anything but keeping a few items in your emergency kit will help you avoid having to go to the store if someone does get sick:

  • Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil as well children’s versions of these remedies
  • Thermometer
  •  Extra boxes of tissues
  •  Cough drops
  •  Decongestant
  •  Canned juices
  • Apple cider vinegar – This home remedy has helped me prevent several colds since I first tried it.
  •  Canned chicken soup – I know home made is best, but sometimes you just feel too sick to make anything and canned chicken noodle soup will do in a pinch.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil - Eucalyptus oil relieves congestion in a pleasant way.  Just add a few drops to a warm,moist wash cloth and breath in.  In an upcoming article, I will discuss some really effective essential oils that can be added to your home’s emergency kit.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 


Spark Naturals Essential Oils
Back 2 School Kit

Monday Musings 9/15/2014: Preparedness Updates and Links

Monday Musings 09152014 Preparedness Updates and Links

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

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

First the blog updates…

So many books… so little time…

Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon

We added another book to our reading list:  Preppers:  History and the Cultural Phenomenon by Lynda King.

More on Expiration Dates

One of the most controversial topics in preparedness involves expiration dates – invariably there are disagreements about this, even among bloggers.  Reader Pierce sent me this helpful guide on shelf life on food bank products.  It has some really applicable information.  Thanks Pierce!  See Shelf Life of Food Bank Products

National Preparedness Month Series

Don’t miss a great series in Prepared Bloggers for National Preparedness Month – there is something new everyday!

Mega Giveaway Next Week!

Next Monday, we will be announcing a huge giveaway, so please check back!

Now for the links…

America’s Poor, Deeper in Debt Than Ever

Obama: U.S. military to provide equipment, resources to battle Ebola epidemic in Africa

What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola

Guide to Long Term Food Storage

Natural Asthma Treatment with Essential Oils

Elderberry Extract: Nature’s “Tamiflu”

Your Emergency Fund Is For More Than Emergencies – Believe It!

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

4 Tips for Small Space Gardening

4 Tips for Small Space Gardeners

Just because you lack large amounts of space does not mean that you cannot grow a lot of the fresh fruits vegetables and herbs you consume. As long as you have an area that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight daily, is easy for you to water, you should be good to go.  Here are a few tips to help you get great results with small space gardening:

GROW UP

One of the best tips for gardeners that lack space is to grow vertically. This is just as true in the fall as it is in the summer. In the summer months you can easily use a trellis to grow vining plants that yield plenty of fruits and veggies. In the fall, while there are not too many vining plants that grow in cooler temps, you can easily build a few levels of stairs (or purchase such a structure), and place your potted plants on them. Herbs grow great in this type of growing environment. Google “vertical planting wall” for some really cool ideas.

GO DWARF

Apartments, condos and smaller living spaces are great for dwarf fruiting trees. Many types of trees grow great in large containers and can be moved inside when the temps get too cold outside. There are columnar apple trees and dwarf lemon that fit this description. Most of these trees can be purchased for under $30.

WINDOW BOX GARDEN

Maybe you do not have a balcony. Consider a window box. A window box, is simply a box about 12 inches deep and the length of your window. You would attach it to your property just under the window by either screwing the box to the building itself, or using hangers so it hands from the window ledge. These are great because you can grow just about anything in them. Strawberries, lettuce, spinach and herbs all make for excellent choices for window box gardens.

UTILIZE RAILINGS

Does your balcony have railings? Then by all means attach some garden boxes to them also. They are unused space with plenty of airflow around them, and if you get plenty of sun, are perfect locations to grow a lot great tasting fruits and veggies.

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure you use a good potting soil that is equal parts peat/coir and perlite and double the amount of compost. Also be sure to feed your plants once a week with compost tea or a good organic fertilizer to make sure they are well fed and have the nutrients they need to grow and thrive in a confined space.

About the Author

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Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared



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Can You Prep if You Live in a Tiny House?

Can You Prep if you live in a tiny houseThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve been reading a lot about the trend to build and move into a tiny house and I am fascinated by the stories.  I’m no stranger to downsizing, having lived in a 4,200 square foot home in a different time.  Now that I rent, I haven’t lived in anything above 1,400 square feet in a few years.

But the tiny house movement is different – many of these houses are below 500 square feet, and a lot of them are built on wheels.  I can see the advantages:

  • low utility bills
  • less stuff to keep track of
  • easy to clean
  • mobility
  • low cost
  • quick to build

I can also see the disadvantages such as less personal space, very little storage space, no room to entertain indoors and having to get rid of your possessions.

Can you prep if you live in a tiny house?

On one hand, much of prepping has to do with keeping keeping supplies such as water, food and gear.  “Two is one and one is none” is a common adage.  But if you live in under 500 square feet, you may have to re-think that.  Also, you may not have room for self-sufficiency activities that require additional storage space such as canning.

On the other hand, many of the tiny homes are also built off-grid, which gives you the advantage of being self-sufficient.  As long as you have sustainable and renewable energy and water sources, that is.

With a little creativity, I believe there are ways to prep while living in a tiny home:

  • Keep some of your supplies in an accessible storage facility or shed.
  • Have an underground cache containing your supplies.
  • You can keep your go-bag in your car or truck.
  • If you are building your tiny house, you can allocate some vertical space for storage.  You just have to be very choosy about what you store.
  • Prepping is not only about storing supplies but also about learning skills.  Acquire survival skills such as hunting, fishing, first aid, that do not require any indoor space at all.
  • Start a garden in an outside window box or empty space in the yard

When you think about it, there are always opportunities to prep no matter where you are.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Fight for Real Net Neutrality

tumblr_inline_nbcf2gqnSg1r1kl7dThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we’re taking a break from our normal preparedness articles to discuss a very important issue:  the battle for net neutrality.  You may have heard that Sept. 10, 2015 is Internet Slowdown day, when several companies who want to keep an open internet join together to urge Washington to preserve the internet.  You will notice many sites will load very slowly – if you haven’t seen it, just click on my old site – http://apartmentprepper.wordpress.com  No, I’m not trying to generate traffic for the old site – it is no longer maintained, just using it for illustration.  The slow loading time will show you what will happen if cable and telecom companies get their way:  the ability to regulate internet speeds for different users.  Imagine if this happened to all your favorite sites on a daily basis.

What is net neutrality?

It is the idea that all broadband and cable providers must treat all internet traffic the same way.  This is how the internet has been since the beginning and now the FCC is considering allowing big cable and broadband companies to choke up traffic and allow fast and slow lanes for different users.

What this means is, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be allowed to charge a company like Netflix and others for allowing access to their customers, resulting in fast loading times for certain users, and slow loading for us and everyone else.  Of course, those huge telecom companies support this, and are lobbying heavily to get these rules to take effect.

The little guys like you and me will be stuck in the slow lane of internet usage and your favorite blogs and websites will be left in the dust.

Part of being prepared is being aware of what’s going on around you, and the implications to your own life.  This is an important issue that will affect everyone who uses the internet.

Don’t let these companies force you into the slow lane of the internet.  Fight for net neutrality — visit battleforthenet.com, and let your voice be heard.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Monday Musings 9/8/2014: Preparedness Updates and Links

Monday Musings - Preparedness Updates and Links  09082014

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…

September is National Preparedness Month as we mentioned in yesterday’s post.

We’re having to look through our food storage to rotate items for freshness.  I hate to see anything go to waste, so we periodically go through our emergency items.  I know… I know, many food items can go well past their expiration dates, but how far past is safe?  No one really knows so I prefer to err on the side of caution.   What if you were relying on canned food that are five years past expiration, only to find out they emit ba bad smell by the time you open it?  Things would be much worse in a disaster when items are scarce.

Thanks for being our sponsor   A big thank you to Ready Made Resources for renewing their sponsorship with us!  Please continue to visit our sponsors  – they help keep the lights on at Apartment Prepper!

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Vote for me!  I got a really positive responses about Monday Musings when we ran our first poll ever.  If you like Apartment Prepper, please go out and vote for me!

Now for the links…

Mommy, I Have to Go Potty! Make Your Own Emergency Toilet

Drought in Spain means massive olive oil shortage in months ahead

“Grid Jihad”: What If You Had a Week to Prep for the End of the World?

The Escape Exercise

Recharge Alkaline Batteries

Looking out for your finances as a renter

Ten Steps To Turn Financial Disaster Into Financial Independence

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Infographic: National Preparedness Month

By Tess Pennington

(Editor’s note:  September is National Preparedness Month – we will post the basics about being prepared.  Today we are featuring an infographic that first appeared in Ready Nutrition)

Natural disasters seem to be more frequent and equally more violent these days. Yet the normalcy bias that has plagued our country continues. Many feel they are untouchable in terms of becoming a victim of a disaster. Little do they realize that disasters come in all shapes and sizes and typically do not make an announcement before entering your life.

Personally speaking, I have been through the aftermath of many disasters, both personal and natural. The aftermath does not take a few days for everything to get back to normal – it takes weeks if not longer to recover.

Anecdotes aside, this month marks a national 30 day endeavor to encourage citizens to be better prepared. I urge all of you to not fall into the percent of citizens who are not prepared. This infographic illustrates how massive these disasters can effect our personal lives, our jobs and our commerce. There are steps you can take to prepare yourself for your personal SHTF moment. It happens to all of us, better to be prepared than not prepared at all.

National Preparedness Month

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

 

SunJack Solar Charger – Product Review

SunJack1 (5)I had the opportunity to test out the SunJack portable solar charger.  

What is the SunJack?

It is a portable solar charger by GigaWatt that can charge any USB device – phones, tablets, GPS, cameras, speakers, lights, and more.

Here is how it works:

The SunJack harnesses solar energy for direct charging or it can store power in a removable UltraSlim battery for use 24/7, rain or shine. After only 5 hours of direct sunlight, the 14 watt SunJack can power either 4 iPhones, 0.7 iPads or 8-9 hours of LED light using the SunJack USB CampLight. Unlike many other chargers, the SunJack kit includes a 1-2 batteries enabling you to simultaneously power 4 to 6 USB devices at a rate equal to on-grid charge speed (2 Amp).

Here is the SunJack right out of the box.

SunJack1 (2)

It comes with the four solar panels with USB charging unit, the battery pack, two carabiners and instructions for use.

I tried it out by leaving the SunJack outside on a small coffee table exposed to direct sunlight.

SunJack1 (3)You plug the battery to the charging unit and leave it alone in direct sunlight.

I left it out there for three hours

After three hours, I checked on the charge and found it was almost fully charged:

SunJack1 (1)There was only one more light indicator not lighting up at this point.    I asked my contact at SunJack about this and here is what he told me:

The last 20% charges a little slower to protect the battery and maximize the battery life. This is characteristic of Lithium batteries charge circuitry. Most likely if the battery is left in full sun for 5-6 hours the last led would also light up. 4 hours in full sun usually gets the battery 80% charged. Note this also occurs with iPhones as they charge to 80% really fast then charge speed slows down for last 20%.

It does make sense, as my own phone does the same thing.  After the final two hours, the fifth one lit up.

After the SunJack was fully charged, I charged up my phone and was pleased that the SunJack charged as quickly as am electric wall plug.  I’ve tested other solar chargers and the charging time is much slower than this one.  Granted, it was a smaller one with only three panels, but regardless, I was impressed at the fast charge of the SunJack.  Using the fully charged battery, I was able to charge my phone four times

The SunJack would be handy while camping to power up small devices – you can harness the power of the sun since you are outside already.  I think the SunJack is a great backup power source in the event of a power outage, or other emergencies.  As of this writing, it is available for $145 on Amazon and is currently on sale for $135 at LPC Survival.  The SunJack is well worth it.

 

HTTP vs HTTPS and Why You Should Care

The difference between HTTP and HTTPS and Why you should CareThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Yesterday, I got a couple of emails from readers that my site was not loading and people were getting an error message the site was not secure and another site name was popping up.  I immediately opened a priority ticket with my hosting provider to investigate the problem.  They looked into and they responded that the error would pop up if the reader tries to access the site using https://apartmentprepper.com instead of http://apartmentprepper.com

At this time, my site is accessible only http://apartmentprepper.com.  The reason the other site popped up was because the other site shares hosting space with me, and they are the only one that is accessible with “https.”

This brings me to my next topic, what exactly is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.  Most simple webpages use HTTP, especially if no financial transactions are done in the site.  In my case, I do not conduct any financial transactions on Apartment Prepper.  As you know my site is free and I am not trying to sell you anything directly.  I do have affiliates and sponsors, but those are not direct transactions.  Rest assured if I were to conduct any e-commerce in the future, I would make the switch.

HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It is the secure version.  Sites that conduct financial transactions, or anything that involves personal information, such as banks, insurance companies, etc. use HTTPS.

So if you are about to give out confidential information, definitely check if the site is HTTPS.  Another indication the site is secure is when it has the padlock icon as you are entering your information.  But if you are just browsing through Apartment Prepper or your other favorite reading sites, then HTTP is just fine for that.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Monday Musings: 9/1/2014

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.

I hope you are having a nice Labor Day!  It’s hard to believe it’s already September.  I always feel time flies by even faster after the summer.  Before you know it, fall weather is here, then Halloween, Thanksgiving…   Then winter…  Christmas is right around the corner!
First the blog updates…

I’m getting to a busy time in my day job, so my blogging time is even more limited these days.  I’ll still be posting on a regular basis, I just may not be able to respond to all comments as I like to do.  Please be assured I read ALL comments.

Books I’m reading

Ultimate Preppers Guide

The Ultimate Prepper’s Guide: How to Make Sure the End of the World as We Know It Isn’t the End of Your World by Jay Cassell

Build the Perfect Bug Out VehicleBuild the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle: The Disaster Survival Vehicle Guide  by Creek Stewart

Ultimate Self SufficiencyThe Ultimate Self-Sufficiency Handbook  by Abigail R. Gehring

Who won The Potty Box?   Nicole won the drawing for The Potty Box.  In response to the question What is your biggest concern about hygiene in a disaster?  she said:

My biggest concern would be the buildup of said waste. Improper disposal can make to ground water, a human can only survive for three days without water in optimal conditions.

Now for the links…

Top 5 wilderness survival skills you need for urban survival

Butter Prices Reach All-Time High Amid Smaller Stockpiles

‘Just-In-Time’ Food Supply Disaster Is Looming

You DON’T know what will happen after SHTF so stop acting like you do

A Post-Summer Budget Plan for Building a Healthy Christmas Fund

Make Your Own Pill Bottle Survival Kit

 

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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