The Potty Box – Review and Giveaway

The Potty Box Review and GiveawayToday we are reviewing the Potty Box – Complete Toilet Set.  I received a review sample from Emergency Zone  I agreed to review it because I wanted to see if it would deliver on the product features as named in the website:

  • Triple-wall heavy duty design
  • Light weight & compact storage
  • Easy to set up and reuseable
  • Biodegradable
  • Enough chemicals and liners for 10 uses
  • Each scoop of Blue Gel will treat up to 1 gallon of liquid waste
  • Designed to hold up to 250 lbs
  • Fits under your bed, in your trunk, or under your desk in your office

This is how the box looks like:

Pottybox1

You turn the box over and you can already see how it will be constructed.

Pottybox2

Here is a photo of the box with contents.

Pottybox3The potty itself comes with:

10 trash bags

1 red bag labeled “biohazard”

small roll of toilet paper

Blue Gel porta potty chemical

small bottle of hand sanitizer

Pottybox4The instructions on how to construct it are right on the side of the box.  The Potty Box is easy to assemble.  All you have to do is unfold the cardboard and insert the cardboard tabs into the grooves.   Then you take a trash bag and fit it over the opening and tuck it under the sides.  It is as simple as putting together one of those filing boxes at work.   I wondered whether this construction would be flimsy like the filing box.

Actually this box is much stronger and sturdier.

I had a few people in the family of varying builds and weights try it out (no one weighed over 200 lbs. in this test, so I cannot vouch for anything above 200).  The box shows it can support up to 250 lbs.

At first, I imagined the cardboard might cave in but actually, it held up pretty well.  Some of the ones who tried it said it was comfortable enough, and some felt it was tight.

The plastic bag cushions your tush somewhat against the edge of the box.

Another comment was “You can’t do #1 and #2 at the same time,” but that is just something that would have to be worked out individually.

The lid of the box also functions as a toilet lid.

What I liked about it was it was very compact and lightweight.  It is very easy to assemble.  I also has the basic supplies needed for hygiene purposes and it functions as described.

As far as emergency potties for an apartment, it is very space efficient, however there are other choices such as 5 gallon buckets if you wanted a multi-purpose item.  If you are someone who does not want to assemble a potty kit, and want something quick that you can store under the bed or furniture, then the Potty Box would be good to have.  I would advise storing lots more toilet paper than the one roll.  You’d also have to consider how many people would potentially be using it in an emergency and the number of times used – each box has enough supplies for 10 uses.

I think the Potty Box would be ideal for a car survival kit – I’d certainly be grateful to have one if I were stranded somewhere.  It would also make a great gift for a non-prepper who would otherwise not have any hygiene supplies for an emergency.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY…

Emergency Zone is giving away one Potty Box.   Please answer the following question for a chance to win

 What is your biggest concern about hygiene in a disaster?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  August 29 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.

 

Vote for Me at Top Prepper Websites

 

 

How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

If you live in a large city, the risk of a riot is always present.  Riots can be triggered by many reasons, from rowdy festival goers, the aftermath of a big game, , dissatisfaction with a verdict or official actions, and many others.   Even people who are lawfully congregating or holding a peaceful protest can unintentionally be swept up in a riot.

How do you prepare for a riot?

There is no telling when a riot can happen.  Because of the unpredictability, it is not one of the risks that people really think about when preparing for a disaster.  But there may be ways to avoid getting yourself or your family hurt if one erupts in your vicinity.

Mental preparedness

  • Consider the possibility.  Never think for a minute that this won’t happen to you.  If you live in a city, it can happen.
  • Stay calm.  If you start seeing things escalate in a crowd, resist the urge to panic.

Always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Don’t be one of those people who are tethered to their phone and never look up.
  • Listen to the news and know what’s going on before you venture out.
  • Scope things out, even when things look normal.
  • Know all the exits wherever you are.

Avoid the area

  • Don’t be a lookie-loo.  A lot of people get curious about what’s going on, and instead of avoiding the area, they will be tempted to go check it out, drawing them closer to the line of fire.
  • Resist the urge to take pictures.
  • As soon as you become aware of something developing, start moving in a calm, orderly fashion.  You would not want to stumble and get trampled
  • Move in the same general direction of the flow of traffic, until you can veer off to a safer area.  Moving against traffic will be much harder, attract attention, or make you a target.

 Don’t attract attention

  • Keep your head down
  • Do not get involved.  You may agree with one side or other, but if you are trying to keep yourself or your family safe, now is not the time to get caught up.

Stay close to your companions

  • Kids can easily get separated from their parents in a riot.  If you have kids with you, keep a tight grip on them.  You may have to carry the smallest one.  In shopping malls, have seen parents doing a fast walk with kids struggling to keep up behind them.
  • If you are with others, try to stay close or within earshot of each other.

Items to have on hand

  • Have cash and change at all times so you can arrange for transportation if you can’t drive or get to your car.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car or in your office.
  • Many stores shut down if they are in the middle of an afflicted area.  Have a week to two weeks worth of food and water in your home, same as preparing for any disaster.

If you are driving

  • Know alternate routes home – it would best to avoid main roads and instead take side streets.
  • Lock your windows and doors.
  • Watch out for pedestrians – there may be a lot of people milling around or trying to stop traffic.
  • Always keeps your gas tank at least half full – you don’t want to have to stop for gas at the worst possible moment.
  • Have extra food and water in the car, along with a survival kit.
  • Leave as soon as you can or you may get caught in a traffic nightmare.

Sometimes, trouble can erupt around you.  The key to staying safe is being mentally prepared, and knowing what to do.

Stay safe!

 

 

 

What to Do If You’re Worried about Ebola

Ebola articleWe’ve been watching the news about the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa for months now.  As I write this, a lot of people are concerned that the virus is making it’s way to the U.S. as two of the victims, American health workers who have contracted the disease are being brought to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent speech, stated, “…this outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.”

I am not a doctor or scientist, just a regular person who is wondering “what if?”  A lot of sites have weighed in on this subject, and the news reports all assure the public that the virus will not spread here.  But there are never any guarantees.  All you can do is be aware of what’s going on, hope and pray that the virus is contained.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that causes a horrific hemorrhagic fever with up to a 90% death rate.  The incubation period, or the time between a person is infected until they show symptoms is between 2-21 days.  Symptoms start out like the flu, with cough, sore throat, malaise, fever, aches and pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.  At advanced stages, victims get severe bruising and rashes, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, bleeding from eyes, nose, mouth, multiple organ failure leading to death.  No doubt, it’s a nasty, terrible disease.

How do you prevent it?

From what I have read, preventing it means staying away from blood, secretions and other bodily fluids from infected persons who are symptomatic.  Caregivers must be covered from head to toe, with impenetrable materials to avoid accidentally coming into contact with bodily fluids.  According to the Doom and Bloom Ebola update,

“It’s thought that Ebola doesn’t spread until a victim develops symptoms. As the illness progresses, however, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding become very contagious. Poor hygiene and lack of proper medical supplies in underdeveloped countries, such as in West Africa impede the progress of medical authorities to tame the outbreak. The best they can do is isolate sick individuals as best they can and follow infectious disease precautions. This is something they are, apparently, not doing so well, because so many medical personnel are getting sick. When the doctors and nurses are dying, you know you have an illness about which to be truly concerned. Imagine if the disease becomes worldwide.”

Is there a cure?

There is no known cure for Ebola; there is no vaccine either.  The only thing that can be done for patients is to keep them comfortable and hydrated, while the patient fights the virus and hopefully gets better on their own.

What can you do to prepare?

We don’t have any control over much of what happens in these developments, all we can do is be aware of what’s happening so we can decide what to do if anything happens.  Just the fact that you’re reading this means you are concerned enough to prepare.  Here are some tips to cope:

  • Don’t panic – This is the last thing you need.  If you are full of fear you will be incapacitated and unable to make proper decisions
  • Have a discussion with your close family members about the situation.  Talk about how you feel and what you would do “just in case”  Things to consider are:  At what point would you miss work or keep kids home from school if there is an outbreak of some kind?  Would you hunker in your home or stay someplace else? 
  • Keep close tabs on the news – be aware of what’s going on.  Learn the facts and stay away from sensationalistic or fear mongering stories.  Here’s a good article 12 Things You Must Know about Ebola by James Hubbard, M.D.
  • Know the laws about quarantine and isolation:  legal authorities will do what is  necessary to stop the spread of disease, including quarantining and isolating possibly infected people if warranted..
  • Learn how to sanitize your home with bleach.  See Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach after an Emergency
  • Stock up on bleach, disposable gloves, masks, toilet paper, trash bags, water, food, first aid supplies, to last for a month just in case.
  • Read The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story    I was terrified to read about the first time the Ebola virus reached the U.S. (suburb of Washington, D.C.) back in the 80s.  Though the story was downplayed at the time, it really happened and now it’s about to arrive again.
  • See my recent article, How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic for more tips on how to prepare.

From the news reports, the treatment facility that will be receiving the patients is well-equipped with isolation environments, protective equipment and everything needed to keep the patients stable.  We’re assured that the personnel are experienced in handling infectious diseases and well-trained in all protocols to protect themselves and everyone else.  I pray for the victims and their caregivers and hope there are no mishaps.

I hope these tips are helpful.  By being aware of what’s going on, and taking a few sensible steps, you will sleep a lot better at night.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

“Concerned about Deterioration of the Economy” Interview with Tess Pennington, Author of The Prepper’s Blueprint

250x250-PreppersBluePrintI had the opportunity to read The Prepper’s Blueprint written by Tess Pennington and edited by Daisy Luther.  This is a huge book and it give you a wealth of information about preparing for any disaster.  Becoming prepared can be overwhelming but this book will walk you through what you need to know.

The Prepper’s Blueprint, offers a “no nonsense” guide to preparing for either short term or long term emergencies. The book is written in a friendly, non-judgmental tone; you feel like a friend is helping you get motivated. Tess Pennington knows of what she writes. I liked the practical advice and actionable steps that anyone can follow. This book is a keeper.

In addition, I also interviewed the author, Tess Pennington.  Tess has made the big leap that many of us can only imagine:  moving from life in the big city to a small town.   Even though we can’t move just yet, there are many things we can do to live more sustainably while living in the city.  Read on…

1.  There are multiple threats to prepare for – what are you most concerned about?

My largest concern is with the deterioration of the economy. Currently, 1 in 4 Americans have no emergency savings. Emergency savings is hard to do when the country is in such a fragile economic state. Americans are struggling and finding ways to cut corners and learn to make ends the best they can. We are dealing with an epidemic of unemployment, the amount of families on food stamps is staggering, and it is becoming clear that an economic recovery is nowhere in sight.

Many years ago, I was enslaved to debt, we had no savings, I had no preparations and my young children were depending on me to get them through. My husband and I made some abrupt changes. We consumed less and worked at paying off our bills. Rather than taking vacations, we invested in emergency supplies and began growing our own food sources. I wouldn’t say that we are 100% self-reliant, but we are close to being debt free and are closer to our goal. One aspect of preparedness that is not discussed often is the time involved in accumulating supplies, learning the pertinent skills and becoming confident in your abilities. This takes years and those who are new to prepping may become discouraged in the process. The best way to approach prepping is with open eyes and new mindset.

If we can each take steps to eliminate debt, save money, simplify our lifestyle and prepare for the unexpected disasters that life can throw at us, then when those emergencies do happen, we will be prepared and ready to face them head on. We will not be as dependent on the economic cycles.

2.  What was a driving reason to leave the city and relocate to a different location?

Our driving reason was that the life in the city/suburbs didn’t reflect what we wanted anymore. We were ready to get some land and practice a more self-reliant lifestyle. Luckily, my husband and I work from home, so we were able to be picky about where we moved to. Not many people have the opportunity to pick up and move. Where our job is usually reflects where we can and cannot live.

For us, living in Houston, TX came with certain concerns. This is a densely populated area, crime rates seemed to be increasing, and there were concerns of multiple natural disasters and man-made disasters that we didn’t want to subject our family to. When we made the decision to move, we did a lot of research on areas around the country that were not densely populated, were rich in natural resources and didn’t pose as many natural disasters compared to where we were living. One resource that was exceptionally helpful during this research period was http://www.city-data.com/.

3.  What was the most difficult adjustment you (or your family) had to make?

In all, I feel that the adjustment was easy because I had done a lot of research in homesteading and self-reliance living. I knew going into it that there were going to be some challenges and learning curves. I wanted to get my hands dirty and knew that mistakes were all part of the process.

The most difficult thing I have found about the whole process is not be complacent. We get comfortable with things, maybe a little cocky in learning new skills and then you just stop learning, stop reading about new products and perhaps, become less open to new ways of thinking. In my experience, you should always be continuing to learn and train your skills. Find people around you or online that share your interests and learn from them.

4.  What steps can be taken to ease the transition when you move away from convenient and familiar surroundings?

When you make the decision to move away from all that you know, it can be scary at first. You may doubt yourself and your abilities. But, don’t give up! As mentioned above, my husband and I did a lot of research on where we were moving and had a plan of action before we moved. I had my checklist of things to do before I left.

My biggest advice for this question is to trust in your decision and give yourself time to adjust and acclimate to your new surroundings. One of the first things I did when we moved was start getting my garden set up. I am one of those people who have to have a garden growing. It calms me and gives me time to myself. You could also join local grounds (master gardeners, go to the gun range, meet up groups, etc.) to get you meeting the locals.

5.  Many families are unable to move out of the city due to financial and family reasons – what would you recommend in their situation?

Roughly, 80% of the population is urban, so you aren’t alone. There are many things you can do to promote a more sustainable lifestyle while living in the city. Make the best of where you are and refine skills you can use in an urban setting. Some great skills you can easily learn are:

Raise micro-livestock
Garden and produce your own food supply
Forage for local plants and herbs
Learn about Hydroponic/Aquaponic food production
Train your physical body in the event of evacuations
Take an emergency first-aid class or self-defense class
Start a prepper’s pantry and store shelf stable foods
Learn how to preserve your food supply
Go to farmer’s markets and get in contact with local growers and practice bartering
Visit self-reliant or prepper expos and take some prepper classes

Many families have to stay in urban areas but do not let that stop you from your prepping endeavors. There are lots of things you can do and many people who are in the same place as you with the same interests. Hopefully, the above suggestions can help you get started.

Now for the giveaway…

Tess is giving away a copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to one lucky winner.

To enter, just comment on the question below:

Describe what skills are you trying to acquire to live more sustainably and why?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, August 9th at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or other winners will be drawn.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

 

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic.  There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out.  After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees.  A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in.  Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain.  The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour.  We didn’t want to leave just yet, so Mr. Apt Prepper rigged up a tarp into a makeshift shelter.  Paracord came in handy for tie-ups.

It was not a very attractive set-up but it kept us from getting drenched.  The rain lasted for about 45 minutes then the sun came out.

I was glad we had the tarp and paracord to build a makeshift shelter.  I have written about paracord before, but not about tarp.

Mutiple uses for tarp:

  • Barrier under a tent floor to protect you from sharp rocks or critters
  • Blanket to keep warm
  • Picnic blanket
  • Use as a hammock
  • Improvise a stretcher to carry an injured person
  • Use as a surface to field dress game
  • Make a shelter to protect from rain or to get some shade
  • Protect your car’s seats from messes
  • As a wrapping for stuff
  • Assemble into a backpack with paracord straps
  • As a covering for items carried on top of your car or truck
  • For camouflage if it is has the right colors
  • Make a sail
  • Catch rainwater:  dig a hole in the ground, line it with tarp and collect water.  It can also be used to direct the flow of water into a container
  • Protect your floor while doing a paint job
  • Use as a way to signal – if you are lost somewhere, find an area to spread out the tarp so it can be seen from above.
  • Makeshift shower curtain
  • Privacy screen for an outdoor toilet
  • Make an indoor fort for kids to entertain themselves during a power outage
  • Covering for windows

Keep some tarp, along with paracord and some duct tape in your car survival kit.  While you’re at it, might as well keep one at home and in your bug out bag.

 

 

Fire Roasted Vegetables for Food Storage

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend4At last week’s Monday Musings, I mentioned I was catching up on product reviews.  Therefore, in lieu of the scheduled posts, this week is Review Week!

I had the opportunity to test out the new Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg BlendLong time readers know we’ve tested a few Mountain House entrees, and brought them on camping and backpacking trips.

I was a little iffy about how fire roasted vegetables would turn out, as this is one of my favorite foods and some restaurants don’t even cook them properly.  But I gave it shot so here’s the result.

Here is what the vegetables look as you open the packet.  It contains freeze dried fire roasted bell peppers, onions with corn and black beans.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend2

As usual, I followed the instructions to take out the oxygen absorber then just add 1.5 cups boiling water.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend3Then mix up the contents to make sure the water has covered the vegetables.  Then seal up the bag and wait.  The directions said leave it alone 7-8 minutes.

I checked it after the 8 minutes were up and the vegetables were ready the the black beans were still a bit tough.  So I left it for another 7 minutes for a total of 15.  By now the black beans were perfect.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend5I tasted the vegetables and they were excellent.  They had a sweet, fresh taste and a firm, not mushy consistency.  The pouch contains 2.5 servings.  I had it plain for lunch and it was satisfying.

I think it’s actually better than some of the frozen fire roasted vegetable blends I’ve tried from the supermarket.  They would be great for camping, backpacking and long term food storage.  I highly recommend Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Off Grid Tip: How to Tell How Much Daylight is Left

How to Tell How Much Daylight is LeftThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I mentioned a while back that we “unplugged” from devices at our recent camping trip:  no GPS, no cell phones or laptops.  The kids felt strange at first, but eventually got used to it.

Apt Prepper son used this trick he learned watching Les Stroud, Survivorman – to find out how much time is left until the sky goes completely dark.  It was around 7 pm or so at the time, and he estimated around two hours and 15 minutes of daylight left.  He estimated it would be dark around 9:15 pm.  I had a solar watch and I checked the time to see if he was accurate.  I thought that seemed really late but I waited to see if it would really work.

After the sun finally went down and it was pitch black, I checked the time:  9:15.  The method was amazingly accurate.

Here’s how:

Hold your arm and stick  your hand out.  Place your hand between the sun and the horizon.  Each finger represents 15 minutes, and four fingers will equal one hour.   If you can stack your hands twice then that is two hours and so on.  In our case, at around 7 pm, Apt Prepper son was able to stack his hands twice plus one finger between the sun and the horizon, thereby coming up with 9:15 pm.

This method can be a lifesaver if you are out in the wilderness without a way to tell time.  You can gauge how much daylight you have left so you can return back to base camp in a timely manner.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

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Monday Musings: 7/14/2014

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.  Lots of things going on this week!

First the updates:

Wanted:  a natural mosquito repellant that works

This week we are being extra careful about applying insect repellant as we heard the Chikungunya virus has come to HoustonI told you about this weeks ago, and now it’s here.  This mosquito borne virus has no vaccine and can be quite miserable if you catch it.  I have spray on repellants containing DEET which are effective, but I’d prefer to use more natural repellants.  This week I will be trying some out.  I’ll post about it soon.

Giveaways going on

You can still enter to win a free Mega One meal replacement for Food Storage made by Legacy from Preparewise

As a requirement in the entry, please remember to follow @LegacyPremium and have them tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #ilovepreparewise

Also, the Prepared Bloggers are holding a Titan Ready Water Giveaway starting today.

So many reviews so little time

My review pile is growing steadily, and they are scheduled several weeks in advance.  Being short on space, a corner next to my bed is stacked high with books and items waiting to be read and tested.  As you know I try out everything to talk about on this blog and these experiments take time.  Some reviews include giveaways, but some don’t.  I figure they would still be helpful to someone who is considering purchasing the item and looking for information before making a decision.  You may see a few additional review posts in the next few weeks, hopefully you will find them of value.

Prepared Bloggers Network Update

As you know I am a member of the Prepared Bloggers Network, a fine group of preparedness and homesteading bloggers.  Please visit the Facebook page, we also have a new page on Pinterest.

Now for the links…

New Adventure Show with Creek Stewart

I got an email announcing a new series featuring friend of the blog, Creek Stewart, who runs Willow Haven Outdoor.  The new show is called “Fat Guys in the Woods” and it premieres on Sunday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET following “So You Think You’d Survive?” at 9:00 p.m. ET.

In every episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods,” Creek brings three average Joes to the woods to survive for a week, while teaching them the skills necessary for survival.

The premiere episode features three friends from California, with Creek’s guidance, who embark on a bitter cold survival adventure in the Smoky Mountains during record-breaking low temperatures…the same week where three hikers were airlifted from the same region after battling for their lives. After making a massive wikiup shelter and starting a fire with flint they find in the woods, the guys need to survive the freezing weather conditions and find food armed with little beyond their own two hands.

Click here for a link to the promo spot for the show.

Fat Guys in the Woods

“Fat Guys in the Woods”: Survival Expert Creek Stewart

Photo Credit: The Weather Channel

I have not seen the show, so I can’t do a review just yet, but I look forward to seeing it.

Ebola in Africa: Can we dodge a global pandemic?

Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room

Deadliest, Rarest Form of Plague Contracted Near Denver

One Of The NSA’s Original Whistleblowers Says The Goal Is ‘Total Population Control’

Breakfast takes a bigger bite out of your wallet

10 habits you should pick up from your grandmother

Small Batch Fruit Preserving

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

What to Do If Your Partner Thinks Prepared = Paranoid

What to do if you partner think prepared equals paranoidThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

On a beautiful day such as the one pictured above, it’s hard to even imagine a natural or even a man-made disaster disrupting things.  If you even mention something about being prepared, your relatives or friends will say “you are just being paranoid.”  I have heard this so often among people who want to prepare; even one of our readers has brought it up in a comment.

Should you forget about being prepared because your partner and your family do not support you?  No!  I think there are a ways to get around this issue.

Understand the other point of view

We have to accept that the majority of the population is not concerned about preparedness.  Even when faced with facts and news about what happened to other people who had been in disasters, they refuse to do anything to prepare.  There are a lot of reasons for this:

  • Ignorance:  Many people are not aware of the threats to infrastructure, and what would happen if trucks stop delivering goods.
  • Fear:  Afraid to admit a lot of things can go wrong.  People do not want to feel threatened and may get turned off the idea
  • Consumerism:  Would rather spend money on shopping for clothes, gadgets, expensive vacations
  • Someone will save us:  Belief that someone (government, family) will be always around to help
  • Normalcy bias:  Belief that things will always be as they were before; refusal to admit something could go wrong even in the face of facts.

Once you understand the reasoning for their resistance, you can start working on your approach.

What NOT to do

Do not try to get preachy or argumentative.  If they are already resistant to the idea, getting into an argument isn’t going to change their mind.

If you get confrontational about it, the person may just “dig their heels” even more or become hostile about the idea.

Start slow

If you sense that your family has objections, you will need to start slowly, with baby steps to get them used to the idea.  Introduce the idea during appropriate times, such as while watching a zombie movie, TV show or hearing about a disaster in another state (that could happen in your location).

Approach the idea in a way that is not threatening but as a conversation piece “What would we do if that were to happen?”  The type of responses you get will determine your next move.

Regional disasters

The easiest things to prepare for are regional perils that your family may face.  It is easier to justify your efforts because of probable threats.

If it’s hurricane season and you are in a hurricane area, you have a good reason to gather supplies and set it aside “just in case.”  Then you can slowly build your stockpile.

Compromise

If your wife or husband loves to shop for the latest and greatest, but you’d rather spend money on emergency supplies, come to an agreement on spending.  Some couples agree on a certain amount of “fun money” per pay period that each one is free to spend without judging from the other.  He or she may want to spend “fun money” at the mall, but you spend yours on supplies.

Other non-threatening approaches

  • Convenience:  If you have supplies, you do not have to be constantly running to the store to restock.  Every new parent knows panic when their baby runs out of formula late at night and they have not gone to the store.  That is something to avoid.  Even running out of everyday items such as sugar or toilet paper is a big pain if you have to drop everything and go to the grocery store for one item because you left it out of your list one day.
  • What matters most   Everyone has things that he or she feels strongly about – , things they would not want to run out or lose access.  The wife or husband who feels you are just being paranoid won’t be so critical if you show you are “doing it for the kids.”  No one would want their kids to suffer in the event of an emergency.  Teens may be concerned about losing power on their smart phones – get them a solar charger.  If your teen daughter is concerned about never running out of tampons, then by all means, stock up on those items.
  • Cost-Cutting:  You can start your stockpile without raising a lot of eyebrows by using frugal techniques that help your household save money.  Start using coupons and taking advantage of “buy one get one free” offers.  When questioned about buying multiples of one item such as canned fruit or granola bars, emphasize what a great deal you got so you stocked up.
  • Hobbies and skills:   You can learn survival and self sufficiency skills like bread making, canning or wood-working without making someone feel insecure by labeling these activities as hobbies.   I once had a long conversation with a mom at church.  She was describing all her husband’s hobbies- gardening, archery, hunting, fishing, and even metal working.  The family, who lives in a nice neighborhood, even has a mini foundry in their garage where her husband crafts swords!  These sound like great survival skills to me, but no one had a problem with it in the neighborhood.  These activities are all considered “hobbies.”

If you feel strongly about becoming prepared and getting some degree of security for your family, it is important that you get started.  Don’t alienate your significant other in the process; instead, frame your activities in a common sense, practical light.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

11 Emergency Foods that can Last a LifetimeThis article originally appeared in Ready Nutrition

By Tess Pennington

Did you know that with proper storage techniques, you can have a lifetime supply of certain foods?  Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that stored it.  Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are you keys to success.

The best way to store food for the long term is by using a multi-barrier system.  This system protects the food from natural elements such as moisture and sunlight, as well as from insect infestations.

Typically, those who store bulk foods look for inexpensive items that have multi-purposes and will last long term.  Listed below are 11 food items that are not only multi-purpose preps, but they can last a lifetime!

Honey

Honey never really goes bad.  In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible.  If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change.  Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey.  Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.

Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)

Salt

Although salt is prone to absorbing moisture, it’s shelf life is indefinite.  This indispensable mineral will be a valuable commodity in a long term disaster and will be a essential bartering item.

Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides

Sugar

Life would be so boring without sugar.  Much like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container.

Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).

Wheat

Wheat is a major part of the diet for over 1/3 of the world.  This popular staple supplies 20% of daily calories to a majority of the world population.  Besides being a high carbohydrate food, wheat contains valuable protein, minerals, and vita­mins. Wheat protein, when balanced by other foods that supply certain amino acids such as lysine, is an efficient source of protein.

Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent

Dried corn

Essentially, dried corn can be substituted for any recipe that calls for fresh corn.  Our ancestors began drying corn because of it’s short lived season.  To extend the shelf life of corn, it has to be preserved by drying it out so it can be used later in the year.

Uses: soups, cornmeal, livestock feed, hominy and grits, heating source (do a search for corn burning fireplaces).

Baking soda

This multi-purpose prep is a must have for long term storage.

Uses: teeth cleaner, household cleaner, dish cleaner, laundry detergent booster, leavening agent for baked goods, tarnish remover

Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa

Adding these to your long term storage will not only add a variety to just drinking water, but will also lift morale.  Instant coffee is high vacuum freeze dried.  So, as long as it is not introduced to moisture, then it will last.  Storage life for all teas and cocoas can be extended by using desiccant packets or oxygen absorbing packets, and by repackaging the items with a vacuum sealing.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

Non-carbonated soft drinks

Although many of us prefer carbonated beverages, over time the sugars break down and the drink flavor is altered.  Non-carbonated beverages stand a longer test of time.  And, as long as the bottles are stored in optimum conditions, they will last.  Non-carbonated beverages include: vitamin water, Gatorade, juices, bottled water.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

White rice

White rice is a major staple item that preppers like to put away because it’s a great source for calories, cheap and has a long shelf life.  If properly stored this popular food staple can last 30 years or more.

Uses: breakfast meal, addition to soups, side dishes, alternative to wheat flour

Bouillon products

Because bouillon products contain large amounts of salt, the product is preserved.  However, over time, the taste of the bouillon could be altered.  If storing bouillon cubes, it would be best repackage them using a food sealer or sealed in mylar bags.

Uses: flavoring dishes

Powdered milk – in nitrogen packed cans

Powdered milk can last indefinitely, however, it is advised to prolong it’s shelf life by either repackaging it for longer term storage, or placing it in the freezer.  If the powdered milk developes an odor or has turned a yellowish tint, it’s time to discard.

Uses: beverage, dessert, ingredient for certain breads, addition to soup and baked goods.

Prepper's CookbookAbout this author

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.