Fast Tips to Prepare for an Earthquake

Fast Tips to Prepare for an Earthquake

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

The recent earthquakes in Southern California had us worrying about our families and friends who live in the Los Angeles area.  I was relieved they were fine but with a lot of frayed nerves.  I don’t usually post on Sundays, but I am hoping people will take a few steps to get more prepared before a bigger earthquake happens.

Earthquakes are always unexpected, so preparations need to be made as soon as possible and maintained are part of everyday living.

Find the safest place to be in an earthquake

Identify the safest spots in each room and let all family members especially kids, know how to find them.  Under a sturdy table or against an inside wall are some areas to consider.

While the earth is shaking, remember to

  • Drop – try to be low to the ground so you do not get knocked down.
  • Seek cover – protect your head and neck, and try to get under the sturdy desk or table mentioned above.
  • Hold on – to keep your balance, hold on to something firm until the shaking stops.

Fasten your furniture and appliances

Secure large furniture such as bookshelves and large appliances to the walls to prevent them from falling on top of you in the middle of the night.  You can use brackets or straps to secure even a large screen TV.

Consider the placement of mirrors, large picture frames and other heavy objects.  They may look good over the bed or couch, but they can fall on people very quickly when an earthquake happens.  If you must have them close to you, at least make sure they are secure against the wall.

Have an escape route

Know all the exits out of your home or building should it become unsafe.  If you live in an apartment, get familiar with all the stairways and exit doors.

Keep comfortable shoes next to your bed.  Resist the desire to bolt out of bed and run barefoot – you may be stepping on broken glass.  Keep flashlights next to you where you can easily reach for them.

Three days of food and water is not enough

A lot of people I used to work with when I lived in earthquake country always cited they were protected by a ready made emergency kit that had three days worth of food and water.  Keep at least a week’s worth of food and water to get started.  Include a gallon of water per person per day.

If you have an “Earthquake Emergency Kit” open it before and earthquake happens.

They are better than nothing, but when I actually opened one, I found a couple of servings of instant noodle soup, aluminum packets of water, a handful of candles and a couple of match books.  A better step is to build your own, and tailor it to your family.  Include aforementioned food and water, lighting sources, backup ways to cook, radio and batteries, as well as a first aid kit, including prescription medicines and extra glasses.

Keep a survival kit in the car as well as your office.

Make a communications plan

Have an out of state contact, build a texting tree, and have a plan to get home in the event of an earthquake while you’re at work.

Always keep your cell phone charged, and have a hard copy of emergency numbers.

Know how to turn off utilities

Even though you live in an apartment, you may have to shutoff the water going into your unit, or turn off gas.  Learn how to do this so you can practice before it happens.  Repair crews may not always be around, so  a few tools handy to help you do what’s needed.

I hope these tips that are easily done in an afternoon or two will help someone get started before the next earthquake happens.

 

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Don’t Toss them Out: 12 Uses for Fruit Peels

12 Uses for Fruit Peels

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

With the price of food so high these days, one of my goals is to avoid food waste, and have been finding interesting ways to grow vegetables from trash.  With spring comes a huge variety of fruit, which I enjoy, but I always feel bad about throwing out the peels.  So I started using them.  Consider these uses and you may never throw them out again.

 

Dried fruit peels

  1. Potpourri:  Dry or dehydrate orange, lemon, tangerine or grapefruit peels.  You can add them to prepared potpourri or make your own.  To dry them without a food dehydrator, follow these steps.
  2. Temporary seed starter:   This works for peels that are bowl shaped and sturdy such as avocado.  Slice the fruit in half, and after scooping out the inside fruit, fill with garden soil and plant your seeds.
  3. Shoe shiner:  Banana peels are great for this – just use the inside of the banana peels to shine your leather shoes.
  4. Marmalade:  Citrus peels are great for making marmalade.  (Note:  If you are going to use the peels for food, try to use organic fruit if you can.  Either way, always clean the peels thoroughly before using.)
  5. Air freshener:  There are a couple of ways to do this:  Cut up the lemon or orange peel into one inch pieces and run them through the garbage disposal.  I’ve done this for years and it does freshen up the garbage disposal and sink.  Or, take whatever citrus peels you have a boil for a few minutes.  The smell will freshen up your kitchen.
  6. Hand softener:  My dad actually taught me this trick:  After peeling a pineapple, rub the fruit side all over your hands and leave on for a few minutes before washing.   Your hands will feel really soft.  Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain that has anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.
  7. Sink scrubber:  After squeezing the juice out, I’ve used lemon and orange peel slices as sink or counter scrubbers.  The leftover juice is great for cleaning, and the pulpy part is great for removing grime.
  8. Insect repellant:  Release the orange oil but rubbing the outer part of the orange skin on your skin.  These oils repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.  (Test on a small area first to avoid irritation.)  Orange peels will also repel ants – just leave in areas infested by ants.
  9. Cat repellant:  To keep cats from digging up your garden, leave orange peels around – they don’t like the scent.
  10. Compost:  Fruit peels are great for compost.  If you don’t have space to have a compost pile, you can also cut up the peels and bury them around your garden.  The peels will decompose and supplement your soil.Lemon-vinegar cleaner
  11. Addition to natural cleaners:  Add lemon or orange peels to a jar and fill with vinegar.  Leave it alone for a week or two, strain and use as grease cutter or all-purpose cleaner.  Here is a good recipe for homemade cleaner.
  12. Tea flavoring:  Even after squeezing the juice out, you can use orange, lemon or grapefruit and a flavoring for teas.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

A Close Look at the Free Credit Card Knife

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I received my free credit card knife so I thought I’d post about it.  Survival Life is one of our sponsors but I always try to be objective in my reviews.  I was really curious about the knife, and one of the things I wondered about was whether the knife would be a “one use” type of item.

Here is what it looks like right out of the package:

Credit Card Knife1See the green button on top – the credit card knife is currently in a “locked” position.

When unlocked, you no longer see green.

Credit Card Knife2Push the right lower corner to lift the knife.

Credit Card Knife3Here’s a pic with the knife blade lifted up (sorry about the shadows).

Credit Card Knife4Fold the bottom edge down at the perforation.

Credit Card Knife5Facing the same direction, fold the top edge down to form the handle.

Credit Card Knife6The edges fit securely down.  The knife is ready to use.

The tip and the edge are sharp.  It is plastic, so I would only use it for light to medium cutting.  A knife is always handy to have around.

It is not just a “one use” item.  Because it is flat, you can carry it safely in your wallet.  But it’s sharp enough to cut with once it’s assembled.

For the price of $2.95 to cover shipping and handling, it’s a nifty little item.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Hydroponics – A Small Garden with Big Benefits

(Editor’s note:  Today’s post is about a subject that interests me greatly:  hydroponics, because it works well in small spaces.  The post is written by Chris Wimmer, aka Captain Hydroponics)

What is Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is generally translated from the Latin and Greek languages meaning “working water”.  The Greeks and Romans described this farming technique this way because the water was always in motion. A more modern way to explain hydroponics is growing plants without soil.  A variety of mediums are used in place of soil which is soaked in a nutrient rich water solution.

Benefits of hydroponics

I could probably list well over a dozen benefits but I’ll just list the most important:

  • Improved food independence
  • Shorter growing cycles
  • Improved yield
  • Less space required

The reason you are able to basically grow more food, faster, and in less space is due to the direct exposure of nutrients to the roots.  Traditional soil based gardening requires the plants to seek out the nutrients in the soil which actually takes a lot of effort which could be used to grow more vegetation, flowers and fruit.

The basic parts of a hydroponic system

Hydroponic systems come in many different ‘flavors’ but all have a few key common components. 

Grow Tray:  The plants grow in a tray that is filled with an inert media which acts as a soil substitute. Common media includes coconut fiber, gravel, and rockwool.  The media provides root stability and the right mix of oxygen and water.

Reservoir:   A holding tank for the nutrient rich water which is pumped onto the roots of the plants.

Pump:   A small pump to push the water from the reservoir to the grow tray

Timer:  The real beauty of hydroponics.  A timer can help automate your system which can make it virtually maintenance free.

Ideal crops for hydroponics

Almost anything can be grown hydroponically however some plants do better and are simply more practically.  Stick with compact plants that you harvest above the ground.

Some great examples include:

  • Herbs (Basil, oregano, Thyme, etc)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

 How hydroponics can be done in small and creative spaces

Hydroponic plants can be planted twice as close as compared to soil based planting as they will not compete for soil nutrients.  They only need enough vertical space to grow up.

hydroponics1

Another great way to maximize your plantable space is to be creative.  Do you have an outside empty wall?

wall hydroponics

Photo credit: Plants on Walls Blog http://plantsonwalls.blogspot.com/2010/06/aquaponic-garden-tower.html

  What about a sunny window?hydroponics2

  A few final tips to simplify getting started and ensuring success…

  • Start small.  You’ll learn a lot from your first experience and can apply that to your next planting.
  • Use seedlings from the local nursery if you have never germinated seeds.
  • Ensure the location you select will receive at least 12 hours of sunlight and maintain a temperature in the low 70’s.  If this isn’t possible than plan to have supplemental light and heat.

Now that you have heard the basics are you interested learning more?  You can read more at my personal hydroponic blog (http://captainhydroponics.com) or I’d recommend checking out instructables (http://www.instructables.com/id/Hydroponic-Soda-Bottle-System/).  Both have some very detailed hands-on ways to set up a hydroponic garden.

About the Author: Chris Wimmer is an urban hydroponic hobbyist who grew up in the Oregon country side enjoying the open spaces. Chris shares how he uses hydroponics to maximize his small Chicago urban garden space on his blog:   CaptainHydroponics.com

 

 

Monday Musings: 3/24/2014

Monday Musings 32414This 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…

Giveaway Winners  Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for Through Many Fires.   Here are the 10 winners who have been chosen via a random drawing:

1) Smoker11

2) Jake R

3) Mom of 5

4) nathan

5) Dairy

6) Adam

7) grammyprepper

8) Jamie

9) Beth

10) Pierce

The author will contact the winners directly.

Now for the links…

BioLite Giveaway  Just wanted to pass this along:  BioLite is having a spring giveaway:  they are giving away a CampStove, KettlePot and Portable Grill, plus a bonus prize for referring friends to the contest.  We’re not affiliated with them, but readers may want the chance to win.  Here’s the link to the sign-up form: http://bit.ly/1oMItVD

What’s it like to live with hyperinflation?  Here’s a personal story:

Brazilian Hyperinflation: A Reader Explains What Life Was Like  Part 1

Brazilian Hyperinflation: A Reader Explains What Life Was Like  Part 2

This could happen to anyone

Do Not Make Fun Of Those That Have Fallen Out Of The Middle Class – You Could Be Next

Good to know    Alternate sources for power  http://tri-fuelgen.com

These stories always creep me out  

At least 59 people dead in Guinea Ebola outbreak

 Ebola Outbreak: Could It Happen in the United States? The Answer May Surprise You

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 © Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Avoid Boring Survival Food: Include Spices and Seasonings in Food Storage

Avoid Boring Survival FoodThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Once you’ve stored at least a couple of weeks worth of food and water, you’ll want to store a few of your favorite spices and seasonings.  Though it would not be life threatening to leave them out, your survival storage diet would become quite monotonous without a few basic spices.

Start with the basics such as salt, sugar, pepper.  Then add a variety of spices and seasonings such as: cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, basil, oregano, parsley, chicken and beef bouillon, cumin, bay leaves.  Store only the ones you know you are going to use.

How long do spices stay fresh?

If you keep them in your cupboard in the original package, you can count on herbs and spices staying fresh for about a year to two years.  After that, the flavors will start to deteriorate.  Although they won’t turn completely bad (I’ve used them over the two year mark with good results) they will not be as flavorful as when you first bought them.  The older they get, the blander they get, until there is no point in keeping them.  It recently tossed out a few spices I never used after the initial recipe, after I noticed

Enemies of spice storage

Just like other food storage items, keep spices away from heat, light, moisture/humidity and air.  It’s best to keep them in an airtight container.

Long Term Storage

To make them last longer than two years, you can repackage spices and seasonings for long term storage.  I stored a few seasonings for long term by repackaging them in mylar bags, the same way I stored bulk foods.  The only difference was I used small mylar bags

Don’t forget to label and date your stored items.

Here is another method to store spices, nicely illustrated over at Are We Crazy or What:  Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage.

Final Tips

  • Seeds, roots and leaves will last longer than powder form, but will need a grinder for use.  I stored the powdered form to avoid the extra step.
  • For best results, rotate your stored items after a couple of years.
  • As with other food items, keep your stored spices and seasonings away from chemicals such as gasoline, kerosene etc. – these fumes can permeate and contaminate your food storage.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Where to Hide Valuables in an Apartment

Recently, one of our awesome readers, Sara, brought up a great question:

I was wondering if you could advise me for a particular apartment security measure?
I live in an apartment, but I am unable to drill holes into the floor. I am wondering what kind of safe I could buy and how I could secure it? This safe would ideally house a laptop and a few files. 
Hypothetically, if a thief were to access the safe in an empty house they could pick it up and carry it away if it is found, right?
I thought this was a timely question, as I have been thinking about writing about this subject.  Thanks for the question Sara!
Know What You’re Up Against
Ideally, a sturdy, hidden safe that is bolted to the floor would be a great place to hide valuables, but is not feasible in an apartment due to lease restrictions.  Normal safes are available, but can easily be picked up.  I used to have one, and it only weighed about 20-30 pounds – easy enough to carry.
Before getting into good hiding places, first we have to consider what motivates thieves:
1.  Their goal is to steal money and valuables.  If they had time, they would turn the place upside down looking for stuff.
2.  They need to get in and out quickly.  We’ve read before that a robber takes 8-12 minutes to steal as much as possible in that short amount of time.
3.  They also know the most common hiding places:  in the master bedroom, in the back of the closet, under the mattress, the medicine cabinet (prescription drugs may be attractive as well)  or in a toilet tank.
Knowing the above, it might be a good idea to leave a small amount of money or jewelry that is easily found; they may just rush out and take that, leaving the rest alone.  The small loss would also spare you having the entire place torn apart.
Here are a few ideas for hiding spots:
Safety deposit box
Many people still keep a safety deposit box at their neighborhood bank, but the downside is, you can only access your stuff while the bank is open.  There is always a chance the bank would be closed when you need you items the most.
Furniture with a hidden compartment
Furniture with hidden areas have been around for a long time, and they are still around.  The downside is they tend to be on the expensive side.
Here are some examples:  (Note:  we are not affiliated with this company-just pointing out the product)

Hidden in plain sight

Oil can safe

Oil can safe

Also known as diversion safes, they are fairly inexpensive and come in many varieties.  They tend to be small so you can only hide a few things.

Of course you’d have to hide the diversion safe among like items in a book shelf, kitchen or tool box.

Tip:  Don’t hide the item in another attractive item even if it’s in plain sight.  I’ve seen some mantle clocks that have hidden compartments – some a very pretty and eye-catching, and extremely portable.  I’d also stay away from hiding stuff inside radios or other electronics – they may steal that too, taking your item inadvertently and discovering it later!

Do it Yourself

  • Make a book safe  You can keep it among all your other books, and you can take it with you even while traveling.
  • Hide your item among frozen food in your freezer; maybe in a baggie within frozen raw meat that is large enough
  • Conceal item within a vase that has dusty fake flowers
  • Hide in a toy that is in a large toy box

The key is to remember where you hid it.  I’ve hidden a few items so well I couldn’t find them for months!

You should also tell someone you trust, to avoid them accidentally throwing the item away or selling it in a garage sale.

“Food will Quickly Disappear from Stores” – Interview with Kyle Pratt, Author of Through Many Fires

Through Many Fires

Today we are featuring Through Many Fires by Kyle Pratt.

What is it about?  Through Many Fires is a work of fiction that has the following Amazon book description:  “Terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union Address. Army veteran and congressional staffer Caden Westmore is in nearby Bethesda and watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital. The next day, as he drives away from the still burning city, he learns that another city has been destroyed and then another. America is under siege. Panic ensues and society starts to unravel.  Through Many Fires is the bestselling first book in the upcoming post-apocalyptic Strengthen What Remains series.”

Below is my interview with author Kyle Pratt.

1.  Most of our readers live in big cities, and it is a big concern that cities will become unsafe in a widespread disasters such as the ones described in the book. What would you advice city dwellers on improving their chances to survive a large scale disaster; or is survival in rural areas the only way to go?

Cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are not going to be livable in a major, grid down, disaster. Food would quickly disappear from the stores and water stop flowing from the tap. You might as well be in a desert.

I live in Washington State. In any major disruption of the complex web of services that make up life today Seattle would be unlivable, but law and order, and life in general, might be maintained in Spokane.

Find the medium or small town and move there. If your job requires that you live in a city I’d say the smaller the better, or move to the suburbs. Wherever you are store enough food, water and fuel to get out of town. Know beforehand where you are going and two or three ways to get there. Buy a gun and learn how to use it.

Also, get to know your neighbors. In a disaster it is nice to have friends on your street. Organize a neighborhood watch.

Preparing is like insurance, you buy it and hope you never have to use it, but when you need it you’re really glad you have it.

2.  How fast do you think society would unravel if a string of disasters were to happen?

In a grid down situation society will unravel quickly. When water stops flowing from the taps panic will ensue. Food will disappear from the stores within three days. People will start leaving the cities and that will clog the freeways. Gridlock will exacerbate the all of the problems. Think of New Orleans and hurricane Katrina.

3.  Please tell us a bit about your background.

I grew up in the mountains of Colorado before the Internet and out of the range of television and most radio stations. Before moving there I had never read a book, but one day during junior high in a moment of desperation I picked up a science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein. Before I graduated from high school I had read every novel Heinlein had written at that time and many other books by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and others.

Since that first day I have been a constant reader of both fiction and non-fiction. I developed a keen interest in apocalyptic fiction and have read all the classics in the genre including, Alas Babylon, Earth Abides, On the Beach, I Am Legend and Lucifer’s Hammer.

I earned an Associate in Arts degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction. When money for college ran low I joined the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician. I thought I would do four years and then go back to college. Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we plan.

My first assignment was with a U.S. Navy unit at the Royal Air Force base in Edzell, Scotland. While on leave in Israel I met Lorraine Best from Plymouth, Devon, England and married her in her hometown the next year. Our first son was born while we were living in Scotland. Together we spent the remainder of my twenty year naval career traveling around the world to Guam, Japan, Hawaii and other places.

Even before I retired from the service I was writing short stories. I released my debut novel, Titan Encounter, in July of 2012. My second book, Final Duty – The Speculative Fiction Anthology, was released in January of 2013. Through Many Fires was released last August. All of my books have been on Amazon bestseller lists. Through Many Fires is still a bestseller.

For the last seven years I have lived and worked as a teacher in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Eek, Alaska and during the rest of the year I live on a small farm in Western Washington State. Yes, it’s a really long commute. Now that my writing is taking more of my time, and earning me more, I will probably retire to the farm at the end of this school year and just write.

4.  How much research did you have to do while writing this book?  How long did it take to write?

As I said, I spent 20 years in the navy, and my youngest son served in the Army so, we had the military culture, lingo and equipment pretty well covered. I did read several eyewitness accounts of nuclear explosions for that part of the book. I don’t dwell on technical details like some survival novels do, but if I mention a radio, gun or some piece of equipment the details were either known to me or my son personally or I researched it to ensure it was correct.
I added a glossary to the back of the book so those unfamiliar with weapons and military terms would have easy access to the information.
Through Many Fires took me well over a year to write, but I can’t say exactly how long it took because I don’t remember precisely when I started.

5.  When is the next book scheduled for release?  Any plans for other books?

I’m currently writing a sequel to Through Many Fires titled A Time to Endure. That novel will be released later this year, but I don’t yet have a release date. I’m planning a three or four book series. I don’t know what I’ll write after that, but I will be writing.
If you readers send an email to kyle@kylepratt.me with “A Time to Endure Release” as the subject I’ll add their email address to the list of those to be notified when the book is released, or they can sign up for the free monthly newsletter at http://www.kylepratt.me In the next few months I’m going to release draft chapters and the cover design for A Time to Endure in the newsletter.

Now for the Giveaway:

Kyle has generously offered to give away 10 copies of Through Many Fires

Winners will have a choice of any of the following formats:

  • audiobook
  • e-book
  • paperback.

To enter, just comment on the question below:

Are you concerned about being in the city when a disaster strikes?  What steps are you taking to alleviate this worry?

The winners* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, March 22 at 8 pm Central.*Winners will be notified via email.  Winners must reply to email notification within 48 hours or other winners will be drawn.
THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Monday Musings 3/17/2014

Monday Musings 03172014This 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…

Things have been hectic lately so I did not have a chance to post Monday Musings last week.  Hoping that things have settled down a bit, and I am back on schedule.

I’m still in the midst of sorting through the supplies, finding stuff that recently expired or nearly expired and rotating them.  It’s a time consuming exercise, but helps avoid waste.

As I write this, our area is having heavy winds and rain, it’s hard to tell that spring is almost upon us.  Usually around this time, my thoughts are turning to what herbs and vegetables to plant, but the weather has been odd this year it’s throwing me off.

Goodreads Giveaway of Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure  

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for my next book by clicking on the the Entry button below.  The giveaway ends 4/15/2014, the scheduled publishing date.

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…

Garage door security  This sounds like a simple enough fix to make the garage door more secure:

$1 fix may secure your garage from thieves

If you’re trying to get out of debt  This article takes a closer look at Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.

Watch for these signs of hacking   It’s not always easy to tell you’ve been hacked-this article tell you the clues.

11 sure signs you’ve been hacked

Good to know they work   As someone who tries a lot of stuff before writing about it, I can really appreciate this article from Suburban Survival Blog

Raise Your Hand if You’ve Ever Used Your Fish Mox

Buying land does not seem so out of reach  This article gives a lot of doable tips to buying land; now, it does not seem so unattainable.

9 Tips for Buying Property With Little or No Money

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Will You Need Companions During a Collapse?

Why you need companions during a collapseThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A few months ago we traveled with another family to enjoy the snow for a few days.   Each family took their own vehicle.   On the day we were scheduled to leave, it snowed heavily the night before.  We were apprehensive we would not be able to get to the road without a snow plow, and there were none available.  Our vehicle made it just fine, but our friends’ car got stuck in the deep snow.  Fortunately we were able to tow them out.

This event got me thinking about the need for companions when things get rough.   While the idea of the “lone wolf survivor” may be appealing to some, the reality is life would be so much tougher if you had to go at it alone.

Safety and Security

The old adage about “safety in numbers” is true, but only if you pick the right companions.  They would have to be people you can trust.

In one of the books I recently read, Going Home by A. American the main character originally did not want any companions in his journey.  But one of the travelers who wanted to tag along reminded him he would need to sleep sooner or later and someone should watch his back.  This was a convincing argument.  No matter how good at self defense or how well-armed you are, when you go to sleep you are vulnerable.  Having others keep watch would be much safer.

Even during normal times, a neighborhood watch group can help protect the neighborhood from thieves and other criminal activity.

Food gathering and preparation

People can split chores according to their expertise:  some people can hunt, fish, garden, while others can prepare food.

Skills

Another good reason for having companions is to share skills and expertise.  If you know someone with a medical background, or other skills such as building and construction, sewing, canning, etc. you can help each other or barter your time.

Now that we realize the benefits, the real challenge is really getting to know your community.  Unfortunately, most communities especially in big cities are not close knit – some neighbors who have lived next door to each other for years barely even know their neighbors.  A few ideas to consider:

  • Take the time to get to know who’s around you.   I’m not saying you should tell the neighborhood about your prepping but at least get to know who’s who and build rapport with them.  It takes a while to find trust worthy people.
  • If you don’t think they are reliable find some other like-minded friends or family members and develop a relationship.
  • Don’t be heavy handed in trying to convince people to be prepared; if they are so inclined, you will know.
  • Once you find people you trust, even if it’s just one other family, make plans to communicate with each other and get together in the event of a dire emergency or collapse.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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