Are We Headed for Economic Hard Times?

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Food Line Great Depression

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of dire predictions about the economy.  Whether they happen as predicted or not, it’s a good idea to pay attention to these signs.

This article for Modern Survival Blog caught my eye:

Major Stock Market Crash In January

If you look at the chart, the patterns between today’s stock market and the time period leading up to the Great Depression (1928-29) look uncomfortably similar.

Then I saw this one from SHTFPlan.com:

15 Signs That We Are Near The Peak Of An Absolutely Massive Stock Market Bubble

You can even find concerns from mainstream sources  Take a look at

Be Prepared For Stocks To Crash 40%-55%

Even Clark Howard who offers practical financial advice weighed in:

Is a stock market crash coming?

It’s Too Close for Comfort

Last week, right before Thanksgiving, it was announced at work that management had done some “restructuring”  and a few employees were laid off.  Those of us who were fortunate to have a job were asked to increase our workload to “add value” to the team.   I felt relieved to have a job, but felt bad for the people who lost theirs.

What is your Economic Crash Plan?

Think about your own worse case economic scenario:  for many it’s the loss of income.  Hopefully, unemployment benefits would cover in the event of a job lay-off.  However, expenses would have to be cut back drastically.

  • How long would your emergency savings last- how many months or rent or mortgage can you cover?
  • Start using emergency supplies to avoid having to buy food.  Find out about food banks and other services that can offer help.
  • Can you borrow from retirement plans?  In a crash, you need to take care of the present and keeping a roof over your head.
  • Consider which relatives can you move in with, if you had to.  As undesirable as the possibility might be, remember it’s only temporary and it would still be better than being homeless.
  • If you don’t have relatives you can move with, can you live in a truck or RV if you had access to one? 

It is hard to even consider these ideas, but this mental exercise will help you plan and cope better should your financial fortune take a turn for the worse.

What you can do now

I am hoping everything continues along as normal, and nothing happens.  But just in case, it is a good idea to implement a few good habits now, while there is time.

  • Build your emergency cash fund by using your skills to earn extra income
  • Go through your unwanted items.  Donate or sell them to make room for supplies that you do need.
  • Don’t go overboard with Christmas spending.  Set a limit for gifts, decorations and entertainment and stick to it.  Pay cash for everything.  Using a card makes it easy to overspend.
  • Look at each non-essential bill and decide if you can do without it:  gym memberships, premium movie channels, etc.  If you are not using it, consider getting rid of the service (but be mindful of contract terms and penalties.)
  • Learn to cook more meals at home, you will feel healthier by avoiding fast food, and you’ll save money.
  • Cut down on discretionary spending now, and send the extra money to savings.
  • Build good relationships at work and in your industry.
  • Stop incurring new debt, pay down debt if you can.
  • Stock up on food and supplies while you can
  • Get your checkups, prescriptions, eyeglasses and any elective medical procedures while you have health insurance
  • Learn survival and self-sufficiency skills now.

These measures can only help your finances in the long run.  Prepare while you can.

 

Camping Survival

Camping Survival

 

 

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Going Home by A. American: Book Review and Giveaway

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Going-Home-199x300If the power grid were to collapse while you are far from home on a road trip, how would you handle it?  That is the premise of Going Home:  A Novel of Survival by A. AmericanGoing Home is the first book of the series, followed by Surviving Home and Escaping Home.

Going Home has a very believable story.  Morgan Carter, the main character, thought he was going on a quick business trip and was on his way home when all electronics just stop.  His car stalls, his cell phone dies and all transactions become “cash only” as stores are unable to process electronic transactions.  His trip quickly turns into a struggle to survive as he tries to get home from 250 miles away.  The scenario is actually one of my fears as a prepper:  being far from home and family when a disaster happens.

Morgan is a regular guy, an everyday prepper.  He is prepared, in terms of a “get home” bag, but he is not a super hero nor has any extraordinary training.  In short, many readers can easily relate to him.  The environment and political climate described in the book are also very plausible, and close to reality.

The events in the book move along at a constant pace and keeps you riveted in what happens.

I think if we had to choose what we didn’t like about it, it would be that some of the characters were a bit too trusting and friendships were struck too quickly.  I believe people would be more reserved in real life, but that is just me.  Except for this minor issue, I have no misgivings about the book and highly recommend it to everyone.

Mr. Apt Prepper actually read this book before I did, and told me his opinion about the book:  he could not put it down.  He thorough enjoyed the story and also appreciated the survival skills described, as well as details about the equipment contained in the bug-out bag.  He has finished all three books in a matter of days.

Now for the giveaway…

One winner will be chosen to win all three books:

Going Home

Surviving Home

Escaping Home

 

Just add your comment below on either one or both of these items:

What are your best bug out bag tips? 

OR

What items have come in handy in your bug out bag or emergency kit?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, December 7th 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.

The Prepper’s Pantry

The Prepper’s Pantry

 

 

 

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Monday Musings: 12/2/2014

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

First the blog updates…

Huge Christmas giveaway starts today  Please be sure to check out the next post that follows after this one.  It announces a huge Christmas giveaway among several preparedness blogs that starts today.

Cyber Monday special sales from our sponsors  If you are doing any shopping today, Cyber Monday, please help support our blog by clicking through my Amazon link  Or, visit our fine sponsors who are all having great sales today:

Camping Survival 

The Berkey Guy

Survivalcavefood.com

Preparewise

ReadyMade Resources

Who won Rivers:  A Novel book giveaway?  Jen won a copy of the book, and she had the following comment:

I haven’t experienced the devastation of the terrible storms and floods that make the news but I have been through extreme weather. It definitely brings out a side of people that you don’t normally see.

We also have another book giveaway scheduled for this Wednesday – it’s a good one so please come back and enter.

Now for the links…

Black Friday shenanigans.  We’d be remiss if we didn’t at least include news about Black Friday frenzy.  If people get this crazy over some sales, imagine how they would be in a real emergency when everyone is fighting over food and water to survive.

People Beat Each Other Up Over Towels At Walmart On Black Friday

Black Friday frenzy leads to reports of violence

But it was not limited to the U.S.:  Black Friday madness has spread to the U.K.

Black Friday: arrests and violence as shoppers clamour for discounts

Personal care storage items   Good information to know for the toiletries bucket. 

Do Skin Care Products and Toiletries Ever Expire?

In many cases, items may last longer than their expiration dates, however, there is a shelf life to these items.  A lot of lotions start to get a funky odor when they get old, some moisturizers ingredients separate and get a strange texture.  “Your mileage may vary” is a safe bet- just check it for yourself and don’t forget to rotate your items.

Skills that are no longer practiced  Many of these skills are useful, and several are considered good prepper skills.  Skills Your Grandparents had that You Don’t

Tips to reduce cholesterol  Years ago, I had high cholesterol, fortunately it went down naturally without prescription medication.  I started using a lot of olive oil in cooking and that seemed to help (This is not medical advice)  This article has some good tips.

Naturally Reduce Cholesterol

Simple tips, great results   No one can be totally self-sufficient, but taking small steps help a lot, especially during hard times.  See article below from Gaye of from Backdoor Survival.

Mapping a Road to Self-Sufficiency

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

For easy ways to become more prepared, read my book:

For low-cost ways to prep:

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Preparedness Christmas Giveaway!

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preparedness-giveaway

Apartment Prepper has teamed up with a few blogs in the emergency preparedness community, known as The Preparedness Blogging Brigade.  We, along with some great companies, bring you this mega giveaway just in time for Christmas.

There will be 3 winners.

First Prize

Stainless Steel-Large Kelly Kettle (Complete Kit): A perfect item for survival or camping kits. Includes the cooking pot, pot support, grill, and pot gripper/handle.

AquaBrick Kit 2000K: A fast flowing gravity fed water filter: The AquaBrick will safely filter 2000 gallons of water and is portable. The AquaBrick removes waterborne microbial and viral pathogens, spores and heavy metals. It also removes hydrocarbons, radiation, fluoride, chlorine and other harmful substances.

Second Prize

WonderMill Wonder Junior Deluxe: Largely regarded as the best hand mill, this grain mill comes with both stone and stainless steel milling heads, a wide double clamp, four guides, and a cleaning brush.

Honeyville Grain Case of Hard Red Wheat: The core of most prepper’s food storage. A case contains 6 #10 cans and is perfect for storage or to use as soon as it arrives.

Third Prize

Royal Berkey System: The Royal Berkey will safely filter untreated water at the rate of  about 4 gallons an hour. It comes with two filters, serves 2-6 people, and holds approx 3.25 gallons. The Royal Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites along with pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, and radon 222 trihalomethanes.

MultiFlame Mini Tool: The MulitFlame Mini Tool from Trayer Wilderness  is a 6″ fire piston and so much more. You can start a fire, clean your pistol, use as a screwdriver or anything else that fits a 1/4 in hex bit.

All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below by signing in with your Facebook account or email address. (We’ll need this info in order to contact you if you win.)

Start by clicking Easy Entry for Everyone (no social media accounts required) below and after that each +1 that you click is another entry to win!

The giveaway begins December 2, 2013 and ends on December 9, 2013 at 11:59pm. The winners will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn.

You must be 18 years or older to enter. Prizes will be shipped to U.S. residents only. Residents of other countries may enter but will be responsible for paying the shipping cost.

Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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Self-sufficiency Saturdays: Reusing Zipper Plastic Bags

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Just a quick post for today’s self-sufficient Saturday.

Part of becoming self sufficient is learning to make things last as long as possible, so you don’t have to keep buying replacements.

I like the convenience of zippered plastic bags, but don’t like the expense.  I resisted rewashing them because they took so long to dry and there is a chance for mold during our humid summers.  So I figured a way to let them air dry the quickest way possible.

Here is a photo:

Washed ziploc bag

  1. Wash the zipper bags with soap and water.  Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Take a carabiner and attach it to a binder clip.  Hang by the carabiner to a wire hanger, nail or metal shelf.
  3. Hang the zipper bag by one bottom edge and leave it to try.  You can hang multiple bags at once.

I’ve washed gallon, pint, sandwich sizes, all with good results.  (Do not rewash bags that have come in contact with meats.)  If you have a different way of doing this, please share in the comments.

© Apartment Prepper 2013

 

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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Remember to Give Thanks for all Your Blessings

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thanksgiving-centerpiece-with-silver-pumpkins-bhg

As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2013 in the midst of a difficult economy,  multiple natural disasters in recent months, worldwide protests and unrest,  we are grateful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and friends.

Having a preparedness mindset, I realize all the things that can fail in our system. But I am grateful for things that have not failed.  We have a roof over our heads, water in the tap, gas in our cars, and are able to find a variety of food at the grocery store.  In this day and age of commercialism, people tend to forget what this time of year means.  It is time to give thanks to God for all the good things that have gone on in your life.  I hope Thanksgiving is not eclipsed by all the emphasis on Black Friday and marathon shopping days ahead.  We should not take anything for granted.  Let’s be thankful for what we have and be mindful of our blessings.

I’d like to thank our sponsors, whose support helps maintain the blog.  My greatest thanks to you, dear readers, for taking the time to share part of your day with me.  We hope we can all celebrate many more abundant Thanksgivings to come.  

I wish you all a wonderful and safe holiday.

 

Sing to the LORD a new song, a hymn in the assembly of the faithful.  Let Israel be glad in their maker, the people of Zion rejoice in their king.  Let them praise his name in festive dance, make music with tambourine and harp.  For the LORD takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory.  Let the faithful rejoice in their glory.     

Psalm 149

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Prepper Guilty Pleasures

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Most of the time, prepping articles deal with very serious matters, and why not, emergencies and disasters can be grim subjects.  On the other hand, prepping does have a lighter side.

Let’s look at a handful of prepper guilty pleasures…

  1. Good eats    Opening up a bag of dehydrated fruit, and, unexpectedly finding that it’s so good you finished the whole bag.  This happened to me as I opened a bag of dehydrated pineapple.  Before I knew it, I had eaten the whole thing before anyone else got to try it.
  2. Survival fiction.   Get cozy under a blanket and read a fictional tale such as Lights Out OR watch an alarming movie such as Contagion.  Munch on popcorn and breath a sigh of relief that nothing is happening right now.   We do the best we can to prepare for an emergency but no one really wishes for it to happen.  A bonus to this one is #3.
  3. Someone you care about finally decides to prep  You can’t really convince someone to prep until they feel ready.  But one of these days, your loved one who has been resistant to prepping is finally going to be convinced.  It may be because you showed them it’s not just about “beans, bullets and band-aids” by stocking up on something that’s important to them (Kashi bars, Aunt Jemima syrup, tampons or Tabasco sauce – you name it) or something you watched together that it finally clicked.  Now they’re on board and even more pumped about prepping than you are.  You bite your tongue to keep from saying “I told you so!”  Instead, you’ll be your understanding self as you give yourself a pat on the back.
  4. Being the only one who came prepared.  While at an outdoor kid’s birthday party, the host was trying to open gifts that came in bubble packs but no one had a knife.  Mr Apt Prepper, who always keeps a small pocket knife came to the rescue and got all those packages opened.
  5. Gear mania.  Let’s face it, gear is fun.  Now you can justify getting that ultra light 4-season tent because it’s not just for camping anymore!  Just be careful you don’t go overboard on those extra bells and whistles!

Some days it seems the world is fraught with so many perils and there is so much to worry about.  Why not allow yourself a few guilty pleasures and be grateful for the little things.

 

Water is one of the biggest needs when it comes to survival.  Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

 For beginning preppers

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

DebtProof Living

 

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Rivers: A Novel by Michael Ferris Smith Book Review and Giveaway

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RiversI had the opportunity to read a review copy of Rivers:  A Novel by Michael Ferris Smith.  It is a tale about a few remaining stragglers who crossed paths in a world that is constantly battered by never ending storms and hurricanes.  The story follows Cohen, who lost his wife and unborn child a few years earlier, as he tries to continue surviving in a devastated area, long after the region was declared unfit for living.

The constant misery and greyness of the weather pervaded the entire atmosphere of the book.  There is really no explanation of what is caused the violent weather patterns  it just is.  The idea of having daily storms pounding one area of the country may be a bit hard to accept at first, but as I continued on, I found myself suspending my disbelief and becoming more accepting of the idea.  The writing is rich with vivid images and story moves along in a fast pace that the reader quickly becomes caught up in the story.

You are not going to pick up any ideas about living through a disaster, but it portrays how people react to life threatening situations and their mental states are depicted quite thoroughly.  Many of the characters have done evil things to survive, though they would not inherently consider themselves evil.  They “just had to.”  The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

The story moved along in a good pace, and it was easy to become “immersed” in the story, so to speak.  The characters are well written, however I had trouble relating to characters’ choices.  In many instances, I did not feel a connection with the characters, and disagreed with many of their actions.  In spite of this, I still felt invested enough to  find out how they fared.  Not wanting to provide any spoilers, I won’t say how the story ends.  Though this is a completely different story, there are some parallels to The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, in the struggle to survive and find redemption.

All in all, Rivers:  The Novel is a highly engrossing book and I liked reading it.

Win a Copy of

Rivers:  A Novel

Just add your comment below:

Have you experienced a hurricane or flood?  Describe your experience.

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, November 30th 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.  

I look forward to reading your entries.  Good luck!
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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Monday Musings: 11/25/2013

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

First the blog updates…

 

Great deals at Amazon.  Please consider using Apartment Prepper’s Amazon link for your prepping and Christmas shopping purchases.  Our blog hosting expenses has grown substantially, and I am doing everything I can to keep this blog free to all readers.  We chose not to have a Donate button; blog expenses are covered by sponsor banner ads and affiliates such as Amazon.  This costs you nothing out of pocket but they mean a lot, and I greatly appreciate your support!

Personal GPS update  A while back I tested the Bushnell Backtrack D-Tour and reader Bob S inquired whether the stored locations will reset if you replace the batteries.  I finally got a chance to try it out:  removed the batteries and replaced them, rode out to a new location and checked to see if it would point back to a previously stored location.  The good news is, it actually did not lose the saved areas.  When I turned it back on, and set it to “Home” (not my real home, just the place I had set it to) it as soon as it found the satellite it pointed to the correct direction.   I’ve updated the article as well.

Thanks Bob S for bringing this up.  I appreciate everyone’s questions and comments!

New giveaway tomorrow  We’re having our final giveaway of the month tomorrow, so please check back and submit your entry!

Now for the links…

Author R.P. Ruggiero’s latest book is out:  Brushfire Plague: Reckoning the follow up to his successful debut novel, Brushfire Plague. Recently published by Prepper Press, this book begins as the Brushfire Plague that has crippled the globe slowly loses its lethality, only to be replaced by the harsh reality of its origin and what this will mean for civilization.  I reviewed Brushfire Plague when it first came out and look forward to reading the second book.

For a limited time, readers can pick up at a deep discount the original Brushfire Plague Kindle version.  This won’t last, so take advantage of the sale while you can.

Thugs behaving (even more) badly   This just seems so senseless – teens randomly striking strangers for no reason at all, other than to knock them down with one punch.

  ‘Knockout Game’ Thrives Where Gun Control Has Disarmed Citizens

I hope this one learned his lesson  Teen Playing ‘Knockout Game’ Shot Twice by Victim

A gourmet meal from a coffee maker?!?  I’ve heard of vacationers bringing slow cookers to the hotel for hot meals but cooking in a coffee maker is new to me.   Might be advisable to try it at home first, before attempting it in a hotel.  If you’ve tried it, please let us know how it turns out!

Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner

Make comforting meals from food storage  See Survival Mom’s How to plan your food storage so you can make your favorite recipes years from now

Great list of doable product replacements  You’ll save money and reduce trash.

12 Simple Reusable Alternatives to Common Household Disposables

Hang on to those good feelings   See 3 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Last All Year Long

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

 

 

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How Not to Lose Everything in a Disaster

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Storm Coming

I’ve been thinking about major disasters a lot lately, the kind where victims lose everything they own.  We’re still seeing the after effects of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and even closer, the Midwest tornado outbreak where at least 55 tornadoes have hit in succession.  I feel for the victims and pray for their well-being.

Preppers try to be ready for emergencies whether foreseeable or not, but there are always inherent risks to everything.  If you store your preps in your home, it is possible to lose them should a tornado strike, or should floodwaters or fire engulf your home.  I’m not trying to say it’s pointless to prep, this is all the more reason to carefully consider what steps to take in order to minimize the risk.

I don’t have all the answers but I thought I’d just post some thoughts to get us started in figuring out the best way to prepare for a major disaster.

  • List all disasters that are possible in your area.  It is pointless to worry about earthquakes if you never have earthquakes in your area, or radiation leaks if you don’t have a nuclear power plant nearby.   I have never experienced a tornado in Houston, but some residents have experienced small ones that have touched down in outlying areas.  Therefore, we have to consider the possibility.  Houston is also prone to hurricanes and flooding so these are some of the threats we have to consider.
  • Stay aware of what’s going on so you can plan accordingly.  Trust your gut:  if you have a bad feeling that something is about to happen, heed those warnings.  The worse that can happen is you’ll feel foolish about overreacting later, but if something does happen, you will be glad you trusted your gut.
  • Get adequate insurance coverage for your home or apartment.  Read the policy thoroughly so you understand what is covered.  Flood insurance is not covered by most standard policies and a separate policy would have to be obtained.  Keep a copy of your insurance policies in a safe place, and a backup copy elsewhere.
  • Take photos or video of your belongings for your records and note the date taken in case you have to file a claim.  Store it in a safe place and have a backup location.
  • Have a hard copy of all your emergency contacts instead of storing everything in your cell phone.  If you were to lose your cell phone in a disaster, you will be hard pressed to search for your contacts at a time when your mind is reeling.
  • Learning survival and self sufficiency skills is a great hedge against losing everything.  Even if you lose your physical preps, the knowledge you have gained will help you start over.
  • Make an emergency plan so every family member knows what to do.
  • Conduct drills to practice your emergency plan
  • Have some savings set aside, in various areas that are accessible to you.  I always get flack for suggesting you keep some savings in a bank, but if you keep everything at home and you lose that home, at least the bank will still be standing.  If you don’t like large banks, then a local credit union is a good option.
  • As a final thought, sometimes, you just need to pray for strength and have faith in God that you will have the courage to endure.

Just as there is no way to be insured for everything, there is no way to prepare for every disaster under the sun.  But you can try your best to take these steps, set your mind at ease, knowing that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2013

 

 

 

 

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