5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Getting started with preparedness can be overwhelming.   Most people immediately focus on how much gear they need, and how much they don’t have.  Then you worry about how much this is all going to cost and where the money is coming from.  It does not have to be like that.

Here is a list of five easy and free activities you can do this weekend, and you will instantly be a lot better off in terms of preparedness than your were last weekend:

1.   Go “shopping” in your own home.  Take a small box or laundry basket with you and go through your home.  Look at all closets, and boxes in the garage.  Pick up all items that will come in handy for the next emergency.  Find flashlights, matches and lighters, camping lanterns, sleeping bags or even just extra blankets, old battery operated radio, extra toilet paper, trash bags, etc. Even forgotten gift cards with a few cents left can help with your prepping efforts.  All too often, people forget what they already have lying around.  When I went through this exercise, I discovered several items I had forgotten about, and was glad I checked before buying new items at the store.

2.  Clean empty soda bottles and start filling them with water.  To disinfect a bottle, just add a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water.  Rinse the soda bottle with this, then rinse well with tap water.  Fill it up with tap water, use a permanent marker add a date on the bottle.  This way you will remember when the bottle was filled.  You can also partially fill some of the bottles (leaving a few inches room for expansion) and freeze them.  You will have ice to keep the freezer cold at the next power outage.

3.  Backup your smart phone contact list  I used to store all phone numbers in my cell phone, except for a few that I had memorized.  One day I was talking to my brother and the cell phone ran out of battery life (I know, I wasn’t very prepared that day).  I wanted to call him on a land line when I realized I could not remember his phone number, and the cell phone would not turn on until it was sufficiently charged.  Luckily it was a short term situation.  I backed up all my contact numbers into an old address book the next day.  I know it’s a chore but one day you’ll be glad you have it.

4.  Plan multiple routes out of your city and write them down.  Most people rely on the phone for directions, or on GPS devices.  In an emergency, you may not be able to access the electronic maps.  Why not plot out various emergency routes out of your city or town now, while there is nothing going on.   Find routes via car, or on foot or bicycle.  Get familiar with the street maps and write down directions to get out.  Or better yet, try and get a free paper map from your auto insurance or roadside assistance company.  Keep the maps in your car’s glove box or emergency kit.

5.  Choose one survival skill and practice doing it.  You can try filtering and disinfecting water,  making a fire, assembling a tent, learning CPR by watching an instructional video, etc.

There are lots of things you can do to be prepared that are not too time-consuming or expensive.  It just takes a willingness to learn and a commitment to prepare consistently.

© Apartment Prepper 2016



 

The Cost of Not Prepping

The Cost of Not Prepping

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Last month I mentioned my friend who got into debt – she has now put her prepping plans on hold, which is unfortunate.  I am concerned there are lots of others out there who feel the need to prepare for emergencies but have convinced themselves to put it off for one reason or another.  Let’s think it through and see if it would really cost less to NOT prep.

The true cost of not prepping

No emergency food in the house

We know a a few families who do not keep much food in the fridge – maybe a bottle of orange juice and a few bottles of beer.  The kids feel lucky to have a few frozen food entrees, otherwise they eat out for every meal.  The next time there is an emergency, these people expect to be able to run to the corner restaurant and demand to order.  A cousin who runs a burger place says this happens all the time.  If the restaurant loses power they have to close temporarily and turn away customers.   The customers get frustrated they have to find someplace else to eat.  So they drive around town looking for a place that’s open.  Now they are wasting gas and time, not to mention risking their families driving out when streets are flooded.  And, finding that there is no food to be bought anywhere, just like what happened with Hurricane Sandy, these same people may be forced to go dumpster diving.

No way to filter water

The same people described above rely on bottled water.   But if the bottled water runs out, and tap water gets contaminated, they do not have any a way to filter water.  Right before a hurricane or some other disaster hits, they realize they don’t have any backup plans and they find themselves having to fight desperate crowds to pick up water at the last minute.

Not filling up the gas tank until it’s empty

Let’s say someone who does not want to live a prepared life just lets the tank “run on fumes”  One day that tank is just going to dry out, and the car will stall out.  I see cars like that on the road all the time, with the driver walking with a gas can on hand.  The engine could be permanently damaged and the car will need hundreds of dollars to repair.  It would have been so much easier, had the driver kept a prepared mindset and got into the habit of refilling the tank well before before it registered empty.

No First Aid Kit

If a family does not keep a first aid kit at home, they will be running to the hospital’s emergency room the minute anyone in the family has a medical need, even a minor one.  They may say, “I have health insurance, I can afford it.”  But what about the co-pay?  Let’s just look at a common plan:  An emergency visit costs $100 co-pay; if they have met the deductible, that is.  If not, they’d have to pay for the entire bill.  Many ER visits can run up to $2000 depending on what diagnostic tests are run.  Let’s hope they have an emergency fund.

No available cash for an emergency

But wait, the same non-prepper decided to put off saving for the emergency fund.  He didn’t have the money to pay the ER bill so he put it on the credit card, thinking he can pay it off later.  The visit cost $1500 and it all went to credit.  Now the bank will charge  interest on the $1500 at 18%, adding another $270 on top of the $1500.  Now the debt that was so worrisome to begin with, got even larger.  Additional debt causes sleepless nights, worry, and having to work longer hours at work.  Not being prepared can affect mental health.

Even if there is no disaster or emergency, a simple power outage or bank glitch can cause bank ATMs, credit and debit cards to stop working.  Having just a small emergency cash fund would help the family buy necessities without any issues.

These instances show the cost of not prepping is too high even for common emergencies – consider what might happen in a total grid down disaster.   Seeing the family suffer from lack of food, water and other essentials would be intolerable.

Most of us pay property insurance, car and health insurance.  I look at emergency food, water and supplies the same way:  better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  I may be preaching to the choir here, but if just one person decides now is the time to take a few steps to be prepared instead of putting it off then I’d be happy to have helped someone.

Prepping may cost a bit of money and time up front, but NOT prepping would cost even more.  And, the peace of mind that comes with being prepared is priceless.




Start a Food Storage Plan Painlessly

Start a Food Storage Plan Painlessly

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A few people I know have nearly no food stored at home.  They eat out on a regular basis and therefore feel no need to have food around the house except for a gallon of milk and some orange juice.  I’ve tried to bring up the subject tactfully, and they do realize they need to have some emergency food.

One of the challenges of building up food storage is just getting started and taking action. Just thinking about collecting all that food can scare someone into putting it off.  It is easy to come up with excuses, like:
“It cost too much money.”
“We don’t have storage space.”
“It too much time,” OR
“What if nothing happens?”

Why start a food storage plan?

  • Natural emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes
  • Threat of unemployment
  • Cold or flu keeps you home for a few days
  • Avoid having to run to the store when your run out of something

There is no denying the need to get started storing up some food, even if you live by yourself.

Here are a few tips to get you started with very little effort:

  1. Start buying multiples of things that family likes to eat.
  2. Canned food seems to be a painless way to start: just buy an extra can of a few items such as canned corn, canned peaches or tuna each time you shop. Also buy extra breakfast items such as oatmeal, or cereal to get started.
  3. Other good items to have are granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, just add water meals such as ramen noodles, rice and pasta meals etc.
  4. Always check expiration dates and reach for the item with the furthest expiration date.
  5. Resist the temptation to pick up food your family does not eat just because it’s on sale or it has a long shelf life.
  6. Rotate the items and use the ones whose expiration dates are approaching.
  7. Later, as space and budget allow, other forms of emergency supplies can be added such as MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and dehydrated food.
  8. Once you have a week’s worth of food, then move up to two weeks, then a month, then go from there.

For an easy to implement food storage plan, read this handy guide:  Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage  It will help you build your own food storage and avoid mistakes, saving you time and money.  And it’s a bargain at $0.99 on Kindle.

Before you know it, you have built up a comfortable food storage plan that will help you ride out emergencies.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

Updated from a previous post that was originally published on 7/10/2010.

 




Monday Musings 12/7/2015: Health Benefits to Use Before the End of the Year

Health Benefits to Use Before the End of the Year

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.  Can you believe it’s the last month of 2015?  It feels like 2015 just got started, now it has flown by.  It’s time to think about year-end activities again.

First the blog updates…

Health Benefits to Use Before the End of the Year  Part of year end planning is to assess your health benefits and figure out what you may lose out when the year ends.  Look at your health plan and review your benefits closely.  A lot of people don’t use their benefits and can possibly lose these opportunities to get healthy or boost your preparedness efforts.

  1. Medical checkups – Most health plans allow for one yearly checkup with your primary care physician.  Have you gone this year?  How about your spouse and kids?  Now is your chance to have your health checked and make improvements.  Part of being prepared is getting healthy and fit.  Also if you feel your job is unstable and staff cuts are on the horizon, it is even more imperative that you use your medical benefits now while you have coverage.  The same goes for the rest of the benefits outlined below.
  2. Dental evaluation – Again, most dental plans allow two cleaning visits per year, either at no cost of low cost.  Don’t miss out one getting your teeth professionally cleaned.  You may also find out you have some needed dental work.  This will allow you to make plans for next years’ expenses.
  3. Flexible spending accounts (FSA) – I can write a whole post about just flexible spending accounts.  They are a “use it or lose it” benefit.  If you have money left over in the FSA, it does not carry over til next year.  Review your balance and the covered expenses.  You could potentially use any remaining dollars to boost your first aid kit: thermometers, blood pressure monitor, Ace bandages and many other items are covered.
  4. Eye exam – Just like medical and dental checkups, many health plans also cover eye exams once per year.  Have your vision checked, as well as your family’s.

Giveaways coming soon…

I finished reading Jim Cobb’s Prepper Hacks and will be posting a review and giveaway this week.

I am reading Ted Koppel’s Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.

Now for the links…

How to Save Money with a Home Brewing Hobby

More Attacks Are Coming: “The Intent Here Was Jihad And It Was Carefully Premeditated And Planned”

25 Ways People Earned Money During the Great Depression

The Many Different Types of Locks

25 Natural Remedies for Diabetes

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

© Apartment Prepper 2015

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Survivor Jane’s Latest Book

Survivor Jane What Could Possibly Go Wrong

I had the opportunity to read a review copy of Survivor Jane’s latest book, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? The book is chock full of information for about all things preparedness, from preparing for pandemics, super storms, nuclear fallout and much more. Reading the book makes you feel like you are talking to your best friend who happens to know about this subject, and who also cares about getting you as prepared as possible. Yes, Jane does know of what she speaks, having lived through an attempted car jacking and other disasters.

Because it is written in a conversational tone, with lots of personal stories, you can’t help but get pulled right in. At the same time, it contains a lot of information and action steps you’ll want to follow through. Another thing I like about the book is the frank and no-nonsense tone in which Survivor Jane brings up subjects that are left out of many survival books, with lots of humor throughout.  A few examples:

  • Should a woman learn dress like a man for safety in a TEOTWAWKI situation? Possibly, if it will help you blend in a crowd… Certainly something to think about.
  • How to combat intense itching from a chigger bite when you are on the move. Itching can actually become a problem in a grid down situation so this is good advice.
  • What to do when there is no toilet paper. If you think about it, we all rely on toilet paper, but what happens in a disaster when you run out? Again, you’ll want to find out your options.
  • Can you use super glue for sutures?  I’ve always wondered about this.
  • How to get in “survival shape.” She offers some simple ideas anyone can start doing.

There are a lot more possibly survival scenarios described, but you’ll have to read about them in the book.

I recommend you get the paperback version – you’ll want to highlight all the ideas that apply to you and make some notes to yourself. It’s rare to find a book that is both instructional and fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. You will too.

How to Avoid Getting Trapped in Your Office Building

How to Avoid Getting Trapped in your Office Building

I work in a high rise building downtown.  The other day I had the terrifying experience of getting trapped in an elevator with six other people.  It was lunch time and two out of four elevators were not working.  A crowd was forming to get on the two remaining elevators.  When I finally got my turn, six other people came in with me.  I already felt closed in, being in such tight quarters.  The doors closed and the elevator proceeded to move down.  The elevator suddenly stopped and everyone started looking around uncomfortably.  People started shuffling their feet.  It was a terrible feeling – what if this lasts a long time?  The guy closest to the emergency button pressed it and a loud buzzer sounded.  It felt like an eternity, but after about three minutes the elevator started moving again.  I got off the next stop even though it was not my floor.  I had uncomfortable shoes on, but I took the stairs 10 floors down.

This happened on a regular day, and it was scary enough.  Imagine if there were an emergency, power is going on and off and everyone is trying to get off the upper floors all at once.  The elevators would be jam packed and overweight, exceeding the weight limit.  There would be more chances of a breakdown.

I realize even if you are one of the first to leave there are still lots of others trying to leave at the same time.  People may be orderly at first, but that is until someone starts to panic.  Panic spreads quickly and before your know it, chaos can ensue. 

Get in the mindset to prepare in case of emergency and you find yourself at work.

1.  Know where the stairwells are located and where they lead.

2.  Stock your desk with bottled water and non perishable food just in case.

3.  Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your desk drawer, just in case you have to run down the stairs or have to walk home.

4.  Keep a few emergency items such as a flashlight if you have to find your way out in the dark, extra jacket or blanket, Swiss Army knife umbrella or rain gear etc.

5.  Assemble a small First Aid kit for your desk.  Include personal necessities such as contact lens solution, extra pair of glasses, asthma inhaler, or other prescription medications etc. just in case you are unable to leave for a day or two.

6.  Plan a walking route in case the parking lot is inaccessible and have to walk home.

7.  Have alternate routes home, and paper maps to guide you if your GPS is not working.  Of course, you already have a car survival kit right?

8.  Be aware of what’s going on in your area – check the news on TV in the break room if you can, read the news online if you have access.

9.  If there is an impending natural disaster, or bad weather has already started early in the morning, consider staying home from work and taking the day off.  Sometimes the best precaution is just to stay away.

10.  It is a good idea to know who among your co-workers live in your area, so you can share a ride in case of emergency.

11.  Trust your gut.  Don’t hesitate to leave your office if an emergency happens and your gut tells you it is time to leave.

12.  Know all the exits out of your office, the building as well as parking garage exits.

Make a plan on how you would handle a disaster at work now before an emergency occurs.  Thinking ahead will help you avoid panic and stay calm no matter what happens.

© Apartment Prepper 2015



Apartment Prepping Tips from Readers

Apartmentpreppingtips

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

From time to time, helpful readers send me their best tips.  I thought I would share a variety to them so everyone can benefit.

General Prepping Tips

Firestarter Source:  My wife and I live in a tiny apartment with no washer/dryer.   As such, we have to use the wash station in the complex.  Something that I’ve done for a while now is when I open up the dryers, I clean out the lint trap (people rarely do this when that remove their clothes.)   I have collected a gallon-sized bag of lint that I keep as a really good source for fire starters for when I go camping.  One small spark is all it takes to light, and it gets a fire going quickly.  Maybe this little apartment living specific tip would help others.  -Joseph P.

Water:  My preparedness tip is to make having a good supply of water a top priority. Have several large size rigid (bpa free) water containers filled and ready as well as have bottles water in your bug out bag.  Amy S.

Minimum Preps:  I think if you live in an apartment with limited space and resources, there are two things that would be important. One, have at least one week of food, water and supplies (candles, batteries, toiletries, first aid, extra blankets, etc.) on hand, per person. You should have a source of boiling water such as a buddy burner, or BBQ, as you will need water for sanitation and heating or preparing food. You will need sanitation in case  you don’t have access to running water (a 5 gallon bucket with liner). Keep these items separate and accessible, such as in a large tote. Also, one should have a bug out bag for 3 days with a change of clothes and any medication needed. I think that if you need to leave immediately or stay in place, one should have both options available and ready at a moments notice. I of course could go into much more detail about both of these, but I think you get the idea.

The other thought I have is that one should utilize all available space creatively to store food. Stock up on sales and cover that table in the corner with a floor length table cloth and stack up food or toilet paper underneath. No one will know you have cans of food under there. I have found space in my closets between towels and sheets that are great for stashing bars of soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc without trying to put it all into a box somewhere that takes up even more space. Be creative, just remember to rotate. -Rose

I always have some form of first aid available (I bought a basic Johnson and Johnson’s kit a few years ago; and now it’s time to update it), some water and basic food that I can eat. Since I am still in a mobile part of my life (recent grad), one of the first things I buy when moving into a new place is rice (about 2-3 pounds) and lentils (1-2 pounds). They keep for a good while and are pretty cheap. If I have the room, I’ll buy some spare water bottles. I also buy extra toilet paper if I have room.  My criteria for buying things is 1) What is the nutritional value of food that I am buying or how will this benefit me in the long run, 2) Can I take this with me for my next move aka is it transportable and long term storage, 3) If I can’t take it with me, how much money I am going to loose aka what’s my risk investment (what food and/or water during moves, I give to my church, local food bank or to a starving collage-aged friend).

In summary, I ask and make sure that 1) do I have a first aid kit? 2) Do I have (relatively cheap and long lasting) food that will help me get through a 3 day to 1 week crisis? 3) Do I have enough water? 4) Do I have at least one alternative way to cook/prep food?  (In collage I didn’t have number 4 down because that question didn’t pop in my head then.)

Living in Spain for the past 6 months has shown me how little I am prepared for anything and how much I need to prepare once I find a stable, consist income. ~Kim

I think apartment dwellers face many of the same challenges as those who live in houses. No matter where we live we all need at least a 72 hour kit, good locks/ door fortification, fire alarms and extinguishers, and a self defense tool. Like apartments, some houses can be more than 2 stories so a rope/emergency ladder wouldn’t hurt either.  – C. N., Ontario, Canada

Lots of garbage bags!  My tip is always have a full box of garbage bags at home. Garbage bags are useful obviously for disposing of trash, but also for acting as a disposable toilet in conjunction with a bucket, covering and protecting potted or un-potted plants during a sudden frost or storm, and for storing leftover water from the tub in an emergency situation until the water mains run out.

It can also act as a makeshift rain poncho with a few choice holes and can be cut into strips If needed to tie stakes. Stuffed with leaves it can also be used as a pillow and insulator.

Make sure to get the kind with the plastic cinch pull handles! It can also be used when the bag is used up as stake and plant ties, and also as trail markers.

Garbage bags are also cheap, picked up at any dollar tree. –Molly B.

I would think for the sake of space, invest in a food dehydrator. Also, most apartments only have one entrance door–fortify or replace (with permission) the standard entryway door. Most doors offer little or no protection: fortify the hinges, at the very least, add a peep hole and dead bolt.  –Lee P.

 Growing Food

Although I no longer live in an apartment, I think the largest challenge is growing your own food. This is a difficult skill to master, even James (The Covert Prepper) reassured me by saying it took him 3 seasons to get it right. I’m beginning my second with much excitement but also with the understanding that this is a skill, something to learn and test.

My best prepping tip for an apartment dweller would be to learn this skill and practice it at home. Try experiments with scraps, amazingly that celery grew! My cousin takes seeds from peppers she buys in the store, and plants them right into a pot in her kitchen, it works. I have also heard about a planting potatoes in a bucket, or potato tower, really quite the spatially economical way to grow. There are videos on youtube with people growing vertical window gardens using plastic bottles. For those fortunate enough to have a balcony, you can use pallets as vertical mediums, or James also recommended using eaves trough to create a garden on a wall. If you don’t have a balcony, I would suggest replacing house plants with food plants, begin with easier stuff like sprouts, radish or lettuce.  With just a little bit of imagination and some practice, this challenge can be overcome, an apartment can yield a great amount of food, certainly more than the average house working to produce grass. It’s a great skill to have, and a great feeling to grow your own food, yes, even in an apartment.  C. N., Ontario, Canada

Frugal Preps

Clean and completely dry some empty 2L soda bottles.   Buy food in bulk and store in 2L bottles with lid.  Rice, grits, sugar, salt and other course granular foods work well.  Store away from direct light.  You now have a waterproof, shatterproof, portable food container.  –TacSKS

Safety

We lived in an apartment for several years before buying our house and I always hated the fact that the management office and maintenance employees could come in anytime they pleased.  There were actually several thefts and it turned out to be a maintenance worker stealing while tenants were gone to work.  In order to keep my stash of emergency food, prescription meds, money, and other prepper-type items hidden in plain sight, I would use cardboard boxes and label them with really boring titles.  “Winter clothes, summer clothes, baby clotes, yard sale items, books, blankets, etc.”….basically nothing worth taking the time to rummage through when there was jewelery and electronics in plain sight.

The difficult part about prepping while living in an apartment complex, if how hard it can be to add any security to your home. You can be as prepared as possible, but if you can’t secure your living quarters from intruders, it is far too easy for them to break in and plunder your preparations.

The first point is to keep your preparations and plans to yourself. As nice as your neighbors seems, everyone gets desperate during difficult times. The fewer people living around you that know you have a stockpile of supplies, the less chance you have of them busting down you door looking for them.  Another seemingly obvious point is to not rent a ground floor apartment. It may be nice and convenient to not carry your groceries up a flight or two of stairs, you get multitudes better security by living on a higher floor. Intruders will be going for the easy break ins first, leaving you much more secure on your upper floor. Not to mention, all those stairs will give you that much more exercise in preparation!

Though most all apartment owners will not allow you to modify doors, windows, etc. to improve your security, there area few things you can do to bolster your perimeter fortifications. Be sure to place a metal pole in any patio door or horizontal sliding window. Though an intruder could still break the glass and enter through, they may be
looking for a stealthier option, and move to the next apartment unit that is less secured. For vertical sliding windows, a board or piece of 3/4″ plywood can be placed in the top section of the window to keep it from sliding up.

Hopefully with this added security, you can keep control of your carefully stockpiled supplies better.  -Greg Z.

KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
1-If you were forced to relocate due to foreclosure or sale of a property you don’t own, what is a good alternative nearby?
2-Do you know where you would store your things and could you mobilize quickly?
3-What are your opsec needs? the population density changes your needs. My car is always out of gas and I am always out of food, if I am asked. secure your money/meds
4-What amenities can save you money ? free linen service? Tennis court? monthly swap meet? The mobile food pantry comes here twice a week. I have not had to touch my 3 month supply or buy paper goods at all!  A. H.,  houdiniphile, Charlotte, NC

Earthquake Preparedness

When prepping for an earthquake, you don’t necessary have to strap the shelf to the wall or glue the items to the shelf as suggested.  Simply put all your heavier items on the bottom.  In our house that meant putting all the books on the bottom & all the figurines on top.  In all the years we’ve lived in California, we’ve only had 1 or 2 items fall off a bookshelf in an earthquake & these were light paper items like Christmas cards.  breakable figurines & plates have stayed on the shelf!  The books seem to act as a weight that allows the bookshelf to sway with the quake but not topple over, keeping it upright & your items safe!

… that being said we haven’t had anything overly strong.  We lived through the Northridge quake but we were miles from the epicenter.  So – legal disclaimer – this isn’t a guarantee by any means.  But it’s worked at my home & at my office quite well.  So to be totally safe I guess do all 3: strap the shelf, glue the items & place heavier items like books on the bottom.  But places like my office won’t let you do that.  So my binders & manuals are on the bottom shelf & it’s survived 2 quakes now.  –Steffie

Know Your Neighbors

Get your *neighbors* to prep.

If things go sideways, you’ll be surrounded by hungry and increasingly desperate people who live mere inches away from your home and family.

The key, however, is to be low-key and not alarmist. You also don’t want tip your hand about supplies you have stored.

Strike up conversations at the rubbish bin or mailbox. “Hey, did you hear about that earthquake/flood/tornado in <wherever>? I heard that it took a week for them to get food, water, and power back. Makes one think, doesn’t it? You know… WE should store some water, food, lanterns, and candles in case the power goes out in our building!”

Follow up in a few weeks with a pamphlet explaining how to build an emergency kit. Work your way through the building. Contact the Red Cross or other organization to see if someone will come speak to your Neighborhood Watch chapter or HOA. Post notices about local emergency preparation fairs sponsored by the fire department or the city. Get them talking to EACH OTHER about preparedness.

The more people who are prepared, the better it is for all of us.  —     A. Prepper

I think the most important survival tip for an apartment dweller is to know your neighbors.  By living in an apartment, you have limitations of what, and how much, gear, water, food, ammo, etc, you can store.  You will most likely not be able to rely only on yourself.  By forging some kind of bond with your neighbors, you create a sense of community that lends itself to banding together in times of need.  In nonemergency times, it is still a great idea to know your neighbors.  When your life is on the line, it is imperative to know who you can count on.  –L. N.

© Apartment Prepper 2015

You’ll find lots of low cost prepping tips in my new book:
Bernie's Latest Book

Start Prepping! by Tim Young – Book Review

StartPreppingFINAL Kindle

This past week I finished reading Start Prepping by Tim Young.  Tim writes the Self Sufficient Man website and has written a number of books on preparedness and homesteading.

Start Prepping includes many easy and doable steps to start preparing.  The author included a variety of survival stories that keep the reader interested and engaged.  The chapters are well-organized and the advice is solid.  When I read books on preparedness and survival, I look for practical tips that anyone can follow:  tips that are helpful whether a disaster happens or not.

One of the issues faced by beginning preppers is the overwhelming amount of information to sift through, which can also immobilize someone into inaction.   The 10 steps to preparedness are thoroughly laid out, easy to implement and not at all intimidating.

All in all, Start Prepping by Tim Young would give anyone interested in preparedness a great foundation.

Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Apartmentprepper.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

This is What Happens During a Food Crisis

This is What Happens During a Food crisis

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentpreppper.com

These last few weeks, I have been seeing some dire warnings from economic forecasters, about risks of another financial disaster, in spite of good economic news from main stream sources.  However, a large segment of our society still seems to be oblivious to the need to prepare.  They have no clue what happens when truck deliveries stop, or when grocery stores run out of food.

What happens during a food crisis?

To find out what happens when there are no supplies to be found, one need look no further than current events in Venezuela.

This is getting very little coverage in the evening news, but people should be paying attention.  Venezuela’s citizens are experiencing shortages of the most basic supplies such as milk, flour and rice.  With shortages come higher prices, as demand outstrips supplies.  People cannot afford to keep up with food prices that increase daily.  Even if they had the money to shop, people wait in line for four or more hours just to get groceries.

Imagine not having any food in your pantry, even when you have cash to spend.  People are risking their lives just to buy a few groceries.  With no food to feed their families, they are getting angry and desperate.   As a result, violence is erupting throughout the cities:  shootings and stabbings are daily occurrences while waiting in line to get in the grocery store; looting has become widespread.

People may say, this can never happen here, Venezuela is just another poor country.  Venezuela is considered a developing country, however, it has some of the world’s richest petroleum reserves, and is the largest exporter of oil in Latin America.  Not too long ago, it was a thriving, prosperous country.   However, government corruption and mismanagement of finances have caused an economic crisis and eroded the citizens’ faith in their government.

How do you protect yourself from a food crisis?

It doesn’t take much to interrupt the supply chain and cause food shortages.  The best way to protect yourself and your family would be to have to basic food supplies on hand of foods you eat normally, as well as a small stockpile of items you use daily such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc.

Resolve to pick up an extra package or two of staple foods such as rice, sugar, flour, pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned foods, on your weekly shopping trips.  Keep adding a little extra each week.  In a short time, you will have an emergency food stash for any emergency.   Aim to have a month’s worth of food, then go from there, depending on your storage space.  Keep track of what you have and resupply before you completely run out, giving yourself time to for coupons and sales.

Buy in bulk if you have a warehouse store card, or split large packages with family and friends who also want to build a stockpile.

Learn how to grow food, even if you have a small space.  You can grow an herb garden in the tiniest of balconies.  If you have lots of space, plant some fruit trees and grow some vegetables.  Or, you can participate in a community garden near you.

Food shortages can happen anywhere and it does not hurt to be prepared.  Even if nothing happens, learning to grow food will help you save money.  You’ll save time as well:  you’ll avoid running out of supplies and having to do those last minute trips to the store.

© Apartment Prepper 2015

10 Remedies for Itchy Mosquito Bites

10 Remedies for Itchy Mosquito Bites

 

As I have shared previously, our area has been having a lot of rain these past two months. While I am grateful for an end to the drought, the enormous amounts of rain has resulted in flooding, and one other unwelcome effect: an explosion in the mosquito population.

Everywhere I look there are puddles and other forms of standing water: breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Just taking a half hour walk in the morning, I ended up with multiple mosquito bites on my arms.  Now I apply natural repellant before I walk out the door.

If you’ve ever had a mosquito bite, you know how itchy they can get. Scratching provides momentary relief, but spread the itch even more.

Here are 10 easy remedies for itchy mosquito bites:

  1. Miracle Salve  I have found that the Miracle Healing Salve, (originally found on Backdoor Survival), works to relieve mosquito bite itching, among many other uses.  I have made several batches of this salve.
  2. Deodorant  My son’s science teacher swears by deodorant to relieve itching. I’ve tried both scented and unscented, they seem to work equally well for a short time.
  3. Adhesive bandage Mr. Apartment Prepper just places a band-aid over the bite. It prevents further irritation from brushing up against surfaces and you eventually forget that it’s there.
  4. Alcohol   Place a dab of rubbing alcohol directly on the bite – it does help.
  5. Baking soda and water   Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply directly on the itch.
  6. Ammonia and water  Mix equal parts of plain ammonia and water and apply on the itchy area with a cotton ball.
  7. Vick’s Vapor Rub  My grandmother swore by this remedy.  When we were kids, she would dab a small amount of Vick’s Vapor Rub on the itchy bite.
  8. Tea tree oil   Mix five to six drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply with a cotton ball directly on the bite.
  9. Apple cider vinegar   I already use apple cider vinegar to ward off colds; it works to relieve itch as well. Place apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and rub directly on the bite.   The smell goes away after a few minutes.
  10. X marks the spot   If you find yourself without any of these home remedies, use a clean fingernail and make an “X” right on the bite. This seems to relieve the itch for a short time.

These are just some of the remedies that I have tried myself. For more ideas, check out these articles from our friends over at Prepared Bloggers:

Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings from Commonsense Home

How to Make Lucky Sherpa Plaintain Salve from The Survival Sherpa

Mosquitos are not only annoying, they also cause a number of diseases such as Chikungunya.  Get to the bottom of the problem:  Mom with a Prep shows how to Combat Mosquitos Naturally