How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic

How an Average Person can Prepare for a PandemicThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve been seeing several news reports of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and got to thinking about pandemics in general.  Lots of people fear a global pandemic.  If you had to rank a list of super scary threats, pandemic would be pretty high on the list.  We’ve all seen movies like Contagion, which is scary enough.  We also associate pandemic with nightmarish throngs of zombie like disease ridden creatures.  But let’s pull back to reality and get some sense of what is a pandemic and whether they can happen.

What is a pandemic?  According to Flu.gov, a pandemic is defined as a global outbreak of disease.  It’s not determined by the number of deaths, but by how quickly it spreads.

Do they happen?  Pandemics do happen, as in three outbreaks of flu pandemic in the 20th century:

  • Spanish flu killed $40-50 million in 1918
  • Asian flu in 1957 killed 2 million people
  • 1 million deaths from Hong Kong flu in 1968

What are the chances?

I don’t have a crystal ball, and there is really no way to predict when and how a pandemic can happen.  Certain “tells” would be:

  • A new virus emerges, which means people would have little or no immunity to it
  • The virus is easily spread to others
  • Virus starts affecting various countries around the globe at the same time.  This is not hard to imagine, given the speed of air travel.
  • Outbreaks come in waves.

This would overwhelm the healthcare systems in affected countries, cause a shortage of medicines and caregivers, large scale deaths would disrupt the economy and systems.  People would not be able to come to work if they are too sick or too busy caring for family members.

What can an average person do to be prepared?

The basics for preparing for a pandemic is similar to preparing for a regional disaster, such as hurricane or ice storm, except for a few added precautions:

  • Have at least two weeks worth of stored food that does not need refrigeration.  Don’t forget to store enough for kids, pets and other special diets.  Increase your supplies if you have the means or the space.
  • Store enough water for your family for at least two weeks- the recommended amount is at least one gallon per person per day.
  • Have a power outage kit, which means backup lighting, cooking and communications, in case of power disruptions,  Your car survival kit should also be fully stocked.
  • Have some emergency cash.
  • Keep a fully stocked first aid kit, complete with backup prescriptions
  • Make sure you also have toilet and sanitation provisions
  • Be aware – pay attention to the news, both mainstream and alternate sources.

Stock up on additional supplies including:

  • N-95 face masks
  • goggles
  • gloves
  • hand soap and antibacterial wipes
  • bleach – a good standby when in comes to disinfect surfaces.  According to the Clorox website, use 2 tbsp bleach to one gallon of water, to sanitize a surface.  Bleach loses its potency so always mix a fresh batch for cleaning.
  • garbage bags for disposal of waste

Bolster your Immune System

Strengthening your immune system is always good to do, whether there is a risk or pandemic or not:

  • Get enough sleep and rest.
  • Relax and avoid stress.
  • Exercise at least three to four days a week.
  • Eat a healthy diet.  Take vitamin supplements if you feel you don’t eat well enough.

A few other tips:

Have a plan   Decide in advance under what circumstances you would start keeping kids home from school, staying home from work or creating a sick room in your house.

Discuss your plan with family members and plan care giving tasks ahead of time.

Avoid crowds   Being among lots of people increases your chances of getting contaminated.  If you live in a condo or apartment complex, you would need to avoid common areas, possibly take the stairs that are used less frequently than elevators.  If you must be around others, you’d need to wear a mask

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

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze  Use tissues or a handkerchief to cover up and avoid spreading germs.

Stop touching your eyes and face  Once you touch something with germs, and you touch near your eyes or mouth, you can instantly catch a disease.  Be aware of this and if you cannot wash your hands right away, at least keep your hands away from your face.

Disinfect surfaces around you   Droplets from coughing and sneezing travel several feet.  These germ filled droplets can last for hours on surfaces such as paper, steel or plastic.  For this reason, keep a box of antibacterial wipes and clean door knobs, light switches and other commonly touched items around you.

Learn basic first aid and herbal remedies  If there is a pandemic, hospital emergency rooms and doctors’ office would be overwhelmed, and also filled with contagious people.  If you had a minor issue such as a cut or a cold, and can take of it at home using first aid, essential oils or herbal remedies, you are better off avoiding these places.

Recommended reading:  If you are interested in finding out about the time when the Ebola virus made it all the way to Reston, VA, read The Hot Zone, a nonfiction story that is all the more scary because it really happened.

Preparing for a pandemic is similar to being prepared for other disasters.  There is no need to panic or live in fear – being prepared will help you sleep better at night.

 

 

Monday Musings 4/21/2014

Monday Musings 4212014

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

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

First the blog updates…

Now that we are finally starting to get some sunny weather, I am getting ready to try cooking with the Sun Oven  I’m looking for easy recipes, so if you any favorites, please share.

Don’t forget to enter our ALTAI Tactical Boot Giveaway, going on right now.

Now for the links…

Diseases to watch   I’m continuing to watch the news about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa; turns out there continues to be a cholera epidemic in Haiti, that has been going on since the earthquake a few years ago.

West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of disease: study

U.N. Struggles to Stem Haiti Cholera Epidemic

Speaking of fighting disease   This is a good article from Survival Doc on clothing

Your Disaster Fashion Guide: The Outfit That Fights Diseases

Glad this was said    As someone who devotes countless hours writing this blog, I have to say I am glad this article was written.   Well said, Survivalist Prepper…

Picking the Right Prepper Website

Another reason why your money buys less  The price of food just keeps on rising, first it was meat, now it’s fruits and vegetables.

Attention Shoppers: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising

Organize your bag for optimum weight  Testing your gear is important; Survival Sherpa has some great tips on paring down the weight

Skills: A Gear Weight-Loss Program 

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

Downsize Before You Have To

Downsize Before You Have ToThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I don’t know about you but my finances have been feeling the pinch lately.  I’m not even talking about all the dire economic warnings, but on a personal level, it feels more of a struggle this year than last year.  For one thing my paycheck is smaller:  health insurance premiums as well as taxes increased.  When I go grocery shopping, the same budgeted amount of money buys less food – beef prices have increased due to the drought, and so have fruit and vegetable prices.   On top of that, gas prices are higher too.  The economy does not seem to be getting any better, and we can all feel it.

What’s a person to do, having to cope with these financial difficulties?

Downsize your lifestyle before you are forced to.

Lowering your monthly expenses will ensure you are in a better position than you may have been, in case things get worse.  And if things stay the same you won’t feel as financially stressed.

  1. Consider moving to a smaller house or apartment.   When your lease is up, evaluate whether it’s a good time to move to a smaller, less expensive space.  Your payments will be lower, allowing you to have more money at the end of the month.  At the same time, your electric bill and gas utility bills will be lower as well, since you are not having to cool or heat a large space.
  2. Give up the “hundreds of channels but nothing to watch” cable plan.  Cut out cable, or do it gradually by switching to a lower plan.  If you are on a one or two year contract that charges high penalties for leaving, here’s some good news.  I had one of those contracts too, but I called the company and found out the contract is to stay with them for the specified number of years, not stay on the same plan.  If you switch to a cheaper plan, you will not incur any penalty.  As long as you stick with them until the end of the contract term, even if you downgrade to the lowest plan, you won’t be charged the penalty for early out.  Talk to your cable or satellite provider and see what you can arrange.  Another thing you can do is negotiate a lower rate just by asking.
  3. Shop for a lower cell phone plan.  Once your contract ends, go month to month for a while and shop for a lower rate.
  4. Shop in your own closet before heading to the mall.  We recently went through all our stuff and found so many unused items and duplicates even though we try to be careful about that.
  5. Lower your food budget  Opt for cheaper cuts of meat, and buy produce in season.  Dust off the cookbooks and search for simple recipes that don’t need a lot of unusual ingredients.  Avoid waste in the kitchen.  Quit buying bottled water and use filtered tap water instead.
  6. Review all your insurance policies and find some discounts.  I recently got a renewal statement for our renter’s insurance and it was $200 higher than last year’s.  I called the agent to discuss ways to lower the premiums.  I opted for lowering some of the coverages and also found a few discounts.  The call resulted in a lower premium overall.
  7. Use less of your household and personal care products  I remember my grandfather used to use masking tape and a Sharpie to note the date he started using each item.  I didn’t understand it when I was a kid, but it to keep track of how long the item would last with normal usage, so he could adjust his habits accordingly.
  8. Stop using credit  It might be tempting to use credit to make ends meet, but charging up the cards only compounds the problem.  Your debt obligations will only increase, adding to your stress.  Instead, use cash for all your purchases and start lowering those balances.
  9. Choose free or low cost entertainment   We used to go to the movies at least once a month, but now that DVDs come out just three months or less after the movie originally came out, we just wait.   Now we have movie night, complete with popcorn, candy and snacks (bought on sale)  Read the community bulletin or paper for events such as school plays, events at the park such as Easter Egg hunts, etc. Having fun does not have to cost much, and for even more free fun, check #10.
  10. Get a library card.  I used to buy books all the time, but found they just add to the clutter once I’m done reading them.  Sell your used books and make some money.  The library also carries music and magazines.  Make the most out of your library visit by checking your book’s availability online first.  Most city or county libraries allow you to place a hold on a book, and they email you when the book is ready for pickup.
  11. Take less expensive vacations    Many frugal families splurge on the family vacation.  However, now is not the time to wipe out your savings for short term enjoyment.  It’s good to take a break – don’t forgo your vacation, but try something closer to home.  Consider camping and hiking – you get to experience nature, and learn a few skills at the same time.
  12. Make things last longer  Try to repair before you replace something, and find a way to repurpose your items.
  13. Let go of wasteful habits   Turn off appliances when not in use.  Guilty of this one – I have a bad habit of leaving the light in the closet on.  You don’t need to wash towels and sheets after just a couple of uses.  Unless you sweat heavily, you may not need to wash your hair everyday.  Combine your errands into one trip instead of spreading them out.  Stop eating out for lunch everyday and start bringing lunch from home.  These are only a few ideas to get started.  Don’t just do things because that’s how you’ve always done it.  Evaluate whether your hobbies are costing you way too much, and find more economical ways to get your materials.  Once you really think about your habits, you will find lots of ways to save.
  14. Find ways to lower your tax bill    There is no “one size fits all” advice for lessening the tax bite (legally of course), but we can all use a few tips.  See this article on how one couple manages their taxes
  15. Put the brakes on “lifestyle inflation”  If you are fortunate to get a nice raise this year, don’t increase your expenses in proportion to your income.  Put your new higher earnings to good use – pay off debt, add to your emergency fund or buy emergency supplies.

Do the above tips only if they make sense to you, and if they fit in with your overall lifestyle.  Keep up your prepping efforts, because they also help you in the long run.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Get out of debt

 

 

 

Monday Musings: 4/14/2014

 Monday Musings 4142014

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

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

First the blog updates…

I am working on a new round of reviews and projects that I will be posting about soon.

One of the projects I had hoped to get going hasn’t worked out just yet, the Back to the Roots AquaFarm which I mentioned last fall   I originally purchased it to try an aquaponics project indoors, but found out during the set up that we don’t have a good spot for it.  I didn’t realize this before buying it, but found out later, that it cannot be near any bedrooms because the pump generates a steady noise.  At the same time, it needs a sunny spot to work properly.   I’m not saying it doesn’t work – we just don’t have the right space for it.  Back to the patio garden!

New Mountain House products for 2014   I received an announcement from Mountain House announcing their new 2014 products:  

 ·       Mountain House® Biscuits and Gravy: This traditional breakfast comfort food provides the energy outdoor enthusiasts need to fuel up before or after vigorous activities. Unique in the industry, Mountain House developed a recipe for biscuits in a creamy sausage gravy that offers a perfect combination of soft, yet crunchy while maintaining just-add-water convenience. Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy come in a 4.94 oz. pack with an MSRP of $5.99.

 ·       Mountain House® Apple Crisp: This classic dessert can be enjoyed as a breakfast, snack or by the fire as the perfect finish to a satisfying meal in the outdoors. Mountain House Apple Crisp provides that homemade flavor and comfort outdoor enthusiasts crave at the end of a strenuous day. It comes in a 4.59 oz. pack with an MSRP of $7.49.

 ·       Mountain House® Fire Roasted Vegetables: The savory, delicious taste of fire roasted peppers, corn, and onions with hearty black beans is the perfect side dish for favorite Mountain House meals. One serving contains 100 percent of the daily Vitamin C requirement – just the nutrient replenishment needed after activity. They come in a 1.48oz pack with an MSRP of $3.99.

 ·       Mountain House® Just In Case… Breakfast Assortment: This 16-pouch assortment includes 29 total servings, including: Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Scrambled Eggs with Ham & Peppers, Granola with Milk & Blueberries, and the Breakfast Skillet (Hash Browns and Scrambled Eggs with Pork Sausage, Peppers & Onions). Each breakfast provides plenty of fuel for when it’s needed most. The assortment comes in a reusable bucket and has an MSRP of $89.99.

The Biscuits and Gravy, Apple Crisp and Fire Roasted Vegetables are available in cases of six. The Just In Case… Breakfast Assortment is sold individually. All four new products are available now to retailers nationwide.

I’ve tested their beef stroganoff and their spaghetti and meat sauce and they turned out well.  When I try some of the new offerings I’ll be sure to let you know how they turn out.

News about my new book, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure:  A Prepper’s Book for Kids

The release date on Amazon changed again, but the publisher tells me the books are shipping out this week.  It’s available for pre-order.  You still have a chance to enter the Goodreads giveaway- deadline is April 15th.

Enter the giveaway by clicking on the the Entry button below!

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…

So many data breaches, so little time  Last week it was all about “Heartbleed”  And it’s not even over yet.

 The Heartbleed SSL Flaw: Are You Affected?

Not another one…

Massive U.S. credit bureau data breach has experts worried

More earthquakes than California   An area not widely known as an earthquake zone, Oklahoma has been experiencing a lot of earthquakes:

Oklahoma rattled by an uptick in earthquakes

Good life lessons  Interesting article from someone who has been through his own personal downturn.

The End of the World: The Sequel

Don’t neglect this   Good reminder about a prep that is often neglected.

Your Most Important Prep

Remedies for a common problem   A lot of people suffer from acid reflux, and taking over the counter medicines may have undesired side effects.  Check out this article for some relief:

Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

Easy-peasy    Making homemade butter seems easy enough.  I hope it works when I try it.

Make fresh homemade butter with heavy cream and a mason jar

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Get out of debt

Find Cheap Emergency Lighting Before the Next Power Failure

Find Cheap Emergency Lighting

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A couple of weeks ago, the main energy provider for the city had two transformers blow up and over 13,000 residents in one part of town suddenly lost power.   It happened right around dinnertime – I am sure a lot of people were caught unawares.

So I thought, why not take a weekend and put together a bin or bucket of emergency lights, so you are ready for the next power outage.

Here are just a few options:

  • Hit the garage sales and thrift stores and pick up candles.  When I was at Goodwill I saw a lot of unused brand name candles, selling at a fraction of their original price.  Garage sale season has started – you may get lucky and find camping lanterns and flashlights at the same time.  I know candles can be fire hazards, and you can’t light a match if you suspect a gas leak such as after an earthquake, but for a simple power outage that randomly occurs, candles will suffice.  Practice common sense and keep them away from children, curtains etc.
  • Pick up tea lights at a discount store or at the dollar store.  Obtain baby food jars for free from friends who have toddlers, and use with the tea lights.  Don’t forget to pick up a pack or two of glow sticks a the dollar store.
  • Go to a home improvement store and buy solar garden lights  The beauty of solar garden lights is you can leave them out in the sun, they get recharged and you can bring them inside when it’s dark.  Place in a nice vase or stand and you’re all set.
  • Tap lights are great to have on the night stand, as well as in closets and garages.  Pick up a dozen and place them all over the house.  The next time you have a power outage, just reach over for instant illumination.  Just make sure the batteries are fresh.  Tell the kids where they are so they can always find them.  (Just be aware:  kids who love to read will use them as lamps after you’ve tucked them in!)
  • Before an emergency happens, take the time to make a cheap emergency lamp from household items, or a bacon grease lamp.  Or learn how to make a 2000-hour flashlight.  These are all super cheap and made with things you already have around the house.
  • Make sure you have enough matches and lighters.
  • After you’ve obtained emergency lighting, go a step further and prepare for the next power outage.  Having these items on hand will also ensure you won’t be one of the hapless crowds running to the store right before a hurricane or ice storms when all these supplies sell out.

Anything can happen that interrupts our electricity.   Hopefully your next power outage will be a short one, but if you do the above, you’ll be ready.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Get out of debt

Using Four Year Old Rice

FourYearOldRiceThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

We are rotating the first batch of rice we stored away and replacing it with the new batch.  I bought the rice back in April 2010 but did not repackage it for for long term storage until November 2010.  Usually, rice that is left in a pantry with no special packaging will last one to two years.

Since this is the first time I am using my rice storage I was really curious as to how the mylar bag/oxygen absorber packed rice held up.  We don’t keep it especially cold in our apartment – usually 75-78 degrees, and it does get humid indoors sometimes.

First, Mr. Apt Prepper opened up the five gallon bucket.  I didn’t realize they are not the easiest things to open, which is actually a good thing, because you know the contents are safe.  After he released the plastic zip seal, he had to slowly pry open the lid with a butter knife.  It would have been easier to have a bucket opener so I added one to the Amazon wish list.

Rice in mylar bagOnce opened, we examined the mylar bags inside and found them to be the same as when we packed them nearly four years ago.  The bags were still very much air tight as they shrink around the food once the oxygen absorber activates.  When I opened a bag, I found that the oxygen absorber was still soft and fresh, and did not harden as expired ones do.  I poured the contents into a jar, and cooked up a batch.

Pouring rice from mylar bagThe rice tasted good and there was no difference in taste or texture at all.  I am really glad the process works, and feel confident the food storage will hold up for many years.

Buying food in bulk and repackaging it yourself is a cost effective way to store for emergency long term storage.  As long as you keep rotating your food, it will not go to waste.  If you’d like to get started repackaging bulk food for long term storage, the easiest method is described here.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Tinctures, Salves, Poultices and More

Home Remedies

I have not given much thought to tinctures, salves and poultices until I read the e-book Home Remedies by Alex Smith.   We will get back to what they are in a bit.

First, let’s talk about the book.

Home Remedies is exactly that:  a book that gives cures for common ailments using easy to find household items.  The conditions are listed in alphabetical order, making things easy to find.  One thing I did not expect was, the book also gives tips for general cleaning, deodorizing, doing laundry… even starting an herb garden.  It even includes home remedies for pets!

Now back to tinctures, salves and poultices…  The book gives great definitions of the terms used, as well as examples throughout the book.

What are they anyway?  From what I learned from Home Remedies (paraphrased):

Tincture is a mixture created by soaking an herb in alcohol or vinegar, helping draw out the properties of the herb, while preserving it.  Salve is an oil with wax added.  A poultice is comprised of a bandage combined with a paste or moist mixture and is placed on a wound, rash or other affected area.

Here’s a handful of fascinating things I learned…

  • Cornstarch can help soothe a sunburn
  • Cherries are good for the nervous system and stress relief.
  • Eating caraway seeds can calm an upset stomach.
  • Sucking on a lemon helps relieve nausea
  • Eating a banana helps calm a hangover (replaces the potassium lost)

I don’t want to give away too much… you’ll have to read the book to find out more.  It’s a good book to have around, to help you find simple home remedies for quick relief, until you can get to a doctor.  You get lots of “good to know” tips at $3.99 for the Kindle edition.  It is also available on paperback.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Prepared Bloggers Spring Giveaway!

biggestgiveawayeverWe teamed up with some of our favorite companies and because of their generosity, we’re able to offer you these mega giveaway prizes:

The All American SunOven from Sun Oven (APV $399) 

(http://www.sunoven.com/)

The All American Sun Oven is your off-grid solution to cooking. Let the sun bake, broil, dehydrate or cook for you.  Your sun oven will be delivered with a preparedness and dehydrating accessory package which includes:

            New SUN OVEN® eCookbook & Emergency Preparedness CD featuring 600 recipes, hundreds of pictures, video clips and much more which has been developed by Cook’n, the award winning and #1 best-selling recipe organizer.

            Multi-Level Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set (set of 3 racks w/1 roll parchment paper)

            Two Easy Stack Pots w/interchangeable enamel and a glass lids

            Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)

            Two Loaf Pans

The Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator (Model #3926TCDB) from Excalibur (APV $319)

(http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/dehydrators/9-tray-small-excalibur-with-26-hour-timer-clear-door-3926tcdb)

The Excalibur Dehydrator is highly sought after for it’s large size (9-15”x15” trays), adjustable temperature and 26-hour timer that allows you to set it and forget it.  Dry fruits and vegetables, meats for jerky or make your own granola as well as use it for arts and crafts. The possibilities are endless.  Included with the Excalibur Dehydrator are 9 ultra paraflexx sheets and a copy of the Preserve It Naturally book.

The Goal Zero Yeti 150Solar Generator Kit from Goal Zero (APV $399)

(http://www.goalzero.com/p/166/goal-zero-yeti-150-solar-generator-kit)

As described on Goal Zero’s website, the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit is “a plug-and-play generator for emergencies, camping, or wherever you need power.” Consider it your portable mini-powerhouse—a gas-free source of portable power to keep lights, phones and laptops powered on through any situation. (APV $399)

 Five $50 Gift Certificates from Discount Mylar Bags (APV$50)

 (http://www.discountmylarbags.com/)

Mylar bags, Lifestraws, oxygen absorbers, Tattler and Gamma Lids. These are just some of the food storage supplies you’ll be able to buy with a $50 gift certificate to Discount Mylar Bags.  (APV $50)

Also, the owners of Discount Mylar Bags are proud to introduce ShieldPro Flexible Packaging (http://mylarbags.com/). A wholesale website for preparedness and food storage store owners. They offer the best wholesale prices on Mylar bags, sealers and oxygen absorbers.

Ten JarBoxes from JarBox (5 Pint Size and 5 Quart Size) 

(www.jarbox.com)

Keep your wide mouth or regular pint size canning jars safe, clean and organized with these specially designed plastic totes.  Pint size tote measures 18.25”x13.13”x2.75 and is great for transporting or storing your canned goods. Specially designed plastic totes keep your wide mouth or regular quart size canning jars clean, safe and organized.  Quart size tote measures 20”x14.50”x2.75” and is great for transporting or storing your canned goods.

  

 There will be 4 winners…

1st winner drawn receives the All American Sun Oven plus a pint and a quart size JarBox

2nd winner drawn receives the Excalibur Dehydrator plus a pint and quart size JarBox

3rd winner drawn receives the Goal Zero Solar Generator Kit plus a pint and quart size JarBox

4th winner drawn receives all five $50 gift certificates to Discount Mylar Bags, plus two pint size JarBoxes and two quart size JarBoxes

A HUGE THANK YOU to the giveaway sponsors: Sun Oven (http://www.sunoven.com/), Excalibur (https://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/), Goal Zero (http://www.goalzero.com/), Discount Mylar Bags (http://www.discountmylarbags.com/) and JarBox (http://www.jarbox.com/).  Thanks for making this Mega Giveaway possible!

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win.

Fill out the Rafflecopter form by signing in with your Facebook account or email address.  (We’ll need this info to contact you if you’re the winner.)

Start by clicking Easy Entry for Everyone (no social media account is required for this option). After that, each +1 you click is another entry to win.

The giveaway begins Monday, March 31, 2014 and ends on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST.

The winner will be notified by email on Tuesday, April 8th and must respond within 24 hours or a new winner will be drawn.

You must be 18 years old or older and a legal resident of the US to enter.  No purchase necessary and void where prohibited by law.

Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Musings: 3/31/2014

 Monday Musings 3312014

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

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

It’s now starting to feel like spring in southeast Texas, with the bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming and the air is heavy with tree pollen.  This also means stuffy noses, itchy watery eyes and nonstop sneezing for us allergy sufferers.  

First the blog updates…

Huge giveaway planned  I joined up with several members of the Prepared Bloggers for a huge spring giveaway.  The details of the giveaway will be published shortly.

Now for the links…

I hope more people pay attention  We really need to protect our electric grid – no one wants long term power loss

Newt Gingrich’s Plan to Stave Off the Apocalypse

Mobile users of sites – beware of ID theft  More news about accounts being exposed to hackers.

Feds: Fandango Customers Were Vulnerable to Hackers, Identity Theft

Spring is the perfect time to exercise  And it won’t even cost you much!

Nine Free Resources for Inexpensive Home Exercise

Using food storage supplies Great example about creative ways to use food storage stockpiles

The fascination of DIY Cool Whip

Handy skills to have  Even apartment dwellers would benefit from knowing some basic plumbing

Basic Plumbing Skills Every Prepper Should Know

Before an emergency happens, a chance to “do over”  I agree with the ideas in this article – now’s our chance to make it right!

If I Had the Chance to Start Prepping All Over Again, Here’s What I Would Have Done…

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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.

 

Check out these deals

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared