Monday Musings: 4/14/2014

 Monday Musings 4142014

This post is by Bernie Carr,

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

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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

Fast Tips to Prepare for an Earthquake

Fast Tips to Prepare for an Earthquake

This post is by Bernie Carr,

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


Will You Need Companions During a Collapse?

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

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

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

Safety and Security

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

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

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

Food gathering and preparation

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


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

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

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

© Apartment Prepper 2014


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Surviving an Economic Collapse – Advice from Mark Goodwin, Author of The Economic Collapse Chronicles

American MeltdownMark Goodwin, who runs Prepper Recon has written two books in The Economic Collapse Chronicles:  American Exit Strategy and the recently released American Meltdown.  With all the fears about economic collapse, I was glad to have the opportunity to interview Mark about his thoughts on the best way to prepare.

1.   What do you think are the most likely disasters to prepare for and what is the best way for a beginner to be prepared?

I believe in preparing to survive without systems of support. Those types of conditions can be triggered by a hurricane, earthquake, EMP, solar flare, or socioeconomic upheaval. With that being said, I think the most likely scenario to trigger tough times is an economic collapse. I think the current monetary policies of the Federal Reserve are creating a massive amount of destructive energy in financial markets. The M2 money supply is around $11 trillion. That is up 57% since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. These are the types of things done by banana republics like Zimbabwe, not by the central bank of the world’s reserve currency. Zimbabwe, by the way, had a hyper-inflationary currency collapse, just like every other country in the past who has tried to print their way out of economic hardship. Argentina in 2001 suffered a similar fate, the Weimar Republic went through the same thin after World War I. It always ends the same. Now the US is doing the same thing and hoping that this time it will be different. Well, I hope this time is different than the other 599 fiat currencies that have failed throughout history, but I highly doubt it. If it is, from a statistical view, it would be considered an extreme outlier. Statistics tell us that the odds of a currency collapse are close to 100%.

For a beginner, the best thing you can do is to get on a budget. It doesn’t sound as cool as buying a bunch of guns and long term storage food, but it will keep you from creating your own persona SHTF moment. We don’t know what the meltdown will look like. For many folks, myself included, it has already meant losing a job and having to reinvent yourself. That is much easier to do if you have some savings and are already living within your means. If you are spending everything you make right now, you can’t survive a 10% pay cut, much less The End Of The World As We Know It.

2.   For an average person, what are ways to prepare for an economic collapse?

To prepare for the turmoil associated with a currency collapse, I am diversifying my assets away from dollars. I try to keep a portion of my assets in silver and gold. Unlike the 599 currencies throughout history that have failed, silver and gold have maintained their status of being stores of value since Genesis 13:2 which says “Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.” That is pretty much the beginning of time.

I am looking to purchase a bug out location. I hope that is something that will turn out to be a good investment. I hope to use it as a vacation spot and to be able to harvest timber from the land. There are several ways to monetize your bug out property between now and the apocalypse.

3.   What would you advice city dwellers on improving their chances to survive a disaster?

I recommend balancing Operational Security or OPSEC with getting out there and forming community. No one can survive on their own. OPSEC means not telling people that you are preparing and it seems to be juxtaposed to forming a community, but there is actually a middle ground. Don’t invite all of your neighbors over to show off your new gun. Instead, get to know your neighbors and get the conversation started. You can initiate conversation by talking about things that threaten your area. If you live in California, you can start talking about earthquake preparedness. If you live on the east coast, ask your neighbor how well they are prepared for a major hurricane. Most anyone can talk about the recent chemical spill in West Virginia. Ask your neighbors what they would do if they had no drinking water for a week.

3.  Please tell us a bit about your background.

I woke up from my normalcy bias in September of 2001. I realized how fragile our system was and understood that I wasn’t as safe as I though. I put together a bug out bag at that time and started taking responsibility for my own security. I think everyone should do that. The police can’t be everywhere at once, and we wouldn’t want them to be. Their main task is to show up and take a report after the crime has already been committed. Hopefully, they can catch he bad guy, but the damage has already been done.

In 2008 I realized how much I didn’t understand about the fragility of the financial system. I went to school and got my Accounting degree and independently studied our economic system. The more I learn, the more I want to be prepared. Two years ago, that turned into a passion for teaching others and I started Last year, that grew into a podcast where we have had some awesome guests like, James Rawles, John Rubino, Glenn Tate, Doug Casey, David Morgan, Ferfal, and Bernie Carr. All of those interviews are available to stream or download in the archives section on Prepper Recon by clicking the Prepper Recon Podcast tab at the top of the page.
I love prepper fiction, so I started writing it last year. I try to weave my knowledge of economics, politics, and survival into an action-packed tapestry of fast-paced, post-apocalyptic fiction. I think prepper fiction can be a useful tool for waking folks up to the need to prepare. I think it’s a great tool for seasoned preppers as well. It forces us to consider how we would deal with the situations in the book. We questions whether our preps and training would be adequate to survive the scenario.

5.  Any plans for other books?
Book Three of the Economic Collapse Chronicles will be out this summer. I may attempt a practical survival manual if the Lord opens the right doors. The first book of my next trilogy should be out by next winter. Whereas the Economic Collapse Chronicles pre-supposed the meltdown to be caused by incompetence and buffoonery on the part of the Federal Government, the next trilogy will look at the collapse as being a planned event.

Mark is giving away a copy of American Exit Strategy and American Meltdown.  To enter, just leave a comment regarding:

Are you concerned about a possible economic collapse?  How are you preparing?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, March 8 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.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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AP Book Feature – Prepper Pete Prepares: Interview with Kermit Jones + Giveaway

Prepper Pete PreparesToday we are looking at something different:  Prepper Pete Prepares, by Kermit Jones,  a children’s picture book about prepping.

Upon reading the book, I thought it would be a great addition to our AP Book Feature.  I must say even adults who are “in denial” about the need for prepping would benefit from reading this book.  I sent Kermit a few questions related to kids and prepping and he graciously sent us the following responses:

1.   When do you feel it is appropriate to start getting kids involved in prepping? Is there a specific age or maturity level?

Starting with your second question, I firmly believe it is the latter of the two. That is, parents should know the maturity level of each of their children and make their own decision. It is vital to not simply equate age with maturity (they are not synonymous), but with that caveat aside, I generally propose that the younger, the better. Many parents mistakenly assume that when something happens, their kids will simply fall in line, but that’s only going to happen if they’ve been consistent in their expectations until that point.  Whereas age appropriateness is key, more discussion will generally lead to more understanding.

It also happens to be the point of “Prepper Pete Prepares” in that it provides a launching point for discussion that isn’t designed to scare kids. Instead, it prompts the opportunity to see where each child is in the process, and engage them from that point forward. The depth of discussion should be tailored to each child in question, though I readily admit that parents often don’t give their kids enough credit for what they are able to understand (assuming the information is presented properly).

The primary warning would be that parents should keep in the back of their mind that kids sometimes can’t easily distinguish between possibility and reality – they should be clear that there is no immediate danger or reason to be afraid.  I think Prepper Pete’s signature quote really hits home: “Some people prepare because they are afraid. Our family doesn’t have to be afraid… because we are prepared.”

2.   A number of people generally get worried about getting kids involved in certain prepping activities, while some get them involved at a young age for things like fishing, hunting etc.  What activities do you recommend parents involve their kids?

That is a great point. Skills like hunting and fishing can serve a dual purpose of both hobby and Prepping. Many people who don’t consider themselves Preppers engage in those activities, and they can be useful in both everyday life and a TEOTWAKI scenario.  I recommend that parents realize that the best prepping skill they can teach their kids is critical thinking… and that will serve them well throughout their life, regardless of circumstances.

That means recognizing and understanding that Prepping skills can be both generic and useful in a variety of situations in addition to Prepping.  The biggest advantage, however, is that it helps prevent kids from freezing due to fear.  They gain confidence in themselves so that they can, in fact, act.  And simply acting is often what saves lives.  The old adage applies – you can’t steer a parked car.
I also recommend teaching kids other skills such as how to build a fire, garden, can veggies, use weapons, defend themselves, and much, much more.  Reading books that engage critical thinking skills and imagination are great Prepping activities, even if they aren’t obvious on the surface.  And for the record, anything that encourages responsibility (such as assigned chores, etc.) should all be considered part of “Prepping.”

My philosophy is that Prepping should be a lifestyle – not an event. Parents shouldn’t let learning opportunities pass them by.  They can even teach fun skills independent of “Prepping” and link it back at a later time.  For instance, they can teach their kids how to build a fire without matches for the purpose of making s’mores.  Obviously, it could later save a life in the cold.

3.  Preppers generally like to keep their prepping as private as possible; however, kids may not understand the importance of “loose lips sink ships.”  What is the best way to explain secrecy/privacy to young kids without scaring them?

Operational security, or OPSEC, is definitely a concern.  Unfortunately, parents often explain “what” their kids should or should not be doing, but they fail to explain the “why” of it.  Kids (and adults, for that matter!) need to be able to connect actions with motivations.  Again, parents should be age appropriate about this, but I think many parents simply fail to sit down with their kids and have a conversation on the topic.  They should talk about it with their kids – and talk about it often.  Taking time to ask kids questions and see what they think will often clue parents in on the approach they should take.

If someone has multiple kids, the older ones can really help get the point across to the younger ones, as well.  When my ten year old daughter tells my four year old something about the importance of “keeping a secret,” it carries a different (and in this case, positive) weight than when it is just mom or dad saying it.  It becomes important from a “peer perspective” with an attitude that, “if it’s important enough for them, it must be important enough for me, as well.”  It also engages the older kids appropriately and gives them a sense of responsibility towards keeping the family secrets.  Parents can’t do this, however, if they don’t talk, question, and know where their kids stand.  They just need to be sure it’s a conversation – not an interrogation!

Also, it’s important to let kids know what they CAN say, and who they can say it to.  If they can tell something to a close relative or friend, then it can act as a “relief valve” of sorts.  Parents will also be able to observe the filters and perceptions their kids have in place.

Finally, it’s important to have graduating levels (age/maturity appropriate) of responsibility.  On the one hand, parents shouldn’t mistakenly assume their kids know nothing (they always know something). On the other, they don’t have to provide them with every last detail.  Perhaps only a portion of information is needed, and it may be enough to convey their purposes.

4.  Please tell us a bit about your background.

I’m a husband of one, father of four, and a Chaplain in the Navy Reserves. After graduating from the Naval Academy, I spent a few years as a Surface Warfare Officer before transitioning into ministry.  I’ve been fortunate to live in Japan for four years and several places in the U.S.  I was trying to figure out how to explain the world of Prepping to my own daughters and couldn’t really find much information out there on the topic.  So I started by writing “Prepper Pete Prepares” and it’s taken on a life of its own, growing into two magazine columns, a few website article and several podcasts.

5.  Any plans for other books?

Definitely!  Prepper Pete’s “Gun of a Son” is a gun safety book for kids and should be on the market in late February.  March should see Prepper Pete’s “Be Prepared!” which covers steps every parent should take to help prepare their kids for a wide range of emergency situations.  “Survivalist Sam Stocks Up” (the Four B’s of Prepping) and “Prepper Pete Gets Out of Dodge” (Bugging out and OPSEC) are coming later this year.

Additionally, I’m launching a new chapter book series called “The Survival Kids” which I hope to be a mix of Boxcar Children, Magic Treehouse, McGyver, and James Wesley Rawles.  Two of my kids are a bit older and I want to provide something for that age range, so I expect it will be out by mid-year.  For those who want to keep track, I invite them to like our Facebook page ( – where we’ll be giving out a free book at the 500 Likes mark.

Our thanks to Kermit Jones for participating in our Book Feature and for addressing our questions thoroughly!

Now for the giveaway:

One copy of Prepper Pete Prepares, by Kermit Jones is reserved for the winner.  Please post your answer to the following questions in the Comments.

How much involvement should children have in prepping, and why?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, March 1st 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.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Will You be Stuck in a Traffic Nightmare?

Traffic Nightmare


This post is by Bernie Carr,

We all heard about the gigantic traffic jam in Atlanta a few weeks ago that resulted from the unexpected snow storm.   You can’t really point a finger at one specific cause.  A number of factors contributed to the snafu, including lack of planning on the part of city officials, freakish weather, and some articles even blamed the problem on high dependence on automobiles.  Whatever it was, I felt bad for the residents that were stuck in unending traffic, cars running out of gas on the road, and kids having to spend the night at schools.

This is a nightmare that can easily happen anywhere.  It actually did happen in Houston, when residents tried to flee the city at the same time in the wake of Hurricane Rita.  Travel times to neighboring cities such as Austin that normally takes four hours, took 12-18 hours, and people did run out of food, water and gas in their vehicles.

And it can happen again.  It only takes one emergency that causes people to try and leave the city at the same time.  As long as you live in a metropolitan area that is heavily dependent on cars to get anywhere you need to think about the possibility.

Is there anything you can do to avoid it?

On a personal level, there are a few things you need to consider:

1. Start paying attention to your commute   Many people drive to and from work on auto-pilot, lost in thought and not paying attention to what’s around them.  I’ve done my share of long commutes, and sometimes you just keep driving without realizing you’ve passed certain landmarks and you are really close to home.  Start paying attention, I mean really paying attention while driving.  Know what different exits to take, rush hour times, bad neighborhoods to avoid, traffic choke points and other obstacles that you can foresee will keep you from getting home

2.  Listen to the news  A lot of people I know don’t care about the news and don’t even check the weather.  You have to be aware of what’s going on so you can have a plan for the day.  Have alternate ways to get news even in an emergency.

3.  Avoid the situation  If you hear there is a storm coming, decide quickly on whether you and your kids will try and venture out.   I know there is a price for missing work or school – lost wages, having to call your boss, missed lessons, but they may be overridden by safety issues.  Sometimes, the best thing to do is just stay home.

4.  Carry a car emergency kit     I wrote about building a survival kit for your car in case you get stranded.

5.  Know your kids’ school emergency plan  Many schools go on lockdown in the event of an emergency.  Know the procedures, how and where to pick up your child.   Make sure the school has a backup emergency contact in the event you are unable to get there.

6.  Map out several routes you can take to get home or out of the city   Most people will rush to the same route they take to and from work.  Plan your alternate routes before anything happens.

If you do get stuck, there are things you can do to help yourself, as long as you plan ahead.

  • Carry a car emergency kit     I wrote about building a survival kit for your car in case you get stranded. 
  • Keep your gas tank half full at all times  This will keep you from running out of gas in a traffic jam.
  • Always have comfortable clothes and weather appropriate clothes in the car  If you do have to walk at least you can be comfortably dressed and not have your feet covered with blisters by the time you get home.

Sometimes you can do all the right things and still get stuck anyway.  But planning ahead may help you alleviate or avoid a difficult situation altogether.


© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Monday Musings 1/27/2014

Mountain viewWelcome to another Monday Musings where we share blog updates and interesting links.

First my updates…

Apartment Prepper is on Facebook!  At long last, we have a Facebook page.  I’m still adding to it, so it’s a work in progress.  You’ll find the new Follow button on the right sidebar.  Stop by and see the new page at

Be one of the first ones to Like us!  Thank you!

Who won the giveaway forThe End and The Long Road?

Adam won the drawing for these two books.  The giveaway question was, Describe what would you do if you find the power has gone out inexplicably and cell phones no longer work.  Would you act immediately or wait a while?”  His response was:

I think the biggest challenge is recognizing the event has occurred. Once you realize it has occurred, you have to act immediately. There are many ways to determine if it occurred or is just a normal blackout. Everything not working would be a big tip off. I think many in our society will have an initial reaction of get water and some supplies but won’t think long term. Once they realize it is a long term situation, it will be pandemonium. Have some supplies stocked so you don’t need to go out. But if you are staying put, hitting a store immediately would be better than waiting a few hours. That way they still have enough stock so you can buy some items and maybe fresh veggies.

Adam has been notified via email; we hope to hear from him soon.

Tomorrow, we’ll have another giveaway so please come back and check it out.

My favorite survival shows these days  Lately I’ve been catching up on some survival shows.  I always learn a thing or two about survival from these programs, and they make for great family viewing:

Survivorman – Season 6  I’ve been watching Les Stroud since the first season and am glad to see he is back for more outdoor survival adventures.

Ultimate Survival Alaska – Season 2  Teams compete, not for the a big prize, but for the honor of knowing they survived the harsh, unforgiving landscape that is Alaska.  Even though it’s a “reality show” there is no doubt the teams are really experiencing the hardships of trekking across treacherous heights, violent rivers and inhospitable climates.  They show a lot of ingenuity, grit and endurance as they battle the elements and push themselves to the limit.

Now for the links…

Can this happen here?  Can you imagine going to a bank to withdraw your OWN savings and the bank asking you why you need the money?  It’s your money, you should be able to do whatever you want with it!  Apparently one bank thinks it can keep people from taking out certain sums of their own money.  See

Prove it: Bank blocking some customers from making large withdrawals without ‘evidence’ of spending need

There’s been a huge outcry against this practice, and the bank has since backtracked.  But  if there hadn’t been such a protest, they’d still be doing it.

Pain at the cash register  I’m seeing small bags of cashews and almonds for $8 at the supermarket, along with chocolate prices almost doubled from last year.  Ouch!

10 things you’ll pay more for in 2014

Documents for the grab and go binder  Gather these up before anything happens.

Disaster Documents: 15 Things You’d Need In The Aftermath

Buy Local Honey  Honey has a lot of benefits, but we have to be aware of where the honey comes from.  See

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

and find a local source for honey.

Off grid backups  As someone who likes to cook, I am really dependent on my kitchen appliances.  I do have a few non electric tools (French press, manual grinder) but I really need a hand beater/blender.  It’s now added to the shopping list.  Thanks for the reminder Jane, aka Mom with a Prep!

Off-Grid Alternatives to Everyday Kitchen Tools

Take care and have a great week everyone!


© Apartment Prepper 2014

Vote for Me!

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

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

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Living Ready Pocket Manual: Book Review and Giveaway

LR First Aid CoverSurvival Doctor James Hubbard, MD has written a new book, Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival.

This book will give you knowledge and skills to potentially save a life during an emergency or disaster.   Dr. Hubbard gives easy to follow step by step directions on what to do in such situations as:

  • choking
  • severe wounds
  • bites
  • burns
  • dehydration
  • hyperthermia and hypothermia
  • poisoning
  • broken bones and joints

In high stress situations, you don’t need a lot of complex explanations and jargon that will only confuse you.  This books gives an average person exactly what’s needed to take action and follow through.

There is also a section on what to include in a first aid kit some of which I found lacking in my own kit.  Dr. Hubbard also reminds us to keep additional water for first aid purposes such as cleaning wounds.  There is also a section detailing what types of antibiotics target certain illnesses.

You never know when you’ll find yourself as a first responder in a disaster.  The book is well-organized which makes it easy for someone to use in an emergency.  It is small enough to keep in a bug out bag, or a hiking backpack.  I think this book would also make a great gift for non-prepper recipients.  I am sure by now you’ve concluded I highly recommend Living Ready Pocket Manual.

For additional reviews of Living Ready Pocket Manual, click here.

Now for the giveaway:

One winner will be chosen to win a copy of Living Ready Pocket Manual.


Just add your comment below:

 Describe a first aid emergency that you’ve experienced.

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, January 18th 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.




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

For low-cost ways to prep:

How to Get Your Teen to Appreciate Prepping

I’ve talked to a few preppers who feel they are all alone in their efforts and are having a tough time getting their family involved.  We’ve focused on partners not wanting to prep, younger children; today we’ll look at the teens in your life.

Anyone who has dealt with teens know they are a tough bunch.  It is hard enough to get them to make their beds, much less get them interested in prepping so good luck with that.  But wait a second, it’s not impossible!  It just takes a little patience and understanding, plus a bit of sneakiness.. err.. persuasiveness.

The first question you need to address:  What’s in it for them?

The first step in trying to get a teen interested in anything:  figure out the aspects that would appeal to their interest, something that they care about.  Have them consider what it might be like if they were to run out of ___ (fill in what they like) during an emergency.  Of course they would be upset.   Then show how how stocking up on such supplies/ emergency items will avoid them having to go without.  For example, if your teen girl is interested in hair products, make it a point of including to include their favorite shampoo in the emergency buckets.  In no time, the teen would be making suggestions on what else they would not like to do without.

Include your teen's favorite comfort foods in your storage

Include your teen’s favorite comfort foods in your storage


Food is a great teen motivator.  I don’t know of any teen who is not interested in some kind of food.

Include their favorite comfort foods such as chips, chocolates, cookies, peanut butter, etc in your emergency food storage.  Just make sure you keep rotating, but I am sure using these up will not be a problem.

Survival shows and movies

Watching a thrilling show with them such as as The Walking Dead usually will spark a discussion about a TEOTWAWKI situation and what one would do if faced with it.  If the teen is more interested in video games, then a similar video game, such as The Walking Dead video game, will have the same effect.

Fans of The Hunger Games books and movie I am sure might enjoy Creek Stewart’s book The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide.  They’ll be able to relate to the story tie-in, and learn some good survival skills as well.

Camping and Hiking

If you start camping and hiking activities while they are young, kids will continue to enjoy them as they get older.  However, if you’ve never had a chance, it’s not too late, you can still get them interested in the fitness aspect.  As an added attraction, allow a good friend or close relative to come along and they can bond on the trail.

Learn a Skill Together


One skill that teens find irresistible is firestarting.   We have both preteens and teens in the family and every time we have fireworks they are the first in line to try it out.  Why not do a firestarting exercise, and later have a friendly competition about it (hat tip to reader countrygirl who has tried the supervised firestarting contest with great success)

Target Shooting

Teens will also take an interest in target shooting.  First you’ll need to make sure they are thoroughly trained in gun safety and proper use.   A few hours at the range or even a simulated one would be a worthwhile activity.

Paracord bracelet

Making paracord bracelets is an engaging activity.

Paracord Bracelets

Making paracord bracelets is fun and both boys and girls would enjoy it.  Let them choose their paracord bracelet color and create one together.

Survival Themed Gifts

Of course teens would be interested in gear.  Find something they can use such as  Swiss Army knife, solar charger, sport bottle purifier and give it to them on Christmas or birthdays.

It’s not easy but trying out a combination of the above just might work.  You may not be able to accomplish this all at once, but little by little, you just might get them into a preparedness mindset as they start to see the value of being prepared in their own life.  It is worth a try.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Vote for Me!

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

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

DebtProof Living