Monday Musings: 7/7/2014

Monday Musings 07072014This 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:

Encore interview   I have an encore interview with our friend Gaye over at Backdoor Survival.  Check it out here.  Don’t forget to submit your entry.

Prepared Bloggers

Prepared BloggersJust a quick reminder to check out this wonderful group I belong to:  Prepared Bloggers for lots of great preparedness and self-sufficiency articles.

Thoughts on giveaways

As long time readers know, I have been doing giveaways on this blog for some time.  Sometimes they are sponsors, sometimes not, and sometimes I just team up with other bloggers to do them.  There have been some giveaways that have disappointing results, and I wonder why very few responded; other times, we have enthusiastic responses.

It is frustrating when a winner is chosen and they do not respond within a timely manner.  Don’t they check their emails?   The rules state the winner of the drawing must respond within 48 hours or another winner is chosen so we do.

I still do them anyway, and many readers have left positive comments about them.

Why do I like them?

I do them for the simple reason that a giveaway gave me a great start when I began my own preparedness journey.   I won the Cansolidator from Modern Survival Online.  I never won anything before and was so excited to win.  I did a review of the item and it helped me organize my small pantry.

Who won the Crafting with Paracord Giveaway?

Gary won the giveaway for Crafting with Paracord.

Now for the links…

18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter The Last Half Of 2014

Fear and Rumors Hinder Containment of Ebola Outbreak

Is this wise? Controversial scientist recreates pandemic flu virus that killed 500,000 people… except it’s WORSE

Why It’s Possible to Drown in a Dry Parking Lot

Prepping in an Apartment with an Eye to the Future

How Fast Food Providers Beat Inflation – Add Wood Pulp To Burgers

30 Everyday Products You Can Make Instead of Buying at Walmart


Source: Fix.com

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

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Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool – Does it Work?

Nite Ize DooHicKeyThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we are reviewing the Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool, a little gadget that has multiple uses.

According to the package, it can be used as:

  • Carabiner
  • Box Cutter
  • Bottle Opener
  • Wrench
  • Ruler
  • Flat Head Screw Driver

The Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool is small enough to place in your key ring.

I tested out its uses and found it to be sturdy enough to perform its intended uses.  I also like that it does not take up a lot of space.

Here is one of the uses I found for it:

Nite Ize carabinerI hung up a collapsible water carrier to dry for several hours and the Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool held up well.

It also worked well for opening boxes, and is not sharp enough to cut yourself.  It came in handy as a bottle opener.

Priced at $6.71 on Amazon, it is inexpensive enough to buy one for everyone in the family.  I think it would also make a nice stocking stuffer, office gift even for people who don’t want to think about prepping.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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What to Do If Your Partner Thinks Prepared = Paranoid

What to do if you partner think prepared equals paranoidThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

On a beautiful day such as the one pictured above, it’s hard to even imagine a natural or even a man-made disaster disrupting things.  If you even mention something about being prepared, your relatives or friends will say “you are just being paranoid.”  I have heard this so often among people who want to prepare; even one of our readers has brought it up in a comment.

Should you forget about being prepared because your partner and your family do not support you?  No!  I think there are a ways to get around this issue.

Understand the other point of view

We have to accept that the majority of the population is not concerned about preparedness.  Even when faced with facts and news about what happened to other people who had been in disasters, they refuse to do anything to prepare.  There are a lot of reasons for this:

  • Ignorance:  Many people are not aware of the threats to infrastructure, and what would happen if trucks stop delivering goods.
  • Fear:  Afraid to admit a lot of things can go wrong.  People do not want to feel threatened and may get turned off the idea
  • Consumerism:  Would rather spend money on shopping for clothes, gadgets, expensive vacations
  • Someone will save us:  Belief that someone (government, family) will be always around to help
  • Normalcy bias:  Belief that things will always be as they were before; refusal to admit something could go wrong even in the face of facts.

Once you understand the reasoning for their resistance, you can start working on your approach.

What NOT to do

Do not try to get preachy or argumentative.  If they are already resistant to the idea, getting into an argument isn’t going to change their mind.

If you get confrontational about it, the person may just “dig their heels” even more or become hostile about the idea.

Start slow

If you sense that your family has objections, you will need to start slowly, with baby steps to get them used to the idea.  Introduce the idea during appropriate times, such as while watching a zombie movie, TV show or hearing about a disaster in another state (that could happen in your location).

Approach the idea in a way that is not threatening but as a conversation piece “What would we do if that were to happen?”  The type of responses you get will determine your next move.

Regional disasters

The easiest things to prepare for are regional perils that your family may face.  It is easier to justify your efforts because of probable threats.

If it’s hurricane season and you are in a hurricane area, you have a good reason to gather supplies and set it aside “just in case.”  Then you can slowly build your stockpile.

Compromise

If your wife or husband loves to shop for the latest and greatest, but you’d rather spend money on emergency supplies, come to an agreement on spending.  Some couples agree on a certain amount of “fun money” per pay period that each one is free to spend without judging from the other.  He or she may want to spend “fun money” at the mall, but you spend yours on supplies.

Other non-threatening approaches

  • Convenience:  If you have supplies, you do not have to be constantly running to the store to restock.  Every new parent knows panic when their baby runs out of formula late at night and they have not gone to the store.  That is something to avoid.  Even running out of everyday items such as sugar or toilet paper is a big pain if you have to drop everything and go to the grocery store for one item because you left it out of your list one day.
  • What matters most   Everyone has things that he or she feels strongly about – , things they would not want to run out or lose access.  The wife or husband who feels you are just being paranoid won’t be so critical if you show you are “doing it for the kids.”  No one would want their kids to suffer in the event of an emergency.  Teens may be concerned about losing power on their smart phones – get them a solar charger.  If your teen daughter is concerned about never running out of tampons, then by all means, stock up on those items.
  • Cost-Cutting:  You can start your stockpile without raising a lot of eyebrows by using frugal techniques that help your household save money.  Start using coupons and taking advantage of “buy one get one free” offers.  When questioned about buying multiples of one item such as canned fruit or granola bars, emphasize what a great deal you got so you stocked up.
  • Hobbies and skills:   You can learn survival and self sufficiency skills like bread making, canning or wood-working without making someone feel insecure by labeling these activities as hobbies.   I once had a long conversation with a mom at church.  She was describing all her husband’s hobbies- gardening, archery, hunting, fishing, and even metal working.  The family, who lives in a nice neighborhood, even has a mini foundry in their garage where her husband crafts swords!  These sound like great survival skills to me, but no one had a problem with it in the neighborhood.  These activities are all considered “hobbies.”

If you feel strongly about becoming prepared and getting some degree of security for your family, it is important that you get started.  Don’t alienate your significant other in the process; instead, frame your activities in a common sense, practical light.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Monday Musings: 6/30/2014

Monday Musings 06302014This 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 updates…

It’s been a busy summer for the Apt Prepper household so this is going to be a quick post.

Who won Prepper’s Long Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb?  We held the drawing and the winner was Pierce, who commented:  My main concern for long term right now is ignorance. The wife and I live in an apartment right now, so the plan is to gather my mother and siblings, and then head to my in-laws. The in-laws are the only ones with a sturdy house and fenced in yard. Problem is that the family is refusing to listen to logic when it comes to preparedness, i.e. no one wants to stock up water or buy water filters. We will make due, but I worry that the ignorance and stubbornness of certain family members will make things way more difficult than they would be. I’m working on educating the family, but it’s frustrating when no one wants to plan further than “lock the doors, open a beer, and let it all blow over”.

We had lots of comments to this post – clearly surviving for the long term is a huge concern for many of our readers.  We will explore this issue further in our blog posts.

This week we are giving away Crafting with Paracord 50 Fun and Creative Projects Using the World’s Strongest Cord - don’t forget to submit your entry, you have until Friday, July 4th.

Now for the links…

Is the international monetary system nearing collapse?

Americans are getting into debt to afford food, gas

How to Use Ebay to Find the Most Affordable Silver

10 Tips For Getting Rid Of The Junk In Your Life

12 Survival Hacks Using Just Leaves

Facebook Manipulated 689,003 Users’ Emotions For Science

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

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Don’t Let these Dangers Ruin your Summer Fun

Dont Let these Dangers Ruin Your Summer FunThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I love summertime, a chance to kick back and take some time off.  Kids are out of school for the summer and the pace has slowed down.   The summer also signals a slowdown in preparedness – I know… even blog visits get a bit slower.   People go out of town, go on vacation and relax, which is just fine.  But summer also has its own share of dangers that are often overlooked in the excitement.

Heat Related Illnesses

Sunburn:  Everyone has had one- when you forget to bring sunscreen or just ignore the need for it because you’re having too much fun.  Last summer we went to the river with another family and had a great time.  We came prepared, and brought lots of sunscreen.  I slathered it on myself and the kids.  But my cousin decided she didn’t want to bother with it.  I reminded her mid-day to reapply sunscreen or cover up as her back was getting really red.  She didn’t feel like it.  Well, the next day she called me and said she should’ve listened, because she got a really bad burn.  Always pack plenty of sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours.

Heat Stroke:  Excessive heat can render a body to be unable to regulate its temperature.  Heat stroke occurs when the body temperature spikes up rapidly and the body is unable to cool down through sweating.  A victim of heat stroke must be treated as soon as possible.  Symptoms include dizziness, confusion, high temperature, hot skin and not sweating; this can lead to unconsciousness or even death.  Make sure everyone drinks plenty of fluids and stay as cool as possible.  A cooling scarf or even just a wet bandanna around your neck can help alleviate heat.

Heat Rash:  Heat rash is irritated skin from too much heat.  The rash appears to be small, red pimples and blisters.  Skin must be kept cool and dry to relieve discomfort.

Heat Exhaustion  Heat exhaustion results from exposure to extreme heat, while lacking fluids.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, dizziness, pale skin, nausea, vomiting and fainting.  This is dangerous for people with high blood pressure or heart problems – get treatment right away if severe symptoms are present.  Try to avoid strenuous activities during the hottest times of the day.

Insect Bites

Many people stay outdoors longer in the summer, resulting in more contact with insects.  Bee and wasp stings are common, along with mosquito bites, ticks and fleas etc.  Stings can be dangerous for people who are severely allergic.  They may be hard to avoid, so carry a first aid kit in your car or someplace handy.  Include Benadryl, Zyrtec or an Epi-pen if severely allergic.  Bring insect repellant or keep a citronella candle handy when spending time outdoors.

Getting Stranded

Summer also means frequent car trips, and there is nothing worse than being stranded in the heat, in an unfamiliar place.   Avoid the trauma of getting stuck by being prepared:

  • Carry a car survival kit
  • Maintain your car – always get the car serviced before long trips
  • Carry extra water and food in the car
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Don’t be overly reliant on GPS, have paper maps and printed directions

Getting lost in the wilderness

No one thinks about possibly getting lost while planning day trips or camping trips, but it happens frequently.  Just look at a couple of news stories:

South Carolina dad, kids OK after 60-hour ordeal in the wilderness with no supplies

Lost Girl Spent Night Alone in California Woods

These stories turned out well, but so many others take a bad turn.  Avoid the pain of getting lost with these tips:

  • Educate kids on the dangers of wandering away
  • Plan every hike or day trip to the last detail, even short ones.
  • Prepare for contingencies by packing plenty of food, water and survival equipment.  My new book shows kids how being prepared can be fun.
  • Everyone in the group should wear a whistle that they can use in an emergency
  • Wear brightly colored clothes so they can be easily spotted.

Water dangers

Every year there are reports of drownings in backyard pools, lakes and beaches.

Be vigilant especially with young children – never take your eyes off them when in the water.  Even teens and adults can over-estimate their capabilities.  Swimming lessons and pool safety are recommended for everyone.

ID theft

ID theft is a year round risk, but with increased travel during the summer, there is more exposure to the threat.  I prefer to use cash but you also need to be mindful of who can see you pulling out bills from your wallet.  Have your money ready when paying so you don’t attract attention.

Or, use credit instead of debit cards especially when paying at the pump in a gas station.  Use ATM machines at banks instead of stand alone cash machines in gas stations or stores.  Also use cash or credit cards instead of debit cards while paying at restaurants, flea markets etc.  The reason is credit cards often have a $50 limit in your out of pocket liability in the event of theft, while debit cards vary.  Your bank account may very well get cleaned out or frozen in the event of theft.

Some mishaps are non-controllable but being prepared means doing a little planning so you can minimize threats that can ruin your summer.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

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Tightening the Belt Mentally and Physically Ahead of any Possible Disaster

Tightening the Belt Mentally and Physically Ahead of any Possible DisasterThis article first appeared in Preparing with Dave

Article by Dave at preparingwithdave.com

Our Personal Actions:

Here at the Preparing With Dave homestead, we keep tightening our belts around here figuratively in preparation, ahead of any possible disaster that closes the stores and strains emergency services. Nothing severe in starving, but merely changing the sources of food we eat and the need for many conveniences, both in supplies and stimulation of the mind.

This action is to lesson the amount of strain on our minds and bodies in the event of drastic change in our social and infrastructure environments. Yes, government services such as emergency services are an environment of sorts, as much as power and water systems. They are human-created environments of convenience. In there absence, many people will suffer and possibly die without supplied water, power, and emergency services of many types.

There are many areas of life that are human-created environments that are experienced by not only the needs of the body, but also of the mind. Humans do not live in closely social structures as much anymore. We are in our own houses, our own phones or computers, and many other types of technological environments we travel through and live within.

Let’s look at some areas where we here, are simplifying our lives and Tightening the Belt in Preparation Ahead of any Possible Disaster…

Simplifying Food and Supplies:

In the food and supplies area of our lives, we have simplified our diet in many ways to incorporate nutritionally and protein packed powders we use in smoothies to acclimate our bodies and minds to this way of eating prior to any disaster. Doing so, we have also become more healthy in the process of this action. Our cells of every part of our bodies are healthier, our probiotics are at high and diverse, and our immune systems are much stronger to fight off infections, bacteria, and viruses.

Powders are also lighter lighter than canned and jarred food, so if we had to relocate, more could be carried even if we were forced to travel on foot. We could actually carry one-hundred pounds of food in dry form and a small straw filter to survive for some time. Just find water, filter it, add the mix of powders, and drink. Simplified survival. Not total nutrition, but survival nutrition that is packed with vitamins and protein.

You can acquire or make your own dried powders. I would suggest Hemp Protein Powder, Tomato Powder, Maca Root Powder, Cacao powder, Chia Seed, Chlorella Powder, Citric Acid, and Flax Meal. These can be used in your everyday diet and easily rotated for freshness.

In other areas of supplies, we are making our own toothpaste and deodorant. The toothpaste is very simple to make with just baking soda, Himalayan Salt, and peppermint oil. This toothpaste can also be placed in the emergency pack, along with a bottle of peppermint oil that is also good for many other uses, including keeping insects away. I haven’t used shaving cream in many years, and my wife keeps it very simple yet beautiful in her grooming and make up.

Many foods that are normal in households, we do not have in our’s. We do not have potato chips, soda, candy, gum, ice cream, chip dips, frozen dinners, packaged pre-measured food mixes, cereal, rice, grains, bread, cake, pie, refined sugar, iodized salt, potatoes, and more. Our home is quite boring for anyone used to these items. We avoid grains and have relieved much inflammations and stomach discomforts. We hardly ingest any sugars, except those starches found in the fruits and vegetables we eat. We actually shop in about 2% of the grocery store now. Quality over quantity!

While our food and supplies are more basic than most regular lives of other people, the less we have the more relaxed and happy we have become. Less, has actually become more in the area of freedom and happiness in our lives. Less processed food and more naturally grown and prepared at home food, has given us more quality health and less pain and discomfort. Less manufactured products has given us more free money to use in other prep areas.

TV, Media, News Print:

Television is one of the largest tools to program and alter the thoughts, consciousness, and overall personal traits and actions of people, along with their belief system. The quality and overall character of the shows and programs has diminished in very fast in the last fifteen years into a drama fest and attacking of many healthy traits of character and discipline. We choose not to expose ourselves to dysfunction, there by, staying functional in reason and accountability to our beliefs of character and values.

Exposure to any outside influence will not only alter a person’s mind, but the drama aspect is like a sticky substance of addiction that will make some people feel uncomfortable without the drama in their life. Drama causes certain endorphin chemicals to be released into the body and can become an addictive situation.

Instant Gratification Syndrome:

People in modern societies of the world are presently living in an age where almost anything that is desired can be had almost instantly. There is no longer a waiting period of any substantial amount for anything, as long as you can or are willing to pay for a faster service to get whatever it is you want to you when you want it. A person can have almost anything, anywhere in the world, delivered to them overnight.

Even any news or information is raced to the people that want it, in a competition frenzy of the medias around the world. “You heard it first here”, is the cry of many networks. People are being programmed to feed on drama, and without it in a quieter survival situation of simply food, water, and shelter, a person might actually go insane from exposure to peacefulness. They will be driven by an internal programming force to actually create drama, in order to have a more familiar and comfortable environment that they are accustomed to.

As a prepper, we should be letting go of this dramatic technological programming, and be preparing our minds for a simpler life. That is the most severe scenario, where we are living off what we make from the earth and nature around us. Many people, including preppers, are not going to be able to easily handle the more simplistic lifestyle of TEOTWAWKI or SHTF scenario, where all power and technology is useless to pursue, due to the lack of people to maintain it and the more serious priority of securing food and water daily.

For this reason, we should be spending more time away from the use of technology, and use manual devices to do our work as much as possible, while limiting ourselves to only a minimal amount of artificial forms of entertainment.  We should also be limiting our need for instant gratification in as many ways as possible, as lack of patience can affect our hunting, security, and even our safety in doing everyday survival chores. Frustration due to a lack of patience, can make a person react anxiously in there daily survival efforts, and possibly suffer a life-threatening injury from an inappropriate action.

This is why people describe off-grid living as “a slower pace of life”. If you hurry in the wilderness lifestyle and you get hurt, there is not a hospital a few blocks away. Thinking is a serious part of life in off-grid living. You must plan your moves wisely, to avoid injury or damage to what you have. A mistake in this way can ruin food, damage needed hides and make them useless, or cause you an injury that will limit your ability to due what is needed to survive.

We that are serious preppers must train for the worst and live happy lives, knowing that we are ready for however severely life changes for us and the world. That’s what prepping, or preparing as I like to say, is all about. Preparing for lifestyle changes brought on by a serious event of disaster, whether natural or unnatural. To wait until something serious happens, to start changing our overall mindset, is a recipe for insanity and not prepping at all.

It’s Not Just About Food and Water:

I always say this, because it is a fact. We all must preparing mentally, physically, spiritually, and in skills. Those skills are also mental skills, physical skills, and spiritual skills. If we do not train the mind, it is unprepared. If we do not train our bodies, they are unprepared. If we do not train our spirits and build a close relationship with them, we are not prepared closely together.

To train our minds, we must avoid drama-technology as much as possible. This exposure actually ruins the rational thought processes of the mind. Most of the shows on TV today are geared towards playing fun at dysfunctional living. They will not serve to grow a healthy thought process or a mentally stable and sound mind. We must consider real-life scenarios of disaster, conflict, and survival where we stay in the solution, rather than how TV dramas only stay in the problem. Hence dysfunctional!

To train our bodies, we must step away from all technology and have a physical relationship and respect for the thing that carries us around and helps us lift and utilize many everyday items, including bring food to our mouths. A living off-grid lifestyle requires a body that can accomplish many chores daily just to survive. More chores depending on the weather or terrain. If we wait until something happens, thinking that we will get in shape as we go, then we are not preparing. That is unless we are preparing to die.

If we are not building a relationship with our internal spirit, then we are not preparing to have that internal power drive us forward through severe adversities, comfort us through any craziness, or give us courage to walk or run through fear when we need to and fight for our lives. We must spend quiet time with our spirit to build a solid relationship, with our creator as our guide, or whatever your beliefs is in any specific or general way. The spirit of the universe or mother nature for example. To me, God is all the same with all people. Just different ways to say it. Same feeling and same origin inside where we communicate with that power.

We must learn many skill, at least in a general way, or we will be handicapped in the wilderness no matter how good of shape we are in with our bodies. We are not going to survive with just the clothes we have now. We are not going to survive on just meat alone. We have to learn plant, both edible and medicinal. We must learn to hunt and process even the smallest hides for shelters, bedding, clothing, and footwear. We must learn team skills with others, and bartering and trading skills, as well as basic mannerisms to avoid conflicts that can lead to long term battles.

We Must Let Go:

We as preppers, must let go of technology as much as possible. Networking is great, but we must also do our own time in prepping our minds, bodies, spirits, and training in our skills of mind, body, and spirit. We must let go of convenience as much as we can, even if we start small.

As we have done this in many areas of our lives, we have experienced healthier and happier minds, more peace in our hearts, more available money for preps, and an overall feeling of more freedom in general with life. Less shows to keep up with. Less money spent on foods that are unhealthy. Stronger thought processes that would be deemed as high intellectual ability. We have also become healthier, stronger, and leaning more towards going off-grid, because we are more prepared for the life-style away from technological convenience.

About the AuthorDave writes preparingwithdave.com.  He created this page to share his experience, knowledge, actions, and continuing path with others.  He hopes your tour around the website is informative and you continue to visit for updates and sharing of your comments. Please visit Dave, on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/preparingwithdave

If you have any questions, ideas, or comments, please feel free to message him on facebook

 https://www.facebook.com/preparingwithdave

 

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What’s Your Threat: Economic Downturn

Whats Your Threat  Economic Downturn

When I started my preparedness journey, I was mainly concerned about preparing for the next hurricane, but as time went on, I felt there may be a possibility for a major economic turmoil in our future.

We already experienced “The Great Recession” back in 2009 when many people lost jobs and businesses.  We had our own share of financial troubles, and, have not fully recovered yet.  Although the media reminds us the economy continues to improve, we can see the writing on the wall.  The government continues to print money, banks continue their bad behavior that led to the decline, and people continue to get in over their heads in credit.  We all know what happened in the Great Depression.  Back them people were a lot more resilient and not as self entitled as people are today.

Even if the economy continues along in its path, there is also always a chance of a personal economic turmoil, if you were to lose your job.  In that situation, everyone else is fine, but you still have to find a way to pick up the pieces and keep going.

Steps to prepare for another economic downturn

    • Avoid debt like it’s the plague.  Adding to your current debt by buying stuff you don’t need only worsens the problem.  The short term boost of buying something new is not worth the anguish later when the bill comes.  Put the brakes on borrowing now.
    • Downsize your lifestyle.  Now is the time to reduce your fixed overhead costs such as housing, utilities and other bills.  You might consider moving to a small house or apartment, giving up cable, going to a lower cell phone plan etc.
    • Make your home more secure.  In a bad economy, thefts and other crimes will rise.  Make your apartment or house more secure while you have resources.  Even a low tech solution is better than none.  Take a class in self-defense, get trained in firearm safety or find options in personal defense.  Your mode of defense is a personal choice, but at least consider your options.
    • Build your emergency fund.   Make it a habit to save some of your income every month.  You may need to rely on savings if you lose your job.
    • Keep cash at home  Even if nothing happens, it is important to have some cash hidden at home in case your credit and debit cards stop working.  A power outage, a security breach such as the recent one at Target, or identity theft can all cause you to lose access to bank cards.
    • Get a side gig.  It is a good idea to develop some income on the side, in addition to your regular employment.  You could try moonlighting at night, or using one of your hobbies to make items that people would buy.
    • Boost your preps.  Before prices rise, buy bulk foods and add to your emergency supplies.  If you were to lose your job, you can use your food storage to tie you over until things get better.
    • Consider buying physical gold and silver.   To find out about buying gold and silver, I accompanied a friend to a gold dealer in town; see Part 2 here.  For more info about protecting your savings using gold and silver, see Economic Collapse:  5 Strategies for Protecting your 401k Savings
    • Develop self sufficiency skills.  Learn to do things on your own, instead of relying on outside services:  bake your own bread, make yogurt at home, use essential oils, start a garden etc.  You don’t have to learn everything all at once, just choose one skill and try it out.  Not everything works out right away – there is a learning curve.  You’ll find some things you like, and some things you won’t.  The main thing is to try it out.
    • Find product substitutes.   We all have our favorite name brands, but sometimes you can replace the pricey brand with a simple solution:  make your own cleaning supplies or laundry detergent.  Or, if you really like your products, try using less.
    • Take care of your health.  Maintaining your health is important, especially if there are stressful times ahead.  Keep a healthy weight, exercise and take care of any health issues now.
    • Take action.  All too often, we get bogged down reading but neglect the next step:  doing what you need to do.
    • Don’t worry.   It can get overwhelming sometimes, and these worries can keep you up at night.  If you are already preparing and taking care of what you need to do, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your best.


See what other members of The Prepared Bloggers consider to be current risks, in our first ever blog hop:

What's Your Threat? What's the biggest threat to you and your family? Check out some amazing blogs and how they attack their biggest threats to being more prepared and more self-reliant!
Push Past the Fear and Just Do It!! – Mom with a PREP

Living in Tornado Alley – The Busy B Homemaker

{Forest Fire Safety} – Mama Kautz

Why You Need Food Storage – Food Storage Moms

Break in the Supply Chain – Homestead Dreamer

Drought! – Ever Growing Farm

Medical Emergencies at Home – Preparedness Mama

Surviving a Tornado – Survival at Home

Wildfire – Cooke’s Frontier

Rising Food Prices – Common Sense Homesteading

Economic Collapse – Timber Creek Farms

A Personal Job Loss Situation – Food Storage Made Easy

7 Tips for Keeping Your Family Together in an Emergency – Food Storage & Survival

Massive Blackout- Trailerpark Homestead

How to Overcome a Lack of Motivation to Prepare – Home Ready Home

The Unexpected – Are We Crazy, Or What?

Our Threats Are Many, But Our Worries Are None – Trayer Wilderness

Food Storage Without a Plan – My Food Storage Cookbook

Hurricanes and Nor’Easters – Backyard Pioneer

Hurricanes (What I Wish I Knew Before it Hit!) – Prepared-Housewives

A Financial Disaster – The Surival Mom

Staying Off the Radar – Geek Prepper

Everything Becomes Too Expensive – Beyond Off Grid

 

My new book is out!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

Grow More! Spend Less!

Grow More!  Spend Less!

 

Debt-Proof Living

Dog Attacks are Common in Cities: How to Protect Yourself

Dog Attacks are Common in CitiesNow that the weather is getting warmer, a lot more people are running or walking outdoors.  We hear about at least one case on the news every week: a person walking or jogging passes by a loose dog, and he or she gets attacked with dire, sometimes fatal consequences.   I didn’t really think about dog attacks that much, until one day recently, I was walking our dog Miller at a park trail when I spotted two unleashed dogs a distance away.  The dogs then ran toward us, and started aggressively barking at us. I stood my ground because running away only causes dogs to chase and attack you. Miller usually ignores other dogs, unless they get close to him.  They were about to “gang up” on him when a bicyclist ran his bike close to the dogs to distract them whereupon they started chasing him instead. I do carry a taser for protection but I was grateful I did not have to use it. I waved my thanks and kept walking.

In a collapse, dogs that are let go will turn feral.

I had read a book a while ago that described a collapse scenario and one of the after effects was owners who could no longer feed their animals let them loose.  The dogs turned feral and started traveling in packs, attacking anyone they come across.  Animals in the wild tend to avoid humans, but dogs do not fear humans.  If they turn wild and starving, anyone will become prey.   Animal Control in the surrounding areas of Houston is already understaffed, even in a “normal” times.  The problem will only get worse in a disaster.

Dog attacks can happen anytime

A dog attack can happen anytime you’re outdoors – there are stray dogs running around, and enough irresponsible owners who let their dogs out unleashed, or leave their gates open.  Sure, there are laws against this, but it doesn’t help you on the spot when an attack is imminent.  Most of the time, the dogs are harmless and just want to sniff near you, but what if you run into a vicious dog?

How to avoid getting hurt in a dog attack

  • Stay calm. This is the first thing to remember. Staying calm also projects to the dog you are not threatening it, but do not feel like you are threatened. The dog is already agitated and if you show fear this only aggravates them further.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog.
  • Know the signs of an agitated dog:  intense stare with whites of the eyes visible, stiff body and tail, ears pulled back, furrowed brow, backing away and a low growl.
  • Keep and protect your space. Don’t turn your back to dog, and do not run away – the dog will only chase you. If you have a stick, umbrella or cane, place it in front of you to make your space larger.
  • If the dog is about to lunge, give the dog something to bite.  Try and get something between you and the dog such as a jacket or coat, a long sleeve or even a shoe. If the dog manages to pull this off you, he may get distracted long enough for you to get away.
  • Many of my fellow dog walkers also carry pepper spray or stun guns in case a larger dog or pack of dogs attack them. Make sure you know how to properly use your pepper spray or stun gun and your protection is within easy reach.
  • If you are being attacked, protect your face, neck or throat and chest. It’ll be painful either way, but a forearm bite would be better than getting bitten in the neck. Don’t yank your limb away, you may cause further tearing.   Try and hit the dog with your free hand or kick with your legs.
  • If you are bitten, wash the wound with soap and water.   Put antibiotic ointment on the wound and cover with a sterile bandage.  Keep the wound elevated.  See a doctor for medical care.  The doctor may give you tetanus shot and a course of antibiotics. If the dog’s health condition is unknown, the doctor may give you the rabies vaccine.  Report the incident to your local animal control agency or police.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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I was a Guest on Prepper Recon Podcast

Prepper Recon PodcastJust a quick post today, I am on Prepper Recon Podcast.  Had a great conversation with Mark Goodwin, who runs the podcast.

Check it out at http://prepperrecon.com/prepping-kids/

 

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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

 

I’m convinced essential oils really work, so I joined Spark Naturals, a trusted name in the field, as an affiliate.  Use coupon code APARTMENTPREPPER for a 10% discount.
Essential4Pack

 

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

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