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: 6/2/2014

MondayMusings622014Welcome to another Monday Musings were we share blog updates and interesting links.  Can you believe half the year is over?

First the blog updates…

What’s it like having no cable?  It’s been a couple of weeks since we got rid of cable and so far, the family and I don’t miss much.  I’ve watched some new shows straight from the networks’ websites on my computer; the rest of the shows are from Hulu and Netflix at a fraction of what we were paying for cable.  All in all, it’s been a positive change.

Enter for a chance to win    Jake and Miller Book Review + Giveaway at Lil Suburban Homestead blog http://www.lilsuburbanhomestead.com/2014/05/27/book-review-jake-millers-big-adventure/  Today is the last day to enter.

Learn survival skills for free  

Sign up here:

Now for the links…

It’s still the economy.

US Economy Set for Rebound After Q1 Contraction

Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America’s Middle Class?

Where would you go? This post brings up good points to consider for either choice.

If SHTF, should you head for the city or country?

Good money saving tip   When I was a kid, my Dad used to cut our hair.  I haven’t been brave enough to try this, but hair cutting is a good skill to have so I may try it.

How to Save your family over $100 a year by cutting your child’s hair at home!

Better than plain water   I’ve tried the vinegar method but will be trying the hydrogen peroxide wash next.

A Handy Guide for Washing Produce

I no longer throw them away  

15 Creative Uses for Coffee Grounds

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

My new book is out!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

 

Monday Musings 5/26/2014

Monday Musings 5262014Welcome to another Monday Musings were we share blog updates and interesting links. Today we celebrate Memorial Day to remember our fallen heroes.   At 3:00 pm (local time) please observe a moment of silence to remember the real meaning of this holiday.

First the blog updates…

Who won the copy of Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival? Jeffry won the copy.  The question for the giveaway was What aspect of food storage do you find the most challenging and why?  His response was “I find dehydrating and canning as my next challenges in food storage.Never having done either.”

Inspiration for the Jake and Miller characters – I’ve posted the “real” Jake and Miller photos – the two who inspired me as I was writing the book – See the Jake and Miller Facebook page – check them out!

Moisturizing Salve Benefits – Continued  A month ago, I posted about my moisturizing salve experiment, (aka miracle salve), and I wanted to let you know all the benefits I’ve found so far.   I gave them away to relatives with various maladies and so far, I’ve received reports of improvements in their eczema, psoriasis, skin allergies and muscle cramps.  As far as products I’ve replaced, I no longer have to buy makeup remover, foot softener, hand and cuticle cream, facial moisturizer…  the list goes on.  I even replaced the dog’s hot spot spray with this stuff and it works!  After a month, I am just about ready to make another batch.

Emergency Essentials Mountain House Sale
Just a reminder that the Mountain House Sale ends May 31.   Now is a good time to stock up:  All Mountain House Cans are now 28-32% off!

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Now for the links…  Just a very quick one today!

It won’t be a walk in the park   Good discussion on what would happen if there were a long term power loss

If the Grid Fails, Will You Die?

Just ask  Every dollar counts so why not get credit if your service had an outage?  I’ve tried it for internet service and cell service, but never tried it for electricity.

Get Refunds for Services Not Rendered

Kids learn something and you save money too  It’s a win-win situation.

Five Weekend Adventures That Teach Your Kids Frugality

Yet another one  I’ve gotten hacked through PayPal before, so I am not surprised by this.  If you’ve ever used Ebay, change your password now.

eBay Asking Users To Change Passwords Following Hack

There’s still time to start your garden  For many of us, this is the only way to have a garden.

Container Garden for your Porch

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

My new book is out!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

How to Choose a Survival Kit that’s Best for You

Living readyThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Hurricane season starts next month (June 1 – November 30), and one of the recommended steps to prepare is to have a survival kit.

You have a couple of options:  make your own OR buy a pre-assembled survival kit.  You also need to decide how much money and how much time you want to spend.

Here are a couple of factors to consider:

  • Number of people in your household
  • Number of days you are covering
  • Type of emergency
  • Purpose of the kit – home emergency, car emergency etc.

Whatever kit you choose, there will be some crossover – some of the same items would be useful regardless what type of disaster- power outage, hurricane, earthquake, flood etc.

For a 72 hour kit, you should have the following items:

Food – Include food that does not need a lot of effort to prepare:  energy bars, canned food, “just add water” meals (dehydrated or freeze dried foods), crackers,  etc.  Include some comfort food such as chocolate, candy and chips.  Don’t forget the manual can opener

Water – One gallon per person per day is the guideline

First aid – in addition to the basic first aid contents, include personal prescriptions, eyeglasses, contact lenses etc.  It is also a good idea to include a pocket first aid manual.

Communications – battery operated or crank weather radio, charged cell phone

Personal hygiene – toilet paper, trash bags, moist towelettes

Lighting, Fire and warmth – flashlights, propane or other alternate fuel stove, candles

Basic tools such as knife, multi-tool, wrench and pliers

Entertainment – books, board games, cards

You’ll also need to include other miscellaneous items such as stuffed animals for children, special needs, pet food and medicines etc.  While you’re in the planning mode, device a plan on what you will do if you need to evacuate the area.

If you decide to buy a prepackaged survival kit, go through the contents as soon as you receive it, so you know what you have stored up.  If you are planning to do it yourself, now is the time to get started with building your kit.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure is Out!

Jake and Miller's Big AdventureI’m excited to announce that my new book, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure:  A Prepper’s Book for Kids has been released!  It is now available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

I wrote the book to show young children that it is fun to be prepared, and not scary at all.  A couple of reviews have been posted:

 

I’ve started a Facebook page for Jake and Miller, and I’ll be posting fun facts about the book, as well as prepping with kids and pets in the coming months.  I invite you to come and visit the Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure Facebook page.  www.facebook.com/jakeandmiller   I appreciate the Likes!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

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

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

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