Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.
First the blog updates…
A Time to Endure Giveaway We got some great responses to the question: What threats are you most concerned about this 2015? What steps are you taking to prepare?The winner of the drawing was Dee who has been notified via email.
Almost Time for Gardening We’re starting to see some good weather out here in Houston, and even less cold is expected next week. I know many parts of the country are still in a deep freeze, but with the weather changes we are seeing now, our thoughts are turning to starting the planting season. One of the local TV news anchors even mentioned he already planted his entire garden last week.
I will write more about the getting ready for growing season soon.
Sadly enough, I feel like most of my time is spent trying to convince even preppers to prep. I hear many times that people cannot afford a necessary prep. A necessary prep means that if you don’t have it, you risk death in a survival situation. How could anyone not afford it? The answer lies in prioritizing one’s life and future. Many people are not fully internally aware enough of the seriousness of needing to be seriously prepared, thus not taking it seriously enough.
We make sacrifices to put money away for retirement, and call it an investment. Preps are investments, too. Water filtration devices are investments on life-saving hydration. Security devices and self-defense tools are investments to protect our lives from harmful people that said they couldn’t afford to prep, or just didn’t see it as important, which is kind of the same in my opinion. Their actions to aggressively acquire what they need will be the same.
Most of every item in my Emergency Survival Pack or Bug-Out Bag, is under or around $20.00 in cost of investment expenditure. Therefore, I will base some examples I offer you around that dollar amount of investment. Here are some examples of sacrifice to secure “Necessary Preps“.
Some people drink two sodas per day. That’s around sixty sodas per month. Cost is around $20.00 to $40.00, depending on their favorite brand and flavor. That equals the cost of one to two Sawyer Mini Filters that filter 100,000 gallons of life-saving water each. Just cutting consumption of soda for one-month, and someone can have 100,000 gallons or more of water filtration prepped.
The average lunch or dinner in a restaurant is $10.00 to $25.00 per person, depending on whether it is a fast-food or sit-down meal with tip. This could buy a couple of inexpensive packs on sale to start sticking preps in, to grab and go in an emergency situation. Skip these meals and go simple at home, and this prep is taken care of now. Add number one and number two example together, and you’re on your way to some good preparedness.
These are just a few examples of what I call monetary maneuvering to acquire necessary preps. It takes sacrifice to have anything that is important enough. We have made many sacrifices around here to have what we need for our survival investments. We have a very nice “grid-down fund“, or “convenience-lost fund“, that is not monetary. It’s all in preps, since in SHTF, money isn’t worth anything and banks won’t be open to access the worthless notes anyway. You can do this too, if you prioritize your preps versus whatever else you are spending money on.
We have skipped favorite meals here and there, we do most everything ourselves, and we don’t buy frivolous items or services. We also prepare our owns meals that are healthier and actually much tastier, because we don’t use cheap food sources to cut costs and raise profit margins like restaurants do.
Do this or not, because it’s your choice and your life that’s at risk if you don’t…NOT MINE!”
About the Author: Dave 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:
Last week the city of Detroit experienced a huge power outage that lasted for several hours and took a lot of people by surprise. Many public buildings, office buildings and schools lost power. This incident reminded me that emergencies can happen at any time and anywhere. It is easy to forget or dismiss the idea of being prepared until something happens and you wish you had done something about it.
We all have family and friends who are not really into prepping, or who mean to but don’t get around to it. Since we’re giving gifts anyway, might as well give them something to help them prepare for an emergency.
Here are a few ideas for preparedness gifts for various budgets:
Priced around $18-Get 10% off use code APARTMENT PREPPER
These preparedness gifts will get a lot of use. Some useful items like my favorite, the can opener, can be used daily, and not just in an emergency. But wait, it’s not all about giving “stuff.” If you prefer, you can still give the gift of preparedness by helping someone accomplish a chore that they never get around to doing:
During the holidays you may notice an increase in people coming up to your door: leaving flyers, selling something or just being neighborly. But you never know what their intentions are.
The local constables in our area have been warning people to be more vigilant due to a rising number of burglaries. One of the more controversial questions is whether you should answer the door when a stranger knocks or pretend you’re not home.
So, should you answer the door when a stranger knocks?
Our local law enforcement does recommend that you should answer the door from behind the locked door. The reason for this is, many thieves knock on the door to find out if someone is at home. If someone answers, they avoid the house because they are looking for an easy target. But if you pretend you are not home, they may try to sneak in and find you, placing you in danger.
At the same time, the person knocking may not have ill intentions at all, and there would be no reason to fear them. Answering the door without opening it at first will at least allow you to find out what they want.
What I encountered when I went door to door for charity
I myself have accompanied my kids when going door to door selling tickets for a charity fundraiser. Many neighbors seem to get freaked out when you ring the doorbell. Standing outside, I can usually tell if someone is at home. You can tell if it’s kids but lots of adults just stand there as well. It’s just a sad fact of life while living in the big city. Many people may live next to each other for years and never get to know each other. I didn’t take it personally if they don’t answer the door. But the few who did answer their doors either said they weren’t interested or gladly bought tickets.
Recently, a couple of senior home owners were robbed when a woman and a child knocked on their door. They let their guard down talking to the woman while an accomplice either snuck in through a back door or forced their way in to rob them.
I can definitely see both sides of the issue. Here’s what I think:
Check who is at the door by looking out the window. Some doors have peepholes but many do not.
Answer the door and ask what they want. On one hand, you may be worried about safety but on the other hand, the person knocking may just be a neighbor needing to talk to you about something.
If you get a bad or nagging feeling, don’t open the door. Trust your gut.
Keep your door locked at all times.
Tell children and young teens never to open the door when someone knocks or rings the doorbell. If they notice that someone is at the door, they need to let an adult know. A couple of home invasions in the city resulted when teens opened the door without checking first.
In case of a break-in while your are at home, have a weapon nearby and know how to use it.
Or, at the very least, always have you cell phone handy in case you are in danger and have to call 9-1-1.
In answer to the original question about whether you should answer the door, yes, you should. Find out what they want, but do it behind a locked door. Tell us what you think in the comments below.
I recently posted about being off-grid for 48 hours, and using a lot of baby wipes due to the lack of water during our adventure. One thing that would run out quickly in a survival situation if you did not have a huge stockpile would be toilet paper. Not having a lot of space we have about three months worth on hand right now, but that can run out quickly. Also, a large stockpile of toilet paper is not portable in a bug-out situation, and in a shelter in place scenario, the TP supply is bound to run out.
Space saving tip: Remove the cardboard insert and flatten the roll and you can fit more rolls in a small space.
What are some substitutes for toilet paper?
Back in ancient times, the Romans used a sea sponge on a stick. They would clean themselves with it, rinse it in the running water (public bathrooms had them on the floor) and leave it soaking in salt water in between uses.
In colonial times, people used corncobs, and later, old newspapers and catalogs were used in outhouses.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Wet wipes or baby wipes
These would work just like toilet paper, but again, a large stockpile would have to be accumulated.
2. Paper Substitutes
Newspaper may work, but the ink would turn everything black. I read other people prefer The Yellow Pages but these days, a lot of people don’t keep phone books around. Store catalogs may be more common, and flimsy pages instead of high end glossy paper would work best. Just crumple up the sheet until it softens up, then wipe.
Cloth, such as wash cloths, terry cloth or cloth diapers can be used as toilet paper substitutes. You can even cut up old, soft t-shirts into squares. If you want to make reusable cloth wipes, this article from Food Storage Moms has good instructions. The method would be to wet the cloth, wipe, then launder the cloth. Supporters of this idea feel that most people would have nothing against rewashing cloth diapers, therefore personal washcloths should be okay. I would think it would be a good idea to throw the soiled wash clothes into a bucket of water with some bleach before washing.
4. Plant material
Sage leaves are said to be soft and fragrant enough to use, some say banana leaves would work too.. You must have some knowledge about which plants are safe; you would not want to use something like poison ivy, poison oak or sumac by mistake! Remember: Leaves of three – let it be!
Many countries already use a spray water fountain called a “bidet” as part of their bathroom facilities. Since this is being considered in an emergency scenario, we would need an alternative to that too. In many countries, use of the left hand in combination with pouring water in a pan or small bucket with the right hand is the way to clean up.
Possible water carriers:
Small can, like an empty coffee can.
Perineal irrigation bottle – This is usually given to women for use after childbirth, but it can actually be used as a spritzer to clean up as well.
Fill any of these containers with plain water, add a drop of essential oil for fragrance and wash up. (Don’t use mint or and don’t overdo the quantity of drops, or you may irritate those sensitive areas.) After washing, dry the area with a clean towel that can also be reused.
To avoid disease, one would have to wash the hands well with water or antibacterial gel right after.
I’m not ready to give up toilet paper but you gotta do what you gotta do to stay clean. In an emergency, the water route seems like the most likely one to try. I may try making those clothes one of these days. We will keep stockpiling toilet paper for now, and store them efficiently by flattening them for maximum use of space. Another idea would be to decrease the use of toilet paper by combining with the methods above, thereby extending the life of the stockpile.
Toilet paper shortages sounds unlikely, but it has happened: a year or so ago, Venezuela faced a toilet paper shortage and the government had to take over a toilet paper factory. Before I got interested in preparedness, I can recall snagging the last package of toilet paper and waiting in a long line right before a hurricane. Toilet paper is one of the first items to disappear if a disaster disrupts supply deliveries. It’s good to know some alternatives just in case.
Although we have a lot of discussions about family preparedness, we also have many Apartment Prepper readers who are couples with no kids. Here are 10 easy ideas to prepare for disasters when you are a couple.
1. Make a joint decision to prepare. If you are in a relationship, there is a chance that your partner is not on board with preparing, which may make it difficult for you. I know a few of those personally – are some tips if your spouse feels that prepping means your are being paranoid
If you have to, you may have to use your own funds instead of the joint funds for the preparedness budget. Now that we’ve gotten this out of the way, we can get started.
2. Get your water supply started. Buy two 5-gallon containers or bottled water – these are carried at grocery stores, discount and home stores. Now you have 10 gallons of water for the two of you, enough for five days. The following week, pick up another two 5-gallon containers, and you will be covered for 10 days.
By the third week, find a good water filtration system such as the Berkey, or Katadyn so you can filter water from other sources in an emergency.
3. Start buying shelf stable foods that both of you like to eat. Initially, pick up canned foods, instant noodles, cereal, crackers, peanut butter etc. The key is buying only foods that you both like. Start with a week’s worth, then build up to a month.
The following week, purchase a backup cooking method such as a propane stove, rocket stove.
4. First Aid: If you don’t already have one, buy a prepackaged starter first aid kit – Costco and Sam’s have a good sized one for $20 or so. Add a month or two supply of your personal prescriptions such as birth control pills, blood pressure meds, asthma inhalers, allergy medicines etc. Pack extra pairs of eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.
5. For hygiene supplies, stock up on toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toiletries, large trash bags, paper plates and cups. Buy enough for two people to last two weeks then build up to a month.
6. For communication, have a backup list of contacts for both you and your spouse. Make sure your phones are always charged. For news when the power is out, have a battery operated or crank radio. It is also good to have a solar charger for small electronics.
Make an emergency plan on how your would contact each other in the event of an emergency. There is always a chance an emergency will happen in the middle of the day when you are both at work. Plan alternate routes home from your work sites in case of a traffic standstill.
8. Hide cash for emergencies in a spot that both of you know about. You never know when a bank glitch may keep you from accessing your accounts.
9. Don’t forget about pets. Build a pet emergency kit – set aside extra water, food and any pet supplies.
10. Discuss the idea of safety and defense with your partner. Unless you discuss it beforehand, there may be disagreements – Explore various options such as stun guns, tasers,pepper spray and firearms.
These are just ideas to get started with disaster preparedness- you can do them in any order, then build from there.
For more fast and easy tips to become more prepared, read my book:
Get the real deal. Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival:For your water purifier needs, please visit:
We’re now hearing that more states have been reporting cases of the Enterovirus D68, the virus that has been sending many children to the hospital due to complications. This article discusses symptoms to watch and how you can protect your family.
What is Enterovirus D68?
The symptoms caused by the virus start out similar to cold: sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, coughing. Many cases turn out fine, and the sufferer recovers on his or her own. However, a percentage of cases develop complications, such as trouble breathing. According to the CDC, the virus had not been very common in the past. IN recent weeks, many states such as Missouri, Illinois, Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, etc. have been reporting that hospitals’ emergency rooms are full of patients with respiratory problems. The virus especially affects babies, children, and teenagers. Children with asthma are most at risk.
Just like the common cold, there is no specific way to treat patients afflicted by Enterovirus D68; you can only relieve the symptoms by taking over the counter remedies such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprophen). If symptoms worsen and the person has trouble breathing, see a doctor as soon as possible or go to the nearest emergency room.
Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and your family. (Note: I am not a medical professional – these are steps I personally take to keep from getting sick. If you are unsure and need personalized advice, see a doctor or medical practitioner.)
Avoid crowds Being among lots of people increases your chances of getting contaminated.
Frequent handwashing 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.
Stop touching your eyes and face It is very hard to keep kids from touching their faces, but you have to try to teach them this lesson.
Disinfect surfaces around you Keep a box of antibacterial wipes and clean door knobs, light switches and other commonly touched items around you. Keep a canister of Lysol wipes at the office and disinfect your desk, keyboard and phone on a regular basis.
Stay home if you are sick Avoid going to work or sending the kids to school if you notice any symptoms. Staying home and getting plenty of rest will not only help with recovery but also prevent spreading germs.
Bolster your Immune System
Get enough sleep and rest.
Relax and avoid stress.
Exercise at least three to four days a week.
Eat a healthy diet. Avoid eating processed foods too frequently. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your menus. Take vitamin supplements if you feel you don’t eat well enough.
What to stock up
You hope no one in your household catches anything but keeping a few items in your emergency kit will help you avoid having to go to the store if someone does get sick:
Over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil as well children’s versions of these remedies
Canned chicken soup – I know home made is best, but sometimes you just feel too sick to make anything and canned chicken noodle soup will do in a pinch.
Eucalyptus essential oil - Eucalyptus oil relieves congestion in a pleasant way. Just add a few drops to a warm,moist wash cloth and breath in. In an upcoming article, I will discuss some really effective essential oils that can be added to your home’s emergency kit.
Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.
First the blog updates…
September is National Preparedness Month as we mentioned in yesterday’s post.
We’re having to look through our food storage to rotate items for freshness. I hate to see anything go to waste, so we periodically go through our emergency items. I know… I know, many food items can go well past their expiration dates, but how far past is safe? No one really knows so I prefer to err on the side of caution. What if you were relying on canned food that are five years past expiration, only to find out they emit ba bad smell by the time you open it? Things would be much worse in a disaster when items are scarce.
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(Editor’s note: September is National Preparedness Month – we will post the basics about being prepared. Today we are featuring an infographic that first appeared in Ready Nutrition)
Natural disasters seem to be more frequent and equally more violent these days. Yet the normalcy bias that has plagued our country continues. Many feel they are untouchable in terms of becoming a victim of a disaster. Little do they realize that disasters come in all shapes and sizes and typically do not make an announcement before entering your life.
Personally speaking, I have been through the aftermath of many disasters, both personal and natural. The aftermath does not take a few days for everything to get back to normal – it takes weeks if not longer to recover.
Anecdotes aside, this month marks a national 30 day endeavor to encourage citizens to be better prepared. I urge all of you to not fall into the percent of citizens who are not prepared. This infographic illustrates how massive these disasters can effect our personal lives, our jobs and our commerce. There are steps you can take to prepare yourself for your personal SHTF moment. It happens to all of us, better to be prepared than not prepared at all.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.
Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.
Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.
Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.
First the blog updates…
This week I am supplementing my hygiene supplies: picked up a couple of bottles of bleach from the one of the dollar stores, and added a few extra packs of toilet paper, and garbage bags that were on sale at the market. Unfortunately garbage bags from the dollar stores fall apart too quickly and at the worst possible moment… trust me-I know.
There’s still a chance to win Countdown to Preparedness The drawing is on Friday, August 22 at 8 pm Central. Please visit the link here.
What would you like to see in our posts?
I’d like to see what’s working and what’s not for our readers. I can tell somewhat from the daily blog traffic and comments what articles are popular, but I’d like to do a better job for y’all. Would you mind taking a quick survey to let me know? I promise it won’t take too much of your time.