How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

How to Avoid Getting Hurt in a Riot

If you live in a large city, the risk of a riot is always present.  Riots can be triggered by many reasons, from rowdy festival goers, the aftermath of a big game, , dissatisfaction with a verdict or official actions, and many others.   Even people who are lawfully congregating or holding a peaceful protest can unintentionally be swept up in a riot.

How do you prepare for a riot?

There is no telling when a riot can happen.  Because of the unpredictability, it is not one of the risks that people really think about when preparing for a disaster.  But there may be ways to avoid getting yourself or your family hurt if one erupts in your vicinity.

Mental preparedness

  • Consider the possibility.  Never think for a minute that this won’t happen to you.  If you live in a city, it can happen.
  • Stay calm.  If you start seeing things escalate in a crowd, resist the urge to panic.

Always be aware of your surroundings.

  • Don’t be one of those people who are tethered to their phone and never look up.
  • Listen to the news and know what’s going on before you venture out.
  • Scope things out, even when things look normal.
  • Know all the exits wherever you are.

Avoid the area

  • Don’t be a lookie-loo.  A lot of people get curious about what’s going on, and instead of avoiding the area, they will be tempted to go check it out, drawing them closer to the line of fire.
  • Resist the urge to take pictures.
  • As soon as you become aware of something developing, start moving in a calm, orderly fashion.  You would not want to stumble and get trampled
  • Move in the same general direction of the flow of traffic, until you can veer off to a safer area.  Moving against traffic will be much harder, attract attention, or make you a target.

 Don’t attract attention

  • Keep your head down
  • Do not get involved.  You may agree with one side or other, but if you are trying to keep yourself or your family safe, now is not the time to get caught up.

Stay close to your companions

  • Kids can easily get separated from their parents in a riot.  If you have kids with you, keep a tight grip on them.  You may have to carry the smallest one.  In shopping malls, have seen parents doing a fast walk with kids struggling to keep up behind them.
  • If you are with others, try to stay close or within earshot of each other.

Items to have on hand

  • Have cash and change at all times so you can arrange for transportation if you can’t drive or get to your car.
  • Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car or in your office.
  • Many stores shut down if they are in the middle of an afflicted area.  Have a week to two weeks worth of food and water in your home, same as preparing for any disaster.

If you are driving

  • Know alternate routes home – it would best to avoid main roads and instead take side streets.
  • Lock your windows and doors.
  • Watch out for pedestrians – there may be a lot of people milling around or trying to stop traffic.
  • Always keeps your gas tank at least half full – you don’t want to have to stop for gas at the worst possible moment.
  • Have extra food and water in the car, along with a survival kit.
  • Leave as soon as you can or you may get caught in a traffic nightmare.

Sometimes, trouble can erupt around you.  The key to staying safe is being mentally prepared, and knowing what to do.

Stay safe!

 

 

 

“If the Ebola Threat were to Escalate, Isolation would be Key” — Jim Cobb, Author of Countdown to Preparedness

Countdown to Preparedness

Today we are featuring Jim Cobb’s latest book, Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

I had the opportunity to read Countdown to Preparedness and found lots of helpful advice.  It breaks down the idea of preparing for both short term disasters into manageable steps that can be done in 52 weeks.  Of course you can take shortcuts if you are able to or stretch out the time period according to your finances and time constraints.  I appreciate the budget minded approach, as many families are daunted by large expenses.

Jim Cobb’s books have been featured on Apartment Prepper previously and we are pleased to have this encore interview.

1.  Given the fears about the ebola virus, what is your current state of alertness (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest level) regarding this issue and why?

As it stands right now, I’d say I’m at a 2.5 or so.  Ebola is on my radar,
but I’m not really losing any sleep over the threat just yet.

2.  If the threat of ebola were to escalate, what is the best approach for a city dweller?

Isolation would be key.  If someone in an urban area were able to quickly
and safely get into a less populated area, that would be ideal.  If that’s
not a viable option, be prepared to hunker down and wait it out, which
could take weeks or even months.

3.  Residents and tourists in Hawaii breathed a sigh of relief as the two hurricanes threatening the islands passed without incident.  Many readers are confused about being prepared while flying to a destination, either for business or personal.   What is the best way to be prepared while on vacation or traveling for business?

When possible, I much prefer to drive to my destination, given that I can
obviously carry more gear with me.  Flying is problematic when it comes to
survival equipment.

It might be seen as being “overly prepared” but what I’ve been doing is
shipping a small box to my hotel ahead of my arrival.  Said box contains a
small amount of survival gear — food, water filter, first aid kit, knife,
etc.  Not a ton of stuff, but enough to give me a leg up if I were to need
to evacuate without having access to my regular kits.

Now for the Giveaway:

Please answer the following questions for a chance to win a copy of Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

Are you prepared for emergencies when traveling?  What steps do you take to be prepared?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  August 22 at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

Check out these deals:

Free shipping from Spark Naturals

 



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Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic.  There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out.  After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees.  A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in.  Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain.  The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour.  We didn’t want to leave just yet, so Mr. Apt Prepper rigged up a tarp into a makeshift shelter.  Paracord came in handy for tie-ups.

It was not a very attractive set-up but it kept us from getting drenched.  The rain lasted for about 45 minutes then the sun came out.

I was glad we had the tarp and paracord to build a makeshift shelter.  I have written about paracord before, but not about tarp.

Mutiple uses for tarp:

  • Barrier under a tent floor to protect you from sharp rocks or critters
  • Blanket to keep warm
  • Picnic blanket
  • Use as a hammock
  • Improvise a stretcher to carry an injured person
  • Use as a surface to field dress game
  • Make a shelter to protect from rain or to get some shade
  • Protect your car’s seats from messes
  • As a wrapping for stuff
  • Assemble into a backpack with paracord straps
  • As a covering for items carried on top of your car or truck
  • For camouflage if it is has the right colors
  • Make a sail
  • Catch rainwater:  dig a hole in the ground, line it with tarp and collect water.  It can also be used to direct the flow of water into a container
  • Protect your floor while doing a paint job
  • Use as a way to signal – if you are lost somewhere, find an area to spread out the tarp so it can be seen from above.
  • Makeshift shower curtain
  • Privacy screen for an outdoor toilet
  • Make an indoor fort for kids to entertain themselves during a power outage
  • Covering for windows

Keep some tarp, along with paracord and some duct tape in your car survival kit.  While you’re at it, might as well keep one at home and in your bug out bag.

 

 

All Natural Pain Relief PowerStrips Test + Giveaway

Before All Natural Pain Relief PowerStrips became a sponsor, I tested the product for myself to see if it works.

What are PowerStrips?  PowerStrips is an over the counter pain management product.  It is an adhesive strip that contains fermented red Korean ginseng, colloidal silver, Alpha 3 CMP marine phytoplankton and germanium.

How to use PowerStrips

They are simple to use:  Just peel off one side of the backing, apply the sticky side to the affected area, smooth it out.  Then peel off the other side of the backing and press down some more.  Keep it on for one to two days at the most then replace.

The Test

I was having some pain on my right knee after starting a running program.  I had it checked out and the doctor suggested wrapping it for support and taking some over the counter pain reliever.  I didn’t want to keep taking Advil or Tylenol, so I tried out the PowerStrips.  I am the skeptical sort and always test out products I mention, and I was trying out the PowerStrips before they became a sponsor.

First thing I noticed when I opened the package was a slight pungent scent.  The best way to describe it is, it smells like herbs.  (I’m told the scent is from the Fermented Red Korean Ginseng ingredient.)

I applied the PowerStrip on the knee and waited.

After about an hour I could feel the knee pain easing up.  I could actually feel some relief from the pain, just as I would have had I taken the Advil or aspirin.  I left the strip on for a couple of days.

After that I knew it was time to replace it, as I was starting to feel some discomfort.  I replaced the strip and again, I felt better.  My knee is better these days; but if they act up again, I would use PowerStrips all over again.  (Note:  I am not a medical professional, so if you have chronic pain, see a doctor – this article is just to relate how this particular product worked for my knee pain.)

I don’t mind taking one or two OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen but taking too many pain relief pills for an extended period of time can cause life threatening illness such as heart or circulation problems, intestinal bleeding, liver problems etc.

I was telling my brother about them and interestingly enough, it turns out one of his colleagues swear by PowerStrips for his chronic back pain.  I think PowerStrips provide a good alternative for pain relief.   They are light-weight, easy to use and have a two year shelf life.  For these reasons, they would make a good addition to your first aid and emergency kit.

Now for the giveaway…

We are holding a giveaway for the All Natural Pain Relief PowerStrips.  Please leave a comment below:

What chronic pain or condition would you try out PowerStrips for?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Wednesday, July 30th at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

ALL NATURAL PAIN RELIEF

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.

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Off Grid Tip: How to Tell How Much Daylight is Left

How to Tell How Much Daylight is LeftThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I mentioned a while back that we “unplugged” from devices at our recent camping trip:  no GPS, no cell phones or laptops.  The kids felt strange at first, but eventually got used to it.

Apt Prepper son used this trick he learned watching Les Stroud, Survivorman – to find out how much time is left until the sky goes completely dark.  It was around 7 pm or so at the time, and he estimated around two hours and 15 minutes of daylight left.  He estimated it would be dark around 9:15 pm.  I had a solar watch and I checked the time to see if he was accurate.  I thought that seemed really late but I waited to see if it would really work.

After the sun finally went down and it was pitch black, I checked the time:  9:15.  The method was amazingly accurate.

Here’s how:

Hold your arm and stick  your hand out.  Place your hand between the sun and the horizon.  Each finger represents 15 minutes, and four fingers will equal one hour.   If you can stack your hands twice then that is two hours and so on.  In our case, at around 7 pm, Apt Prepper son was able to stack his hands twice plus one finger between the sun and the horizon, thereby coming up with 9:15 pm.

This method can be a lifesaver if you are out in the wilderness without a way to tell time.  You can gauge how much daylight you have left so you can return back to base camp in a timely manner.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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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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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

 

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11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

11 Emergency Foods that can Last a LifetimeThis article originally appeared in Ready Nutrition

By Tess Pennington

Did you know that with proper storage techniques, you can have a lifetime supply of certain foods?  Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that stored it.  Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are you keys to success.

The best way to store food for the long term is by using a multi-barrier system.  This system protects the food from natural elements such as moisture and sunlight, as well as from insect infestations.

Typically, those who store bulk foods look for inexpensive items that have multi-purposes and will last long term.  Listed below are 11 food items that are not only multi-purpose preps, but they can last a lifetime!

Honey

Honey never really goes bad.  In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible.  If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change.  Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey.  Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.

Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)

Salt

Although salt is prone to absorbing moisture, it’s shelf life is indefinite.  This indispensable mineral will be a valuable commodity in a long term disaster and will be a essential bartering item.

Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides

Sugar

Life would be so boring without sugar.  Much like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container.

Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).

Wheat

Wheat is a major part of the diet for over 1/3 of the world.  This popular staple supplies 20% of daily calories to a majority of the world population.  Besides being a high carbohydrate food, wheat contains valuable protein, minerals, and vita­mins. Wheat protein, when balanced by other foods that supply certain amino acids such as lysine, is an efficient source of protein.

Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent

Dried corn

Essentially, dried corn can be substituted for any recipe that calls for fresh corn.  Our ancestors began drying corn because of it’s short lived season.  To extend the shelf life of corn, it has to be preserved by drying it out so it can be used later in the year.

Uses: soups, cornmeal, livestock feed, hominy and grits, heating source (do a search for corn burning fireplaces).

Baking soda

This multi-purpose prep is a must have for long term storage.

Uses: teeth cleaner, household cleaner, dish cleaner, laundry detergent booster, leavening agent for baked goods, tarnish remover

Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa

Adding these to your long term storage will not only add a variety to just drinking water, but will also lift morale.  Instant coffee is high vacuum freeze dried.  So, as long as it is not introduced to moisture, then it will last.  Storage life for all teas and cocoas can be extended by using desiccant packets or oxygen absorbing packets, and by repackaging the items with a vacuum sealing.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

Non-carbonated soft drinks

Although many of us prefer carbonated beverages, over time the sugars break down and the drink flavor is altered.  Non-carbonated beverages stand a longer test of time.  And, as long as the bottles are stored in optimum conditions, they will last.  Non-carbonated beverages include: vitamin water, Gatorade, juices, bottled water.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

White rice

White rice is a major staple item that preppers like to put away because it’s a great source for calories, cheap and has a long shelf life.  If properly stored this popular food staple can last 30 years or more.

Uses: breakfast meal, addition to soups, side dishes, alternative to wheat flour

Bouillon products

Because bouillon products contain large amounts of salt, the product is preserved.  However, over time, the taste of the bouillon could be altered.  If storing bouillon cubes, it would be best repackage them using a food sealer or sealed in mylar bags.

Uses: flavoring dishes

Powdered milk – in nitrogen packed cans

Powdered milk can last indefinitely, however, it is advised to prolong it’s shelf life by either repackaging it for longer term storage, or placing it in the freezer.  If the powdered milk developes an odor or has turned a yellowish tint, it’s time to discard.

Uses: beverage, dessert, ingredient for certain breads, addition to soup and baked goods.

Prepper's CookbookAbout this author

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.

 

 

10 Biggest Bug Out Bag Mistakes

10 Biggest Bug Out Bag MistakesThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

When I started being interested in preparedness, I read everything I could in books and blogs to find out what I need to do.  For the purpose of this article, the bug out bag is the one you will take with you to get out of your home in a disaster, not knowing if you are coming back anytime soon.

I had the strong desire to prepare all at once, and as soon as possible.   Every survival site I read stressed the importance of having a bug out bag, or “get out of dodge” (good) bag.  So I jumped in right away.  Looking back, I probably should have spent a bit more time researching instead of rushing.

Here are some of the most common mistakes with bug out bags.

1.  Buying a pack without trying it out thoroughly.   I saw this pack that were highly recommended by another website, and it looked like it had a lot of room.  The guy who reviewed it said it was a similar style to something the military used, so I figured, they go outdoors a lot so it must be good.  And it looked cool.

When the bag came in I was fascinated with all the compartments.  Then I tried to carry it.  The bag weighs about 5 lbs by itself!  When you add all the contents it got so huge, and not at all suitable to my small frame.

Fortunately, my nephew needed a backpack when he came to visit us.  He is 6’2 and built like a football player.  The pack fit him just fine so I gave it to him.

Lessons for this mistake:   Try out a backpack thoroughly before you buy it.

  • Visit a sporting goods store like REI or Academy.  Have a salesperson fit you with the right size and shape.  Not all bags are built for your stature, and carrying a pack that does not fit will eventually start bothering you.
  • Place weights inside and walk around.  These stores actually have bean bags of various weights that they fit in your pack to simulate carrying a full backpack.
  • Walk around the store for 10-15 minutes and see how it feels.  I actually got a little sore around the shoulders and legs after trying out so many but eventually I found the right one.

2.  Choosing a bag that is attention grabbing.

In my opinion, the bag should be low-key, in muted colors so it does not attract a lot of attention.  If you are trying to evacuate, you don’t want to garner attention from the wrong crowd, who may assume your are someone who has lots of supplies and an easy target.  Choose plain brown, black, navy or grey in a nondescript design.

Don’t pack items outside that bag that jingle or chime, which also attract attention.

3.  Not carrying enough water

Water is one of the top needs for survival and so you need to pack enough of it.  You may even have a water purifier or iodine tables but if there is no water source, you are in big trouble.

4.  Packing too much stuff

Although the rule of thumb with packing the bag is that it should be a maximum of 1/3 or your weight, that does not mean you will be comfortable carrying your bag.   People tend to overpack.    For a free tool that will help you plan your bug out bag contents, check out The Bug Out Bag website’s Plan Your Bug Out Bag Contents with our Free Tool.   Imagine if you were packing to walk out of the city in dangerous conditions.  You don’t want to be over-encumbered at a time like this.  Choose your items carefully and reduce weight before anything happens.

5.  Not having a bug out bag for the kids.

Even though you will end up carrying most of your kids’ supplies, they can still use a small bag where they can store their snacks, small toys or stuffed animal that will give them comfort in an emergency.

6.  Not getting into shape

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving in a busy street when I noticed a guy walking along the sidewalk with a full backpack..  It was early in the morning, but the temperature was already climbing, and the heavy humidity was making it hard to breath.  The guy, appeared to be in his 40s-50s, was dressed in a t-shirt, walking shorts and hiking boots.  He was walking briskly, but he did not look like a hitch-hiker or traveller.  I figured he had to be getting in shape, either for a backpacking trip, or for a walk out of the city, in case of disaster.  I concluded this guy has the right idea, getting in shape before an actual emergency forced him to walk out.

Even though getting in shape is not technically having to do with the bag, being able to carry it comfortably is crucial.

7.  Not having anything to repair the bag

You should carry a small sewing kit in your bag so you can repair it if a strap breaks or a tear develops.  A heavy duty sewing awl would be ideal, but a small sewing kit with enough needles of various sizes will suffice.

8.  Being unfamiliar with the contents and compartments of the bag

Make it a point to check the contents of your bag at least every season.  Change the clothing to the appropriate season and weed out old items that may have leaked, dried up or expired.

Be familiar with all the compartments of your bag and organize it.  That way when you need a specific item, you know exactly where to find it.  You’ll avoid having to look in each pocket and having to pull out contents.

9.  Packing sharp objects without proper covering.

Axes, knives and machetes are often included in bug out bags, either inside or outside.  Make sure they are sheathed or at least have the edges wrapped to avoid injuring someone or tearing up the the bag.

10.  Waiting until SHTF to pack

Don’t wait until an emergency or disaster to pack.  If you do not want to have a packed bag, make a list of everything you need while you are thinking straight and keep the list in the bag.  At the very least have all your items inventoried so you know where everything is.

Hopefully, you will never need to utilized a bug-out bag, but if you do, you’ll be glad you put some thought into packing your bag properly.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Hurricane Season is Here: Are you Ready?

Hurricane Season is HereThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Hurricane season began June 1st, and lasts until November 30th, with the peak between August and October.

As long time readers know, I started this blog soon after I experienced Hurricane Ike, when I got caught up in long lines at the grocery and gas station, the day before the hurricane hit.  I never want to experience that craziness again, with wall to wall people racing against each other to grab the last case of bottled water or toilet paper.

Now is the time to get your home ready, before the first hurricane watch is issued.

Hurricane Watch vs Hurricane Warning

With a hurricane watch, you have a bit more time to prepare- a watch is issued when the storm is predicted to arrive within 36 hours.  By the time the hurricane warning is issued, you will be fighting for supplies:  hurricane warnings are issued within 24 hours of a the storm’s arrival.

Easy Steps to Prepare

Emergency Kit

Most people already have a number of supplies lying around their house.  The key is to gather them up and make your kit.  Include at least a week’s day supply of the following:

  1. water (one gallon per person per day)  and a way to purify water
  2. food – Include food that is easy to prepare in case you lose power.  Don’t forget comfort food such as chocolate, chips, tea and coffee; special needs foods such as baby formula and food
  3. disposable eating utensils so you don’t need to wash dishes
  4. lighting – plenty of flashlights, batteries, lanterns
  5. cooking backup such as a propane stove
  6. battery powered or crank radio
  7. cash in case debit or credit cards are not working
  8. clean clothes (Wash clothes before the storm hits)
  9. hygiene and personal care items, toilet paper
  10. trash bags
  11. first aid, including prescriptions
  12. pet food and supplies
  13. entertainment that does not require electricity
  14. basic tools in case of fallen branches or minor repairs:  ax, saw, duct tape, rope, plastic tarp

If you are planning to buy a generator, set it up now, or hire an electrician to do it as it takes time to get it ready to use.

Emergency Plans

  • If you have leaky windows or any other maintenance issues, have them fixed or file a maintenance request with your landlord, before the problem gets worse.
  • Get rid of any overgrown trees or branches that could fall on your home in case of high winds.  After a hurricane, tree trimming services charge a lot more than usual rates.
  • Decide ahead of time what you will do in case you have to evacuate.
  • Plan your route out of the city.
  • Create your emergency texting tree and designate your out of state emergency contacts.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged
  • Create your important documents binder
  • Fill up your gas tank or at least keep it half full

Financial Issues

  • Read your homeowner’s insurance so you know what’s covered.  If you rent, make sure you have renter’s insurance
  • If you own your home and live in a flood plain, consider flood insurance
  • Make a home inventory, including photos or videotape of your possessions
  • Have extra cash in case you need to stay in a hotel

Getting ready before that first hurricane watch comes will alleviate a lot of worries and last minute rushing around.  Do yourself and your family a favor and get ready now.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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