5 Advantages to Urban Prepping

cityIt may seem like the majority of preppers live in some rural homes or way off the grid, but there are plenty of people who live in the heart of a major city or in the suburbs who are also interested in prepping. While there are certainly different challenges the urban prepper must deal with, it isn’t impossible. In fact, there are many advantages for those who live in the city.

1-Access to resources like food and water. You won’t have to travel more than a block to find a store you can scavenge. Your neighbors’ homes are also an option if they have bugged out or have been killed.

2-Much easier to find survivors who you can lean on. Working with a small group of people provides you with safety as well as pooling of knowledge and resources.

3-Living in a high-rise apartment gives you a defensible space you can manage. You won’t be vulnerable to predators on the ground floor. You will see and hear anybody coming. With only one way in, it is much easier to keep somebody out.

4-Finding shelter isn’t a problem. Abandoned houses and buildings will be in abundance and you won’t have to spend a night outdoors, dealing with the elements.emergency

5-Easy access to medicine and medical care. Doctors and other medical professionals that are left in the city when SHTF will be easier to find than if you were out in the boonies. Looting pharmacies, hospitals and the medicine cabinets of abandoned homes is much easier due to your proximity.

While living in the city or suburbs is not an ideal situation for those who want to live a self-sustainable lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you can’t prep. You can store food and water and identify places to scavenge before anybody else does. Eventually, you will need to get somewhere that will allow you to grow your own food and raise animals for food. Don’t assume you can’t prep because you live in the city. In fact, because you live in the city, you should be prepping!

Prepping for ‘The Big One’ and What It Means

food for storageThere has been a lot of attention in the media lately about the Pacific Northwest being hit by a major earthquake. It isn’t just people who live in the northwest that could be affected by such a tragedy. The entire west coast would be at an increased risk of a tsunami that could be as devastating as the one that hit Japan a few short years ago. Even if you don’t live on the west coast, the ripple effect a disaster would have could extend all the way around the world. Are you ready for “the big one?” Quite frankly, there are fault lines ripping across the country in one way or another. There really is no place that is completely immune from the possibility of an earthquake—even the midwest.

There are a few things you can do to help prepare your home for an earthquake, just in case the big one hits. You may not be near the epicenter, but a strong quake can be felt for hundreds of miles away. It doesn’t hurt to do a little work around your house to make it a bit safer, just in case the big one does hit and it hits where you live.

*Secure bookcases, china hutches and other heavy pieces of furniture that could fall on you in a quake. Use brackets and sheetrock fasteners to attach the heavy furniture to studs in the wall.

*Make sure your ceiling fans and light fixtures are nice and tight. Some of the older ones or poorly installed ones are very loose and could come down with a small earthquake.ceiling-fan-558988_640

*Find and label your gas shut off if you have it. Do the same for your water and electrical main. You may know where it is, but does everyone in your family? You may not be able to get up and shut it off or may not be home. Make sure you attach the wrench needed to shut off the gas near the valve.

*Secure your food on your shelves. Placing a 2×4 across the front of each shelf will help keep the cans and other items from falling forward during the shaking.

*Use bungy cords to secure large water bottles or containers to the wall. You don’t want them toppling over and spilling out.

While you certainly cannot predict an earthquake, you can do these few simple things to help you, your home and your supplies ride one out with less damage than doing nothing at all. Get prepared and go through some earthquake drills with your family.

Prepare for Winter, Today–Before It’s too Late

snow WVWith winter coming in quick, it is important you spend some time preparing for violent winter storms that may lead to power outages and freezing temps that can ruin a food storage. It depends a lot on what part of the country you are in, but the risk of having a colder and snowier winter are pretty high for many regions. This is the time you want to prepare for winter storms; not a day before one is expected to hit.

If you already have a food storage in place, you will want to do what you can to protect it from the cold and from mice who are going to be wanting to get out of the cold. If your food storage is in a basement, make sure it will not get below 50 degrees. If you need to, cover the windows in the basement with plastic. You will want to make sure it is still properly ventilated and will want to have a fan running to keep the air from becoming too moist and threatening your food products.snowy sidewalk

Do an inspection of the area and look for any cracks or quarter-sized holes or bigger that will allow mice entry to your food storage. Fill the spaces with caulking, foam insulation or use steel wool reinforced with chicken wire. Do yourself a favor and put food in buckets for extra protection. This will help keep it dry and keep out the mice.

Once you have secured your food storage, you will need to take inventory. Ensure you have enough food and supplies to carry you through a harsh winter storm that could leave you holed up in your home for days. Don’t put off getting things like toilet paper, bottled water and batteries for your flashlights. These are going to be some of the first things that are wiped off store shelves when the threat of a winter storm is issued. Take care and get ready to ride out another winter.

Fall Harvest Perfect for Emergency Food Storage Prep

canningThis is the time of year to take advantage of bountiful harvests of apples, onions and possibly the last crop of corn depending on where you live. This is an excellent way to add to your food storage without spending a great deal of money. Canning, freezing and drying are all great ways to make the food you harvest or buy from a local grower, last for years.

If you haven’t learned how, it is time to start learning about food preservation. Invest in a dehydrator and pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Can those apples! You can make apple pie filling or applesauce fairly quickly and it is very easy. Dehydrate the apples for a nice snack to toss in the bug out bags. Onions and potatoes are excellent for drying, but not for canning. It is important you learn how to safely can before you ever try it. Home canning the wrong way can result in food laced with botulism, which is typically fatal.

Fall is also the time of year to start pulling up the root crops before the ground freezes. Root crops and things like apples can be stored in a root cellar for months before they spoil. You don’t have to do any kind of preserving at all. Carrots, potatoes and apples can make any meal great and will retain their freshness for several months after harvest. The trick is to keep them in a cool, earthy place like a root cellar. You will also want to leave the dirt on. Wash as you go.potatoes-533577_640

Preserving your own food is rewarding and will save you a lot of money. You will have the satisfaction of knowing where the food came from and what kind of quality of food was used in the preservation process. It takes very little to get started in home preservation and the initial investment will pay itself off very quickly as you can up veggies and add soups and jams to your food storage.

If you are a hunter, this is also the time of year when you will be bringing in meat. Knowing how to can and dry that meat can save you a small fortune in processing fees while putting food into your emergency storage. Prepping for disaster doesn’t necessarily mean you go out and spend a small fortune on food and supplies. Learning skills like hunting, gardening and food preservation will be more important and something you want to learn today.

Is that Plant Safe to Eat? The Edibility Test

chickweedIf you ever find yourself stranded or out in the wilderness with no food to speak of, you need to know what you can eat that you find growing in the wild. There are hundreds and hundreds of plants that are edible. It is extremely difficult to try and remember what every one of those plants are. If you are traveling, you will notice that the terrains vary and so do the plants that naturally grow in the various environments. It would be tough to memorize every edible plant in every terrain. You need to know how to test a plant to determine if it is safe to eat.

These quick steps will help you determine what is edible and what should be avoided.

1-When you have identified a plant that looks like something you could eat, separate it into three main parts. Put the flowers, stem and leaves in separate piles. You could also set the roots aside.

2-Rub the portion of the plant you are planning on eating on the inside of your arm. Wait 15 to 30 minutes to see if there is a negative reaction. Itchiness, redness or burning would all be negative reactions. If no reaction, go to step 3.weeds

3-Rub a portion from the same pile on your lips. Wait another 15 minutes to see if there are any signs you are having a bad reaction. If no reaction, go on to step 4.

4-Put a portion from the same pile under your tongue. If you notice any burning, bitter taste or swelling, spit it out and avoid the plant. If no reaction, go on to step 5.

5-Eat a portion of the plant and nothing else. Do not eat anything for at least 8 hours. Wait to see if you have a bad reaction. Vomiting, diarrhea or cramps are all signs you don’t want to eat the plant.

If you do not have any negative reactions, you can eat the plant in moderation. Do not test more than one plant in a 24 hour period.