Just a finishing touch on the DCB/GHB from the last post. We will have a small medical kit in our bag- bandaids, aspirin, etc.; some kind of refreshment-drink and food (comfort food, even); a flashlight- trying to keep this pack small since we will carry it with us almost continually. One item we should probably consider- if you're licensed to carry- is a small Back Up Gun. Something close to hand if we lose (God forbid!) our belt gun.
First, a disclaimer of sorts. I'm a 'Prepper' and want you to be a 'Prepper', too. (Hmmm, do I recall a commercial with that for a slogan?)
Disclaimer: I'm a prepper, not an expert. What I am describing is what, more or less, I am doing, not what everyone else should do. These are guidelines, only. Not the definitive answer to anything. Since these are what I am doing and how I perceive events to unfold, they are opinion- untested in the reality for the kinds of situations being discussed. My military background has taught me much, my on-going lifestyle taught me more. But only in how I would do what I need to do, not how everyone else should do it. Also, my prepping has always been accomplished with minimal expenditure. Always buy the best you can afford. However, just because it's a Corvette, doesn't mean it's the best for any situation. Ever try hauling firewood in a 'Vette? (Hopefully that gets the point across.) Also, though I was reared around firearms and love them, I am no expert on firearms. I say again: a Corvette may not be as practical as a station wagon or pickup truck. What works in my world, may not work for yours so add your input to your thinking.
Also: I do not, will not nor ever will accept responsibility for your actions. What you decide is upon you, not me. We're all adults here and can make up our own mind as well as be adult enough to accept responsibilities for our well being and that of those we are concerned with.
Clear as mud, right? You'll get the idea soon as you disagree with what I say, however.(Chucklin' a bit as I write this.)
Now, on to the next phase of preparation.
On our way home, we stop and fill the gas tank: never allow it to get less than half full. Reason being: how far can you get on a half tank if you need to G.O.O.D at zero-dark-thirty and the tank is empty? (G.O.O.D is Get Out Of Dodge- an old cowboy expression, I guess, from the days when the lawmen rode horses after the bad guys.) Now, the tank is full. Good (the best good), head on home.
En route, we're thinking of just what it is we need to make a pit stop for. Cheese and wine for the football game tonight? (After all, the Vikes are gonna WHOMP on the Pack tonight, right? Yah, sure.)
Our home is our castle and as such, our point of refuge from the world. In some scenarios for the 'coming times' (which is how I will refer to what we dunno is gonna happen) people advocate heading for the boonies to a completely stocked, moat surrounded stone fortress of solitude. We will get there eventually. For now, we're at our current address, whether in large or small town or rural community. Here is where most of our preps will be.
Minnesota gets such a variety of weather, we can prepare for almost any natural occurrence: drought, heat wave, blizzard, tornado, flood, even earthquake (to a small degree). About all we won't concern ourselves with is hurricane or himacane. To the natural disasters, we're going to add just one man-made problem: intruders, from the lone thief taking our jewelry to the street gang Zombie invaders taking everything, including our lives.
As you park the car, check the house. How visible is it from the street? How is it laid out? What are the avenues of approach? How visible are they from the main windows, the doorway(s)? If you were a thief, how do you think you could enter unnoticed? Escape? Are there choke points you couldn't get past as a family group, where you'd be separated, possibly totally apart and, in confusion and darkness, be seriously jeopardized by this?
What about your fire escape plan? Got one? Is every family member aware of their duty(ies) during such an emergency? Who's going to grab the baby and diaper bag on the way out the smoke filled house? Who has the girls and who gets the boys? Who grabs the cell phone? Where do you meet?
No plan for that? Make a note and write it down to develop one. Got a plan? Look for loopholes and close them.
Going to the door- notice the shrubbery: any place for someone to hide, especially at night and where the yard/porch light does not strike? Check the yard for tracks: in snow it's easy, on grass not much more difficult. Do they belong to people who live here?
What kind of door is it? Steel? Wood? Wood core steel? Or a wood frame with lots of glass to let in the light? Part of the problem with 'keeping up with the Joneses' is that the Jones just like to spend money. Quite often spend it on the most impractical stuff they can find. Like big glass doors and windows. Aside from being energy inefficient, they're easy to bypass. Might be time to think of letting the Joneses do their thing, you do yours.
Inside the house: lock the door when you get in, drop your keys on the entry table and hang your coat in the closet, or on the wall rack. Nope. Pick those keys up and put them back in your pocket so you know where they are. Don't leave them laying where the kids can play with them or the pizza delivery boy pick them up. Near the door, in the closet or behind (when open) is a fire extinguisher: checked the test date lately? Is it of sufficient size to handle a medium electrical fire? is it an ABC (no, not Already Been Chewed, but wood-gas/chem/liquid-electrical) extinguisher? When was the last time you imagined using it? Do so now, keep these things fresh in your mind so there's minimal fussing around when needed. Are there a couple good flashlights there as well? (I like one in every room. Ditto with extinguishers, but I burn wood so it's almost mandatory.)
Walking through the house, thinking security. Are there windows left open during the day? Why? (If you're like me, cuz it gets hot and stuffy in the summer, of course. Not a good idea even in the country.) Checked the latches on them lately? The frames? Is the glass secure in them? How easy would it be for someone to get in them? Are there 'open' areas with no clutter? Consider putting plants or some furniture in front of them to slow someones progress. However- consider that furniture as concealment, possibly cover, for an intruder as well. (There's always a drawback to some things, isn't there?)
Does your home have a safe room? A secure room, steel doored with small window(s) where the family can gather in time of need? A room with a lockable door, phone for 9-1-1 calls? Is there a cell phone there? Any large furniture that can be placed in front of the door to retard entry? Are there a couple of flashlights available? A fire extinguisher or two? How about the self defense weapons? Are they within easy reach, loaded?
A note about calling 9-1-1 from a safe room: once entering a safe room during a home invasion/robbery and the police are called, no not leave the room, even after the police get there. Have a spare house key hanging on a stick or piece of wood you can pass to the police when they arrive- after insuring yourself it's the police. Let them clear the house for you.
Let's go to the kitchen for a snack now the house is safe.
What do you have for food preps? Got a week's worth of good nutrition for the whole family? No? Start there: take the food preps in small bites, like all preps. Unless you've got deep pockets, then you can get more. Buy what your family eats normally- unless it's Big macs and Pizza Hut. In that case, begin getting the gang on a good diet: meat an taters and s'ghetti and lots o' veggies and w-w-w-water. Set aside an area in your basement or walk-in cupboard, a spare room, whatever, and shelf it up. Start stocking some canned goods- things you eat every day. Rotate the stock as you go: First in-First out/FIFO rules.
Set aside one section for water. Quite often the dollar store in this area has cases (24 bottles) of water for a couple bucks. Get some: the average person uses about one gallon a day. As noted earlier, I don't drink water as a norm. Usually it's sport drinks and I find them by the case at two-fer-prices. Water is good for bathing and coffee, cooking and fishing. (We'll get into water purification later with SHTF scenarios.) A note about water: it's main enemies are oxygen and sunlight/light. Keep it darkened and pakages closed.
Again, stock what is normal for you. I like beans- lots- and soups. Give yourself quite a bit of leeway with dried foods, also, but have the water handy to prepare them.
MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are a real Prepper item. Some people advocate having tons of the stuff on hand. It'll last for years and keep you alive. Who knows, you may even be able to get fat eating them, though I doubt it. At current prices, MREs are hard to find- most distributors are back ordered. Possibly due to a number of factors, the military using them is one. Other reasons may be that people are beginning to see the Prepper Light and are stocking up. If you can find them, they're good to have but not as primary diet. Mountain House is a real winner for MREs, are very tasty and can be stored til the next century if desired. Well, maybe not that long. We'll see when archaeologists dig up the remains of our civilisation. (Check the sidebar for MRE/Survival food links.) What we're looking for is about a 12 month supply of food on hand- just in case 'things' get really bad.
So for now, take a look around your castle. Is it a Keep? Or is it in need of some Prepper remodelling? If so, get at it. Remember s-l-o-w is good, no need to 'buy the store' unless you need to and can afford it.
Next issue, we're going to sneak a peek in the garage/playroom and see what we can come up with for home security. Then it'll be everyone's fave topic- unless something comes up to make guns more of an issue.
God bless, happy prepping.