I want to take a closer look at this subject and maybe give you some information on it. You cannot make an informed decision without facts. I can offer some broad overview facts, but you’ll have to fill in the finer details regarding your area, your personal resources, local resources etc…..
When to start making plans? huh… You can start making plans anytime up until the disaster happens. That said, the longer you wait the less time you’ll have to plan. Start now, after you read this go to Survival Blog and read what others have to say on this topic. I am by no means an expert, I’m just a woman who wants to help others help themselves.
If you plan on sheltering in place (no matter the disaster, unless it’s a raging fire), first thing you have to do is see to your security. All the food and water in the country won’t keep thugs from taking it. Start at the micro level, your residence. If it’s an apartment, I wouldn’t consider staying unless I was on the 5th floor or above. Mainly because the Zombie Hoards (desperate people who didn’t prepare) will be looking for easier targets, picking low hanging fruit so to speak. As they become more desperate and resources become scarcer, they will start going further afield, so to speak, and start moving up higher in apartment buildings. Look at your entry points; the front door, back door, basement door/s, any side doors or a sliding glass door. What are your doors made of? Mine are steel (they were on the house when we bought it). Are there windows on them? What kind of locks do you have? You’ll need to be able to, at least, barricade them. If you have a sliding glass door, get a wooden pole (at least as big around as a broom handle) and cut it so it sits in the lower track behind the door that slides and keep it there so the door can’t be opened. The glass is vulnerable to breakage, but a Google search turned up dozens of hits. The one that looked the best is by a company called ShatterGARD http://www.shattergard.com/home.html. They have products to secure doors, too.
WARNING Tinfoil Hat Area: We try not to buy too many things off the internet or use anything but cash to purchase our “preps”, because all credit or debit card sales are tracked. That information can and will end up in the hands of those you don’t want to have it (federal, state & local governments), who can come knocking at your door after Marshall Law is in effect and “hoarding” of food and other supplies is now illegal. You will then have to “share” what you sacrificed to buy with those who couldn’t be bothered.
Back to the house, how will you provide lighting with no power? Open or enclosed flames are dangerous, especially with young children around. LED technology has come a long way in the past few years and the price has come down dramatically. You can find LED candles in just about every store these days, I’ve even found them in my local Dollar General. Keeping in mind that if the power grid is down for any reason, lights shining through your windows will tell the “Bad Guys” that you’ve planned ahead and might have other useful things in your house. Use lighting only to do what you have to do, then turn it off. In the event of a long term disaster, say….. the looming economic crash, the unprepared won’t have anything more than 3 days worth of food and some half burned birthday candles. If you look prepared, you’ll make yourself and your family targets.
What are your summers like? What are your winters like? Our summers are hot and humid, our Bug Out Location has dozens of trees for shade and I stocked up on battery operated, hand held fans with spray bottles attached. Festival Air Conditioning a friend called it once! They do really help cool you down. OH!! Batteries will be worth their weight in gold, so buy the sizes you need every single time you see them on sale and use them in your rotation. Our winters can get really frigid with temps dropping to -20F on occasion. We have a kerosene heater that’s made to be used indoors and a back up propane heater that just attaches to the top of a tank like you’d use on a gas grill. That one isn’t made to be used in a home, but since we don’t have any children or animals to be harmed by it we were willing to risk it. We’ve lost power during winter storms a couple of times the past 5 years and both heaters have worked reasonably well. Nothing short of a fireplace can keep our 2,000 sq. ft. home toasty warm, but those heaters kept one room warm. After the storms passed and the sun came out we just opened the shades and used good ole’ solar radiation to heat the house. That worked better than even our gas furnace!
From here, you want to start working your way out is your yard fenced? Do you have an attached or freestanding garage? How secure is that? More importantly, is there anything in your garage that can be used to gain entry to the house and/or be used as a weapon against you and yours?
Widen your focus again. Who are your neighbors and how well do you know them? Good neighbors can be an incredible asset and bad neighbors can be a huge liability. I have 4 neighbors that will stand shoulder to shoulder with us and one bunch I’ll shoot on sight. If you don’t know them, I wouldn’t start a conversation with them with, “So… are you into prepping??” or anything like that. You can start off with just getting to know them, maybe talking over the fence when you’re all out in your yards. Look at your block, you should know which houses have “decent” people living in them. By “decent” I mean, people who are hard working, responsible and conscientious, and who take care of their property. You should, at least, have an idea if any houses are rental properties and if there are any businesses by you. You should also know where the “dangerous” areas of your city/town are, these are the areas where there is all the gang activity and there are shootings on a regular basis. This is where your greatest safety and security risks may come from.
If you live in an apartment you don’t really have a chance to know your neighbors, at least, I was never able to when I lived in one. There are reports of people who’ve banded together with the others living in their building and forming a group with the goal of defending their building in the event of a disaster of any sort. They’ve stockpiled food and water, they all have their own guns and ammunition, and they’ve formulated plans to barricade the building so they can all defend their homes. Only you know what your apartment building and your neighbors there are like and it’s your choice whether you’ll approach them and start getting to know them with this goal in mind.
That last sentence in the previous paragraph applies to any place you live. Only you know your neighborhood and the people who live there. You should know if it’s a safe area or if there is any gang activity and decaying houses. Walk around the outside of your house and look at it like you and your children are hungry and you want to get the food inside.
Last Point!! Food!! You have your stash of canned food and your little 2 propane camp stove to cook it on out on your porch. Is that really a good idea? If no one around you has any food and you’re out there whipping up a nice meal of spaghetti with meat sauce and a side of green beans, those starving people are going to follow their noses straight to your door. You can NOT use any kind of grill (charcoal or gas) or any kind of bottled propane camp stove inside your home, you’ll make the people inside either really sick or kill them from the toxins those items put off. If you have canned foods, just eat it right out of the can. If you have something that has to be cooked, dried beans and rice for example, cook it as fast as you can with a tight fitting lid, then get back inside.
More tomorrow or the next day.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is just MY opinion. I still have the Right of Free Speech and you have the Right of Not Reading this. You do NOT have the Right to try and censor me or try to make me change my opinion. I don’t do that to you, give me the same Respect.