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The urban prepper: Debunking the propaganda and prioritizing the truth

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Since the beginning of 2014 a lot of those in the prepper community have been pushing the issue of prioritizing how and what you prep. Although under ordinary circumstances or any circumstances that would be the right thing to do because there will always be those preppers who like to spread propaganda; they like to confuse others who are honestly into prepping by giving out misinformation which makes prioritizing anything difficult.

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So before you can prioritize you have to debunk some of the information that is out there and here are a few of them:

Water: There are preppers who will tell you that you have to rotate (use) your stored water every six months to three years, but this isn’t true. The five year rule applies to water the same as it applies to how much food storage you have on hand to survive over a period of time, but you do have to rotate food. The one thing you do have to do in regards to your water storage is use strong durable containers and check for any possible leakages frequently like every week or so.

Another myth is that you should treat all water before you store it, but that’s not true either. Philadelphia water is notorious for being some of the best drinking water around and have won several awards for it (yes they have awards for water treatment plants), but would the additives help when storing the water over time?

Most water that’s used for drinking has lots of chemicals in it. If you’re using tap water don’t treat it until you’re ready to use it. For this reason it’s important to have a treatment system that is available to you after the emergency hits. This is only for if you’re using tap water. For more information about water treatment please read the urban prepper’s article at: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-urban-prepper-water-purification-and...

Wait! The propaganda doesn’t stop there! A common mistake is preppers who believe that bottled/stored water that sits on a cement floor will cause chemicals to find their way through solid containers, but once again this isn’t true.
Where do people get this stuff?

Placing containers of water on heated cement (such as outside during the summer or when the weather gets hot) can cause a chemical reaction. This goes for food as well. Storing water on the floor in a root cellar or on the cement floor of a cool basement is absolutely fine.

Other preppers believe that if you went without water for 72 hours or more you’d die. Although that’s most likely untrue there probably are situations where you could damage your body. The rule of thumb (or for preppers who say that they’re always prepared) for staying alive is to make sure that your first task of every day is to keep yourself hydrated.

For people in Philly who believe that soda or beer is ideal for hydration it must be pointed out (very strongly) that just because a beverage has water in it doesn’t been it’s an ideal product for hydration. In fact the use of these products does a lot of things, but dehydrating isn’t one of them.

Self-reliance (or lack thereof): Some people believe if there is a collapse of any kind or in the midst of one they can run home to mommy, daddy or some other significant person for protection from the big bad wolf of life. This is not prepping. It’s mooching, it’s irresponsibility and it’s avoidance, but it’s not prepping. Prepping is about self-reliance and although no one has really said as much it’s also about accountability for your own life. Going to stay with someone else in the middle of an emergency is absolutely not a risk worth taking.

By planning to go somewhere to let someone else take care of you is also not prepping because you’re letting things (weather, crime, or other outside forces) to own or control you. It’s also extremely poor planning because anyone who has driven on Philadelphia highways at any time of the day or night knows that there is no such thing as an uncluttered roadway. These people on the highways during an emergency, running to God knows where, aren’t preppers. If you do your job and pay attention you won’t have to be one of those people. People who prep don’t need a human savior and staying with others because you chose not to prep makes you a non-prepper.

• Living in the wilderness: The popular belief among many preppers is that the safest place to be is owning your on land in the middle of nowhere which is sometimes referred to as living off the grid. These preppers purchase several acres of land, build their home, dig various root cellars underground throughout their property and even an underground bunker for the purposes of living in them if necessary. The problem is that there is no such thing as 100% safety once an emergency hits. You can certainly prep for survival and increase your chances, but you can’t guarantee it.

The problem with living in the wilderness is that you’re living in the wilderness with its own set of problems. The first problem is that the more acreage you have the more points of weaknesses you have; that you have more areas you’ll have to guard or watch for intruders. The thing is that no matter how well planned or organized you think you are it will never be enough. No matter how many trip cords or booby traps you have in place anyone who has spent more than a year in the military can breach the perimeters without you knowing about it.

The wilderness also has things that the big cities don’t. They have creatures that can be more deadly than any human. Many states have been inundated with animals that aren’t native to the United States. Snakes such as Burmese pythons and Fer de Lances, lizards such as Savannah Monitors and Tegu’s as well as the semi-native Gila Monster.

If you’ve set your encampment by a lake or river it can become inhabited with Frankenfish (real name Northern Snakehead) who will devour anything in those waters that you thought were a food source, with the exception of wide-mouth bass who are the only known predators to these types of monsterish looking fish. These fish can also walk on land and have razor sharp teeth similar to that of a piranha that can bite through a steel-toe boot or attack a family pet such as a dog or a child. For more information on the Frankenfish please read the examiner article at: http://www.examiner.com/article/northern-snakehead-found-wildlife-refuge.

Then you have native animals such as bears, snakes, wild boars or poisonous spiders. These spiders can easily make their way into your home or underground bunker. All they need is a crack or a lose board. Wild cats such as tigers have been spotted in many city parks including Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. No matter how invincible you are everyone eventually gets got especially the ones who think that they are impervious.

Another factor is how brutal and unforgiving Mother Nature can be by leveling storms of mammoth size which includes mud slides, avalanches, forest fires and snow storms that can easily bury someone alive. The higher the altitude the more unpredictable the weather is.

In the case of an emergency if these preppers go into their underground bunker and an earthquake or a shift in the earth occurs the bunker you bragged about on YouTube and Facebook becomes a death chamber. Even someone in the military knows never to put yourself in a situation where you have no exit or back-up plan and when you’re in the wilderness you are on your own because you didn’t want any neighbors.

Sure things do happen in the inner city, but there you’ll have options. So people who decide that it’s a good idea to go into the wilderness should consider all the pros and cons of it before they go running off into nowhere.

Prepping for only one kind of emergency: Lately a lot of prepper articles have been about people prepping for the one collapse/state-of-emergency that they think is most likely to happen. Unless you’re Professor Marvel from The Wizard of Oz or magician Harry Houdini there is no way you can be 100% sure of one emergency over another happening. Perhaps you can if you are a devoted reader of your horoscope, Farmer’s Almanac, a fortune teller or even FOX news, but there’s no guarantee.

Fortunately almost every emergency will need all the basic supplies such as water, shelter, food, first-aid supplies, clothing and home/personal security. Other emergencies may require other things, but if all you have is the basics that will last you five years you should be good. Prepping your electronics in foil may be a futile effort because those products may be outdated by the time the emergency is over or they will be useless because the technology for these items to work may not even be in place.

The best way to be prepared for anything is to pay attention to what’s going on around you, continue prepping the basics and whatever else you can do as well as take advantage of whatever circumstances come your way.

• Big brother is always watching you: Some preppers like warning people not to have supplies delivered in bulk to your house because you’ll be put on the terror-watch list. No. Buying firearms or ammunition in quantities through legal gun shows or private owners may get you put on that list. There has been no Mormon ever who has been put on a watch list for stocking up on supplies and they’re natural preppers.

Also in the times of Home Shopping Network, EBay, Amazon and QVC having several boxes delivered to your home doesn’t warrant any investigation. One of the newer trends are online grocery stores that also do these types of delivery and in Philadelphia there are at least four grocery stores who deliver to home. People who believe that you’ll be put on some kind of list are usually paranoid or neurotics (or both) and often offer hours of amusement by watching their rants on YouTube.

• Storage of your family’s vital information: Once again many preppers like giving out information that’s really not a good idea, but they do it anyway probably because it makes sense to them. Other people believe that if you take orange seeds you can grow an orange tree in Kansas, but that doesn’t make it true either.

Lately the newest thing (or perhaps an old thing that has been refurbished) is storing your pertinent personal information at someone else’s house or in a container buried in your backyard.

Once again, wrong, wrong, WRONG!!

There is no guarantee that keeping your information at your parents’ house or burying it underground will be available to you. It’s not just about whether you can get to the other person’s house, but if the house will even be there by the time you’re able to arrive. Burying something underground is even worse than keeping it at another location because the ground can swallow it up or a neighbor could see you do it and retrieve it at a later date.

The rule of thumb here is if it’s important to you keep it with you. At all times. For more information on the storing of your valuables, please read the urban prepper’s articles at: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-urban-prepper-home-security, http://www.examiner.com/article/the-urban-prepper-stashing-your-cash and http://www.examiner.com/article/the-urban-prepper-the-first-thing-every-....

Prepping for an emergency, all the emergencies, doesn’t take a doctorate degree, but it just takes some focus. Watch the stock market, read press releases from the White House or bills being introduced in Congress and observe weather trends. Once you get a good idea about which way things are headed all you have to do is take two vital steps:

1. Prioritize. Make a list of what you need to do first and remember the basics such as water, food, shelter, first aid supplies, clothes and home security. Look at what you, your family members and the pets will need to survive. Make a list. Involve your family in deciding what should be prioritized.

2. Plan. Start prepping as much as you can, but without the use of credit cards. Remember you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Put what’s the most important in order and then figure out how you can do it quickly and efficiently. Also involve everyone that lives in the household to help plan and prepare.

If you stay with your priorities before you know it you'll be ready for anything.

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