For a few days, I had a chance to test my preparedness. It wasn’t anything life-threatening or urgent but it did give me an opportunity to see how ready I am for the unexpected. The experience was one I need to repeat in other areas too, but for now the water filtration test was a successful one. After all, when your reverse osmosis faucet slows to a trickle it’s time to take action.
Fair warning dear reader, this will be a two-part post about an ongoing sage I am having with my alarm monitoring company. It may be worth your time though, since the lessons I learned through this saga could help you. If nothing else, I have some tips that can save you time and hassle when dealing with alarm monitoring companies. In the words of Dave Ramsey, I’ve paid the “stupid tax” on this already, hopefully you will learn from me and avoid paying it.
Back when I had Cable TV, I would scan through the channels from time to time looking for a show to watch. There was one in particular that I could only watch a few episodes of because it was so disturbing.
You can read a good summary here but the what it boils down to is some people chronically hoard possessions to the point where it adversely affects their well-being. In most episodes, there is an intervention staged and an engagement with professional help to assist the hoarder with their situation. Truth be told, this is a very disturbing show to watch, akin to another A&E series…Intervention.
Over the past few years, what has struck me is how many people exhibit similar, albeit less extreme, examples of this behavior. For example, when I drive through my neighborhood I see garages packed with stuff. Everything from boxes to mattresses to tools and other sundry items, it’s all jammed in there. Forget about parking a bicycle, much less an automobile, in one of those garages! It’s almost as if some homeowners have an urge to pack their domicile to the gills with stuff, even if they can’t get to it readily.
Keep in mind that being a prepper doesn’t require you to have massive amounts of everything. To do so would be a waste of resources and space that could be more effectively used elsewhere. Think about what events are actually likely and how long those events would last. Forget about TEOTWAWKI, think instead of an extended power outage, severe weather, or a prolonged period of unemployment. Those are the types of events one should prepare for, which won’t require a garage full of stuff.
The takeaway from all this, is take stock of what you have now and determine if you are likely to need it. Having the right amount of equipment, supplies, and (most importantly) knowledge on-hand is more important than hoarding as much as you can store.
A long time ago I wrote about the importance of checking your batteries. I had just lost a couple of flashlights and had some corroded terminals on some other devices, so I felt compelled to write about it. Since then, I have done a decent job of regularly checking the batteries in my various devices. However, sometimes I forget to take the summer heat of Arizona into account though. A few weeks ago, I was reminded how important it is to take seasonal temperatures into account.
A couple of years ago I purchased some Maglite XL200 LED Flashlights to go into some of my kits. One of these was destined for the car kit because I wanted a bright yet compact flashlight that could be used in multiple signaling modes. It worked well for me but for most of the summer, I forgot to check it’s batteries. What you would expect to happen next…happened. I had yet another ruined flashlight on my hands despite my best efforts to clean it up. Now it’s back to square one for my automotive emergency flashlight.
However, I do have a plan that should help address this problem in the future. I recently purchased several additional Powerex rechargeable batteries to add to my inventory, which means I have a few that I can spare for a new flashlight. The Powerex batteries retain more of their charge for a longer period of time, so I can leave them in my replacement flashlight without worrying about them being dead when I need them. Plus, I will pack some extra ones in the storage box in my trunk in case I need them. This should address my (recurring) problem with leaking batteries.
None of us is perfect, that is for sure. One takeaway from this is to account for mistakes and use more resilient equipment (in this case rechargeable batteries) as a guard against human error. Let’s hope I heed my own advice more often in the months ahead.
Here is a picture of the different types of Fisher Space Pens I currently own. I have additional copies but these represent the different models I have in my inventory. There is a reason why I own several of these remarkable pens.
Does it seem like nobody is paying attention? My observation is that the default mode most people operate in is “distracted.” No matter if it’s talking on the phone, eating, drinking, texting, or talking the end result is the same, degraded situational awareness.
What is the motivation for the surge in firearms purchases in recent years? Some of it is motivated by fear, mostly due to politicians threatening to restrict civil rights like the Second Amendment. Another aspect though is the realization that an armed representative of The State will not be around to protect you. After all, bad things happen…especially when guys like this show up.
Being able to ignite a fire is an essential part of both everyday life and during emergencies. That’s why it is critical to have multiple methods of starting fires, all the fuel in the world doesn’t do you any good if you can’t burn it. I have matches, magnesium ingots, and sparking devices in my inventory. But there is one tool that every household should also have on-hand to start fires. Which brings us to lighters, here are the models I currently own.
I also have a Scripto long-necked lighter but it is almost out of butane and it can’t be refilled so it won’t be in my inventory for much longer.
Over the last few months, I have obtained some new items that should enable me to become better prepared. None of these are exotic or exceptional by themselves, but they were selected because they add a capability to my overall state of readiness. Preparation is an ongoing process after all, meaning that tools and skills will change over time.
A while ago, I discussed my every day carry (EDC) items and some of the guiding principles behind my choices. Having helpful items on your person is a great way to become better equipped to handle daily life as well as the unexpected. Since it has been over two years, let’s revisit this subject and see what has happened.