Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Prudent Prepping: Location, Location, Location

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

Location, Location, Location


Scouting your neighborhood isn't just for OpSec 

Being aware of your surroundings is important in the best of times. Whether it is someone obliviously texting while driving or just a strange couple of guys in the parking lot, knowing where you are and what is happening is a Good Thing! Even more important is knowing your neighborhood in a disaster.

Some of the things you need to think about:
  • How do I get out of here if the main road is blocked by downed trees, brush fires, tornado damaged buildings or washed out bridges? In the Oakland CA fire in 1991, people lost their lives because they could only think of the easiest way out of their neighborhood. 
  • Your security. Who lives near you? Who might be a future ally or problem? I walk the areas I live in, both for exercise and to see and be seen. I want to find out who has the loud dogs, where the potential 'problem' house might be, and who else is nosy. 
  • For 'Bugging In' or shorter term disasters, where can a steady supply of water be found once the faucet stops working?
This last is what I did over the 4th of July weekend, and I'm pretty happy with my results! Having grown up in this general area, much of the open space and farm land (okay, 99.95%) has been developed, sub-divided and paved since the 1960s. What is good about this is that I know where the original creek channels were, which areas used to be swampy, and the springs that made them so.

If you don't know the land in the area you live in now, look for a Forest Service map, Regional Parks or USGS topographical map. With a good map and Google Earth, the obvious lakes, ponds, streams and pools are fairly easy to plot. But there's one thing left to do - you still need to verify if there is public access to these waterways, or if stealthy means need to be used. Natural sources need to be checked for year-round reliability and the only way to do that is use your Mk. One, Mod. One eyeball.

I was able to find the spring that fed the creek that used to flow through this neighborhood by following the concrete channel to the local park and then looking for the storm drain that catches the flow. I'm about half a mile from a reliable year-round source of water, not counting swimming pools. With what I mapped in my old area, I've got 2 springs, 3 creeks, and several ponds and reservoirs within 5 miles.

New Purchases

I mostly pack my own lunch, and have used a titanium spork for a while.  It disappeared recently at work, so while shopping at REI I found this set, instead of just a new spork. Sea To Summit is an Australian company making a full line of outdoor gear, from dry bags to bug nets. 

I like the fact the set weighs half an ounce, which is less than the lost spork, but having a real knife means the new spork is dedicated to sporking, not cutting! For $12.95 ea. I bought 2: one for the lunch box, one for the B.O.B.

Also purchased from Trader Joe's:
  • one 1 lb. bag of pasta, $0.99
  • one 28 oz. Marinara sauce, $1.99

As always, if you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased be me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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