Prep Monday—Why Are You Prepping?

Two big things in the news lately: internationally, the Ebola breakout, and almost-nationally, an incident here in St. Louis yesterday.

There are many, many articles on the web about how to protect yourself from Ebola, so I’m not going to cover that specifically—the best advice is to isolate yourself if the disease makes it way to your area. And that, of course, requires being prepared.

In north St. Louis County, yesterday afternoon, a young man was shot and killed by a police officer. Those are the bare facts. There are all kinds of comments, statements, speculation, and so forth flying around the Internet, but it boils down to this: no one knows the whole story. Yet.

The aftermath, however, was pretty cut and dried—a large group of people, some news accounts say 100 or more, gathered in the immediate area after the shooting. Shots rang out in the crowd, but no one else was hurt or killed. Police from several jurisdictions arrived, some with riot gear and heavy-duty weapons, and people shouted, “Kill the police!” Things eventually calmed down, with no further incidents.

Google it if you’d like more information—the details aren’t relevant to my topic today.

What would you do in a situation like this, if you lived nearby?

I’d stay inside, doors locked and secured however I could do so, and be prepared for home defense. I’m sure many or most of you would also choose this option over joining the mob—and I use that in the sense of a dictionary definition of “large group of angry people.”

How long could you last?

These folks eventually left and went to their homes, presumably, after many hours; at least midnight or so is my understanding. Surely, if you prep at all, you could have lasted six or eight or ten hours, barricaded in your home.

But what if they hadn’t all left? What if the crowd grew? What if the crowd became violent towards others, or began destroying property? How long could you stay inside? If the police acted to quell the situation, would you be safe or become collateral damage?

In many neighborhoods, this is a valid question; in others, not so much. In other words, in some places an incident such is this is highly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean impossible.

Picture it: a nice, suburban area; many neighbors are at least passingly familiar with faces and who lives in which home. An occasional speeder on the main drag, maybe a few mailboxes smashed here and there, but mostly quiet and safe.

And then. Perhaps a police chase through the area, perhaps an escaped mental patient; maybe a crime wave, with weapons and murder or—just about anything. It can happen. Has happened.

Chances are, in a suburban area, your utility systems would remain in place. Unless they didn’t. Then what? Could you manage? Enough water, ways to stay cool or warm, enough food? What if it was unsafe to leave your house for several days?

What does this have to do with Ebola? Same principle, different reason. With a pandemic, an outbreak, the common wisdom is to isolate yourself. You’re protecting your family from illness and probably death, instead of guns and crazies and the possibility of death. Either way, hunkering down and waiting it out are your best options.

People who prep aren’t nutjobs, necessarily; they’re just ready, prepared, for anything that could happen. You should be, too.


Really, STLCo?

Funny how things work. Decided to forgo a blog post today ‘cause I just wasn’t feelin’ it, ya know? Then, lo and behold, a county guy comes to the door to talk to me about our “pool.”

This past Sunday, my son found a good deal on a pool, the kind with a blow-up rim, 8 feet in diameter, 2 feet deep. We set it up. It’s behind the house, the ONLY way anyone could see it is to be in our backyard. Or, well, the strip of land owned by the water company. Or, my next-door neighbor.

Now, the water company’s mowing crew was here on Tuesday, but the county guy said the call came in today. Besides, why would three guys with weed whackers care about this? On the other hand, let me tell you about my neighbor.

I haven’t met any of them. Neither adult came over when we moved in, last November. The wife told a tree guy to talk to me because “that big tree keeps dropping stuff on our yard.” Last winter, the kids were sledding down the hill that’s their side/front yard down about halfway along ours. I think there are two or three kids, not really sure. I HAVE had a couple kids riding bikes in my driveway….

At any rate, I’m told the property line goes through a large shrub, straight back. My neighbor seems to think it goes on my side of that shrub. Fine, less for me to mow. Except whenever we mow he comes back out to “fix” the pattern that’s he mowed into his yard. Really? And a couple days ago, I saw his sprinkler system go off – at least two heads are in MY yard! So I guess I have to bring out the tape measure…and some stakes.

Moving along, to see from his backyard into mine, he’d have to walk all the way to the back of his property because there are tons of trees and shrubs and undergrowth blocking the view. Thank goodness. But really? What’s the big deal? We didn’t invite you over? Sheesh.

So, the county guy shows up. Says we have to have a fence around the pool. I told him the county ordinances said that that’s only if the pool is more than two feet deep. He said it applies to wading pools too, but the ordinance just doesn’t say it. Okey dokey then. Very nice man, actually. Said he’d give me two weeks (school starts in two weeks) and would send me a nasty letter. I said, great!

Then I asked about wading pools.

He said that the county regulations say that any body of water must be fenced. Again, really? ‘Cause there’s a storm creek in front of the house, and it’s not fenced. I asked why. He said because of mosquitos. Okay, I really do understand that standing water attracts mosquitos, but – a FENCE will keep them out??? Seriously??

Who knew? Guess I’ll fence in the whole place and keep those skeeters out, woohoo!

Oh, and Mr. Neighbor? You do NOT want to screw with me. At all.