Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Prepping is a Growing Urban Movement

When people think of preppers – also known as survivalists – many of them automatically visualize individuals that are off the beaten path, already living off the grid with a rugged lifestyle that wouldn’t change much if civilization were to collapse.

If you think that, you’d be wrong.

Today, more and more preppers are living in urban areas. Recent events like Hurricane Sandy and the constant fear terrorist threats have made many urbanites turn their focus to being prepared for serious disasters. In a lot of ways, people living in large cities have more to consider and prepare for than people living in rural areas.

Urban Obstacles Increase the Need to Prep

In the last few years we have seen an increase in terror threats, natural disasters and financial instability. Natural disasters can strike anywhere. Global economic issues affect everyone no matter where they live. People in cities, suburban areas, small towns and the countryside are all susceptible.  That said, there immediate environment will dictate the types of risks they face.

If you think about it, if you live in an urban environment, having an emergency preparation plan makes a lot of sense. Urbanites have several distinct obstacles that people in smaller, rural areas don’t have to worry about.

·         They often live in areas or have lifestyles that are less conducive to self-sustainability.
·         Urban areas are more likely to be hit by disasters that aren’t natural, like terrorist attacks.
·         There are more people competing for resources.
·         Strong possibility of congestion if there is mass exodus.
·         Emergency service personnel have more people they have to help.

Many people living in urban areas don’t have some of the survival options that are open to people living in rural areas, such as yards big enough for sizable survival gardens and a place for an underground bunker. Because of this and the additional considerations listed above, urbanites especially need to plan, collect the best survival gear for their particular environment, and prepare well in advance.

Prepping Tips for Urbanites

Preparedness is important for everyone. However, where you live can affect how and what you prepare. If you live in an urban area here are things that you need to put at the top of your prepping list.

Personal Safety – Looting, violence, hysteria - these are all issues a person may face when there are thousands, if not millions of people in an area that are facing a disaster. Situations that threaten a person’s wellbeing can make them do desperate things they would never think of doing normally. It’s important that you have the means to protect yourself and your family.

Terrorism Threats – Terrorists are going to try to do the most damage possible incurring the largest loss of life possible, making urban areas attractive targets. As we learned on 9/11 a terrorist attack can take many forms, including bio warfare. An urbanite’s bug out bag should include additional items such as a facemask, a water purification straw and even iodine pills.

Escape Routes – Planning an escape route as well as several alternatives is of key concern for urbanites. History has shown that during disaster situations in urban areas roads can quickly become overwhelmed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, impeding people’s ability to make a quick, safe escape. There are also the issues of having enough gas and the possibility of others trying to confiscate cars if their own mode of transportation fails.

Plan Your Safe Haven – You should always plan your escape destinations ahead of time.  You will want several alternative destinations spread out in various directions. Have an area map for your city as well as the safe haven areas on hand in case roads are blocked. A good location will be outside the “danger zone,” with family or like-minded friends you trust. My Patriot Supply highly recommends collaborating with other preppers to establish locations where you can meet and support one another as a community.        

Whether you live in a rural area or an urban city center, it is always important to have an emergency strategy in case disaster strikes.  This means having on hand an adequate emergency food supply, supplies for purifying drinking water, survival tools, important medication, and a safe haven planned ahead of time.

The time to plan is today! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pros and Cons of Planting Survival Garden Crops in Containers

A common question we receive is whether it is best to plant your heirloom seeds in the ground or in a container, as you would in a greenhouse. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to both. It is our opinion, however, that there is one major advantage and one major disadvantage to planting in containers.

Pro: Plants in Containers Can Be Moved

The biggest advantage of using containers for planting is mobility. Unlike crops, containers can be moved about as needed. Circumstances that warrant a move include:

•    Moving plants indoors or to a greenhouse when there is a freeze.
•    Moving plants into shaded areas during hot summer months or to give them adequate shade/sun.
•    Taking plants with you in the event of an emergency.

This last circumstance is an important one worth careful consideration. Survival gardens may be your best source of sustenance if a food shortage or disaster occurs. If you’re forced to relocate, you must leave behind the garden.

Helpful Tip:  Mobility is meaningless without a method to transport the containers.  A trailer or stacking shelves for your truck will prove invaluable if you ever need to transport your crops.

Con: Planting in Containers Means Limited Space for Your Crops

The advantage of mobility of planting containers comes at a cost – lack of space. If you’re only using containers for planting this means you will be limited in the types of plants you grow. The quantity of what you can produce will also be limited. You’ll want to plant enough to feed everyone in your family with a little extra left over. Depending on how many people you have to feed, this could require many large containers.

Because of this, it is generally recommended that you use both in-ground and container planting for your survival garden, for a more comprehensive emergency preparedness strategy.

Plants That Work Well in Containers

Of course, not all plants are suitable for containers. For instance, plants that need a large amount of space to grow such as corn simply would not thrive in a container. Instead, try the following heirloom vegetables and fruits when planting with containers.

•    Heirloom herbs
•    Tomatoes
•    Strawberries
•    Beans
•    Carrots
•    Beets
•    Cucumbers
•    Radishes
•    Onions
•    Peas
•    Eggplant
•    Peppers
•    Swiss Chard

The key to growing plants in containers is proper soil, sunlight and watering. Understand how much of each different types of fruits and vegetables will need before deciding which ones you want to plant as a part of your survival garden.

Happy growing!