September is National Preparedness Month – Share your preparedness tips here!


According to ready.gov, it is National Preparedness Month! I thought that this could be a great forum topic for everyone to post their random and small preparedness tips, tricks, and life hacks that otherwise wouldn’t fit anywhere else or be enough to be it’s own topic. 

So as you go through this month, if you think of ANY little prepping tip, come post it here and help everyone be more prepared this month. 

Just little things like:

  • Check your oil and windshield washer fluid every time you fill up gas.
  • Use rubbing alcohol on your wiper blades to get the road grime off and make them work smoother.
  • Look around your house when it is raining to make sure water isn’t pooling up where it shouldn’t.
  • Rub candle wax on stubborn zippers to make them run more smoothly
  • Check your power cords to your devices to make sure they are plugged in properly and there is no fraying or wearing out to prevent shock and electrical fires.
  • Ask family members about their preps and offer to help them out to be more prepared.
  • Always keep your phone charged above 50%

  • Comments (59)

    • 3

      Good afternoon Alisa,

      Strongle recommend serious prepper of whatever level of experience join a small group of non-commando preppers.

      This is where you’ll learn about loacle’s sales, places for free stuff eg health fairs, etc.

      Plus, when, eg I changed type of generatiors, gave group member the old one. This is common enough in my crowd.

    • 6

      September is always good for preppers to go through their WINTER PREPS CHECKLIST.  Here is mine.


      Prevention is better than cure keep your house and vehicle etc properly maintained at all times.

      House / Retreat

      Winter fire wood obtained / cut / dried and accessible when snow has fallen

      Coal / Oil stocks ordered? Delivered and stored properly

      Gas bottles changed and empty ones refilled / replaced

      Gutters cleaned, drain traps cleared of debris

      Fencing and posts checked for integrity and stability

      Check security lights (Bulbs, Clean lenses, Clean PIRs)

      Window seals checked (black and green algae scraped off seals / drain points)

      Boiler (furnace) serviced and certified

      Set thermostat on heating to prevent freezing of system

      Bleed Radiators

      Doors /windows draught proofed

      Drains free flowing and clear of debris

      Locks and hinges oiled

      Spare candles / flashlights / Chemical Light Sticks / lanterns etc,

      Emergency heating kit checked

      Snow shovel / ice scrapers to hand

      Pre-salted sloping access roads / drives?

      Spare fuses/ circuit breakers

      Boarding up shuttering for broken windows set aside (with fittings)

      Weather warning radio working and tuned in to local service

      Sweep Chimney if you have wood / coal stove, check ventilation – drafting

      Clean solar panels, check wiring / battery bank / specific gravity/ fluid levels.

      Check and maintain external aerials TV / CB / Cell / Ham and cable connectors

      Check & replace bottled gas regulator and hose if over 3 years old

      Defrost and clean out freezers if heavily iced up

      Clean, oil and maintain power tools like Chainsaws etc

      Garden furniture brought in or covered up

      *Check on neighbour’s well-being? *

      Livestock / pets sorted out

      Animal feedstock got in.

      Greenhouses cleaned and disinfected, glass checked for integrity

      Tools cleaned, disinfected, oiled and put away

      Sheds / Garages/ Stores checked for weatherproofing and security

      Personal / family

      Extra food stocks got in case of snow / ice storm / whiteout

      Rotate food stocks if necessary to ensure freshness

      Prescription medicines got in if required by family members

      Winter clothing got out of storage cleaned / aired and reproofed if necessary

      Boots weatherproofed and cleaned

      New script eye glasses obtained if necessary

      Cans / foods rotated

      Water filters cleaned / elements changed

      Caches checked, updated etc

      Bug out routes reccied

      BOB’s / GHBs checked and updated if necessary

      Contact plans / pick up plans arranged for family members stranded by weather at school or work etc.

      Personal security equipment cleaned / oil / checked etc

      Fresh long life batteries obtained.


      Get the latest Council winter road gritting map and plan your commute / BO routes accordingly

      Check CB / Ham radio installation

      Top up / change antifreeze

      Tighten /adjust drive belts

      Tyre condition /pressures

      Jet wash underside, valet / polish bodywork

      Check hoses for cracks, splits and tightness of hose clips

      Lube locks

      Change wiper blades (normally bi-annually)

      Replace HL bulbs if over 5 years old (they have lost 20% of their brightness)

      Check M & S tyres condition if still in store

      Check your tyre chains

      Fit thinner oil if you live in very northern climes.

      Check battery condition and leads

      Check demister / de-icer systems

      Degrease windscreen inside and out

      Radio set to accept weather and traffic news reports

      Update Satnav data / Get new road map

      Sleeping bag/ survival blanket

      Chemical light sticks / flashlights/spare batteries

      Candle/ matches

      Snow dye

      Survival kit


      Snow mats

      Short wave radio / batteries

      Hot drink making kit

      Vehicle Spares,

      Bulbs & fuses & Relays

      Belts, (Cam, Cooling, Timing, Power steering, aircon pump)


      HT leads,


      Coolant,( concentrate)

      Hose clips,

      Hose repair kit,

      Exhaust repair kit,

      Cable ties & duct tape

      Snow chains

      Wheel brace

      Spanners / sockets and screwdrivers


      Tyre levers & tyre pump

      Treated Fuel supplies replaced.

      • 1

        You have quite the list there!! Do you sweep your own chimney or have a professional sweep come out?

        What is Snow Dye?

        Can tell you are from Britain by the way you spell tyre.

      • 1

        Hi Henry sorry for taking so long to reply. We have a professional come out, though I do have a set of second hand brushes set aside.   Snow dye is used to mark your location in a snow field to assist rescuers  in finding you. Normally its Pottasium Permanganate crystals which a great for staining snow bright red.

        They are also good for helping light fires, and for use in treating Atheletes foot.

    • 4

      Always keep enough gas in your vehicle to get home without stopping.

      Always keep enough resources in your vehicle so that if you can’t make it home, you can either shelter in place for a few days or walk home.  I keep a get home bag in my truck plus keep other items in the truck itself.

    • 5

      For me, September is when I review my BOB: I change the clothes for warmer items, recharge any headlamps or battery packs, rotate the medicine I store in there, see if anything need replacing or budget for upgrades or missing items, etc.

    • 3

      Hi Alisa,

      I’m gonna go in the opposite direction from small tips and suggest that once a year one might reassess the state of their world and review and update plans accordingly.

      Most of us have certain scenarios we pay more attention to than others, whether it be drought/flood, pink-slip or pandemic, invasion vs insurrection; name your poison. It is easier than even to get tunnel vision from our various information “silos”. A reassessment could be as simple as just sitting and cogitating about the world and how many cans of beans we have or as in depth a research project as one has the time and inclination to pursue.

      For example, global warming and climate changes are not new ideas but fires and floods and droughts seem to be impacting more of us the last few years. Climate change is not just about heat and rain, the so-called Global-Weirding has impacts summer and winter as was seen in the midwest and south last winter. As the jet-stream wobbles around it causes unexpectedly historic cold —below minus 20ºF in this area. Widespread damage resulted from the unexpected extremes last winter. And headlines point to many global scale effects like, for example, the possible demise of the Atlantic current that would impact Europe and East coast of the US.

      Of course the ongoing pandemic has impacted lives and economies like little else in most people’s lifetimes, and the current situation is far from the outcome I think many of us hoped for last September. At the least it will be with us in some form for the indefinite future, at worst it could mutate into something even worse.

      Which aggravates the various friction points, new and ongoing, on the societal level.

      And on and on…

      Those are just some quick examples. In my case some big flash floods regionally have made me increase the priority of adding a battery backed sump pump system to the grid powered system I installed last fall. Also improved guttering and drainage as per the recent thread here at TP. Ditto the urgency of getting the replacement windows in (that have been sitting all summer) before the next arctic wobble that sends temperatures plummeting.

      Doesn’t have to be a shopping list. Could be reviewing existing evacuation plans in light of weather extremes, route changes, destinations. Or learning some new skill relevant to current conditions.

      So, an opportunity to review priorities, assess conditions, set goals for the next year.

    • 3

      Never let car get below half tank of gas

    • 3

      Do a fire sweep of every room of your house, and then along the entire exterior of your house. Say to yourself “If I was a fire, how would I start?

      Are there any power cords that are damaged or being pressed up against by a bed or other piece of furniture? Get a low profile extension cord for those areas.


      Are candles at least a foot or two from a wall or curtain?

      How are your smoke detectors?

      Do you even own a fire extinguisher? 

      Are lighters and matches out of the reach of children?

      Is there a lot of dry brush and debris around your house that can catch fire?

      Things like that.


      • 4

        Candles should always be in Lanterns.

        Light Candle Lantern

      • 2

        Good tip Bill. My mom has a lantern similar to that one. I sometimes have to clean off the soot on the inside of the glass that builds up, but besides that they are easy to use. 


      • 2

        I learned this the hard way when my cat put her tail in the candle flame. Luckily I put her out before anyone else noticed (including her) but the SMELL. The smell of burning cat hair was awful (but preferable to catching the whole house on fire). I now have all flames enclosed in glass!

    • 2

      If you face the risk of having to bug out by road you need at least twice as much fuel you think you need to reach your destination via the longest route.

      Your EDC gear goes about your person, in your pockets / on your belt / around your neck / on your wrist, NOT IN A BAG.

    • 2

      Imagine a sitiuation unfolding.

      Now imagine your pack /GHB/BOB is lost, stolen, abandoned, or unretrievable.

      That ladies and gentlemen is why we have EDC gear.

      • 4

        Girls clothing usually doesn’t have pockets or if they do you can barely fit a chap stick or a few coins in it. That’s why many of them use purses and other bags for their EDC. 

        Sure glad to have large pockets that I can load up my EDC in so I don’t have to worry and fuss about where to place my bag and to keep an eye on it.

        Although, sometimes when a girl pulls out something large like a mini umbrella, I am envious and don’t have pockets large enough for something like that.


    • 2

      Prepper Math, supplies or food or ammo or meds etc Two is One and One is None.

      The time and fuel and effort needed your BOL is likely to be double what you thought  it will be because of road blocks, heavy traffic, diversions or trouble.

      • 2

        Prepper Quote 1 Never become a refugee, or give up your liberty for a meal.

        Prepper Quote 2 Never speak with the media.

        Prepper Quote 3 Opsec and Persec above all else.

        Prepper Quote 4 Two is one, one is none.

        Prepper Quote 5 The Government is not your friend.

        Prepper Quote 6 Civilisation is only 3 days of missed meals away from anarchy.

        Prepper Quote 7 Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

        Prepper Quote 8 Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

        Prepper Quote 9 Prepping is about PREparing for emergencies.

         Prepper Quote 10 Remember when disaster strikes the time to prepare has passed.

        Prepper Quote 11 Before entering / leaving a premise ,stop look and listen for threats.

        Prepper Quote 12 Being self sufficient is the best form of insurance.

        Prepper Quote 13 A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

        Prepper Quote 14 Prepper EDC gear is NOT optional, except for victims.

        Prepper Quote 15 When possible always know of MULTIPLE ways out of a Mall / Office/ Building etc.

        Prepper Quote 16 If TSHTF then main roads are to be avoided at all cost.

        Prepper Quote 17 During a crisis ALWAYS continiously monitor multiple news sources.

        Prepper Quote 18 Theres no harm in hoping for the best, so long as you prepared for the worst.

        Prepper Quote 19 Your ESSENTIAL EDC gear goes on your person, never in a bag.

        Prepper Quote 20 Prepping is simply taking insurance to the next level.

        Prepper Quote 21 Better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in a war! 

        Prepper Quote 22 It is easier to prepare and prevent, than to repair and repent .

        Prepper Quote 23 Preparation through education is less costly than learning through tragedy 

        Prepper Quote 24 Expect the best but prepare for the worst.

        Prepper Quote 25 Prep and Survive , Adapt and Thrive.

    • 3

      Don’t forget a bright traffic vest preferably with fluorescent strips.

      They can even be made D-I-Y with old shirt and adhesive strips of fluorescent strips available at Walmart and auto supply stores … although more expensive than Walmart’s.

      • 2

        That’s such a good tip, Bob, and often overlooked as they don’t look fashionable. Cheap and has unexpected uses. We do daily walks, and as days get shorter it’s great to wear one at dawn or dusk when light gets iffy. Not to mention a road breakdown in poor light or weather, could really be a lifesaver. 

      • 3

        The “moonsash” is a slightly more fashionable version of the traffic vest. I have a few and have given many as gifts (always appreciated)

        I also keep a small stack of inexpensive traffic vests (often you can find them for $3 or $4 a piece) in my car. I’ve given them out several times, to bike riders heading home in the dark without appropriate gear, to victims in car accidents on the side of the road who are at risk of being run over, etc. And used them myself when helping out after traffic accidents. The people who accept the vests are consistently appreciative and I always ask them to just “pay it forward” by helping out the next person in need. 

      • 2

        Thanks M.E., the moon sash is cool! Also a great idea to have some cheap, extra traffic vests to help others. Many people just don’t think of how vulnerable they are walking in traffic areas with low light. 

      • 2

        I agree.  thanks M.E.  The moon sash is probably easier to store as well.  I found some visibility vests at a dollar store and also IKEA for cheap.  Good thought you had there.

    • 2

      “Prepping is about PREparing for emergencies, ”

      “A knife is the most inefficient screwdriver and most expensive pry bar you’ll ever own.”

      We carry pistols because they are convenient, not because they are effective. – John Farnam

      • 2

        Good morning Bill,

        I like those John Farnam quotes !

        The best screwdriver I carry is called a screwdriver. Multitool has both flathead and Phillips/star.

        I do have a real prybar in truck. It has orange tape on it so some auxillery LEO who is overzealous cannot deem it “burgler tools”. 

        Had carried the famous steel .45 automatic pistol in VN along w/ 3 mags. Most useless thing carried – in a moldy leather holster.

        These Farnam quotes “made my day” ! 

    • 2

      Alisa, great topic. I’ll add a few thoughts. Replace bicycle helmets every 10 years because they may degrade in sunlight.

      Have a system for keeping track of all your passwords to accounts. I keep three printed sheets (one in the car in a backpack and two in the house in two small bags that I would take if I had to leave quickly). All passwords are unique to each account. I keep the electronic version in a computer file that’s backed up to the cloud via a subscription service. It has an innocuous file name and file location. I’m sure there are better systems for this, but I’m OK with the risks / rewards of this system.

      Speaking of accounts and passwords, these days two-factor authentication is common or is something to opt into for greater account security. To gain account access, a one-time code is sent to a cell phone associated with the account. I recently moved and went through the process of updating accounts from one cell phone number (and mailing address and email address, lots of work) to another cell phone number and email address with a new cell phone. (I wouldn’t have had to change email addresses, but I chose to.)

      I found it handy to have two cell phones through the process. I needed to keep the old cell phone active to establish my identity before I could switch accounts needing two-factor authentication over to the new one. It was so helpful having two cell phones (with different carriers) that I’m trying to see if I can afford to keep two phones or not. “If you have one, you have zero . . . “

      Best regards to you.

      • 2

        Good morning Seasons 4,

        If I may intrude on your post to Alise, …

        Only doing this to help.  Please accept.

        Ref replacing bicycle helmets; Don’t know where both of you live but still, consider upgrading to some helmet that is superior for emergencies. A typical level would be “ANSI II”. The basic hard hat seen worn by utility workers while driving along is usually a ANSI I – basic, loose fitting for routine matters like road work. The better ANSI II approaches looking like a motorcyclist’s helmet. It’s the ANSI I with some leather/other material from helmet to over ears and with good adjustable chin strap.

        If/when you’re in an emergency, whether earthquake, tornado, … it will be worth it.

        Again, didn’t want to intrude other than help a forum member and any other members reading my rambling.

      • 2

        Hi, Bob. Thank you for the great suggestion. You’re most welcome to jump into any conversation. I try to mention the person’s name when I respond just so I can try to learn names. I have a hard hat, as well as my new bicycle helmet, but the hard had sounds like it’s ANSI I, not ANSI II.

      • 2

        Good morning Seasons 4,

        Appreciated reading above.  Thank you.

        Had thought all night might have been offensive to “jump in” to conversation.

        An ANSI I hard hat is fine for a private citizen prepper.

    • 5

      I’ll contribute three things I haven’t seen discussed extensively elsewhere and that have proved quite useful for me (anyone who doesn’t have at least 3 days’ worth of stored water has no business adulting and needs to go the “Start Prepping” link, pronto):

      • Have multiple forms of government-issued “Real ID”. You can have a state driver’s license or ID card, a passport, and a passport card (the passport card is only good for entry/exit to Canada and Mexico).  It’s really not that much of an extra hassle or expense to get a “2 for 1 special” when applying for or renewing your passport to go ahead and get the passport card at the same time.  I keep my passport card in my wallet so it is always with me, and the passport itself in my go bag. I only have one car so usually keep the license in the vehicle.  In many cases you will need government “real ID” to fly or obtain certain services, and if you lose one form in an emergency, it might be challenging or impossible to get another. It gives me peace of mind to have extra, especially extra that will allow me to leave the country if that is essential. People often look at me weird when I show the passport card but it’s accepted at TSA and is far easier to obtain as a “real ID” than going to the DMV in the middle of a pandemic.  Going to the DMV should be avoided at all costs!
      • Have a Medic Alert bracelet and tags even if you don’t need them for medical reasons. These little bracelets are a great way for someone to identify you if you’re knocked unconscious in an accident, have a heart attack while jogging, etc. They’re also a handy, anonymous way to get items back like keys or other equipment. I turned several MedicAlert tags into key chains and if someone finds the keys or the equipment to which they’re attached, they can call the number on the tag and give the ID number on there which is unique to me, and thus find a way to reunite me with my stuff without having my address or other personal information “out in the wild”. A dear friend of ours spent 48 terrifying hours searching for her missing husband, who had passed out while hiking and had no ID on him; he was taken to the local ER but no one knew who he was.  And of course if you DO have medical conditions like severe drug allergies, these are literal lifesavers and give medical staff a quick way to find out your history and locate your loved ones.  
      • Have a hidden lockbox with a combination with an extra key to your house.  We had one of these for our catsitter, but it turned out to be a huge benefit when we had a weather emergency and had to evacuate.  It was not yet safe for us to come home and our neighbors with an extra key were also out of town, but we needed to let a plumber into the house to check the water lines.  Instead of having him break a window, we just gave him the code (which we changed when we got back).  Silly people obsess over whether someone will break into the box to get the key but if they’re going to do that they’re breaking into the house anyway.  And don’t even think about accusing my decent, kind, considerate plumber of being the kind of guy who might copy a key!

      Happy Preptember!

      • 4

         Good morning M.E.,

        Important post ! It is appreciated.

        I’m a strong proponent of specific records management like passports etc.

        Recommend adding to list the new “COVID passport”.  Here in US not as developed a document as in Europe.  We do have as authoritive the COVID-19 shot record with CDC logo on “card” (mine is paper).

        Consider also carrying the old(er) CDC 731 pamphlet “Record of Immunizations”. It can only help matters even if authorities don’t care if had a Yellow Fever shot/jab.


        Believe passport cards also OK for Bahamas for travel on one’s own boat. At least a couple of guys and gals used the card when we did some responder work there about 2 ( 3?) years ago. Forgot name of hurricane.


        My documents are carried in vest below my Sterns Industrial work vest – floatation vest of closed cell foam. Everything on my person at all times

      • 3

        Yes, I believe you are correct about the passport card also working for Bahamas and other Caribbean nations. Apparently the government did this for people who want to do cruises only and don’t want the expense of a passport. Back in the day you could get into the Caribbean with just a birth certificate.

        The “COVID passport” is tricky. My state offers a barcoded printout that can be verified by foreign governments but apparently that works only if you got your vaccine through a government-run clinic, not at a pharmacy or similar. I keep my CDC “paper” with my passport, the printout in my handbag, and the barcode on my phone.  

        I used to have the “Record of Immunizations” book but the paper copy got lost in a move back before I was smart enough to have a backup.  I can’t even remember if I had a yellow fever jab or not!  I am now very careful to keep a record of all immunizations; came in handy last time I needed stitches for an injury and was able to avoid another tetanus shot. 

      • 3

        These are all fantastic (and under-discussed) suggestions that I/my household have implemented. The passport card is a real boon if you live in a state that has struggled to meet REAL ID Act requirements by federal deadlines (which I think have been extended multiple times). It’s also a cheap way to multiply the number of federal photo IDs you have. I keep one in my wallet (because IT ACTUALLY FITS IN THERE!) and the other in a fireproof safe at home.

        I also wear a Road ID with a silicone wristband at all times. It goes with everything and I don’t even notice it. Much better than having to remember to put something on each time I go for a run. They’re durable, too— perhaps too durable: Eight years later, mine is still totally legible, but I’m married to a person I wasn’t dating when I bought it, and living in a different state than the family members who were my ICE contacts back then.

        A lockbox is also great for letting friends stay at your house when you’re out of town. 🙂

      • 3

        I’m glad you found it helpful (and agree about having it so nice that passport card fits in the wallet). Another tip: If you are using the safe only for fireproofing, leave the key in it.  I had a full, fireproof safe of important documents – and burglars stole it. I’m sure they thought it was full of money or guns or drugs or something fun, and they were probably IMMENSELY disappointed to find my birth certificate and wills etc.  A cop advised me to just leave the key in it so it would still be fireproof but burglars would check inside and leave my papers alone (and I don’t need advice on avoiding burglaries, thanks!)

      • 2

        Oh no, that’s so sad! Ours is just for fire protection and all we have in there are documents. And… it’s a combo lock. Any tips for that? Also, how big was the safe that you had stolen? Ours is extremely difficult to move— like, it’s actually fireproof, very thick walls, you’d need a dolly to get it anywhere, that sort of thing. Not that it’s unstealable, but at least you can’t just grab it. If yours was similar, that’d be a cause for concern.

      • 3

        The cop recommended a key lock only because apparently with the combo lock, if you leave it unlocked and it gets knocked over in a fire, everything gets damaged. Mine was a small, portable one, and as a personal choice I wouldn’t have wanted to make it a big heavy one. I wouldn’t have wanted to come home to the burglars who assumed the reason I had a big, heavy safe was so interesting that they’d want to lay in wait for me to make me open it. Of course the cop’s other recommendation was simply to put things in a  safe deposit box at the bank, because they have fire protection up the wazoo, but ironically none of the banks within driving distance of our home had any available.  

        We got new “original” (copies that we had to sign again in front of a notary) of our paperwork and now we keep it in a binder near our go bags, with electronic copies on a USB inside the go bags plus online versions. For many papers, though, the originals are required.

        This could actually be a good article for The Prepared to write – dealing with paperwork both before and after an emergency. For example – if you have a healthcare power of attorney, many hospitals will only accept an ORIGINAL. But once they have it in their files, they never need to see it again. So get one, take it to all your medical providers and let them scan it into their systems, and then put it in the fireproof something-or-other.  For other forms of paperwork, you can pay a fee to have certified copies registered with your city clerk’s office. Very nice to have if you have to evacuate and someone wants proof that the copy in your bag is a “legit” copy of the original. Plus notarization? Many, many notaries will REFUSE to notarize things like wills, because they don’t want to get called into court if there’s a problem with the estate. Lots of things to think about that are too much for me to write here so hopefully one of our trusty guides from the Prepared will write a post soon!

      • 4

        You get my upvote for sharing the tip about a passport card. I use that as my main form of identification wherever I go because it doesn’t contain my home address on the card. I don’t need the lady at the Home Depot knowing my home address to buy a can of spray paint.

        Always have felt like that was an invasion of privacy to have such and such company scan a copy of your drivers licence. Now they have your name, date of birth, home address, and other goodies that are ripe to be exploited during that company’s next data breach. Using a passport card is one way to give them one less point of information. 

        Maybe I’m a tinfoil-hatty over here, but I prefer to see this as preparing against identity theft. Which can be much scarier than an actual home break-in, in my opinion. With a home break-in, you can see what is taken, and that’s that. With identity theft… you don’t know what they are doing with your information, how far it has gone, and how long it will continue to be used. Maybe you’ll get pulled over someday with a warrant for your arrest because “you” flashed a gun at someone three states over, or the IRS comes at “you” for thousands of unreported taxes in another state that you’ve never been to. 

      • 2

        @Supersonic — That is a SUPER good point. I’m ashamed to say that I never even thought about that, but I’ll be following your lead from now on when I’m asked for a photo ID. 

      • 2

        I never thought about that either – about how easy it is to get the home address off a driver’s license (and I never noticed or thought about that it wasn’t on the passport card).  I’ve experienced multiple episodes of identity theft and BOY is it a pain. I listened to a podcast once that brought up an excellent question – if a company issues credit to someone pretending to me, why does it become MY job to fix it? I didn’t do anything.  It was the company that didn’t exercise due diligence – shouldn’t THEY fix it?  It’s amazing how willingly we go along with the hassle.  I froze my credit years ago and haven’t had any problems since. Would recommend.  

        It’s shockingly easy to find someone’s home address, even if they go to great lengths to hide it. Someone challenged me on this once and I found her current and former home addresses in multiple states, plus those of her new spouse, his ex-spouse, and all of their children (who had grown up and moved away). It took me roughly 15 minutes without using any special tools or paying for anything.

        A final note on the spray paint – the paint stores in my states actually DO require the checkout person to record the address of anyone buying a can of spray paint! Some law about trying to track graffiti artists or something. I was just trying to mark a property line…… 

      • 1

        I can second the lockbox and add the garage door opener code.  The key lock box is a real-estate padlock type (with a combo to open it).  We’ve attached it to a large piece of heavy furniture in a non-visible location nearly as far from the doors where the keys would be used as possible.  Needless to say, it’s been accessed only once.  The garage door code has been useful to give to service providers since we can program temporary codes in it.  Sometimes garage access is enough, and on other occasions we leave the interior door to the house unlocked so they never have an actual key.

        Also agree that locking down my credit has been a good thing.  I’ve been notified that my information has been at risk for several cybersecurity breaches in a variety of sources.  I know that no one is setting up new accounts at least.  Small peace of mind there as I know there are other abuses of the breached info.  

    • 4

      Ref National ID docs and passports, they are indeed helpful when in trouble in your own homeland, but being caught with an American, Israeli or British passport in many overseas locations is likely to see you killed.  its why slip on Canadian  Irish or Swiss Passport covers can be advantageous.

    • 3

      Just a heads up to everyone about using a “Fire Safe”.

      In 2003 my dad had a very substantial fire safe, when his home burned to the ground in 30 minutes, he thought he could return and get his important documents in the fire safe.

      When he opened the fire safe about two weeks later when it was safe to return, ALL the papers inside were ash.  Nothing was saved.  Nothing was usable.     Chances are a fire safe isn’t gonna be “safe” for anything.    Scan docs or keep in safety deposit box.

      • 4

        Yeah, we did a lot of research before we bought ours and the main conclusion we drew from that research was that most containers advertised as “fire safe” really aren’t at all— and if you can pick it up and move it with your own two hands, it’s definitely not good enough. The one we picked was rated by testers as legit, it is almost impossible to budge, and there is hardly any room in it for documents because the walls are so thick, so I feel like our stuff has a chance, but only that.

        When it comes to documents, I think you just need to pick your electronic poison, pick your hard copy poison, and recognize that nothing you do is totally safe— fire proof containers fail, banks may be inaccessible, a thumb drive could be stolen (and the encryption broken) or just simply break, cloud storage always poses some risk of security breaches… This is a big reason I put off document preps for six years after I started prepping in earnest: It just seemed like every choice was a bad one. Obviously I’ve gotten over that. Now I actually take comfort in the fact that many people have lost all of their important documents in fires or floods and lived to tell about it— it’s not as if they have to wander the world as “non-people” because the state can’t verify that you exist after you lose a passport or a driver’s license. So worst case scenario, there is a process for reconnecting with identity, insurance, titles and deeds, etc.— everything just takes longer, is more frustrating, and costs you more money.

        (Well, worst case scenario is a full societal collapse, but who needs a renter’s insurance policy then, amirite? :D)

      • 2

        Yes, I think having all of my documents stolen was actually one of the best things that happened to me. Because it taught me that it wasn’t the end of the world. Hassle? Yes. World-ending. Nope. 

    • 3

      Make an effort to make an inventory of your supplies.  That’s a huge help when tracking on what needs to be topped off or rotated.


    • 3

      With the winter storm in Texas and the loss of water and electric utilities, I saw a YouTube video that talked about their hygiene approaches.  It made me think about how to take a shower under those conditions.  I ended up getting the following:

      • Battery-powered portable shower – rechargeable via USB.
      • Bucket water heater – if I have power but no water service.
      • 2 or 3 burner propane camp stove with 30 quart aluminum pot – if I have no power and no water service.

      Using a 5 gallon bucket and the portable shower allows for at least a quick shower.  The stove heats the water very quickly, but carrying a 5 gallon bucket with hot water upstairs takes some strength and you have to be careful to not burn yourself.  The bucket water heater allows the water to be heated in place, but you need electricity.

      • 1

        Could you share some links to the battery powered portable shower and bucket water heater that you bought?? I would like to add those to my supplies.

      • 2

        Good afternoon Sir Henry,

        Before I leave web for a meeting, I’ve got a shower from same company that sells Mr Buddy space heaters.  Forgot name.  It does require keeping the battery recharged about quarterly.

      • 2

        I would have thought that Mr. Buddy would make propane powered shower and not a battery powered one, so that is surprising. I will look into Mr. Buddy showers though, so thank you for your response.

        Good luck in your meeting.

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        Thank you  bob, bill, and bigwig on your recommendations. I have added it to my prepping and emergency supplies wish list. Mrs. Sir Henry will thank you as well when she isn’t showering with ice water in a bucket.

    • 2

      Here is a tip – try eating that mountain house meal that you bought for your emergency food storage. Do you know how to and have everything to prepare it?? How does it taste?? How does your body handle that kind of food for 1-3 weeks straight?? I’d rather work the kinks out now and not when the bombs are dropping outside and I’m bunkered down in my house with nothing else to eat. 

    • 3

      This is the year I’ve really started to up my game on the prep front, mostly due to the community here and especially the useful tips from more experienced forum members like Bob, Bill and Redneck.

      September has been about planning purchases, reading up on local and national emergency plans/threats/flood maps etc and taking an inventory/sorting insurance.  The boring and less glamourous side of being prepared!

    • 3

      Don't Panic

      DON’T PANIC! – Not just large friendly letters on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but sounds words of advice for those wishing to be more prepared.

      If you panic, you get stupid and make stupid choices. When the earthquake or active shooter is going on all around you, Don’t Panic…. and think about what you should do. Take a moment if you can to breathe and gather your thoughts. You got this!


    • 2

      I just shared this tip on another post, but write up your contact information on a piece of paper and put it inside of your phone case. Then if someone finds it, they can call a family member or email you that they found it.

      • 2

        Good evening Captain Peanut,

        Good. ……

        If any kids lose something or even themselves in all the commotion, would recommend write up child’s contact placed on kid, as local Sheriff’s Office or Police Dept address and phone number.  

        Thus, if finder of child’s info is evil of any sort, it would be difficult to exploit this type of info. The parent will surely be in contact with the local LE authorities.

      • 1

        I’ve seen parents take their children to Petsmart or Petco and let them pick out a dog or cat tag from the machine up front. They can pick the shape and color and have their parent’s information imprinted on it. They then attach this to their school bag. 

      • 2

        Good afternoon Captain Peanut,

        Good info. Merci.

        Not familiar with either mentioned store.

        It’s bot a good idea and also involving kids in the program although being done indirectly.