Sorry for the lack of new material on Survival And Prosperity last week. That family member in the hospital and my move out to the suburbs at the end of May isn’t leaving me with a whole lot of extra time to blog these days.
I’ve managed to read the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop a little bit during the chaos, and based on some comments attached to an April 21 post, it sounds like I’ve picked a pretty good time to depart this Northwest Side neighborhood located on the north end of the Chicago Police Department’s 16th District. From SCC:
What is going on in 016? Seems there are never police patrolling the north end of the district. Response time is slow if at all. Meanwhile, crime is rising (especially theft from autos). One neighbor is so frustrated because his spare tire was stolen in front of his house 3 times in the past year, he refuses to put another spare on his vehicle. And he is not alone. Many more thefts and garage burglaries on midnights. If everyone in my neighborhood actually reported every theft, 016 crime stats would be way up. The commander is lucky he does not have to answer to this at next meeting with the Sup.
4/21/2013 08:30:00 PM
In gmac’s theory, they can steal your spare tire 100x as long as nobody gets shot you aren’t getting any more police officers. To downtown, that’s property crime and that’s what you have insurance for.
The midnights is so short that if the WC gives only 2 off he has to down a beat car. The Commander and the ones before him ask for more bodies every month but never get them. When they do open up bids 016 gets medical roll a users and coppers who are stuck in neutral marking time until they retire. And that’s no help
4/22/2013 09:35:00 AM
Based on the above, it doesn’t sound like the cavalry will be coming anytime soon to this “suburb in the city.”
Time to hoist some “Open Neighborhood” banners before a healthy portion of Chicagoland’s estimated 150,000-plus gangbangers and other assorted riff-raff arrive en masse…
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
SCC. “NRA Lambasts Chicago.” Second City Cop. 21 Apr. 2013. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/04/nra-lambasts-chicago.html). 29 Apr. 2013.
It’s been years since I’ve been this busy. As I mentioned the other week, in addition to having a family member in the hospital, house hunting is taking up a lot of my time these days. You may recall from a number of earlier “Project Prepper” posts that my girlfriend and I planned some time ago to move out of Chicago to the northwest suburbs by late spring.
The big picture looks to be “purgatory” in Illinois for a couple of more years before eventual “sanctuary” in southeastern Wisconsin.
Well, it’s spring now, and not only have we looked at a number of single-family residences out in the ‘burbs, but we’re now “under contract” to purchase one of these homes.
Ironically, the very first one we looked at.
After crunching the numbers, it made more sense for us to buy rather than rent. And while we would have liked to live as close to my girlfriend’s place of employment as possible, the situation is a lot like what I blogged about back in November:
Unfortunately, the prices of many homes within walking distance of my girlfriend’s place of employment are extremely high, and considering that this suburban residence may only be temporary for us, I’m not sure buying makes a whole lot of sense here. Because my girlfriend is open to incurring a small commute time, the purchase of a house in an adjoining suburb that has more affordable housing and lower property taxes might be a better option. Plus, should we move into the subdivision of that neighboring suburb that we’ve been looking at for some time now, my girlfriend would be very close by to several members of her immediate family. Renting hasn’t been ruled out either.
In a nutshell, the single-family residence we hope to close on in a month or so is in that neighboring suburb with the more affordable housing and lower property taxes. While not in the same subdivision as her family, we’re right next door.
But more about the house. At least as it relates to “Project Prepper.” Some time ago I put together a “wish list” for what I’d like a Chicago-area property to have. This includes the potential for:
• An emergency water supply
• A food garden
• Effective layers of security
• Going “off the grid”
Oh, I almost forgot to mention a fenced-in yard for a guard or watch dog.
This suburban property definitely has the potential for all these things. Partial brick construction, spacious backyard, an area all ready set aside for gardening, and more.
As such, I sure hope everything works out and I’ll be able to move into the official “Project Prepper” lab later this spring.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
By the time I started this blog back in November 2010, I already had a pretty good idea I’d eventually be leaving the city of Chicago to reside someplace else. And every once in a while, I’d query the “best places” to live in America- should TSHTF or not. While the area of southeastern Wisconsin I’m looking at moving to in a few years is probably not “ideal” (even less so the suburbs of Chicago) from a prepper’s perspective, practitioners of modern survivalism would probably see more positives than negatives with the location. Keeping in mind that not only do I envision a certain lifestyle for myself down the road, but I also think I have a pretty good idea of what will be required to “survive and prosper” in America in the coming years, this part of the Midwest really appears to be a nice fit not only for me but my girlfriend as well. Here’s hoping it is.
Truth be told, while I really should be focusing on finding and eventually nailing down a suburban residence in my remaining four months in the “Windy City,” I can’t help but check out properties north of the Illinois state line every once in a while to see what’s out there. Some nice 5-acre properties are available at what seem to be very reasonable prices.
If only my girlfriend and I could win the lottery. I mean, if only we could win the lottery sooner rather than later.
Check back Friday when I share a nice resource I came across recently while verifying the “Badger State” is the place to be for me.
By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)
Last week, I spotted an article with an interesting headline on the Forbes website. It was “Where Americans Are Moving.” Considering the mainstream media has been trotting out stories of people moving back to the city recently, one might think that traditional urban centers like New York City, Los Angeles, and my hometown of Chicago might be big draws these days.
Joel Kotkin wrote on November 27 about the results of a recent analysis of domestic migration for the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas by demographer Wendell Cox. From the piece:
How about the biggest losers? From 2000-09, the metropolitan areas that suffered the biggest net domestic migration losses resemble something of an urbanist dream team: New York, which saw a net outflow of a whopping 1.9 million citizens, followed by the Los Angeles metro area (-1,337,522), Chicago, Detroit, and, despite recent improvements, San Francisco-Oakland. The raw numbers make it clear that California has lost its appeal for migrants from other parts of the U.S., and has become an exporter of people and talent (and income).
And despite the cheap money Bernanke-Geithner policies of the past few years that have benefited giant banks centered in the bluest big cities, people continue to leave these areas. The 2010-11 numbers show the deck chairs on the migratory titanic have stayed remarkably similar, with New York still ranking first among the 51 biggest metro areas for net migration losses, followed by Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit and Philadelphia. In most of these cases only immigration from abroad, and children of immigrants, have prevented a wholesale demographic decline.
So where are Americans moving to these days? One state in particular is the big winner in this category. Let me give you a hint. Think of a yellow rose.
You can read the entire Forbes piece here on their website to see if the large metropolitan area near you is where Americans are calling home these days.
Or from where residents are moving away, like here in the Windy City.
In my last entry in the Project Prepper series of posts, I shared my plans to move out of Chicago this coming spring (a far cry from also leaving Cook County and Illinois ASAP as originally-intended- but this will have to do for now) with an eye towards acquiring a permanent residence in Wisconsin by the end of Obama’s second term. I wrote last Thursday:
• My girlfriend and I will be moving out of Chicago this coming spring to the northwest suburbs, where we plan on living in a single-family dwelling and making it our primary residence for the next few years. This will address a number of the above points.
• Regrettably, we’ll still be living in Cook County, as a house in one of the “collar counties” will be too far away for our near-term needs…
• Unfortunately, the prices of many homes within walking distance of my girlfriend’s place of employment are extremely high, and considering that this suburban residence may only be temporary for us, I’m not sure buying makes a whole lot of sense here. Because my girlfriend is open to incurring a small commute time, the purchase of a house in an adjoining suburb that has more affordable housing and lower property taxes might be a better option. Plus, should we move into the subdivision of that neighboring suburb that we’ve been looking at for some time now, my girlfriend would be very close by to several members of her immediate family. Renting hasn’t been ruled out either.
I’ve been giving that last bullet point plenty of thought the past couple of days, and shared with my girlfriend (yes, we are planning to get married) that the option that makes the most sense to me at this point in time is finding a single-family dwelling in the same Chicago suburb she works in that’s within walking distance of her office or that’s a short commute away.
• Both of us have had a good deal of experience now living in multi-family buildings. The right single-family dwelling could offer a number of advantages in a SHTF situation. In addition to there being more space possibly for a fruit and vegetable garden, increased security, privacy, and storage areas for supplies and other preps come to mind here right off the bat.
• The suburb where my girlfriend works has the reputation of being safe, stable, and a place where residents generally mind their own business. Negatives include expensive housing, high property taxes, and a recent influx of possible gun “control” types into town. The neighboring town we’ve been looking at has more affordable housing, lower property taxes, is gun-friendly, but tends to be shady in some areas. I suspect the town could get more rough as the economic climate worsens. Plus, their local government and a number of residents have a reputation for being somewhat eccentric. That might not bode well for us should times get real bad while we’re living there.
• One nice thing about the Chicago suburbs is that a number of them have forest preserves and bodies of water such as small lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks. Luckily, the town where my significant other works has both of these. I would prefer our future residence be near one of these forested areas and water features in case TSHTF.
• I believe gasoline prices could skyrocket while we’re still living in “purgatory.” Me working from home and my girlfriend being able to walk to work (or at least having a short commute by car or some other form of transportation) could end up saving us a lot of money and headaches.
Tonight, I spoke to my girlfriend again about moving, and she indicated that she was all for moving to the Chicago suburb where she currently works. In fact, that’s her preference.
Great- the town where we’ll be moving to has been decided upon.
Now we just have to keep an eye on the housing situation there, and save up money for the move (buying/renting still to be determined).
Easier said than done, right?
In the “war-torn” city of Chicago, Illinois, hundreds of Americans have been killed by armed criminals this year…
-Greeley Gazette (CO), September 17, 2012
This weekend was once again a bloody one in Chicago:
According to the latest Chicago Police Department statistics available to the public (ending September 2), there have already been 366 murders this year, up 30 percent from the 282 homicides for all of last year.
Shooting incidents are also up 10 percent, from 1,547 in 2011 to 1,706 as of September 2.
Based on information from the local news outlets, these numbers will be higher once the CompStat data has been updated.
Still, while such violent crime has been on the rise here in the “Windy City,” it’s occurring predominantly in the more seedy areas of town.
For now, at least.
And the prevailing attitude among most Chicagoans is probably similar to what this local blogger wrote in her ChicagoNow blog last night:
One side effect of the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike has been an upsurge in suburban smugness. “This is why I live in the suburbs.” “I guess it’s time for you to move to the suburbs, huh?” Similar sentiment often arises in reference to the city’s homicide rate, which is definitely something of which I’m aware. It’s true that the CTU Strike and homicide rate are symptomatic of some serious problems in Chicago right now. Still, I love living in the city. I love living in this city. Below are some of the reasons I love living in and raising my children in Chicago.
I realize that some of these things are true of other cities. I realize that some of these are biased toward my neighborhood, since that’s the Chicago I see every day. I also realize that, as much as us city folk sometimes wish it weren’t true, many of these assets can be enjoyed by people from the suburbs when they visit. Still, this is why I have no plans to leave Chicago anytime soon…
Here’s hoping the violence in Chicago doesn’t escalate to the point where this Pittsburgh transplant needs to change those plans.
I mentioned some time ago that one of the podcasts I like to listen to on a regular basis is The Survival Podcast, hosted by modern survivalist Jack Spirko.
And two recent shows of his have been alarming as it concerns a coming SHTF event. Back on April 26 I wrote:
Last week, I listened to the April 19 episode of The Survival Podcast, which is hosted by modern survivalist Jack Spirko and which I selected as my “Resource Of The Week” back on March 4.
Episode 646, “The Big Bugout,” stood out from prior episodes in two ways:
1. Spirko was podcasting for the first time from his new homestead in the Ouachita Mountains near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Excellent.
2. Spirko suggested to listeners that now might be the time to bug out
(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)
And just last week, I was listening to episode 912, “Two Possible Futures Over the Next 4-12 Years” (released May 31), where Spirko sounded yet another alarm. From that show:
I don’t want to spend the whole show telling you how bad it is because I’m a solutions guy, right? But I do want to wake people up today that maybe think, “It’s all going to be okay.” It’s not all going to be okay. We can all be okay. But it has to fall apart. The numbers don’t show any other option.
I agree with Spirko here. As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity (and before that, Boom2Bust.com) probably know, barring some miracle, I believe the writing is on the wall for a coming financial crash in the United States. He continued:
But what I really want to talk to you guys about today is what your two possible futures with this are. There’s one that I won’t spend much time on because it’s pretty dark and bleak, and I would think most people wouldn’t choose it for themselves- and it is a choice at this point. The first one is, pretend that this isn’t happening. Pretend that’s it’s just not a big deal.
Here I disagree with Spirko. I think most Americans have chosen denial. There’s more:
The future for the person that ignores this is going to be a really harsh reality when reality sets in. And this is the really bad part. The ship will have completely sailed. Right now it’s already happened, but there’s so much time in my view, right? Even if it’s two years, that’s a lot of time to get your stuff together. And I think there’s more than that personally, but, again- I don’t forecast these things, I just guess. But when that happens, and it’s really obvious that it’s too late, most people will continue to deny it, and continue to deny it, and they’ll just close their eyes and close their ears, and the more they’ve been asleep, the stronger they’ll try and stay asleep. And the more they’re eventually going to get hurt.
And I do think we’ll see riots in cities. You know, I tell you not the roving horde thing and all. The powers that be will come in and squash that crap. They really will. They’ll use it as an excuse to squash you too. You know, so be on the lookout for that.
Spirko went on to highlight the dangers of residing in major urban areas in a period of upheaval, and warned listeners:
So my view is, the way that you combat this, is you get yourself into a neighborhood, or a community, or a smaller rural area- now. You do that now. If you are in a city and you have to work there, you find yourself as far out as you possibly can and still run your job. Try to get some telecommuting time- even if it’s 1 or 2 days a week, that will make that move easier. But, I don’t even think you have to be 5 hours away from a big city. I think if you’re an hour away it’s a big help because that’s not where the people that are going to cause the most problems are going to be…
But get out of the urban areas and get out of the high-density suburbs. I think we’re there now. I always said, if you want to be in these places, that’s fine, make your way there. I think we’re getting to a point where that’s going to be a really bad place to be. There’s going to be a lot of hardship.
The host of The Survival Podcast also noted that he’s not a big fan of isolationism, and identified other priorities that he thought should be acted upon before TSHTF.
Incredibly sobering. You can listen to episode 912 on The Survival Podcast website here.
If you think the government’s going to be there, are you going to sit back and wait for the cavalry? They may never come. So what are you going to do about it? Why don’t you start to prepare? Because it’s your personal responsibility.
-Mike Mester, “doomsday prepper”
Last week, I received an e-mail about participating in part two of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers Blog Carnival. By agreeing to take part in the event, I’d get a sneak peak of the next Doomsday Preppers episode airing on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, March 6. More importantly, I’d be able to provide Survival And Prosperity readers a preview of episode number 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy.” I watched the show, which focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:
Mike Mester, a contractor living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, kids, and dogs
“We’re preparing for civil unrest caused by a global economic collapse.”
Preston White, a web developer living in central Colorado
“Preston believes that a cloud of deadly radiation from Fukushima is heading towards the mainland United States and will soon contaminate food and water supplies.”
Riley Cook, a welder living in Silverthorne, Colorado, with his wife and four kids
“I’m preparing my family to survive a polar shift.”
Now, because this post in only a preview, I can’t give up too much information. However, I think those that are interested in preparedness and who are following the television series will really enjoy this installment of Doomsday Preppers. How so? Well, I’ve learned that preppers come from all walks of life here in the United States. As such, plenty of viewers will relate to the Mester family and their situation in the suburbs, the Cook family and small-town living, and Preston White, the mild-mannered, techno-geek prepper. Personally, I can identify with all three parties. I grew up more or less in the Chicago suburbs, a lot of it in a town writer Ernest Hemingway once supposedly-described as consisting of “broad lawns and narrow minds.” I’ve also spent a good deal of my time throughout the years in a small town in southeastern Wisconsin that’s generally succeeded in not being overrun by throngs of vacationers from northern Illinois. Finally, with the word “eccentric” having been used to describe me before, coupled with my ongoing interest in computers from an early age (borrowed my uncle’s TI-99 back in 1983, picked up an Apple IIc in 1984, and never looked back), I think I understand where White is coming from.
I think viewers that are prepping or are interested in it will also appreciate episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers because many topics will probably hit close to home. Sorry, but no umbilical cords being handed out in this installment. From the Mester family section:
• How to retrieve family members during a SHTF situation who are located a long distance away from the household
• Prepping for pets, particularly dogs
• What to do with expired food
• A cheap, alternative heating and cooking source
• Preparing for civil unrest that might spill into the suburbs from the city in a major crisis
From Preston White’s section:
• A personal seed bank
• Tents to grow food year-round and for living- in a radioactive environment
• An HHO generator and home heater
• A home defense firearm battery
• A graphic lesson about maintaining operational security, or OPSEC
From the Cook family section:
• Underground shelters
• An alternative form of transportation
• Bugging-out in severe conditions
Now, the Cook family is prepping because they fear a polar shift is coming. You may recall that in episode 4 the O’Brien family had the same concern. From that episode:
Kevin believes that a 2012 polar shift will cause the earth to move on its axis, resulting in an onslaught of natural disasters… and since Florida is a low-lying coastal peninsula, Kevin believes that his home state will be completely devastated by a polar shift.
I feel it’s important to point out, once again, that what I think the O’Brien and Cook families are really concerned about is not a magnetic pole shift, but what’s known as “true polar wander,” or the solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to its spin axis, causing the geographic (not just the magnetic) locations of the North and South Poles to change, or “wander.” Some theorize that rapid TPW could lead to scores of natural disasters taking place across the world over a small period of time.
Overall, I think you’ll really get into episode 6 of Doomsday Preppers. Like I said, many viewers should be able to identify with the featured preppers and topics. I thought this episode covered the most interesting material to date- although I leave it up to you to decide on Fukushima. While I liked learning about the Mester family’s suburban stronghold and the Cook family’s mountain retreat, I thought the HHO generator/heater that Preston White and his friends were playing around with was way too cool. Then again, that’s the techno-geek in me coming out.
Tune into Doomsday Preppers episode 6, “Nine Meals Away from Anarchy,” on Tuesday night, March 6, on the National Geographic Channel.
While on the topic of health this morning, I recently came across an article that discussed something I already suspected- farm-raised kids tend to be healthier than those living in urban/suburban environments. At least when it comes to respiratory issues and other hyperallergic sensitivities. From the Los Angeles Times’ Amina Khan back on February 23:
Children raised on farms don’t suffer from asthma as much as their city- and suburb-dwelling counterparts, according to a paper published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. But it’s not necessarily because of the fresh air, full sun and hard work, researchers say — it’s because of the germs.
Scientists had known that many of the things associated with farm life — unpasteurized milk, exposure to animals such as cows and pigs, and hay — helped kids grow up with stronger constitutions, perhaps because they were being exposed to harmless, even beneficial, bacteria along the way. To test this hypothesis, the researchers analyzed samples of house dust to look at the microbes within.
They showed that children on farms, where the bacteria population is far more diverse, were 30% to 50% less likely to have asthma than children who didn’t live on farms. The wider the range of microbes in the houses, the less likely it was that the children would suffer from asthma.
Khan added that the findings also showed farm-raised kids were much less likely to have atopy, “an umbrella term for certain types of hyperallergic sensitivity, including hay fever, asthma and eczema.”
Khan, Amina. “Farm-raised kids are less prone to asthma. Who gets the credit? Germs, researchers say.” Los Angeles Times. 23 Feb. 2011. (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/23/news/la-heb-asthma-farm-kids-20110223). 24 Mar. 2011.
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