urban living

The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In March

Nick Conrad and The Green Suite of Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014) will be offering instruction in “window farming” and solar electricity next month. From their website:

DIY Solar Electricity
Thursday, March 2, 2017
7:00pm -9:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost is only $30.

Regarding that window farming class:

Window Farming for Beginners
Sunday, March 5, 2017
3:00pm-5:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost again is only $30.

For more information about the instruction and how to enroll, head over to The Green Suite website here. You can also register for classes on the Dabble Chicago website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 Agriculture, Energy, Farming, Food, Preparedness, Training, Utilities Comments Off on The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In March

Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor handed the Chicago metropolitan area some bad news on the employment front. From a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release this morning entitled “Metropolitan Area Employment And Unemployment- December 2016”:

Of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more, Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H., had the lowest unemployment rate in December, 2.5 percent, followed by Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 2.6 percent, and Salt Lake City, Utah, 2.7 percent. Birmingham-Hoover, Ala., and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., had the highest jobless rates among the large areas, 5.4 percent each.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Worrisome.

You can read the entire BLS news release here (.pdf format).

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 Business, Employment, Government Comments Off on Chicago Ties Birmingham, Alabama, For Highest Jobless Rate Among Large Metro Areas In December

Chicago’s 2016 Violence, ‘Fetal’ Policing Suggests Residents Focus On Personal Safety

Last Thursday, I wrote the following concerning some Chicago Tribune reader correspondence entitled “Letter: I’m leaving Chicago and I’m never coming back”:

I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the “Windy City.” That being said, I do believe conditions in the city will erode before improving again. For those dead set on remaining in town, please do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead. For example, how do your finances look with the real prospect of future tax hits down the road?

More later…

Later is today- as least as that bit about “personal safety capabilities” is concerned.

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that the physical well-being of Chicagoans in the face of growing criminal threats has been a priority of this blog since its inception. A recent post on the popular Chicago police blog Second City Cop and a just-released report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab seem to justify such concern.

“SCC” posted the following on Second City Cop on December 29, which suggests the Chicago Police Department is becoming increasingly “fetal”:

[Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson] claims we’re “still policing” despite all evidence to the contrary:

-street stops down from 159,000 in 2015 to 21,000 in 2016
-property crime skyrocketing in formerly “quiet” areas
-arrest down tens of thousands
-a 20% homicide clearance rate

The list is near endless, and the price is paid in bodies…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Yesterday, the University of Chicago Crime Lab released a report entitled Gun Violence In Chicago, 2016, which utilized data obtained from the Chicago Police Department and other sources “to provide a more complete picture of the change in our city’s crime problem in 2016.”

The “change” was disturbing. From the report’s “Introduction”:

Between 2015 and 2016, Chicago experienced 58 percent more homicides and 43 percent more non-fatal shootings. Annual increases of this size are not unprecedented among American cities, particularly in recent years, but are rare for a city of Chicago’s size. One striking feature of Chicago’s increase in gun violence is how sudden it was: as of December 2015, there was no indication that gun violence was on the verge of rising sharply. But in January 2016, homicides and shootings surged relative to their 2015 levels and remained higher in almost every month that followed, threatening 20 years of progress on violent crime in Chicago…

What changed in Chicago was not so much the nature of our violence problem, but rather its prevalence. Most murders involved guns, occurred in public places, and stemmed from what police believe was some sort of altercation. This violence continues to be very regressive in its impact, disproportionately affecting the city’s most disadvantaged residents. Most gun violence victims and suspects were African American men, more often than not having had some prior encounter with the criminal justice system.

Compared to other cities, a larger share of homicide suspects in Chicago consists of adolescents, although the majority of all homicide suspects are in their 20s or older. The increase in gun violence occurred disproportionately in several disadvantaged neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides, which now account for an even larger share of the city’s homicides. Another change is that from 2015 to 2016, the share of homicides that CPD believes stemmed from an altercation, as well as the share of homicide offenders who were recorded by CPD as having a gang affiliation, seemed to decline

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“The share of homicide offenders who were recorded by CPD as having a gang affiliation, seemed to decline”

And here I was parnanoid about the tens of thousands of gang bangers infesting the city.

Further suggesting Chicagoans’ really need to look after their personal safety were these nuggets found within the report:

-“In 2016, 77 percent of gun homicides and shootings took place on the street or in an alley, up from 75 percent in 2015…”

-“Around 64 percent of homicides in 2016 were described by CPD as stemming from an altercation, down from 74 percent in 2015. Unless there was a change in how CPD recorded the circumstances of homicides from 2015 to 2016, this suggests that homicides stemming from other motivations increased more rapidly (by 121 percent) than did homicides stemming from an altercation (by 35 percent)…”

-“Individuals arrested for a homicide or shooting in Chicago in 2016 and 2015 had similar prior criminal records: around 90 percent had at least one prior arrest, approximately 50 percent had a prior arrest for a violent crime specifically, and almost 40 percent had a prior gun arrest. The average person arrested for a homicide or shooting in both years had nearly 12 prior arrests, with almost 45 percent having had more than 10 prior arrests, and almost 20 percent having had more than 20 prior arrests…”

-“The share of offenders with a current or prior gang affiliation, as noted by CPD, declined from 73 percent in 2015 to 67 percent in 2016, suggesting that individuals not affiliated with gangs may have been overrepresented among those driving the increase in violence…”

-“In 2016, Chicago police made 24 percent fewer arrests than in 2015, accelerating the steady downward trend in arrests the city has seen in recent years…”

-“Chicago police recorded over 80 percent fewer stops in January 2016 than they had in November 2015. This drop, from an average of over 50,000 stops per month in 2015 (through November) to approximately 10,000 stops per month starting in early 2016, began a few months before rates of gun violence in Chicago began to increase. What caused the decline is itself unclear. Several frequently-mentioned candidate explanations—the release of video footage showing the shooting by a CPD officer of teenager Laquan McDonald, announcement of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation of CPD, implementation of an agreement between the City and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) concerning street stops, and a new state law regarding street stops—all happened essentially within a few weeks of each other in late 2015 and early 2016…”

More on Chicago and personal safety later. In the meantime, head on over to the University of Chicago Crime Lab website here to read their entire report (.pdf file). It’s enlightening, to say the least.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

SCC. “The War on Cops Continues.” Second City Cop. 29 Dec. 2016. (http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-war-on-cops-comtinues.html). 18 Jan. 2017.

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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 Crime, Government, Poverty, Preparedness, Public Safety, Self-Defense Comments Off on Chicago’s 2016 Violence, ‘Fetal’ Policing Suggests Residents Focus On Personal Safety

Mexican Paper Reports ‘Migrants Flee To Chicago Before Trump Becomes President’

In a post yesterday about Chicago, I offered up the following to residents who look to remain in the city through what I suspect will be increasingly tough times:

Do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead…

Here’s one more thing these Chicagoans might want to consider:

Learn to speak Spanish, if you don’t already.

Back in high school, I informed one of my Spanish teachers that I wanted to learn the language because I envisioned a future where being able to speak it might come in handy around Chicagoland and in other parts of the country.

It has. Immensely.

Almost a decade ago, I mentioned to my girlfriend that Chicagoans had better get used to a growing Hispanic influence in the city, based on the demographic trends I was observing.

Perhaps even more so now, after reading an article on the website of Mexican financial newspaper EL FINANCIERO. In the piece entitled “Migrants flee to Chicago before Trump becomes president,” Anabel Clemente reported Tuesday:

Before Donald Trump is acting president, on January 20, Mexico’s consul in Chicago, Carlos Martín Jiménez, reported that there is already a displacement of migrants to that city, as a point considered a sanctuary .

During the 28th Meeting of Ambassadors and Consuls, he said that undocumented people, living in localities near Chicago, began moving to that city, where their mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has implemented support measures , such as establishing a Special office called New Citizens , and has put a free phone for those who do not have documentation.

“We have Indiana, which is quite anti-immigrant, almost half the state, and we have a lot of people in Wisconsin . Although there is a new consulate, people are already very accustomed to the Chicago consulate and then they are migrating to Chicago, precisely because of the sanctuary issue, “he said…

(Editor’s notes: Bold added for emphasis; Translation exactly as provided by the Google Translate website.)

You can read the entire article here in English via Google Translate or here in Spanish on the EL FINANCIERO website.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Friday, January 13th, 2017 Demographics, Government, Immigration, North America, Political Parties, Population, South America Comments Off on Mexican Paper Reports ‘Migrants Flee To Chicago Before Trump Becomes President’

Chicago Tribune Letter: ‘Chicago, And Its Surrounding Areas, Have Become Hell on Earth’

This morning I headed over to the Chicago Tribune website to see what’s cooking locally. On their homepage was a “story” link with the following headline:

“Letter: I’m leaving Chicago and I’m never coming back”

Figuring this should make some “entertaining” reading while I finished my coffee, I checked out the proclamation. The author sure didn’t pull any punches. Here’s a snippet:

I’ve come to understand that Chicago, and its surrounding areas, have become Hell on Earth for any thinking person with a modicum of self-respect.

The caustic combination of corrupt politicians with nothing but contempt for the public; a police force so broken down in spirit it visibly resents interaction with even law-abiding citizens; a criminal underclass empowered by the incessant drone of liberal rhetoric wandering the streets posing clear and present danger to everyone around them; and the enablers, who are everywhere, to say nothing of the ugly, decaying infrastructure, poor economy and joyless entertainment and leisure opportunities – it is for these reasons I have made the decision to disconnect forever…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know, I am one of those who left Chicago (Northwest Side) only three-and-a-half years ago due to concerns over increasing government mismanagement, crime, and costs of living- in no particular order. Besides, even though I really liked the neighborhood I had lived in for eight years, it was time for a new pad and home prices were just too damn high!

My girlfriend and I did what was right for us at the time and in advance of what we suspect lies ahead. But Chicago is still a great city with fantastic people (minus the criminal element), so much so not only do I understand why one might still choose to reside there, but even I won’t go so far as to proclaim “I’m never coming back.”

I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the “Windy City.” That being said, I do believe conditions in the city will erode before improving again. For those dead set on remaining in town, please do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead. For example, how do your finances look with the real prospect of future tax hits down the road?

More later. And to read that entire letter sent to the Chicago Tribune, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Thursday, January 12th, 2017 Crime, Debt Crisis, Essential Reading, Fiscal Policy, Government, Housing, Infrastructure, Political Parties, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense, Taxes Comments Off on Chicago Tribune Letter: ‘Chicago, And Its Surrounding Areas, Have Become Hell on Earth’

Resource Of The Week: In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast

In yesterday’s post I talked about modern survivalist Jack Spirko and his advice for dealing with this election cycle’s intensifying insanity. I mentioned Spirko is the long-time host of The Survival Podcast, which I named a “Resource Of The Week” all the way back on March 4, 2011. Great stuff, and I still cherry-pick from the latest episodes posted on the TSP website on a regular basis.

There’s one other prepper/survival-related podcast I listen to these days:

In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast

From the podcast section of the ITRH website:

After years of being frustrated that no one was fully addressing the concerns of urban survivalists, Aaron [Frankel] and Jonathan [Kanarek] took to the web and founded In The Rabbit Hole in February of 2010. Shortly after they’re long time friend and accomplice Jason joined the show to add a touch of “Red Neck Cajun”. Since then the show has enjoyed many great guests and a wide range of topics.

They are three city boys with a lifetime affinity for the outdoors, but a love of the city, passion for survival topics, and Libertarian Ideals…

“In The Rabbit Hole is about focusing first on the things that matter most: What’s likely to happen. Then preparing for it in a rational and productive way.”

These priorities of urban survival come from the focal points of Community, Health and Intelligence–referred to as “Survival CHI”.

Through a weekly podcast and articles, Aaron, Jonathan, and Jason remind people to “Stay safe and sound”. (Safe in person and sound in mind.)

From the Lone Star State, the trio reach out to people who are interested in taking personal responsibility for their own safety and well-being…

…And who just happen to live in the city.

While not a “long-time listener” to the podcast, I’ve noticed it’s not just urban preppers/survivalists who could learn a thing or two from the material presented. The ITRH site adds:

Hosts Aaron, Jason, and Jonathan cover topics such as:

Self Sufficiency
Food Storage
Homesteading in the city
Survival Book, Video, and Gear Reviews
Starting Off as a New Prepper
Financial Survival
Self Reliance
Preparing for Natural Disasters
Emergency Medicine
Firearms, Guns, and things that go bang
Self Defense
Disaster Psychology

Surveying the latest episodes listed on the ITRH website, episode 191, “Surviving Refugee Hell” (posted October 17)- with James Price, Founder/Director of Humanitarian Aid Security Forces (HASF)- sounds like my next listen.

Interested in tuning-in too? Head on over to the In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast website here.

But before you do, there’s also this from the ITRH gang:

Not sure where to begin?

Two of ITRH’s most acclaimed episodes that paint a clear picture of what the Podcast is about are:

TEOTWAWKI Reality Check: What do you really need to be prepping for.

Survival CHI- Reloaded: The foundational principles of ITRH.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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Friday, October 28th, 2016 Emergencies, Firearms, Food, Gear, Health, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Psychology, Resource Of The Week, Self-Defense, SP Resources Comments Off on Resource Of The Week: In The Rabbit Hole Urban Survival Podcast

Illinois Democrats Savaged By African-American Gun Rights Activist Colion Noir

“Every cop on the street knows who’s doing the killing- it’s the gang members and felons these same fearless politicians refuse to prosecute and throw in prison. And all these anti-gun politicians have to offer is gun control… and then when that doesn’t work, more gun control.

You politicians don’t represent these communities- you’re political parasites, where your political career thrives on exploiting the conditions in these places.

Because if you were trying to save lives, you’d be having a national day of action to demonstrate ways to stop the gang violence in the inner city, not how to come up with more laws that haven’t worked and that you don’t enforce in the first place…”

-Colion Noir, African-American gun rights activist, attorney, and National Rifle Association member/commentator, calling out Illinois Democrats on their gun control agenda


“Commentators | S6 E16: ‘How Not To Fix Inner-City Gun Violence’”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, July 7th, 2016 Crime, Firearms, Government, Gun Rights, Hunting, Legal, Political Parties, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Shooting Sports Comments Off on Illinois Democrats Savaged By African-American Gun Rights Activist Colion Noir

Signs Of The Time, Part 102

From the official website of the National Association of REALTORS- realtor.com- this past Tuesday:

“Prepping for Doomsday: Bunkers, Panic Rooms, and Going Off the Grid”

Excerpts from the article included:

“If the booming sales of panic rooms are any indication, more and more city dwellers these days are obsessively worrying about everything from home invasions to terror attacks…”

“Some real estate companies are seeing big increases by specializing in ‘survivalist properties’…”

“Survivalists are also particularly hungry for metal containers they can convert into shelters and bury underground…”

While there’s the expected mocking tone to the piece (“Welcome to the brave (and for some, highly profitable) new world of paranoia”), it’s still an interesting look at what’s going on with panic/safe rooms, survival real estate, and (underground) shelters- topics I’ve blogged about from time to time over the last several years.

You can read the entire article on realtor.com here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, May 12th, 2016 Crime, Emergencies, Main Street, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Shelter, Signs Of The Time, Terrorism Comments Off on Signs Of The Time, Part 102

In Print: Blockade- The Diary Of An Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924

Slowly but surely, I’ve been bringing back those different series of posts I started running in November 2010. It’s been a while since I published an “In Print” piece (December 2014), but truth be told, I’ve hardly had time to read any books (to completion) for quite some time. Seriously. That’s changing, and a number of titles I have in my possession will be presented and discussed in future “In Print” posts. Some real good material there too.

This week’s “In Print” selection is entitled Blockade- The Diary of an Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924, which was written in 1932 by Anna Eisenmenger. I’m not sure exactly how I heard about the “diary,” but I’m glad I did- as were others. You see, I had just finished reading it when I posted the following comment on the blog area of the SHTF School website (produced in conjunction with well-known Balkan region war survivor/prepper/survivalist “Selco” and “dedicated to urban survival and preparedness”):

“Suggest someone who is dear to you to read real life experiences.” Selco, I recently read a book (diary actually) from around your part of the world that I found relevant and intriguing- Anna Eisenmenger’s 94-page “Blockade – The Diary of an Austrian Middle-Class Woman 1914-1924,” available for free on archive.org. “Diary of an Austrian woman who lived through World War I and the interwar years in Vienna. She witnessed the devaluation of the currency and the government controls on food, fuel, and travel. Her sons were wounded in the war and one turned to extremist ideals in the wake of the war. Interesting personal view of a sometimes overlooked historical period.” Eisenmenger talked about a range of topics, including asset protection, bartering, civil unrest, food shortages, health issues, urban versus rural when TSHTF, and going to extremes to save one’s family.

In response to a question of how to download the diary in a “readable format,” I added later:

If Selco and gang don’t mind me posting it here, below is the link on archive.org to the page where Mrs. Eisenmenger’s diary can either be read (page top) or downloaded (page right). I opted for the .pdf version, which worked fine in my Acrobat Reader. If the link gets stripped, you can go to archive.org, enter “Blockade The Diary” in the search engine (not that “WayBackMachine” box) and the link to the page where you can read/download it should appear near the top of the search results. Hope this helps. I found the diary insightful and sobering. Hard to believe it was published in 1932 as it reads like a modern manuscript…

https://archive.org/details/Blockade-TheDiaryOfAnAustrianMiddle-classWoman1914-1924

Selco and others were grateful to me for pointing out this free resource, with one blog reader going so far as to write:

Thank you so much for recommending this book. What a great read and if I was part of a prepper group, this book would be recommended reading…

No problem. And now I’m recommending it to Survival And Prosperity readers.

You can use that link to Blockade I shared with the SHTF School folks. I just tested it and it’s still “live.”

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Info/link added to “Resources” page. Tomorrow though as I’m beat from doing chores at the family’s place in Wisconsin earlier today and driving back to Illinois.)

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Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report

Last week in the “Project Prepper” series of posts I recapped what the series is all about for those who didn’t already know.

Today, I’m going to talk about where the project stands a little over three years in the works.

Originally, I decided my preparedness education and activities would focus on a prioritized list of six “innate survival needs” (hat-tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast). That included:

1. Security
2. Water
3. Food
4. Shelter
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy

In May 2015, I split up “Security” into “Physical Security” and “Financial Security” (following Spirko’s lead). The revised list now looks like this:

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

After its adoption I blogged on May 20, 2015:

“Physical Security” is still priority number one because I predict the push for more gun “control” will continue while crime simultaneously gets worse. “Financial Security” breaks into the list at number two because the most likely disaster I see on the horizon is an economic one. “Shelter” now brings up the rear as I’ve completed that move from my Chicago apartment to a house in the suburbs (plus there’s my family’s place in Wisconsin where I spend time).

In my last “status report” (December 10, 2014), I wrote:

Decent strides have been made in the area of security… Physical security on the exterior/interior of the new house has been improved, particularly with landscaping, lighting, and locks. Personal safety gear, supplies, and tools have been acquired, with training having commenced a few years back.

Concerning water, the foundation for an emergency water supply is now in place. While utilizing some water storage containers I had prior to this project, I’ve acquired additional containers. To maintain the quality of the water for an extended period of time, I purchased aerobic stabilized oxygen. I’ve also kept a couple of cases of bottled drinking water on hand, along with an emergency water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh water in a bathtub standing by in the wings. At present, my girlfriend and I have close to a week-and-a-half supply of emergency water each (based on federal government guidelines of one gallon per person per day). Even though this is significantly more than Uncle Sam’s 72-hour recommendation, I’m not comfortable with this amount.

Concerning food, the foundation for an emergency food supply is also in place. Taking advantage of price drops and gift cards, my girlfriend and I scored a relatively-inexpensive 1-week supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals each. Like with the water though, I’d like to increase that amount commensurate with the potential emergencies I’ve identified.

Concerning shelter, purchasing that house last spring was a pretty big “prep.” And it was certainly an improvement over the multi-family housing arrangement where my girlfriend and I used to live. As much as I love the city of Chicago and would have liked to stay in our northwest side neighborhood, my girlfriend and I are much better off here in a close-by suburb, all things considered.

Concerning sanitation/health, not much work has been done in this area yet. As health is concerned, I’ve acquired a good deal of basic first aid supplies and instructional material in the last couple of years. But it’s been too long since I’ve had any training in this area. It’s one of my goals in 2015 to complete an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit- as well as having the knowledge/skills to use it. In addition, while working around the house has been good for the body, I really need to improve my physical fitness. Not only will it help me cope with the difficult times I see coming down the pipeline, but hopefully it will keep me from having to rely on our floundering health care system as much as possible.

On sanitation, an unforeseen (and somewhat costly) improvement was carried out late last year on our sewer line going from the house. I’ll spare readers the details, but a new cleanout was added on the front of the home, and with it, a check valve. Should the city’s sewer system fail for any reason (extended power grid failure?), the valve should prevent sewage from backing up into our house and through the toilets. At least, that’s how I understand it should work. When it comes to people having to “go to the bathroom” in an extended grid-down scenario and dealing with the waste, I’m already researching a number of possible solutions.

Finally, as energy is concerned, for short-term blackouts I’ve been looking at portable generators to use at first until my girlfriend and I can afford a standby generator that can be hooked up to the natural gas line coming into the house. I’m also exploring if we can’t utilize renewable sources of energy somehow. I really hope so, because it’s probably what we’ll be forced to turn to in a long-term grid-down situation. That being said, we are limited by what we can use due to our location in a major metropolitan area.

So that’s where I stand with “Project Prepper” as 2014 draws to a close. Decent progress has been made in tackling those “innate survival needs,” but there’s still a lot more work that needs to be done. Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.

“Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.”

Regrettably, “time and money” were not on my side. That being said, I was able to make some progress on “Project Prepper.” Going down that revised list of “innate survival needs”:

1. Physical Security: Additional lighting has been added around the property to illuminate the exterior of the house. More personal safety tools and gear have been acquired, along with training material purchased from affiliate marketing partner Paladin Press.

2. Financial Security: No progress, although efforts have been ongoing since 2004. More on this another time.

3. Water: Additional water storage containers have been purchased and acquired. I bought one Reliance Products Aqua-Pak 5 Gallon Rigid Water Container
via Amazon.com to try out (review forthcoming), and have been stockpiling empty 2-liter plastic bottles.

4. Food: Nothing’s been added to the existing emergency food supply. Although regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember the “experimental” food garden my girlfriend and I grew last year using heirloom seeds from My Patriot Supply’s Survival Seed Vault.

Cucumbersaurus Revisited

Cucumbersaurus Revisited: It was DELICIOUS, by the way

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Despite a number of rookie mistakes and other challenges, I’d say it was a success, and I can’t wait to grow another, more expanded one this year.

5. Sanitation and Health: I wasn’t able to take that American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit in 2015 like I wanted to. I have started a new workout regimen though in an effort to improve my physical fitness. I blogged back on August 26, 2015:

As for the standards I’m shooting for, I’m leaning towards those embraced by Blackwater, Inc. Founder and former CEO Erik Prince talked about them in his recently published book entitled Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror:

Our employees may have been retired from the military, but Blackwater didn’t hire your typical “retiree.” After the eight-week Moyock training programs that turned those veterans into diplomatic security professionals, our final physical fitness test standards required men to run one and a half miles in less than ten minutes, forty-five seconds; execute twelve pull-ups in a row, seventy-five push-ups done in two one-minute sets, and seventy-five sit-ups in two one-minute sets; and drag a 175-pound dummy eighty feet in under one minute

(Editor: Bold added for emphasis)

6. Energy: No progress.

7. Shelter: No progress. But to be fair, the house in the Chicago suburbs was a pretty substantial prep.

I’m disappointed I didn’t accomplish more since that December 2014 status report. Particularly as I believe time is ticking before the “balloon goes up.” From this point on, I’ll need to get “time and money” back on my side to keep “Project Prepper” moving forward. I’m up to the challenge.

More next week…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 Emergencies, Energy, Firearms, Food, Gardening, Gear, Gun Rights, Health, Medicine, Preparedness, Project Prepper, Sanitation, Security, Self-Defense, Shelter, Supplies, Training, Water Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report
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RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

  • Degussa Singapore Launches YouTube Channel
    It’s been some time since I last blogged about the first Asian branch of Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world. Degussa Singapore opened its doors at 22 Orchard Road in October 2015 and operates a safe deposit box service in addition to selling bullion bars, coins, and precious gifts. Yesterday I […]
  • Nomad Capitalist’s 5 Best Countries For Offshore Gold Storage
    Research related to Monday’s post about precious metals storage in Singapore led me to a piece published last fall by Andrew Henderson over on the Nomad Capitalist website. I’ve mentioned Andrew and his company before on the blog, but for those readers not familiar with them, Henderson is the founder and managing partner of Hong […]
  • Singapore’s ‘Strong’ Precious Metals Storage Infrastructure Anchors Trading Hub Push
    It’s no secret that Singapore has become a global leader in the storage and safekeeping of private wealth. In fact, the last mention of the Southeast Asian city-state on this blog concerned a December 12, 2016, article on the The Business Times (Singapore) website which noted privately-owned precious metals from around the world are finding […]
  • List Of Offshore Private Vaults Updated
    The list of private, non-bank vaults outside the United States (offering safe deposit boxes/lockers at a minimum) located on this blog’s sister site- Offshore Private Vaults- was recently updated. Safe deposit facilities now open for business have been added under the following countries: -Hong Kong (Royal England Safe Deposit Box Ltd.) -Thailand (Magna Carta Law […]
  • Next Degussa Numis Day To Take Place May 4, 5
    Degussa, a leading international player in the precious metals world which also offers safe deposit boxes (for customers) at branches in Germany, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland, has just posted information about their next Numis Day (first blogged about here) at their Geneva and Zurich showrooms. From their website: The Next Numis Day We appreciate and […]