*Introduction to Suburban Emergency Preparations*
Everyone has their dream plan for emergency preps. Iíd imagine that most of those dream plans include bunkers or shelters of some sort, often underground. They probably also include large amounts of water storage that can be hooked up to the plumbing, a full solar setup for supplemental power, and loads of stored food. Maybe these preps even include a greenhouse, and/or a large garden.
While these are excellent goals, some of us arenít as close to attaining them as others. Many of us, while working towards owning a chunk of land in a more rural setting, live in places where extensive preps are difficult and, at times, seem impossible. Suggestions for those living in the city donít quite work for those of us in the suburbs because we do have more storage space. We also wonít likely want to bug out to somewhere else. At the same time, weíll be the ones who are in between where TS hits TF and the safer outlying areas.
Keeping those things in mind, being prepared is still possible with extra planning.
This is going to be a series of articles. As I am doing more for my own home, I will be writing more articles. For now Iím going to cover the basics and give an idea of the possibilities for different suburban situations.
Letís start off with where you live. The type of dwelling you have will make a difference in your ability to make preparations. If you rent a townhouse, you will have restrictions based upon your lease as well as potential restrictions based upon the HOA (home ownerís association.) That doesnít mean you canít prepare! It means you will have to make your preps less permanent. With careful planning, this is totally workable.
If you live in a house in the suburbs, you have a great deal more leeway. Still, many of us in the suburbs do live in housing developments which are also under the rules of an HOA. In most cases, this will restrict things such as your ability to create a shelter/bunker. It doesnít mean you cannot have one. It does mean that you will have to check with your HOA to see what restrictions there are in regards to building and making changes to your property.
You may live in an apartment in the suburbs. In that case, you will have less ability to make advanced preps and will want to refer mostly to the urban survival preps. However, living in the suburbs gives you access to some things that you may not have in the city.
As always, in emergency preparation, you need to first define the most likely emergency situation you will face. Start from there and move forward. You also want to do as War has suggested many, many times. Make your purchases count. Buy things that serve multiple purposes. This will increase your preparedness and will save money as well.
I wrote another article about being familiar with your resources. This is key! Know what your resources are. Get to know your local law enforcement. Find out what local neighborhood watch groups there are. Look into CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Ham Radio groups, and local SAR (Search and Rescue). Get involved in whatever way you are able. Also, get to know your neighbors! Itís easy to get into the habit of just going about your day to day life and not getting involved. Especially in todayís society, it has become standard practice to just Ďmind your own businessí and ignore whatís going on around you. In an emergency situation, nothing could be worse. You need to know who lives near you. Know the people who have skills that would be helpful in an emergency. You can do this by becoming active in neighborhood watch groups and CERT. Get involved in anything that will get you more familiar with your surroundings. You can start simply! Say hi to your neighbors. If you bake, take some baked goods to them sometime. Participate in a block party or a neighborhood garage sale. If you notice your neighbor working outside, ask if you can lend a hand. Offering to help goes a long way towards fostering a friendship, or at least a familiar relationship. None of this requires you to give away the fact that youíre prepared for the worst. It just gives you an edge, by knowing what you have to work with.
This is just the beginning. Start off by identifying your living arrangements and their strengths and limitations. Know your local resources. Know your neighbors.
In the next article, I will discuss common HOA restrictions, leases, and ways to fit your preps in without breaking your lease or HOA rules.
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