As the Shutdowns Draw to a Close, Traffic and Crime Rises

Shutting down the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19 had plenty of unintended consequences, from the economic to mental health. Reopening may have consequences, too.

My daughter, who lives in a mid-sized city, was complaining about the recent increase in traffic and how it is making her commute longer. (Since she works in healthcare, she has been back at work for months. And yes, she caught COVID-19 but recovered quickly, probably thanks to being young.) Apparently, people are going back to the office after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted and the highways are getting crowded again.

A friend in our old home town confirmed that traffic is “back to normal” or perhaps worse. Construction is also going on at a rapid pace, possibly because the area is one where people from large cities are moving to escape. I’m not sure moving from an apartment in a large city to a townhouse or condo in a mid-sized city is that big an escape, but it took me multiple steps to get from New York City to the country, so you have to start somewhere. That’s why we call it your prepping journey.

It will be interesting to see if the re-opening of American and the thought of facing crowds again drives more people out of cities.

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How and Where to Get Your Water After the SHTF

So you have stored food, great! But how are you prepped for water? And what would you do without the sewer system? Keep reading for answers and options.

Now there’s one more thing people living in cities have to worry about: Having their water system hacked, which is what happened a week ago in Florida.  The hack was caught because an employee was sitting there at the screen, watching someone on the other end of the connection move his cursor around and program the system to dump excess chemicals into the drinking water. 

It wasn’t a sophisticated hack, but what if no one had been in front of that computer at the time?  It’s also a warning that having remote-viewing software like Team Viewer on your computer can leave your computer–and any system to which you are attached–open to hacking.

I haven’t been on city water since 1998, having lived in homes with wells and now a spring, so we’re safe from hacking of the water system, but we are in the minority.  The CDC says that 82 percent of the population relies on municipal water systems.  My guess is that when you consider people whose workplace uses city water, that number is even higher.

That raises the question about other utilities: Are sewer or waste water facilities protected?  What about natural gas?  Again, having a septic system and using propane protects many rural folks, but what if a malicious hacker started dumping raw sewer into waterways that normally receive only treated waste water?  Or what if they cut off natural gas to a major city in the North East on one of the coldest nights of the year?

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Book Review: “Fall of the Cities: Planting the Orchard” by Vance Huxley

On a blah, indoor day, I start reading a piece of dystopian future prepper lit in which the cities are dying due to a lack of gasoline. Not a bad way to spend the day.

It was a quiet day with snow, rain and freezing rain.  I accomplished two things: I hung curtain rods for my wife’s draperies and I read about half of Fall of the Cities: Planting the Orchard by Vance Huxley.

The drapes, in case you were wondering, looked great.

A Bit About the Book

I got the book through a free link on Twitter a few weeks ago and downloaded to my tablet.  I assume it was free because the author wants me to buy the other five books in the series.  It was not given to me in exchange for this review, and is available for free to anyone who has Kindle Unlimited.

The first chapter had some formatting glitches, probably a problem with the ebook software, and for a little while, I thought, “Gee, this book is worth every penny I paid for it… meaning nothing.”  But the problems disappeared by Chapter 2 and what started out as the story of a British soldier in Kuwait turned into a survival book directed related to urban survival.  Now you’ve got my attention!

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What’s Best for You: Urban Prepping vs Country Prepping

Urban prepping is not only possible, its where many preppers start out, but should it be the final destination on your prepper journey?

When I started prepping, I was an urban prepper.  I lived on the sixth floor of an apartment building in New York City – about as urban as you can get. 

More than 25 years later, our prepper property is outside a small village on a dead-end road, halfway up a mountain.

There have been four other houses in between the apartment and the prepper property, each one more rural and less urban than the one before.  While I have been a prepper cities and in suburbs, and believe it is far better than being unprepared, it is far from ideal. 

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