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Get Prepped Newsletter: June 17, 2011

Designing a home defense system that includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings.


In 2000 I returned from a trip to discover that my home had been broken into. Our home was surrounded by glass windows, but we hardly had any curtains. The burglar only had to break a window near the back of our home, open the window, and crawl inside. He stole our stereo system, TV, DVD player, bed spread, and other electrical devices. After that moment, I never felt safe in that home, and we moved soon after. In all negative experiences, there is a positive. The break in woke me up to the fact that I was not as “safe” as I thought I was. I am thankful for the experience as I was able to use it as a tool toward becoming more aware of my surroundings.

This week we will discuss the serious, and often forgotten, side of preparedness: home security. I will share some tips and tricks in how to ensure your home is more secure inside and out.

I want to send out a big thanks to my readers for being a part of Ready Nutrition! Your kind words of encouragement keep me going. Don’t forget to see what we’re up to on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Why not extend an invitation to your extended family so they can also be prepared by reading Ready Nutrition.


Tess Pennington


Week 8 of 52: Security

Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. We even experience an added security boost when we live in an expensive neighborhood, a home with a security system, and an active neighborhood watch program. Today, we would all love to have Gladys Kravitz (Bewitched) as our next door neighbor. In reality, security gadgets can protect the outside of your home, but it’s meaningless if you cannot protect what’s inside. People can still be mugged, burglarized, and attacked simply by opening the door to a stranger or by leaving vulnerable areas of their home exposed. I’m going to ask you a question. Have you ever placed a key under a mat? I ask this because we all have placed the spare key under the mat at one time, and the burglars know that trick. It is not my intention to promote fear, but to awaken you to potential hazards. You want to make breaking into your home difficult.

Designing a home defense system that includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Security layers are preventative measures that will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. The more layers you have in and around your home, the less likely a criminal is going to choose your home as his/her next “job.”

Layer 1: The Outside Layer. This layer comprises the outer perimeter of your home, the landscaping, and security features (e.g., flood lights, motion detectors, gates, doors, locks). Installing preventative measures around your home will advertise to anyone staking out your neighborhood that you mean business. Walk around your home and distinguish where the vulnerable areas are. Making some minor adjustments to the outside of the home can help secure it from the outside-in. By planting thorn-bearing plants, bushes and trees around the vulnerable and exposed areas of the home can help secure the property. One of the most vulnerable areas of your outside perimeter are the windows. One heavy lawn chair can easily be tossed into a window, thus shattering it and creating an easy entry. Investing in shatter proof window film may be a solution to this potential problem.

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Layer 2: The Inside Layer. This layer comprises the inside of your home. Taking some small preventative measures (e.g., home alarm system, web cams, emergency protocols, and emergency phone numbers) can help secure the inner sanctity of your home. A person who is prepared for a burglar or home invader is well-equipped with knowledge of their home’s security features, how to get additional family members to safety, and, as a last resort, how to use a weapon. Teaching family members what a home invasion is and the emergency protocols associated with this will help each family member understand what to do if this situation occurs.

Layer 3: The Personal Layer. This layer is the most critical because it is based around all of the protocols, defense training, and emergency plans you have already established. The personal layer is the only layer that you can take into the outside world. When you are walking and someone tries to mug you, you will use your defense training and emergency protocols to deal with the attacker(s). Recently, there have been news reports about mob attacks at stores and on some personal property. Perhaps if the store owners had utilized all of the protective layers the outcomes would have ended differently.

Consider installing a safe room. A safe room is a great starting point for preparing a personal layer. In addition, it may be the last effort to defend yourself and your family. Although it is a personal preference to have a gun in the home, having multiple techniques of defending yourself would be prudent. Learning self‑defense to incapacitate your attacker or attackers through rapid response techniques would a great course for the entire family to take. There are many different forms of self‑defense courses available: Krav Maga and Wing Chun are two popular courses. In addition to using your body as a weapon, there are other weapons that can be used to defend yourself, such as the following:

  • Pepper spray
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hot coffee
  • Lamps
  • Metal baseball bat
  • Salt in the eyes
  • Butcher knife

Preps to buy for Week 8:

Your security items should fit your personal choices and budget. Therefore, I will not make any suggested preps. I do hope that you will make some suggested improvements to your already existing home security. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. At the very minimum, you could buy these low cost items:

  • Window alarm systems.
  • Combination or key locks for the backyard fences.
  • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
  • Ensure that your doors and locks are reinforced.

To read more information on different types of security features and locks, here is some suggested material:

Home Security: Securing the Doors

Home Security: Securing the Windows

Action Items:

1. Create an emergency protocol and discuss it with your family members. Be sure to include a list of emergency phone numbers and escape routes.

2. Create a safe room where family members can retreat to if there is a break in. Ensure that the safe room has a phone line, and if you have a gun in the home, ensure the gun is in the room. Please make sure that the gun is locked and put away so small children do not have access to it.

3. Install some outer preventive layers such as the following:

  • Ensure your doors are strong. (A hollow-core metal or solid wood door is best.)
  • If your doors are comprised of glass, install a double cylinder lock to reinforce the strength.
  • Install 1-inch deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Install locks on the back fences.
  • Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
  • Put a peep hole in the door.

4. Install some inner preventative layers such as the following:

  • Burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.
  • Put an anti-lift device in your windows.
  • Add an intrusion detection system.
  • Position hidden web cams strategically throughout your home. Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals cannot walk off with it.
  • Sign family members up for a self-defense course.
  • If you have a gun, go to gun range. The only way you will be an accurate shot is if you practice on a regular basis.


In Our Home:

Like most of you, we became enslaved to debt, and we have been working rather arduously to eliminate the small amount that remains. We recently became a two-income family, so with the extra income stream we have been fortunate to be able to pay off our debts and buy our prep items. I have to admit that it is a great feeling to know the end is in sight.

Family Preps:

I mentioned last week that we are taking a few weeks off from purchasing any new preps. Well, you all know how prepping goes…. you can’t stop! We had a little extra money last month and have decided to invest in a few back-ups for our back-ups. I decided to purchase some filter replacements for our Berkey Water System. I would like to bulk up on our stored medical supplies, but one is my list for another time.

Outdoor Activities:

In Texas there is only one thing to say: it’s hot! In fact, I read a joke yesterday that said Satan called and wanted his heater back because Hell had frozen over. We have been spending a lot of time at the Museum of Natural Science. The kids love the exhibits and the IMAX and I love the price tag and the air conditioning. We are enjoying having the children at home and have been spending our days chauffeuring them to and from day camps, and spending time at the local watering hole. If only I can get them to clean their rooms… (Readers, if you have any suggestions, I’m open to them.)


In case you missed this week’s article, be sure to read this:

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Rice and Beans Aren’t So Boring After All


Did you know that June is National Safety Month?

To truly be secure in your home, you need to be aware of your surroundings, know where the possible breaches are, and practice these safety procedures. Following these simple home safety tips will ensure that you are not advertising your home as an easy target.

Home Safety Tips:

1. If out of the home for an extended period of time, create the illusion that someone may still be there. Leave a TV or stereo on in the room where a burglar would most likely break in. Use exterior lighting and motion detectors to minimize burglar concealment.
2. If you get an unexpected knock at the door, check to see who it is before opening it. (I practiced this technique last week when my sister popped in unannounced.)
3. Do not leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants, or any other obvious locations. Thieves will find them. Find inconspicuous places to hide the keys or give a set to a neighbor you trust.
4. Keep your garage doors shut.
5. Keep drapes and blinds shut, especially in rooms where there is expensive equipment. Don’t advertise the items in your home because thieves pay attention.
6. Store cash, jewelry, and other valuables in a safe location or a safety deposit box. Don’t leave these items lying around where thieves can spy them.
7. Don’t leave notes on the door for service people or family members, as these alert burglars that you are not home.
8. If you’re going to be away from home for a few days, adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume setting. An unanswered phone may tip off a burglar that no one is home. Also, have a neighbor or friend collect your newspapers and mail. Never cancel delivery because you don’t know who will be taking that information.
9. If someone is trying to break into your home, activate your car alarm or press the panic button on the security alarm to draw attention from your trusted neighbors.


As busy as I have been, I have not had any new media opportunities, but I do plan on getting some more demonstration videos up for everyone on my YouTube Channel. So, stay tuned! In the meantime, click here and you can view some past media opportunities I had the pleasure of doing.


One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com

This week’s question addresses oxygen absorbers and food storage:

Hi Tess,

Thank you for your wonderful newsletter!

This winter I was looking on the Internet for an inexpensive heat press to use in sealing the mylar bags. I saw a couple but was not ready to order one. Now that I ordered my mylar bags, I cannot find one. I only see presses 50 dollars and up. Before I saw some for 15 or 20 dollars. I do not know where else to look. Could you help me with this?

Also, what size of oxygen absorbers should I use in a 1 gallon bag? I know it is 2,000 cc’s for a 5 gallon bucket.

And third, when I put the oxygen absorber in a food storage bucket or bag, must the food be exposed for the oxygen absorber to work correctly? Or can the paper bag of flour, or other food packages be sealed up in the bucket? Does the same thing hold true for dried pasta?

Tess, thanks again. I cannot express in words what all your help means!



Hi Sue,

I haven’t seen any low cost heat presses under $50. I bought my sealer at Sorbent Systemsfor $70. I like it because when it seals the mylar I have triple seals. A reader of mine suggested using a flattening iron for hair. She says that that is how she seals her bags up. I have also heard people using clothing irons to seal their food bags. This YouTube video shows you how to do it.

If you are using 1-gallon bags, you can use a 100 cc oxygen absorber.

When you are ready to store your food, put the oxygen absorber in and seal up the remaining absorbers as fast as you can. Then, seal the food up to ensurethat the oxygen absorbers will absorb the oxygen in the food environment. You do not have to re-package food items or use mylar bags if you are putting them in a food grade bucket. However, the mylar bags add an additional layer of protection from outside elements and reduces the oxidation process. If you choose to not use a mylar bag, then place your oxygen absorbers on top of the pre-packaged food and seal up the bucket. The food will still be good for long term as long as the elements or insects do not get into the bucket. To learn more about long term food storage, click here.

I hope this helps. If you have any additional questions, let me know. I hope you have a great weekend.

Thanks again,


This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on June 17th, 2011

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