MESSAGE FROM TESS
Greetings all! Welcome to week 23 of our 52 weeks to preparedness series. In a previous issue , we discussed the importance of having security layers in place for your home. This week, we will be expanding on enhancing personal security and preparing the first line of defense: the external safety of our homes.
In the coming weeks, our concentration will be returning back to food preparedness. Therefore, if you have not had a chance to do so, check out our food storage calculator  on Ready Nutrition to get a customized chart on how much food your family will need if faced with an emergency. If you have missed a few weeks, we want you to have all the preparedness and self-reliance information at your fingertips, so check out older issues of the Get Prepped Newsletter online at Ready Nutrition .
If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter  or see what we are doing on Facebook . I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together! Don’t forget to share the prepared love and invite your friends and family to read Ready Nutrition  and help build our community.
Thank you for taking the time to better prepare yourselves for life’s unexpected disasters, and especially for being a part of this amazing community.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 23 of 52: External Security Preparedness
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana coast, reports out of New Orleans on September 1st stated that victims of the disaster were being raped and beaten and that fights and fires were out of control, leaving corpses laying in the open as the city descended into anarchy. Emergency responders in the New Orleans area were overwhelmed, and as a result their response time was lapsed.
A “bug in” scenario may be our only choice after a disaster strikes and we must prepare not only for our basic needs, but also for our safety. Since the grid may go down during a disaster, each household should prepare for crime. Looting and home invasions will more than likely be at the forefront of these crime waves and a defensible home will help your family stay safe.
Many of us easily relate to the idea that our home security needs to be beefed up. In fact, some of the homes we live in are defensive nightmares given the location, structural design, neighborhood or city we may live in. Because the home will be more vulnerable when the grid goes down (due to electrical alarm systems not working, lapsed emergency response time, etc), consider having some alternative security features for inside the home. A barking dog would be a great detection system for anyone trying to break in. And, if the pet is trained properly, could assist in protecting the family.
In an emergency where civil unrest can be a problematic issue, criminals look for accessible targets. They will concentrate on vulnerable “easy-pickings” and bypass the more secured areas. This was seen during the Rodney King Trial Verdict riots in Los Angeles and it’s suburbs, the only structures that were spared from active looting by large gangs were some stores owned by armed Korean Americans.
Security is an important preparedness measure to keep in mind when investing in your emergency supplies. Bulking up your home security features for the outside can be your first line of defense in preventing any criminals from trying to enter your home.
Given that our financial situations are each unique, I am not suggesting that you go out and purchase every item on this list. However, if you are able to invest in some security items for the home, I suggest you invest in as much as you can.
Preps To Buy:
- Reinforced doors and locks. (There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.)
- Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
- Place thorny bushes or plants  around windows or near vulnerable areas of the home.
- If possible, create a barrier from approaching vehicles.
- Put a peep hole in the door.
- Add a bolt and chain to the door.
- Infrared (IR) floodlights to illuminate the property (These can be motion-sensor activated).
- Solar garden lighting can also be an inexpensive way to illuminate areas outside the home.
- Fence the entire property, if it is not done so already.
- A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence.
- Cameras placed strategically around the home and near the entry points of the home can also deflect an intruder.
- Create a safe room or vault to where a family can go to evade their attackers.
- Buy a gun and know how to use it.
- Walk around the perimeter of your home and see where the vulnerable areas are.
- Make necessary changes to the outside of the home by bulking up on security layers .
- Contact a security expert or friend in the police department and see if they can provide you with additional advice.
- If it is a good fit with your family, look into purchasing a firearm or going to a concealed handgun course.
- Create a neighborhood watch program.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In Our Home:
As it tends to do, life got the best of me last week. My husband suddenly came down with an ailment, which, for the most part, left him debilitated. The suddenness really concerned me and as loving wives typically do, I wanted to be there for him anyway that I could. Because he was unable to drive, I took him to the doctor’s appointments to ensure he got there safely. And because I was now “the primary” parent, I ended up being the chauffer, cook, maid, shopper, gofer, etc. Needless to say, there was not much left of me emotionally and spiritually after being so busy. I am happy to report, that after a diet change, he seems to be doing a little better. But I’ll keep you filled in if anything changes.
This week, I received my survival seed bank that I had won in a writing contest. I plan on storing the sealed seeds in a food grade plastic container to ensure that the natural elements do not get to them. I am interested to learn how you all are storing your seeds  for the long-term. Send me an email and let me know. You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org 
In the Garden:
I finally planted my fall garden over the weekend. I’m so excited! I planted broccoli, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, spinach and celery. I know for most of you, it seems a little late to start a fall garden, but down here in Texas it’s the perfect time. Later this week, I plan on getting another garden bed ready to plant the remaining vegetables. I don’t know why gardening brings me such joy but I feel like a child the night before Christmas!
STATS AND FACTS
We have all seen first hand how disasters can bring the best and the worst out in people. Each of us hope that when we come face to face with this, we will be on the lucky end of that phrase. However, those who are concerned about crime occurring during the disaster will not want to bring a lot of attention to yourselves, there are some ways to be less visible.
- If bugging out  is an option, prepare to evacuate. Being in highly populated area where people are without their basic needs is not a place you want to be in the middle of.
- Before the disaster strikes, try not to talk about how prepared you are. Remember, your main focus is to lay low, so the less people who know how prepared you are the better.
- If you cannot evacuate, stay inside. The less people see of you, the safer you will be. Have all of your supplies on hand so that you do not have to go out and brave the crowds.
- Closely mimic how everyone else is living to try and not attract attention. Try and have limited lights at nighttime, don’t cook foods that have a lot of smells to them, etc.
- Get the neighbors involved. Neighbors who share a common goal and have also taken care to provide for emergency supplies are little likely to want your prep items.
LETTERS TO TESS
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: email@example.com 
This week’s question addresses natural ways to find yeast:
First of all, I love your newsletters and love how you are helping this community. I just started prepping and I noticed that yeast is only good for 2 years. Is there a way to prolong yeasts shelf life?
Yeast is such an important item to have on hand for a disaster. The best way to ensure your yeast is at it’s best is to regularly rotate it into your food supply. However, most people (including myself) store their yeast in the freezer in order to make it last longer. I have been doing this for years and, so far, I haven’t had any problems.
If you think your yeast has gone bad, do a test on it’s activity. Simply, add a little to water and watch for any activity. If there is no bubbling, then the yeast needs to be thrown away.
If you find yourself in a pinch, another option is to make your own yeast. Yeast is found naturally on plants. In fact, grains, vegetables and fruits are three of the easiest ways to find yeast. To learn more about this, you can read this article  that describes how to create yeast starters using these three food items.
I hope this helps! Thanks for your great question.