Remedial Prepping & A Craigslist Murder

19 Aug

Burglars prefer to burgle cars and homes with unlocked doors. It’s easier than messing with locks. It offers the advantage that the victim has been careless, and a careless person is less likely to have taken other security measures. In my book, I couldn’t bring myself to explicitly tell readers to lock their doors. After all, this was a book about prepping! I didn’t want to insult readers. I wrote about door reinforcement and more advanced things.

A few days ago, I came upon a video from a youtube prepper. Obviously a successful man, he has a nice home and truck and tons of guns. He knows a lot about prepping. What was his video about? Having his truck broken into. It was unlocked. This isn’t to put him in the prepper hall of shame or anything. It shows even knowledgeable people make mistakes. We’re only human.

In a tragic news story, a three-year-old girl wondered away from her home and fell into a shallow canal and drown. I don’t mean to be critical of the parents, who are suffering horribly already, but shockingly, the news reported the child had already wondered off and was brought home by a neighbor the same day.

Lock your doors. Watch your small children. Don’t forget the basics, the small things. Some might call this common sense. As the old saying goes, “Common sense isn’t all that common.” The human difficulty isn’t knowing it, but doing it without exception. It should become part of the routine of life.

A mechanic was struggling with a rusted bolt by a gas tank. He knew the dangers of using a torch near the tank. He went ahead anyway, when spraying the bolt liberally with Liquid Wrench didn’t loosen the bolt. He was fortunate; everything turned out fine.

If you find yourself saying something like: “Well, I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but it will probably be OK,” it’s time to slow down and look at other options. Reconsider what you’re doing. Is your frustration in removing a 50-cent bolt so bad you’re willing to die in a massive fireball to get it out?

Accidents happen because people just want to get things done. They’re frustrated some little thing is taking so much time. They want to cut corners. We’ve all been there.

In a news story, a guy met a stranger from Craigslist to purchase a cell phone. The guy worked two jobs and was studying computer programming. He volunteered at a local nursing home. He sounded like a great fellow. The person selling the phone was actually a criminal (four time serial felon) who lured his victims with Craigslist.

The guy wisely met the stranger in a public place, but when he asked to see the phone, the “seller” said he had left it at home and that his home wasn’t far away. Could the guy give him a ride to his house where they could see the phone?

Moment of truth. What do you do? The guy said he didn’t conduct business at people’s homes, but the guy’s girlfriend urged him to just get the deal done. They all jumped in the car. In most scenarios, the guy probably would have purchased a cell phone or decided not to. In this case, he got shot in the head.

When we meet strangers on Craigslist, how can we keep from getting shot in the head by a serial felon? There’s an app for that. Or at least there will be someday. Computer programmers and security experts are working to use facial recognition software so that a person can snap a picture of a stranger with their cell phone. The app will match the photo to the vast collection of photos on the Internet to learn more about the person. Cell photo to instant background check will be consumer reality in the next few years.

Police suggest meeting Craigslist strangers at a public place, or even at the parking lot or lobby of the police station. Some preppers would call this man’s decision to transport the stranger in his car a violation of opsec or operational security. It was OK to meet a stranger in a public place, but he shouldn’t have driven with him.

In an upcoming post, I’ll write about privacy and facial recognition and my thoughts about opsec.

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Here’s a video about dryer fires (Don’t allow lint to build up; don’t surround your clothing dryer with flammable materials; and don’t run your dryer when you’re leaving the house):
NBC TODAY Show: Dryer Fire Prevention (2008)

Here’s some more information on topics related to electrical fires:
FEMA on electrical fire prevention

From Fluke, an article about counterfeit electrical products. We’ve all seen stories about counterfeit jeans and designer handbags from China, but counterfeit electrical products can pose a threat to safety. If you do your own electrical work, purchase your supplies from reputable suppliers.

Mike Holmes: Faulty wire can be dire

Here’s a blog I stumbled on (urbanfarmandbeehives.com), about urban farming and beekeeping.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to food prices next year as a result of the 2012 drought. One article  says grocery prices for a family of four is expected to rise by about $600 in 2013.

An editorial said the current drought is the largest natural disaster (by area) in America, encompassing half the country.

When I think “disaster,” I imagine people dying or being perilously close. So, is the current drought a real disaster or just some dry weather? How would you classify it? What comprises a “real disaster”?

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