The Prepper Next Door

Book Review: The Prepper Next Door
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When I got The Prepper Next Door in the mail, and opened it for the first time, I thought “Man that’s a lot of stuff”. After reading it I have to say, go with your gut, because this book does have a lot of information.

This book is jam packed with information, and has a reference section in the back that links to several well known prepper websites and YouTube Channels. I really appreciate it when authors give me ways to get more information, because if I liked the information they gave, and the way they have processed it, then it is pretty likely that I will find there references useful also.

The only problem I have with this book, an to be fair it may just be my preference for lists and bullet points, is that it reads like the author wrote from a long stream of consciousness session, where he just started talking about prepping and write it all down.

When you have as much information as Mr. Palmer has, then it is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is hard to go back and refresh yourself on topics covered or to find answers to specific problems.

Basically, in my opinion, this book has enough information to be a fine reference book, but it is not a reference book because of the difficulty in finding the information.

Don’t let that stop you from reading it though, because you will earn something in this book. The author has a lot of experience, and it shows.

Urban Search and Rescue Door Markings


Urban Search and Rescue Door Markings
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I do not like everything the US Federal Government does (but what’s new there)… However, they do get some things right on occasion. In my opinion, the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)  program is one of them.

I have written about CERT before.

Basically CERT educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that could impact their area and trains citizens in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

In this post we talk about the CERT and USAR Urban Search and Rescue Door Markings.

As far as USAR (urban search and rescue) is concerned – one problem is keeping track of your search teams and what has and has not been searched.

Keeping track of  multiple individual teams searching multiple areas in the wake of a large scale disaster is nearly impossible.

This is why shortcuts have been devised over the years to make the job easier.

One such trick is the use of the “FEMA marking system”.

This is a standardized marking system that allows for easy tracking of a search is in progress.

The FEMA marking system tracks:

  • How many times a building was searched
  • What was found
  • It also serves to alert responders of dangerous conditions.

It is easy to train, simple to use, and only requires a paint can or similar marking device.


As the search begins, the team paints a single diagonal slash to indicate that a search in the building is in progress.

This is used to indicate searcher locations and to avoid duplication of the search effort.



Once the team comes out they paint another slash to complete an “X” to show the search complete.



At the top of the slash the searcher marks the time and date they left the building



At the bottom of the “X” the total number or victims inside is marked, it is changed as the remains are removed



To the left of the “X” the Team searching writes their ID



To the Right of the “X” they write what they found (i.e. Haz-Mat) and any other pertinent information



It is important to note, that this is not the only similar code, there is also an international USAR code system that is similar, as well as a building inspector box code to show if a building is safe to enter.

Lastly, searchers should take care to place the signs on walls, as doors or windows can be opened or closed, which may obscure the markings.

Hopefully you will never need to know this information, but if you need it, I hope this helps.