Listen to the world around you

Have you ever just sat and listened to the world around you? Turned off the TV, took the ear buds out, and just…listened?

Most people are very visually oriented. We tend to rely upon our eyes to inform us of the state of our world and warn us of danger. But we should be paying close attention to the noises around us as well. After all, if someone were to try breaking into your home, would you be more likely to see or hear them coming?

Quite often, we overstimulate our auditory sense. Many if not most people usually have at least one thing running, if only for what they’ll call background noise. A TV tuned in to the weather forecast. Stereo playing our favorite CDs. Or even our computers playing mp3s while we surf the ‘Net.

The problem with all that is, if we don’t know what sounds are “normal” in our home, we might not give enough weight to the abnormal ones.

Try this sometime this week. At some point during your day or evening, turn off all your entertainment devices. No music, no TV, no computer. Just sit in your living room and listen to the world around you. Pay close attention and discern what each noise is. Every house has particular creaks and groans, right? Get to know yours so you’ll notice when you hear something that sounds “off.”

How many and what types of noises can you hear outside your home? Neighbor’s dog barking? At some point down the road, that might give you an indication that something’s wrong in that direction. Kids yelling? How far away? While they’re probably just playing today, knowing how far away you can hear them can help you judge threat distance in the future.

There’s a whole big, wide world out there. Pay attention when it speaks to you.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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