Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blizzard warning - thoughts.

It must be Winter in Indiana or something.

I could say we are blessed or lucky, but really that would be sort of a lie. We ARE blessed, we have each other and we are a team and work together towards common goals, and we ARE lucky that we found each other (with a lot of help from the larger forces of the universe) but that is not what I mean.

I am talking about the fact that we have a blizzard warning and I know that there are currently people that are scrambling to try and prepare. Not us.

Yes, the hubbin is currently chopping wood in the back yard. Yes, I went around and replaced the spent candles in the wall sconces. Yes, we checked and made sure that we had gasoline and oil for the generator. Yes, I just plugged in everything we have that is re-chargeable. But that is it.

No frantic run to the grocery store. No worrying about keeping the house warm in case we lose power (and we don't even have a wood stove, just a fireplace in one room). No worrying about how we will cook anything.

We are not what is increasingly becoming known as Preppers, we are not ready for TEOTWAWKI.

What we do have is a sustainable mindset:

I switched the stove from electric to gas a long time ago. Yes, we need to have a gas line, we are hooked up to the infrastructure. If that goes, I'll have to fall back onto last years Valentines day gift from the hubbin, my rocket stove on the back patio. Or even more improvised, make one out of an old coffee can and use it in the fireplace if push REALLY comes to shove. I can heat food, I can bake bread.

That actually leads me to an even more important part of being ready for an emergency: I know how to do these things AND have done them.  Knowledge really is power.

I can make a water filter from charcoal if I run out of ready made filters. We have rain barrels and a well (not yet converted to manual, but that is actually on the list).

If we run out of food stuffs (6 months minimum), I know how to get more, can grow more, the works. Most of that is in the back yard, and not just in the raised garden beds. My 'ornamentals' are edible.

We both wanted a house with a fireplace, so that is what we have. A few years ago we gave each other an in-fireplace heater for a Solstice gift. If we lose power, we may have to run the battery operated pump for a bit, and that's OK for now, in the long term there is a plan for a wind driven generator to power this baby. And because I love having a fire going it helps heat the house all the time. It's paid for itself within the first two years, actually.

There are a bunch of small changes we have made over the past few years that save us money, make life more sustainable and make us less dependent on the grid. The things our grandparents took for granted. I don't want to lose that knowledge, it is more valuable to me than gold. I can't eat gold and it will not keep me warm.

So yes, we are on the grid, we live in a city and if we lose power and the roads are closed for a week or two we will be perfectly fine. No scrambling. No worries. And I cannot understand anyone who is not at least this ready. This is not rocket science, it really is not. Most of the worlds population knows how to do these things, even those who have never seen a school.

Stay warm and be happy :D

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