Look to the Past to Prepare for the Future, (Part 1)

Think about a time when you got caught in a storm. What happened? You probably saw it approaching, realized there was no outrunning it, and took shelter where you could. Maybe in a store or restaurant that happened to be nearby. Time and the storm passed, and you resumed your travels.

Assuming that the next big crisis in your area does not require you to bug out, hunkering down in place and riding out the storm offers a survival strategy. So, take steps now to create a living space that can withstand whatever ills befall society.

Perhaps the best defense against an uncertain future is, oddly enough, to look to the past. Go retro… pioneer retro. To a time when our society met its basic needs without dependence on luxury items and on-demand energy and convenience.

When preparing for a hunker-down scenario, we must create both short- and long-term contingency plans. We have to admit to ourselves that troubled times could last longer than we expect and outlast our stored supplies. If that happens, survival may depend on embracing techniques and lifestyle changes of the past to ensure our future.

Food for thought

Start with creating a supply of shelf-stable, non-perishable survival food. Add food preservation gear such as dehydrators, canners, smokers and fermenting/pickling supplies. Gather the seeds and gardening tools to grow fresh vegetables and grains. This means shovel, rake, hoe, hand trowel and rain barrels. Stock up on starter trays to create seedlings to plant in spring.

If the Grid Goes Down…

Keep your wits about you 

A spirit of independence and a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle are required to make a successful go of off-grid living. Prepare mentally to take a step back in time and live with rustic forms of heating and food storage. If you are braced for hard work and sacrifice, an off-grid lifestyle can be a manageable and rewarding experience.

Power generation

Modern alternate power technology is possible, but can be expensive and require the use of large batteries for energy storage. Alternatives depend upon the geography of the lot. Running the refrigerator, water heater and stove on propane, and using wood to produce heat, will conserve electricity. A solar-powered generator is a good investment.

Creating a water system 

A drilled water well requires a pump and large storage tank. Wells used for drinking water should be regularly tested and treated, if necessary, to ensure water safety. Rain barrels can supplement water supply, especially for gardening. Depending on location, annual rainfall can provide most or all of the water for household needs, but a water purification system is a must.

Waste disposal

Indiscriminately disposing of waste is a serious health hazard. Permissible off-grid options include septic tanks with buried leach fields and open-air lagoon pits. Composting toilets are acceptable in many regions. Personal septic systems require ongoing maintenance and inspections to perform correctly.

There’s much more on this subject coming soon. 

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