Are you prepared for disaster?

What changes can we make to our lives to deal with the economic and energy crises ahead? Have you already started making preparations? Got tips to share?

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PS_RalphW
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Post by PS_RalphW »

Making predictions is hard - especially about the future :)

I take the approach of living a superficially normal lifestyle, but when it comes to the normal 'life choices' I engineer them to make me and mine be as resilient as possible against future trouble as well documented on this site and others, within the parameters of 'socially acceptable eccentricity'.

Hence the financial planning (which has generally served me well, although I have had a huge amount of good fortune as well), investing in mostly hard assets and infrastructure to reduce further costs whilst paying down all debt as fast as possible.

Family life - no kids of my own but adopting to give at least the possibility of tame home care for when I am old and frail (Absolutely no guarantee on that one).

Lifestyle - low cost, low carbon, vegetarian, make do and mend, garden veg plot, etc. practising low tech traditional skills, keeping fit etc.

The hardest part is training the kids. They were already emotionally screwed up when they came to me, and preparing them for the hardships of the future which I expect to be fairly grim is going to be very hard without sending them over the edge altogether.
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Good luck with your kids, Ralph.

We aren't vegetarian but we own 40 or so cattle which we keep at home and on the adjacent common. The addition of a shed to to keep them in over winter, and at night in the future, will assure us of a good quantity of meat to tide us over the hard times. I have a block and tackle to hoist an animal after slaughter and I can both slaughter and butcher anything including a cow, although I wouldn't want to sell any of my butchery to anyone other than family!

The garden could do better now but in the future could supply us with the rest of our food. A couple of scythes would need to be added to the two that we already have to cut the winter's hay and I have the skills to knock up a bullock cart, and have, of course, a number of bullocks to pull it, to cart the hay and firewood.

A quick visit to Specsavers for a few spare pairs before the final crash would be necessary to tide me over, paid for by credit card of course, or beef if things have gone that far. I have most of the hand tools that would be necessary although a good two handed saw would be a useful addition. A few more Li-ion batteries would help to carry the power tools on for longer powered by our off grid pv and genny. We have about 6 months diesel stored usually.

A spare set of dry lead acid batteries plus the acid would be a good investment as our current set have lasted about 6 years so far. After that I think we would have to engineer our own. We would have plenty of time for trials!! That would take me up to the end of my time, I should think so I would hope to have trained my daughters and their other halves to take over before that ime.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

Water
We're fortunate to have a very good small river near us, a drain from a lake. There are no houses built anywhere near the river along its entire length till it reaches us. So the main issue - water - is ok.

Food
We grow a lot of our own and 60% of houses in the area have some food in their gardens. So a partial ok.

Shelter
A small house, well-insulated, heated by wood, of which there's little shortage in this area (at present). A reasonable ok.

So we're lucky in many respects but as for being prepared? No, not really.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

emordnilap wrote:Water
We're fortunate to have a very good small river near us, a drain from a lake. There are no houses built anywhere near the river along its entire length till it reaches us. So the main issue - water - is ok.

Food
We grow a lot of our own and 60% of houses in the area have some food in their gardens. So a partial ok.

Shelter
A small house, well-insulated, heated by wood, of which there's little shortage in this area (at present). A reasonable ok.

So we're lucky in many respects but as for being prepared? No, not really.
IMHO, you could improve your degree of readiness at little cost. Water would be my main concern, the small river may be clean now, but who knows whom may squat, camp, or build shacks near it in any emergency ? I would suggest purchasing a few thousand water purification tablets.

For food, say a hundred pounds worth of dried pasta and tinned meat or fish could be a very valuable supplement to your crops.

Shelter and heating sounds good, a reserve of firewood and spare parts for the stove might be a prudent addition.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
fuzzy
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Post by fuzzy »

Just be aware field mice love pasta and can smell/eat it through lots of packaging.
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

adam2 wrote:
emordnilap wrote:Water
We're fortunate to have a very good small river near us, a drain from a lake. There are no houses built anywhere near the river along its entire length till it reaches us. So the main issue - water - is ok.

Food
We grow a lot of our own and 60% of houses in the area have some food in their gardens. So a partial ok.

Shelter
A small house, well-insulated, heated by wood, of which there's little shortage in this area (at present). A reasonable ok.

So we're lucky in many respects but as for being prepared? No, not really.
IMHO, you could improve your degree of readiness at little cost. Water would be my main concern, the small river may be clean now, but who knows whom may squat, camp, or build shacks near it in any emergency ? I would suggest purchasing a few thousand water purification tablets.

For food, say a hundred pounds worth of dried pasta and tinned meat or fish could be a very valuable supplement to your crops.

Shelter and heating sounds good, a reserve of firewood and spare parts for the stove might be a prudent addition.
Excellent ideas Adam, as usual.

Water: the purification tablets or some other prep. is on the cards anyway. I must do it soon.

Food: we have quite a lot of dried food which we're reasonably good at rotating. We love pasta and beans, which is a help.

Shelter (specifically people squatting): in an emergency, there are literally dozens if not hundreds of houses waiting to be occupied (maybe I shouldn't be saying this!). Holiday homes, unlived-in inherited houses, part-built buildings, abandoned cottages, emigrants' property, second homes etc etc. Fairly official figures state that there are 112 empty houses to every homeless person in Ireland. It sounds unbelievable but there's no smoke without fire.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Find a good recipe for field mice. Then again worms are easier to catch and from what I've heard they are ok. Rather than storing lots of carbs, having a way of securing fresh meat might be more useful, particularly if its herbivores as then you can live on grass. So, rabbits stew, pie, and soup.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
cubes
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Post by cubes »

I was surprised to find within my local parish newsletter and an a4 sheet with several questions on asking for people to register if they have skills/equipment (and what it is) that might be useful in an emergency. Tickboxes for medical/1st aid training, generator, etc.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

cubes wrote:I was surprised to find within my local parish newsletter and an a4 sheet with several questions on asking for people to register if they have skills/equipment (and what it is) that might be useful in an emergency. Tickboxes for medical/1st aid training, generator, etc.
I would be a bit cautious in such cases.
No harm in helping others by sharing KNOWLEDGE such as medical and first aid etc, or other useful skills and knowledge.

PERHAPS no harm in admitting to the possession of a generator, since use of same can hardly be kept secret due to the noise produced. If it be a petrol generator, remember that the law strictly limits the volume of petrol that may be stored. I might be tempted to keep a little more than I should, but take great care not to admit to this in writing.

My natural cynicism makes me fear that whilst times are normal, that the list will become a burglars guide as to which addresses have steal able items like generators, chainsaws, portable pumps etc.

When TSHTF this list of local resources could make looting or requisitioning very easy. It could even result in TPTB REDUCING preps that should be made by councils etc.
"no need to buy a generator, 6 local residents each have one, we can always make them share in an emergency"

I would certainly not admit to any other stocks of supplies.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

Giving that sort of information might be used legitimately, but it could also make you a target when you let them know you have all sorts of portable stoves and fuel to run them, and perhaps a generator. A nice little catalogue for when someone needs to fulfil an order.
To become an extremist, hang around with people you agree with. Cass Sunstein
fuzzy
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Post by fuzzy »

Depends what constitutes an emergency. Many people have skills they are not allowed to use in this world of gov BS. Anyone ever wanted to build a house? My skills are for me. If you start helping others with 'skills' it will come back to bite you when the gov snoops later.
cubes
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Post by cubes »

All this is true. I won't get around to filling it in anyway and my 1st aid at work qually won't be that much help anyway.
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mr brightside
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Post by mr brightside »

What's the best way to collect rainwater cheaply? I've fitted my woodshed with guttering going to an old council black bin, but i really only use it for washing salt and traffic film off the car in winter.

I have a stove and a seasoning system running 2 separate storage points.

I also drive an old car, i see this as a prep strategy, preparing against the built in obsolesence of modern vehicles. I can also keep moving following an EMP blast by refitting the points dizzy, but i can't see that happening really.
Persistence of habitat, is the fundamental basis of persistence of a species.
vtsnowedin
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Post by vtsnowedin »

mr brightside wrote:What's the best way to collect rainwater cheaply? I've fitted my woodshed with guttering going to an old council black bin, but i really only use it for washing salt and traffic film off the car in winter.

I have a stove and a seasoning system running 2 separate storage points.

I also drive an old car, i see this as a prep strategy, preparing against the built in obsolesence of modern vehicles. I can also keep moving following an EMP blast by refitting the points dizzy, but i can't see that happening really.
It depends on how squeaky cheap you need to be. New plastic tanks meant to be buried in a yard cost about a US $ per gallon plus the cost of having the hole dug.
http://www.plastic-mart.com/category/42 ... ound-tanks
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

IBC containers of 1000ltr or 1200 ltr are the cheapest option. Black is best for above ground storage and white for dug in below ground but you can get away with white above ground. You'll get some algal growth but we haven't found it a great problem.

If you are going to bury them we've found that filling them with water and then backfilling around them with soil is OK without using concrete lining as long as the water table is below the container. If the water table is above about quarter way up the container you would be advised to concrete the thing in as if you empty it with water around it it might float and pop out of the ground. You would need soil or concrete over the top to weigh it down.

You need to form a reinforced concrete cover to it with a manhole for access. If it's only pedestrian access 12mm rebars at 150 centres in a 150 slab with 50mm cover to the steel should last for ever although you could get away with less steel.
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
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