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Are you Ready?

About ten years ago, the whole world became alarmed by the prospect of an influenza pandemic, and I found myself managing a team that was to ensure the food supply for Albertans in the event of a critical disruption. During that project, I read a great deal about critical disruptions in history. There were a lot. In fact, critical disruptions to the infrastructure are inevitable.

I also learned that:

  • No government has the capacity to save a lot of people from a serious long-term problem; the maximum planning horizon is about three weeks
  • Most cities have only a few days’ food on hand
  • Most people have less than a week of food in their homes
  • Most people have no alternative source of water or heat (a big deal here in winter)
  • Almost nobody – not even farmers – have a root cellar or pantry
  • Almost everybody depends on the grid: all the eggs are in a very few baskets

It is a testament to the reliability of the people who run the grid that we so rarely question it. Maybe if we had more failures, we would not take electricity, heat, and water so much for granted. I have been involved in emergency preparedness for almost ten years now; I have realized that, if our family really wanted to figure out how to survive truly catastrophic infrastructure collapse, we have a lot of learning to do.

Gordon and I also wanted to minimize our environmental footprint and respect the natural ecology of our farm while coaxing food, water and heat out of it. So that’s what this blog is about: a record of our experiments in living an environmentally responsible, sustainable and resilient lifestyle.