This may sound like a children’s book that the tells the story a young native American girl, but don’t be fooled. TEOTWAWKI is very scary for mature adults, but is terrifying to children. When we TEOTWAWKI discuss related issues at our house, my wife and I always make sure that we have a private conversation between just the two of us. After we have sorted things out we will discuss it with our children in an appropriate tone and with as little alarmism as possible.
Last week one of our conversations started out with my wife asking “What will the kids do for entertainment?” I quickly answered that they would have many, many things to do, thinking back to my boyhood when we camped every weekend, played in the woods, and did all of the things that boys do to entertain themselves in the outdoors. My wife quickly pointed out that we have girls, and that they are not accustomed to entertaining themselves in those ways, and that they would feel a void in areas like computer use, internet access, movies, television, music, etc.
I know my girls would adapt quickly, and that they would be able to find enjoyment in many of the same things we did outdoors as children, but my wife had a point too. For me, the very reason I have survival plans is for my children. I want them not only to survive in safety and comfort, but I want them to thrive and grow into mature, level-headed adults. I wondered what sort of resentment might build-up in them if they were to constantly walk around asking “Remember the old days when we could do this or that?” In thinking about the day-to-day tasks of survival, I had never thought to consider how time would be spent when not working. After some careful consideration, I have come up with what I call my “Plan for Living”, which is a supplemental plan to our survival plans. This plan is for the whole family, and I think it will enrich our lives, should we ever have to put our plan into action.
I am a technical person by nature and vocation, so my solution to many problems is a technical response to a given set of requirements. In the case of our Plan for Living, I came up with a solution that may sour some survivalists, but it works for us. In current times my family spends a great deal of time using electronic media: Internet, e-books, television, music players, computer games, etc. I am certain that my family is like countless other American families in this regard, and my children have never known a time when this was not the case. In the event of TEOTWAWKI these things could well be gone. My Plan for Living seeks to implement a plan to ensure that at least some of these things are available to my family post-TEOTWAWKI.
I have started putting together a digital collection of media such as movies, television shows, books, and music which is stored on external hard drives. Our survival retreat has self-sustaining power, and includes several laptop computers. Any member of my family should be able to access this media with little effort, and will no doubt quickly become expert at locating desired titles. In the event that no internet, television, or radio is available, we will have stocked our entertainment shelves as well as those for our normal TEOTWAWKI supplies.
Now don’t discount my efforts as quickly as you might, regarding them as frivolous. In addition to titles for pure entertainment and the education of the children, I have also assembled a very large collection of instructional videos and e-books. Some of the titles may not be as obvious as you might think, for instance, how many of us know how to pull a tooth or how to construct a water wheel, or any other of a thousand topics that might come up? One of the goals of disaster planning is to plan as best you can for the things you can think of, and then plan even better for the things you can’t think of. This is my approach to building the instructional portion of our library. I don’t want to ever pull anyone’s teeth, but I would rather have some idea of how to do it properly if I do. Here are a few things that I consider to be important topics:
All things medical. Diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease, pregnancy, child birth, medicine, etc. Our retreat is remote and wooded, so I want to know about things like treating snake bites, spider bites, bee stings, poisonous plants, setting broken bones, etc. This includes natural treatments as well as drug references.
Small engine repair: Generators, tillers, mowers, et cetera. All of these will need service at some point.
Solar panel maintenance and repair.
Hunting, fishing, and trapping.
Plant identification. If provisions run out and gardens are not mature, knowing which plants are edible may be of key importance.
There are so many topics that you might need to study and practice, (self-reliance is pivotal in our plan), that you should strive to accumulate as much information as possible. For the things that are crucial you should also try and locate printed materials or print and bind them yourself, then store them in a safe, dry location. If the batteries are dead and the info you need to fix the solar panel is on the computer it won’t do you much good will it? There is so much info out there it’s truly amazing. I found collections where authors interviewed very old folks that knew how to do things the old-fashioned ways, and with the most basic of tools. There are so many how-to fix this or that e-books out there that I can’t decide which ones to get!
Hopefully if our plan ever has to be put into action I can use our library to watch re-runs of MASH and The Sopranos, rather than boning-up on the proper way to yank a bad molar!
Some places to start looking for e-books include: