Letter Re: Two Snowbound But Prepared Elderly Sisters

We are sisters, age 67 and 73  and live in Southeastern Connecticut near the shore on several acres.  We were fortunate that we grew up on a 100 acre Connecticut farm where we grew our own food, farm animals, had a smoke house, three freezers filled with what we raised, three ponds, learned to shoot, trap, fish, and had very capable parents.   

Until several years ago, we lived as most Americans do, on the grid with only a week or two provisions in the home.  I had moved to West Virginia in 1990 (retired early) and lived alone with my many pets on the top of a hill for ten years.  I learned the hard way to be prepared after a major snow storm!  I had a 2,000 gallon cistern, so water was always available, and learned to stockpile.  

About two years ago I discovered your wonderful blog – the first blog I go to every morning.  I told my sister that we needed to be much more prepared.  We already had many firearms and have added thousands of rounds of ammo – this is for home defense.  The doors are always locked, the two cars in the garage and no one gets in uninvited.  We have agreed that we will not cooperate with any would-be intruders, but fight to the death.   We are fortunate that we live in a small low crime town, and as safe as anyone in Connecticut can be.  

We now have a double row of boxes of Mountain House food more than 5 feet high, a hand operated grain grinder, a water filter (there is a small stream that never dries up in the front yard), stockpiles of essentials – including toilet tissue, paper towel, aluminum foil, olive oil, various size plastic bags, paracord, hand crank radio, candles, oil lamps, flints, various knives, many quilts/blankets, liquor for barter, fish antibiotics (my sister was a nurse and she has stockpiled her prescription meds), four ways of cooking food if the grid goes down, a large propane gas stove with three big tanks for heat.  We have more than 150 gallons of water inside the home for flushing/drinking.   We are physically unable to burn with wood and manage a woodpile, and we know that in a long term grid down, we cannot survive more than a few months.  We know how we would painlessly put our cats  and ourselves down if needed.  We cook from scratch so using freeze dried and dehydrated supplies is no problem.  

I am a bibliophile with at least 1,200 mostly non-fiction books in the home, as we are both inveterate readers. My sister quilts and we have extra clothes, fabric and sewing needs.  We have your books, Cody Lundin’s books (98.6 Degrees and When All H*ll Breaks Loose) and other survival manuals.  Our best “survival” tools, are our creative brains and problem solving skills, and I have always prided myself on being a “Rube Goldberg” – a term that means figuring out another way to build, fix, or do something with the items at hand and we have many hand tools, nails, etc.!  I was always unusual for a woman, as in my youth, I learned to weld, work on my 1973 car, was a licensed small plane Pilot with Commercial and Instrument rating,  We are as prepared as two elderly ladies can be which gives us peace of mind.  We have stockpiled precious metals and survival seeds.  We are ready to barter.  

This winter of heavy snow – another 16 inches last night – is no worry for us!  We don’t have to go anywhere! –  Anne L. in Connecticut