To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
This week we had some beautiful, beautiful fall weather followed by a huge windy rainstorm that caused many in our region to lose power for about 12 hours; We’ve had continual rain since that day. Whenever we lose power our SOP is to immediately call the power company to let them know about it, then we fill water containers from our faucet until the water runs out. This is for drinking, cooking and hand washing, only. We usually get less than 10 gallons from the faucet. (We do have some bottles of water stored and we also have a shallow well hand pump near the house and the river flowing through our property. But water from the hand pump and river will need to be filtered and brought to a near-boil.)
Next, we check our headlamps, flashlights, and kerosene lanterns. If it’s near a meal time we grab a cooler and take out of the refrigerator all of the essentials that we’ll need for that meal and perhaps the next. Then we stay out of the fridge, if possible, until power is restored. This time of the year we tend to have many power outages, so I try to keep the house extra well organized and clean: dishes done, floors clean, laundry kept up. Nothing is more frustrating to me than to not have power and have a messy house. So far the longest time without power at our ranch has been four days.
To be prepared for that dreaded long-term grid down situation, we consciously chose to be very low tech survivalists. Meaning that we have generators and PV power but we will only utilize those on a limited basis during a very long term power outage. And that would only be for computer/radio/battery charging use. If we lose power for more than three days, we shift all of the meats from our electric refrigerator and chest freezer to the propane chest freezer and as much produce as possible. We’ve never lost frozen foods up to this point in many years of frequent power outages. Of course if there was a long-term outage, depending on the time of the year and temperatures outside, we’ll be scrambling to either be canning or drying our frozen produce and meats. And then we would adjust our style of living accordingly.
Our family took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather this week by doing a deep cleaning of the house, a few more outdoor chores, manure cleanup, checking up on all the horses and cattle and giving them all some loving. Jim checked the fence lines and as needed lifted them and replaced “popped” fence clips. (Where the horses and cattle pushed them down trying to reach the grass on the other side.) Jim also trimmed branches away from the fences, so we can Cross Country ski, hike, bike, or run the property perimeter with greater ease this winter. Jim also worked some more on his hunting/counter-sniper Optics Hub tripod system. (A full length article on that will follow, sometime later this year.)
Family Reading Time
Later, on that particular day, after all chores were accomplished, Jim, I, and the children, spread an outdoor blanket out in the sun in the middle of our meadow, in order to read a book together while soaking up the last warm rays of the season. As we sat, and I read, the last of the red dragonflies landed on us, making one in particular of our family giggle with delight. They’re so beautiful! The book I read out loud is titled The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker. This book traces the blood covenant of Christ through the Old Testament beginning in Genesis through the New Testament and discusses how the Blood Covenant/Blood brother practice and each of the Jewish sacrifices commanded of in the book of Leviticus are very similar and mean the same thing, in the Jewish temple rituals, all point to Christ. It is very fascinating study and grounds one in the Jewish roots of our faith and in the knowledge of our need for the blood atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin. The blood of sheep and goats were at that time just a means for the Jewish people to have their sins covered so that they could draw close to God but they didn’t permanently remove the sin. The sacrifices were also a prophetic act/picture of what the coming Messiah/Yeshua Jesus would do would do for us in completely removing sin from us through our belief in Him. Jesus fulfills and completes the Jewish sacrificial system. When we had finished reading and discussing the contents of the chapter, everyone remarked on what a particularly wonderfully special time this learning was with each other all together outside in the last warm rays of the season. Honestly, it was such a beautiful, beautiful day, I didn’t want it to ever end.
Lily and the Children mostly concentrated on homeschooling this week. We all rode mountain bikes and hiked hard and fast around the ranch for exercise several times together this week. Now that the children are older, we’d like to try some backcountry skiing trips this winter, perhaps some winter camping? So we need to get into good endurance shape for this. We’re expecting, this year, hopefully, to have good skiing snow on the ground within the next four weeks.
In the Greenhouse
Lily harvested/brought in the green tomatoes on Friday and did some clean-up in there. Many plants are still alive and producing a bit in the greenhouse. However, we just entered about a 12 day river of rain and cool temperatures which stunt the growth and ripening processes. Notably, last year Lily let plants stay in there too late in the season. Once the cool temperatures and long term rain and clouds arrived, everything quickly became moldy, and she didn’t want another repeat of that scenario.
So we harvested. Now another 35 pounds of tomatoes will complete their ripening process in the house under dark paper.
She also pulled all of the Butternut squash and Zucchini plants from the greenhouse, and a container of green peppers. There are still some orange Cherry tomatoes that are doing well in there that will remain and two other tomatoes plants that she needs to get back to next week.
I’m looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps for winter.
May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles
The Latimer Homestead has returned from our trip where we tested our bug out equipment over the course of several weeks in both heat and wet, near freezing temperatures. We made some notes on additions we’d like to add, mainly for comfort and ease, as well as a few improvements for Mrs. Latimer’s outdoor “kitchen”. We encountered a few problems, but we had backups and so never suffered. Carrying multiple sources for fire as well as a water purification system were not only useful for our family but for some others we chose to aid along our path.
Returning home, we have quite a lot of cleanup to do. The chicken coop needs cleaning, the garden needs to be cleaned up and weeds dealt with, and there is a lot of laundry to do, even though we did a lot of it while away. (Some how the laundry washed in the woods that seemed clean there just doesn’t smell clean now that we’re home.) All of this, of course, is in addition to unpacking and cleaning and resupply our equipment and then packing to be reading to roll out again whenever it is required.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with so many who have recently had to abruptly evacuate due to hurricanes, fires, floods, and such. We desire to be able to load up our last minute things fairly quickly, should we have to leave in a hurry. Those photographs and family heirlooms become tough choices, but whatever sustains us is our priority. We’re thankful to have ready what is necessary for our family to live fairly comfortably for a long time in a bug out situation. These tests insure that we know how to do it and are prepared.
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments.