As a local volunteer firefighter in Northern Idaho, I would like to offer some advice to current and future retreat owners. Due to response time(s), everyone who can afford it should have the following set up on the property to use during those 15 to 30 minutes until emergency services arrive. You will find that in most retreat areas volunteers are the norm. It may take that long from your call to having equipment on scene. The farther out you are the longer it will be, and in the winter, you may be on your own due to road impassability.
I sometimes suggest to clients that they purchase an old fire truck or water tender that is in decent shape, but only if you have the skills to service those type of units. Prices vary but most of the time you can get a nice working 1960s -1970s vintage truck for $5,000 to $10,000. Those of you that plan on cashing out and moving to your retreat area to pay cash for it, might want to consider having this purchase pre-booked in your ledger as you shop for your property. Sometimes retreats will have such items already on hand that you can negotiate into the deal, seeing that prices in the real estate market are still coming down.
Here is a set-up under $2,500 that would be great. You can find used equipment as well for much less.
Purchase a portable pump along with a portable bladder (if you do not have a pond, swimming pool or year round stream close to your retreat, 100-150 feet maximum) then add some 1.5” hose and a nozzle or two and there you have a fairly economical safeguard against structure fire or a wild land fire on your property.
I have seen several structures recently go up in flames; one that I arrived on scene before the equipment that could have been saved from extensive damage had the owner had fire protection equipment to use before we arrived. It’s very easy to maintain some portable set-ups like the one above. Part of preparedness as we all know is actually doing something about a possible threat so that we can remove any worries while we go about our lives.
Remember, out in the hinter boonies fire will be an everyday threat Pre- and Post-TEOTWAWKI to your structure and surrounding property.
God bless, – Todd Savage