Well, I am not sure what I had originally planned on writing about today, but whatever it was is gone. Instead, God handed me the perfect chance to illustrate both the need for redundancy, and how to test your home for resiliency. See, just as before when I lost my internet and didn’t have a backup, this morning we have lost our power. And of course, its not when our area is experiencing the potentially balmy weather that we normally get in a Tucson winter, its somewhere right about freezing today, and my house is barely insulated. So if this was going to go on for a long time, we could be in some real trouble.

So how do you go about testing your resiliency?  The easiest way is to remove something important from your life, and see how you would do without it.  You can either really remove the system from your life, or your can simply run this as a mental exercise.  We will use me as an example.  Today, God and a moron driver in Tucson, decided to test my electricity resiliency at home.

So first, its really cold out.  Well hey, my furnace is gas so that’s good.  Not without the electric blower motor its not.  Our bedrooms get very cold at night, so we do have supplemental heat, which is good.  The fact that they are plug in electric radiators is bad.  No way those are going to help.  I do have a beautiful fireplace in my living room, with some fire-starter logs, so I would always be able to get a blaze going, but I only have enough wood to burn for probably 8 hours or so at a heat the home level.  Better than nothing, but almost useless in a bad situation.  My heat resiliency is about 8 hours in a best case scenario.  Not near good enough.

Fireplace

Jenn is making us a lovely turkey for dinner tonight, because you know, its Monday.  Quick aside, having a stay at home wife greatly increases the quality of your daily meals.  If my power is off though, I have no way to cook.  My stove is electric, so no go there.  I also have a crock pot and a toaster oven, both of which need electricity.  This is actually one huge advantage of having a gas stove.  Next house I guess.  The chest freezer and the fridge both have no backup, although that’s less a concern in the winter, but there are still several hundred dollars worth of food at risk

These are only two of the basic survival elements, and we have already failed miserable.  We failed on food and shelter.  Now, thanks to losing power repeatedly every summer, I am very familiar with these types of issues, and have made the calculation to hold off on some of our preparations until after we move.  At this point, every extra things would have to be paid for twice.  Once to own it, and once to haul it, but it was still a great exercise to run, and as always, I have thought of several things we can do easily to address some of our resiliency.

– A propane or kerosene heater to provide heat without electricity

– A larger supply of firewood, at least 3 days worth.

– A cast iron pan (can cook in the fireplace if we have to)

– A generator (thought of already, but impractical till we move)

– A hot plate with a battery backup

I got five new ideas, just off of a half an hour power outage.

Test some things in your own life.  What would you do without power in the winter?  How about in the summer?  What if you had no water for a week?  What if you couldn’t leave the house for a week?  What if you lost half your income?  What if you lost all of your income?  Sit in your home, and play out this scenario in your mind.  What would you do, how would it work? Its so much better and easier to test these things out while its not an issue than when it is.

The thing to remember is that the preparations you make should improve your life whether things go bad or not.  Having firewood gives you a nice evening ambiance.  A propane heater in the bedroom lets you turn down the thermostat at night, and save on your heating bills.  A cast iron pan is great to cook in anyway, especially bacon.  If you are prepping correctly, it will make your life better no matter what happens.  This is about improving your life, and removing your dependence, not about surviving the zombie hordes.

Cast Iron Cooking

Run these exercises with your family.  Brainstorm it together.  Talk about why its important.  The more you do this, the more prepared you will be both materialistically, and mentally, in case something happens.  Because you may never be in a hurricane or a coronal mass ejection, but I guarantee you, you will lose power.  Isn’t it better to plan ahead now?

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