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Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Preparing for the unknown...

I try to keep things pretty light on here, but in view of recent events, perhaps I will share what I've been thinking about for the past several months.
The disaster in Japan has brought it back to the forefront. My heart aches for the Japanese as their lives have been turned totally upside down and I can't imagine what
I would do if the same happened to us. If you are like me, many of you are probably thinking, how does this radiation thing affect us? Will it affect us? What if our nuclear plants have a problem? Are bombed? What if???? 
  So I researched the number of nuclear plants and their locations in the US, and oh my, it was eye opening, especially if you live on the east coast. You can view information on that here. If you wish to see a worldwide list, you can find that here. There is a site you put in your zip code to see how far from one you live. You can find that here. We were 52 miles from the nearest reactor, which put us 2 miles out of the 'likely contamination zone'. Is that good news? Hmmm, will all depend on the prevailing winds at the time. As we are looking to buy a house, this added another factor to the equation one doesn't usually think about when relocating. (And I was more concerned about being too close to a wind farm. Great.)
 I have been also researching preparedness/survival sites, with one of the most interesting here. My brother reads this site daily, and is preparing the best he can for his family in case of TEOTWAWKI (and acronym for 'the end of the world as we know it'). This could mean anything from a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina to all out war, and everything in between. In other words, here I've been worrying about such mundane things as not having many good restaurants in the neighborhood, or hating to shop for groceries on the weekend, when some type of disaster could befall us any minute! Ok, perhaps not that quickly, but it has certainly added some perspective to my life, that's for sure. I started thinking about our ancestors, and how they did it. The pioneers, before electricity. Before gas. Fossil fuels. Wow... 

I was talking to my Dad this week about what he experienced growing up. His folks did everything for themselves. I mean EVERYTHING! They raised all their own meat, did the butchering, smoking, canning, preserving. Farmed 160 acres with horses, Queenie and Bessie. Raised cows, chickens, pigs. Rendered lard. The old farm even had a windmill, which doesn't remember being in operation. They rigged up some kind of small motor to run things when they needed water, if I remember rightly. So yes, they had access to fossil fuels, but in the early days, didn't utilize it much. He said they only went to the store for flour, sugar, salt and pepper, spices, but not much else. They had their own milk, cream, butter, eggs, lard, (he remembers the days he came home from school to this awful smell - Ma was rendering lard that day :0)) 5 kids grew up on that farm, and then in the 1960's, my folks bought the farm from them (it was down to 40 acres then, and a 'new' house had been built on the old homestead (a 1950's cape). The old barn was torn down, and a new pole barn erected. I've since lamented to Dad about tearing down this neat old barn, and he too thinks maybe they should have tried to salvage it, but a new barn was all the thing at the time. 
Anyway, I digress a bit here. SO, then I've been reading Revelations, Jeremiah, Daniel, Luke, and other places in the Bible that predicts future events, and I am starting to see how some of these things could come about. Like in Luke 21, it talks about 'On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.' Can you say tsunami? Underwater earthquakes? Meteor showers? Quite a few events can trigger this.
Then in verse 26
'People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
' I am now envisioning meteor showers, asteroids, comets, and I'm sure there are things I don't know much about yet, like solar flares, etc. Now lets just consider for instance, if even one of these events, or a nuclear event perhaps, were to shut down power for, let's say, a week. Maybe a month. Maybe 2. Maybe longer. Do you have enough groceries to last that long? Do you have access to water that doesn't require electricity to pump it? Do you have a fuel source that isn't reliant on an electric trigger to get the oil going?
Uummm... nope. We rent, for one thing. We do have a fireplace, but it certainly isn't fuel efficient, and we do not have a wood pile. We also have a well, but it requires an electric pump to make it any good.
I DO have a pretty good suppy of groceries, and I am a pretty good cook. I can bake bread, and we eat home prepared and cooked meals. I avoid the prepared aisles at the supermarket, as I am getting more and more conscience about reading food labels and realizing how sodium and fat laden alot of that stuff is. Besides, I can make it better tasting and more wholesome from scratch. AND save money doing it! :0) But that's a subject for another post. I could write more, but I think I will close with this. I think it's only prudent to prepare as best as we can, with what we have, in these basic areas. Running potable water. A way to heat without electricity. A way to cook without electricity. Make sure you can prepare the most basic of food, have the supplies, and practice doing it, so you won't be caught unprepared at the last minute. There are some good Proverbs in regards to this.

"A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them;
the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences."
- Proverbs 22:3

I am a moderate person, in that I don't like to get on a bandwagon unless I'm darn sure of where it's going and what it's about. I don't like extremes. So my take is this: Our grandparents had to 'put up' stuff in preparation for winter, hard times, etc. So there is nothing wrong with having a mindset of doing the same thing.
We've had a good life for a long time in this country, relatively speaking (especially when you think about 3rd world countries and the quality of their lives), and I think perhaps we've gotta bit soft, at least speaking for myself here. We've forgotten some of the old ways of thinking. Of doing. Caught up in the 'mundane unimportant stuff in the grand scheme of things'. I for one, can't believe my thinking over the years. 'It won't happen here. It won't happen to me, I'm not going to give it a second thought'.
I'm sure many others have said the same thing, and then a major ice storm hit, and they were suddenly without power - for WEEKS!
In some cases, the roads were so bad that stores couldn't replenish their stock, if people could even GET to the stores. Gas stations couldn't sell because there was no power to run their pumps or their debit/credit card terminals. People couldn't get cash because the ATMs were down (think after hours) So many things that I had never considered before. Because we are SO USED TO CONVENIENCE here.
Ok. I did say I was winding down, didn't I. Alright. That's enough to get you thinking for today. I will write more specifically in future posts. Let me know your thoughts, but please be kind! :0)
This was not an exhaustive or super organized article on the subject, just a conversation on what's on my mind this morning. I just know that I don't want to be caught anymore unawares or vulnerable than I have to be. My plan? Get informed. Do research. Get prepared. Learn new skills. Change my mindset. I figure anything I do in this is a step in the right direction. Don't you think?

PS I was going to edit some of my errors in spelling, etc., except when I converted the text to yellow, I can't see it now in the compose area. AND, it's typing incredibly slow this morning - very frustrating. So just bear with the errors and omitted words, ok? Thank you!