Six month progress report

A quick check-in on my goals set out six months ago….here were the topics:

  1. Water security. Done. Have 5000 gallons of rainwater harvested. It only took about 10 days of rain to gather. Amazing.
  2. Food security. Done. Regular biointensive gardens + permaculture food forest + backyard chickens installed. Chest freezer + storage closet full of one year’s food as backup.
  3. Personal training. In progress. Unarmed self defense training is well underway; I’ll continue practicing this in perpetuity. Next up is likely medical training via advanced CPR and EMT classes.
  4. Physical security. In progress. We start weapons training at local range this month. Motion-sensitive security lights installed. Safe room planned but not constructed. Dogs discussed but not yet purchased.
  5. Transportation alternatives. Done. The longtail utility bike works well for me, although this might expand to an inexpensive neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) in the future, replacing one of our gas cars.
  6. Wealth management. In progress. Actually, it is just on hold. And I don’t have an excuse for the inaction, other than these are very weird economic times. There is zero consensus among money managers what type of investments to be pursuing right now.
  7. Energy security. In progress. Whole house generator in place. Two cords of wood for fireplace stove in place. Solar hot water tubes scheduled for a March installation. Still have several months left for measuring wind speed for our location to see if wind mills are feasible.

Overall, I’m pleased with our progress. It has spurred many conversations re: emergency preparedness with others in our small town, with both old and new friends.

And I’ve avoided getting cauliflower ear so far in MMA training. Thank goodness for arnica. ­čÖé

Awareness arrives in stages

“Awareness arrives in stages.” A fellow named James Kunstler said that. Wise words.

In my own life, awareness of sustainability issues came in waves. First it was organic food, then Fair Trade products, then green cleaning/building products for the home.

Then the combination of studying Peak Oil, global warming, and the recent US economic financial services meltdown led me to where I am today. Although attempting to foresee the future is tricky at best, preparing for future scenarios is prudent. While I am optimistic about future possibilities (e.g. near limitless energy from geothermal, wind, and solar), I am realistic in planning for more negative eventualities (e.g. a pandemic flu correcting our over-populated areas).

But where to begin? Every once in awhile I feel overwhelmed by the negativeness of it all, or the absurd, massive, endless lists of things that I *could* be preparing for. Then I look at my relatively short prioritized task list, take a deep breath, and move towards getting the next item checked off.

If any of you are thinking that way, here’s your *one* task to do this week: buy a bunch of bottled water (2 gallons per person per day for 30 days) and stick it in a closet (but not on concrete; a chemical reaction fouls the water over time). It seems like alot of water when you are buying it and getting weird looks, but not so much once it is stashed in the closet.

Then smile, relax, and tell yourself you are a great person because you’ve got one month of water stored for your family in case of massive tornados, fires, floods, earthquakes, excessive house guests, whatever.

Now that you have your immediate water needs taken care of, you can start reading through the blog posts on food security.