Have you ever given much thought about where your food, electricity and water come from?
There were people trying to invent electricity in the mid 1800s possibly even before but in 1879 Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. That was 138 years ago from this year I am writing this article 2017. When you think about from the beginning of time 138 years ago is not a long time. It took years to go from an invention of a light bulb and electricity to pulling electric lines along roads to buildings and homes.
We do not have to go back many generations before us to find our family members that lived without electricity and running water. Now if someone lives without electricity it is called living off the grid.
We are the cushy generations that have gotten very spoiled with what we have today which is not completely dependable because we live in a world that has world events. Hurricanes, tornadoes, straight line winds, earthquakes, fires, floods and epidemics and more including war. Many times people live like none of these things exist.
Do you consider where your food comes from? The seasons in which certain foods grow? How far the food has to travel if it is out of season?
Sometimes we forget or never even thought about it when we go to the grocery store to purchase tomatoes that it may not be tomato season. Or cabbage that it is not cabbage season. Or lemons that it is not time to harvest lemons. So where did this food come from? Other countries most likely or at least many miles from where we live.
At the time I am writing this article here in the USA it is summer and in Australia it is winter. So when food that is not in season is available in the grocery store it has traveled a long distance and has lost a lot of important nutrients. Some people say that preserving food, dehydrating and canning, freezing etc nutrients are lost but transporting food nutrients are lost too. We have imports and exports and this includes food. We are not all living in the same season.
Some of our produce that is out of season has been coated or even gassed to keep it looking fresh so it is always best to consider what is being harvested at this time.
Where does our electricity come from? Well there are many sources depending on where we live. There is hydro electric dams, nuclear plants, coal powered plants, gas powered plants to name a few.
Where does our water come from? Here where we live we have aquafers and deep wells, some cities get their water from rivers and reservoirs etc.
Where does your garbage and trash go? It never really goes away, what can will compost but many things remain for who knows how long.
Our generations before managed to have good lives without wall plugs and lights, without running water and garbage pick up, without telephones and modern day goods. They preserved the food that was grown each season to last them through the winter and spring until the next season spring and summer.
Why would we do this today? Well if we do not then we have put ourselves and our children in a situation that all of these things have to be available all of the time and if it is not available then we must find help, support so we can feed our family should we have a disaster event.
What about our pets? Have you ever considered what you would do if a disaster happened and we did not have extra pet food stored?
Some people may think that anyone that prepares or stockpiles is a prepper.
The man on the left was my Grandfather and the one on the right my Uncle. They lived in a time when people stored food and cook without electricity because they did not have electricity. They worked hard and hunted game for food, hauled their water because that is what they had to do. If they lived today in the same way some may call them preppers but they simply lived a life where storing food and supplies is what it took to live.
I don't know of a word or term to describe people that preserve their food whether it be canning, fermenting, dehydrating, making sure they have the right equipment to cook their food without electricity other than the word Responsible.
What we keep in our home is up to us and if we keep a stock or stockpile it is sensible to have food to last from our main season which we can preserve our fresh in season food to the next season it becomes available again.
Many things these days can cause food shortages, droughts, fires, floods, pests or unexpected freezes. Should there be a large natural disaster or something else to happen between the growing seasons there could be shortages or price hikes.
I feel that it is our responsibility to live prepared because if we do not then we are like the others that are not and will become a burden on our government resources should we have a natural disaster or some type of event. It should be a normal thing for every family to have alternate ways to cook, alternate lighting for their homes and a few buckets or wash tubs to wash laundry and some way and dry their clothes without electricity.
It is quite empowering to learn the skills that can help us stay somewhat comfortable if not completely through a difficult time. We need to practice how to operate a fuel stove or learn the proper way to use an oil lamp instead of trying to figure it out during a time of need. Do we have buckets to haul water if necessary or a way to catch rain water? Do we know how to make our water safe?
Having home canned food makes it easier to prepare a meal. This is our easy take out for when we have busy days and would be very good to use should we have an extended power outage. Canned food also has liquid so if there is a water shortage it would be good to have food with liquid.
Often people think of emergency supplies having junk foods and snacks when what we need is nourishing food. If you are not into canning or food preservation then a stock of shelf stable goods dry and canned would be important to have.
It takes a bit of time to get our alternate items but once we do it is done. Just look in the camping departments of stores and you will find many different items that are good to have for power outages. This is a very simple stove to use for a short time. I would call this something for minimal use but at least it is something you can use to heat water and food. We have different fuel stoves, one is a two burner and two are one burner. We use them often in the summer to keep from heating up the house while cooking. We also use them if there is something especially smelly that we cook and we use them when the power is out.
What Charles and I do is just live more like the past, like our generations before us did and so it does not affect us much when we lose our power as we do occasionally with storms. We don't have all the equipment they had in the past but we modify it and have items that do the same thing. It is also better for the budget to live this way.
It is good to have different ways to wash clothes. I can wash them outside or inside and this is just our way of life. Sometimes I wash them inside if the mosquitoes are bad. We do have a washing machine and I use it when needed.
Do you have stored water? We cannot live very long without water.
I was just recently asked this following question from someone that reads my blog and why I am doing this post.
How do you consider your lifestyle like or different than "preppers"?
I guess my answer would be, we are trying to live an old fashioned prepared life as did our generations before us. The benefit is we do not worry about those inconveniences that comes with outages or shortages.
A Prepper may have a very large stockpile of food, water, ammunition and equipment and they may have more serious concerns about a catastrophic event looming but I feel it is simply a term that is slang for preparedness.
There have always been threats and such but what is different now is people are getting less able to take care of themselves should some short or long term disruption occur. There are problems all over the world, none of us live without the possibility that something could happen that would cause disruption.
Charles and I are not living as we live because of threats because we have always kept emergency supplies. We live an old fashioned simple life because this is the way we want to live.
Saying that, I feel it would be very irresponsible for a family or especially a family with children that have means to stock a pantry and emergency equipment and they did not and an actual event of some kind did happen and they were stranded with no provisions for their family. Here in our country we have been told for many years to keep emergency supplies but many people turn a blind eye to this and never even consider it. I just do not understand this kind of thinking.
People can call it what they want but what I certainly do not want to be is non prepared, now that would be scary. Grandma Donna