FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Friday, 30 October 2015

Resilience: How prepared are you?

What precautions do you have in place to take care of your family in the event of an emergency?

Today we face our own micro disaster at Fast-SoS HQ, National Grid have been replacing the gas lines on our road and from the road up to the meter, so we knew the supply would be on and off during the day, which isn't a problem. However once the work had been done and the engineers tested the system, they discovered that there is a leak somewhere in our property which is above the legal threshold, so they had no choice but to leave the gas disconnected as the engineer deemed that "There was significant and immediate risk of explosion!"  Quite how immediate the danger is we'll never know since we have been explosion free for the last year that we've lived here, but with young children in the house gas leaks are not worth the risk.
So at 5pm last night I came home from work to be told the gas was off. Luckily we still had electric so we can heat the house with a couple of oil filled radiators, national grid gave us a couple of electric hotplates to cook on but I am a bit of a stove hoarder so we had plenty of camping stove alternatives that we could have used if the worst came to the worst. Generally life won't be interrupted too much before the problem is sorted, but it does serve as a reminder that things can and do go wrong.

So many people live in a bubble thinking that an emergency will never happen to them, with most houses unprepared for a short power cut, let alone a disaster that puts the supply out for a couple of weeks. Gone are the days when every house had a decent torch with spare batteries, a box of candles and matches. Our grandparent would always have all of the above, plus a fully stocked larder and a stack of board games big enough to see you through the worst days, and although we now have limitless access to technology and information it seems to have only made us as a society more fragile. We have lost our resilience to adversity and hardship, and those few people that are prepared are seen as the crazy minority. Will they still be the crazy ones when they have light in a street full of darkness? Will they still be lunatics when they have warmth and food whilst others are cold and hungry? It is well within everyone's power to put away a few supplies to make life easier and more comfortable during minor emergencies like a power cut, and it's a great place to start if you haven't looked in to preparedness before. A simple Blackout Box/Bag can be started with a torch and candles and expanded on from there. Maybe you'd like to add a small gas stove? Or maybe you don't mind eating a cold dinner but you'd like to include a camping heater because you feel the cold. Each home/person's needs are different, so try not to get too caught up with lists of items that you find online, as the person that wrote them is likely to have totally different circumstances to you. It is far better to decide what you personally do and don't need, as the internet is filled with as much bad advice as there is good. But don't take my word for it, I'm just a guy on the internet ;)

In a future post I'm going to talk about the "Bug out Bag", why I think everyone should have one, what I think should be in one, and why I don't think you need one. That will all make sense when you read the post, so stay tuned folks.

We'd love to hear from you, what measures do you have in place for when disaster strikes?



  1. Just came across your blog. (goodness knows how - you know how it is!)
    Having read this post and then your "about us" entry it is good to see some "young-uns" learning the skills that will serve us all in the future.
    Gill - an "old-un"

    1. Hi Gill, Thanks for your comment, we've just been across to have a look at your blog, absolutely love it, we'll be adding you to our reading list :)


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