I mentioned in my post the other day that it is kind of scary how dependent we are on others for our food, water, sewer, power, etc. When our electricity goes off, it is like life grinds to a complete stop. We’ve lost our power many, many times during the past eight years, sometimes for extended periods of time. We just barely missed being part of the huge east coast grid failure two years ago. People only twenty miles away were part of it.
So what kinds of preparations should we realistically make for events such as this? My husband and I have discussed this many times. What is our responsibility in order to be prudent and to what degree should we just go with the flow, cross our fingers and hope the next grid failure stops five nanoseconds away from us again?
At this point I hope no one is thinking – Oh no! This was such a nice blog and now she’s going off the deep end! She going Y2K on us! No, not at all. In fact, I guess I see decisions like this as part of an effort to simplify, be frugal, and be a good steward. There are a number of instances in Scripture that talk about people preparing for times ahead.
I have really enjoyed visiting the Homesteading Today forums that are listed in my “People I Read” sidebar. I enjoy them because it has given me lots of opportunities to think in a totally different way about how I live. There is a wide variety of people that post on that board and they offer such interesting perspectives on what it means to be self-sufficient, homestead, etc. I don’t have a desire to live off the grid like a number of them do, but it is interesting to learn from people who have thought through some of these issues.
For example, if the electrical grid went down in the middle of winter and didn’t come up for a month where you lived, what would you do? If there was a terrorist strike worse than 9-11 and it shut down the transportation and grocery/goods distribution system for an extended period of time, what would you do? If there was a smallpox outbreak and you had to stay home for several weeks to protect your family, what would you do? Or it could be something as simple as your husband’s place of employment ends up being the next Enron – what would you do with no income with two day’s notice?
My point in raising these questions is not to be paranoid although I know some people might take it that way. My point is that we have been so lulled into thinking that everything will continue on the way it is now with groceries coming in with just-in-time delivery, the electricity and heat always available, etc. that when someone raises questions like this we instinctively want to look the other way.
I’ve been doing some reading about the Great Depression over the past year or so. I’ve also read probably a few hundred different articles about the financial state of our country. My conclusion is that I think it is highly unlikely that I will live the rest of my life (which should be several more decades, Lord willing) without this country experiencing some kind of significant financial downturn. And I mean a lot more serious than the dotcom bust or the fallout from 9-11. Anyone who has done even a simple reading of history will know that there are financial ups and downs all the time. And I don’t think any administration – no matter what party is in office – can really handle the complicated mess we are in in this country.
My husband and I have been praying about moving for a couple of years and one of the things we talk about is where we want to live and how we want to live. Right now we are in a city in a larger metropolitan area and we definitely do not want to live here permanently. We would like to be able to breathe, see the sky more, hear the quiet and be a little more self-sufficient. The way I look at it is that if we make some prudent preparations and nothing happens, then we’ve really lost nothing other than a little time and money and we’ve probably slept better knowing what we’ve done to prepare. On the other hand, if we don’t make any prudent preparations we could seriously regret it. So we will continue to pray and seek the Lord. I appreciate the little wake-up call this week of our electricity going out. It is helping us think afresh about some of these issues.