If the end was nigh, how would you survive.

Picture the world as it is. Modern conveniences, easy access to food at supermarkets, toilet paper on hand, petrol with which to drive your car(s), flick the switch and on goes a light. It’s pretty cushy hey. Cold? Ok, turn on the heater, crank up the thermostat and welcome the warmth. Too hot? Switch on that air conditioner or go and dive into the swimming pool for a swim. Bored? Lonely? At a loose end? Stick on the telly or computer and check out Facebook, read some blogs or play a game.

 

 

 

Picture that same world in a few years when petrol and electricity have reached prices that only the wealthy can afford. You can still go to the supermarket… IF you have the money for the fuel for your car or if you live close enough to ride a bike or walk there. Take your own bags though as there will be no more plastic ones.

Once you get there the shelves may well be bare and you may well be shopping in the dark. Imagine long queues to line up for a few cans of food, some stale bread and maybe a few cups of rice because the supermarket is rationing what they have as there is no fuel to ship the food over from China and no diesel to drive it from our farming communities or for the trucks to drive it from the docks, then to the supermarkets.

It’s mid winter and the electricity brown or black outs mean there is no power to switch on the heater. Or a 40C day and the air con needs power to run and the pool is green from lack of adequate filtration. That boredom and loneliness will  not go away with online access either. No power remember?

Take it further. How will you cook that last can of baked beans you’ve managed to find? Power is out and gas is either too pricey to use or run out too. How will you heat water for a shower? How will you prevent food from going off?

 

 

Where will your clean water come from?

It’s Springtime and it’s time to plant a garden. Have you got seeds to plant? What will you grow? Where will you grow it? Suppose you have the seeds, the space to grow some food and kind weather. How will you keep that bumper crop of tomatoes and corn? The fridge and freezer are unreliable at best (remember the brownouts?).

And most scary of all, how will you prevent others from taking your food from you should things reach that point.

Ok, so that’s all pretty extreme I know and a long way from the world in which we currently live. But does it make you stop and think? I mean we’ve all seen those post apocalyptic films and tv shows. Mad Max II, Waterworld, Tank Girl, Dark Angel, the list goes on I’m sure. But have we ever stopped and thought what would happen to us if we had to survive in those situations.

I know many have lived through similar conditions after the disasters that have struck. Cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes, tsunamis and earthquakes, bushfires, floods and other catastrophic events that render us unable to access the amenities we can normally take for granted. I salute those who have survived these situations. I have no idea how I would manage. How would I cope?

How prepared is my family?

Gavin Webber from The Greening of Gavin has posted about exactly this (inspiring 100% of this post) and has linked in a wonderful calculator to help you assess just how ready you truly and actually are. Click here to see Gavin’s post and follow the links. My family report card brings home a score of B. There are some areas that we are in a great position and others we are seriously lacking. I have an afternoon of research ahead of me. I strongly urge you to think about this and to read this post. How will you survive when the end of the world as we know it is nigh?

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19 thoughts on “If the end was nigh, how would you survive.

  1. greeningofgavin says:

    Great post Jessie. I couldn’t have written it better myself 😉

    Gav x

    • Lol. Thanks Gav and thanks for your post too. It’s made me wake up and smell the coffee. I thought we were doing pretty well really so it’s come as a shock to realise that some areas we’re on very shaky ground.
      As always, I love your blog and keep up the amazing work.

  2. narf77 says:

    I am just hoping that “the end” will be after about 10 years time because my nut tree saplings need to grow! We need to be thinking about shoring up our food supplies. Here in Tassie they are pretty good. We produce a lot of food down here, especially calorie dense like potatoes and onions but throw out the petrol and suddenly you need a whole lot more workers to work your fields to get the food that we all need to eat. Grow veggies, keep chooks, better yet, keep chooks AND rabbits… how about aquaponics? Shore up your water supply, your energy and maybe you can’t use the internet but you could still use your P.C. (if you had, like me, been storing copious quantities of information about doing things yourself for the past 10 years on hard drives etc…). How about eating less meat? I am talking a whole LOT less…unless you know how to hunt, fish etc. you are going to have to suck it up and learn to love your greens. I find it ludicrous that peak oil is still being postulated as “hypothetical” and that our government is still phaffing around with quorums, negotiating parties, and other overstuffed junkets for the boys to keep them paid well but to keep the true adgenda out of the ring. What is it going to take before mainstream society starts to see that this is real and not something that we can just pretend isn’t coming and the crazies all get tidied up and swept away… Again I stress positivity. If we start to panic (you watch ALTOGETHER too much of that crap telly Jess! 😉 ) we lose our way. Focus on getting your life in order, in being able to live as simply as you can and making sure that you have infrastructure around you to support and enrich your family…best get over to see how Gavin has put the heebie jeebies/wind up your sail!

    • I want the end to wait until we have water tanks in place and maybe even solar power (enough for the fridge and freezers would be great).”Meat eating isn’t a concern for me as we are planning to raise and harvest almost all of our own and I spent the afternoon researching hunting rabbits (still not decided on that one although eating rabbit poses no problems for me). We can also easily survive on low or no meat if needed. 🙂
      As for the tv, Dark Angel was and is a favourite but the others I’ve either heard about or seen once. It’s all in a past life anyway. The TV isn’t even unpacked here! 🙂 These days I prefer relevant TV or the occasional brain frying episode of something garbage. 😉
      I have my bathtubs ready to set up my aquaponics system and picked the brains of a friend about it just this morning. I’m ultra excited now and just need to research materials and the cost of a solar powered pump. 🙂
      Sadly I don’t believe society is going to wake up. The end will come and go and the vast majority of people will be sitting there, wondering why their lights don’t work, where the food is and whining about why the government hasn’t fixed things. Maybe that is uncharitable of me but I haven’t seen any evidence that the coming peak oil crisis has registered to more than a relative handful of people. Although that handful is growing thankfully.

      • narf77 says:

        I think people are concerned, it’s just nothing is happening on any important fronts (other than the rabid little hippies and the Serendipity Farms etc.) so they can comfortably choose to ignore it. I had a bit of a barney on FB the other day with my sister who chose to make a very derogatory set of remarks about some non GMO supporters. I sometimes think that people are actively sticking their heads in the sand these days because the alternative is just too scary to think about…the line my sister takes (despite being queen of the consumers…I swear all of my efforts are just going to cancel out hers!) is “I go to the farmers markets on saturday…” sigh…

        • It does get hard to keep up the enthusiasm and muster the troops when the government is so actively sitting on their hands (or putting them over their ears and humming like the immature bickering children that they seem to be). I had a brief conversation with my mum the other day and mentioned that the fuel will and is running out to which she responded with “I know”. I nearly fell off my chair. The conversation changed and before long we’re back to the every day – shopping, cooking food easier (read convenience) and life as normal continues on. They too shop on occasion at farmers markets.

          • narf77 says:

            My sister is a liberal voting, GMO supporting (actively) anti EVERYTHING enviromnental (she didn’t sign my Avaz petition against the pulp mill that was going to be installed right around the corner from Serendipity Farm because “some people could do with the jobs”!) right royal pain in my derierre…its lucky I love her and that blood runs thicker than water because I would have thrown her into the “water” a LONG time ago if it didn’t! ;). Up again early I see? This is starting to become a habit ;). I had a sleep in till 4am today, it’s weekend 😉

            • Urgh! She’s as hardcore as you! Just on the opposite side of the fence. 😉 My brother and SIL are pretty much my polar opposites too although I’ve learned it’s best not to discuss all that weird hippy stuff I’m into. Guess where my name Rabid Little Hippy came from (in jest and full of love though, not nastily at all).
              I’m up early as I have a full day of corn canning and peach bottling to do and I woke at 3:35 and after feeding Orik I couldn’t get back to sleep (can’t believe I was up before you!). Just about to go start shucking corn.

              • narf77 says:

                I have a vision of that 40’s American woman with the headscarf on her way to the factory to build tanks making a muscle! You go girl! 🙂 I only got about 10 corn cobs from my most pathetic crop. Bev from foodnstuff said she is over growing corn because it is too needy in the water stakes. I think I might be with her on that. I will stick to what I am learning about our soil, our conditions over summer (no rain…NO RAIN!) and will go with things that love it like tomatoes, eggplants, silverbeet, spinach (I have been living on the stuff and it is STILL going strong), capsicum, chillis and will be adding all different kinds of weird and wonderful things next year like leaf and grain amaranth. I am truly enthused with the possibilities after this first Serendipity Harvest and have learned a heap about our local conditions. This winter will see me scrounging barrels, water containers et al to ensure that we can store a bit of water for our use until we can find a water tank (if you desire it…it will come! 😉 ) and researching waterwise veggie crops from Mexico, South America and the Med. You gotta learn! Thats the most important thing about all of this, you do it, you stuff up, you LEARN, next year you are stronger, more evolved and you cope. That is what makes you a survivor…not your intellect, or your wealth, but your ability to adapt to change :). Shuck away and enjoy that building corn futures pile 🙂 Don’t forget to use those corn cobs in the base of your next raised garden bed. Mum swore by them (her version of hugelkultur along with the chopped up stems and husks and anything else stalky she could find)

                • I’ve got 62 cobs here. Not a single one came from my garden. They’re not ripe yet. These are through a co-op and I know there are several members up to their eyeballs in corn and peaches and blueberries and apples and nectarines and more. Tomatoes soon which will be a BIG one (I reckon 60kg should allow me to do what I want and need to do – bottled, pasta sauce, tomato paste and of course, tomato sauce. 🙂
                  I love 40’s and 50’s fashion as well as their attitude and being likened to Rosie the Riveter is a HUGE compliment. Not quite channeling her today but I am in my 40’s inspired shirt dress so I’m getting there. Bottling goes so much better when one is dressed appropriately. Might need to whack on some red lippy soon. Then it will really fly! 😀
                  Corn cob hugelculture, I shall! I have a bed to fill in the greenhouse which I’m planning to be composty and several more beds to build and fill in the veggie garden so they will not be thrown in landfill I promise you.
                  Have you thought of quinoa and chia for your gaqrden too? Flaxseed may well grow as well. Then of course there are chick peas and all the other stored legumes. Beans beans…

                  • narf77 says:

                    LOL! Poor Steve…beans…beans…TOOT! ;). Have fun “Rosie” and 60kg of tomatoes? You will be inundated! I would imagine they will keep you in tomato futures though till the next harvest when you can grow a good proportion of them for yourself next year :). Make sure to post about it (while you are juggling orik, applying red lippy dextrously, plowing the fields single handedly, pinning your blanket (home made of COURSE) cape to your home spun and knitted jumper :). My sister would be FROTHING 😉

  3. LyndaD says:

    Im almost too scared to take the test. That first picture of yours could have been taken in my house. I will be brave though and scoot over the Gav’s. Hey, when are the tomatoes arriving?

    • Lynda, I don’t yet know BUT I do have peaches to bottle and corn to pressure can today too so if you’re free and you are willing to turn a very big blind eye to the bombsite that is my house you’re most welcome to join me. 🙂

      • LyndaD says:

        As i said in one of my latest posts – im a stupid idiot who like to run around all summer in no shoes (ex country hick) and therefore no orthotics and my knee gave way on Thurs night. Im not going anywhere and i had planned a big autumn gardening cleanup with my three days off. Its interesting reading the conversation between you too, its feels like im eavesdropping. Its bad enough having relatives that are enegy consumers but with two autistic people in the house that focus only on their own needs (what energy crisis, Oh $1000 power bill , shrug, on with air con at 9am, Why have TV when you can have 1000W globe projectors X 2 with with 3m screens). I use to fight them, but our family life was crap and i was always to boogeyman so now i just spend all day turning lights off (yep even midday) though im abit slowed down at the moment. My house is so filled with black balloons it will be on the moon soon. 😦 Hence why i am scared to take Gav’s test.

        • That’s not what the test is about so no need to be scared. It’s about how prepared you are for the coming crisis as far as food and water and safety and location etc, not the black balloons of your house.
          It’s nigh on impossible to convert others to your way of thinking. You can enforce it but as you said it does make you the boogeyman (been there done that) but showing them what changing means and living by example can lead others to changing their own thinking. It happened for me. 🙂

  4. Leiani says:

    This is something that weighs on my mind, I would love to be more self sufficient both for the whole scary end of the world as we know it scenario, but also to stand on my own feet right now, and not be reliant on anyone else. We are currently taking steps towards this end, and am using all the positive energy I can muster to ensure it happens! I will have to take the test to see our score now 🙂

  5. Can’t figure out how to do the test! Heating and cooling are weighing on my mind at the moment with this awful unprecedented heatwave in Autumn. We’re thinking of re doing the roof insulation, installing a solar whizz roof space ventilation thingy, a solar heater cooler (big, but much needed, we have mould issues in winter), and awnings on some of the windows. We bought 2 DIY awnings today, and one is up now, hopefully the other will be up today as well! We also thought we had plenty of tanks to get us through summer (11,500L total), but were empty by the beginning of summer, with only a couple of small rains to top them up a bit, so we’ve had to use mains. So we’re putting in a couple more tanks. It’s been a scary summer, and I’m wondering why people still deny climate change, and tell us to enjoy the “nice weather”. I’m no fan of heat, Tasmania is looking quite tempting at the moment. I can get a bit down with the attitudes of the general public who blame the government for everything and expect them to fix everything. A dose of responsibility wouldn’t go astray. I only hope we can survive this mess!

    • Tasmania is roasting too (relatively) and they’ve had 40C scorchers this year as well. Hottest days on record. We installed our blinds along the deck and as log as we get them down early they are very effective. Not so good today with both oven and stove on though.
      We’ve seen some decent rain here but all in the last 2 weeks. Before that we had chickens that had never seen rain!
      Denying climate change means you can continue to enjoy your easy life with air con, shopping and big fast cars. Admit to things changing and you may need to take responsibility for your actions and choices. And governments will turn a blind eye as long as high carbon businesses continue to line their pockets.
      Personal responsibility is what it’s all about! We vote for the governments that make these choices. Don’t like it? Vote for someone else (not that the choice is wonderful) and be prepared to accept the consequences if you don’t. It’s so frustrating that they (politicians and the general public) just don’t seem to get it.

  6. Linne says:

    Reblogged this on A Random Harvest and commented:
    Stuff everyone needs to think about. That’s the first step to making the necessary changes that will lead to a better world. ~ Linne

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