Preparing for Emergencies on the Homestead

Preparing for Emergencies on the Homestead

Preparing for Emergencies on the Homestead

Last night on Youtube Live, Noreen’s Kitchen and The Kneady Homesteader were discussing preparing homestead emergencies and what steps they have taken to prepare their families in a time of emergency. It really had me thinking about what we had learned in the past couple of years. Over Christmas, we lost power for a week, my husband broke his ankle and now he had a heart attack. I have become a quick study on some things I never even dreamed about.

For instance, we are on a well and have a generator. Water should not be a problem (as long as we have fuel) right? ¬†Well, not exactly: our generator will not run our well pump. No well pump means no water! I don’t have cats, but if you know someone who does, ask him/her to save the plastic cat litter bottles for you. They work perfectly for storing water for flushing and bathing.

5 Gallon Buckets
You can never have enough. ūüôā You can effectively take a bath with less than 5 gallons of water. Heat 2 gallons of water on your stove and mix the rest with cooler water. Grab yourself a cup, or use the plastic storage containers. It works like a charm and being clean never felt so good if you are in a stressful situation without power.

Cooking Meals
How are you going to cook all that amazing food you have stored in your pantry?  Rocket Stove or Wood Stove РMake sure you grab a pair of welding gloves to remove those beautiful pots off the stoves. Kitchen pot holders are not designed to pull hot cast iron off a really hot wood burning stove or rocket stove. Trust me, it will be well worth the few dollars you laid out at Harbor Freight.

We live in Northern Michigan – It’s COLD

Ladies РKnow how to run a chainsaw Рto include making the fuel mixture, filling the bar oil- and safely operating your chainsaw. This has been a big one for me. My husband always made the mixture for the fuel and made sure I had enough bar oil. In the past, if someone would have said two cycle motors, I would have looked at them with a blank stare. Now I know to mix the oil and the gas together in the correct ratio before running. Totally different from a 4 stroke motor.

Snow plow – either the shovel kind or a mechanical one.
This is especially important if you have a medical emergency. We have quite a long driveway. With the situation we are now in with my husband’s heart attack, this item has moved to the top of my priority list.

Emergency – 911
We only use cell phones. We don’t have land line options in our neck of the woods.¬†This past summer, I needed to contact 911, but I couldn’t find my phone. Seriously! Thank goodness our son and his girlfriend were visiting: they are millennials and never let go of their phones. It worked out.

House Numbers
Ensure your address is visible. Every second counts. That statement is no longer a cliche. My husband died as he was being wheeled into the ER. Thank G-d he was in the right place at the right time, and they were able to shock him back to life.

Cash on Hand
No electricity = NO ATMs or swiping your debit card. Make sure you have some cash!

Make sure you have relationships with people in your community. We have been so fortunate to have the Baker’s Green Acres crew – They have helped out with Wood – Food – Loaning me their kids to help with fencing, and of course fellowship.

This is not an inclusive list. Just some things that came to mind during the live chat with Noreen’s Kitchen and The Kneady Homesteader.

A Homesteaders Life – The Reality of Living on a Homestead

A Homesteaders Life – The Reality of Living on a Homestead

 Homesteaders Life РThe Reality of Living on a Homestead

Homesteaders Life - Fun on the Homestead- Winter in Northern Michigan

The reality of living a homesteader’s life is sinking in today as I walk the dogs. ¬† Living off the land, away from crazy neighbors, oh the dream! We scrimped and saved and finally found our little bit of paradise in northern Michigan. ¬†We purchased several homesteading and living off the grid books and magazines. We read everyone of them from front to back. Notebooks full of plans and dreams,we want from our property and just the homestead lifestyle. But, the one thing I did not find in those books or magazines – Was…. What happens if one half of your team suffers a life altering injury and illness.

Will you still be able to carry on with your plans and dreams? What will they look like now? Will you be able to keep up with the homestead on your own? What’s next?

I’ll be honest, living on a catamaran in the sea like Gone with the Wynns, sounds far more appealing. The thought of running out of wood in the middle of February, or making sure that once long driveway, which seemed perfect for remoteness has now become a liability. Will I be able to keep it cleared enough so that we or the ambulance can pass through if we need it.

Our days are filled with physical therapy and cardiac rehab vs clearing the forest.

Our days are now filled with naps and making sure my husband has what he needs before I leave for a bit to run up town.

Is it still the dream? Yes, my husband is alive (which is alot better than he was in early Aug)  

But the realities of a Homesteaders life sure looks a lot different than our notebooks plan and dreams.