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Looking for threads for helping out in the natural disaster zone.

 
master steward & author
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So, things are bad here due to a recent weather event.  

But it got me thinking - there are probably some good threads on permies that I could share with locals for getting through this and getting ready for the next one.  The big thing I want to share with people in my area is positivity.  It's not their fault they didn't or they did or whatever.  Blame is boring and unhelpful.  Let's take that energy we would use being angry and make things better.  I want to find positive threads like that.

But I've got to go outside and mop up after the flood.  So... maybe you could help?

What are your favourite permies threads for helping deal with emergancies?

For example.  Gas is rationed for the general public for the next few weeks.  Working from home, public transit, cycling, and carpooling is recommended by the government.  But I have to do some running around next week.  But there - we have some ideas for threads like hypermiling and carpooling suggestions and maybe cargo bikes...

hypermiling - how to save gas while driving  https://permies.com/t/hypermiling

emergency supply kits

alternate transportation

back up food in emergency

Energy backup (I have a window solar panel I used to charge my phone

Staying connected

Building good relations with neighbours

I bet there are so many more!  Please help me find some links to share.  
 
master gardener
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The neighbors I think we should be building better relationships with are beavers: https://permies.com/t/152929/Coexisting-beavers
A whole lot more beavers in the interior of BC, might have helped with the fires this summer, and the flooding that just happened.
(Sorry, r ranson, I couldn't resist - we need better infrastructure, and I really do believe beavers could help with that.)
 
r ranson
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That's great about beavers.

I'm sort of looking for things that give individuals a sense of personal agency.  What can they do to directly improve their situation during tough times (and before)?

Right now people are feeling so helpless it turns to anger and blame.

But if they have something they can do to make their situation better, then that might lead them towards permaculture and hanging out on permies.  They can learn about these bigger solutions.
 
steward
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I love this one about saving money on heating. It's good for keeping warm when the power is out, as well as staying warm without going broke when heating costs go sky-high:

https://permies.com/t/62284/ways-save-winter-heating
 
gardener
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This is a great idea for a thread R Ranson! The strange thing is, like Jay said, making unlikely connections between posts provides solutions when they are not exactly spelled out. One more example, moments ago this thread came up: https://permies.com/t/170579/composting/advice-compost-fine-sawdust-fish
One of the problems with sawdust and pellets is that they absorb so much water that they are a problem in the compost pile. EUREKA! Sawdust and wood pellets are great for cleaning up after a flood. They absorb fishy water, sewer water, animal waste, oil and other flood crud.
The solutions are here, but we have to make the creative leap from day-to-day applications and remediation when big problems happen.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Another good one is the National Preparedness Month thread. I especially like the idea of making a Family Resource Binder, which has important financial and contact information. I find it really handy during power outages, as well as when I just need to contact my internet company. I also put stuff in it about dealing with poop and keeping things sanitary during long power outages. It's one place to put all the info you'd want on hand.

https://permies.com/t/70703/National-Preparedness-Month-prepare
 
Nicole Alderman
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This one is good for assembling an emergency bag/"Bug-Out Bag". These are bags that you fill with things to use in emergencies. You can also encourporate a bunch of the smaller items (matches, utility knife, mirror, soap, spoon, can-opener first aid stuff, hand-crank light) into the purse/satchel/suitcase you carry with you anyway.

I have a bunch of stuff just crammed into my kids' "Diaper Bag" (which is now their school bag we carry to their homeschool co-op), and a lot more crammed into my purse. I've never been in an "emergency" where I've needed the things, but, I've totally used the hand sanitizer, soap, spoon, matches, knife, screwdriver, etc, can opener, etc. These come in handy just through the normal course of events of life.

https://permies.com/t/98386/emergency-car-bag-bob-ghb
 
Nicole Alderman
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This one by Paul is a good one for getting the most light out of candles:

https://permies.com/t/19401/light-candles


Along with that, here's a thread about reducing the pollution from burning candles (beeswax seems to release the least amount, compared to parfin candles or lamp oil. Correct trimming and sizeing of wicks is important!)

Do the negative ions released by candles outweigh the smoke?
 
Nicole Alderman
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About building community, I'm reminded of this thread:

Going Medieval On You- Survival Experiment- SCA Prepping

Basically, join SCA to have a good group of people who learn old-fashioned skills and already have a community and structure set up.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Ross Raven also made this good (albeit long) thread about preparing for climate change and emergencies, and gaining skills and community before insanity hits.

C5 Defines The Adapters Movement- Acceptance and Triage

Ross Raven wrote:ACCEPTANCE

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

SELF SUFFICIENCY IS A MYTH

ADAPTING WILL NOT CURE YOUR EXISTENTIAL ANGST

MAKE FOOD FIRST AGAIN

GROW IT AND THEY WILL COME

OPENNESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

BUILD SOCIAL CAPITAL

TRIAGE

DON’T BE A DICK

DON’T BLAME ANYONE BUT YOURSELF FOR NOT ADAPTING

COLLAPSE NOW AND AVOID THE RUSH[/url]

 
Nicole Alderman
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r ranson wrote:alternate transportation



Here's my favorite threads about Cargo Bikes:

My Cargo Bike Upgrades

Show us what you're hauling on your bike

Living without a car

We often think we need to haul things in cars, but wheelbarrows and carts can carry a lot!

Wheelbarrow vs 2-wheeled cart

Good long-distance wheelbarrow cart

There's some interesting threads about moving wood (quite necessary with trees down over roads and firewood need to be brought in!). The last two use sleds to move the heavy stuff!

Retrieving logs from the forest A few posts down, there's an interesting video about a "flip flop winch," which is just sticks and some rope!

Moving Heavy Logs  has a nice bit about using skids--and hopefully a horse--to haul wood.

DIY stone boat aka rock sled aka Yard Glider This has towing a smooth-bottomed surface to haul heavy things that you just have to roll onto the sled.

Yo, Sven! Did I yust invent der skiboggen? This "skiboggen" is a bunch of skis attached together to make a sled for hauling wood and other things in the snow.
 
pollinator
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Wow, Nicole that thread you linked is some food for thought. Gonna go back and read it ALL again.

My favorite part, "COLLAPSE NOW AND AVOID THE RUSH" is kind of what I've been doing for a long time.
 
Nicole Alderman
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r ranson wrote:back up food in emergency



This great thread came first to mind. It's about storing up more of the stuff you normally like to eat, and rotate through the oldest first. Like pasta? Buy a little bit extra each time, and use the oldest first. Use coconut oil, flour, canned fish, or nuts, or dried fruit? Buy a bit extra and use the oldest first.

Deep Pantry for people who like food

Shelf Stable Food Flow: Avoiding Food Waste

I noticed that when my power went out, I kind of had to go in a bit of a rush to use the food I already had that might go bad. I had some pumpkin cooking in my Instant Pot when the power went out. So I threw it on my woodstove and added an onion and those apples my daughter had taken two bites of and then left on the table that day. I finally really understood the song:

"Peas porridge hot
Peas porridge cold
Peas porridge in the pot,
Nine days old"


If I kept the food warm, it would stay edible! So, learning how to pickle, cook, ferment, can, dry the food that might go bad in your fridge/freezer is really handy!

I'm also reminded of cowboy/cowgirl coffee. There's no need for a peculator or coffee maker with this coffee. Just a pot and a heat source (and maybe a way to grind coffee). This is how my husband always has his coffee, but during power outages, the kids get to have a blast grinding his coffee beans.

the most eco and last coffee maker - cowgirl coffee

For cooking itself:

The joys of a wood cook stove! I seriously love my woodstove. I can heat and cook upon it. If you have the money to invest in an alternative heat source, I highly recommend something that burns wood that you can also cook on!

What bricks to use for a simple rocket stove? If you have wood, but no wood burning apparatus, you can build one with just a few bricks. It won't heat your home, but you can cook on it! So easy, even a child can build it!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Mark Reed wrote:Wow, Nicole that thread you linked is some food for thought. Gonna go back and read it ALL again.

My favorite part, "COLLAPSE NOW AND AVOID THE RUSH" is kind of what I've been doing for a long time.



Ross Raven's website is a great resource, too. He doesn't write much any more, but there's a lot of gems in both his posts here on permies and on his website.
 
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I found lots of good threads in the cooking forum (and haven`t even scratched the surface!):

Reducing ground (minced) meat in recipes: https://permies.com/t/139164/kitchen/Ground-Meat-Recipes

Substitutions for egg in recipes:  https://permies.com/t/137332/kitchen/Eggs-Pancakes-Baked-Goods

Other recipe substitutions:   https://permies.com/t/83787/kitchen/Equivalents

Substitutions and alternatives for flavourings and spices: https://permies.com/t/60256/kitchen/wild-homegrown-herbs-substitute-store

Making a sour dough starter:   https://permies.com/t/53601/kitchen/Catching-Wild-Sourdough

Cooking (safely) without a fridge:   https://permies.com/t/56871/kitchen/Recipes-tips-fridge-cook
 
Posts: 79
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Here's one that's been around since the 70s or 80s but is often overlooked or just not known.

https://humanurehandbook.com

You will have to deal with human waste and sanitation in any weird situation and this is the most elegant, no water needed, compact way to go. You'll need to lay in a few things up front but not too much to it.
If you don't feel like or are unable to build the toilet setup he details, suitable replacements in manufactured camping goods are easily available online.

It even makes usable compost with a few caveats.

When something brings you to your knees situation-wise you get a bit of spidey sense on watching your inputs and outputs...or you're just  flat out forced to pay attention.  

If you've ever read Farmers of 40 Centuries it makes a good case for how Asian folks used humanure to great benefit, but, more caveats, they weren't on top of some of the sanitation wisdom we have today.
 
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To me, wildfires are an important disaster to know how to protect your family and home:

Go-Bag: https://permies.com/t/163783/wildfire/Bag

https://permies.com/t/108327/wildfire/Wildfire-Mitigation-Long-Term-Permaculture

https://permies.com/t/149329/wildfire/Brush-Fire-Mitigation

https://permies.com/t/148817/wildfire/Fire-Protection-safeguarding-home-property

 
Jay Angler
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Again, this is a bit tangential, but important in my mind: Learn how to read and use topographical maps.
Why? 1. For your own land, you can potentially predict where wind and water might go in unusually bad circumstances and reinforce those areas.
2. So you can plan on putting important infrastructure where they are protected from danger.
3. So if you do have to leave, you have ideas of safer directions/better options for doing so safely.

If you haven't bought land yet, topo maps and regular maps can help you see what toxic gick could come your way if surrounding areas burn or flood. Although with the size of recent forest fires where Maine was getting smoke from the West Coast, that one may be beyond your control.

https://permies.com/t/130710/Nat-Geo-Launched-Free-Website#1024967
 
Anne Miller
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This is one of the very best threads I have seen on the forum for soap making since it uses ingredients that almost everyone has or can make:

For a natural disaster if I ran out of soap I could make my own from this thread:

https://permies.com/t/117228/permaculture-home-care-cleaning/purity/Grease-cutting-lard-soap-borax

It also talks about D-limonene which is a powerful degreaser that I found to be great information.
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:
A whole lot more beavers in the interior of BC, might have helped with the fires this summer, and the flooding that just happened.



In the interest of talking about things that people can do, in Oregon Beaver Works does a lot to help beavers and increase their habitat. They accept support in the form of donations and volunteering.

Beaver Works

The Beaver Institute trains people in ways to coexist with beavers while reducing flooding. They have a list of organizations that they recommend for consultations, but I don't see any from Canada. And one of them is based on Vancouver Island.

Van Isle Wetlands
 
Jay Angler
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Considering BC's busy flooding (and about to get hammered again in areas), one topic that hasn't had links added is basic water filtering.

I didn't find regular threads, but I did find 3 PEP threads to get this concept started. REMEMBER - flood water tends to be *full* of contaminants -  E-coli from farmland, gasoline/oil from flooded vehicles, and any number of other nasties! However, rain water collected off sheds or houses, is a reasonably safe starting point.
https://permies.com/wiki/143948/pep-plumbing-hot-water/water-filter-plumbing-straw-canisterfilter
https://permies.com/wiki/143949/pep-plumbing-hot-water/simple-sand-filter-plumbing-straw
https://permies.com/wiki/143950/pep-plumbing-hot-water/Build-permanent-sand-filter-plumbing

The cool thing about the first two above, is they can be accomplished with human power and gravity. However, all three require people to have done some advance work *before* the filter is needed. There are people who've built relatively simple systems that can work with fairly dirty water in poor countries with no water infrastructure, however, many of those people have had ongoing exposure to bacteria that North Americans haven't, so some of us need to be more careful than others.
 
pollinator
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I am a huge fan of the SAWYER personal)(and bulk" water filtration setups. Inexpensive (($20-$100+), simple, practically good forever (based on gallons per unit before filter needs to be replaced) and much higher/more effective filtration surface that deals with MUCH finer contaminants.

That said, I am unsure how non organic compounds (fossil fuel, fertilizers etc.) would/could be handled by this or other filtration methods commercially OR otherwise available.
 
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Wild Fires, Drought, Pandemic. Food Shortages, a wild Hurricane Season, Flash Flooding and Fights over Toilet Paper!  What A Year We Have Had!  
And, by most forecast, it is going to get worse!!
This world can produce enough food for the roughly 7 billion people alive today, but nearly a billion are hungry or malnourished, mostly due to poverty and unequal distribution.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the world population will surpass 9.1 billion by 2050, at which point agricultural systems will not be able to supply enough food to feed everyone.  
Sara Menker founder of Gro Intelligence, was a comedies trader on the stock market.  She was on Ted Talks, and her company thinks the tipping point for food is only about 10 years from now, 2030.  There will be a 214 trillion calories shortage.  That is equal to 379 billion Big Mack’s, that is more hamburgers than McDonald’s has sold in its entire history.  One Big Mack has 563calories.  
The 2008 global rice crisis occurred between January and May 2008, the international trading price of rice jumped dramatically, increasing more than 300% (from USD $300 to $1,200 per ton) in just four months.  It was in fact caused by fear but it still caused a great run-on rice.  Some stores ran out.  Reminds you of the run-on TP doesn’t it?
About 20 or so years ago, I saw a letter on the internet.  It was from the WMO, “World Meteorological Origination”; which is a part of the UN.  It was addressed to the governments of the world and told them over the next 100 years the weather will become so extreme we stand to lose 30% to 70% of all the plant and animal life on the planet.  About 8 years later they sent out another letter; we now stand to lose 50% of everything.  
I have requested copies of these letters.  When I did receive a response, it was a bunch of GIBBERISH!!  NO LETTERS!!  Are they part of the cover-up?
The UN, the World Meteorological Origination, Gro Intelligence, and the rice shortage, the forecast does not look bright.  Do we want to wait until there is a “Global Food Shortage” or should we start making plans now?  
I and many others believe the first lesson is:  Leaving our wellbeing in the hands of the government is just asking for trouble.  A co-op is an easy way for people to work together.  If a small group neighbors can come together; they can help each other in many ways.  We all have may different talents.  Just having a group of friends, you can depend on can be a great comfort during a disaster, large or small.  So where do we start?  Why is cooperative ownership important? More than just providing goods and services, co-ops put decision-making power and any generated wealth back into the hands of the co-owners or workers all with equity in mind as people work together to build better systems.  
A cooperative, AKA co-op, is a group of people that agree to cooperate with each other.  Ut can be for profit or a not for profit, 501c3.  It is a state chartered a business entity but in the case of a co - op it is owned and controlled by the investor- owner -members.  The rules are made by the members.  They can agree to provide whatever goods and or services the members need.  Another thing that is different and important about a co-op is, one member cannot own or control a larger portion of the co-op than another member, each member is equal.  They work together.  An older member with a very large yard might agree to have part of it turned into a big community vegetable garden and in return they get all the free vegies they need.  It makes more sense than paying for lawn service every week.!
A co-op can own land.  A lot can be purchased and the members can build a storage building for the bigger tools like a tractor, a rototiller, a wood chipper, a log splitter, a leaf vacuum, all owned by the coop and shared by the members.  A member living on the property or next-door; can keep a record of who has what tool and when it should be back.  If there is enough room perhaps a community composting area.  Another member might know how to maintain the tools and equipment and can share his knowledge with other members to keep everything running smoothly.  The member that can take care of the equipment might be given some space to work on members cars.  
What talent could you learn or what could you teach or share with your neighbors?  
Co-ops are often formed by a group of people with something in common, in this case a safe neighborhood.  People can get very nasty when they are hungry.  The co-op is sometimes formed to secure things like low-cost credit to purchase things.  A group may need supplies and equipment for farming, livestock, or household needs like appliances, canning equipment & jars, or a stand to sell produce like the surplus from your garden.  One member could provide daycare service for other members and get food as payment.  They may secure services, like electric power, irrigation, health or auto insurance. Cooperatives can be used in many ways to help people with the everyday needs of life.  In Nashville there is a coop that has a restaurant and catering service.  The Three Rivers Market in Knoxville is a co-op.  
Several cooperatives can work together and multiply their buying power.  Instead of one group buying 100 mason jars and two new presser canners; several groups could buy 1,000 mason jars and 20 new presser canners.  Companies would probably give a nice discount for an order that size.  
Learning and growing should be one main efforts of a co-op as a group:  Free information is all around us.  A Ham Radio Club also known as Amateur Radio; often have classes your Co-op can take.  One person with a ham radio license in each home and you will never lose touch and there is no monthly bill either.  The hams can be almost invaluable in a time of crisis and are sometimes even called into action by the government.  The ability to communicate, a call for help, or to let your family know you are OK, a ham operator can do it even when the phones lines are down and the power is out.  
A Red Cross class in first aid can be a life saver.  Classes in first aid can teach things like; when do you really need to go to the hospital and when you can stay home and take care of it.   What do you need for a home First Aid Kit?  (The first aid kits sold in the stores are a joke.)  Someone with an interest in medicine could do the sourcing and stocking for the coop’s major medical equipment and supplies.  A neighbor who is a Med Teck would be a great asset.  They are trained in trauma assessment response, recognizing and managing shock, debriding cleaning, suturing, to close a wound.  They could also train the other members how to care for themselves.
Sites like skillshare.com, or YouTube, and many others have classes you can take.  YouTube has an incredible number of videos on how to do it.  Whatever it is!  
Is one of your neighbors already interested in using herbs to heal.  They may already know about finding medicinal wild plants in your area or even have them growing in their own yard.  What could you save by making and using your own medicine.
Do you really need to mow the grass each weekend?  Why not rototill the yard and plant clover and wild flowers.  Not only are they beautiful; they are good for the pollinators like bees and butterfly’s.  Commercial honey bee operations are essential to agricultural production in the U.S., pollinating $15 billion worth of food crops each year.  White clover stays low and is great for bees.  Maybe one member could be a bee keeper.  There are bee keeping clubs.  Find one close by and learn how to do it or let them put a hive in your area.  How about a garden to grow your own vegetables?.  The Library of Congress still has the flyers for the “Victory Gardens” of the second world war.  Cucumbers grow great on a chain-link fence, so do string bean.  One member of your coop could raise chickens and another rabbits.  They are both a good source of protein.  If you need milk for the kids one family might take on some goats.  Their milk makes some great cheese.              
The big thing is to talk with the neighbors.  What are their talents, what do they like to do?  I love kids, so I would be happy to be to have the day care.  Find happy solution so the group can grow, prosper and most important, take care of each other.  Anyone willing to pitch in and help the group should be welcome.  A cooperative is limited only by how big the members can dream.  The first co-op was started by Ben Franklin to provide fire insurance.    
Cooperatives carry on businesses in all sectors and they may be profit sharing enterprises or non-profit organizations.  If you plan to sell what you can make or grow a “Profit Sharing” group is the way to go.   I doubt that a little extra money would hurt anyone.  
When you start a co-op, you will need to know something about the members.   An application, name address and so on.  If you want to or have any droughts consider background check.  Keep in mind if it is done for one it should be done for all.
Funding for the Co-op will be a combination of traditional loans, grants, and capital contributed by our Co-Owners.  The benefits and dividends will be the same for each Co-owner.
1. Open & voluntary membership - Ownership is open to everyone who wants to join, without discrimination.
2. Democratic member control - Those who buy in as Co-Owners control the business. Co-Owners will have a voice in major decisions through working groups, voting opportunities, and engaging in open discussions with the board. No one can have a majority interest or buy more control than anyone else — one person, one vote.
3. Member economic participation - Here is a list of other co-op’s look at their web sites.  If you are in the neighborhood stop and explore, talk and get a feel for the co-op experience.  
4. Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.
5. Education, training, & information -Cooperatives provide education and training for members, managers, and employees so they can effectively contribute to the development of the Co-op.
6. Cooperation among cooperatives - Cooperatives work together to help other cooperatives in formal and informal ways. There are several co-op groups that help new cooperatives open and maintain their organizations including National Co-op Grocers, the Cooperative Grocer Network, and the Food Cooperative Initiative.
7. Concern for community - Cooperatives operate with a focus on member needs and concerns. We’ll work toward sustainable growth of our community through values-focused policies and programs.
These seven principles were formed in 1844 by the first modern cooperative, the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers of Rochdale, England. While it’s not a requirement that all co-ops implement these ideas, most adopt them as business guidelines—

I put this together to get people to help each other.  I am planning to send it out through the ladies of my church but it is not a church function.  If we start planning now, we will know what to do when disaster strikes.
 
CLUCK LIKE A CHICKEN! Now look at this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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