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Emergency Preparedness Forum

 
Posts: 27
Location: NW Michigan
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I would love to have an area devoted to discussions on this topic, but with a Permies.com flavor.  I've been to a few out there, but I can't stay for very long.  I find the subject pertinent and interesting, but the screwballs and nutters just kill it for me every time.  Most people are unprepared to deal with not having power for a few days let alone weeks or months.  Yes indeed there is the possibility of a major catastrophe befalling the world or U.S., or possibly just your region or state.  But I do not believe the sky is falling and I'm not a religious person.  I do not believe that aliens have taken over our government and have secret bases under the Denver Airport.  I do however believe in real world problems and events.  I spent 2 years in Bosnia, a beautiful country that was once a popular tourist destination for much of Europe.  I've seen that country torn apart by civil war.  Neighbors killing neighbors, children and families starving and burning their furniture for firewood.  I also believe we'll be going through a peak oil transition in our near future.  There will come a time when people's power and water will be rationed, and people will be given ration cards for certain items they buy from the grocery store.  When I was in Germany, we had ration cards for coffee, tea and tobacco.  I didn't smoke, so I let my friends buy smokes on my ration card.

I would love to have healthy talks about this subject without feeling like I need to back out of the room very slowly.

If you don't think a separate forum is necessary, then I can start a thread somewhere.  Thanks!
 
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Hmmmmm ..... 

It is my opinion that if a person had skill for wilderness survival, then their overall world safety goes way up.  And isn't that a huge aspect of emergency preparedness? 

Imagine that if you knew you could live in the wilderness for years at a time, then no matter where you are or what your situation is, you are prepared for almost any disaster. 

Somehow, I wonder if the "wildcrafting" forum could somehow evolve to include wilderness survival training and emergency preparedness.  And maybe hunting and the like.  I know I would very much like to nurture a tie in to all of the good wilderness awareness outfits that are all over the place.  Maybe add in a lot more cool stuff for native peoples understanding.

Would this be along the lines of what you are thinking of? 

Of course, what I might call this forum completely eludes me right now.


 
                    
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maybe add "hunting/survival skills" to the wildcrafting forum title?  I think it would help prompt people to discuss those things.
 
paul wheaton
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How about "wildcrafting, hunting and primitive skills"?

 
steward
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There are sites out there in which to discuss survival skills, catabolic collapse and peak oil.  They are well developed and full of information.  PM me and I can steer you towards a few of them.

This is a permaculture forum.  To veer off onto a tangent which is not accepted by the mainstream would put permies.com on the fringe.  May as well start a forum on crop circles and another about how to build a durable tinfoil hat.

For the sake of preserving site integrity, I would suggest the topic be limited to a thread in the Meaningless Drivel Forum.

Let's keep our eye on the ball.
 
paul wheaton
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Ken, I agree that I would prefer to keep permies.com away from the doomer stuff, with a much stronger focus on the "how to" stuff.

At the same time, as I look around the forums, I do think that the primitive skills stuff has been neglected by me.  And I should remedy that oversight.

And, I think there is a lot to be said for self reliance, being self sustaining and being prepared:  I think these things should be well covered in the homesteading and permaculture forums. 

Does this position seem to be aligned with your position?

 
steward
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I think it would be relatively easy to talk about primitive skills without getting into too much end-of-civilization talk, and I think there's plenty of overlap with permaculture.  incidentally, we've had at least five folks work on the farm while they were taking courses from the Wilderness Awareness School close by, and my sister is taking a course from Trackers Northwest right now.

I wonder why does the "primitive" in "primitive skills" gets my hackles up.  maybe it's just that "primitive" is used as a pejorative so frequently by folks I find to be extremely obnoxious.  I'm trying to get over it.
 
Michael Hansen
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Hmm, I thought my intentions were specifically to steer clear of the doomers, crop circles and tin foil hats and discuss Emergency Preparedness and Self Sufficiency as they would pertain to real world events.  I also like the idea of wilderness survival.  There are natural disasters that affect many people every year. Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, snow storms etc.  Hurricane Charley destroyed the area I'm living in right now.  People went without power and decent water for weeks.  Look at the Northeast Blackout of 2003. 55 million people lost power for less than a day, and lost their minds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_Blackout_of_2003

I guess my comment about peak oil put you at odds with the topic, in the 1970s it was considered a pretty fringe idea.  Here in 2010 I think most people have their eyes open to the fact that cheap energy won't last forever and Permaculture plays a major role in my emergency preparedness and self sufficiency.
 
Ken Peavey
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A Skills and How To forum would be entirely appropriate.  What's more, I think moving the Cooking and Food Preparation, Wildcrafting, and General Homesteading sections there would get it started.

I'm still trying to wrap my noggin around what "Permaculture" entails.  It's a diverse subject to be sure.  Part of it is tending the land.  Part is tending the community.  Part is tending your self.  I think this site would do well to promote and nurture these aspects.

We've got a lot of people in here with common interests.  Some of them may not exactly be permacultural in nature but have become especially popular.  As an example, I would point to cast iron skillets!  It's a subject that readily fits in around here, but I doubt Joel Salatin would talk about it much.

1.0 Permaculture
2.0 Skills and How To
.....2.1 Cooking and Food Preparation
.....2.2 Wildcrafting
.....2.3 Home and Farm Skills, Crafts and Industry  (beer and wine thread here)
.....2.4 General Homesteading
.....2.5 Alternative Building
.....2.6 Alternative Energy
.....2.7 Hunting/Trapping/Fishing
3.0 Library (from another thread in the tinkering forum)
4.0 Regional
5.0 Other

 
                    
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That's sort of a total forum redesign, Ken, but I like the layout. 

I do think some kind of wording in a forum title encouraging the practical discussion of "primitive" "survival" "basic" skills - whatever word you decide to use - would be appropriate for this site.  Wildcrafting for me gets a bit too broad....I don't think of hunting when reading that word, for instance.  Not that it doesn't belong there, I just didn't make the connection in my own noggin. 
 
steward
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Hi Michael, I think I know and appreciate what you mean. Your Bosnian and German experiences are ones not many of us here in America can relate to, and are very important lessons to learn from.

I've always been in favor of emergency preparedness, though folks can come at it from a variety of view points.

You have:
--religious folks, preparing for the apocalypse
--peak oil folks, preparing for the collapse
--Y2K (remember that?) or other doomers of one kind or another preparing for takeovers or collapses or economic depressions
--municipalities and community groups, preparing for natural disasters.

I think it's incredibly smart to be prepared for no water, no food, no electricity if only due to natural disasters. I live in earthquake territory. Earthquakes happen here. It makes sense to be prepared. Even if you think about being laid off for a long stretch of time, having food stores put by and finding alternative energy strategies helps with that, too.

The cooking and food preservation forum covers how to can, store and preserve food without any energy. There is a lot of info already there. (Duck prosciutto comes to mind and make me drool just thinking about it!)

Rocket mass heaters and solar systems are in the alternative energy forums already, along with tons of other highly useful off-grid and grid supplement ideas.

That's only a couple examples. I think most of the other components of emergency preparedness can be found here except perhaps, as Paul said, some of the primitive skills, though there's definitely already some wildcrafting info.

I do have a concern that talking about emergency preparedness could easily veer off into lots of political and religious posturing and postulating about what "is" going to happen and when. I'd rather quietly shift my habits where I can, and learn as much as I can, without entering into those heated, very volatile debates.

What permies are learning and trying and doing is, in many or most cases, exactly what is needed for emergency preparedness. There is so much, in fact, that creating a separate forum for it would be redundant, IMHO.
 
paul wheaton
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Hmmmm ....  how about "native skills" or "wilderness skills" or ...  "aboriginal skills"?

"ancestral skills"?

At the moment, I am leaning toward something rather simple.  Renaming the forum "wildcrafting" to something like "wildcrafting, hunting and wilderness skills".  Further, I think discussion of emergency preparedness is best brought up as threads in either the homesteading forum or the permaculture forum. 

At this moment, I think that if somebody thinks this path is foolish, I would really like to get an understanding of why. 


 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Ancestral skills! I like that one.
 
Michael Hansen
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Location: NW Michigan
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Thanks guys, I guess that's better than having to take my wacky ideas of being prepared and other such nonsense to the Meaningless Drivel forum.
 
                                    
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Yep...BIG difference between survivalism and emergency preparedness.  Also, there is often a big difference in modern emergency preparedness and using ancestral skills (or insert appropriate euphamism here).  One may have need and ability to use a fire piston or some other friction method for fire, but many live in the burbs or in apartments and may want to remain in place for a week while power gets brought back online.
 
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