Thursday, November 15, 2012

Licking your wounds in your den

So you’ve got a well functioning household. There are supplies stored away and the members of the household have many different skills. Should a catastrophe hit, you are well prepared.

Then someone in the household gets sick or injured. Instead of being able to count on their help you now have to take care of them. You lost their labor and much of your own. How does that affect your ability to function and survive?

There’s so much attention on what people will do in a disaster that we forget we may be unable to do much of anything. Can your household survive neglect or does it need your constant attention? Can the basics of food, shelter, and water be provided with little effort?

Does your garden need constant watering, pruning, weeding, or will it survive just fine on its own for a few weeks? If you got animals, pets, chickens, rabbits, goats or whatever, how much neglect can they tolerate? Are there low effort ways to provide at least a minimum level or care?

Will all your food require time and energy to prepare or can you just open a can or eat peanut butter out of the jar? The last thing you want to do when exhausted or sick is to hand grind your wheat berries so you can make a loaf of bread. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just open a package of crackers?

What if the grid goes down? Do you have a generator that requires you to leave a warm house and hike a hundred feet to a generator shed to maintain the generator? Heck, can you even pull start it with that injured shoulder of yours? Wouldn’t at least some solar power be nice? Solar can go months without any attention at all.

Do you heat with wood? Does your wood have to sawn and split before you can burn it? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a good pile of split seasoned wood close to the stove? Now imagine you’ve hurt your back. Is at least some of your wood cut down to easily handled pieces? Maybe a younger child has to do the job as the adults are both laid up.

A household that can function with a minimum of attention is a huge advantage over one that needs constant active attention. Energies can be put towards other things like patient care. Maybe you just want to lay low for a while. It could be something as simple as not wanting to go outside during several days of bad weather.

Learn from the bears. Hole up in your den and wait for conditions to improve.



  1. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)November 15, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    Even if there are just two hunkering down and one gets hurt (sprained ankle or such) it would make it difficult for just one to do most of the heavy work. Now is a good time to review how to simplify chores and make some adjustments to where supplies are stored. Like Gorges said - good points.

  2. Well thought out Bro! Cause ya know Murphy is going to screw up the best of plans!


  3. Well said Sixbears, I was surprised to find out how hard it is to drive a standard transmission when one arm (or foot) is incapacitated. I had a few 'birds' saluted me by fellow drivers when that occurred some years back - sorry !

    Ever try hauling a bail of hay down from the loft with said injury ? Thats hard!

    Maybe it would be a good experiment to practice now doing that, purposely doing tasks with an arm or leg incapacitated. You may be surprised.

    1. We take things for granted. A disaster is just the situation for someone to get hurt, and when we most need to be well.

  4. The older I get the more I depend on the modern conveniences. That is a dangerous place to be.

    1. Never hurts to have some low tech and easy solutions in your quiver.

  5. A very timely post, Sixbears. I will be putting those preps into practice as I have a broken foot and will be in a boot for 8 weeks! That should give me some idea what I will be able to do or not do. Would rather have just 'practiced it though!

    Great post, thanks.

    1. Hope you get well soon. Also hope you've got some help during your recovery time. Sorry for your injury and pain.