Friday, October 7, 2011

Just In Case!
Exclusive Author Interview and Giveaway!

While at the Mother Earth News Fair I got to know Kathy Harrison, an author and blogger just a few hours south of me in the Berkshires. She was a hoot, quick and clever, pragmatic and welcoming. I adored her. My mother and her hit it off during the Fair, often sharing meals and conversations. They met for the first time when Kathy, my Mother, and I were sharing lunch after our morning workshops at the hotel bar. We were talking as a trio when my dad called to say he was unloading the van with their bags. My mom lifted up her sunglasses off her face to explain to me, seriously and slowly, to make sure I got all five of her bags (for a one night stay) out of the van with my father, and not to forget the black Saks bag in the front seat with her pillow and book on the Kennedy Family. Kathy looked at this put-together woman in heels, and then back at the chubby little farmgirl in a blue tee shirt and straw hat across from her, and asked, politely, "Are you two related?!"

My mom looked her dead in the eye and replied with a sigh, "You have no idea. It's an uphill battle.." And put her sunglasses back on.

We all broke out laughing. And I made sure all the bags got to our room.

As the weekend went on, I got to talk to Kathy more and more, learn about her life and books. She's a mother, a homeschooler, and a serious homesteader. She gardens, puts up most of her own food (1,000 canning jars loaded in the pantry!), heats with wood, and wrote the best seller Just In Case, a few years ago. It's a new guide for families about basic preparedness for weather events (hurricanes, blizzards, storms, etc) and social events (pandemics, economic collapse, power grid failure, etc). It is a beacon of honest hope for coming emergencies. I bought the book and read it. It's conversational and engaging without making you want to buy MRES and stock your basement with bullets and composting toilets. It's not some scary end-of-days book, but a guide on how you and yours can ride out any storm, in the country or city, safely and in comfort. Common Sense and clever writing guide you home.

I asked Kathy if she would mind doing an interview on CAF about basic preparedness. With winter coming, this is the perfect time for all of us to get ready for coming storms, blackouts, or any sort of trouble. Read this exclusive interview below and then write a comment about it to be entered in a giveaway for a copy of Just In Case. I'll give out three copies to readers who share their own thoughts (any and all welcome) on the topic. Enjoy the interview, check out her wonderful blog, and enter to win a free book!

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1. Your book Just In Case, helps families prepare for possible disaster and hardships (weather events, blackouts, etc). But I also know you are an active homesteader and gardener, who puts up most of her own food in a house heated by wood with an active community of like minds. Why do you think self-sufficiency and community  is so important in the 21st century when so few people have much of either?

I think the idea of self-reliance is misnamed. We are interdependent and we each have an obligation to contribute to a wider community and that means learning how to do the real work of living a more sustainable and productive life. If we really don't have time to stick a shovel in the dirt or volunteer for the fire department or bake a loaf of bread or something, anything that isn't about consuming or being electronically entertained then we need to make some serious changes in our lives. For me, the whole idea of preparedness is not about a stash of #10 cans of dried food. It's about recognizing that the way of life we consider "normal", the life with water and power and healthcare and food available 24/7 and requiring nothing from us but cash is a very new phenomenon and it's only here because we have cheap energy and a functioning infrastructure. We are all one ecological disaster, one geo-political event, one natural disaster, one terrorist attack from being hungry. Most of us can't imagine what life was like 150 years ago. That life is nothing more than a piece of fiction in a history book or something Hollywood imagines for our entertainment. It was a very real place in history.
 
2. In your experience, are people generally prepared for even the most mundane problems, such as multi-day power outages or broken down cars? 

Preparedness for most people means grabbing some canned ravioli, bottled water and batteries on the way home from work because you hear a storm is coming. The belief has been that the "they" we hear about will come rescue us before things get really uncomfortable. "They" will fix the lines or plow the snow or repair the bridge or bring us food. But we have all seen examples, and we see more each year, of when "they" are confronted with events so big and so overwhelming that it can take weeks before things return to even a semblance of normal. I think it's irresponsible to be so dependent on any "they" At the bare minimum, you should be able to remain home and provide yourself with a way to stay warm, lighting, food, water and basic medical care for at least a month. Longer is better but a month is easy to do and a good start.
 
3.  What items should we have on hand to be prepared for the short-term? Do you think people should have GOOD (Get Out of Dodge) bags ready? Or focus more on making their homes prepared? 

I keep a combination evacuation pack/car kit in the back of my car. I travel on back roads in bad weather a lot and a bit of food, some water and foul weather gear, as well as some tools and a way to communicate distress is a good idea. I don't go overboard but I sure don't want to be stuck in a blizzard with nothing for my feet but a pair of divine little heels. (Not that I wear a lot of heels but you get my point.) I don't go crazy with GOOD bags. My house is in a good spot and pretty self-contained. My goal is to stay out of a shelter so, unless the place burns to the ground, I'm staying put.

4.  What items should our homes have to be prepared for more serious problems?

When I talk to people about preparedness, I urge them to think in terms of systems and the plan for likely events. It makes little sense for me to invest in digging a deep well and a hand pump when a year-round river borders our land. It makes more sense to have a means to purify the available water and a way to easily transport it and put my money somewhere else. It did seem wise to have my chimneys rebuilt so I can safely heat the whole house with wood. For lighting, I have a large cache of kerosene lamps and a closet full of lamp oil. I have several hundred candles (I buy them by the case) and I store lots of wooden matches. It didn't put up a solar array because I wanted to use my cash to put in the permaculture garden with fruit and nut trees, berry bushes and perennial vegetables. I don't have much purchased food but I have 1000 canning jars, reusable lids and all of the non-electric equipment for preserving and preparing food. If I lived in the city I would be planning differently.  At a minimum, I hope folks have one month of food, a can opener, matches, a camp stove and some way to stay warm. If you rely on municipal water to flush, you need to have a way to manage your waste. I also think getting a hand-crank radio is critical. Information is very good thing. There's a big difference between a car taking down a pole and leaving you in the dark for a few hours and region-wide grid failure that might last for weeks. Have a way to keep entertained and don't forget animal needs. We keep a couple of extra bags of chicken and rabbit food around. It sucks to sit around in the dark and batteries run low pretty quickly. Get some lamps and lamp oil and have them ready to go before the lights go out.
 
5. Where can people go to learn more about serious issues that might give reason for some personal preparedness? Such as peak oil, economic collapse, or climate-related issues? 

There a a number of great documentaries out there and some fabulous writers who will inform you about the real issues of resource depletion, climate instability and economic issues. Anything  by Richard Heinberg is good. I like James Howard Kunstler too. Sharon Astyk is probably my favorite for giving facts, responses and hope. I think The End OF Surbubia is a terrific look at Peak Oil. The web site, Nature Bats Last is very good. Once you go to one web site you will find links to other sites. Just don't let the information consume or overwhelm you to the point that reading the blogs is all you do. Balance is good. I keep informed but we also play a lot of music, prepare and eat fabulous food, dance and have cider pressing parties. I plan for a very different future in an energy constrained world. I don't expect any economic recovery. I plan on having less money. But different doesn't necessarily mean worse. It's just different. It's our response that determines our happiness and our comfort. People were happy without big-screen TVs and cars for their teenagers. They were comfortable without AC and on demand hot water. They managed without Ipods and Ipads and 24 hour news and trips to Disney. We make our happy and we make our place.


 
7. Lastly, Do you feel that such issues are over-hyped and making people unnecessarily fearful? Or do you think the general public ignores such issues as much as possible?

That's it in a very small nutshell. Go to the Nature Bats Last site. I really like Guy McPhearson and he knows his stuff. He has video of a talk he recently gave and I think it sums up our predicament really well. We are putting our plans in high gear based on the climate economic models.

121 Comments:

Blogger Kristi said...

After the hurricane threat a few weeks ago (luckily not hitting central MA so bad) and our ice storm from years past, I am finding that I am looking for a lot more non-electrical solutions than I used to. I love technology, but reliance on it has become so ingrained - whatever happened to self-reliance?

October 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger greenmtngirl said...

I really like this approach and now I'm very interested in reading the book! I'm particularly taken by the idea that it's really about changing the way we live now to prepare for a different future. I can think about preparedness in that way, where the survivalist stuff of having a ton of commercial food and guns leaves me completely uninterested. Although I was away from home for five weeks this summer, I still haven't bought a vegetable since I got back in the middle of August, because the garden is still producing. And I live in the middle of the city!

October 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Melissa E said...

My husband and I feel like having the skills to be self-sufficient is such a lost art. So many people rely on things that may not be available one day. We strive every day to get closer to being self-sufficient.

October 7, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Lavigne Photography said...

hello, Good inspiration to get more prepared! We do really well with food but need to get a hand pump for our water when the power goes so does our water. And good idea to have a car kit and maybe have important papers ready to grab to get out of dodge?

October 7, 2011 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

I think preparedness is underrated and most people really do rely too much on "them" to help out. In my area, I'm thinking that this winter is going to be dry and below zero again. I'm in the process of building up stores and collecting wood when and where I can. It may cost a little more than what I've budgeted for per month, but I think that it's worth it.

October 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

This sounds like a great book; I'd love to read it because it sounds like the author has written it from an informed, yet non-panicking point of view.

October 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger CanuckinDC said...

Great topic! Thanks! I spent a lot of my formative years in rural Alberta, with our own water source, and off the grid too, and now live in DC. Just a bit of a contrast!

October 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Deltaville Jamie said...

With the crazy weather patterns we have been having, being prepared isn't a bad idea. Being someone involved with paranormal investigation, I also keep a close eye on solar weather. The past few weeks have shown an increase in solar activity. One bad solar flare could cause blackouts and interruptions in communication systems. I know I would rather be snug in my home spending time with my kids than being miserable in a shelter! Thanks for this interview. There were some informative things I definitely want to start looking into.

October 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kelli said...

"I don't expect any economic recovery. I plan on having less money."

This totally puts into words the thoughts I've been contemplating over the past few weeks. As my friends seek jobs that they hate just because they pay more, I'm left thinking, "Why?"

I want to "work" less, reduce my need for money and produce more ... food, clothing, entertainment, happiness, etc. In the end, money cannot buy time.

October 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

She really made me think when she pointed out the difference between self sustaining, and self reliance. I've never thought about it that way. She sounds like the kind of neighbor I'd love to have, to sit around the fire, drink hot cider and talk the trade.

October 7, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

I'm actually hoping that there is a major world event that forces people to become more self sufficient. I spent my evenings this week "putting up" the remaining veggies - cabbage, eggplant, red bell peppers, etc. There is much I can do to improve though. I've yet to buy a pressure canner, so all of my low acid foods are vacuum sealed and frozen. If we were to lose power for an extended amount of time, eventually my generators fuel source would dry up. I need to depend less on my freezer. I'd also like to see people get away from digital entertainment. You will almost always catch my family playing board or card games rather than stuck in front of something that needs electricity. To me it's not so much about self reliance, but more about being connected to the earth, our food, and our community - in search of these ideas and philosophies, I've found that I have naturally developed many survival skills for use during a disaster.

On a side note, I DEFINITELY need to get my hands on this book!

October 7, 2011 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Your comments are great!

October 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Jude said...

Ouch. I definitely need to move beyond the ravioli, water, and batteries prep mindset. :)

October 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger DustySE said...

It is really good to hear of someone who is addressing these issues in a non-commercial, non-militaristic sort of way. This book sounds fascinating, as does the author!

October 7, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Turtle said...

I grew up in new england but lived for 13 years in hawaii. We had to be prepared with hurricanes and tsunami's. I started getting used to always having a kit together and here in WA with growing, canning, plus our backpacking equipment we have things well under control. The area we live in tends to lose power during most windy storms as well as floods every 3 years and this summer our water goes out... we have none right now. I have 4 wheel drive as plows do not come down our lake road... but we love it! And we are always prepared! Have been eyeballing this book for new ideas i am sure i have not thought of or missed that would make life easier. (your mom is so funny!)

October 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
OpenID Jono said...

It's funny - I've been following Kathy's blog for months, and didn't even realize she had a book. Good information in the interview, without any of the sensationalized hype that sometimes makes the topic seem unapproachable.

October 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Nic said...

I am looking to become more self-reliant and find that the older crafts and ways of life are very "real" and give me peace-of-mind. It feels good that I know how to grow veggies, can, sew, knit etc. I still have a ways to go but I'm heading in the right direction.

October 7, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Alassel said...

This sounds like a great book, it's now on my wish list! My plan for being self-sufficient is largely based around my emergency management and first aid skills (I'm a trained first responder), as I should be able to trade on those pretty effectively. I've been looking into getting a few more items for my house to prepare for this winter, especially a large potable water tank with a hand pump - we have an unused shower stall in the basement that would be a great home for a 55 gallon barrel!. Stockpiling food is harder since my husband is gluten intolerant, so emergency rations are right out for him. We do have a freezer full of (mostly dog food) meat, and two generators that we can use to run it if needed for a good long time. I need to refill my gas tank and put some Sta-Bil in it for the winter, though. :)

October 7, 2011 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Of all the things mentioned, the one that really captured my attention was the 1000 canning jars. Impressive!

I would love to read Kathy's book and am heading to her blog now.

October 7, 2011 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

I'm finding more and more folks are changing their mindset regarding
"being prepared". It was a way of life when I was growing up that I strayed away from for a few years but have now returned to. I especially liked what she said about "But different doesn't necessarily mean worse. It's just different. It's our response that determines our happiness and our comfort." All I can say to that is Amen and Amen!

October 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM  
OpenID Michelle said...

In Oklahoma one year, we had a very bad ice storm. The day before everyone and their brother were trying to get everything they could from the stores. It was pretty bad and the town was out of power for a week. We didn't have any backup power so after 1 night of cold we headed to brother-in-law's house. They didn't have power either, but had gas. Nice and warm!

October 7, 2011 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger alewyfe said...

This looks like a good read; thanks for the interview! We're trying to do a little at a time to be ready for just about anything... and look forward to superinsulating our new home so we can use mostly or all wood to heat it (we're pretty hardy "put on a hat and a sweater, drink some tea, and 50 is cozy" types... but they want a coooolder winter for us in Chicago this time around)... and our fuel pile is slim to none so far... good reminder to get in gear as gathering and stacking will be much easier *before* the snow hits. :-) We're getting chickens in the next week, so finishing and insulating their coop is a high priority! The garden is giving us it's last good push for the season, so canning or at least freezing that is a priority.
I'd love to loan this book to some gloom-and-doom friends of mine, who stock up on silver, liquor, and bullets in the back closet of their urban condo because they believe they'll be useful currency if the economy totally fails, not because they'd have a use for them themselves if things got bad... I'd rather have things I could actually use, food, fuel, etc... because no matter what happens or doesn't happen in the future, they'll have value to me. :-) Seeds, canning jars and lids, and a shovel are in my life kit, not my disaster kit... but it's good to know they're there!

October 7, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Hound Doggy said...

I guess I don't make a conscience effort to be prepared....but I am. I'm sort of a packrat so it seems that I usually have everything that I may need. I also enjoy camping (roughing it) so I've got some basic skills too, if things get serious.
This is a great topic and the book looks very interesting.
Looks like I've got a new blog to add to my list.
Thanks for the heads up Jenna!

October 7, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
While watching the video, it made me think of when we lived in DC and I commuted everyday!

We are now in Northern New England and with winter coming, are getting prepared for the times the power will go out over the winter and the cold temps it will bring. Most folks in our area have some level of preparedness due to the climate and weather.

I am all for using less oil. This makes a lot of sense-but as of yet, there doesn't seem to be a lot of alternatives. It would be great to have a solar powered tractor or weed whacker, for example,but they do not yet exist!
Lisa in Maine

October 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger jen said...

I need to figure out how to live without refrigeration!! We have a side of beef, 30 chickens, and 30 lbs of bacon in our freezer. If we lose power for a month, all that hard work is for nothing. I'd love to read her book and learn more about her ways of self-sufficiency.

October 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Luann said...

Preparedness is not just for disasters. Being prepared can help in times that were not planned for, such as unemployment and/or illness. From personal experience being prepared has kept my family off of the government assistance programs when life happens. I advocate for taking the small baby steps to become more self reliant! Thanks Jenna for a wonderful blog!

October 7, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Victoria NicAnndrais said...

My dad has always encouraged being prepared, but I think we need more planning on the lighting front and more fuel for the stove.

October 7, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger E said...

Anyone find the lack of diversity in the trailer disturbing?

Where are all the americans who aren't lily white?

Where are the female, young, non-white speakers/thinkers?

The culture that produced this problem is unlikely to solve it. Why not invite other cultures?

October 7, 2011 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

A woman after my own heart!

Just yesterday my best friend was giving me a hard time about my ingrained habit of being prepared.

I grew up on the Canadian Prairies, where people are forced out of necessity to plan for the unexpected. (Like blizzards that keep you homebound for days or could force you off a highway and strand you in your car.) I was raised by people who survived the lean years (the dirty 30's) so I know about stocking up too!


It may seem silly to big city folk, but when something unexpected happens, I'm going to be the one with my ducks in a row. I think I can pretty much McGyver myself out of anything. What I may lack in planning, I'd more than make up for with creative ingenuity!

October 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger thelynns said...

We are currently finding non-electric replacements for appliances, tools and other necessities now before peak oil really does make all these items really expensive or unattainable. We are also looking at career options that will allow us to work less and spend more time building up our homestead and learning the skills that will carry our family on.

October 7, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger K said...

I'm getting better about being prepared, but this coming year is going to be all about "uber-prepping: - GOOD bags, water supply, organization (because all the prep in the world won't help if you can't find the matches) and emergency lighting, heating and cooking tools.

Can't wait :)

October 7, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger JeanineH said...

For the electric tractor poster
http://renewables.com/Permaculture/ElectricTractor.htm

I'm gathering the parts to make my own... starting with an existing tractor frame with an engine that's not working gives me a solid start.

For the rest of it
Living a 50 mile return trip from the grocers with rotten weather through the winter... yeah you get prepared. We didn't "call" it prepared growing up it was just what we did, there was always a case of canned soup and extra boxes of cereal... I've carried this forward, Even if times were tight (less work, no work etc) there was ALWAYS food available to be eaten.

If you're storing food make sure you store what you eat, and eat what you store IE rotate the food.

I had a goal of 800 canning jars myself just like the requirement was before the land-claims, if you didn't have 800 jars for canning you wouldn't likely be making it on your own through the winter... but have seen very quickly that giving canned goods to friends and family.. you don't often get the jars back so I need to make a call there, either stop giving the product away or get enough extra jars to afford the lack of returns.

Business has to "be prepared" with various emergency response plans to prove their "due dilligence" why shouldn't we expect the same at home?

It CAN be as easy as buying an extra package of toilet paper or case of soup when the stuff is on sale to store against lean times.

If you have batteries and flashlights make sure you've got LED flashlights the batteries you have will go so much longer when powering LED lights.

I'm tinkering lately with a bread-board circuit board and making myself LED circuits that will light when it's dark, other ones that will light up when the utility supplied power is out, no fumbling around for candles and matches ;) Just do what you can, even some of those "solar walkway lights" can be suitable to allow you to "see" your way around the house in the dark, just stick them in a south-facing window to keep them charged up when the sun is out.

Wow this has gotten long, very interested in reading and seeing what else there is to improve my lot in troubled times ;)

October 7, 2011 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I really like her approach of contributing to the wider community rather than just hunkering down and looking out only for ourselves. It really is all about taking care of each other and our planet. Thanks for including this interview today!

October 7, 2011 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Make me feel better about what I have at home already. Things could be made better . . but they could be a LOT worse!

October 7, 2011 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

I'm thankful that I grew up with parents who believed in being prepared. When hurricanes hit and we were without power for weeks we were just fine. Bathing in the creek, eating our canned foods, fish we caught and lots of meat because if the freezer's not running, you eat as much as you can and can the rest!

I think everyone ought to think about these things, they can benefit you not only for natural disasters, but in the case of a job loss, etc.

I'm totally cracking up at your Mom's comment, too!

October 7, 2011 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Allisone said...

I'm struggling with storage of a month's worth of supplies. I generally have a comfortable week's worth at any given time, hmmm maybe time to think of some more energy dense foods?

October 7, 2011 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger PhysicsFysh said...

When I first started reading about Cold Antler Farm my interest was more along the lines of a hobby to supplement the urban life. Reading this interview put into words the discomfort that's been growing recently. I'll probably pick up her book if I'm not one of the three and check out the resources she mentioned (particularly 'The End of Suburbia' for the discussion peak oil). Because up until today I've always been the kind of person who picks up a few cans of food and never thought much about it otherwise.

October 7, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I've got my pantry stocked, a camp stove and my husband could have written the "Worst Case Scenario Handbook" but we always love to learn more. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

October 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I would love love love to win this book! No kidding, when I was a kid, the SAS Survival Handbook was one of my favourite things to read. It was mostly just a fascination for me though, and after reading your interview I've realized how truly unprepared my family is for a calamity. We live right in town and have good neighbours, but we rely on city water and sewer systems, and have no fireplace.
You've definitely given me some good food for thought. It seems crazy that the people who built my house didn't have any of the comforts I am entirely reliant upon now. It really wasn't that long ago, either. Thanks for the inspiration as always, Jenna :).

October 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger NancyDe said...

Living on an island which sadly imports most of its food from the continent - with an active volcano - preparedness should be a way of life.

October 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

I would truly love to read this book and see how much of it is relevant where I live (Wales, UK). I know we are far too reliant on our biggest freezer - highlighted when it went belly-up recently. I preserve as much as I can without freezing, but I have to say that whilst we keep a good canned and dried goods storecupboard, just FINANCING the purchase of jars to can stuff in (or as we call it here, bottle it) would be off the scale. Just 12 x 1000 ml glass preserving jars would cost me £15 sterling. That's a reduced price - they're usually £20! So what do poor(er) people do to cope? Is that covered too?

We get extremes of weather here, and get cut off from the main road 4 miles away, I'd love to know some more coping strategies. This is when your local community is so important, and I'm glad we have a good one.

October 7, 2011 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I grew up in a very isolated part of Norther NY, where "They" rarely came to bail us out. We relied on our small community to clear roads after storms and share what ever skills and resources we had. Since moving to the burbs in a new state I've let my self sustaining skills slip. It wasn't until a major ice storm shut our entire town down that I realized we had to be better prepared. Reguardless of wether or not I'm the lucky winner of Kathy's book, I'll definitely be reading it, in order to hone old skills and hopefully gain new ones also.

October 7, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger The Village Queen said...

It would help if I wasnt stuck in the middle of a huge city, if theres a disaster Im toast.

October 7, 2011 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

What a lovely, articulate, considered approach... I too appreciate the balance struck between preparedness and panic. And 1000 canning jars! I've put up 80-ish in the last few weeks; now inspired to go process a few more :)

October 7, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

I have read Kathy's blog for a long time and it has inspired me to begin preparedness. I was pleasantly surprised when I brought it up to my husband and he agreed and had done some of the things. She has some very easy things to do and then some more advanced. But she always gives one something to think about.

October 7, 2011 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

This is a subject that's been on our minds a lot over here too. We recently went through a couple extended power outages, and it really made us see how vulnerable and dependent on "them" (love the way Kathy describes it!) we still are. I like her balanced approach, as I tend to get so caught up in the "what if" fears that it can be paralyzing. I also think being prepared doesn't have to cost a lot of money, and in fact, as Kathy alludes to, preparedness is a lifestyle, not actually something that can just be bought.

October 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna Gayle said...

I'm amazed at her canning stash!! Learning to can more things is at the very top of my list of skills I want to learn. We're at the end of the line for our electric company and they're an hour away from us so when the power goes out, we know we're in for a wait. Even if it is just a simple thing causing it. I'd feel much better if my entire stash of food wasn't in the fridge/freezer with high chances of spoilage!!

I was in a dollar store a few months ago that had the old fashioned style kerosine lamps for $5 each! I kick myself for not buying some alllll the time!

October 7, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Great interview! I lived in San Francisco for many years and had an earthquake preparedness kit and was amazed by the number of people I met who did not have one. Since recently relocating back to New England, I've been busy chopping wood and getting the gardens ready for next season. This interview has totally inspired me to sit down with my family and think about what other things we can do to be prepared for whatever might come our way! Thanks :)

October 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

I think it is a responsibility, even a kind of civic duty, to do what you can to be ready and able to handle the disasters that come along in almost every life. Look around right now, at your job, at your kid's school, at the grocery store - how many of these people will be completely helpless if there is no power, water, no grocery store? Most folks these days don't have a clue and would be insulted if you suggest they get one. I can't, daren't, assume that "They" will be dropping by to solve all of my problems in case of a disaster. I had to grow up and shoulder some of the responsibility for this myself. It's time that more people do the same. Too bad it is so hard to convince most folks. I can't be the only one that gets blank stares if I try to broach the subject of, "Hey, Martha, have you ever thought about stocking up on some basic necessities or learning how to can veggies?"

October 7, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

My biggest problem if the power went off for a month would be all the chickens I raised that are now in my freezer. I suppose I'd be inviting all my neighbors for a giant barbecue. Is her book available at Battenkill Books?

October 7, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Allisone! I think a lot of people feel that way. The first chapter on the book is how to organize and make space for it! things like turning 12-pack soda boxes into soup-can dispensers in your closet, or getting 6" bed lifts to make bedrooms a place to store bottled water and extra blankets and candles.

October 7, 2011 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Cappy said...

I want to learn how to can/put up food. It was never one of my mother's or either grandmothers' thing to do. I have done jelly and that was fun!

I have non-electric sewing machines (treadle and hand-crank) for entertainment when the power goes out. I can make quilts to keep me warm! (Or die under the pile of fabric! LOL!)

October 7, 2011 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

This is a really hard subject for me to think much about. I get really spooled up thinking about emergency prep. I was at home researching food storage when the Mineral, VA earthquake occured (30 miles away from us) and between that earthquake and the following storm and hurricane I nearly lost my mind. I need to research what would be necessary to get by without "their" help for a month and then put the plan in place.

Thanks for posting the interview!

October 7, 2011 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

In April we had a tornado come and took out our power for two weeks. I had a lot of time on my hands as I work at home on the computer. I actually kind of liked it. You could see the stars at night and I saw more people out enjoying the fresh air than ever before 'course when the lights came back on every one went back inside...hmmm. We did have water so I could wash my dishes and even washed clothes and hung them up on the line to dry. We cooked our food on a little grill out back and even did pizza. It gave us a taste of what it would be like without electricity. Our house is 100% electricity...we need to move :)

October 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I agree that people are not paying enough attention to what is going on, with our economy and with our government. It has become vital to us to have a plan for a more self sustained future. We are diligently working towards our goals so that in a SHTF situation, we will have the resources necessary to survive.

October 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Karen L. said...

Reading this really made me think ... a lot! I agree with seeing where it is best to put your money into things that will help you in dire circumstances. We installed a gas powered generator a few years ago because we seem to lose power for a day or three in the winter a lot. I have named this generator (because I love it!!!) and we gave up some things to buy it. We are on a well so now we know that we will have water to drink, power to the important things in our house, and a usable toilet. It's all about priorities. No new car but water. Much better. Thanks for all the suggestions too. I will be rereading this post several times.

October 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Loved this. Have been thinking a about this topic for a while and now feel motivated to get moving.i like that this isn't just a "the sky is falling" kind of mentality but a reminder to get back to our roots.

October 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

I was in Afghanistan for a yr and a half, and we basically lived and thrived on what we could do for ourselves. I learned a lot. I think everyone should know how to do the basic survival (w/o utilities). These books and sites are essential for those of us that are learning from scratch. Thanks so much for putting this stuff out there!

October 7, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
FABULOUS "POST:, & I "THANK
YOU" VERY MUCH!!!
THE "ANTIQUE LAMPS" I HAVE, & USE!!! THEY HANG ON "ANTIQUE
HARNESS HOOKS"!!!
WILL PUT ALL OF THIS "POST" INTO "ACTION", & CAF BLOG HAS A NEAT WAY OF MAKING YOU DO THIS!!!
THIS IS ONE OF THE "REASONS" I DIG
THIS BLOG!!!
JENNA CARES', & SHARES'!!!
"CHEERS" WITH A HEALTH DRINK!!! & "THANKS" AGAIN!!!
RONNIE A VERY HAPPY X SEAT WEAVER!!!
http://www.chaircaningdirectory.com

October 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

Wonderful interview. I'd love to be better prepared for a disaster or just to be more self sufficient. We have a disaster kit and water stored.

October 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Thanks so much for sharing this interview! I checked out Kathy's blog, and I just love her mindset on preparedness, especially the idea that you don't have to stock your basement with 10# cans, etc. to be "prepared." I'd love to win her book - thanks for the chance!

October 7, 2011 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger L-Marie said...

After the tornado that landed here in Massachusetts this past summer, my husband and I were the only ones in our neighborhood not "freaking out". We lost power for 4 days and strangely enough I found it extremely comforting. We were prepared/our neighbors were not. During those 4 powerless days, we got to know all our neighbors much better. We were the only ones who had coffee and breakfast going and the neighbors came over every morning for a hot meal before starting their day.

In 6 weeks we are moving to our new homestead and I am comforted in the knowledge that we can make it work. With a little tenacity and ingenuity know we will make it work.

October 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Anke said...

After the tornadoes hit our area pretty hard in April, we've given a lot more thought to preparedness. We thought we had it together before, but after 6 days without power, stores closed due to the power outages, we realized we had a ways to go. This book would be a great help in getting us even more organized and ready.

October 7, 2011 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger steph said...

I've been a city girl all my life, surrounded by people and cars and smog. I'm currently moving into the mountains and we can't see our nearest neighbors for the trees. I'm a little scared.

I think this book would make me feel better.

October 7, 2011 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As we live in the Bay Area an emergency is very real. We are prepared for about 72 hours for a family of 3 plus our dog. I will definitely check out Kathy Harrison's blog to get more ideas and the book would be a great read!

October 7, 2011 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger delpasored said...

Wonderful interview. I've checked out her blog and it's great and her book is on my must read now list! We all need to be better prepared for a disaster no matter what kind it might be.

October 7, 2011 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger nese said...

I have been trying to get prepared but my efforts i think fall short. i have 2 dz emergency candles! so right there i am woefully unprepared. i seem to be the only one i know who is concerned about this and someimes feel like chicken little. i just orga ized my fruit celler to see what i have and what i need. nice to hear there are kindred spirits out there.

October 7, 2011 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Thank you Jenna, for another thought provoking read :) I have been grumbling internally this past few weeks due to all the work involved with canning the garden food. I have returned to the art after a long break from it. With the post I realized again what a valuable thing I actually am doing, should the power go out and the stores close. In the past I was a manager of a retail store, and when the power went out, we showed people to the door. With computor registers, instead of the old fashioned type, there is no alternative, when dealing with barcodes. Many do not realize that. Thank you for such a gentle, before the impending storm, reminder. I adore this blog~~~~

October 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger City Sister said...

I love the idea of 1000 canning jars...my husband would go nuts, but that seems like a dream...I grew up where everyone had a large stash of food and wood on hand at all times, but here I am one of the few that always have a stash on hand and feel a need to stash away food, to the point were the neighbors and I have developed a habit of helping each other forage off of each other's land.

October 7, 2011 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I've slowly but surely gotten my wife to think about being prepared more. My though process on being prepared changed after hurricane Katrina. I saw there was no "they" to rescue everyone. That's when I started preparing. Every couple of months, we will forgo grocery shopping to use what we have in the pantry to rotate in fresh stock. Last year I canned several goods from the garden.

I attend several auctions and tend to get laughed at when I buy old but working gadgets and goods like a dazey butter churn, crocks, hand cranked meat slicer, hand cranked coffee grinder and other stuff. To everyone else, it's junk. To me, it means I can still have some comfort when the power goes out for an extended time.

My father doesn't have a lot of time left because of illness, but I take the time I spend with him to learn more about what he used to do growing up on a farm. I've learned soap making, gardening tips, and several other useful pieces.

Okay, I'm rambling. I guess I should have just said please enter me for the drawing. I'm very interested in the book. It's a subject I'm passionate about.

October 7, 2011 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Tru Vani said...

What a great interview; sounds like a great book too. I live in sunny, hurricane-y Florida and never feel fully prepared May through November. I want my family to be more self-sufficient, and I so admire and take inspiration from you folks who are doing so much, often with "office jobs" too. We have a small permaculture garden; we compost; and I dream of chickens, but I also feel swamped by life with a two-year old, a full-time job, and work as a yoga teacher. How to fit it all in is a big question of mine, even though we're pretty unplugged from the time-sinks of TV and other media. There's so much I need to learn, but I guess it's all a process, right? We're all learning more as we go...thanks for this virtual community that teaches so much.

October 7, 2011 at 7:41 PM  
OpenID outdoors1968 said...

Excellent interview. I've been slowly preparing since hurricane Katrina....... after watching so many people on the news bashing the government for not "rescuing" them, or evacuating them, and so on, I decided that my ( and THEIR) own survival in an emergency is our own responsibility. Since then, I've become more and more prepared.
I really enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being prepared. We had a few hurricanes and quite a bit of flooding in my area recently, and it didn't raise my blood pressure a bit. A nice feeling! Homesteading is actually an independent lifestyle that lends well toward being prepared.

October 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

The first step or us happened this summer, we moved to a cottage on 3/4 of an acre with plenty of room to garden. The kitchen and herb gardens are about to be tilled and laid out and a chicken coop for 10 will be built within the next month. I finally have room for food storage, we just need to find more shelving and I need to get organized! I've always canned and bought in bulk, and it's the first time I can realistically store more than a month's worth.

Now I'm concentrating on preparing for power outages and other natural disasters. We had a horrible flood last May and were on water rationing for several weeks. There is a year round creek across the road, so I need to have some way to purify water handy. We also have a gas grill out back with a burner and are about to build a fire pit with a grate and hanging hook so that I can cook. Our biggest challenge will be heat if we lose power. We have no fireplace or a place to put a wood stove. I'm considering getting a kerosene heater since we have a shed to store it. Otherwise, I am stockpiling candles and collecting lamps.

One of the things I enjoy most is collecting antique non-electric tools and appliances. I now have a wonderful steel meat grinder that has gotten a lot of use over the last few months. My collection of cast iron skillets, laundry items, antique spinning and sewing tools and garden items helps me forget about going to the mall to buy things that would end up being donated after a season or two.

October 7, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Susannah of Cricklewood Farm said...

I'm a believer in self-sufficiency and not just in an emergency. I'm hoping to win the book, but if not I'll purchase it anyway. Good interview, Jenna. Thanks!

October 7, 2011 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I grew up in the "duck and cover" era. Doom was always on our minds and our families grew and preserved sustenance. We were ready to survive if the Russians dropped the bomb. I've lived through the era of "the grocery store has it all" and "they" will take care of you. At 65, I am well aware that I must be able to take care of myself. I have water set aside for my animals, myself, and for flushing. My freezer has 20 chickens I grew in it as well as many vegetables from the garden. Soon, there will be rabbits and turkeys in the freezer to round out my winter's meat. I frequently shop the discount stores for organic pasta, soups and tomato products. I have a quantity of rice in my pantry. I have lamp oil, batteries and candles to make life comfortable. I have wood heat to use.
Many people confuse survival with comfort. I am equipped to survive a long time but it may not be in the same degree of comfort that I'm accustomed to.

October 7, 2011 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

Sounds like a really useful and interestig book that I'll likely pick up (if I don't win!). Hubby and I have slowly started stockpiling supplies - we don't have anywhere near a month, but are learning canning and have expanded our veggie garden quite a bit this year. Even if tere are no disasters that require it, knowing how to do the things that keep you alive is an essential skill to have.

October 7, 2011 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

If we were to have a significant change in our society and how we live, I think I would be most worried about how to keep my children healthy. They are extremely healthy now but with change and stress come a diminished immunity. Plus, if our lifestyle changes significantly in a short period of time, our family might not have the ability to stay healthy. Along with a fairly spoiled attitude about the availability of food comes my very self-centered assumption regarding health care. So I’m doing a study on what to do if my kids (or me) get sick and we don't have access to modern medicine; I think I’ll sleep better with a better understanding of how to help ourselves stay well.

October 7, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Thinkin' Out Loud said...

I totally agree with most of this post. We cannot and should not depend on a qiuck and tidy "rescue" from extreme weather or attacks. Those people have way more to worry about that 1 family or 1 street. They are trying to save the most people in the quickest amount of time. Plus I do not think we are anywhere near an Economical Recovery. It just isn't happening, $4.20 for the cheap milk and $2-3.00 for a dozen eggs(not even organic) is not recovery! Thanks for the recomendations for sites and People to check out. Added them to my "gotta check it out" list.

October 7, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Rolf Wirkki said...

America has become soft. Our grandparents knew how to survive almost any problem and relied on themselves. We live in a get it right now society and would perish very quickly if any big thing happened. I live in the city and would find it very hard to survive for long here. Rely on help from the authorities,forget it. Just look at what happened in New Orleans. Thank God for folks like Kathy who are willing to teach us how to be prepared for disasters, and for folks like you Jenna who are teaching us how to rely on ourselves like our Grand parents did. I dream of the day when I can get my own small farm and be totally self sufficient. I have soooooooooo very much to learn before that day happens though. Reading such a book will aide in my education.

October 7, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Helena said...

Aside from anything else, I'm super impressed at how well stocked her pantry is--1000 jars, wow. That is a lot of growing and preserving right there.

I think I read this book a while ago from the library, I know it's on my list of books to add to my home reference library.

October 7, 2011 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I've just been encouraged to not only take stock of my preparedness but also that of my grown children! This is the perfect time of year to organize and evaluate how well we would fare in an emergency situation. If I check and change my smoke detector batteries every Fall, why not check provisions as well! I can't wait to read Kathy's book!

October 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Becky Spencer said...

I live in the city in Oakland, CA...and I have a 25'x25 city backyard, so I have to limit myself to what is realistic for me. No chickens or goats, but I still believe strongly in preparedness (what with all the earthquakes around here, we have to prepare!). I can food--just made my first foray into pressure canning last week, and am so excited about the versatility of that. Thanks for sharing such great info!

October 7, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger L. said...

Great timing... I just blogged about my plans to get more prepared! I am one of the "they" she speaks of, and it's true that people just expect us to come to the rescue, but there are so many potential events that could happen which may make it difficult or lengthy for us to be able to address the situation and respond.
My biggest weakness is that our current house is completely electric powered and if we were to lose power in winter, things would get cold, fast. We're looking at buying a small generator to power a small heater or two. Installing wood is not an option for us, unfortunately. Ned house we build or buy, we will definitely have wood as a primary or back up heating system! All of our other needs are well covered, but those cold Canadian winters could really be trouble if the power goes out!!!

October 8, 2011 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger L. said...

Oh I wanted to add a comment in response to Becky who posted above me... Becky just a thought... Jars aren't a good safe option for earthquakes! Best have a back up plan of tinned items and staples like oatmeal and pasta.

October 8, 2011 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jenna, Thanks for sharing about all your Barnhart experiences. Our family is becoming more and more prepared every day, not only canning and making sure we can take care of ourselves in an emergency, but also learning new skills and sharing them with others. Kathy's books sounds wonderful - so jealous you were able to meet her! :)

October 8, 2011 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Awesome interview Jenna and it sounds like a super good book. I know I'm ill-prepared for any sort of disaster and it sounds like this book would be wonderful. I wonder is it available in ebook format?? I'll have to check. A good additon to my library for sure.

October 8, 2011 at 1:56 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

The worst I can expect where I live..east coast of Australia...is floods and storms that knock out the power, the climate is sub tropical so ne need to stockpile wood or heat the house. I feel I'm pretty well prepared, and ware of the need to continue to think that way. I have a camp stove, a wind- up torch and radio, and a good few months stockpile of the canned and dry foods I use. I don't eat meat, so no food in the freezer to go off. I have a rain water tank that's gravity fed...must get a treadle sewing machine so I can amuse myself making quilts!

I'm sure there's much more I could benefit from by knowing, so I'd love to read Kathy's book. It's been interesting and thought provoking just read the responses here.

October 8, 2011 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger And This Little Pig said...

While we are lucky not to have blizards, we do suffer from cyclones, floods, bushfires etc. You can never be prepared enough, and unfortunately we are rarly prepared as we should be. We should never stop learning and self sufficency is becoming lost to many.

October 8, 2011 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you for bringing this up. I have to admit that I've been like an ostrich, burying my head in the sand, and haven't wanted to think about these things. I'm going to have to check out the book and be responsible.

October 8, 2011 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Helenistic said...

Thanks for the great post and for the contest.

Being prepared is important for city-dwellers as well. When other urbanites disagree, all I have to do is mention the New York blackouts. Somehow, it doesn't seem so strange after that.

October 8, 2011 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Aila said...

We just had a "massive" power outage recently in SoCal, it lasted for about 12 hours. It was literally so much of a disaster that I can't imagine what would happen with a power outage that lasted a week. Most people seem to have just shrugged it off since then, but for me it was a major wake up call. I plan on getting a camp grill/stove with propane soon, and at work I don't take the elevator any more (people were literally stuck for hours in those small boxes without air conditioning or bathrooms)!

October 8, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

Great interview, great ideas. May implement some those ideas here on the Phoney Farm even though we are well prepared. She put up 1000 jars of produce! Impressive!

October 8, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

"We make our own happy". I love that, and it's so true.

We were without power or outside contact for three weeks after Katrina. I have a wind-up radio, so I knew what was going on, but there was no way for anyone outside walking distance to contact us.

Aside from the disbelief at what was happening to New Orleans where I work, and wondering if I would still have work when the water eventually went down, it was very peaceful.

To be totally honest, I really enjoyed that time, and although it was lovely to talk to friends and family when the phone line finally got turned on again, the first time it rang I confess I was horrified at how loud and ugly the sound was.

October 8, 2011 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger sunflower said...

Where I live in London preparedness needs a bit of thought.
It is illegal to heat with wood here. The council came and blocked up all our fireplaces and chimneys....only radiators are allowed. For our 'safety' apparently.

Last winter when the UK had major snow (I know it was nothing compared to the weather some of you folks get but for us it was crippling!)the month worth of food I had stocked lasted only two weeks and was boring as hell after one!
So I need to more carefully consider what to store and how much. Sitting indoors all day leads to eating way more, especially for the kids!

It's a complicated business this preparedness and needs constant adjustments.

October 8, 2011 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Ruby said...

i am in my second season of trying to be more self-sufficient. It has been a pretty steep learning curve, but with every tiny step I become more determined to get it right. My kids call me an old hippie. I take it as a compliment.

October 8, 2011 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

Just planted 50 garlic cloves and cannot wait for spring to see them launch. Have frozen bags and bags of kale, Swiss chard, green beans, and plan to put up pesto and parsley tomorrow. I'd love to learn to be more from Kathy's book. thanks!

October 8, 2011 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Cary said...

Just planted 50 garlic cloves and am making pesto and freezing parsley tomorrow. Have enjoyed freezing bags and bags of Portuguese kale, ragged jack kale, Swiss chard, and yellow and green beans. Really looking forward to enjoying the garden's bounty in the snow :)! Would love to explore Kathy's book. Thanks for the peek.

October 8, 2011 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Looks like a great book! I am slowly working on becoming more prepared for natural disasters, as well as working towards getting to know my community better. It's slow going, but it's at least going!

October 8, 2011 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Karl Micheal said...

very interesting interview. this lady seems to "have her stuff together"! we should all take a really good look at ourselves and decide if we could survive even a few days if any of the catastrophes occurred. great interview and i will enjoy reading and having her book!

October 8, 2011 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger jim said...

this gal is wise beyond her years-her insight into the problems that we will be facing are uncanny-she writes well thought out prose and thak you for sharing her with us-jim

October 8, 2011 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Sojourner Design said...

Wow,
The odds of winning "Just in Case" look pretty slim! I think it's great to know how to prepare oneself for a temporary prolonged power outage. I think it's very probable that we'll have outages. I hope the doomers who see the possibility of a return to a world without easy power are wrong... but I'm not confident that they are wrong.
Diane

October 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Coming home to be a vendor at our little town's Johnny Appleseed festival this weekend made me stop and realize how important community is. I think we've lost that sense over the past few generations; to our detriment. Yet in my small sleepy town in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest, I was able to just sit back and watch the people interact. They know one another; heck, they still know me! Even after being away for some time. They are swapping stories, giving encouragement, and (dare I say) bartering. It was so refreshing to observe. Such a breath of fresh air from the faster paced lifestyles I encounter where I am working. Community is the key to surviving not just the hardships, but also the joys that life brings.

October 8, 2011 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

This book sounds just like something I want to read. I've read World Made by Hand, and realize just how unprepared I am for something like that.

October 8, 2011 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger City Girl said...

I like her comments on how we think that "they" will come rescue or help us when things go bad. Is that the same "they" who tells us via commercials and magazines what to buy, what to wear, and what trinkets we need to be popular? Or the same mysterious "they" who will figure out what to do when we run out of oil or pollute all our waters? Ha! We need to take control and ownership of our own lives. And I guess that starts with me. Thanks for making me think...

October 8, 2011 at 11:54 PM  
Blogger psbetty said...

Several years ago, an ice storm took out the power in NY's north country for several weeks, and that finally propelled us to buy a generator. But even generators need gas to run, so that's only a short-term fix. Beyond that, there's a pile of candles, lots of wood in the woodshed, a big pond full of water, plenty of non-perishable food on hand, and our own professional backgrounds in healthcare. But our biggest blessing is probably the community of neighbors who truly look out for each other. Looking forward to reading this book!

Pauline in Ithaca

October 9, 2011 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Valri said...

Interesting interview...definitely want to put this book on my wish list so I can learn more.

October 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger HillbillyHannah said...

How funny, I came across Kathy's website surfing around yesterday, and here is an interview from her on yours! I've had several confirmations the last couple weeks that I need to re-focus some attention on our preps, and this interview is yet another. I really like Kathy's take. It's very easy to approach it with a sprit of fear rather than wisdom. I am going to get her book even if I don't win it. Thanks for posting the interview Jenna....very helpful!

October 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Kristin Marsh said...

The book is now on my to-read list. As a low-income, single mom, I feel especially vulnerable at the thought of a large-scale emergency. When you're not able to make ends meet month-to-month, it is hard to find extra funds for preparation, but I'm excited by some creative solutions. My long-term plans include moving to a more community-style living situation largely to facilitate preparedness for the acceleration of a cheap oil economy already in decline.

October 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I've slowly been making the shift over the last year and a half to having a more self reliant family. My work is in the home now, which gives me the time to do those things that I used to pay someone else to do. We have had to move recently due to my husband's job, so there was no garden this summer, no chickens, but as soon as we can get ourselves into a more appropriate home for such things, I think we'll be back on track.

October 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger sp said...

the hardest part of being prepared is convincing everyone in the household that storing 30 days worth of water in a 400 sq ft apartment is a good idea...

October 9, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Sounds like a great book! This is an area we're working on but need to organize our efforts better.

October 9, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Turtle Mom said...

I've survived a hurricane, numerous blizzards, and the flooding of our home. Our electricity often goes off for no apparent reason. I would love to own a copy of this book.

October 10, 2011 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger KittyD said...

Probably like a lot of people we became aware of the need to be better prepared and self reliant only after we were deprived of the "mod cons" for two weeks following an ice storm. Enjoyed the interview and very much want to read the book. Thanks!

October 10, 2011 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger annet said...

Great interview! I've only got 360 canning jars: I filled 300 this year for my husband and myself and I have a couple of dozen left from last year. Biggest learning curve has been learning what to put up that I will use up over the course of the year (far less jam, far more low-salt pickles). But those filled shelves in the basement are as good (or better!) than money in the bank. We have water in jugs, a water filter, and a lake nearby. If the gas pumps stop working, I can get around on foot, by kayak, or by bike to anything that might still be available in my downtown. We keep tightening the house because heating it is our biggest vulnerability and we live where there is cold and snow (and I have snow shoes I've used when the plows take days to get through my neighborhood!).

October 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM  
Blogger Doc DuraMater said...

Well, I've got a hand-crank LED flashlight and a hand-crank radio, but I'd have to be able to live off of chocolate chips which is the main thing stocked in the pantry right now. Room for improvement? Um, yes quite a bit! Especially now that this region has been hit by a tornado, earthquake, microburst, and hurricane all this summer!

PS - just bought Made from Scratch at a fall fair yesterday!

October 10, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger small farm girl said...

Living out in the country like we do. Our electric goes out all the time. One time it stayed out for 2 weeks. You start to prepare for this like it's second nature. As for the collapse of the world as we know it? It's a big possibility, so why not prepare? I do.

October 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Not only do I want to provide for my family in the event of an emergency, I just really like not having to depend upon a corporation for what I need. 1,000 canning jars- yikes!! I just put up my first 24 but everyone has to start somewhere. Would love to read more. Another great book on a similar topic is Making It.

October 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM  
OpenID Matt said...

Thanks for sharing the interview. Definitely looks like a book I should pick up. The interview comments helped remind me of some of the reasons we started trying to homestead. Its nice to occasionally have it put into perspective again. Its too easy to get bogged down with the canning and garden work, etc and forget WHY you do it in the first place.

October 11, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I love her balanced approach. My husband and I have begun the process of becoming more self-sustainable and although we have a long way to go, we have made strides. I would love to read her book.

October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Asia said...

I live in Florida, so emergency kit is one of things you don't think twice about.
April trough November, we are ready to live w/o power, water etc. for 2 weeks or more.
Having gone trough "Charlie" in 2004 we take nothing for granted. It was a great lesson in " how to do with what you have, and w/o what you don't".
On other hand local Publix was OUT of lettuce, only bag kind left, so it is time to expend the garden.

October 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Winners are Jude, Jim and TransFarmer!

October 12, 2011 at 9:32 PM  

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