The ultimate preparedness is being self-sufficient to the extent possible. Although the self-sufficient lifestyle will still rely on the production and services of others, striving towards self-sufficiency can be personally rewarding.
I call it Preparedness Level 4, which began with a safe place to live…
[ Read: Safest Places To Live When SHTF ]
Okay, so one of the most important things maintaining a lifestyle of self-sufficiency… WATER. An endless supply of water. Is that possible?
Well, that depends on your source.
I am lucky enough to have a seemingly endless supply of water on my property. It comes from a natural spring which produces about 5 to 10 gallons of water per minute. It forms a small stream/creek which feeds down into a river just beyond my property line.
The previous owner who developed/logged the property 20 years ago, decided to source his water supply from this spring. So he built a “dug well”, encased in a cylindrical concrete liner right on the spring. It feeds up to the house, underground below the frost line, about 600 feet distance but only about 50 feet vertical.
So, why am I telling you this? Well, just to get you thinking about water sources. My story doesn’t end here. I still need an operational well pump (located at the bottom of the dug well) which pumps water up to the house.
Additionally, I need electricity to power that pump. 240 volts AC.
Given these requirements, can I say I’m self-sufficient in the water department? Not yet… What if the grid goes down?
So, when I moved here I built an Off-Grid solar system with battery bank which is side-by-side with the utility grid system. I can now power that pump (and other essentials) if the utility goes down.
Am I now self-sufficient in the water department? Better, but maybe not completely. What if there’s a span of cloudy weather, especially during the winter with its short days? My battery bank will only last “so long” until requiring enough solar recharge to keep it going…
During the summer months I could haul water from the spring’s runoff and bring it back to the house. Wouldn’t be fun, but I could do it. During the winter? It’s all snow. The only way would be to use my snowmobile somehow. It’s not very maneuverable down there and would be difficult at best.
So, I do keep some emergency water storage at the house. 55 gallon drums. I could get by for awhile. Hopefully the sun comes out by then and recharges my batteries.
What if the well pump craps out? Got a spare? The ability to change it? (not fun!) Or know somebody who could do that?
Again, why am I saying this? To get you thinking about WATER. Do you have an endless water supply? I suppose the ultimate Preparedness Level 4 (in the water department) would be living along the edge of a decent LAKE.
A river? Well, you’ve got to be concerned about flooding I suppose. House far enough back from a worst-case flood line.
Living in a dry desert region? How’s that going to work out? It’s all about the well and the water table…
Anyway, WATER is so very important when considering Preparedness Level 4.
[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]