Ever thought about what you'd do on your farm if something big and bad happened? I talk about what I'd do in this post.
Every year between November and February I have I have to stick very close to my farm, and make sure that everything is in working order - all of the trucks are fully fueled, and the trailers are all in good condition, and the tractors and other equipment is in working order, because every 10 to 15 years the dike fails.
So this year the weather has been kind of quiet, which I like, but here's some of the things that people have been going through with hurricane sandy:
Electricity completely out for 4-6 weeks.
Gasoline/fuel shortages -- first, no fuel to be had at all, and then, weeks later, rationed fuel.
Basic services completely gone for 2-3 weeks for wide areas. No municipal water. No supermarkets. No cell phone service. No phone service at all.
In other disasters, looting and rioting have been a problem, but in this one that hasn't happened; so I can't add that to the list.
So here's the list of things I keep on hand in the event of an emergency:
100 gallons of diesel fuel - at normal consumption rates, that's about 2 weeks supply for all of my farm vehicles and generator.
50 gallons of gasoline - chain saws, a gas generator, trash pumps and other small gasoline appliances. I can't depend on being able to get gasoline in a regional event
30 gallons of propane. Cooking fuel, runs the forklift, and in a pinch can be used to heat buildings or water.
I don't have a good way to store water; but my property doesn't have a shortage of it. I do need a way to filter it and purify it -- or at least make it safe for drinking, so I keep 15 gallons of bleach on hand to do the job. It's cheap, and I replace it every year. Works as a good sanitizer too, when cleaning equipment or dishes. In the event of a flood I'd expect there to be water everywhere and that all of it would be contaminated with sewage or spills of all sorts.
Food is a bit of a problem - animal food, that is. My 300 pigs eat quite a bit of food. In the event of a major earthquake, for instance, I'd expect my food supply chain to be completely disrupted, and that it would take some time for it to be put back into order -- food for animals is less important than that for people. So the basic plan is to shoot and salt (no refrigeration, remember) most of the pigs. Towards that I have 800lbs of salt, and I've seriously considered keeping a ton of salt on hand. It's cheap, it doesn't rot, and salt pork was a staple travel food for centuries - I'm pretty sure that I could trade it for whatever I needed.
In fact, if you're interested in salt pork, you'll find a video for traditionally prepared salt pork here.
The number of pigs saved would depend on the situation, but ideally you'd save all of the pregnant sows you could, and at least one boar. You can repopulate pretty quickly with pigs.
With the ruminants, it all depends on how much hay I have on hand. Cows and sheep can and do feed themselves off the land -- and I'd be inclined to try to save as many of those as I could, particularly if I thought that the event might be long term, say 3 to 6 months or longer.
3 to 6 months? Does that seem long to you? It sure doesn't to me. A major earthquake, nuclear or volcanic event (we have all three possible here in Washington State) could result in permanent changes. Look at the area around mt. St. Helens, for instance, more than 30 years after the event. Or the areas hit by the tsunami in Japan. Or Fukishima.
What I'm talking about here is farm-level preparedness. Do you think about this, or what might happen?
19 hours ago