Excerpt from “How to Survive and Thrive When the Power is Out”
Your sister, her husband and 6 kids–It’s not a vacation!
The crisis has hit and the power has been out for three days, your immediate household has resolved to stay the course and you are ready to handle what ever comes you way until. . .
Your sister, her husband, their 6 kids, two dogs and a car show up at your house expecting you to take them in because they are family. They also know you have an alternate source of heating for your house. Or because sometime in the past you bragged that you spend a chunk of cash from your paycheck each pay period on stocking the pantry and freezer. They decided you needed help eating all that bounty before it spoiled. Yes?
Or even worse, what if the knock on the door is your packrat mother-in-law (pick your favorite relative) with her 12 cats and a bad cigarette habit? Attached to dear mother-in-law is a lazy boyfriend who does nothing but watch television all day and order delivery pizza. He is so lazy, it’s even hard to get him up off the couch to shave or shower.
I think you get the picture. Have you given any thought about what you will do when those you love show up at your house? These dear family members explain to you that they are here for the duration of the power outage or disaster because their place is no longer suitable. But your ability to care for another family will be stretched thin. Your immediate household, your spouse and children are always first in importance, as it should be.
Below is something that can help in times like these. If your extended family or friends cannot live by your guidelines they will always be free to find another host. Please feel free to copy the guidelines and distribute to your house guests as necessary. Everyone will be much happier knowing where things stand. Rules will be much easier to enforce once everyone knows what is expected of them.
Please read and sign;
this is what is expected of you should you plan to stay here. You need to bring things with you or retrieve them from your place.
1. Your children are your responsibility, no exceptions; bring what they need.
2. Pets are also your responsibility: bring what they need. Aggressive, dangerous, uncontrollable or unhealthy animals will be taken to the woods and dispatched. No exceptions. The groups’ safety is paramount
a) All Pets; with this many people in the house it will begin to feel really small. All pets, every single animal, will remain outside. Plan on it.
3. Clothing; sturdy work clothes, shoes and easy care clothing. You will need to wash these by hand and hang to dry.
4. Food; as much as possible. It will be shared by everyone.
5. Bedding; you will be responsible for bringing your own bedding or sleeping bags.
6. Cleaning supplies, toilet paper, trash bags etc; with this many people in means more cleaning to keep us healthy. Bleach if you have it will be greatly appreciated.
7. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc; you will need to keep yourself clean and sweet-smelling.
8. Weapons, ammo, hunting and fishing gear; until needed weapons and ammo will be locked away.
9. Your prescriptions and first aid supplies; you will need to bring you own meds, this needs no explanation. First aid supplies will be locked away and shared by all as needed.
Please take note; only your personal items, such as clothing, bedding, prescriptions and children items etc. will be free for your use. Everything else, along with our stuff, will be locked away in the storeroom and shared with the house.
You will be required to work for the house each day. The greater part of work will depend on the need at the time.
The following is a list of chores that you can expect. No chores, no food, no exceptions!
1. Daily chores; included in this section, but not limited to, cooking the meals and cleaning up after, sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathroom and removing waste to outdoor disposal site. Any other tasks that may be required to help the house survive.
2. Hauling water and purifying it; the creek is a half mile away and the water from it will need to be filtered and purified. A wagon will be provided.
3. Hunting and fishing; all the work involved from the harvest to the ready to cook stage will be your responsibility.
4. Gardening; this will include but not limited to, seed starting, tilling the ground, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, canning and drying.
5.Foraging; this is the gathering of wild grown food such as raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries and elderberries etc. Also, various roots such as dandelions, burdock and cattails etc. Plus herbs and plants to assist and ensure flavorful meals.
6. Firewood; in the fall or as time permits, firewood needs to be gathered and cut, chopped, hauled and stacked. Everyone helps.
7. Babysitting; this will be designated as a chore. 1 or 2 people we be the days sitter so the others can work.
Childrens’ responsibility; when in a survival situation children under the age of 14 will be fed twice a day. The rest of the household may not be so lucky. Children 14 and older will be treated as an adult, with adult like responsibilities and all that entails. Children younger than 14 years old WILL be supervised at all times. There is no exceptions
This is a survival situation; it is not your or my vacation!!