What Should I Do?

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What Should I Do?

Raising Kids for a Resilient Future – Part III

Part 3 of 3: Preparing youth for a resilient adulthood
Monday, July 22, 2013, 8:09 PM

The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years.

~ Chris Martenson

For those of us with children, what does this statement mean? How do we prepare our children for a future that is unlike any we ourselves have ever known? How do we create a world worth inheriting when we are so acutely aware that the abundance our generation has taken for granted will no longer be a given in our children’s future? These questions can frustrate and even paralyze us as parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors. Where do we start?

If you haven’t yet read Part I and Part II of this series, please take a few minutes to read them now. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Approaching Fire or Extreme Fire Alert

Understanding the dangers of imminent fire risk
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 9:20 PM

[NOTE: This article is adapted from When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival]

After living in the States off and on for several years, in 2008 Andrew and Mary Hall moved back to their home in Buxton, Australia so they could  be closer to their aging parents. It was a modest, three-bedroom, two-bath house with exterior walls of “mud brick” (adobe) that helped keep the home’s interior cool during the hot Australian summers. With large eaves, a metal roof, and adobe-style mud brick walls, many would consider their home to be reasonably fire-resistant, but its construction proved no match for the forces of nature that turned the neighboring towns of Buxton and Marysville into deadly infernos on Australia’s tragic “Black Saturday” on February 7, 2009. » Read more

What Should I Do?

How to Install Raised Garden Beds

A 1-manpower project
Monday, July 15, 2013, 9:32 PM

If you've been intending to become a gardener but aren't quite sure yet how to get started, this how-to guide is for you.

It chronicles the steps that I successfully followed to put in my own garden this year, all while working hard on the PeakProsperity.com site and traveling frequently with Chris. From start to finish, it was a one-manpower project.

Hopefully this guide will give you the direction, inspiration, and confidence that you, too, can do this. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Solar Generator

What to Look For in Solar Generators

Considerations before you buy
Friday, July 12, 2013, 12:25 PM

Solar generators capture the sun’s energy via solar panels, store that energy in a battery bank, and release it through an inverter to be used for standard AC power. That is the standard definition of a solar generator.

Based on this definition, the key elements to look for in solar generators are:

  • Battery storage capacity
  • Solar PV input
  • Inverter rating
  • Component quality
  • Portability
  • Balanced system design

In this article, we will explore these key elements and hopefully give you a better understanding of each element, how is fits into the overall performance of your system, and what to watch out for in the plethora of systems and choices out in the solar generator market these days. » Read more

What Should I Do?

We Can Do It: J. Howard Miller

What Can I Do?

Evaluating and building skills
Saturday, July 6, 2013, 12:43 PM

During the course of preparation, you may find yourself asking yourself, What should I do? Peak Prosperity's excellent WSID series, devoted to developing a strategy for cultivating a more resilient lifestyle and drawing on the knowledge of dozens of subject matter experts, has become one of the most important contributions this site has to offer, in my opinion. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Beyond the Defensible Space

Fire safety and the structure of your home
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 7:02 PM

[NOTE: In light of the tragic loss of life of the brave firefighters in Arizona and for all the men and women firefighters who work to protect lives and property, we all need to make extra efforts to take steps to reduce the risk of wildfires and home fires.  Our work both inside and out of our homes will not only create defensible spaces, but, just as importantly, will assist those who risk their lives to stay out of harms way. This article is adapted from When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival]

Following on the heels of 2012’s record-breaking droughts, heat waves, and fire storms, this year’s fires season is off to an earlier and more deadly/damaging start in several of the western states. If current scientific predictions of global warming prove anywhere near correct, then we can expect that devastating wildfires will become the new normal in the coming years, reaching a broader spectrum of geographical zones that previously escaped such conflagrations. Whether you are a homeowner wishing to improve the fire resistance of your current dwelling or are planning to build a new home, beyond creating a “defensible space” around your home there are a number of other actions you can take to improve the chances that your home will survive a local wildfire. These guidelines are typically applied to homes located in areas where long periods of dry weather are common, such as many of the western states. However, due to changing times, people in many areas where the threat of wildfires was previously a non-issue are now finding it to be a growing concern. » Read more

What Should I Do?

How to Make Butter

Delicious fresh butter from cow or goat cream.
Friday, June 28, 2013, 10:43 PM

There is nothing like a piece of fresh-baked bread and some homemade butter: smooth, creamy and so very tasty.  We have several milking goats on our homestead, and we use our daily supply to make a variety of dairy products.  Cheese, yogurt, and butter are just a few of the ways we use our goat milk to supply us with nourishing and delicious food. 

Today it is time to make butter. We tend to buy very little butter real butter, that is but try to keep a pound or two on hand in case we run out.  Butter is a product that stores in the freezer really well. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Raising Kids for a Resilient Future - Part II

Part 2 of 3: Evolving strategies in a shifting world
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 11:51 AM

We may not feel prepared for what lies ahead, yet it is clearly our responsibility to help lead our children in the “right direction” as we head into the future with them. That might seem like a frighteningly impossible task, but we are obligated to try our best. It doesn’t matter how old our kids are – it is our job to guide their growth and support them through many stages of understanding. You might note that this is nothing more than what we’d be doing anyway. But if we first do the work of identifying our values and priorities, and shifting our own thinking and actions in the direction we’d like our family and loved ones to follow, we can ensure that our parenting path is aligned with the resource-challenged future that we anticipate.

If you haven’t yet read Part I of this series, please click here and take a few minutes to read it now. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Home Fire-Safe Checklist

Be Fire-Safe and create a defensible space
Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:29 PM

[NOTE: This article is adapted from When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival]

Fire Statistics

The following statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are for fires in the USA in 2009:

  • There were 3,010 civilian deaths from fire, 2,565 of which occurred in the home.
  • There were 260 civilian deaths from motor vehicle fires.
  • Only 105 civilian fire deaths occurred in non-residential structures.
  • US fire departments responded to an estimated 1,348,500 fires resulting in an estimated $12,531,000,000 in property losses and 17,050 civilian injuries.

In general, fires cause more loss of life and property in America than all natural disasters combined! Every year, fires are responsible for more loss of life, limb, and property in the USA than either hurricane Katrina or the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11!  Statistically speaking, the easiest and most cost effective way to reduce the chances that you, your home, or your family might suffer great loss in a future event, is to improve the fire safety of your home, and the fire awareness of your loved ones. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Raising Kids for a Resilient Future

Part 1 of 3: Navigating the path ahead
Monday, June 17, 2013, 1:45 PM

We are heading into a future that does not follow the rules and expectations that the past few generations have been raised to expect.  Parents and caregivers, relatives, friends, mentors – it makes no difference; we are raising the current generation together.  We are all newcomers to this changing landscape.  How can we teach young people to thrive in a future we do not yet fully understand ourselves? » Read more