Warning: This is a long read, like over 11,000 words as of this draft.
Hemlocks organization preliminary design as of 1/19/2015.
The mission is to survive until things get better.
Here's a start organizational idea, since one cannot do it all, nor can we, nor should we plan on it. Said another way, we humans need to have people (and communities) focus on jobs that benefit us all, like be thinking about it ahead of time. I happen to live in such a community. And this is a start organizational idea, so many changes may come. Often it may take a larger community to do the best to survive. So this draft assumes ideas are more important that individuals or one Family, though some combination is obviously best. Ideas never die, though individuals do. The general idea is to have an operational organization, with a local "city-type" organization for basic needs under it. It will probably take at least a few weeks for things to settle down and routines to become just that. After that, expect more "improvement" changes to happen in any community, including yours.
The concept is relatively simple. The entire organization has the mission of surviving until things get better. Under that organization is a community setup to provide all the usual services for all in the organization to use as part of surviving. I can imagine some functions may migrate from the "organization" to the mayor (a city-type position) as "final" things evolve. In the end, it takes a community to succeed, or so I believe. There will be many successful communities, by the way.
There is no monetary pay for any position. All positions are voluntary and necessary to best succeed at the mission. Those not willing to work will be asked to leave.
H1 - Personal and administration. Think assignments as to living and sleeping (to include the two cottages and barn and 4 storage sheds) and bedding (the Hemlocks has some sleeping bags (like 13 (+) I think), etc. Plus there is a 12 person tent, four cots, a three sided Cliff Field Pool shelter and outhouse, and many sleeping pads. There's also probably 8+ sets of high tech long johns, too (adult size, and some for kids). There's also many extra clothes. Let the boss know just who is here at the time (once a week in writing ideally). Maintain a welcome aboard plan, to include sponsors to teach new arrivals "the way things are setup". Always mention not flushing bleach, antibacterial stuff, prescription meds, prescription glasses, water for cleaning paint brushes, oil & grease, hand wipes & female sanitary products, etc & etc. The intent is to maintain the gravity septic tank system, which uses bacteria to "digest" things like poop, pee, and routine home cleaning needs. Things that the septic system can't handle should go into the dump (a hole in the ground), since we do have to get rid of this stuff. Bottom line, keeping the septic tank system running protects our long term health, like not getting cholera, as an example. Toilet seats should be left with the lid closed. Hair must cleaned out of the drains when it happens. Each "roof" will have a senior person in charge for all reasons, to include basic health and sanitation and fire prevention. Each house has a broom and dustpan to use to clean. Rugs can be hung out to beat the dust and dirt out of as required. Debris from cleaning should be just "thrown outside" as a start. If the debris builds up, then we can remove it to the woods.
Sponsors will act as escorts (to visitors and new arrivals) as required.
Maintain any performance review system that might be developed. We need competent leaders in charge in order to survive any hard times. Less than competent leaders may result in failure. Good leaders best help accomplish the mission. Not all leaders are equal.
H2 - Intelligence and information, like what is going on around the World, the Hemlocks, and Monterey* that will affect us, and what will happen and when. Monitoring the emergency radios (already here, both AM/FM/CB/Weather and Short Wave World Bands) is part of the job. Maintain the world map of where the “new” radio broadcasting locations are (that still exist or got started). Keep track of a calendar and daily time (the Hemlocks has two mechanical watches, two solar watches, and instructions on making a sundial, plus there is a garden type sundial). Walk (often with a wheelbarrow with a hard rubber tire to preclude a flat tire), or ride a bike into town (about a 15 minute walk to downtown) as necessary for barter reasons. Provide weather reports/forecasts/guesses using the board. Some basic tools, like two barometers, are here, already. Be in charge of 1 of the many dry erase boards. The board should be a "news" board, to include a weather forecast. Keep it up daily in the AM. Maintain a separate monthly calendar board with input from the home school head person. Plan on using the same time and date system as Monterey. * Use all sources, to include the barter people who do visit the local town.
Consider if we choose to establish a counter-intel shop, it will probably be located under the H2. A sample subject would be an impending attack or raid on the place to gather and steal food.
H3 - Operations. This is further divided as follows:
A. Plans. Like thinking ahead, being it survival, the seasons, or whatever. Coordinate for community efforts, like soup kitchens, cookouts, or sports games, too.
B. Operations. What we do day to day to survive. Include running and tabulating the vote once a year, like the summer solstice on June 21st. As a rule, it usually takes about 6 months for anyone to learn a new job, and then they can do a better job. Even the USA military assumes a minimum of one year assignments these days. All positions are voted on, by name. Paper and printing and writing means will probably be short so using the old fashioned ways, like just saying your vote to the right person may be necessary. There will be no kings or dictators at the Hemlocks. So is the initial intent, anyway.
1) Maintain a journal of major events at the Hemlocks (and Monterey if we can). Remember we have 2 point and shoot cameras, and about 6 or more hours of video capability, all run by rechargeable batteries. Plus we have a lot of paper and pens and pencils. The intent is twofold: 1) record the history, and 2) help future researchers when times get better. Also maintain Family Bible type information, like births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, confirmations, etc. Work with the religious lay leaders on this effort, also. Allow those leaving to carry this Family Bible type information with them if requested and we have the supplies to do so. Otherwise, support them at a later time.
2) Maintain a "safety" map of zones at the Hemlocks to deconflict hunting with all other activities (like collecting wild food or cutting wood). Decide the zones for the map, which do not exist right now (in January 2015). Now one master map on a foam board does already exist, plus a GIS (Geographical Information System) exists on the laptop, which can be solar powered to recharge either of the two batteries. An acetate roll exists to cover the map and draw zones on it. Plus the scissors to customize the overlay is also here.
C. Training. Like what we are doing to get better to survive. Include weapons safety, patrolling, cooking (including with the wood stoves and wood cooking stove) and food storage safety, gardening, soap making, hunting, first aid (and pandemics), wild plant recognition, construction, bartering ideas and techniques, walkie talkies, what to do if lost in the woods, buddy system, home defense, waste water treatment, fire responses, how to use fire extinguishers, how to use pepper spray, and the existing (and off grid) electrical systems. Some combination of different instructors and books and students will probably occur. Some of these skills and practices can be bartered, too.
1) Maintain the Hemlocks folders (about 2,000 pages in many binders) of how to do and make many things. Often it is skills that are old fashioned these days (like how to make maple syrup).
2) Maintain the Hemlocks library of books. These books vary all over the place, like from old fashioned ideas to just reading for entertainment reasons. Even midwifery is included. Consider a librarian of sorts who maintains a list of those who have them. Also maintain all infrastructure books and how-to books. Also maintain the two Kindles and the Wiki encyclopedia electronic version. Do not loan any books outside of the Hemlocks area. We need them, too. Presently the Kindle 2, and the electronic wiki are in the EMP bucket in the main house main room.
3) Establish a reading list, and update it annually. Use the many Hemlocks books for the reading list. Reading can be a good way to teach, as well as to entertain.
H4 - Logistics and communications.
A. Food and drinking water. For example, keep an inventory of available food (and seeds to grow food). Develop a rationing plan as required. Assign a head cook to process, store, and cook common food (working with the "mayor"). This includes canning and other such efforts. Using wood stoves will be tough over time since it takes wood to heat and even cooking skills to learn. As always, priority goes to healthy food to prevent disease, and ensure cooking safety, with tasty meals being second in priority. Initially, there is a supply of paper plates, plastic "sporks", and other such things to help the transition to the basic washing of eating utensils and plates. There is deliberately no animal farming setup at the Hemlocks. Rather the intent is to using stockpiled powdered products as an alternative. Use the supplies for soup kitchen kinds of things for refugees, too. They can help themselves by foraging and hunting and cooking as best they can, also.
B. Medical/Dental. The Hemlocks should have a head doc, for example. This person will probably be more like a corpsman or medic or nurse or EMT technician or ex-military. If we're lucky, it will be a doctor or a veterinarian. There are many local OTC (over the counter) drugs also available to help them, too (plus some breathing filters and extra gloves, etc.). Initially, someone with First Aid training is best, to include a parent. Priority goes to preventive medicine efforts, with corrective medicine efforts second. Things like rubbing alcohol (70%) and hydrogen peroxide (3% and higher) are also stockpiled to keep infections down from boo boos. Emphasize preventive medicine during all welcome aboard briefs. The Hemlocks also has some broken bone setting stuff and basic dental repair stuff, too. Also the main house middle room with the French Doors is the initial hospital room, too, to include mosquito netting stuff. The kitchen area in the second cottage is the initial “docs” office. I suggest making the barn (left side with concrete floor) an isolation ward if needed, and use the available 12 person tent, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, and sleeping cots as needed. There is also a small shed behind the barn that can be set up as an isolation room. And of course the other three storage sheds can also be set up for isolation wards. One problem is keeping sick people warm and hydrated during the cold season. For those with burns, there is a special hydration kit available. Enemas are involved, so stand by for this sensitive subject. And a half century ago, enemas were used all the time, or so I recall.
Also this person is in charge of the diatomaceous earth (DE) products and powder dispensers at the Hemlocks (about 150+ pounds). All is food grade, also. Even the gardeners will be interested in DE products, and the chief doc is the person to speak with. DE is a barterable product, too. The main intent of using DE is control of insect outbreaks, like flea and bed bug infestations. The local farmers even mix it into feed to deworm their animals. Gardeners use it for garden bugs, though rain will wash it off. It is the old fashioned safe insecticide, and don't let the white colored powder worry you. It is food grade.
This person is also in charge of the limited number of razors (400) for medical and personal purposes. This person also controls the various lice combs and chemical treatments for lice.
Don't forget the old military way of putting our bedding out in the sun once a month or so to let the UV (ultraviolet) rays clean our bedding.
Bring your own existing medical prescriptions and prescription glasses if you come to the Hemlocks. The medical people will control the “reading glasses” which are stockpiled at the Hemlocks. Reading glasses are different from most prescription glasses, too. Mostly reading glasses are just magnifying lenses.
Establish a morning "sick call" time for routine medical things. Emergencies are on call for treatment all the time. In this regards the Hemlocks also has two emergency litters, and two body bags, also.
160 one ounce (30 milliliter) cups with lids are available for the doc to use.
Female beauty efforts, like hair loss reduction, will get a lower priority than life itself.
Feminine hygiene must be dealt with also. After all, half the world's human population is female. An initial supply of feminine hygiene products do exist. Females should try bring their own for one month or a longer time for these kinds of supplies, too.
There is no fluoride in the spring water so a daily tooth brushing with fluoride tooth paste will be necessary to prevent people from getting cavities. If need be we can make our own toothbrushes or use our fingers to apply the fluoride stuff.
C. Setting up outside barter relations. A local barter market (like a flea market or bazaar) will probably evolve, though the name may be locally unique. Walking into town with security (from people and animals) will usually be required. See the Hemlocks Mayor to borrow security gear, carts, transportation things, walkie talkies, and a cattle prod for aggressive dogs and other similar wildlife. Make sure people know how to use the equipment. For example of barter, and if times are really hard, what do we trade for things we may need, like cooking oil if it runs out, for example. Most of these things help us in cooking or cleaning, and we do have a start up supply (about a month's worth or much more, depending on how many people are here and the season). Think about salt, which the Hemlocks has (90+ pounds to start plus there is a salt water layer of water under the earth). Now barter decisions in the end are the head person’s decision, if time permits. This barter position may become very important, depending on how long the hard times may be. Worse case, consider a "barter pile or dry erase board" for a place for all to go to for Hemlocks barter, and also to place anything we are not sure what to do with, but will also provide the barter person with things to barter with. And remember we can barter services, like home school or medical or religious, as well as other things, like midwifery. So do maintain a public barter dry erase board for what we both want and can trade for. Just where to place it is to be determined. We can always use extra wood for cooking and heating in the cold season. And the barter person(s) should be aware there are sometimes two or more local names for the same place. Even the "Hemlocks" is also called "Summerville Heights" by others, often older types around 2014 and earlier.
D. Getting stuff that helps the mission. Mostly this means tools, and keeping an inventory of what we have to heat and cook with. It also means checking on all the water, waste water, and local electricity sources. The Hemlocks has a good amount of tools, to include farm and garden type tools. Also develop a barter plan, both what we can trade away and what we seek, and what we want to preserve and use right here. We will have a dry erase board to help that effort. And remember, we won't have a 100% system of barter. For example, if we have 100 zip lock bags of some size, perhaps 50 of them could be used for barter purposes.
E. Establish and maintain a garden during the warm season. The garden tools to do so are already here. The Hemlocks is well set up in this area, including the best kind of seeds to plant for food, and we have an open and protected area to garden in (which has been previously limed and fertilized once a while ago). Though in the end, establishing and maintaining a garden is just hard work, including the security of it. And the security is both from humans and local critters and the weather. Plus the Hemlocks has three ways to can foods to eat for a later time. Right now one can use wood to provide the heat.
F. Designate a cemetery area (or two), and prepare it. One cemetery could be in a portion of the large field behind the Barn ( it has already been bush hogged and earlier the clearing of the land there showed how deep the dirt was). Another cemetery could be in portions of the fields near the Cliff Field Shelter. Appoint a religious lay leader, too (part time). There’s nothing like weddings, and funerals. Think ashes to ashes, and making our own wooden caskets for those who want a casket (and if we have the extra board wood and available labor (probably assigned temporarily by the boss)). We may not have time or the ability to always make a casket, and we may just have to put a body in a hole for burial. For those who prefer cremation (and again if we have the extra wood for a fire), think of a funeral pyre, Hindu style. In all cases, the Family decides what to do with the remains, including re-interment later (hence know where we are planted). For planning purposes, a cremated human’s remains are about the size and weight of a 5 pound (2.27 Kg) bag of sugar. I assume some death from old age, accidents, disease, and bad people and wild animals. By the way, a cardboard casket is $270 if we could even get one in 2012. And the Hemlocks has two body bags, plus 300 sandbags that could be used to cover up the face or more of the deceased. Plus there are 60 metal markers and 20 more American flags to mark grave sites. Remember to dig holes deep enough (generally 4 to 5 feet deep) to keep the wildlife from digging up the remains. And consider using grocery bags or sand bags to collect cremated remains for burial. The head religious lay leader will maintain the cemetery map(s)/diagram(s) and markers so we know where our loved ones are buried. And digging tools can be pick axes as well as shovels. The probable cemetery areas have enough dirt to bury our relative's remains safely.
Consider using the marker tags, which are small (1" X 2 1/2"). In this case, also consider keeping separately Family type info and a map/diagram of where our loved ones are buried.
G. Assign hunters and trappers (include using snares and snare wire which are here) and gardeners and woods pickers, like for acorns and walnuts (fall...the Hemlocks has a manual grinder and pestle to make flour) and morel mushrooms (spring), and other mushrooms* and wild greens (summer and fall), and all the other wild foods identified by the Petersen and Army books. Assign fishermen when fish are available in the warm season (basic fishing stuff is here). Use all the books that are here. *The mushroom picker is also the tester, just to ensure safe eating. If in doubt, don't pick them. Better be hungry than dead.
H. Maintain the "trash dump", and even a separate food dump pit (probably using carcasses left over from cooking) that will also attract worms for fishing, and probably yard dogs and local critters. Establish a mulch pile, too. Mix dirt with trash remains to keep the yard dogs and critters from scavenging the place. Use periodic burning, also. The two kind of present day pits are also close to each other, too.
I. Keep track of the available 5 and 2 and 1 gallon buckets, and the larger plastic and galvanized wash buckets, all which will probably be in high demand. Remember some buckets are more food qualified than others. The usual term is "food grade".
J. Key control. Be in charge of all the existing keys and locks. There are many, and many are in the front room, but there is also a key locker in the new room closet full of presently used keys circa 2014. Use the bolt cutter as necessary when keys are lost or missing. Presently the bolt cutter is in the barn tool room.
K. Allocate distribution and use of the rechargeable batteries (AA's and AAA's, and some C and D and 9V cells). This will become a big deal. Most of the rechargeable batteries are "eneloop" style, which is good for the Hemlocks. This is an “electrical” engineer job, in the end, including setting up a schedule (approved by the mayor in the end) to keep the available batteries topped off (most likely using the solar setup, extension cords, and inverters). Mostly the charged batteries are for security use. Second priority is to make sure all the smoke alarms are working (so no human fire watches are required). Third priority is to provide some artificial light after the sun goes down. The water plant and the backup solar plant are the main ways to recharge our batteries. Most of these batteries should start out already with some charge on them.
L. Maintain all the sewing and shoe maintenance gear. Mostly that is thread, needles, duck tape, buttons, and “shoe goo”. The local doc might be interested in the needles if lancing of wounds and blisters comes into play. The intent is to maintain existing clothes, vice making new clothes. The Hemlocks does have flax seed for making new clothes (by growing flax like our ancestors did) if we have to go that route eventually. Sewing skills will help in screen repairing, too. The Hemlocks has some stockpiled yarn and yarning needles and screen.
1) Maintain a tanning of skins and hides setup to use what we hunt and snare for various purposes. Supplies are not available, so this will have a lower priority. Plan on using local water and animal brains as a tanning method, like the Indians and our ancestors did. There is an article on how to do all this in the library.
M. Maintain and track the magnifying lenses that can be used for many things, including starting/restarting fires. Eventually all the matches will run out, maybe.
N. Periodically dump the wood stoves of ashes. Remember ashes can be used to make soap, so coordinate with the chief cook, also. And wood stove ashes don't have to be cleaned 100%...something less can work about as well. And do leave an ash "bed" in the wood stoves as that helps them burn best. Generally, emptying ashes should occur around 3 or 4 times a year...it depends on the volume of use. More ashes equals more dumping of ashes as varied by the stove size.
O. Assign the location of the one existing fireplace ring (presently at the Cliff Field shelter area on 9/28/13).
P. Maintain and even enhance the present clothes lines (with clothes pins which exist) to dry our clothes in the appropriate times. Even a half century ago, most houses had clothes lines built in as part of just being a house.
H5 - Civil affairs.
Mostly think of home educating our children, and keeping them mentally and physically helping the effort. Think "Little House on the Prairie". Remember we can use school services as a barter tool, too.
Develop an entertainment schedule for all, including the many available games or even music concerts kinda like the Grand Ole Opry, local style. We can even listen on the world radio to music like the Grand Ole Opry, or any kind of music, really. Or we can have story telling or book reading periods. Our imagination is the limit. While we have some limited musical instruments, one can sing just fine without musical instruments, including during worship services. The Hemlocks presently only has five abbreviated hymnals.
The initial plan is to use the second cottage "recreation room" as a one room school house, to include having a nice Ashley wood stove in it, one of the many dry erase boards with writing kit (including a large one), the fold out table tennis table, and other fold out chairs and card tables in this cottage. Books can be read aloud by book readers in either house, on the porches, or in the other areas protected from foul weather.
Since the Hemlocks has many books, it is important for entertainment to teach reading, too. Recreation both to and from the Hemlocks can be done with permission from the Mayor. People coming to the Hemlocks for recreation will need sponsors, especially to escort visitors on and off the property. While security and being scouted out is always a concern, so is being a good neighbor as best we can. The junction of Hwy 70 with the driveway is an obvious place to meet and say goodbye to visitors (and greet and guide new arrivals).
The Hemlocks has hundreds of DVD movies that will play on the laptop computer (with voice), and which also has an extra battery that, and if priorities permit, can be recharged to use.
Boss - like the overall head person in charge. This is the person who decides about conflicts and priorities, and guides the whole thing. Think of a savvy judge and jury along the way. People will come and go, too. This person is also like the Federal Supreme Court, like including evicting lazy people, which will probably have to happen. Worse case, a person refuses to leave, makes unreasonable demands, or comes back. In this situation, a council of elders (appointed by the Boss) can impose up to a death sentence (the Hemlocks has a hanging bar and rope (also used for large game)). This person is like a savvy judge too. It is a tough job, but somebody has to be in charge. Think of it as a thrifty legal system is your will. Remember preserving American moral values and the Golden Rule, too. Also consider providing a "grub stake" to evicted people, like a bag of beans (if we even have it). The golden rule (charity) always applies, in my way of thinking. It could even be called "tough love". Resolve all conflicts as required. Expect conflicts if we have to use “rotated public electric power (also called rolling blackouts)”, for example.
Also assign “recognition pins” to all appointed leaders. These pins already exist. People leaving positions of responsibility will return their pin to the Boss.
Coordinate for all holiday and Community participation events. After all, people do need a break from the hard life of survival for their best overall performance.
Assistant boss - the boss needs help. Also work with the Hemlocks mayor to maintain a daily schedule for all to see or know about. All the “H” people report to him, too.
Hemlocks Mayor (this person reports to the Boss) - this person runs the local Hemlocks setup for all to survive and live. Work with the Boss when resolving conflicts. When many get cold and hungry, then this will be an unpopular position. This person controls one of the many dry erase boards at the Hemlocks. The job includes:
Compound security. Develop a security plan and assign a security boss (kind of like a Chief of Police). There is extra info on this subject (to include maps) in the If Times Get Hard 3 ring binder. Assign "watches" to protect the compound, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Now weather may modify this effort, which still remains the same. And oversee it. Establish a patrolling checklist and use it (including challenge and passwords posted somewhere). All this a big deal when other people and wildlife try to steal our food, or do other harm. Many of these will also be doing other H (Hemlocks) type services, like keeping a ship running 24/7. Keeping the Hemlocks’ electric plant going will have a higher priority than protecting the Cliff Field Pond, for example. Having a reliable time keeping means will become a big deal, especially when awakened like at 0345 in the morning to do a 4 hour security watch/patrol in the winter, and it is raining, for example. The Hemlocks has two solar powered watches and four manual clocks/watches to help in this idea. Think 24 hour operations, plus people have to work during daytime, too. Consider the use of yard dogs, also. All in all, this is a thankless, but necessary task, especially because the Compound is "walking distance" close to Monterey. The Compound's proximity to Monterey is a two edged sword, so to speak. Like it or not, that is the way it is. Maintain the various weapons at the Hemlocks. The combination to the gun safe is in the front room in one of the bedroom tables' drawers. The two cottages have pepper spray and pistol crossbows and tasers for home defense. The main cottage also has a cattle prod and a spear by the front door of the main house. The guns and gun ammo are stored in the nearby front bedroom closet in the gun safe.
The people manning the foxhole will provide their own "chamber pot" and take it with them at the end of their watch. Otherwise, the foxhole and area around it will become a health hazard eventually. Plan B is to dig a big hole to use for toilet purposes in the vicinity of the foxhole. Plan C is a little bit of all solutions. Plan D is to use the one camping/hunter portable toilet. Whoever is on watch at 0900 has to dump the waste and return the camping portable toilet to its location, in this solution. In this case use some plastic bags if we have them, plus some kitty litter style things (like leaves and soil) work OK, too. After all, if you gotta go, you gotta go, but nobody wants to be sick from bad health (like cholera and typhoid), either.
Use the many "tin cans" with pebbles (from the driveway and crushed sandstone rock piles and even the ground) in them and strung on lines (that exist) for detection of homeland invaders (both human and wildlife).
Coordinate visitor escort services with the H5 for visitors coming down the driveway from Hwy 70. Often this will be in conjunction with Hemlocks entertainment, home schooling, sick call, and other barter going on.;
Religious services. Provide them on Sunday mornings. The Hemlocks needs a lay religious person(s). Best case we would have more for all the major religious beliefs. And we need them for the rest of the week!, to include weddings and funerals. Some will probably marry in and out of the compound, as an example. Refugees and the ill (even in a pandemic) need religious tending, also. Also work with the mayor to choose a baptism pond, tub, or whatever is used. Sunday should be a "rest" day as best the leaders can make it (at least Sunday morning). Said another way, maintain “Sunday” hours as best one can.
Monitor the food, drinking water, and waste water services. This includes bathing, and rationing the 4,000(+) baby wipes that are an OK substitute for bathing (and toilet paper) while we have them. Those that prefer hot water can use the wood stoves to make it with wood heating. Boiling pots are here. Now priorities for using warm water are the maker’s choice (the mayor will probably require those that like hot water for bathing to cut their wood and find the time). Assign a chief cook for the Compound. Food will be offered out of a common meal with a "chow call" signal, or just a plain schedule. Individual cooking cannot be tolerated. Cooking and eating is a communal effort. This is probably not as harsh as it sounds, especially if we kick out lazy people. Think gardening, hunting, snaring, etc., to feed all, via food storage and cooking. All this contributes to higher morale and satisfactory health even during hard times.
The chief cook is also responsible for periodically making soap for all purposes (when we may run out), to include cleaning ourselves and cooking and eating equipment (boiling water works well, also).
The mayor will have a person to rely on whose focus is taking care of our refugees as best we can. We will probably have many, like more than we want. Many may be very ill, also.
Monitor the children services, like schooling, including lesson plans, and "keeping them busy". Support home school efforts. Children still have to be educated, and will benefit from education in so many ways that enhances their abilities and future happiness and opportunity when things get better.
Be in charge of one "dry eraser board" (there are many, and one goes to the "H2" for news and weather things. Hopefully the mayor assigns one (like control, location, and information on it) to the "school". This may become a big deal because of various good demands to use them.
Assign people to cut and stack wood (and protect it from the weather as best one can, we have some protective rubberized sheeting for example) for heat during the cold season and cooking year round. Do the same to stockpile prepared cooking (and split) wood during the warm season. Think mechanical, like the old days, including the wood stoves. The tools are here, to include saws (one and two man), axes, and splitters, and sharpening tools and manuals, methods, hammers and nails, etc. This will be a major effort, I believe; that is cutting, splitting, and stockpiling wood. Have the chief cook maintain the one large metal trash can for small cooking wood (and pine cones, etc.) collected from the yard and nearby areas. Available oil based fuel will eventually run out (probably within a week or two), so most of this effort will be manual.
Remember we have a local high quality anthracite coal seam also (it's about 18" thick and around 400 yards away from the compound and over rough terrain and under the bluff), which can be mined for heat or cooking reasons. We have a book and the tools and the extra grates for using coal, which is different from using wood. A map of the location is in the infrastructure folder, and how to use coal is in one of the "if times get hard folders". I would initially suggest having one person mine the coal, while another person uses a line and bucket to lift it to the top of the bluff and return it to the compound to use. Basically, coal needs oxygen from below, and a hot fire to get it going. The coal seam is at the base of first bluff. And coal burns hotter than wood, and does eventually erode the metal or whatever is being used.
Assign people to both work in the garden (a reasonable time after frost planting time is after May 15th at the Hemlocks), and then put up the food for the cold season time. In other words, plan ahead. The Hemlocks has many books about that (and some supplies, to include two canning pressure cookers, a boiling water canner, a food strainer, and utensils and directions), to help the people who do it. It is pretty much like a high school chemistry experience in my time. And it works. It is not rocket science. The final product is similar to the canned foods we see at the grocery. And remember to label it. Food is very important for survival and health and morale.
There is a small prefab "green house" for the porch next door, so we can start growing plants from seeds before the May 15th freeze date. There is also available a "rocket stove" for heating the green house and providing CO1, also. Plants just love CO1, though it will kill humans.
Assign a "Hemlocks Engineer" to maintain/understand the water, waste water, EMP and electric stuff (which is still often new in early 2012). For sure knowing about the operation of the electric plants (both water powered and solar powered) is a big deal, especially including maintenance of the plants, and even the smaller battery recharging schedules. The manuals (with directions) to do so have been saved in the electrical folder, too. This engineer reports to the "vice mayor" directly, and can help the preventive medicine effort a lot, also. This is an important position.
The suggested initial priorities are clean water (for all the usual purposes like drinking, cooking, cleaning, washing, peeing and pooping), waste water (for all the usual purposes), and then electricity. For electricity ensure knowledge of all fuses and spare parts, to include locations. Maintain the electricity book in the main house new room storage closet.
Remember the solar backup setup. It is presently setup on the second cottage porch, and the weight of moving it around to “chase the sun” was just too heavy and possibly too dangerous from tipping. Use the two heavy duty extension cords to bring electricity into the main house if necessary. Recharge the rechargeable batteries as required or on a schedule to be approved by the mayor. Use it to provide the once a month “beauty” service (for men and women), too. This service will use the three DC/AC inverters (one sine wave, two square wave) and the electric powered barber clipper. A location on the porch (or in the kitchen during the cold season) may reduce the ability to collect sunlight (compared to “chasing the sun”, but there probably will be enough power anyway if a schedule is followed). And females tend to prefer a “beauty service” that depends less on electricity and more on scissors and mirrors and water spray and other such things which are here, too.
Assign cooks, food cleaners, and house cleaners (the common areas). Use the many available containers, as needed.
Assign alcohol brewers as needed, too. Alcohol consumption is historically a big deal to many Americans, mostly males. Sugar plus yeast plus water usually makes alcohol to drink. And alcoholic drinks have a long shelf-life, too.
Maintain facilities as best one can. Mostly that means trying to keep people warm and dry, and better during the cold season, and even doing leak repairs when necessary. The intent is not to just make things better, but also to preclude things from getting worse. There are roof repair materials available to stop leaks, for example.
Conduct health and sanitation inspections with the doc. With the doc and H4 and the mayor, and once a quarter or more often, expose all bedding to the sunshine (4 to 6 hours is a good goal). Also emphasize fire safety. Include checking on all the smoke and CO1 (carbon monoxide) alarms using a map or notes to remember where they all are. Replace the batteries as necessary once a year using the rechargeable batteries.
Schedule announced periodic drills, to include house fire, wild fire, tornado, severe thunderstorms with lightning strikes, security of the compound, security of the garden, and patrol back up (use the manual siren or boat horn, too). It is suggested to do the rehearsals during daylight, and at least twice a year as a start. The Hemlocks has available a chuck wagon triangle, a cow bell, a boat horn, and a manual siren to use if desired. Voice alarms with codes can be used, too.
Maintain and control all Hemlocks equipment, including the adult bicycle (located in the left side of the barn, and the batteries, to include rechargeable batteries run off the local electric plants, with the DC/AC inverters, too. Presently three inverters are located on the kitchen counter in the second cottage. Two are square wave inverters, and one is a sine wave inverter. All these inverters are intended to work with the solar plant, at least for now. There is a separate large inverter for the water turbo plant in the main house. The battery bank at 550 pounds is below the main house. The batteries will probably get old and need replacing around 2020 or so.
Setup a monthly barber and beauty service for health and sanitation and human preference reasons. Plan on using the electric barber set powered with solar power, converted from DC to AC on the fly, also. Also plan on using scissors and a comb. Men are expected to grow beards, with a monthly trim if requested. If this interferes with gas mask use, so be it. There are not enough razors for daily cosmetic shaving. The local doc will control the razor blades on a daily basis.
By the way, and best case, we can do OK up at the Hemlocks if need be. It won't be a fun experience, but this is a good place to survive for a while (like more than one year), if need be. The key point is having the running water springs, and a waste water system, all gravity powered. That is a big advantage to staying alive during any difficult time. It is better than Abraham Lincoln had when he was growing up in Illinois.
Hemlocks vice mayor. The mayor needs help. All city type people positions and workers report to him/her, and he/she reports to the mayor.
Everyone has to wash their own clothes and bedding on their own limited time. The Hemlocks has such gear (including two wringers), plus they have to hang their clothes and bedding out to dry (such clothes lines are here). Plus they have to dump their own trash into the Hemlocks dump holes, to be burned by the H4 periodically. Just how we collect our trash after the plastic bags run out will depend on our ingenuity. Other cleanup tasks will be accomplished by the people living here. There is no usual cleanup crew in this plan. One obvious example is disposing of dead rats and mice which we may catch.
Last, here are the underlying assumptions I am using on December 13, 2014.
A. Public electricity is lost (for whatever reason), and using the triage idea, Monterey and the Hemlocks may go one to three years without public electricity while the new transformers are both manufactured, transported, and installed; and other repairs are done. I suspect big cities will get a priority since that is what I would do. Hence a place like New York City or Mumbai will do better, like go 1 to 4 months before public electricity is restored, and where most live (probably at much reduced populations). Cookeville or Crossville nearer to the Hemlocks may come back on (full time) like within a year or so. A place like the Hemlocks will probably be last. I plan on three years, worse case.
a. Plan B is rolling “black outs” which will provide electricity in the interim at probably inopportune times at Monterey, but will make hot water and other such things that energy provides when it is on. Imagine having hot water available between midnight and 4 AM, for example. Or imagine using the warm water later like at 8 AM. What does that mean to you where you live?
b. Plan B is not about rolling “brown outs”, which is a different subject. For example, many people in California, USA, have already experienced this often during the hot summer time.
c. Plan B assumes we humans will stick with electricity as a good source of energy for many reasons, vice the many energy alternatives we also have in the interim (like the wood stoves and the cooking oven do work). This idea is not about “green energy” but much more basic.
B. Best case, the Hemlocks will be making its own electricity, EMP and winter and beaver proof to boot (I hope to keep the water from overflowing the dam). The primary backup is a micro hydro turbo plant, and it has it’s own back up plant (second copy) in the left side of the barn, too. In that idea, the place will make enough electricity to maybe power the small freezer (4.8 cu.ft.), some LED lights so we don't have to live like Abraham Lincoln, one LED security light to make trespassers and wildlife make a better target, and several rechargeable battery chargers (we have a big solar one, too). Plus this design will include a "dump load" that may help heat the main house place during our cold season (it depends on the situation and weather and number of people here), and then dump the excess heat into the atmosphere during the warm season. The Hemlocks electrical engineer will do this (figuring the best settings will be difficult and also will take time from experiments), and the manuals to figure it out (the settings) are in the main house new room closet. The main house also has a wood stove insert for heating in the front of the main cottage, and a second stove for the back of the main house. And the second cottage also has two wood stoves, too. One is a wood cooking stove with a big fire box, and one is "even more modern…..an Ashley". The barn has a lot of room for a big tent (the Hemlocks has one camping type tent for 12 with some sleeping pads) that are here, too. Cold is one thing, but wet and cold is another less fun (and often dangerous) thing, so the barn overhead cover will work well when it is rainy and snowy. There are also two primitive wood stoves available, too. Just where they end up will depend on the situation. Exhaust pipes and metal tape to go with them are also here.
B. Three out of four people will have jobs of some kind. It is the one out of four (including their Families) that we must try help. That includes the soup kitchen idea and experience. Often these people may be desperate in their own way.
a. For those who will not help themselves and their Families, so be it. Let ‘em die. For those that can’t help themselves, then the Golden Rule will apply. Young children provide a good example. And remember the advantages of helping their parents and other Family members who usually take care of these people. In the end, use the mission statement to help solve the dilemmas you are presented with. Again, the mission is to survive until things get better.
C. Compared to the Nashville area, the Cumberland Plateau where the Hemlocks is located, is a poorer place to garden and farm, mostly due to the acidic type soil. Many garden plants prefer a less acidic soil. Hence plan ahead. Other ancestors (including local American Indians) have done this too (like gardened and farmed here), so vegetable gardens will grow OK, and have already grown OK at the Hemlocks, which has two nearby garden areas, too (already limed and fertilized a long time ago), and like with full sun most of the day during the growing season. Gardening tools are available, too. The Hemlocks has a seed vault, too. For example we can grow our own potatoes and tomatoes relatively easy, or so I expect. Plus there are some apple trees and one peach fruit tree and a simple blueberry patch. Plus we have some grafting supplies, too.
D. Depending on the situation and circumstances and the amount of people at the time, most people will have multiple responsibilities, like normal. That will probably change (like responsibilities) as people come and go. Imagine living on a ship (as a crew member) as a good example. Keeping up with that is what the "H" type people and mayor do.
E. Thanks to mother nature, we have plenty of clean spring water (supposedly mineral free, called "freestone" water), and even waste water treatment (like a septic tank and drain field), all gravity powered (with garden hoses to use if and when necessary). Now we are probably hurting on the food side of things after a month or more (depending on how many people we have show up), which is a good problem to have. The food dilemma will depend on the season, the number of people here, the food we grow, what we can live without, and what we can barter for. Also consider if a cold spell (or other mother-nature event) affects our growing season, and just what we will do (usually due to an abbreviated growing season). Both cottages also have (each) a water filter than can filter pond water for those that prefer that. They can support about 20 adults a day at a minimal level (I estimate). They are English made and gravity powered.
F. The wood stoves in both cottages are the main methods of cooking, boiling/heating water, heating water, heating ourselves, heating our below floor pipes, etc. There are three Coleman camping ovens and three Dutch ovens (all standard 12 quart) that can be used, too. The wood stove insert in the main house has a small thermocouple fan (around a 150 cfm (cubic feet per minute)) and a magnetically held temperature gauge (old fashioned spring designed) on it, too. An extra 100 cfm thermocouple fan will be next door, plus a third similar fan is in the back of the main house on the small cooking stove there. The place (the Hemlocks) is about a square mile in size, so there is plenty of wood to cut and burn. Much of it is already "seasoned", too. Just use these stoves outdoors or use an exhaust pipe/chimney to keep the carbon monoxide killing problem away. One "rocket stove" would work well on the porch of the second cottage, for example, especially if we put in a green house there, too (again the gear to do so is here). Now for all small stoves, one has to collect the yard wood twice a day, kind of like the old Hemlocks' days. Back then, the yard wood would go into a box...now it goes into a large metal trash can with a cover. Ole granny used to do the chore, now I (66 year old male) and the children will have to do it I imagine.
F(2). Cooling in the warm season is by use of windows and doors and maintaining the screens as best we can. Maintenance screens are here as long as they last and we maintain them (again the maintenance gear is already here). Even the wood cooking stove will benefit by some natural summer cooling, too. In other words, use our windows and doors to our advantage.
People (not refugees) that come up here will bring extra ammo, and their prescription drugs and glasses, and personal sized shoes. Right now the Hemlocks has a working 30-06 rifle, a 22 long rifle, a Japanese WWII Arisaka rifle, plus five crossbows, two air guns with a lot of air gun ammo, one green and red laser pistol, two sling shots, plus knives, pepper sprays (6), a cattle prod, two tasers, and other similar things, including a spear. If "guests" don't bring more ammo, or guns, then we will suffer, but survive. Ammo for the sling shots, after the ball bearings run out, will be driveway and grounds’ pebbles. Targets for training are also here. Shooting ranges must have some kind of backdrop to "collect" training rounds. The backdrop can be natural. Shooters must still verify the safety of their ranges when being operated, like no mushroom pickers in active down range impact areas. Ammo should always be considered a valuable, limited, and irreplaceable asset. Dry fire should be used for "snap in" training as often as possible. One laser training pistol also exists these days. It uses both green and red lasers as a training method. The batteries are good for around 6,000 rounds and replacement batteries and other such things are already here.
H. The local town grocery and hardware stores will run out of all commodities within a few days (like three is estimated), and without electricity, all fuel supply and phone and other services, to include emergency and medical and Internet, will end. So will our refrigerator and frozen food sources. What we have is what is here, plus what we grow, and make, have stockpiled, and defend from other humans (and local wildlife will also probably invade our garden area, too).
I. All huntable game will probably be hunted out within a year by local Monterey citizens. Then the use of snares (the Hemlocks has some), box traps, pits, and patrols, will be a big deal. The Hemlocks also has 4 rat traps that can be used to catch squirrels, too. Plus there are 4 have-a-heart traps, also. How to use and bait them will depend on the hunters' skills. Initially, expect some ratio like 10 trap tries to one successful trap. When we get good, the ratio might drop to 5 tries to one successful trap or snare. I expect most snare animal food will be from rabbits (with low fat content). Plus we have many mouse traps, too.
J. Don't throw anything away casually. Even things like animal fat and rice grains will have value in so many ways. Also old Mylar and zip lock used food bags will have value, as another example. Help our barter people. Wood stove ashes can help make soap, for even another example. Every grain of rice counts, too. Even use clean water to wash out containers that may have some food still left in them, and then present that to the dogs.
K. The main way to protect dry goods food stocks from wild animals like mice is by using the large plastic containers here at the Hemlocks in the main cottages. Also the local small freezer (4.8 cu. ft.) serves the same function, but extends the shelf life of whatever is in it (assuming we have enough locally made electricity). There is an inventory list magnetically hanging on this freezer. Plan B is too use natural cooling which implies digging into to the local overhangs, and taking advantage of the constant 54 F temperatures. Now this usually means three things, also. One is protecting the cache from local critters, two is protecting the cache from local stealing humans and wildlife, and three is the 1/3 mile or more hike down and back to use this local 54 F refrigerator ( if we did it under the nearby cliffs).
L. We may move some or all of the gardening effort closer to the compound for security reasons (both human and wildlife). Consider the near back yard and side yard, for example. It has been limed and fertilized once, already.
M. The four traditional water springs in July 2012 ran somewhere between 3,000 and 5,500 gallons per hour, estimated. We really don't know for sure, though. Now this is a drought estimate, and during rainy times, it will be better, like probably more like 5,000 to 7,200 gallons per hour. Now springs depend on filtering from the soil, too; so build that delay (often months) into your calculations. Plus there is some surface runoff, too (for the top two springs), that helps fill the pond that helps make electricity (off grid again), if it even rains or more likely have thunderstorms and periodic showers over this land. And are there other springs, too. Plus the Hemlocks has a Berkey water purifier, too (and another smaller water filter, also). They are presently located in both houses. Each will make around 30 to 40 gallons a day of clean water (using gravity), best case. That should work well for those who want clean pond (vice spring) water to drink and cook with. And a third filter exists for the Cliff Field Pond refugees. And remember, one can boil water, too; like to make it clean for humans to drink and cook with. In this case the water might be cloudy, but also clean enough to drink and cook with.
Once a year do chlorinate (to a minimal level) the 4,500 gallon stainless steel water tank. The supplies to do so exist already. It is kind of like chlorinating a swimming pool.
N. Many females menstruate. Females are half of all humans. The reusable and cleaning methods to accommodate menstruation include natural sponges, manufactured pads, and existing cotton and natural products, plus Oxyclean soaking methods to help the reusable methods. Old fashioned soap and water helps, too. Then later (worse case) we may have to go the American Indian route, like using the local Hemlocks moss. Disposal should be in pits, not the septic system. The intent is to protect the septic system from things it cannot "digest".
O. People will have sex, and some females will get pregnant. The Hemlocks can handle that. In fact, having a midwife can be a barterable trade. Now preventive methods to getting pregnant include condoms, of which the Hemlocks has 100 made from rubber. The Hemlocks has no birth control pills or other stockpiled means. Keep in mind we all got here somehow, so life will go on, like babies getting made and growing up, with some dying. Plus we will have midwifery abilities that will help, too.
P. The dry erase boards have writing and erasing materials to use, also.
Q. Generally, all the structures at the Hemlocks are mostly wood, so they will probably burn quite quickly. Hence be ruthless about fire safety and prevention. At Groton Plantation (in SC) where I use to work, the idea of "swept" yards came over from Africa. Even children were often forbidden from maintaining fires in all hours of the day in share cropper houses. All these were methods of fire safety and protecting lives.
R. The hard maple trees and honey bee hive are assets (sugar and health mostly) we can use. They work already. They do take maintenance.
S. Children are assets to be used. And they must be integrated into the Community, as best we can. Plus they must be educated to at least the 3R level to enhance their future. I assume most will eventually leave to start their own Family, while some will bring in new people, too. As always, it will depend on the situation.
T. I assume adult people can read. Mostly reading is for using all the reference books and articles here, plus for entertainment. Dictionaries and a wiki widget are also available.
U. The emphasis is on reading, writing, and teaching people as need be. A much lower priority goes to the memory method of carrying on history, methods, and traditions. Usually this discussion is mostly about our children and how to best teach them.
V. I choose not to use farm type animals to help survive if times get hard. Rather I choose to use pre-stocked products, like powdered milk, mostly in order to try do the same thing (I already know I and kids can from an earlier time in Hawaii). Hence I have not already installed fencing and stockpiled animal feed, as an example, of what I have otherwise planned on. The Hemlocks does have limited fencing available, with most fence posts coming from what we harvest from the woods.
W. I assume I can feed my yard dogs from scraps and animal offal. If I am wrong, then they will move away, die off, or be eaten. Even Lewis and Clark ate 191 dogs they bought from the local Indians.
X. I assume between Family and local Friends who can even make it up here, there might be as many as 21 adults and 24 kids, plus local overflow. Any less will degrade many of these ideas. Any more will ruin the best case situations we will probably face.
Y. I have personally washed and wrung out clothes (by hand) and dried them in the sun and wind (using clothes lines), so I know one can do it, if they need to. I have even done it in the USA for one adult and four young men, for example. I did not enjoy the effort and time it took, but I proved to myself I can do it if I need to.
Z. I assume if we have poor health and sanitation in the region, then pandemics will erupt, and will often affect me and my Family and friends; and especially the refugee and overload people arriving, uninvited and desperate, normally I also expect. Heck, it may even happen here. And I don't discount the effect of Interstate 40 coming nearby. Even diseases like cholera and typhoid may come back. To boot, I assume many of the old fashioned and "natural remedies" and methods will still probably still work OK. I also assume the idea of practicing preventive medicine as best I can, and giving priority to letting our bodies heal most sicknesses and injuries, with our medical help, of course, will be about all we can do. Mostly that means keeping sick people warm and hydrated, as best we can, and while they heal.
Z(2). I know vegetable oil makes a good substitute (sometimes better) for mineral oil in so many applications, including lubrication and rust prevention.
Z(3) I assume we will have refugees (who will often arrive willy nilly), and whom we will help as best we can. The mayor will have to figure out where they stay (consider the Cliff Field Shelter and outhouse there) and how they heat (two primitive wood stoves are potentially available) in the cold season. How they cook year round is something to be decided, too. Safe fires (consider using the fire ring or one of the Dutch Ovens in the fires) are permitted. Refugees should not live in and among the accepted Family and Friends people who will stay in the Compound area. Spreading out has safety considerations, too.
Z(4) I assume that all the existing facilities will work (now I do have to maintain them). This includes the 3 bathtubs, and 4 flush toilets. I assume any losses due to fire we will make up for somehow. Hence be ruthless about fire safety as a first priority.
Z(5) I assume most warm season bathing will use the local ponds. I assume most cold season bathing will be limited, and generally using cold water or baby wipes. I assume some may want to bathe using the 35 gallon metal wash tub, or use baby wipes when available. Some may want to heat water, too. The wood cooking stove does not have a water heater built in. That was an option I declined.
Z(6) I assume we will eventually run out of paper toilet paper and baby wipes, and go more primitive after that, like the Indians did. You figure it out.
Z(7) I assume if burial markers and small flags run out, we will use local creek stones and even wood as markers for gravesites, with a map/diagram maintained by the religious lay leader.
Z(8) I assume the stockpiled paper, pens, and pencils will last if we are frugal about using them.
Z(9) I assume if we have a civil war, political decisions will be individual. Said another way, I assume most at the Hemlocks will focus on the mission of survival and not the conflict’s politics.
Z(10) I assume that other situations (like a cul-de-sac in a city) may demand different and often better solutions.
Z(11) I assume people that have to (or choose to) use "chamber pots" will do so. Chamber pots can be readily made from local and available materials and containers. Then one just dumps their chamber pot in the morning into a toilet hole or water toilet. This especially applies to the people manning the foxhole, who will provide their own "chamber pot" and take it with them at the end of their watch. Otherwise, the foxhole and area around it will become a health hazard eventually. Plan B is to dig a big hole to use for toilet purposes in the vicinity of the foxhole. Plan C is a little bit of all solutions. Plan D is to use the camping portable toilet. Whoever is on watch at 0900 has to dump the waste and return the camping portable toilet. In this case use some plastic bags if we have them, plus some kitty litter (local soil?) style things work OK, too.
Z(12) There is no plan to stockpile oil based fuel, or animal feed products. Now there is minimal fencing and there are some chicken coops to do future animal farming, but they are not used right now. Rather the Hemlocks has just stockpiled the products from animals, like powdered milk and eggs. As to oil based fuel, when it runs out, it runs out. There is no stockpiled oil base fuel at the Hemlocks.
Z(13) There is a plastic webbing way to protect the blackberry patch (just one plant in June 2014) from humans and wild critters and even birds. The first two efforts at starting a blueberry patch have failed.
Z(14) Charity will be practiced as best we can. That idea includes supporting any local soup kitchens as best we can (by labor or supplies or both). The Hemlocks has some stockpiled soup kitchen type supplies. How to use these stockpiled supplies is the “bosses” decision.
Z(15) Life, and schedules, will necessarily slow down as we revert to older times and manual ways to get things done. Said another way, people in a hurry may go crazy from their frustration at the slow pace of things.
Z(16) I assume constant changes and experiments will often change things for the better (and won’t always be caught up in this publication).
Z (17) I assume rotation of stocks to best maintain shelf life and use will always be less than perfect. So I expect disappointments and surprises, and will try use ingenuity and available on-hand supplies to accommodate as necessary. That may sometimes mean “less” vice doing more with “less”.