Starting to cool off, equipment, the economy and double checking your preps

It is starting to cool down to the lower 90s during the day but what will make the big difference is it will cool to the lower 60s at night.  That makes it much easier to cool off the house at night by opening windows and using fans to circulate the air. If I can get the house below 70 overnight I will use the A/C less and save on energy costs. I’m going to buy a box fan at Big lots for $16.50 and True value has an Oscillating tower fan for $18.00 that should work with the wood stove moving heated air in the winter.  Fans can be a year round tool that helps to keep you comfortable and most electric fans don’t take a lot of energy to run. Now I can return the small fan my Mom loaned me for use with the wood stove.

I got the stuff to replace the guts of the other toilet is has been running over and would not stop. Not a big deal as the shut off valve works on this toilet and the replacement is fairly simple and the guts only cost about $15.00.  I get to keep my old fashioned toilet that needs only one flush rather than the new “Water saving” toilets mandated by the government.  I pulled out the dryer to clean some lint build up I saw and noticed the vent hose was not attached. New longer vent hose has been attached that should cut down on heat as well as lint build up and reduce any fire hazards. My washer and kitchen sinks have slow drains so I added some hard core drain cleaner to get them back into shape. I hope I won’t have to run the 50 ft. snake but I got one on hand.  It’s amazing how much I have learned about plumbing and have  tools on hand to do a few basic repairs and replacements. Most of the tools and replacement parts have been a lot cheaper than I imagined when I started my projects.  It wasn’t on my 2014 to do list but fixing up the plumbing is turning out to be a major thing for the house this year. Replacement of the pressure hoses on the washer has been added to the list. Having one of those hoses blow can create a heck of a mess and I know the hoses on the washer now are at least 10 years old.  Most of these “jobs” have cost under $50.00 and with the cost of the just the “service call” for most plumbers it will save you money if you can do some of the simple jobs yourself.

Speaking of money, some very nasty rumblings are starting to happen on Wall St. as well as the BRICS starting a Mini-IMF that completely bypasses the US Dollar.  I think/hope that the economy will hold together until Fall and others suggest maybe 2-3 years but the crash is coming. I was very surprised that east coast utilities were scrambling to buy “Russian Coal” for this winter.  The USA is rich in coal but this administration has shut down many coal mines in the name of the environment or climate change.  This does not bode well for those that are dependent on Coal fired electrical  plants if we have a cold winter similar to last year.

You need to make sure you have a backup way to heat and cook if you are dependent on electricity. We are heading into one of the best times of the year to pickup camping supplies on sale and you should see items like propane camp stoves and heater go on sale.  In my area of SW Idaho propane prices are stable and it is easy to buy a small propane tank for a gas grill for $45.00-$50.00 filled, or do an exchange tank for under $20.00.  If you can afford it get all your tanks topped off if you use oil and start getting wood for the fireplace  now rather then wait for it to get cold and then try to buy it.  Even a small Butane burner for about $30.00 and 8-12 cans of fuel ($7.00 for 4 cans) can be your cooking set up during any short term disaster.  If you pay for your fuel and food now you will reduce your stress and have some cash on hand to deal with any rise of electrical costs.

Paying off debt and adding to your “emergency fund” should be a priority and if you can pay a little ahead on any small monthly bills like insurance if you are new to saving cash on like I am and find it easy to spend all you make on stuff.  This month I paid off the revolving credit account with Les Schwab and paid ahead on my insurance.  I added back to my  monthly saving envelopes that I used for some sales.  I can save money shopping and I think I get a lot of hard goods/needs for each dollar. But saving cash is hard for me and while I’m doing better, it is still a struggle at times.  Most of this prepping and self-reliance stuff is an ongoing experiment of sorts and I don’t think you should beat yourself up if things don’t go exactly to plan.  The trick is not to give up just because of a failure and get back on track as quickly as possible. I would also prioritize with shelter, security,  water, food then sanitation and first aid if you you are unsure of what you should do next.  If one priority is good to go, then focus on the next area.  When I started prepping I tried to get a bit of everything starting with food as my priority and that was wrong but I had enough time to correct my mistake.  I’m in pretty good shape for the basics but I sometimes go off track because of sales, so keep your focus on what  is critical and while you might miss out on a great sale you must prioritize and stick with your plan.



7 Responses to Starting to cool off, equipment, the economy and double checking your preps

  1. Dannyboy53 says:

    Sounds like danged good advice, current events are looking worse by the day. Especially the backup methods of heating and cooking. We have grills we use to cook on the back porch on these hot days, keeps from heating up the house and working the air conditioner half to death!

    We have a 2 burner Coleman stove and a portable burner, one of those types that simply screws onto the small bottles. We have a lot of those bottles on hand and plan to keep adding to that stash.

    We have so many items and find it difficult from time to time to keep up with where we are so we started maintaining an inventory. We update our list each time we pick up more things to add and date it at that time also. It helps to focus on items we feel we are short of with the limited amount of money we have to work with! Our store room is a converted basement, it looks like a danged supply room with floor to ceiling shelves and we have items categorized of course like in a grocery. Our medical supplies and non food items are stored there also. Everything is sealed and we have an exhaust fan and even went so far as to put desiccants in the items that are prone to rust or tarnish.

    This policy of the regime shutting down the coal business is going to cause some really serious problems. Not that it hasn’t already but I believe it will be more widespread and critical as time goes on. This will adversely affect directly and indirectly every aspect of our society.

    Many of these things we can control to an extent, that is to mean, we can continue prepping as long as it is possible to do so. However the one thing we have no control over that concerns me more than anything else is the influx of illnesses and disease that seems to be coming across the border. There are tens of thousands of people flooding across our borders and more to come. It appears they are being shuttled all across the country and I feel this adds another aspect to our preparations, to focus on medical supplies. It is not out of the realm of possibility that we could have some really bad and widespread effects springing from this.

    Thanks for a great post Jamie, as always! You help us to think about what we are doing and what needs to be done next. I have taken much from reading your posts.

  2. Jamie says:

    Dannyboy: Like you I have stocked up on charcoal and my wood stove is ready to go with plenty of wood. I think I am ready for illnesses and I can anticipate, Isolate an sick person as well as have plenty of masks and gloves on hand as well as some other barriers. My immune system is a bit haywire with my CIDP and getting vaccinated is contra-indicated for my health. But I’m at risk, and I prefer to take my chances with home remedies rather than count on the VA or government health care.

    • Dannyboy53 says:

      Lady I think that is about as good as any of us will be able to do under the current circumstances. And I’m with you all the way on the VA or Gov’t care. I don’t want them involved in any part of my life, especially the medical aspect! We have a Nurse and a CNA involved in our small group so we are more fortunate than many areas.

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy, I’m probably the closest thing to a medic with my Combat Lifesaver training from the Army. While we don’t have a doc or nurse yet we do have plenty of equipment on hand for trained medical personnel to use if we get one.

      • Dannyboy53 says:

        With the training you have your only handicap in most situations would be a lack of equipment or supplies. But since it sounds like you have that part covered I think you will be in pretty good shape.

  3. We had a ceiling fan (old tech) build in when we built the house. We designed a breezeway into the structure and our bedroom is next to it. All we have to do is to open the windows. Even in Tejas, we can stay cool at night. Doesn’t do much for us in the daytime, but nothing much (short of being native Texan) does.

    • Jamie says:

      rat, I sure wish my house had a more open floor plan so I could create that sort of breeze way. I do the best I can by using the fans to pull in air on one side of the house and blow it out the window on the back side.

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