Status Report Update by Anna Von Reitz
I recall asking certain of my neighbors to join our Food Storage Club some years back. Alaska is inordinately dependent on food shipped in from the Lower 48. Except for salmon and a few moose, berries and home gardens and barley, there isn’t much here in terms of food, unless you are a really careful and knowledgeable forager (like my husband) And even he prefers not to eat lichen boiled in saltwater. How they laughed at me! How they derided the whole idea of a Food Storage Club! What was I? A “Prepper” ??? A “Sovereign Citizen”??? Oh, ha-ha-ha! Even here in Alaska, they were all too good for me. Too modern. Too sophisticated.
They dog-trotted away with horrible fixed grins on their faces and
didn’t look back. I and a few Northern Mormons and a Sergeant Major’s widow did it anyway.
Today, after an actual disaster, it’s a different story. Two of these neighbors (who never read this blog) are huddled in front of my old stove keeping warm and eating bowlfuls of corn chowder as if it was the most exquisite thing ever. Two more have been keeping warm via electrical heat exchange units I provided and at least a dozen more who snubbed the whole idea are eating today because of our lowly little Tin Hat Food Storage Club. As I write, I have three elders, seven small children, and three people recovering from injuries/surgeries under my care. I am at the Anchorage office pinch-hitting and tending woodpiles and wood stoves around the clock. More than 600 homes and businesses remain without gas for heat, and many additional businesses including food stores and gas stations, are closed for repairs.
This is exactly the scenario I described in my 2007 book, “Alaska’s Gas” where I explained how dependency on natural gas for heat in a cold climate can turn into a disaster — and it has.
Once a portion of the gas grid goes down or the “drop out valves” related to specific homes go out, an actual technician has to check the system, re-pressurize the whole thing, and turn the gas back on. This is a time and tech expensive process. It can take a long time to turn the gas back on — days, even weeks, given limited numbers of trained technicians.
And in the meantime, people have to stay warm and their houses need to stay above freezing or the water pipes blow and a whole different kind of frozen flood disaster begins.
Thank God the electrical grid in Anchorage didn’t go down at the same time as the gas grid. Many people would be living in their cars watching the fuel gauge run out— and freezing to death after that. Do you know what happens when the lights go out? If you don’t have a generator and fuel for it, the lights stay out. And the gas stations have gas, but 99% of them can’t pump it, because guess what? Their pumps need electricity and the gas stations don’t have generators… READ MORE
Final note— we are facing hard times here and its ten times worse because of this earthquake. Team members are pretty plucky or they wouldn’t be team members, but even some of them are dragging around like Eeyore, the Donkey, in Winnie-the-Pooh: “I guess we’ll make it. Don’t have any choice…”
If you can help, I am still Grandma-in-Charge. I am still here, doing my best to take care of everybody. Even the Pooh-Pooher neighbors. My PayPal is: firstname.lastname@example.org, and my snail mail for checks and money orders is: Anna Maria Riezinger, c/o Box 520994, Big Lake, Alaska 99652. – By Anna Von Reitz