May 05, 20XX
My Dear Lucilius:
You asked in your last missive about my planning for eventual isolation and the loss of civilization. I am afraid my application would not be very useful to anyone else- I am, after all, a single man with no immediate dependents except a rather demanding rabbit - but am happy to share.
My principle – such as is – is based on the nature of the disturbance or interruption that is likely. Out where I currently live, in a town of 100 and a county of less than 10,000, riots will probably never be an issue. An inability to get things based on a destroyed supply chain very much is. Even now, a winter storm can disrupt our lives – imagine an economic collapse!
Therefore, I have made plans around long interruptions and a lack of supply for some and/or many years. What does that practically mean? Food, fuel, housing, and health.
The housing is the easiest point, of course – it is in this case keeping everything in a state of repair and having the means and ability to make small repairs. These are the things people might consider “odd” - I always keep a full set of paint in the shed in order to redo the cabin, and I redo it every year – no wood rot here!
Fuel is a combination of the small wood stove and some other method of heating and cooling. In winter, it can be difficult here to heat and in summer (except for the cooling, refrigeration, and hot water) I need very little. My summer solution is a small rocket stove, which cooks outdoors on almost any sort of fuel. I have thought about natural gas, but have never made the switch due to expense and supply – if I am going to have to manage without energy supply, I would rather just do it all the way.
Health? Ah, we all eventually age. My management plan to dated has simply been to watch diet and exercise – exercise as managed by aerobic in the summer and that silly walking machine in the winter and supplemented with body weight exercises and kettle bells (infinitely useful devices, those) in the winter. My stress level, as you can imagine, has been greatly reduced from where it used to be. Sleep is manageable but not terrible – and as a retired person, it can be managed with naps throughout the day.
And food. The great concern, even more so here where our winters are so rough. I can only store so much in my 900 square foot home, so I have to go light and supplement with fresh.
For light? Oatmeal. I have a great deal of oatmeal. A year's worth from what I estimate (it is compact and light). Canned protein (fish) is high on the list, and vitamin supplements as well. The rest I supplement through gardening and maintenance of quail and bees I have been raising (the quails and bees are as much for barter as they are for actual eating).
Have no worry, friend. I eat and sleep well.