Our highly insulated, solar-powered house is operating on a net-zero-energy basis, and one of our inverters allows us to draw daytime power from the solar array during power outages. We have enough excess solar power to charge our Chevy Volt for our around-town driving. We have developed a spring so will have access to water should we lose power for an extended period of time. We have a half-acre garden, a half-acre of fruit and nut trees, and chickens planned for the spring—all of which will help us become far more food self-sufficient.
We’ve also paid a lot of attention to ensuring that our site will be able to accept the sort of weather events that have caused extensive flooding in our region in the past—most recently with Tropical Store Irene in 2011.
All of these features will come in handy during any extended disturbances or interruptions, whether a major hurricane, a terrorist event that takes down the grid, or something else.
Mother Earth News
An editor of the back-to-the-land magazine, Mother Earth News, heard about our efforts and asked if I would write about how to create a more resilient homestead. I took on the challenge, and the article, “Build a More Resilient Homestead,” came out in the December/January issue.
As always, I’d be interested in any thoughts you might have. Use the comments field below.
# # # # #
Along with founding the Resilient Design Institute in 2012, Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed. To receive e-mail notices of new blogs, sign up at the top of the page.