There are 10 important things that you must stay aware of when living on a homestead. Let’s look at what they are.
During a crisis there is no place I’d rather be than on my farm homestead. This has proven especially true with the recent pandemic. One place you don’t want to be if a health disaster strikes is where people are crammed in offices, shops, restaurants, and large entertainment centers. Getting away from society will reduce your risks a great deal.
The same applies to other crises like a terrorist attack, floods in the cities, etc. Being in a rural homestead may not be as convenient or fun (if you are used to modern conveniences), but it will keep you safer.
One: Are you close to water?
This is the most important point of the ten discussion points listed here. If you’ve got water supplies stored away to last you a month or two, you are relatively safe. The key word is ‘relatively’… and even with stored water supplies, you still need to know where your closest fresh water sources are.
Are there rivers, streams or lakes nearby? If there are, you will never be short of drinking water. That is a big fat huge relief. Always remember to keep water purification tablets and water filtration bottles/straws at your homestead.
You could also keep activated charcoal (the chunks like in an aquarium filter, not the powder for filtering water) on hand for filtering water.
Two: How accessible is your homestead?
The convenience of getting to your homestead is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you do not want it to be too close to the city, but on the other hand, you do not want to be so isolated that it is a 7-hour drive just to get back to the city.
The more accessible your homestead is, the more easily people can find you. So, you will need to pick a location that is about an hour’s drive away, isolated and hidden. You will still be able to get there on a full tank of gas… and get back quick if there is an emergency.
Three: What is the local wildlife like?
Are there bears in the area? Coyotes? Deer? Knowing the wildlife that’s around your property will let you know about possible threats and opportunities. If there are bears, you will need bear spray and a gun in the house. If there are deer, you might want to hunt them. If there is a lake with fish nearby, you can always go fishing.
Here in Oklahoma, I don’t have to worry about bears. (oh so thankful for that!) But we have bobcats that snoop around from time to time. They are so beautiful, but quite shy. I rarely see them, but hear them once in a while. The most dangerous animal (aside from the old adage that a cornered animal is the most dangerous animal) is a hungry animal. Even feral dogs, if they get together to work as a pack, like coyotes, can be very dangerous.
Four: What possible natural disasters could strike your homestead?
Are you living close to a forest? A wildfire could be a possible threat. If you live on a plain that has seen hurricanes and floods before, it could happen again… and happen fast.
Knowledge of past natural disasters in the area will give you an idea of what could happen in future. Forewarned is forearmed.
Five: Who are your closest neighbors?
While you’ll not need to be best buddies with your neighbors, it will definitely be a good idea to get to know them and where they live. In an emergency, you could always call on them for help. Being cordial with them early on, will prevent you from looking like a stranger that they need to be wary of when an emergency arises.
Six: How far are you from professional medical help?
This is important! Should someone in the house get hurt and need urgent medical help, you will need to know where the closest hospital or doctor is. There will not be time to think or search when there is a casualty who needs urgent medical attention. So, be prepared.
Seven: What’s the best evacuation route?
Even if you live on a homestead, there may be times when you need to evacuate your home for your own safety. Do you know where to go next and how to get there? What if the road you usually use is blocked?
You need a plan and a backup plan. Once again, it all comes down to you preparing early.
Eight: What are your local landmarks?
Familiarize yourself with the area. If there is an emergency at night and you need to drive in the dark, it will be helpful if you know a few large landmarks so that you can make an educated guess about where you are.
In rural areas, there will not be many street lights and there will be very few road signs to guide you. Your knowledge of the area is crucial.
Nine: Do you have the necessities stored?
If you are living elsewhere and only plan to use the homestead as a place to bug out to, you must have water and food supplies there. Other things like a first aid kit, medicine, tools, and important items that you need should be stored in the homestead safely. Ensure that your home is burglar-proof and has an alarm system.
Ten: Will you be living there permanently or is it a secondary location?
Some people choose to live on their homestead. If this is the case, you may wish to learn gardening, how to raise livestock, etc. This knowledge will allow you to be self-sufficient and live off the land. All are very useful skills that will serve you well should society collapse.
If you are living in the city or suburbs, it will be a good idea to stay on your homestead for a week or so every few months. This will be the best way to get experience and what it feels like. It can be a sudden shock to go from an urban to a rural lifestyle. Getting used to it early on will ensure that you are not further stressed out by the new living conditions. In fact, you will feel relieved when you reach your homestead and know that you are safe.
“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”
~ Abraham Lincoln