Below Zero, Prepping and Practice

At 04:30 this AM, I went to get some water, and, only a trickle issued forth. Outside, it was below zero, so I threw on my cold weather gear, grabbed my favorite flashlight, donned my trusty cowboy hat and forayed out into  the bitter cold.

As I walked toward the pump house, my MRBEAMS motion lights all came on like clockwork, laying down a carpet of crisp white light on the snow in an otherwise coal black evening.

Frozen pipes are one of the worst nightmares around here because they tend to stay frozen a long time unless you get some heat to them. All three of my heat lamps were on, and the  generator immediately started putting out a goodly amount of heat, even with the pump house door open, offering a modicum of warmth while I began my troubleshooting, only to find out the pump had tripped its circuit. After a simple reset, I buttoned things up, and walked around in the darkness taking in the magnificence of the Almighties creation.

Preparedness isn’t something you don’t consider after TWQP (The Well Quits Pumping).

Preparedness is a chess game, and the opponent is nature and the current state of global affairs.

Preparedness is simply trying to stay one step ahead of tangible problems like cold weather and frozen pipes, and potential threats and problems like financial collapse, civil unrest, food and power shortages and a plethora of others.

With electricity, three heat lamps, insulation, a genset and big batteries, I still had a problem. If the power were down, not only would the pump be worthless, but the heating lights would have been worthless as well. In a few hours, the entire pump house would be a frozen, useless disaster. (the reason for the monster batteries is to run a set of  12VDC lights as a heat backup in the event of a power failure)

I spent hours preparing the pump house for this exact contingency, installed new heat lamps for this winter, and started the genset on a regular basis , and everything worked as planned, but what happens if a storm comes roaring through or civil unrest cuts the power? WTSHTF, there will be dozens of pressing issues and more fires to put out than anyone could ever think possible.

One of the more eclectic chapters in my newest book, How to Handle a Crisis, deals with how to get out of a submerged vehicle. In the forward I note that certain chapters need to be read and understood PRIOR to the actual situation. When the car is filling with water isn’t the right time to pull the book out of your glove box and find out the proper sequence for removing belts and opening windows or doors.

Things rarely go smoothly, and even with practice, according to Murphy, it will always happen at the very worst time. I consider water to be a top priority and as such have taken serious steps to maintain a good supply with or without electricity and in any kind of weather.

Getting the well back online was the culmination of years of trial and error, and realizing the need for a more robust battery bank, secondary independent heating lamps and a well running, oft tested generator. In essence, I knew what didn’t work, so over the past few years I gradually upgraded the pump house with components that I knew did work.

In my book, “The Pocket Partner”, which is used by hundreds of thousands of law enforcement and military personnel around the world,  I offer three easy to remember rules for anyone under weapons fire,

1. cover

2. cover.

3. cover

James Talmage Stevens, AKA “Doctor Prepper” reminded me this morning of his three equally  salient rules for prepping:

1. Practice

2. Practice


While admiring God’s incredible starlit canvas, even with a frozen mustache, I was reminded of Mathew 24:20 “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.…”

Prepare for what you can, practice regularly, get on with life and rest easy knowing that God is still in control.

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7 Responses to Below Zero, Prepping and Practice

  1. Martin says:

    I believe the best way is to simplify, I think your system in the pump house is too complicated, switch to a propane heat source that does not require electricity or batterys (remember KISS: keep it simple stupid) My two cents!!

    • Agree with the KISS method, but the genset is to run the H20 pump during a power outage, and the batteries are dual purpose, to start it, and to provide heat during an outage to prevent freezing. Propane would be expensive and unworkable, as I don’t heat the building, just the small insulated pump enclosure with 120 WATTS and only when it’s freezing.

  2. Gail says:

    Do you mind if share your last two paragraphs with some “like-minded” friends?

  3. Joan C. says:

    I thought that was very interesting, cause I especially think of that same verse, Matthew 24:20 a lot in the winter. Thank you for bringing that verse to people’s attention! Very important.

  4. Pingback: Below Zero, Prepping and Practice | SHTF R U Ready?

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