Tuesday, 18 April 2017

09:16 – It was 53.7F (12C) when I took Colin out at 0645 this morning, gray and drizzling. Barbara is out today, at a volunteer meeting this morning and then the bookstore this afternoon.

We had chicken fried rice for dinner yesterday, all from LTS food. In the normal course of things, we don’t have rice that often, maybe three times a month. But we do like it and it’s extremely flexible, so I keep a metric boatload in our LTS food pantry. A pound of rice, a small can of chicken or other meat, a few dehydrated vegetables, soy sauce, and other incidentals, and you have enough fried rice to feed a full meal to four people. It can also be added to soups to bulk them up, used as the basis of a casserole or a rice pudding, and so on. And it’s cheap and stores forever. If your LTS food storage goal is a one-year supply, you should probably have at least 100 pounds of rice per person stored.

Speaking of LTS food and cooking, I called Blue Ridge Co-op yesterday to arrange to have our propane tank topped off. When they delivered and installed the tank last December, they were out of the 250-gallon tanks so they installed a 325-gallon tank instead. They fill propane tanks to 80% of nominal capacity and they deliver the tank already filled. Our 325-gallon tank holds 260 gallons, but instead of filling it to 260 gallons they filled it to the 200-gallon level appropriate for a 250-gallon tank because their computer wouldn’t let them transfer any more than 200 gallons into what it thought was a 250-gallon tank. So we’re currently at 200 gallons less however much we’ve used for the propane cooktop since December. I’m guessing that’s maybe 20 gallons, so topping it off should be maybe 80 gallons worth. Running the largest burner in our cooktop for an hour or so per day should consume about one gallon per week, which means a full tank of 260 gallons is about five years’ worth. Even in a long-term emergency we should be good for at least a full year, and probably two, assuming we’re cooking for more than just the two of us plus Colin. And, of course, in that situation, we’d also be using solar ovens heavily to minimize propane use.

I see that Japan has about 70,000 citizens currently in South Korea and the government is taking steps to evacuate them back to Japan. And the Hawaii state legislature is concerned about North Korean launching a nuclear attack on the islands. Hawaii formerly maintained a strong shelter and civil-defense program, but allowed it to lapse from lack of funding. The last time shelters were inspected, food stocks replaced, and so on was in 1985. A legislative committee has unanimously recommended that the shelters be updated and emergency supplies replaced.

Even assuming funding is made available, doing what needs to be done will take months. My take is that doing so is a good idea, although I think the probability of the Norks launching a nuclear attack is nearly zero. Not that they wouldn’t do so if they could, but just as military leaders must act on an enemy’s capabilities rather than his perceived intentions, there are times when action should be taken on perceived enemy intentions rather than perceived capabilities. In other words, if we think the enemy intends to attack OR is capable of attacking, we should take steps accordingly. Hawaii is particularly vulnerable because it imports most of its food.

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