My original plans for surviving the hard times have just been altered. Due to my unique circumstances, my original plans were based on bugging in. I have parents in their early 90’s and a special needs grandchild. They need to be in areas close to medical care. My adult children all have homes within 50 miles of my residence so if something major happened to one area we could move to another location. If this were a major event I have a small cottage on several acres “up north”. Now on to the event that has me altering the survival plan. About a month ago I had a friend that had his basement flood. He is connected to city sewers and due to lack of maintenance, you guessed it, 13 inches of “ka-ka” in the basement. Helping him clean up the mess I realized how much water was needed to clean and sanitize the basement. These resources will not be available if we experience a major event. Left unclean the house would become a slimy Petri dish full of bacteria. This is not a good situation. Besides, where would the crap drain to? 5 gallon buckets? If we experienced a major event I am sure that routine maintenance of the infrastructure will not be done. The government people are only good at putting out fires, not preventing them. My neighbors, and I, have just been ordered to connect to “city sewers” and demolish our perfectly well functioning septic tanks. They also expect us to connect to “city water”. I can protest until pigs grow wings and fly but will eventually be forced to comply. What ever happened to “the land of the free”? Now, on to my revised plan. My garage is a stand alone building. I will soon be in the process of converting my garage to a cottage. I will keep my well for water, use a composting toilet and learn the best way to utilize grey water. The garage floor needs to be replaced so I will excavate 6” of base, install insulation and put in a radiant floor heating system. A small A/C unit will be installed. (Never had a car in the garage anyway….it has been my wood shop). The garage will be clean and sanitary (sawdust is sanitary, right?), have HVAC, toilet, shower and running water, back up electrical system and be well insulated. The wood stove will stay in the middle for back up heat. The house will become the storage area for all of the items that are in the garage now. Similar basic set ups will eventually be retrofitted to my kids homes. My food storage is dispersed in several locations so if I experience some loss at one I will still have reserve. I am currently relocating my basement stores to a much higher location with easier access to the garage. I will build pantry storage in the garage and use that for tool storage until the time comes. I prefer to keep the stores in my basement because of the lower and more consistent temperatures.