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Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Why am I here?

The Self-Reliant Community is intended to be a place where we can identify our dependencies on modern technology and then explore things we can do today so if modern technology fails, we will not be captive and left without the things we need to sustain life. To that end we will:

Identify weaknesses in modern technological infrastructure
Identify actions we could take to minimize the personal impacts of loss of that technology
Identify skills and tools that we would need to prosper if modern technology fails
Identify how we can share tools and skills within our individual communities
Teach skills and tool use to each other
Develop self-reliant proficiency within our individual communities

What do I depend on today?

The existence of technology in our lives is mostly ignored. There are many things in modern life that we take for granted. The reality is that most of the things we depend upon to sustain life are creations of less than 100 years of history; many of these have existed for only 20 or 30 years. Yet we live our lives in full dependency of this technology with little or no thought to the impacts if the technology failed.

I am old enough to have lived through a time when liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel fuel) were in short supply. This supply problem was largely the created result of government action, but the shortage was real. Suppose that in the next six months the supply of liquid fuels was completely disrupted. I know this is inconceivable to many but humor me. Consider the impacts if we were unable to buy gasoline and diesel fuel at any price. Here are a few things that would change within a very short time, less than 6 months.

  • Cars and trucks stop running

  • No food is delivered to grocery stores

  • All stores have nothing on the shelves within days, maybe hours

  • Delivery of electricity and natural gas would start to be affected and access to these utilities would be interrupted for most in society within weeks

  • When electricity was not available, water systems would cease to work and water would not be available at the taps in your home

  • When electricity was not available, sewer systems would stop operating and all the sewer pipes would quickly be filled with raw sewage

  • Police and fire protection (both requiring modern vehicles) would cease to be available

  • When electricity was not available, refrigeration systems (including the refrigerators and freezers in your home) would stop operating

  • Hospitals and modern medical equipment would stop operating; hospitals have emergency generators but they will not run indefinitely without delivery of liquid fuels.

  • If you use electricity or natural gas for cooking, you will not be able to cook any food you do have.

  • If you use electricity or natural gas for heating, your house will get cold at night and very cold come winter.

  • Communications will be interrupted; cell towers won't work without electricity and land lines have the same problem after a delay period of several hours

This is a partial list of the consequences that follow a log-term interruption of liquid fuels. But the list is applicable to any event that produces a long-term disruption to our transportation system.

Because of my background as an electrical engineer I am cognizant of weaknesses in some of our modern technology. Unfortunately, many of those weaknesses have a similar consequence with the common element of affecting energy and transportation systems. These two systems are so integrated into modern life and modern technology that loss of either one has catastrophic consequences.

The Self-Reliant Community is an attempt to 1)begin to explore the consequences of losing modern technology and 2)take appropriate actions now to insulate us somewhat from those consequences. I hope you will consider this matter carefully, then join and fully participate in efforts to build The Self-Reliant Community here and wherever you are.

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