Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side... keep on the sunny side of life...

Yesterday before removing some tree stumps at my mother's place (with my new chainsaw, ALLLLLRIIIIIIGHT!), I sat in the truck for a few minutes, listening to a father in Maryland describe current living conditions for his family.  They live in an apartment building and have been without power since Friday.  After throwing out all of the contents of their fridge and freezer, they've sought refuge from the stifling heat at a "cooling centre" - a local community hall.

Upon returning home, I discovered that our power was out.

All of this got me to thinking - is it better to be in an urban or rural environment in case of a large-scale emergency? At our new place, we'll be wired for a generator (which will also power the well), be collecting rain water for animals and plants and have septic.  If summer heat is an issue, we have the creek in which to cool ourselves.  Should the creek be low for some reason, there is a spring fed pond well within walking distance (from which our creek is fed), and even "the shore" is within walking distance, should both of those other options fail.

Even the hospital is within walking distance, in a major emergency during any type of disruption.  We will likely have horse(s), and they would certainly be an option if necessary.
If the power is out, we'll also have the fireplace for heating in the winter (as winter storms are prevalent in the area).  We have a lot of acreage, so pending debilitating personal injury, wood should not be a problem.

If for some reason things become really bad - please humour my post-apocalyptic nightmare here - we should be fine.  We'll have a garden and chickens, we should conceivably have meat, eggs and vegetables/plants to eat, even if the freezer is out of commission.  Hopefully there will also be plenty in the root cellar - with shelves of canned fruits, vegetables and meats as well as smoked meats.

Of course all of this is speculation, because we have not yet built the house let alone moved in and built up our stores.

*Beep, beep, beep*  The smoke detector is telling me the power is back on.

Let's move our focus to an urban environment.  Utilities and communications would likely be restored quickly to a city or built up area. Oddly enough, we are almost equidistant from the hospital here in Regina (4.5 kms - 8 mins) as we will be in NS (5.5 kms - 8 mins).  However, in most cases city-dwellers may be much closer to a  hospital than rural folks.

Police/Fire/EMS response times might also be quicker in an urban environment, but rural folks may have less to fear if any "unrest" were to take place - I'm not sure angry mobs are going to walk (drive) a 1/2 mile from farmstead to farmstead in order to wreak havoc.

What if power is out for an extended period of time (it's currently 5 days for some people)?
What if grocery stores don't have food (fresh or otherwise)?
What if there is a fuel shortage (it happened in the 70s)?
What if the streets are clogged with cars trying to get out of the city?
Where would you go, if you managed to get out of the city? 

It's frightening, but is it far-fetched?

People actually have acronyms for all of this stuff and are taking it quite seriously and have acronyms for such a situation - preparing for an Apocalypse/Disaster Scenario (ADS), when Sh*t Hits the Fan (SHTF) and Without Rule of Law (WROL) with their Bug Out Bags (BOBs),  etc.  Some people are dead-serious and are stock piling weapons and food, preparing for a major social disruption! 

All things considered for us in particular (although I recognize this isn't everyone's situation), I think I'll take rural NS life in the event of an emergency.  Although we have great relationships with our current neighbours and Regina is still a small-town, I'd rather rely on our own resourcefulness and that of the people in rural Nova Scotia. 


  1. Why is it called Occidental Acreas Curt and I want to know

  2. Occident, as defined by Dictionary.com:

    The countries of the West, esp. Europe and the Americas (contrasted with orient).

    As many people know, Laur and I were hoping to settle out west, in Washington. However, because US Federal law does not recognize our marriage, and I am unable to get status in the US, we were not able to follow through with that dream.

    It is just as well, because the US is currently in the middle of a terrible recession - depression - and we count ourselves lucky to have left when we did.

    After meeting our friends Laura and Gerard, who relocated back to Nova Scotia, we began to consider Atlantic Canada as a place to settle - because land is quite affordable, because the climate is fantastic and the people are amazing. We searched for several years, trying to find the right piece of land, at the right price, with the right work circumstances.

    When we purchased this property, it needed a name - something by which it could be known. Neither of us had any great ideas, and so I began to call it Occidental Acres - mostly tongue-in-cheek. But, because we're all from out west, and the house style is a Pacific Coast style, the name has stuck around.

    Some people don't like the name, figuring it sounds too much "Accidental" and perhaps it's a bit of that, too. But truth be told, the name reminds me of Occidental Avenue in Seattle, where I first heard the name; I have happy memories of downtown Seattle - still one of my favourite places to visit.