Emergency Preparedness – “Living Off the Grid”

Being Prepared – The Scouters Way


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Hi friends,

We were out at our country place this past weekend and Paul was showing me the Biolite camp stove he had purchased.  He was so proud that he could be be prepared for any off-the-grid cooking in any emergency situation because his stove does not run on fuel or electricity.  It is powered by wood. Huh! you might say, any fool can light a campfire to cook on BUT it also has the ability to convert the energy the stove produces to charge his cell phone, by means of a USB port built into the unit.   Brilliant!  He cooked me a hotdog.  It came out a little blackened from all of the smoke, but it was quite tasty!

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He also has an led lantern that emits a surprising amount of light, powered by a single tealight candle!tealight powered lanterntealight candle

So what’s with all the emergency preparedness gear, you might ask.  Paul is with the Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association, NLSARA and also serves on the National Volunteer Search and Rescue Board, SARVAC.  He also serves on our community’s Emergency Preparedness team, so when the big one happens, if you live in St. John’s, he’s going to be one of the folks who is out there rescuing your ass!

Being a former boy scout leader and present day Rover crew advisor, Paul takes preparedness to an all-time high.  He always says that one day, we are all going to be taken by surprise when an emergency happens, whether it comes by natural or man-made disaster.  The best thing we can do is to be prepared.  Now, you don’t have to get on the Googler and start looking up places to buy ration packs or emergency food supplies, but he feels it’s wise to keep a supply of unperishable food, water, and emergency supplies  on hand.  One thing we forget about in emergency situations is that the services we rely on, like banks, pharmacies, hardware stores, etc.  won’t be open, so it is essential to have cash, medications, and other essential supplies on hand to get you through at least a three to seven day period.  By that time, communities generally have services set up.  Don’t forget your cell phone, a portable radio, and batteries or a means of charging them without electricity.  Communication is essential during an emergency!

You can go to sites like Emergency Preparedness Canada or The Red Cross, or even FEMA to get more information about what you need to do to be prepared. Don’t forget your family’s special needs if you have pets, babies, seniors or anybody who requires special services, like oxygen for instance.  Even something as simple as a power outage can cause a huge disruption in our lives, dependant as we are on the modern conveniences.  I’d rather be able to be somewhat self-reliant than have to be one of the poor unfortunate souls who will be caught unawares and unprepared!

Emergency preparedness websites:




love, norma





  1. Doug Mein says:

    I loved your Living off the Grid post`, Norma and to see a photo of my first cousin aka The Great Leader (grin).

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