In his Resilience News, Tom Lewis talked about former Dept. of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano’s prediction that a future threat to national security would be a major power outage. The grid going down could be caused by a cyber attack, a massive storm, or an electromagnetic pulse. Whatever the cause, it would be a drastic upset to our current way of life, one we should be prepared to withstand.
Tom Kennedy gave the Treasurer’s Report, of $677.11 in the bank account, with $36.00 in donations collected at this meeting.
Vince Lombardi has resigned as Communications person, handling the website and emails. Tom Lewis agreed to take over these functions, with Eva Taylor assisting. Tom will update the website to better serve the needs of the group. Let him know of any suggestions. Dale suggested Yahoo Groups as a means of communicating information to the membership. Dorothy will put notices of meetings and events on the Sustainable Potomac Highlands Group facebook page. The Executive Committee will have a meeting to discuss these changes.
There will be no meeting in August. Anyone who has ideas for workshops or site visits in the interim should contact Dale and Tom to organize and publicize them.
The topic for the September 10 meeting is Affordable Solar/Passive Solar vs. Passive House with Vince Lombardi and Randall Ashelman presenting.
Ideas for the October meeting include stockpiling staples in a pantry, edible foraging (maybe Leenie Hobbie could present this seasonally), prepping for winter (firewood, food preservation).
Hugelkultur Garden Tours: July 11, at the homes of Maureen Wysopal and Eva Taylor.
Arts Council Picnic August 8 at the home of Robin Pancake. Contact Dale for details.
Mark Pasquarella may plan a visit to his “Chicken Shack” off-grid cabin in September.
Dale’s Words of Wisdom: Why do we do the things that we do? Find simple pleasures in what you do, what you enjoy in life. Keep your energies and passions going.
For tonight’s main presentation, Tom Lewis set the scene of a massive power outage across the grid. We divided into groups according to where we live, our “community”, to discuss how prepared we were and what would be our biggest concerns in the case of a 1-day outage, then a 3-day outage. The main concerns were water (for consumption, plumbing, animals), communications (shortwave or CB radio, battery powered or crank AM radio), food (how much on hand, how to preserve and cook).
How prepared are we? Do we have assets we can share in our community? How would we communicate information? What happens after day 3? Should we be prepared to live the self-sufficient lives our grandparents led? Lots of food for thought.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm. The next meeting is September 10, 2015.