Additionally, our community has made preparations that will benefit us all. For example, we have a 1500 gallon cistern to be used as a drinking water store which can be refilled from our on site well. We have a functioning ecosanitation project. One of our residents is a ham radio operator and is working with the city emergency communications team, using our on site outdoor ham radio antenna. We have a large store of firewood that can be used for cooking. One of our residents has two models of low fuel use stoves, like the rocket stove.
Emergency Preparedness is on the minds of many who live in the Pacific NW. It is not a question of if, but rather when, a big (Cascadia subduction) earthquake will hit, potentially causing widespread mayhem, including outage of the electrical, water, gas, street, and sewer grids. It could take months — or even years — for things to return to normal.
For this reason many are making prudent preparations for natural disasters, including Kailash Ecovillage. Three of our residents have taken the Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team training. We encourage all residents to make preparations for a natural disaster. As well as portable personal survival kits, we encourage residents to keep emergency food stores.
1500 Gallon Water Cistern
Although our solar panels are tied to the grid and will currently stop functioning in case the electrical grid goes down, we are investigating ways we can modify the system to isolate it from the grid during a power outage so it can continue providing power when the sun shines. This would allow us to have power available during the day. We currently have a gasoline powered generator and an inverter to tap the massive power storage (84kwh) of our electrical vehicles. That should be sufficient to keep freezers, refrigerators, and other essentials running until grid power is restored.
Our solar powered electrical vehicles have large storage batteries that can provide backup power as well as transportation even when the sun is not shining. They can also be remotely recharged when our solar grid is on hiatus.