The Importance of Firewood or Coal Storage

Thursday, Dec 22, 2005

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of having a large supply of fuel for home heating on hand. Ask anyone that has ever been through an ice storm in the northeast. Big ones happen  on average once per decade. These can be really nasty, knocking down hundreds of power lines, inducing power outages that can last for weeks. Those that heat their homes with natural gas, propane, or home heating oil furnaces find themselves out of luck when the power grid goes down. Even if they can keep their heater's main burner on, there is no electricity to run the circulating fan. That makes for a very chilly house!  Ditto for pellet stoves, which require electricity to run both their pellet-feeding mechanisms and their fans. 

There is nothing quite so "tried and true" as a large, free standing, cast iron stove to burn firewood or coal.  I recommend that you calculate how much wood or coal you burn per winter, and triple that to give you an honest three year supply. Even if you don't anticipate economic disruption that will last more than a year, you should still get a three year supply. The extra fuel that you have on hand can be used for barter or charity.  Your less prudent neighbors will greatly appreciate it if you can help them heat their homes with some judiciously-dispensed charity. Its our duty to help out widows and orphans--and yes, even your neighbor down the street that was more interested in drinking beer and watching football games than in splitting firewood. Like it or not, it is our Christian duty.

In most cases. laying in a three year supply of fuel will necessitate adding a lot of firewood or coal storage space. Don't skimp and put your firewood under those cheapo blue plastic tarps. That is like throwing money away.  Build a proper storage shed, and size your shed to fit an honest three year supply.  Then, never allow it to get less than 2/3rds full. OBTW, one advantage to having a big "three year shed" is that you can burn the oldest (driest) wood first, allowing your green wood two years to season.

Lastly, don't overlook cleaning your chimney every year Learn how to do this yourself, and buy yourself a good quality brush and a set of extensions--perhaps with one extra extension so that you can loan it to your neighbors that might have taller chimneys than yours. Yes, chimney cleaning can be a mess, but it is a valuable skill, and it is essential for preventing a potentially catastrophic chimney fire. BTW, I often see charred/destroyed guns for sale at gun shows. With their melted grips and burned-off stocks, they are sometimes hard to recognize. These guns look beyond pitiful and don't fetch much money when they are sold as a source for spare parts. They are mute testimony to the chimney-cleaning laziness of their owners. The story that I hear is almost always the same: "It was a chimney fire."



Letter Re:  .45 ACP Stopping Power and the M1911 (SAs: Pistol Stopping Power, Survival Guns, .45 ACP, 9mm, M1911s)

Sir - just to support your advocacy of the .45 ACP: it has saved this old sarge's butt more than STOPS the enemy! Versus the 9mm [Parabellum], there is no contest -- .45 [ACP] wins every time.  Semper Fi - Sarge

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