Shaken awake, moving toward self-sufficiency | Choices for the Future

Some people bristle a bit at “lemonade folks” like me, but I’m the type of person who sees a silver lining.

I’m excited by the awakening that occurs when something out of the ordinary happens, like the recent spate of minor but detectable quakes. Being more awake to reality is a very good thing and helps us grow as long as it doesn’t come with stressful thoughts and sleepless nights that wear us down.

After the first few quakes, I sought out Kitsap County’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. Did you know that the county wants its residents to be prepared to be self-reliant for the first seven days of an emergency?

Minor emergencies, like temporary power outages, can provide us valuable insight into our personal self-reliance and resilience gaps. Do I have a few days of potable water stored? How does my garage door open when I don’t have power? Do I have workarounds for the purchases I make during a typical day? Do I know someone with a generator to share?

What would it take for each of us to be self-reliant for seven days is an interesting question to work through. Once we have that figured out, try answering, “What would it take for our society to be resilient and self-sufficient for seven generations?” and “Might taking a step in the direction of increased self-sufficiency and resilience make my life richer and my connection to community stronger?”

If you want to take a meaningful step, I know of three great organizations in our region that are ready to help: Stillwaters Environmental Center, Resilience Guild and CedarRoot School.

Become more resilient and self-sufficient by attending Stillwaters Environmental Center’s potluck dinner at 4:30 p.m. June 21.

Attend the Northwest Earth Institute discussion course this fall, “A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World” ( E-mail

Resilience Guild, based in Bainbridge Island, teaches homesteading and preparedness skills (

Cedar Root Folk School, based in Port Townsend, teaches adult rural arts and youth nature studies (

The trick is staying awake throughout our lives without letting fear and stress come along with the package. Let’s try to support each other in our journeys toward self-reliance and resilience.

— Beth Berglund is a Stillwaters Environmental Center board member. Contact her at

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