The amount of non-private land area available in American/Canadian northlands is fantastic, and it's owned by God not just in a fairyland sense, but most realistically. Yes, it will be very difficult, for obvious reasons having to do with severe winters and short, cool growing seasons, to survive in Alaska or northern Canada, but no matter, some people are living in these conditions right now, and not all of them Christians, for the simple reason that they enjoy the vast, virgin, cool-crisp wilderness, away from society's clamor and money-oriented streets. Furthermore, they love the challenge of creating their own self-sufficient world where virtually no one else dares to go.
With these things as impetus, you could plan to survive the tribulation in the northern parts of the continent, skirting the problems associated with trespassing on private property, paying property taxes, and being reached by many forms of persecution. Not only that, but straight timber for your buildings, or dead wood for your fuel, is plentiful and at your doorstep. God is no doubt doing his part to prepare tribulation sites near natives strewn throughout the northlands. So don't shy away from thoughts of living in the north if you have been fond of the idea: it may be the Lord who is pointing you that way. Isn't it logical that our being forced to move into remote regions will scatter us by Design to peoples who don't have computers and/or electricity, meaning that they won't be operating under the skincode system? Therefore, keep your evangelism wits about you.
The bulk of survivalists will retreat into regions where the climate is less severe. There is plenty of remote land available between southern Canada and the mountains of Mexico. Fertile river properties like mine, on the edge of semi-deserts, abound. Mountain terrain rates as wilderness, of course, and such ranges as the Rockies are at many points very beautifully green, conducive to growing food, and surprisingly cool in the summer sun (east sides of ranges get the most rain, an important point for trib’ survivors), but drawbacks exist, such as colder winters and thinner air. There are not enough sites for sale at any one time to provide every Christian with their own retreat, so consider buying early, but not hastily. A time is coming when haste will predominate in the negative sense; you don't want to be there.
I sometimes get the feeling that we will enjoy life more in many ways while living out the tribulation than we have ever enjoyed our lives before. The country is a great place to heal a soul that ails from emotional or psychological disturbances and/or discontentment produced by dog-eat-dog, stay-the-fray city/suburban life, signage everywhere, and the deadening mass of concrete, plastic, brass and glass. Great architecture doesn't compare in beauty with a mere field of wild flowers, nor flashing city lights with fire flies on the meadow. When you know that there's only 3 or 4 years to go in this history, you don't tend to worry about whether or not your roof needs 20-year shingles or 25, if your vehicle should have new paint, or if your clothes are out of style. The only thing that matters is the Spirit, and nature is far more yielding to Spirituality than city life.
I didn't know how playful insects, lizards, and even mice were until I moved to the country; suddenly I learned that God made virtually all of them to create an uplifting atmosphere (as long as there are not infestations, and as long as they are not biting flies). Under the canopy of a straw pile, I watched two mice literally dancing on their rear legs, smacking front feet together, in what seemed like a celebration of their home-sweet-home. Okay, dancing mice isn't going to score lots of points with some ladies, but the migration of rare birds and butterflies should.
An extraordinary way to live out the period is on a boat, preferably one large enough to carry a sizable store of preserved foods. If it’s equipped with sails, you'll be able to get around without gasoline on many days of the year. Fish and water at your doorstep, and home will be wherever you anchor. It will be easy to re-locate if necessary. With oceans, you could be like a snowbird, going south for the winter and north for summer. There is no cost to anchor just off the moors of any marina, or just off any shore. Find your own hidden cove and stay a while! Get off the boat and check out an island. Reflect on a virgin beach; thank the Father that you're not going to experience the terrible fate of those who ignored the Call.
God is not calling us to reject the good things in life in the trib’, so long as we share and remain useful to others as well. Ignore Christian movies depicting sheer horror for all Christians all tribulation long; the tribulation wilderness can be utter pleasantry and excitement. Let good times be, for the bad times are always sure to come. We cannot praise God from our hearts and enjoy giving it to Him if we are continually in sore circumstances, and doesn't God know it??? Note that Jesus very often enjoyed the wilderness, and even the sea, while retreating from his persecutors
We don't know if Western governments will have the power to remove us from our owned lands just for refusing to worship the Image of the Beast. We do not know if the killing of those who refuse to worship the beast will be universal/global. I tend to think that the killing of believers will be restricted mainly to the Israel and Muslim theaters. In any case, if I didn't think there was a good chance of being safe on our owned properties, I would have taken a different approach here in writing to you. We're crossing our fingers while hoping I'm right. Does the persecution of Revelation 13 refer only to the latter years or even months of the tribulation? I don't know. Perhaps only under certain conditions will death be imposed on those who refuse the Image. Perhaps the only Christians that will be killed are those who take part in insurrections against the Beast system, or, as for example the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, those who speak vehemently and openly in opposition.
Wouldn't it be a shame if we didn't build a retreat for fear of certain persecution, only to find that persecution doesn't come our way? We'd then be left in dire conditions, without shelter and food. My advice is, prepare a retreat. What you might end up doing is finding a like-minded post-tribber whom you can share land with. Ultimately, you ought to get a few people going in together, even if you buy separate tracts of land side by side, because sharing resources is the way to go to save money and preparation time. You don't want to over-do this effort because God doesn't want you living in luxury while others starve. The only good reason to "over-do" your retreat is to help feed and shelter those who haven't the money to rig a retreat of their own.
You may know of someone who owns a farm, a ranch, an island, or an idle investment property. If he/she is a Christian, they might understand the need for a tribulation refuge. See if you can't specially reserve a piece of their large tract. One acre on a large farm or ranch costs a lot less than an acre all on its own. Here is what I think is an excellent idea: pay now to have a small piece of land legally sub-divided, and then when the trib arrives, put it in your own name, paying the Christian owner of the land whatever you agree to now. The owner shouldn't frown on this arrangement since it will cost him/her nothing if you never do possess the land. And since he/she is willing to do this for you, you know you'll have a great neighbor.
Let’s compare with a situation that procrastinators will find themselves in: shacking up on a small piece of land (owned by a Christian) but not owing any of it. By owning, you'll eliminate the risk of being removed from the land due to disputes with the landowner; and the peace of mind that goes along with it. Furthermore, if you act now, you will be in a much better position to net the sort of land or region that you think is best. Do you want trees, open pasture, good garden soil, sun, clouds, wind, wildlife? What kind of trees? What kind of wildlife? Perhaps you would choose to eat strictly from a greenhouse so that, in order to reduce costs, you can buy rocky land that couldn't grow anything well but wild grass. Do you feel threatened by government intrusions, thieves, trespassers? Then choose a site far from a city/town and in a region known for a low-crime rate. Consider the Bible Belt You have many more options if you purchase land before the 70th Week arrives.
Do you want something that will allow you to keep a city job while waiting for the tribulation to arrive? Then sub-divide a place nearer to a city so that you will at least have something to turn to if you can't get anything more remote later on. If you're a respectable person, you'll be respected when you sit down with a Christian landowner and share your concern for this plan.
Most likely, remote regions are not covered by laws stipulating the number of families that can share one large property, but if your tribulation situation should get out of hand with over-crowding, the government may step in and try to remove some or all of the non-owners.
I cannot over-emphasize the benefits of co-operating with other post-tribbers because everyone's financial input can be communally supportive. When you move into the sub-divided plot as the 70th Week arrives, the money you pay the owner for the land is almost-certainly going to be used for purchasing items useful for tribulation endurance. You then get double for your money because you will also have access to that equipment in the tribulation. If the rancher doesn't share it with you, then you've probably bought in with a goat (see the parable of sheep and goats at Matthew 25:31). But at least you own the land and all the benefits thereof.
You may not like the idea of sub-dividing land now and paying for it later, since by that time the owner may have a change of mind and not allow you to move in. If you can't afford to purchase that plot all at once now, and can't get a bank mortgage, then, as a riskier way to secure it, you can purchase it (legally) under an owner finance basis. That is, you pay the owner a mortgage (instead of a bank). This situation is treated by law as though the owner loaned you the money to purchase; as long as you do not default on the payment, the property belongs legally to you throughout the entire mortgage period. When I used this method in Texas, the legal papers were called “Contract for Deed.” Do not use the owner-finance method without legal papers. Of course, do your best to have the entire mortgage paid before the final 1260 days arrive. After 2010-12, in my opinion, the skincode will be ready to be enforced imminently.
When marketing for the skincode is in full swing, there will be a radical shift among Christians toward immediate action, promising to cause property shortages. If you have a large tract at that time, have it legally divided now into smaller parcels if this is a necessity in the county that you live in. You might even have enough money to begin preparations for them by providing common wells, pumps, barns, a tractor, etc.
The spirits of Satan are likely whispering into our ears, disguising themselves as the Spirit/voice of God, hoping to keep us from buying a retreat altogether. For, it would be in Satan’s interest if we ended up totally stranded when his mark is enforced. The best alternative to buying now, if you presently feel unsure about committing, is to make sure you have money, or something that can be converted into money, at all times. With money, you will have a better chance at that late time of finding a Christian land owner who takes you onto his land. PROPERTY TAXES
Having secured a property in one reliable way or another, see if you can pay your property taxes 4 years in advance, and then continue to make annual payments. When the skincode (i.e. mark of the beast) is enforced, the tax office will leave you alone for four years. Keep your receipt. Let your advance payments be a little more than you are required to pay at present because your taxes may increase between now and the tribulation. If the tax office will refuse to take your tax payments years in advance, buy a little silver/gold and store it so that you can use it to make these sorts of required payments. Personally, I think that one will be able to use precious metals to swing some forms of purchases in the tribulation. You can tell the tax office, which will not be rigged to take gold payments, “take the gold or nothing, because I have no other money”
I do not think that any tax offices can evict owners if the owner defaults only a few years. Some states have laws that allow up to seven years unpaid taxes before legal process can begin toward eviction. Check with your tax office (but hope the law doesn't change for the worse in the tribulation).
WHOSE LAND AND WORLD IS IT, ANYWAY?If all fails, dart to the woods with a hunting rifle and fishing rod, and live like a pioneer next to a beautiful lake. My studies show that the 1260 days begin in Spring -- March/April on a future Passover -- so that it will be cold nights and some days. But people will be able to stay at their homes for quite some time after Passover, even if the skincode system doesn't allow them to pay utility bills. That is, utility companies allow a couple of months of unpaid bills before threatening to cut us off. Just say, “take gold coins or nothing, it’s all I've got.” As summer draws on, seek other sheep, start a "family," and work quickly together as the consensus thinks best. Get to a wilderness location and fend the best you can. Beware the back-stabbing goats and the unreliable foolish virgins. You can see how dismal this picture could quickly become, living on private/government property somewhere out of the way. This will become the fate of post-tribbers who now believe that owning a piece of land will be useless because government persecution of Christianity will be to the point of taking our lands away legally. Many pre-tribbers will share this fate. However, it’s easily predictable that some (not all) will find the strength and guiding of the Spirit in that dire situation.
Here’s how I think God will view the situation: if governments of the world wish to impose a non-traditional purchasing system which God forbids, while excluding all traditional systems (e.g. cash), then it becomes the responsibility of the government to provide for objectors (Christian or otherwise) tracts of land where they can legally sustain their families in peace. Otherwise, if this is too much to ask, let the governments simply keep the traditional purchasing system (cash and checks) as a part of the new system. In other words, God will oppose the skincode and thus allow us to break the law by trespassing on properties not our own. However, He will not condone our making a nuisance of ourselves, stealing things from barns, pillaging the farmers’ fields, and like wolves coming down on the livestock of ranchers. Perhaps the good news is that the Law of Moses allows the poor to take from the outskirts of the farmer’s field.
In many countries, poor people have, under certain circumstances, been permitted by their governments to claim any not-in-use land -- including pieces of private land. The idea is perfectly ethical, in other words.
Count on liberal New-Age homosexuals and environmentalists to be our foremost enemies, who won't like Christians inhabiting remote lake shores and piddling all about the tree trunks that they think they own. These persecutors will likely sick the governments upon us. Some state governments may turn out to be better than others in alleviating persecution for us, and this may be one reason that liberals are pushing for Federalism, where much can be controlled from one desk in Washington. President Clinton signed Executive Order 13083, entitled "Federalism," stating that Washington may enforce any law on any state. This is not good news for us.
Some state governments may turn out to be better than others in alleviating persecution for us, and this may be one reason that liberals are pushing for Federalism, where much can be controlled from one desk in Washington to make life difficult for those who oppose the coming skincode system. While in recent years there has been some political drive to give the states/provinces the control that Washington/Ottawa has routinely exercised in the past, President Clinton has lately signed Executive Order 13083, entitled "Federalism," stating that Washington may enforce any law on any state. This is not good news for us. I would keep in mind that God might congregate most believers in key states which He knows beforehand will defend/serve us best.
Some post-tribbers are inclined to believe that God will deliberately give us over to the harshest of persecution in order to test us to the bone. But notice that Jesus reveals how, on the very day/night that he returns, there will be two working the fields together, two grinding grain together, and two sitting/lying on one couch. Since we know that one of each pair is a Book-of-Life Christian, we also know that they won't take the skincode, wherefore they will not be in the world's work-force at that time. Rather, it would appear that they are on their own homesteads, which explains why the two women are grinding grain in this modern age.
It doesn't appear at any of the six are suffering the grossest kinds of persecution at that late, post-tribulation time. Clearly, there will be life for unmarked Christians in the tribulation period.
FOOD, FOOD, LOTS OF FOOD
When the river in my region had all but dried up recently, a pool had remained on my property as the last remnant of that river. I then noticed a family of wild hogs that I had never seen otherwise, cutting across my land. How nice to be able to have exotic pork when the garden is failing to produce potatoes. That’s one great advantage to being on a natural water supply: animals come to drink daily. It will be your task to nab them without frightening away next week’s catch. I have been wondering how to get them without a gun. A tricky cage with bait, for example.
Good garden soil is high on the list of priorities because the garden will in large part replace your corner grocery store. If the soil does not have the right pH balance, you should seek to correct it immediately. Just because all the nutrients are available does not mean that they can be used readily by all plants. They can't. A soil with high pH (alkalinity) will not fully permit plants to use the iron or zinc in the soil, and that will detract from your greens by resulting in slow growth and yellow leaves. Conduct a test. Raise a variety of vegetables for a year or two to see how the growth of each comes along.
There are natural ways to correct high or low acidity (pH), and also to correct the nutrient ratio. Manure corrects much of both. I've read that, if the soil is too alkaline (low in acid), adding leaves or any other vegetation will make the soil more suitably acidic. But I don't know how long it takes for this remedy, whether instantly in the first year, or years later.
I once had the neighbor's steers on my property in a draught situation (emergency). He bought some electric fence for this, and they were all around the house, maybe a dozen of them. So I scooped the cow patties only one to two weeks in the sun, and dug it into the garden soil. It was spring. The plants did not do well at all that year. Perhaps I put in too much, or perhaps the manure had to dry completely off first. It was ironic that some weeds with roots in clumps of manure were thriving.
You can have soil tests done by mail for little expense in order to get optimum conditions for growing the garden vegetables of your choice. A soil analysis will reveal exactly which chemicals, and how much of each one, will be needed to get the required conditions. A healthy garden soil will feed the most bodies. Get hold of thick books on vegetable gardening.
I am definitely planning a special greenhouse situation because we can't rely on a refrigerator at a time when electricity may not be available We can plant vegetable seeds in a greenhouse at intervals of a few days so that they won't come to the harvest stage all at once. I will grow much more than I would need for one year, and after the fall harvest I would preserve whatever isn't going to be eaten fresh. I want food supplies to last from harvest to harvest by preserving plants. If my harvest fails for any reason, I'll be very glad I included a reliable greenhouse system in my plans...that can allow plants to survive longer into the fall, and begin earlier in the spring.
Ever heard of hydroponics? Check it out. It's growing plants in a greenhouse without soil. No soil means no bugs, no worms, no weeds, and no water waste. It's a great idea that I'd like to include in my own plans.
Don't forget to add a chicken coop to your plans. You can practically "overdose" on cholesterol from eggs if you're not adding plenty of meat to your diet, especially if your diet is going to be reduced overall. Eggs can be added to many kinds of foods.
Chickens remove many insects, including scorpions. When the sun falls, I leave a light bulb in a glass jar on the ground, and the chickens just feast as the moths etc. come to the light. If they're hungry, they'll even eat some crunchy beetles. You should hear them scream with delight and jostle about when a large bug flies in. Chicken droppings are the best natural fertilizer.
If you are going to choose land with trees, choose trees that produce food. Pines produce nuts under the scales of their cones, and while many species produce too-small or otherwise commercially-unviable nuts, the size of nuts in the trib should not matter much. Oaks are not a total loss because they supply acorns, and although we don't normally exploit them because of their bitterness, acorns can be sweetened if boiled and properly treated. When you buy your land, immediately plant fruit trees of all kinds which the environment will sustain well, even if you don't think they will produce fruit until the last year of the tribulation, for that's the very time that you might need the extra food. Plant some trees each year even if your orchard is already prolific because some may die early before their time.
Consider the nutrient values of the different kinds of fruits when making your choices. Nutrients will be more important in the tribulation than the pleasure of eating what you like. Stacking your orchard with fruits that supply the same basic nutrients is unwise; create a balance over the entire spectrum of nutrients.
Plant big for feeding other believers as well as yourself. That would be the will of God. Having many trees will not be a maintenance burden if others who eat of the fruit help you with the work. I plan to rid my orchard of pests that will make vain my work. As insects are one of the greatest threats to food producing, I will buy and store enough pesticides to treat the full number of mature trees and vegetable gardens. If you, like me, are not an expert tree grower, I would suggest purchasing some good books on the subject.
I have a good task deciding whether or not to include livestock on my land. I had finally come to a conclusion that I wouldn't, but may yet change my mind. I'll have to do more research. The main reason for rejecting animals is that the production of plant food per acre is much greater by weight than the output of meat per acre. I can come to this conclusion because animals use up most of the energy that they eat, energy that I could be eating instead. But then it takes human energy to plant and tend vegetables, whereas cows fend mainly for themselves. It’s a toss-up.
On top of that, slaughtering is a deterrent for me (I've never done it). Therefore, why not just grow vegetables and forget the bloody cow? One working man could shovel-plow quite a bit of soil in a day, but ten men wooing a cow to grow bigger couldn't get it to add one pound to its bones. That should settle it, or so it would seem.
There's more. While an acre will produce about 10 times as much weight in vegetable product than an acre will in meat by raising animals, some vegetables are made of about 10 times more water than they are of nutritious substance. So, if you dried ten pounds of plants and ten pounds of meat, you'd be left with about one pound of vegetables on one hand but with a few pounds of meat on the other. While we would yet net more plant weight per acre, we must then determine which option has the most nutritional value. Plants have lots of fiber. The solution would be to grow high-nutrient vegetables with low-water content and a high yield per acre. Broccoli seems a good example.
Unbeknown to many, "fiber" is a term is used deceptively by the food industry (especially dog-food and cereal industries). Did you know that fiber is defined as intake that offers no nutrition at all? It just passes through the stomach without being taken into the blood stream. Fiber is a great broom, therefore, for cleaning the stomach, but if you don't eat meat, or don't eat much, there's little to clean out.
Seeds may become the talk of the times because Delta and Pine Land Co, a large cotton-seed industry, has developed a genetic means to stop plants from reproducing, with a patent to boot. That is, the plants produce seeds that won't work -- won't produce another generation of plants -- and this is by-design, the very patented feature of the patent. The financial benefit to those who hold the patent is that the farmer/gardener who wants to use their superior, genetically-altered plants must buy seeds every year, not being able to use the seeds that the plants produce naturally. Yes, the age-old right to use the seeds of plants is passing away!!
Our solution to this threat is not so simple as just growing our own plants. Where will we get the plants that grow good seeds when the markets are flooded with fruits and vegetables having the dead seeds? This is a threat only if the public demands the superior plant products, forcing farmers to conform to the technology. Keep on eye out on this front to see where it goes.
What is frightening is that the United States Department of Agriculture is now in bed with Delta and Pine Land Co., receiving 5% royalties on the seed sold. Therefore, rather than prohibiting sales, this government department will encourage sales! If this sounds deluded, backward, greedy and controlling, it is. The ultimate quest is predictable: a monopoly on seeds; we either pay their high prices for seeds -- annually -- or we don't grow our own foods.
You can always buy a used recreational vehicle having the one advantage of portability, should the need to change location arise. I have the feeling that many survivalists will go this route due to fears of being ousted from their properties for one reason or another. If you can provide yourself with a building AND a trailer, that would be wise. But figure in the high probability that you won't be able to get gasoline easily at the time you might need to move the trailer.
Surely, the main reason that the Bible tells exactly how long the great tribulation will be is to notify Christians as to the length of time that they must prepare for. You can produce a satisfactory building with far less money than you would normally because you will be building a very temporary structure. For example, you won't need a concrete floor for a 3- or 4-year stay, or a foundation, or a conventional septic system, or expensive exterior siding, etc., etc.
If you could get hold of 10 thousand dollars, you would be able to buy the necessary materials for a sizable building that will easily endure 3 1/2 years. You could buy some weaker, second-grade studs for your shelter's frame. Or you could buy top-grade studs but set them every 24 inches, unlike the 16-inch centers normally used, and that would reduce the number of studs you'll need by 33%. You would use a cheap grade of metal roofing, perhaps flat, ungalvanized sheet metal (so what if it rusts?). That's cheap-cheap because you won't need plywood under it like you would with shingles. You could even use metal sheeting to cover the outside of the walls.
But don't skimp on insulation, for you may run low on heating fuel/firewood. The tribulation will not be the time to worry about whether or not the money put into insulation will be returned to you in energy savings. In northern climates, I would strongly recommend spending more money by using 2 x 6 studding (or even 2 x 8) for exterior-wall framing, simply because you can include more (thicker) insulation. Consider that your roof represents a major escape-route for heat simply because heat has the greatest tendency to rise (through all materials). But keep in mind that heavy insulation keeps summer heat in longer so that the house is still sweltering at midnight. If you can't devise a way to get hot air out of your home, you can include a mosquito tent in your plans and sleep in it.
You can let your roof rafters act as the ceiling (providing a "cathedral ceiling") to save building material, but, in order to conserve heat, don't make high, stylish peaks (unless you use the attic space for an upper floor). If you are concerned about running low on heating fuel, then forego the cathedral ceiling and spend a little extra to provide a typical horizontal ceiling, and consider a seven-foot height (or less) instead of the common eight-foot.
When you include a horizontal ceiling, you'll have a ready-made floor for an attic too, which can be used in winter for storage of fresh foods requiring cold, but above-freezing, temperatures. Therefore, you might want to consider insulating some/all the roof rafters as well as the ceiling joists if your region's climate is cold enough to freeze foods in the attic. Insulating roof rafters will keep more summer heat out of your attic and therefore out of your attic materials, but will also keep heat in the attic longer at night as it slowly leaves the hot attic materials...which will be great in winter but not great in summer. Therefore, provide lots of vents that can remove hot air from the attic. A good idea is to provide vents that open and close so that you can close them in winter. Attic fans are available everywhere.
The advantage of building your own home is that you can design it specifically for tribulation living, with attached greenhouse and root cellar, lots of places to keep fresh foods fresh, and with "secret" rooms--that no thief would find--for priceless, long-term storage of foods. You could even hide yourself and your family members in a secret room built specially, in case the "trib’ police" (if there should be such a thing) are spotted suddenly driving up to your door. You could build this home on a heavy metal frame with wheels and hitch should you want to move it to another location some day.
Have you heard about straw bale houses, where the walls are made quickly and cheaply out of standard bales produced by farmers everywhere? The high insulation value of the bales is a key feature of this construction method. The exterior of the straw walls are plastered and painted to keep them dry, but if you have large overhangs you could get away without plaster. Large overhangs in the order of six feet or more are very useful for keeping other things, like firewood, dry.
If you end up in the south and are unable to locate your building under trees, ventilate extremely well with several windows to let wind blow the hot summer air out, with windows primarily towards the prevailing winds so as to permit maximum breezes through your rooms. Let the south and north sides of your house be long and your east and west sides short, to avoid the heating of large east/west wall areas during sunrise and sunset. In summer, when the sun is "hot," it is directly above the house and hitting the roof, and will not strike the south side very much. Therefore, do not worry about how large your southern wall area is as it will receive direct sunlight only when the sun is lower in the sky during the cooler seasons, at which times you'll want it on your walls anyway.
I made the mistake of building a large overhang on the south side. I can also add that I didn't realize how overhangs act as solar-heat absorbers when they are finished on their undersides so as to retain heat. That is, the more roof I have, the more area there is for sunlight to strike, and heat that gets trapped in the overhang portion of the roof will rise into the attic (unless one plugs the gap between the overhang and the attic with insulation). Not good in summer. Great in colder months. Therefore not good in Texas.
You may think that keeping heat out of a house is a minor issue for the tribulation period. Let me tell you from first-hand experience, a house in the south gets so hot that one can't sleep well nights. I wish to spare you this needless suffering that then makes your daily chores less attractive and efficient. Overhangs (on the east and west sides) that cause heat to rise parallel with the house wall (instead of toward the wall) are fine.
Two layers of roofing could substantially keep the sun's heat out, so long as there is a gap between the two layers of about 2 inches or more, the larger the better. The first layer should be your regular, water-tight roofing, and the second layer above it would be a simple, inexpensive metal or wood material that does not need to be affixed in a water-tight condition, acting only as a shield to take the rays of the sun. The hot air in the gap must be permitted to flow out near the peak of the roof, which it will do naturally because hot air rises.
Better yet, build a deck on the roof to act as the sun shield. You can then set a mosquito tent on this deck and sleep in the breeze during hot summer nights. Those are my plans for my place, so that wild animals won't eat me while I sleep. And why not drink a glass of wine while watching for shooting stars?
It's not likely that we will be able to purchase electricity or heating fuel without the skincode. This requires us to plan on going without, just in case. I've read that 4 or 5 acres of trees will grow enough wood every year to replace what one might burn in the average wood stove in each northern winter. Therefore, you could plan on buying land with 4 or 5 acres of woodland so that you can start burning the wood now and not be any less poorer in firewood when the tribulation arrives. At that time, you will have more than enough to last you 3 1/2 years, and much extra for others who might need it.
A large gasoline-powered generator, placed in a hole in the ground to keep its noise down, will be extremely useful, and you might consider more than one in case the first breaks down. A windmill to generate electricity is quieter and cheaper (free) to operate, but requires a larger initial output of money. Furthermore, its electrical output is low and slow, and so it requires an additional system of batteries to store power. The more batteries, the more power you can store. Run out of gasoline, and you'll wish you installed a windmill instead of a gasoline generator.
Consider a propane generator (no re-filling the small gas tank on generator), with battery packs. Run the generator only for a couple of hours per day to re-charge batteries, and get enough power for lights and small appliances/tools. When you need more power, a running generator gets you 1000s of continuous watts. The larger you buy, the more the watts. Consult the right people. Propane's shelf life is longer than gasoline, which is very important for us.
Provide yourself with plenty of gasoline. You can use it for gasoline-powered lamps, roto-tillers, lawn mowers, tractors, and your automobile if you plan to use it on the highways at times. You can never store enough gasoline, because others will need it too. However, heed reports that gasoline straight from the pump has a shelf life of less than a year. Something to look into. One website (below) says the same when storage is in plastic gas cans, but claims that after 10 years of storage in an air-tight metal container, the gasoline burned as well as new gasoline.
These extreme-sounding reports could be sheer rumor spread by government offices that don't want people storing flammable liquids. There are said to be gas treatments that when added to gasoline increases its shelf life up to ten times. In an ad for Sta-bil, it said that your gasoline "might" go bad if you don't use the product. Perhaps that “might” was thrown in for legal purposes. Anyway, one ounce Sta-bil per 2.5 gallons of gas is said to give 15 months of shelf life, but it could also be true that you might get the 15 months without it. One way to find the truth is to do a test; store 5 gallons for two or more years and use it when your vehicle’s tank is nearly empty. Check to see what gas mileage you get.
These extreme-sounding reports could be sheer rumor spread by government offices that don't want people storing such a flammable liquid as gasoline. There are said to be gas treatments that when added to gasoline increases its shelf life up to ten times. Me thinks that the sellers of these treatments over-do the need for them. In an ad for Sta-bil, it said that your gasoline "might" go bad if you don't use the product. One ounce Sta-bil per 2.5 gallons of gas is said to gives 15 months of shelf life, but it could also be true that you might get the 15 months without it. In any case, do look into the proposed shelf life of the brand and type of gasoline that you buy for storage, just in case it's true that it won't last three to four years untreated. One way to find the truth is to do a test; store 5 gallons for two or more years and use it when your vehicle’s tank is nearly empty. Check to see what gas mileage you get. They say that oxygenated gasolines have much-reduced shelf lives.
Propane has a long shelf life (in the thousands of years, said one website). A standard 250-gallon tank could provide a family of four with hot water all tribulation long if short showers are taken (especially if not taken every day). Water-tank temperature can be kept low until shower time. I kept my heater dial on the “Vacation” setting all day; the burner didn't fire up all day at that setting. In the evening, I'd turn the dial to fire up the burner; 20-30 minutes was enough to get the water nice and hot for a shower (after which I did the dishes). Before getting into the shower, I turned the dial back to “Vacation,” and the tank water was still warm in the morning for a shave (without insulation on the tank!). Clearly, propane is the way to go for trib purposes. One website says that
"To provide 40 gallons of hot water per day...a basic propane water heater would require 205 gallons of propane [annually]. Propane water heaters use about 90 gallons of propane a year to make up for standby losses..."
You can see that standby usage is almost half the total usage, and that's when the water temperature is high; at lower temperatures, there will be far less waste for standby. A 4-inch tank jacket can reduce heat loss by 50-75 percent, two jackets even more. Certain that four trib survivors can get by comfortably with seven gallons of hot water per day (warm, not hot, showers, and a whopping two minutes of shower time where less than one is required if you soap down with water turned off), I figure that only 16 gallons of propane is needed per year, plus 20 gallons maximum for standby since you're going to insulate the tank well. There's no limit to the amount of insulation you can use on the outer walls of your tank, and yet this won't do anything for the heat-escape into the exhaust pipe running up through the center of the tank water.
There are tankless water heaters that use considerably less gas because heat doesn't escape from a tank (i.e. zero standby losses because hot water is produced on demand at the time of use). But if you're only saving 20 gallons per year (because you insulated your tank well, spending the extra purchasing/installation costs incurred for a tankless system may not be advantageous. Savings on tankless heaters is not as high as claimed because one factor is not taken into consideration: heat escape during furnace-running months is not a waste because it contributes to home heating (i.e. and therefore lowers energy used by a furnace/stove). Info on tankless water heaters is at http://www.bchydro.com/business/investigate/investigate831.html
A separate fire-pit situation near the house can reduce propane use all the more. Remember that you won't likely be able to refill your propane tank a second time, deep in the tribulation. Also, room-temperature showers in the summer are feasible, and consider having the sun on the tank. Heating you house with propane is possible using a few to several hundred gallons annually. But the cost of a single large, or several large tanks, is high: in the thousands. One website (below) claims that 200 gallons of propane is equivalent in heat output to one cord (I'm assuming dried hardwood) in a wood stove (cord = 4 x 4 x 8 feet).
A study reports that the "average amount of wood (full cords) used per year by the 550 respondents was 4 full cords" (brackets not mine). This suggests that the average propane usage (strictly air heating) would be 800 gallons. We could do with significantly less if we adapted to a room temperature in the mid sixties. But I think the price of propane tanks makes this option undesirable. Better to use wood, and to assure that you will have a wood supply at the critical time. If you have your own forest and plan on supplying wood for other believers, check to see what the laws in your area allow you to cut per year, and if the limit is low, start cutting today and keep it dry. Keep in mind that pine does not nearly produce as much energy as hardwood, per chord.
To conserve wood, and to give yourself a break from making fires every day, you should invest in some solar cookers. They're cheap, and can even be homemade. Just make a box with a black metal bottom, a clear lid, and metal foil the sides of the box to increase light on a black pot that holds the foods. Use one or two to boil water every day. Details at:
As an alternative to propane, you can use a propane tank to store home-made methane. You can make methane from manure and plant matter; the gas can be used without having to make any adjustments to your propane appliances. Not a very nice thought, but as a last resort, when the propane and gasoline runs out, and all you have left is chicken droppings and your own wastes, you'll be able to appreciate it more.
You can get good books on home-made methane production. Basically, all you do is make an airtight tank with a tight-fitting lid. You must not let any oxygen into the tank while the batch is rotting because this element kills the anaerobic bacteria. Besides, if the tank is not air-tight, the methane will seep out and be wasted. Just shovel in some manure, then feed it some organic matter (grass, leaves, weeds, food scraps, hair, wool, etc., dead or alive), and finally add water to create a slop. Then, you can just leave it sit to rot, meaning that the anaerobic bacteria that forms in the air-tight tank will eat the plants and let out methane gas in the process. You can speed the process if you need more gas by giving the batch a stir every few days. Or affix the methane tank on an axle and give it a couple of whirls now and then. As a bonus, you will have a thick gook left over on the bottom of the tank that is most excellent for creating humus in the garden soil. Hoo hoo, isn't this fun? No.
You can pipe the gas from this tank straight to your appliances, or first to the propane tank. The production of methane will create its own pressure depending on how much is being formed per unit time. Note that methane will not liquefy under pressures that will liquefy propane, meaning that a propane tank filled with methane will only amount to a small fraction of the fuel that the same tank would give when filled with standard (liquid) propane.
Fossil fuels and electricity are certainly luxuries. For millennia, people did without them. We do realize that wood can create a stove situation, can replace our furnace, and can heat our bath water. Clothes can be air dried (even indoors) and hand washed. Meat can be kept fresh by leaving it on the living animals until needed. Vegetables can be grown all year in a greenhouse. Fruits only require the cool temperatures of a damp hole in the ground to make them last for weeks, but they can also be canned. In fact, you can preserve meat and plant foods for many months by either drying them or canning them. If this lifestyle seems unfavorable to you, realize that it was the God-given way for centuries. A lot of folks would love to go back to this old-fashioned way of life. In the tribulation, they'll have their opportunity.
"And don't forget the matches, honey," enough for 3 1/2 years!