Re: emergency preparedness topic
From: Martha Wagner (
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:22:12 -0800 (PST)
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far to my question about backup 
emergency power sources for emergencies. See below for another response that 
came to my personal email. Although I asked about power in particular, 
geography and climate also figure into plans for many communities. In western 
Oregon, Washington and California there are major earthquake risks, which is 
part of preparedness planning. Older buildings, such as in my community in 
Portland, are good candidates for structural retrofitting.

Columbia Ecovillage
Portland, OR

  Your email was forwarded to me from our board chair.  I am the chair of the 
Sustainability and Environment committee at Rocky Hill Cohousing in Florence, 
MA (Western MA).  We are working on this right now - and are researching a 
variety of generator types (including solar), a battery panel (or Tesla 
powerwall) for our solar panels, woodstove etc.  So far I've just put together 
some preparation lists using stuff already on the internet - one list for stuff 
to have on hand all the time, and one list to send out in the few days before a 
storm (since snow and ice storms are our biggest worry out here - and we 
usually have some warning).

I'm happy to share more info as we get further along. We need to make some 
decisions about how long a power outage we want to prepare for which then will 
impact what we decide to do - and cost.

I've pasted some links below to solar generators that one of our members looked 

Meanwhile, there are less expensive portable solar/battery systems that we 
could use to charge cell phones and computers.  These would not use our 
existing solar panels but would use portable solar panels.  

And the Tesla powerwall

Karen Lombard

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: David Entin <davidentin [at] <mailto:davidentin [at]>>
To: "kblombard [at] <mailto:kblombard [at]>" <kblombard 
[at] <mailto:kblombard [at]>>
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2018, 10:33:37 AM EST
Subject: FW: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 168, Issue 14

On Jan 16, 2018, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: How prepared is your community for emergencies? (Bob Morrison)
  2. Re: How prepared is your community for emergencies?
     (Sharon Villines)
  3. Re: emergency preparedness (Jack & Carolyn Salmon)
  4. Re: emergency preparedness (KAREN A CARLSON)
  5. Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 168, Issue 14 (Lee Stork)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 08:08:25 -0500
From: Bob Morrison <rhmorrison [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ How prepared is your community for emergencies?
Message-ID: <160f9ef6928-1723-a3f [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

 We have an emergency generator that powers our common house. It runs on 
natural gas, so won't run out of fuel. Due to capacity, it doesn't power the 
heating, cooling, or laundry machines. The water heater runs on propane, so we 
have hot water. There is a small ongoing cost for maintenance and for 
occasionally adding circuits to the generator that should have been on it from 
day one. 
 In the fall of 2014, I think, we had a 4-day outage and we got by. On 
weekdays, most people who didn't have to report to a workplace spent days and 
evenings in the common house. We had a kind of camaraderie we rarely have 
otherwise. Our cable Internet was down, but with smartphones we set up a WiFi 
hotspot so that we had Internet access at the common house. 
 Except for about two homes that have an emergency generator, we don't have 
backup power for our homes. 
 I would like us to do more to be prepared for emergencies. 

Bob Morrison
Mosaic Commons Cohousing
Berlin, MA


Message: 3
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:43:35 -0800
From: Jack & Carolyn Salmon <2salmon [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ emergency preparedness
Message-ID: <7478748B-AF10-4F5C-8102-25CBCC02D720 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=us-ascii

When we built Quimper Village we included a large generator fueled with propane 
in a 1000 gal buried tank.  It will keep two sewage pumps working along with 
the propane fireplace in the Common House, the refrigerator, cooktop and a few 
lights in the kitchen, great room and one bathroom.  

We have purchased and installed an AED and have training scheduled.  

Our county has a well developed Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness program.  
We participate in that program, provide preparedness information to our members 
and are establishing contacts with our adjacent neighborhoods.  We stress 
individual preparedness - grab & go bags, water and food supplies, etc.

Carolyn Salmon
Quimper Village


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Today's Topics:

? 1. How prepared is your community for emergencies? (Martha Wagner)


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 14 Jan 2018 17:39:35 -0800
From: Martha Wagner <wordbizpdx [at]>
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ How prepared is your community for emergencies?
Message-ID: <E1C64C2D-5B15-4735-9487-FBB8CAB6A85F [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

There?s a discussion beginning among Portland, Oregon, cohousing communities 
about being prepared for emergencies with backup emergency power sources for 
refrigeration of medications and food, communication needs, cell phones, 
heating, the case of any emergencies, from mudslides? to major 
earthquakes. Certainly there has been no shortage of emergencies around the 
country in the past year.

If your community has researched and invested in emergency power source 
options, please share what you?ve done here and what costs were involved. Will 
your community be prepared for a few days, a week or more? Is there ongoing 
expense involved?

Martha Wagner
Columbia Ecovillage
Portland, OR

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