Re: Common House as a lifeboat
From: Bryan Bowen (
Date: Tue, 25 May 2021 14:23:39 -0700 (PDT)
CoHousing Houston, Heartwood Commons Tulsa, and Treehouse Village
EcoHousing are all doing levels of this. Really depends on your climate and
what disasters you face. I'd say generally that these measures include:

   - Providing battery or generator back up to critical common house
   circuits (maybe home ones or emergency site lighting)
   - Making sure the CH retains cooking capability throughout
   - Protecting WiFi or other communications as much as you can in the CH,
   including cell phone chargings, etc.
   - Hardening the CH (or safe rooms in units) to tornados, designing to
   withstand hurricanes or freezing temps, etc.
   - Making it so you can "island" the CH so it has good "passive

The biggest factor in disaster resilience is knowing your neighbors, so
cohousing starts with a leg up. Having some social infrastructure in place
is a good way to make sure everyone is covered when bad things happen.

- b


*caddis collaborative*
1510 Zamia Ave #103
Boulder, CO 80304
303 443 3629

On Tue, May 25, 2021 at 3:16 PM Kay Wilson <kwilsonfisk [at]> wrote:

> Some years ago when we were relatively new, we packed large (30 gallon?)
> plastic tubs with enough "gruel" to feed everyone for something like 2
> weeks. We used a recipe that someone found for the gruel, which I think
> consisted of a mix of dried beans, rice, and vegetables. I think the gruel
> is supposed to last something like 20-30 years.
> Kay Wilson
> Meadow Wood Cohousing
> Bremerton, WA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l-bounces+kwilsonfisk=
> [at]> On Behalf Of Dean smith via Cohousing-L
> Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2021 12:14 PM
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Cc: Dean smith <deansmith4 [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_ Common House as a lifeboat
> Has anyone considered equipping their Common House to serve the community
> through extended natural disasters.  I’m thinking of situations like a
> major earthquake on the west coast, extended loss of power, utilities
> disruptions (water, sewer)..  What might be good goals for such a plan and
> how would one implement it?  We are in our design phase now and what should
> be be planning?
> Dean Smith
> Sunnyside Village Cohousing
> Marysville, WA
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