Prepper Lessons from Cold Russian Winters
Not many places are as cold as Siberia. Antarctica, space, the top of Mt. Washington, and maybe an SJW’s heart – that’s about it.
And, you may recall, that for all their recent positive advances, the Russians were not too long ago subjected to the horrors of communism. Liberals, who would do the same to America today, please follow closely. So, with the natural cold, many Russians still have failing, antiquated, communist-era heating systems. Naturally, this leads to some cold days and nights come winter.
But, people are industrious and usually try to find solutions. Mikhail Loginov and Open Democracy had a post about the cold, inside and out. Let this be a lesson: one, about trusting central planners, and; 2) alternative heating when you need it.
Photo by Open Democracy/Loginov.
The old Soviet system required central heating stations for each town or block. Pipe networks carried steam from the plants to homes where it transferred the heat to radiators. That’s fine and well until, after many decades, the pipes burst and no one has heat (they do get a big, steamy mess out on the streets however).
“Each year, as winter brings frost and snow to Russia, the same thing happens. At every crossroads columns of steam rise, rather like those in photos of volcanoes in Iceland or Kamchatka. But this pretty picture, caused by leaks in pipelines carrying hot water from centralised power stations, is the sign of a real problem. Ten, twenty, perhaps even two hundred flats have been left without heating and their occupants are going to bed in their outdoor clothes to avoid freezing during the night. Sometimes a problem turns into a tragedy: boiling water escaping from a pipe washes away the road and a car or pedestrian falls into the hole.
The emergency services rush to the spot. Officials assure local residents that they will have their heating back in an hour (in fact it will be a day, or possibly two or three). The officials also promise their bosses that none of this will happen next winter. But come the next heating season, clouds of steam will once more rise and a number of Russian citizens will fall to their deaths in holes full of boiling water. “
Loginov relates the story of a woman whose apartment is often the same temperature inside as the frigid outside. She complains. Officials lie. Time passes. Rinse and repeat. This happens everywhere – except where the rich, the politicians, and the corporate owners live, of course.
There are also problems related to the central control of the system itself – a one size fits none approach. We had this issue in my old Soviet-style dorm at college. Either burning or freezing. Fun…
Some people demonstrate. When elections are near they sometimes get what they want through force of votes. Otherwise they’re on their own.
And they may have an old-fashioned solution: wood fired heat.
Those in detached homes are switching to individual heating arrangements. Those still living in older developments seriously consider wood stoves – complete with chimney pipes running out windows. See the above picture, an old stove in front of a dead radiator. Better than nothing in a pinch!
Let this be a good lesson to preppers and to those who would place faith in central planners: even if a system is “good,” it could still fail one day. Then, a backup might be the difference between comfort and a Siberian winter.
Get the heat on, comrades!
Perrin Lovett writes about freedom, firearms, and cigars (and everything else) at www.perrinlovett.me. He is none too fond of government meddling.