Case study: Long-term food storage without electricity

A fascinating case study in survival and preparedness.  What are your takeaways?

Climate Change Comes for the Freezers, a Key Tool for Alaska Natives

Threatened by stronger storms and a melting permafrost, Indigenous Alaskans are grappling with how to keep the power running to their freezers, which store their traditional subsistence foods.



  • Comments (4)

    • 2

      That was an interesting article. They live a very different life than those in the lower 48 do. The key point that stood out to me is that they used to dig holes to preserve food, but with the climate changing and temperatures warming up they need to rely on electrical freezers because the ground does not consistently stay below freezing year round. 

      Also interesting to note that storms are getting worse very quickly as the ice has melted. The ice acts like a break in waves and wind to hold back these storms.

    • 3

      I’ve seen the food storage holes in far north Barrow, Alaska.  The subsistence lifestyle is a tough one.  In the movie Cold Mountain, stealing a pig was basically starving the family to death through the winter.  A big storm and climate change is doing that to these communities.  Historically, they would have migrated to a better environment, but that is not feasible now. Maybe they will learn and adopt canning and other home methods of food storage.  The berries that were mentioned may stand up to canning quite well.  Salting and fermentation was mentioned in the article as nearly lost skills.  

      My take away is that some things you can’t change (on your own or quickly enough as a species) and must either adapt to or move away from.  I think we’ll see a lot of climate driven migration in the coming decades.  

    • 2

      “Fascinating” is the perfect word.  Wow.  Thanks for sharing this article.

      It would be very hard for me to survive long term without modern conveniences.  I hope I don’t have to try.  

    • 2

      Thanks for those who shared their insights on this article.  Personally, I found this interesting because my wife and I buy a lot of frozen foods in bulk and, generally, have a pretty full freezer.  As power outages in our area tend to be infrequent and short, this is–for the most part–an economical way to purchase food and have plenty of extra on hand in the event of a supply chain shortage or, perhaps, weather event that makes it difficult to easily get to the store to buy food.  That being said, the article serves as a reminder that, for long term prepping, I definitely don’t want to put all of my eggs in the deep freeze basket.