WNYT.com

If the worst were to happen, how would you fare?

Posted at: 11/19/2012 1:14 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2012 6:39 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

CAPITAL DISTRICT--NBC's "Revolution" may be a TV series set in post-apocalyptic America.  But some believe it's a pretty accurate prediction for our future.

"It isn't fictional," insists Harvey Tallman of Greenfield in Saratoga County, who is also a self-proclaimed Survivalist.

"If the power goes out my life doesn't change one iota," boasts Tallman.

The 61 year old is part of a growing movement of people who are actively preparing for social and/or political disorder.  "My bet is on nature but I wouldn't put it past the human race to do something absolutely, totally stupid," Tallman says, only half joking.

The cause may vary. But a survivalist's level of efficiency does not. 

Stored on his Saratoga County property, Tallman has eight camp stoves, in addition to an inside stove and oven plus twenty lanterns.

The modest house, built by Tallman with survivalism in mind, is heated by coal and he's got enough of it stored to last a year.

Speaking of a year, Tallman stockpiled food for more than that.  Both canned and plants and trees that can provide fresh.

Of course Tallman has lots of water in storage but he's also prepared with a hand pump for an underground well and a method of heating it for bathing.

There's also a small pond near the house with reclaimed rainwater.  It can house fish for eating but it's also protection against fire.  If chaos reigns, Tallman doesn't believe emergency responders will be of any help so it's his responsibility to protect his home and his family. 

"You don't depend on the government for anything.  The government is not your friend," claims Tallman

A couple counties away in Rotterdam, Oksana Musienko's property doesn't look too different.  Her suburban back yard is home to 180 fruit and vegetable plants. 

"It's only a quarter acre but you can get a lot of food from it, even with minimal time and resources, it is very easy," Musienko explains.

Musienko also stores rainwater, collects her neighbors leaves to use as mulch, has a pond that could house edible fish and...there are the girls.  They provide eggs (and companionship!).

Musienko says producing almost everything she consumes is also about survival.  Not just her own but the survival of the earth. 

"I think of it as living lighter, more sustainable," Musienko adds. 

Tallman and Musienko are both, very capably, close to living off their land.  But their motives for what really is a way of life...differ.

"I want to have fresh air, drink clean water and live a happy and healthy life," says Musienko.

But for Tallman it's "(Not) a question of what's going to happen but how it's going to happen."

It all boils down to the word you use to describe your life.  Sustaining.

"You have to leave for your kids and grandkids, the next generation," believes Musienko.

Or Surviving. 

"I don't have to deal with you when the crap hits the fan.  Because you are dead and I'm not," adds Tallman.

Dan Colon runs a store in Gansvoort called The Emergency Preparedness Outlet.  It opened in May and business is growing.

"A lot of people are preparing for troubled times so I thought I'd get on bard and give them an outlet.

To learn more about The Emergency Preparedness Outlet, check out Colon's interview below.