Hubby is all for root cellar and waiting on the mortgage.
I am for drip lines as I know how much time I spend watering all the gardens and fruit trees (in pots)and possible cold storage for some things as I felt we didn't really have an area for a root cellar... might be because I have built a couple with Daddy for his sister and his Dad.
Our friend who is a Community Emergency Management Director, CEMD for short (aka Prepper) made the choice for us.
Basing what he knows and on our age and abilities and then he added the layout of our land. His suggestion was No root cellar ( not enough slope and would lose 2 trees) and no buried tanks, freezers etc. Our health in 5 yrs will not be able to handle climbing in and out with ladders or being on our knees uncovering frozen stuff that would cover the lids of what ever we buried.
The drip line for the gardens was a yes. (Showed us on line where to buy it local) Saves us electric from running the well pump, saves me time, and as it takes less water, more on target of plant, it will save more ground water and that also affects our neighbors on the same underground water supply. He was glad the pond was not graveled as that allows the dirt around the pond to absorb water (more ground water). He was glad we have 90 % of rain water going to the pond and the other 8% going to the county drain, 1 % going to a cistern and he wished we would reroute the one that just goes to the ground at the back door of all places (ME TOO).He suggested it be routed to the cistern. That can be done when we rebuild those steps.
He then pointed out some areas that could be used for food storage. We could drill out concrete in north wall of basement for venting and do an enclosed 8x10 area. That is my pantry area now. I would lose space for 3 shelving units that I would have to find other places for. CEMD understood this and went looking for other places for those shelves. He suggest to move all empty canning jars to barn where we are going to set up the canning stove, add a refrigerator (we have 3) and a sink (we have that in barn not hooked up) Move the shelving units to those areas where the empty jars are sitting. Start canning our meat (I don't do much ) and get rid of 1 frig (as the 2nd one would be moved to barn) and at least 1 freezer.(two would be better)(lower electric, more food easier to fix). Put shelving units for meat where frig and freezer is at.
Thought two places in barn that would be good for storage (cabbage) but Hubby was against it as he would have figure out where to move what he has stored in barn. CEMD being his buddy politely told him to quit keeping things that needed to go to junk yard. That is now on the March project of clearing the barn, as I had not put the back stalls in that as it's mostly tractor stuff and stuff along that line.
He found a decent place in house in north south lofts for winter squash, temperature is perfect thought the humidity is a little low. We have a small humidifier that was Son2 that would work there.
Said to leave beets, turnips, etc out in the garden with cover of screens to keep mice out as we have raised boxes and some other cover. Thought of other ways we could keep stuff in gardens that overwhelmed Hubby for sure. He personally had never used row covers for winter growing and was interested in how it does after this spell of wind chills at 10 below zero.
I do need to focus on heirloom/open pollinated seeds and harvesting the seed. Suggest I plant one or two of each variety in pots and move them behind the house so they don't cross pollinate with anything.
CEMD then walked through looking at how the home is set up for emergencies. We have 2 generators, one diesel and one gas. We fuel for both on hand. We have a wind mill at pond that we could move to the water pump. We would like to get some solar power down the road. We have thought about getting a non electric pump that some of the Amish use for the deep well. I have a hand pump on the cistern. He strongly suggested we do that even though it is expensive. We just need to know how deep the well is first. (On to do list now). CEMD thought we were in decent shape except for needing a way to heat without propane. We have looked a bit for a wood/pellet cook stove for the barn as it has the chimney in place. If things got real bad we would move to the barn. Front bay was where the guy(age 18) lived while he built the house. It has water, septic line and the chimney for the stove right there. Would be easier to keep going in bad times.
He strongly suggested Hubby to get his HAM radio back on line. We are in an area that we get NO alerts or warnings of bad weather. IF he had his HAM radio on (we have it on antenna) we would hear other HAM radio operators sending out alerts and warnings.
Over all , we are in good shape and he priced the drip lines for the gardens including the fruit trees at $750 if we did the installation our selves.
We got to visit with someone of like mind, that understood where we were trying to head for. He is also hunting for some seeds I haven't been able to find that is good for winter storage food. He would like to try them himself.
Enjoy your day. I got seeds in the mail I need to inventory and to get the ham in the oven.