A grid down event or even a small power outage would affect our lives much more than it would have just a couple of decades ago. When the lights go out, it will mean much more than that. Everything we do these days requires electricity, and depends on internet access.
Even if you don’t use the internet to pay your electricity bill, the electric company uses it to keep the machine running. In a large-scale event, no electricity would mean supply lines being cut off, no work, no public services, and none of the modern conveniences we have all come to depend on.
In a small-scale blackout, the consequences wouldn’t be so dire, but they would be inconvenient at the very least. In a small-scale situation, we might just be trying to keep our food cold, and keep the kids busy. In a large-scale event, it would truly be a survival situation.
The (Thin) Silver Lining
In a short-term power outage, the situation will be what we make it. If we choose to dwell on the negative, it is probably going to suck really bad. If you choose to make the best out of a bad situation, we could use it to our benefit.
Bonding Time: With all the distractions we have these days, it’s pretty easy to just ignore each other…especially when it comes to teenagers. With all these “conveniences” gone, it would force us to talk to each other.
Practice Time: Having nothing else to do but stare a a blank TV screen also affords us the opportunity to sharpen our skills. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach those who are apprehensive about prepping how, and why you do it.
SPP208 When the Lights Go Out
Power Grid Failure: The U.S. power grid is alarmingly vulnerable! In the last 125 years our power grid has been pieced together starting from the east coast and slowly stretching to the west. In a recent podcast we had Jim Cobb on and he used the analogy of adding on to a home.
There are a number of scenarios that could cripple our power grid, and depending on how it happened, could take quite a while to fix. Even in a short-term power outage, having electricity for medical equipment is important for some people.
EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse): There are quite a few misconceptions about EMP’s and what exactly we need to do to prepare for an event like this. This is also an area of preparedness that most of us are lacking in.
We know an EMP or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) will do damage, but how much depends on a few factors such as it’s power. The damage could range from affecting small electronics, to totally disabling our power grid and automobiles.
Natural Disasters: While a natural disaster wouldn’t completely disable the power grid, it would cause power outages. How long this lasts depends on the natural disaster. Preparing for a power outage that only lasts a few hours or a few days is fairly straight forward, yet most people would be SOL.
Power Outage Supplies
In the show this week, Lisa and I mainly talked about preparing for a short-term power outage. Whether you are talking about a short-term or long-term situation, the supplies are basically the same. What is different is how much you have and how you will live when that is gone.
When it comes to shelter, hopefully your house is still standing. In most scenarios this would be the case. If you live in areas where hurricanes, earthquakes or flooding might be an issue, bugging out should be part of your plans.
Clothing & Blankets: Shelter is not just a roof over our heads, shelter is anything that shelters us from the elements. Instead of giving all the old blankets and coats to Goodwill, save a few and store them away.
In the show we also talked about how this could be a goodwill gesture to your neighbors if they need one. If you have extras you won’t have to “give them the shirt off your back” so to speak.
Home Improvements & Maintenance: A big part of preparing for natural disasters is home maintenance. While doing some fire mitigation won’t help in a power outage, it could prevent problems down the line. In the show we talked about in the show are putting up Shrink Film Window Film if you have older windows.
While having an energy efficient home nowadays is important, in a grid down scenario you are going to keep you home as comfortable as possible.
Water storage: This is pretty straight forward, 1 gallon of water per person per day. Storing water is another story all together. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, storing a large amount of water is a challenge. Here are a couple ideas to minimize the space it takes to store water.
Finding Water: In a short-term scenario finding water will probably not be necessary, but you never know when something short will turn into something extended. Here are a couple ideas we talked about in the show.
- Water Heater
- Toilets (last resort)
Filtration Option(s): The water coming out of our faucets right now is just fine, but you never know when something might happen to our water supply. Having a water filter (or 2) is always good to have, but make sure it will do the job. The lower cost high country filters may not work like you need them to.
- Berkey (Low Country)
- Katadyn (Low & High Country Options)
- Sawyer (High Country)
- Life Straw (High Country)
When your talking about a power outage that only lasts a few days, food storage is fairly easy. It can get more complicated the longer any disaster lasts. for a short term-event you’ll want foods that are easy to prepare, have a long shelf life, and don’t need refrigeration. Comfort foods are also a must have to maintain your sanity, especially if you have children.
Cooking Options: If the grid goes down, you won’t have the cooking options you have today. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Here are a few we talked about in the show.
Having alternative power might not be the “most important”, but it will be the most necessary. Most of us would be just fine without electricity, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to. There are quite a few options available, and some are better than others.
Having the devices to give us alternative energy in a power outage is just the first step, we also need a way to keep those running. Here are a few options we should think about depending on what supplies you have.
- Gas Storage
- Propane Tanks (small & Large)
- Solar Power
- Extra Batteries (and chargers)
During a natural disaster, getting information about what is going on is crucial. It’s also important to be able to communicate with family members that might not be at home. In a less “critical” area, a mobile hot spot connected to a power inverter would help with boredom. It would also help you get you information from outside your local area.
For most people, keeping cool is not life threatening, it’s just annoying. In the middle of winter, keeping warm and avoiding hypothermia is very important.
- Oil lanterns
- Kerosene Heater
- Heat a Small Area (not the whole house)
- Extra clothes & Blankets (don’t forget gloves and wool socks)
- Solar Blankets
New Members Podcast
Over the last couple of weeks we have been setting everything up, and we ready to lunch the new Survivalist Prepper Academy Members Podcast. Along with the podcast we are also going to be adding videos and tutorials to the Academy.
We are currently offering a half price discount for anyone who wants to join the Academy and get access to this weekly content. This offer expires this weekend (7-2-20) so take advantage of this offer here while you can.
The Survivalist Prepper App
To make everything easier for everyone we also created the Survivalist Prepper App. This is a free app for all fans of Survivalist Prepper (not just members). As of today the app is only available for android devices, but will be available for iPhones in the next week or so.