When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready!

by | Feb 14, 2012 | Emergency Preparedness | 169 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    The article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready NutritionAfter joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an  Armed Forces Emergency Services Center  specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on PreparednessHomesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com .

    It is a fact that our country is more reliant on electrical power today than at any time in its history. Our way of life – from everyday conveniences and the security of local emergency services to commerce and communications – is contingent upon an always on, always available flow of electricity. But an aging infrastructure coupled with a rise in natural and man-made disasters threatens our entire modern day digital infrastructure. According to many experts from the private and public sector, we’re just one major catastrophic event away from a complete meltdown of life in America as we know it today.

    So, what happens if and when the grid goes down for an extended period of time? Aside from the aggravation of not being able to determine what is happening through traditional media channels, for the Average Joe, his problems have only just begun. Our dependency to the grid doesn’t just stop at lack of electricity in our homes to power our appliances or an inability to charge our cell phones; it is much broader and affects every aspect of our lives.

    We are regularly inundated with news reports covering outages that last several days or weeks resulting from inclement weather like snow storms or hurricanes, or heat waves in southern states that threaten to overload the system. During those times, when entire metropolitan areas or regions experience black outs, we get a glimpse into what a truly widespread emergency might look like. It is often the case that the first thing residents of affected areas do is rush to grocery and hardware stores hoping to acquire critical supplies like food, water, batteries, flashlights and generators. And while these supplies acquired at the onset of crisis may provide short term sustenance, any long-term grid-down situation that lasts for many weeks or months will prove dangerous, and perhaps fatal, to the unprepared.

    Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system.

    • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
    • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
    • Inability to access money via atm machines
    • Payroll service interruptions
    • Interruptions in public facilities – schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings.
    • Inability to have access to clean drinking water

    Neil Swidey, in his article What If The Lights Go Out?,  indicates that the grid may be ill-equipped to meet all the enormous challenges it faces in this day and age.

    The last widespread outage in the Northeast, the great blackout of August 2003, showed how intimately interconnected and alarmingly fragile our power grid is. How else to explain the way a problem starting in northeastern Ohio quickly cascaded into a blackout affecting 50 million people  across the northeastern United States and parts of Canada? How quickly? Between the moment a power surge came rushing out of Ohio and the moment Manhattan began to go dark, exactly 10 seconds had passed.


    If our society is more reliant on power than at any time in history – without it, we’ve got no commerce, no communications, no clean water – and if power becomes less reliable in the future, the big question is: Will we be able to hack it?


    THE TROUBLE with the future of power isn’t that there is one big problem that could croak us. It’s that there are a host of them, any one of which could croak us.

    Neil Swidey has grouped these potential grid-down antagonizers into three categories:

    1. Extreme Natural Disasters

    This includes earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, thunderstorms as well as massive solar storms that have the potential to seriously damage the electrical grid. You don’t think it could happen? In the article provided above, the author states, “It took just 90 seconds for a 1989 solar storm to cause the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power grid, leaving 6 million Canadians without power for up to nine hours. A 2008 NASA-funded report noted the risk of significant damage to our interconnected grid in light of the forecast for increased solar activity. The 11-year solar cycle is expected to peak in 2013, and just two weeks ago we saw one of the biggest solar-radiation storms in years.

    2. Acts of Terrorists

    This category includes, but is not limited to a physical attack on the bulk power system, either at its source of generation or somewhere along its transmission route, cyber attack on the computers controlling our interconnected grid, electro-magnetic pulse, or EMP, weapon. Have you read One Second After by William R. Forstchen? EMP’s will create long-lasting damage that would incapacitate electronic systems across the country and forever change our way of life. Cyber-threats are another concern and someone with serious hacking skills could easily take out computers, networks or information stored therein to cause lasting damage to our way of life.

    3. The Ailing Grid

    Our ailing power grid is almost as sick as our failing economy. With one malicious event, be it man made or by natural means, it is down. Swidey compares the grid infrastructure  to being as old and stooped as a pensioner. As it is upgraded and its capacity is expanded, our rapacious need for more electrical power races to max it out once again.

    A wide-spread emergency, such as a massive power surge, solar flare or rogue electromagnetic pulse (EMP) detonation have the capacity to render our entire power infrastructure useless. Transformers and other key elements on which the grid depends could be permanently damaged as a result of massive electric surges.

    In an event such as this our immediate problem will be finding a way to order, manufacture and take delivery of the components needed to replace the faulty ones. Most of the parts made for our electrical grid are made in China – and many are decades old. According to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who recently warned people to get their families out of major cities because of concerns about the stability of the grid, it would take months to get the parts shipped to this country and replaced.

    During the outage, millions would be adversely affected, with some like Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, suggesting that within a year 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead from starvation, disease and violence.

    Ladies and gentleman, if there’s one thing that can cause the veritable “S” to hit the fan, this is it.

    So how do we remedy and/or prepare for a grid down scenario? Think retro – like pioneer retro- and by that we have to go way back to when we were not so dependent on the luxury of on-demand energy in its various forms. When preparing for a grid-down scenario, we must comprise different contingency plans for short-term and longer-term issues. That being the case, we have to admit to ourselves that it could last longer than we expect and much more than just a minor inconvenience. Therefore, the best way to prepare is to start with your basic needs. That is the need for light, heat, water, and food. Some preparedness items to stock up on are:

    • Alternative fuel sources such as solar and diesel, wood for burning.
    • Food preservation supplies – dehydrators, canners, smokers, fermenting/pickling supplies. To learn more, click here.
    • Bulk food – Canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated or dry goods.
    • Water filtration supplies, rain harvesting supplies and large quantities of stored water.
    • Light sources: Lanterns, flashlights, candles and matches and alternative light sources
    • Batteries and chargers
    • Emergency stove – solar oven, rocket stove, camping stoves, etc.
    • Wood burning fire place – Central air heating systems, even if they use natural gas or propane, depend on electricity for the blower that will circulate the heated air. When the grid is down, this system will not work. Having a wood burning fire place is an alternative to central heating systems.
    • Cash money and/or silver or gold currency.

    The vulnerability of our grid is nothing new to preppers. Some have seen this problem coming for a long time and changed their entire ways of life by going off-grid. They have found alternative sources such as solar, wind and diesel to power their homes and machinery. A majority of us, who have not gone off-grid, are making a concerted effort to avoid dependence on this ailing infrastructure and preparing for life without it. That being said, all we can do is stay the course, prepare accordingly and continue on.

    This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?

    Ready Nutrition and SHTFplan.com take your privacy very seriously and will not distribute or share your email address with other parties.

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      1. I’m ready… I pray everyone is at least a little ready… unfortunately it wont be that way. That is why I am also ready to defend myself and my family. That is the most important thing.

        • I can deal w/o power for the most part. I live in a very temperate climate (heater? I turn it on like maybe once or twice a year…) I also have a metric ton of candles, and grilling food outdoors or on a patio is easy enough to do.

          OTOH, folks tend to go nuts when there’s no entertainment to keep the kids quiet, no electric can opener or microwave, and no electric heat (in this part of Oregon, most heat is delivered via electric baseboard heaters; OTOH, to be honest? You can put a sweater on and be good to go most days during the winter).

          Now someone who lives in some frozen wasteland? Now we’re talking life-or-death.

          • OQ- Well stated. Often our rural road will lose electric power due to trees falling, ice, electrical storm, or the latest…. “break-in”, druggies being chased by police and crashed their car into a power pole.
            Rarely do we mind the power outage. Extra clothes, wood stove, or just more clothes. When the druggies terminated their DNA it was even more enjoyable. I celebrated with cold beer from the spring house cooler.

            This house pulled the cable TV plug two years ago. We are all better for it. The propaganda, lies, and incessant commercials would insult the intelligence of a mold spore.

            Enjoy ! before it all goes down the drain!

            • I pulled the cable plug right after the 2008 (s)election.
              dh discovered he loves western books.
              Go figure!!

          • OQ, Well put!!!!!!!! Many years ago where I live, the temp dropped to 5 below one night. Five people died in a two county area, one beside his wood stove as he was trying to light it. That was what happened during one night only.No better example can be found as the one in “One Second After.”

          • “…grilling food outdoors or on a patio”

            With probably hundreds, starving to the point of violent desperation within the vicinity of the wafting aroma of char-broiled meat, I suggest you first place a call to the ‘Jackass’ video crew and contend for its annual highest rated segment.

        • Sorry this is out of context but I felt this is serious stuff here. H.R 3200 section 2521 page. 1001 paragraph 1; says as of 3/23/13 obamacare will mandate implementation of RDIF implants in all American citizens. It goes on to say that all citizens will be implanted within 36 months of the start date of 3/23/13. I hope that this is complete crap but it sure does look like it is real at this point. The mark of the beast. Ties all personal info and banks accounts to you, can be tracked etc…. WTF!!#$%$!

          • bladio rastun lux, you might want to do a little more research on the RFID in the health care bill. HR 3200 is not the bill that passed. It is an earlier version. HR 3590 is what unfortunately still passed. RFID implants are likely down the road but not with this legislation. It is not the easiest thing to search but here is the bill:


            Please correct me if I am missing something here.

            • Mr.Buz I appreciate the response.

          • Anyone seen the movie the “Road” with Viggo Mortenson? This is what to watch to see an absolute worst case scenario here. It is very accurate.

            • Yes,we watched it and you’re right about the worst case scenario. We only hope that it doesn’t happen in our life time but the way things are going, it’s any ones guess.

      2. Already got a sample last November, when hurricane force winds took the grid down where we live in SoCal.

        Power was out for a week and Edison didn’t care at all (Neither did the County). They were in no hurry to restore power and we’d see crews of 12-14 men simply standing around with their hands in their pockets or just smoking near their trucks. When we asked for help all they’d say is “sorry, we’re busy,” and look away.

        The CA Public Utilities Commission came down here a few weeks ago to show their “concern” and hear testimony re: how badly Edison had treated the locals. But as soon as I saw how overweight and fat each member of the commission members were I realized it was all a dog-and-pony show. I told my wife, “they’re just here for the news cameras, but the truth is that they’re on Edison’s payroll and won’t do a damn thing. Looks liek Edison feeds the hogs, too.”

        And that’s exactly how things turned out. People shared their stories of woe, Edison promised to make good the losses they were responsible for, but nothing happened at all.

        You never heard about the looters that came out after, or how the L.A. County Sheriff was AWOL throughout the entire crisis, but that’s how things were. Fortunately we had prepped enough to ride it all out, plus were heavily armed. Trouble abounded but the media hid all of it from the public. Thankfully God kept us safe.

        We learned a lot through that experience but I’d say the main lessons were:

        1. You can never prep enough, “too much” is never enough.

        2. Government and corporations are the Enemy. Treat them that way and don’t EVER trust them for anything.

        Thanks for this essay, Mac…

        • Good advise!

        • Lin, Thank you for the voice of experience. I knew about your plight but I got few details. Sounds like it was a real YOYO situation.

          The bad thing is that it gets worse as the grid is down longer. Most of us don’t know how bad it can get. Summer is worse than winter where I am in that, yeah, you don’t have to worry about heat but, eventually, you have worry about looters because the winter weather doesn’t protect you from their assault.

      3. The fact is we are all dependent on each other for something or another. While my family grows most of our own food and barter with neighbors for other various items, we do like toilet paper and if it all crashed how would it be replaced? On a more serious note, canning, having a root cellar, pickling, making your own vinegar, growing your own food, wood heat and cooking with solar ovens or a wood stove are all things that can be done to prepare for a time when the power goes out. There are lots of other things to think of, but water, heat, shelter and food are the place I’d suggest anyone start. Oh, and if your gun rights haven’t been revoked (or maybe even if they have?) having a way to defend your home from looters.

      4. If oil is the lifeblood of global civilization, then electricity is its nervous system.

        Without either one, we are back to 1870s tech, which would be a major bummer to say the least.

        Just for grins, take a moment to write down everything you do in a given day that requires electricity (or oil) to work.

        Now write down how you would manage without that item if the power goes out (and doesn’t come back on anytime soon).

        (Personally, I did not get much beyond running hot and cold water on demand, my Mr. Coffee machine, my hair dryer and my Nook. These are the first 4 items that I need on a daily basis just to get out the door, lol.)

        Last homework assignment: Start crunching the numbers to replace your electricity needs with a solar/battery system.

        Loss of the grid from CME or EMP (or just plain equipment failure) is my #2 reason for prepping.

        • @ Hope@ZeroKelvin “Without either one, we are back to 1870s tech, which would be a major bummer to say the least.”

          Haha I actually can’t wait for that! When I was very young in the early 70’s my family (8 kids)would get together and play instruments; guitars, banjos, violins, accordions etc and sing together. Pic Nics were more common 🙂 Coming home for lunch from baling hay in the summer wasn’t a trip to McDonalds…it was a fried bologna, lettuce, tomato sandwich with some WV wild onion (Ramps). After Church in the summer meant we were going fishing! I miss all of that badly.

          • You long for your childhood to return because it was a much simpler time, and you were young and did not have to deal with the pressures your parents faced.

            As an adult, it will not be nearly as easy to manage the situation of going from having all of the conveniences to doing without them, as it is to recall pleasant childhood memories before they existed.

      5. thers one of my favorite words ….”WHEN ” ….its always when !
        when are people going to realize that its all these warnings year after year but WHEN never comes does it ?
        WHEN we go to war with iran
        WHEN the economy collapses
        WHEN they declare martial law
        WHEN they drag you off to the fema camps
        WHEN the grid goes down

        • WHEN

          When the power goes out because of an icestorm, windstorm, blizzard, flooding… when these things happen and people are scrambling. How about earthquakes with or without a tsunami? When do these things happen? With regularity. You don’t have to be prepared, but really even grade school children know “bad things” can happen to anyone. RICH don’t be such a stick in the mud. 😛

        • Rich. . .

          Tell me WHEN your 401K or ANY savings will earn more interest than the rate of inflation.

          Tell me WHEN your rights wont be trampled in the name of security.

          Tell me WHEN you can say you’re proud of your government’s actions.

          Tell me WHEN you dont feel like being the Devil’s Advocate just for the sake of aggrivating others. No sense poking a bees’ nest, Dick…er…Richard.

          • I bought CHK, ADM, F, PHYS and in the past heavy in VLO. I read on several sites about too much debt and got out in Feb of 07 getting back in in stages in 09.

            I surpassed inflation. PHYS has gained about 40% in the last couple of years. I trust the Canadian gold fund much better then GLD which is leveraged.

        • @rich….Those who suffered Katrina know about “when”

          Those who suffered Rita know about “when”.

          Those who suffered the Mississippi River floods know about “when”.

          Those of us who suffered Loma Prieta know abour “when”.

          Those of us who suffered Camille know about “when”.

          Those who suffered 9/11 know about “when”.

          I prep because I can’t predict “when”.

          “WHEN” comes everyday:

          Higher Taxes
          Health Issues
          Bad Weather
          Failed Relationships
          Death of a Loved One

          I know “when” has happened to you.

          It’s Ok, It’s not your fault
          It’s Ok, It’s not your fault
          It’s OKAY…….Its not your fault


          • you assholes are talking about weather occurrences which have beenhappening for thousands of years, I am scoffing at the sci- fi crap like the GRID going down. Isn’t that was the article was about and NOT about floods and hurricanes.
            The problem with you people is you take what you WANT out of a comment to fit your needs.
            I REPEAT …..NOT

            • @rich666:

              Martial Law was declared in 1861.

              The Economy is collapsed.

              The Dollar is dead. You can’t buy shit with it.

              By your own time frame, we still have five more years, but 3/5 make for interesting coversation in the fema camps with no lights on (ie…fema camps, grid offline)

              I guess it’s all butterflies and unicorns in your neck of the woods. Good for you. Here in reality, Sir, the best plan of action is that of Prudence and Purpose.

              It’s Okay………….It’s not your fault.


            • Rich,

              If it means that much to you then don’t read the site. But know this, you will never be able to sway those who come here and comment. There are enough indicators which point to pending disaster that will come soon enough. In the meantime, please keep your “voice” down, and play nice in the sandbox.

            • Looks like your reaching for anger to climb out of the frustration of what? Can’t find the real deal? The weather patterns are worse. The skies are gray and it’s unprecedented. I’ve been alive 54 years and I never saw this much cloudy goomy skies, and the chemtrails from worldwide planes, making fake clouds, they are real, and the pilots are keeping silent…WEIRD…, and the snow is flakes not bean bag chair debris that’s cold like I saw all over Boise Idaho 3 weeks ago, the day before another real flake snow. And they try and say it’s weather modification that makes a type 0 society rise up to type 1 society. Sure, tell me another fake story…It’s about them stuck up career and money mongers controlling weather right down to the point of engineering all the water and sun rights and sell it back to sheeple…The rich are so stupid and stuck up, they don’t know the poor don’t have any more money and they won’t know until they learn how the poor know when other poor really do or don’t any more money…Like when you find the exact size shoes you need, sitting on a curbside or a pair of glasses, perfect prescription…only times like then can you trust your angels to live instead of only trust money.

        • you are sooooo right, God Bless You.

        • You said in a few years rich, I am not going to let you forget it!

          • I won’t forget it and I’ll day it again…..IN A FEW YEARS, like 5-8

            • OK, I will leave you alone about it now. I really believe that you could really contribute here Rich. What do you think will bring it all down? I am trying to being friendly here Rich not sarcastic. Many on this board really want to know what you think. You continue to come here. So, if it takes a please to get you to contribute a your thoughts on the demise of this whole mess, well then “Please”.

        • to: RICH99


          WHEN a Tsunami hits your shores and takes out nuclear reactors

          WHEN your annualized-inflation FedRes note is worth 4 cents

          WHEN foreign armies are authorized to march down your streets (granted they havent actually done it–but, I did say authorized)

          WHEN your employees (supposedly the Gov’t works for you) have pay increases that exceed yours

          WHEN your religeon is persecuted all over the planet including your own country (where religeous expression is supposed to be unabated)

          WHEN more citizens receive tax benefits than pay into them

          WHEN an unelected “official” has control over your money supply

          I have read your posts before and dont generally agree, however, they were typically well-thought, if only provocational.

          Prepping isn’t only about “the end of the world as we know it”.

        • When the S hits the fan and the grid is down, then the S won’t be thrown everywhere because the fan won’t be running. Just a thought……

        • I think the whole point to the “when” scenario is not so much for fear mongering or panic but to get one’s mind to think “what if”… what can be done or should be done to prevent a very miserable situation that no one can predict the who, what, where or when. A little prepping can’t hurt regardless. Better safe than sorry.

        • WHEN

      6. I’m an HVAC tech/electrician and I can tell you from years of experience that lots of people start going crazy if you interrupt their power and/or heat/AC for more than a couple hours.
        I honestly can’t imagine a wide spread multi-state outage. All the people that can’t do without the modern conveniences won’t have a neighboring city/state to flee to like during the average ice storm, hurricane,earthquake, etc.

        I have no doubt it would take very little time for some to start rioting, looting etc. And from there, there’s no telling where the violence, crack downs and reprisals will end.

        • I agree with you country boy. I’m in the HVAC industry also, and people get crazy when their furnace or a/c goes down.
          They can’t imagine living without it.

        • Good point. In the summer, people should try living without their AC for just a couple hours, open the windows, and see how it goes.

          I use an evaporator cooler where I live, and am glad to have it, but if it can’t be run I’ll retreat to the basement where it’s cooler. Not everyone has a basement though.

        • Gotcha there, in the HVAC buis. as well. I take the calls 24hrs. every day. I mean to tell you I have had people all out beg to please come sooner. Living south of Houston it gets pretty rough with no ac. Hell, I get calls when the weather is 75* complaining of the heat and the ac does not work. Usually tell them to open the windows and we’ll be there first thing in the morning. They can get really irritated without that ac. I really do not know how most of them would carry on for weeks or more without. Oh and just a small bit of advice to help out if you do need ac work done,,,,, Do not piss of your ac guy!

      7. Same thing here in VA when we were hit with storms and 100M winds. Power was out for 4 days, with no heat and electricity. Thank God we were prepared. Having been a chief scout in my earlier days, I was taught to live in the wild for 10 days at a time and make use of nature and the land. Teach your children how to be survivalists and to be pro-active and not re-active just in case. They will thank you 1 day.

        Keep preppin.

      8. This is one of the things I am most prepared for at an individual level. Here at the house in town we have an vent-less gas heater that does a great job when the power goes out. In the event of a major problem we would take the EMP resistant diesel or dual-sport motorcycle to the retreat.

        The solar cabin is heated with wood, but has a propane instant water heater and propane stove/oven so we do not have to burn wood in the summer. Once we are out there full-time we’ll go back to using a summer kitchen like my grandparents used. The electrical system and water pump are stored in EMP protection.

        Communications is handled with several CB radios and GMRS/FRS radios also kept protected from EMP. We still use our freezer so a lot of last minute canning would need to take place using the hundreds of jars set aside for this task.

        • Pastor, be very very careful of any “vent-less” gas heater. Not safe in my mind at all…

          • You’re overreaching, better go back to preaching…..

          • Vent-less isn’t unsafe, but it’s always smart to think of the what-ifs. We use a vent-less gas log in our fireplace as a supplemental house heater (with the flue closed), but we also have a plug-in CO detector with battery backup nearby. It has never detected any CO in the house, and yes I tested it. In my garage, with the door left wide open, the detector lit up like a Christmas tree when I pulled my car in and left the engine running for maybe an additional 10 seconds.

            Oh, and this detector also detects the presence of gas, just in case the auto-shutoff of the pilot light fails. Backups for your backups.

      9. I can/will be fine if the power goes off…worked many years at both getting independent and unconnected,it works…

      10. There was an ice storm down in the Southern US three years ago that left my family without power for 27 days. They had alternative heat and lights, they had food and a way to cook it, but one thing they didn’t consider was this: my dad was dependant on a C-pac machine for sleep apnea.

        During the power outage he sustained constant damage to his heart without the machine. He was admitted to the hospital two weeks after the power was restored and never left.

        It’s imperative to consider health needs that are grid dependant, whether it is the refrigeration of medicine or medical equipment that requires electricity to function. People with special health needs will definitely be among the first casualties of a grid down situation.

        • damn daisy. most cpap are 12volt. have the old one all ready set up for the dw. prayers for your dad. the answer was out in the car.

        • I sleep with one of those too. deir is right. A car battery can run one of these for days. Sorry about your dad.

      11. Banking will be nonexistent so in addition to precious metals make sure to have plenty of bills in small denominations for last minute use. Your credit/debit card will not work. Cash at the crash will be king.

        • Cash will be a toilet paper.
          Every time you use cash or credit you giving to Financial system owners (profit, fees and taxes). So, you’re somewhat responsible for what is going on because you accepted rules of this game and powering it.

          The Barter will be a king. 🙂
          Current state of information technology allows us do not use money at all. Think about this!

          • Noname, I believe the G-guy who used the words”…last minute use.” was infering both paper and coin use in the period right after a power loss. So whether the power is out temporary due to local conditions or very long term to regional / national / SHTF conditions; you may get some valuable use out of the current money before a ‘barter’ economy goes into use.

            I keep a small wallet with FRN’s hidden in my vehicle and home just for these conditions. In addition, a few small PM’s could very well sweeten a deal and in the extreme get you past a trouble spot. Just a small prep that can give results when you need them most (MM)

        • GG,

          That’s what Ferfal says, that cash will be king because checks and credit cards will be useless. How long cash stays on the throne is another story.

      12. http://www.ghillie-kettle.co.uk/

        Boils water in less than 5 minutes with minimal fuel – twigs,moss, leaves, grass, old paper – you name it. Cooks a simple meal easily too, even in a storm.

        These have been used for centuries by Cornish/Irish fishermen.

        On a serious note – the ability to boil a couple of pints of water quickly will be critical for first aid/anyone with kids. My 7 year old with Autism can get the fire started, boil a brew and cook a simple meal on it.

        It’s not as trendy or well known as all those newfangled camping stoves that only use fancy fuel blocks/gas cans etc but Granddads first one lasted him over 65 years before my Uncle took it to use when he passed on.

        Sometimes the old ways is the best/simplest way when it comes to basic technology. There’s no parts to go wrong, it’ll last a lifetime so long as you don’t repeatedly let it boil dry.

        As a secondary cooking source I can’t rec one of these enough. Boiling water remains one of the best ways to purify it.

        I get that life will be hard, but I’m not giving up my cup of tea/coffee (and yes I can make dandelion/rosehip tea if needed) for anyone! It’s just not British not to have a brew on ; )

        A few cheap solar fairy lights in the post Xmas sales might be handy to stock up on too for indoor lighting. These are very cheap at this time of year & a string of these can have a variety of uses. (I try and time prep purchases to get the best bargains).

        Buy lots of basic can openers of the simplest design you can find (summat tells me these will be high value barter items!)

          • That’s my whole point lol!

            If a technology has worked for centuries it’s a damn good thing to have to hand for the basics.

      13. If the grid goes down, refineries cannot operate and gasoline would rapidly become unavailable along with all the other things mentioned in the article.

        Even thought we don’t burn much oil directly to generate electricity, one “peak oil” analyst, Richard C. Duncan, believes that the power grid will fail once oil production begins to decline because oil is necessary to maintain the grid and this will be the straw that breaks the camels back for an already fragile and aging system. He argues that this is almost a certainly within a decade or two.

        As far as arguing over what will be valuable as money in such a collapse, I ask you if you would be willing to sell any of your food store to anyone at any price. Food, water, shelter, guns/ammo, and medicines will be priority one and few will be willing to sell any of them.

        • I wonder if it would be worthwhile to attached a metal plate below the gas tank to discourage people from punching a hole in the tank to drain it.

      14. It’s because of articles like this, that I’ll be closing a little rainy day account with $300 in it tomorrow. And I know just what to spend it on…more of everything!
        This is getting too serious, too many things to prepare for, from a-z, everyday, more developments in the plan to destroy us, our freedom and our ability to enjoy life without wondering when will it all come crashing down. Will it be this or will it be that? Maybe I inhale too much news and coffee to relax my mind but it’s nice to be with like minded people, if only on here.

        • Lil bit start at the dollar store , you.ll be able to buy 300 things then sell them for $10each when the shtf. Just saying 🙂

      15. “It took just 90 seconds for a 1989 solar storm to cause the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power grid, leaving 6 million Canadians without power for up to nine hours.

        Some folks in Quebec were without power for nine WEEKS because of the solar storm in 1989.

      16. 6kw solar power provides us about 500kw/hrs/month
        Working on getting spare charge controllers and inverters in case sun flare or EMP take them out.

        Keep 6 cords of wood in stock all the time, about 1.5 years worth. Shooting for 12 by end of this year.

        Use propane for cooking/water heating ( with wood backup ), about 300gal/yr. Put in three 500gal tanks, and keep two for backup only (never use).

        Water is gravity fed spring.

        Lots of 55gal drums of gas/diesel w/PRI put away. Garden tiller is diesel.

        Would I miss the grid ? Sure…..but not near as much as a whole lot of folks.

        • Lurker wrench turner.

      17. These are the voyages of the Starship (Destroy Private)Enterprise….It’s ongoing mission: To seek out all preppers, all modes of resistance, all constitutional rights…and to destroy them.

        Captain Buh-rock Who-sane Kirkbama: Scotty! We’re almost over the target. We need more power!

        Chief Engineer Scotty(D-NV): Aye! She’s runnin’ at 115% now Captain, but I can give you a wee bit more when I get my cell phone battery hot-wired into the dilithium crystal.

        Com Officer Hillary Uhura: Captain, sensors are picking up a high level of gaseous anomalies….and there coming from inside the ship?

        Kirkbama: Probably just the burritos we had for lunch. Splok?

        2nd Officer George W. Splok: Affirmative Captain. (turns to Uhura) It’s quite logical Uhura, I had a second helping. (grins and wiggles his ears)
        (Uhura puts closepin on nose and returns to her duties)

        Kirkbama: Scotty! Report.

        Scotty: That’s all I can give you, Captain. She’s holdin’ at a steady 120%.

        Kirkbama: That’ll have to do. Sulu! Target the main job creating forces on the planet…and shift all power to the unemployment beam generator. Bones! Is that mutated virus ready?

        Dr Leonard Kevorkian McCoy: Dammit Jim! I’m a doctor, not a viral pathogen mutator! I need more time!

        Kirkbama: Bones! We don’t have more time. We’re on the target now!…Checkov! Beam down with half the crew as soon as the private sector jobs are vaporized. Fan out in teams of six. Set phasers to ‘stun’ and round up every last middle-class earthling you can find! And DON’T bring them back here. Beam them all over to Starship FEMA.

        3rd Mate Anton Soros-Checkov: Yes, Captain! But what about the preppers we find?

        Kirkbama: For those…set phasers to kill. Take NO prisoners from that group. They’re just too dangerous to the mission.

        Uhura: (puzzled) But Captain…If we destroy the jobs, unleash the virus, and kill the few people who might know how to survive on their own?…How can the planet repopulate itself and be sustainable? I mean, sir…how is that going to help them in the long run?

        Kirkbama: What made you think we came here to HELP them?

        to be continued…

        (tune in tomorrow when Splok says ‘Uhura, pull my ear…’)

        • Thanks, you just made coffee come out my nose……

      18. China could easily follow the One Second After scenario and plant enough evidence in the cargo ship wreckage to blame Iran/North Korea. We nuke them in response and China has 3 less problems in the world – the US, Iran and NK. Six months later they send “peace keepers” to help us engage our farming capacity so their people have the food. There will only be 10% of us left – just enough to work their farms.

      19. 12-Volt Box: I have been compiling a box of gadgets including valves, pumps, lights- anything you can name that is 12 volt driven- in preparation for a off-the-grid situation. Lights, water, etc are the priority. Does this mean it will be like it is now? No, but with solar, chargers, etc, I’ll have a chance.

        • You may have already thought of this, but I’ll mention in case someone might not have considered it. You can get any of a variety of 12-volt inverters out there. Those who may not know, an inverter takes your car’s DC and converts to 110-volt AC. You can get a low-watt model which plugs into the lighter, or higher power ones that clamp on to the battery. This could be a rather handy alternative power source.

          • Yes, but the car either must be running or the battery will be drained in less than an hour no matter what you try to run. It would also permanently discharge the battery after just two or three uses, leaving you in need of a battery for your car.

            Get a deep cycle batter made for the purpose you will put it to.

            Don’t rely on anything that takes fuel, except maybe your good ol’ Dual Fuel Coleman Stove and keep several gallons of Coleman fuel on hand.

            • Agreed. An inverter is not intended to replace AC on a long-term basis. The idea is to just have some AC available when needed.

      20. I have solar panels now looking for some battery’s at a good prices.Any idea’s? I am working on making a power bike using a alternater .Saw this is a survival quide book.Does any one have more idea’s?

        • check out the junkyard maybe? is that a good idea

        • Look for a scratch and dent supplier we have an interstate dealer up here the batteries are at least 60% off and brand new!!

        • Try a golf cart re-seller for batteries.

          • Or better yet, hit up Obummer’s golf cart and use his batteries. He can walk … that will give you about 6 batteries to start (depending on what the new models use)

        • Frosty21

          6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries…good prices? I’ve got over a few dozen and they cost me an arm and a leg, and, they just keep going up in price. I know we already have the technology to manufacture low cost batteries with greater efficiency, but don’t they have automobile tires that would never wear out?

          Have you calculated what you need to run what needs to be powered? That will dictate what you need. Then there’s your budget. Look local. Shipping a distance is too costly. Also, DC appliances, not cheap, but are much more energy efficient.

        • Been saving all my old car batteries for years now. Even when they can’t deliver the current to start the car, they still have substantial capacity, and they cost nothing. (Unless you live in a state that demands a “core”, and charges you if you don’t provide one.) I keep ’em on one of those desulphator chargers 24/7. Trolling repair shops might yield such batteries, but you’d have to pay at least the scrap-yard rate.

          • Once a battery sits for a long period it is gone. Scales form on the plates shorting out the cells. You better re think your plan. The average life span for a battery that gets regular use is four to five years, if allowed to sit uncharged it goes bad much quicker. Spend the bucks and get a couple of deep cycle batteries.

        • Believe it or not, I’ve had pretty good success with the marine deep-cycle batteries from Wally-World. The oldest ones are over 3 years old now and still crankin’.

          Every now and then you get a “dud” (they ARE assembled in Mexico, after all) and weeks/couple of months later it already has a dead cell, but most of the duds peter out within a year, and exchange is FREE if it’s less than a year old. Just check ’em every month or two to find the duds in your bank (you can usually tell just from a “quicker than normal” discharge in your system).

          The trick to long battery life is to never let them discharge too much. My personal cutoff point is about 11.3 volts (which is 22.6 in my 24v system).

          Although I got slammed on this forum a while back for mentioning this, I use about 1250 watts worth of panels wired into a 60 volt system to heat my 40 gal water “preheater”. Uses 120v 2000w elements, which dissipate about 500 watts of heat each. On a summer sunny day, this nets me 40 gals of about 150 degree water that then gets fed into the normal “grid tied” water heater. Am planning on rigging up another 40 gal’s worth soon. Hot water is one of the things I can’t live without, lol…

          And as to the argument that you shouldn’t use solar panels to resistant heat water, EVERYTHING that uses electricity dissipates it (makes power) due to resistive forces. The panels are giving everything they’ve got all day, so you’re getting your money’s worth out of them, unlike a system wired through a controller to charge batteries, AND you don’t need batteries for this kind of setup. Far as I’m concerned, it’s win-win…

          FWIW, the 24 volt system (with the battery bank) powers everything else (lights, kitchen, TV, ‘puter, etc).

          In my opinion, you want to design a system that will provide enough power for a small window A/C unit, so that you have cooling capacity for one room at least. For a 700 watt unit, I’ve found you need at least 1500 watts worth of panels, PLUS the battery bank to handle the start-up load of the compressor (not to mention an inverter that can handle the task).

          If you’re just getting started, NOW is a good time to purchase panels, I’ve seen them as low as $1.50 a watt or so, which is cheap compared to what they were just a couple of years ago. Plan on spending just as much, if not more, for batteries…

          • Nice post. I agree with the idea you could run a small 110v fridge or freezer for short periods with a battery bank. Some say not and I have yet to try it.Can’t recall where but I read about a guy who ran his ac with a step up transformer(?) off his batteries. Ever hear of this?This reduces the compressor start up load. A fridge or freezer should be the same as they are compressor run.My array needs to get bigger to do that. I currently am backfeeding the grid while we still have power but still want to prepare to have some off grid usage other than lights and small appliances.

          • Have you ever seen the “solar generators”? I’d like to do something like this but not one already made. Can’t I just buy this stuff myself and make my own? I’m thinking I can add to it as I get the funds. More batteries/panels etc… Not sure where to start. Any help?


          • Go 24VDC to DC water heater lower element with excess amps after floating batteries in “dump mode” off of controller. Cheaper and more efficient.

      21. Considering the Congress just passed a Bill authorizing the FAA to makes plans for the use of 30,000 drones above Ameika, an EMP may just be a blessing in disguise if it took down the surveillance grid,just a thought.

        • After seeing that so few understand the nature of the problem (the creation and control of money by private interests), I am coming to believe that an EMP is the only thing that will stop the coming attack on the peaceful People of the states.

          We can either remove the power of money creation (by force) from the criminals, or pray that God delivers us from them by taking away the technology they will use to perpetrate the crimes against us.

          I sadly doubt that enough People will awaken in time and solve the problem. Even here, most are clueless and too lazy to seek out the truth. Many of those who do, lack the critical thinking skills needed to properly evaluate what they learn.

          Sad days are coming for many. Not because the evil corp is coming, but because there are not enough willing to do anything about it.

      22. Set your alarm clock for 2 am. Wake, get out of bed and actually run through a scenario where you’ve lost electricity for an unknown reason.

        1. How would you assess the situation?
        2. How would you get information?
        3. How would you react and what actions would you take if a large part of the nation’s power grid was down?
        4.How would you handle this emergency and protect your family?

        Next week, pick a time and run through another scenario. The “S” doesn’t always “HTF” at 10 am.

        • Easy, reach out , pat my wife, then my S&W,then roll over and go back to sleep, same as always.

        • I had an electrician install a 220 single phase 4 prong pigtail off of my main panel, tied to the buss bars. If the lights go out the plan is to, shut off the main breakers, wheel a 8K gen set to it and plug it in to the pigtail, fire up the gen set, throw the secondary gen set mains and walla, we got power!

          • You got it! Illegal in most jurisdictions, but it’ll work.

          • Should have mentioned that if you have a dryer plug, you’re already there. . . .

          • Only for as long as you have fuel…

      23. Yes, we are due for interesting times soon…

        Get a wind-up radio so you can listen to the propaganda organs. I can hear the broadcasts now…

        • Well said. The propaganda will be stranger than fiction.

        • 50 bucks at Radio Shack.

          • DK, Wouldn’t even a wind up radio still be susceptible to a EMP if unprotected? Still has the same components, plus a few more for the wind up generator. Just Curious.

            • Clay: Stash it in a galvanized metal trash can with your other bug out electricals.

              “Electricals”. Is that a word?

            • If an EMP hits, even if you had a functioning radio, would there be anything to listen to????

      24. Power grid going down is one thing, but an EMP throws the whole thing a curve ball. Not just the loss of items that you’d expect would work when the power is out but what if it happened during a typical work/school day?
        I used to tease my husband about keeping a bike in the bed of his pick-up but since gas prices keep going up he’s now driving a compact. Oh well, there’s always a skateboard…

      25. Mac

        Informative article..any suggestions that you have done for such a scenario?

        Solar is out of reach for most of us cost wise..
        living in New England requires several wood stoves strategically placed and tons of cured wood..

        Have a capped well..required when we went with town water..(not fluoridated btw)any suggestions on how to retap the well and drop a pvc line down there inside the corroded well pipe?



        • rigid garden hose!pvc piping.12volt pump with 40 foot lift.pop the cap and see for yourself how far down the water is. people think because they have a 270 foot well that’s how far they have to pump it. it’s not always true. its called the artesian effect where water adjusted for air pressure rises to a certain level. i think its 22feet. do a little research or call whoever in your area is the local well driller. mine didnt mind the stupid questions.

        • Possee, in a situation like that, you would need to move the family into 1 or 2 rooms. We did this many times when I was a child and when I was raising a family and the electrical bill was too high.

          • Mona–what chu mean in a situashun like that?? I live like that now!!!

        • Lehman’s sells a very long very skinny bucket that will fit down a well casing. You’d have to pull up the pump, but long-term that’s a solution.

        • You could also get a roll of black plastic water pipe, put a foot valve on the end and feed it down the well. Take some twine or mason line, attach a large nut to it and drop down well. When it bottoms out tie a knot at the top of casing. Pull back up keeping an eye on when it turns wet. Measure from nut to top of wet and that’s your water depth. From nut to knot is total depth. Now you know how much pipe to feed but make it several feet shorter than total depth so you don’t get muddy water.Get a hand pump to attach to the top of casing. Before you hook it to the pipe pour the black pipe full of water to prime it. Enjoy the exercise.Oh yea…maybe get the water tested before you drink.

        • You can build small scale solar power yourself for relatively cheap. Check out the free videos at


          There are a lot of good videos there, and I add some stuff now and then that may help the people here.

        • You all better read the book, One Second After. Things will be much worse than we can imagine. Unless you live in a remote area and have alot of money to install huge fuel storage or top notch solar power life is going to suck. Once all the support systems that we all depend on go down even being fat, dumb and happy of grid will be but a short term escape. The only thing that I wonder about is will the loss of the grid be planned or a real accident. With our present govt. I fully expect harsh methods to be employed against those who did prepare in the interest of fairness of course.

          • THEY WILL HAVE TO PRY MY YODERS BACON FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!that or burn down the house. i aint sharing.prep out.

            • I have some of that but have been reluctant to try it. Is it good? I need to check it out so if we like it I can get a bunch more. We used to get canned bacon in the Navy when all the regular ran out. They never cooked it right so I have no idea how good it is when done properly. How is it?

            • Same with our Dunkin’ Donuts coffee – not a chance!

      26. http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/SSTA.pdf

        check out page 9 to see what a solar storm can do to a electrical transformer

        (Hope@ZeroKelvin hey girl how ya doin’? I see your hanging out hre now,hope your doing well)

      27. although i am only 58 yrs old, i remember living without electricity and modern day conveniences…i think the only thing at that time that i wished for was a way to stay cool on hot summer nights so that i could sleep better, and a transistor radio…(didnt every 13 yrs old at that time?) anyway, for the most part, i am ready if the present day grid went down and stayed down for a good long while. i have propane and wood for heat and cooking, i live in the country and i am surrounded by forest…i have a garden spot that has good earth and good sunlight, i have sources of water, i can and preserve, and i have non electrical ecquipment that will allow me to work and care for my home and family..i paid attention to how my mama, and grandpa did things and have kept those lessons close to heart. there will be some things that i will miss..like fellow preppers online, the occasional store bought goodie, and yes, i will miss some television programs…otherwise, i am good to bug in. if i were told that the grid was going down in advance, there is only two things that i might want to have beforehand and that is a good bicycle or a mule and cart…guess i will keep working on those.

        • @carynverell says:
          You wrote;
          ..i paid attention to how my mama, and grandpa did things and have kept those lessons close to heart.
          Out where we live sometimes it’s too bothersome to acquire the easy way to get something done. I have got into the practice of tackling a task by asking myself how would, the old people do it. And giving it a shot. Moving large objects for instance. I have an account at CAT and could easily get a machine delivered out here and get it done and have a beer. I think we are soon to get back to the “clever ways of the old days” how our ancestors might have got things done. Those of us that are old enough as to remember the old people and their ways are going to be fortunate to have the knowledge. It’s going to be absolute hell getting things done that way, but what ya gonna do?

          • Why work your ass off when it is not necessary? The s has not yet hit the fan and the equipment is available for use.

            There will be plenty of time to be clever later, when you have to be.

            Ask yourself who is the most clever:

            The guy who spends three weeks digging out a root cellar with a shovel and pick when there is a backhoe available, or

            The guy who rents a backhoe and drinks a beer while watching the machine work?

            You should always do things using the best attainable methods for doing them. The methods of today may or may not be available tomorrow, but life is happening today and it silly to live it today based on the grave possibilities of tomorrow.

      28. It doesn’t have to be hard. Basic 45W Solar setup from Harborfreight roughly $150. That will easily keep a 12V battery charged…I rely on a CPAP as well, so I have that setup all ready to roll, and two deepcycle batteries for it to charge. Furnace is “pigtailed” to run off a genset. Enough fuel to run the small genset for a month part time (one gallon of fuel lasts five hours)…enough to get the house “up to temp” and run the chest freezer a little.

        Cord of Firewood for the fireplace in the basement…the ultimate refuge. 2005, we went a week in July and a week in Dec with no power due to bad storms…been there, done that…know how to make it through it.

      29. My biggest off-grid concern where I live now is heat. I have a propane heater that is safe for indoor use, but one day that propane is gonna run out. Everything else is covered but heat sources are constantly on my mind.

        • Daisy, I have the same problem here at home. I have a similar heater and a 350 gal. tank. I am thinking of ordering another one this summer as the rent on them is so cheap. Right now though, Propane is running about 3.10 per. I think that could last me 2 winters unless I decide to add a cookstove.

          • We had a 250 gallon last year–finances permitted me to swap that for a 500 gallon.
            I need to top it off now..but like all else, you know the S**t will happen when we’re about half full.
            Murphy’s law.
            I locked in for $1.90 for the first 800 gallons. That’s about three winters for this house.

      30. We lost power for 7 days a couple of years ago in a massive windstorm. Never missed a beat, fired up the gen set, used the stored fuel, kept on cooking on the gas stove, showered with gas hot water.

        The issue comes if it is off forever, but then the wood heated hot water and the assortment of wood fired ovens, bbqs and cooktops come into their own. Refrigeration is wonderful, but without it instead of killing an animal and freezing it, while our neighbours do the same, we will just kill it and share it around the neighbours, and when we run out, eat part of one of theirs. The beef cows I run can be milked, fresh every day, and cooled in a Coolgardie Fridge (google it)and I will have the time because without power work becomes a non event. Heating and cooling are irrelevant because the house has been built properly and needs only a small wood stove to keep it bearable. The solar panels/windmill and batteries take care of the electric fence and the batteries are repairable types. Spare bearings, blades, windings, insulation, and diodes for the windmill are securely stored and the mast is overstrength by a factor of at least ten.

        No more video games for the young one, but he will spend yet more time learning from the neighbour how to drive a horse which is a smart thing to do.

        We have even discussed how we would install a small hydro-electric generator on one of two handy large creeks and connect it to our local power line, and open the circuit breakers to the grid to create our own local power supply. Localisation in action.

        Living in the banjo country is a lot more work than living in suburbia, but it is an exercise in preparedness every day, and when the time comes it will not be a shock.

        • What do you mean by repairable batteries? Is that an Edison type battery?

      31. OMG….I have always said that I was so glad that I was born in 1958 instead of 1858…..and the one most important reason is electricity. We (I’m a single widow with two daughters) went thru 13 days without electricity when hurricane Ike showed up here in 2008. It was miserable! Of course, I wasn’t all that prepared. It was Sept. in Houston and it was hot. I got so darn sick of going up to the gas station to get gasoline for the generator. And having that generator running just made you sick…yes, it was outside. I only ran it when I had too. Worse was the stock market was crashing and we had no internet. Felt totally helpless. Got food poisoning, not pretty. When the shtf….all I know is it’s gonna be like Ike x 1000 plus people trying to take your stuff and/or trying to hurt you. Gonna be a major bitch!

        • Oh yes, Ike…. We went nearly 4 weeks without electricity that round, and while we were good with food, water, even entertainment via wireless cell phone tethers, the one thing that really made life difficult was the heat… Luckily it was September and not July, but nonetheless, it was rough… Probably 90+ day/night if i remember correctly. If there’s one thing that leads to frustration, aggravation and arguments, it’s Texas heat without A/C!

        • Yep

      32. My biggest fear is an EMP/Solar Flare. That would render virtually EVERYTHING instantly useless. Everyone’s solar preps, radios, etc would not work unless you have them in a faraday cage. And for solar panels, it would have to be a mighty big one.

        I believe I possess the skills & preparations to survive just about anything but an EMP would make it 5000% more difficult. Mainly because of the speed of everything stopping at once.

        • This is my main concern also. “One second after” scared the heck out of me and I am in process of building Faraday cages for radio equipment, generators,and solar equipement kit. Not going to hook up solar until shtf.
          Have most preps ready to go but murphy’s law will probabley come up for sure.Regards,James

          • A better plan is to hook it all up NOW, learn to use it and maintain it properly for a few weeks or so, and THEN put it away in properly secured Faraday cages. It’ll be easier if you’ve already done it before.

      33. Trouble is, is, my solar panels and wind turbine stand out like a sore thumb. And, if I have the only lights on in the neighborhood…

        Aside from that, the real issue is “What happens when our supplies run out”? If one isn’t totally self sustaining, in 6 days, 6 weeks,, 6 months or 6 years, the supplies will run out.

        Community is the only solution and salvation. Numbers, functioning together on the same wave length, have a greater ability to offset out side “threats”, while enabling the group to invest in a diverse set of tools, provisions, etc., allowing the “dollar” to go a lot farther. Rather than one family trying to accumulate all their provisions to sustain themselves, on a limited budget.

        • Aim to survive the 1st year on stores after that it’ll be what you can plant and grow. We spent this winter learning how to grow a variety of Oriental vegtables from an elderly vietnamese lady (having spent the summer teaching about indigenous British herbs). We swapped heirloom seeds at Xmas.

          I’m so grateful that my son and I can live off something other than turnips and Kale, and that we have stored seeds for something that can be planted in the Autumn for winter harvesting.

          Some of the oriental varieties can be found here http://www.realseeds.co.uk/ (They also have some good E.European crops like root parsley & melons and tomatoes for Northern climes).

          Depending on the timing of shtf the 1st or 2nd winter could be really rough. I also have a sustantial store of seeds and grains specifcally for sprouting as the young and elderly need fresh vitamins.

          Supplies running out is a real concern as it’s something that’ll affect us all – the shepple 3 days after, some of us years after but it’ll happen. Same for equipment breaking – for this reason I stick to the lowest tech, simplest version of everything I can find cos sod’s law will kick in no matter how careful our planning. A welding torch attracts attention when OPSEC is needed just as much as the sound of gunshot.

      34. Just wait until the rapture, they will tell everyone left that aliens took away all the bad people.

      35. You do realize, that at any given time, there are about 3000 airplanes in the sky. In an EMP event, they would all lose power, and crash. Damage on top of damage on top of carnage.

        • and the possibility of a lot of vehicles travelling at 70MPH coming to a halt (maybe) or maybe some will and some wont

          I wouldnt want to be on the expressway in a Prius but then I wouldnt want to be anywhere in a Prius

      36. I’ve got a few simple things I’ve done that might make you go “Hmmmmmm”.

        Instead of low-voltage lighting along your walk or deck, install some solar lights. Charge during the day, bring them inside at night in a power outage. They’re cheap on sale (Dollar Tree, $1/each!). That helps your lighting during a power outage. Not only that, having spares around make cheap battery chargers for AA or AAA batteries, on a budget! And it comes with the battery! (For flashlights, AM/FM radios or weather radios). In fact, my deck is already 90% solar…the gazebo has six strings of LED lights…bright enough at night to read under. Won’t draw any attention in a power outage situation, the neighbors are used to seeing it lighted up every night. Something to think about.

        If you have a chest freezer, put two or three (or more if a large one) gallon jugs of water in the bottom. They’ll keep food cold for a longer time during a power outage, and when thawed, they’re good emergency water (and cold water during the summer!) Rain barrels are a no-brainer.

        Sure, they’re simple ideas…but they’re cheap to do, and don’t scream “PREPPER LIVES HERE” like a big solar setup. My solar setup stays in the garage…until needed. Then, it’ll go on the deck with the batteries under the deck (and out of sight) It’s also available for a BO situation…it will run the camper too!

        • powerbee is a great brand of the solar fairy lights they are on sale at this time of year for us in the UK hopefully it’ll be the same for you US guys.

          I recc the brand cos they seem to have served us well despite lots of abuse. Hanging a few off the hood of a truck gives you light to see the engine if needed for example. Well handy for fixing stuff in dodgy spots as they are so portable.

          Just an idea.

      37. Get a grip people, while a solar flare or EMP could cause untold damage on a biblical scale, it’s far more likely to cause moderate, localized damage.

        • +1 Correct. Engineers who actually know about such things say that airplanes and cars will mostly be unaffected by an EMP.

          However, what WOULD be clobbered is the large transformers you see in substations. A lot of them would fail, and lead times for replacements are calculated in months. If a great many were needed at once, it would be years. That puts large chunks of the grid in the dead zone for a long, long time.

          • Those transformers are all made in China now. How do you think that will work oit for us? Not well.

        • Yep it does usually remain localized when an EMP does happen. However, I would not want to be caught unprepared. I live in a rural area and I am sure we would be the last ones to get turned back on. I think I’ll continue to prepare.

      38. Better be prepared to do without much electical usage if you live in a northen area without a lot of southern exposure.Wintertime absolutely s–cks here for for solar with the sun so low and the cloudy days. While we don’t have the oppressive heat in the summer we pay for it with the freezing cold winters. I keep warm by cutting and splitting wood.

      39. One of my biggest fears is not being able to access the data to make or help someone cos I left it in electronic format.

        I have saved a lot of my Granddads old toolmaking & black smithing books, some are from the 1800’s as they were handed down to him when he did hs apprenticeship. I’m glad I helped in his forge as a kid, (as a girl he was unusual for letting me do that).

        I’ve also printed all my pdf’s of useful things like “where there is no doctor”. I buy the hard copy NOT the kindle version of craft & herbalism type books. Check thrift shops for old “How to” books printed before the dawn of non-stop electricity. WW2 Brtish books are fantastic for “make do and mend”. I also have a lot of basic educational materials. Our “survival library” is important.

        We’ve turned off the electric at home for a week or so a few times when we’ve had a “history week”. We pick a period and try and live like them for a week in terms of recipes etc. It’s educational for my son and his friends but also acclimatises the kids (autistic kids can’t handle change well) so that if it’s ever “for real” I don’t have to deal with a kid melting down. Panic kills in an emergency and you can mentally prep the kids without scaring them if you are smart. For a lot of us our kids are our survival achilles heel, especially for OPSEC and defence. If anyone has kids/grandkids on the spectrum do some practice runs please.

        Everyone’s temperment is different and we all have a different “straw” that will break our mental back in a power down world – just something small that mentally we couldn’t cope without. Whatever your “breaking point” is – identify it now and get it sorted – my elderly mother needs hot water for her morning wash.

        For myself the “history weeks” got me to realise that I need a hot brew and to research dandelion root/nettle teas etc as my morning cuppa is the one modern “luxury” I’d need to stay sane in a prolonged grid down situation. For my best friends 5 year old she’s popped a solar panel to run his Nintendo DS in a faraday. Sadly a lot of people will find it’s the Prozac script.

        Noone in my “prep” circle is insulin dependent diabetic but 50% of all UK bods over 65 have some form of diabetes. A small fridge for insulin that’s grid independent is gonna be critical for many. This worries me a lot.

        For those in cooler climes – blankets and hotwater bottles/bricks were lifesavers in winter for centuries – do you have enough?

        A mangle is a godsend for laundry (specially bedding) when washing by hand. If you see one at the flea market – grab it!

        • zeer pot lassie! zeer pot.

      40. In the 14 years I have lived in my current location I have had so many power outages I have gotten to the point I dont depend on any electric company to provide for me
        Granted most of the time I have power, but when the weather gets dicey, or they cant keep their shit working..Im good to go for a while, and even have a few redundant programs for heat, electricity and water for when the fuel runs out

      41. I’m seeing a lot of comments here about short term solutions. The back-up generators are OK for ice storms and such, but, if the grid is fried or totally destroyed from terrorism, you had better be prepared with simple long term solutions. I see clean potable water as #1 priority. Solution- wood-fired homemade distiller. May come in handy for making antiseptics also. All the beans and rice in the world are no good without water. If you are on municipal source, locate a source,a river, you can filter (Coffee filters are cheap) and distill. Remember, many people will have food supplies, so if you have clean, pure water to barter with it can go a long way. #2 of course, is dried and canned foods. #3 is wood heat,and the bonus is a heater you can cook on.#4 Solar panels to charge enough batteries to keep your important components running. Medical first and small fridge or freezer. I have the small chest freezer, about $150 at Lowe’s. I can run it off two large Deep Cells if I keep it in a cool area. I can make enough ice to store any refrigerated items in Heavy Duty coolers. With all this in mind, Keep plenty of jerky (venison and beef) and canned bacon and you’re set,if you have enough ammo to keep the thieving under control.

      42. i’ve asked this question before and got no answers but will my gun safe act as a faraday cage? its a metal box with a fireproof lining, my small gen wont fit but alot of other electronics would
        2 great reads on emp’s are one second after and lights out

        • Mark, it could work. Make sure that what ever is inside is insulated and not touching any metal and ground your case really well, the best / cheapest product for this is usually Styrofoam. It just might work. The neatest one I have ever seen was done with a metal garbage can. I liked it for two reasons. 1. it had quite a bit of room and 2. The can itself will have many uses after any SHTF situation. I think it may have Rawles that had instructions for it. Hope this helps Mark. Peace

          • Just re-read My statement Mark, the Styrofoam should insulate the interior, ground your cage with copper wire and attach to a ground, sorry for confusion, it is hard to write and think with a one year old on your lap. Clay

            • clay
              thanks. i hadnt thought about the ground wire. my safe has a fireproof drywall type liner and then carpeted so nothing touches metal. i saw the article about the garbage can which gave me the idea about my safe.
              i’ll add the ground wire this weekend

        • As long as the door is securly closed items inside will be fine. As for your generator make sure it is well grounded and put a load/short across the plug outlets. That action may keep the inducted voltage from getting high enough to damage the coils/diodes.

      43. You can not be ready for what may come. All the preperation in the world will not keep you safe from those that did not prepare. There will be a million times more of them, than you.

        All you can do is pray and hope for the best. This will be unknown territory if it should come to pass. We can guess, surmise, prepare, and in the end be left with nothing but our faith in God.

        It’s easy to talk tough and declare how you will defend your self and Family, however, how many of you really know how you will react and survive given the amount of devestation that will surround you.

        Our fate and destiny is already written. It is not for us to know what will be. Eventually you will run out of ammo., you will run out of food, you will run out of time. The only thing you will not run out of is faith and belief in a better life, be it here on earth or in the heavens.

        I had the mind set that preparing would keep me and my Family free from devestation, but now I know that it is not the case. I will always have at least a months worth of food and a backup for power outages, and that’s it. I do not have an arsenal and I do not put my Family through the riggers of contemplating the end of society as we know it. I live and love and pray for a better tomorrow.

        • There would inevitably be a die off. Aim to survive that (1st 6 months) and then get “quick crops” (3 month from planting to eating) to get you to the end of the 1st year.

          After that those that survive would have the same mindest – unite to survive in whatever way you can!

        • Major, I’m with you on the faith part. That is where freedom begins; however, faith without works is dead. Anyone that has children and elderly that depend on them would be foolish to not prepare for their care on a long term basis, if need be. We’re not talking about three squares on a 24/7 basis, but enough food and water to last at least six to eight months for each person. I say six to eight months; if the grid goes down at the end of the growing season you would need that long to make it until you can get some seeds in dirt. Anybody with common sense can grow vegetables. Now, if you live in the middle of a big city; you best have an escape plan. I wouldn’t rely on a “rapture” to get you and yours out of here. The pre-trib rapture is just a lie anyway. Best wishes for for you and yours on the better tomorrow hope. It ain’t gonna happen, for most, until the Lord returns to set things straight; and that ain’t gonna happen until “after” the tribulation period, which we will witness a whole lot of death and despair. That is why many will die from heart attacks, as they witness the horror that has and is coming upon the earth. I’m ready!

        • Major, Perhaps in a Urban / Suburban SHTF you could be right about most of this. I live rural and most around me hunt, garden and have one or the other of chickens, goats, cows and the like. There is probably at least one gun per person in each home. I and most of my neighbors also have fresh water gravity fed springs. The last thing I think you will ever catch me doing is lining up with the rest of the sheep and being forced down the chute at the rendering / processing plant.

      44. I wish they would make the book “1 second after” a dam movie already. with all this extra work im doing who’s got time to read a dam book?

      45. To each their own, MajorRealist, but it sounds like about 31 days after the disaster, you’re gonna be one of the problems.

        • TnAndy,

          Preparing for something that is the unknown, is not really possible. Having a year or more worth of food etc. is not going to save you when so many are going without. How long do you think you could possibly fend off the masses that would surround you and need what you have?

          This is not a movie, shoot em up, kill them in the thousands, stave off the marauders. In reality, I would not want to live anywhere that is filled with the stench of death that I created, by killing people. Faith, hope and keeping it real, is my formula for survival, or not.

          All due respect, but I don’t believe I would be a problem, but I do think you might have a very big problem. Let’s hope for the best either way.

          • we call it LIFE ASSURANCE for a very real outlook. you have closed your mind.KICK THE DOOR OPEN AND THINK!when you lose hope you just plain lose. plan prepare practice pray.walter would call you a dumbass.

          • Major,

            We’re all going to have problems if things get as tough as I think they will.

            The difference in you and I is I’m trying my best to do something about it, and you’re relying on faith and hopium.

            Although movie set survivalism isn’t my thing, given a choice of smelling someone else’s dead carcass versus smelling one of my own family or neighbors, I don’t have a problem with the former.

            As you point out, and I agree, the vast horde of unprepared are going to be the major problem. One of the reasons I live in a highly defensible, low population area, and I store a huge amount of rice and beans for hand outs to neighbors, and have begun to organize them into a local defense ‘social club’.

        • Really? What are you going to do if you get appendicitis or some other deadly but now no big deal medical problem not to mention broken bonees and massive infections. How much fun will it be to have what are now routine procedures done without benefit of pain killers. Abcessed teeth, lack of medications, sleeping outside in the rain and cold. I would guess that disease and health issues will kill off thirty percent of the population the first thirty days. This will not be a movie with a bunch of Rambos winning the day and at quiting time going out for a beer. Lets hope we are all just a bunch of paranoids and this never happens.

      46. Follow up of a recent article. Not only has gasoline demand dropped off a cliff, so has electric demand dropped off steeply. This indicates more trouble for the economy. Forget about the MSM propagandists. Here it comes!

        • Hey there OF, So do you think that the decline in electrical consumption is directly related the decline of industry? I have to believe that even if you count the number of homes sitting vacant, this should only have a small effect on consumption, since industry and business makes up the lions share of that consumption. Also energy consumption in countries like India and China are insatiable. So, we know where much of this demand went. What do ya think?

          • I’m refering to US electric consumption.

      47. Also, 2 earthquakes in a few days, near or in NW Cal. 6.0 off the NW coast of Cal. And 5.5 inside NW Cal. The first one is at the usual depth for earthquakes at 6.2 miles.

        • also a few down in peru at around the same 6. scale

          along the same fault line too , I think

      48. Major Realist.

        I bang on a LOT about community & groups. In mine we have a wide variety of skills from ex military sniper, to a retired goat herder. Our experience ranges from none (kids) to people who have “done the shtf” elsewhere, been refugees and then relocated and rebuilt their lives.

        I’m a real Debbie Downer on the “lone ranger” types, and have real faith that groups of likeminded, sensible tolerant individuals and families can make it out the other side : )

      49. In the event of something this severe unless you have “40 acres and a mule” your done. If you need prescription drugs, store bought food, motor fuel expect little or none. If you have any of the above expect many to want yours.

        We choose what we can and cannot prepare for. I massive grid failure lasting years ranks with an attack from Mars or a thermonuclear war. There is nothing we can do so we don’t bother. We have a generator in the event of a hurricane and enough fuel (including car gas tanks) for maybe two weeks. With health issues we’re not substance farming so we’re history.

        Better to use your funds to get out of debt and buy useful stuff. If you have a farm already go for it.

      50. Just one acre can keep an average family easily on semi-decent arable land. Research stuff like square foot gardening and you can get that space down to a lot less.

        That’s assuming you don’t turn it all over to beef production but have say 1 milk cow,or a goat and grow veggies etc. If you are good with fruit but your neighbour is great with potatoes you barter.

        My family managed keep and feed 4 generations in one 3 bed farm house and 1.5 acres for years. They lived that way until shortly after WW2 in the UK. It wasn’t rare or unusual. England doesn’t have the vast amount of land the US does.

      51. haha… magnets can prepetually power a generator indefintely and we dont need fuel… now lets see if this gets plucked before being posted again

      52. MAGNETS can prepetually power a generator if made correctly rendering conventional means of getting power as things of the past
        LOOK UP MAGNETIC GENERATOR .. google it.

        • Post a video of yours in action!

      53. Whatever problems you mentioned are not relevant. There is one main problem: if the grid goes down everywhere for a long period of time all nuclear power plants as well as all burned fuel rod storage will melt down after a few days.

        The good thing is it won’t bother you since there is no information due to the lack of electricity.

        • Dan

          Simply not true. They will run the diesel pumps / generators to keep the core cool. If Uncle Sam needs to confiscate diesel to keep them running it will.

      54. I know a lot of us country boys like to say “sure, we can survive, why, we can hunt and fish and garden, etc”. Let me tell you, with the population as high and dense as it is now even in “rural” areas, if the S hits the fan and the grid goes down or anything else that causes the grocery stores to close there will not be one single living, crawling, flying, or swimming creature left alive anywhere after about two weeks. They will ALL be totally wiped out in short order. Not one single deer, squirrel, dove, turtle, coon or house mouse will be left. You personally might own enough land to support yourself (I sure wish I did), but most everyone else doesn’t, once again, even in “rural” areas. The land simply cannot sustain the numbers of people packed onto it once the bread trucks stop rolling. Things are gonna be LOT worse than just having to use coal oil lamps and no TV.

        Others have said, communities are key. If you are not totally remote and self sufficient (again, I sure wish I was, and one day intend to be) rural communities will have to work together to stay alive, and we will just barely stay alive in the face of meltdown. I feel sorry (sort of) for those in “urban” areas…. you all are just S.O.L.

      55. When the dollar fails no one will go to work. Coal will stop appearing at power plants and the grid will go down.

        The wheels of distribution and transportation will come to an immediate hault and frozen food will spoil.

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