Long-Term Power Outages Rus Hays
Potential Causes • Cyber Attack (American Blackout by Nat Geo) • Natural Disaster—hurricane, tornado, ice storm, solar flare, etc. • EMP (One Second After) • Epidemic (Contagion, After Armageddon)
When it Happens • Information is key • You need a portable, rechargeable, radio (solar, dynamo, etc) • Make a decision based on the information available • If no information is available, make a decision based on observation
If there is any question… • Treat the power outage as if it is long-term in nature. You have nothing to lose except some food in the refrigerator and freezer and maybe an embarrassing moment with the neighbors. • Assume the worst case with utilities, emergency services, and your neighbors and react accordingly • Be prepared to leave if you are in an untenable position (i.e., city). If you decide to leave, earlier is better. There is a window in the beginning (pending on the cause)
Three scenarios and the endgame • Long-term happens tomorrow and you are unprepared • Long-term happens three months from now and you start preparing the moment you leave this class • Long-term happens one year from now and you have planned and prepared
If it happens tomorrow and you are unprepared… • Fill all your bathtubs and every container you have with water • Inventory all your foodstuffs and count calories. Do not try to eat like normal • Throw an ice cream party • Begin trying to save everything in the refrigerator and freezer. Priortize. • Put everything you need at night in an easy to find location • You will still end up dependent
Three months from now • You’ve bought a bunch of food that stores well • You have rain barrels on all of your downspouts • You have an amazing water filter • You have solar, rechargeable light sources • You have basic medical supplies • You have fuel stored for your shiny, new generator • You have the ability to cook and heat • You have a lot of nuts and summer sausage in your freezer • Family communication plan • Your car is always above ½ full
One year from now • Everything from three months plan • You have planted decorative plants that produce food • You have canning supplies and equipment to save everything in your refrigerator and freezer • If you have natural gas, you’ve considered buying a natural gas generator • You have a good stock of other items including detergents, sundries, and extra meds • You’ve attended the edible wild plants class • You have the ability to evacuate
Expectations • Eventually emergency and medical personnel will stop going to work and concentrate on their own families • Everything electrical will fail when the power source is exhausted (grid items first, then battery operated appliances) • Water will be available until the tanks run dry • Natural gas will be available for an indeterminate period • There will be a mass exodus from the cities
Longer than a year… • Best estimates are that 80 – 90% of the population will die within one year • Even those that are prepared will need to band together • Lawlessness will occur within 72 hours • You will need a security plan—safety lies in the right numbers. Emergencies make for strange bedfellows. You should have made prior arrangements with like-minded individuals. See MAG.
Longer than a year… • You will need the ability to transport your supplies or you will need a bug-out sight that is pre-stocked unless you already live somewhere suitable to long-term survival. • You will need to produce and store food at the first possible instant. For instance, the power goes out in May. You have a year’s supply so are not worried about producing. You realize your mistake in November and its too late to grow. By April your out of food and looking at several months of hunger before any can be produced.
Worst case • EMP detonation—welcome to 1850. INSTANTLY • Power grid is completely destroyed and nearly all electrical devices rendered useless. • Aircraft fall out of the sky • Most cars stop wherever they are at the time of detonation • Computers, cell phones, etc. all useless • No food or medicine distribution • Widespread, rapid chaos and lawlessness
EMP • Evacuation will have to be on foot, bicycle, or pre 1974 vehicle • If you are going to leave, the sooner you leave, the safer you’ll be • You need a good communication plan. Chances are this event will separate your family • Rendezvous points • Contingency plans
In any power outage these are nice to have: • Solar generator • Hand crank recharger for cell phone, laptop • Good water purifier • Neighborhood watch plan • Small generator and fuel to run refrigerator/freezer until power is returned • Rechargeable emergency lights in outlets at various points in the house • And on and on…