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How can you prepare for the collapse of the electrical grid?
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As we close in on the winter, the EU and the UK are on the verge of a massive energy crisis. Russia has now completely shut down all natural gas exports to Europe which means they have lost over 40 percent of their energy resources right before the cold season. Not only that, but the Nord pipelines have been sabotaged, making it impossible for gas exports to return. Millions of people may have to go without heating for their homes, manufacturing will have to cut back, and businesses will have to shut down or face skyrocketing electric bills.
What does this have to do with the rest of the world including the U.S.? It means that Europe will be scouring markets for any and all energy commodities they can get their hands on, from coal to oil to propane, etc. There is a limited supply produced every year that supports global industry and electrical grids. The more Europe takes the less there will be for everyone else. The supply chain will be strained, and prices will rise. Blackout events are likely, and this is not counting black swan disasters.
So, how can you prepare for such a potential calamity that could upend your life and your ability to survive? There are many steps you can take, but I'm going to list my top 10 preps for a grid-down scenario here, focusing primarily on winter. These are the first 10 measures I think every person can take right now with relatively limited money that will save their life should the lights go out.
Prep 1: Buy Alternative Heat
Do you have a heat source that can keep your home (or even a single room) warm during a long-term power outage? Can you heat your home for three months without electricity? This is a question you need to be able to answer and soon. Even in southern parts of the U.S., there is a chance of extremely cold weather, so having some kind of independent heat is a necessity.
A lot of larger homes already have a fireplace, and though they are not very efficient you can use this to heat the living room area and keep your family warm. You might have to close up multiple rooms in the house, seal up the doors with plastic and set up the family for sleeping in one large area, but at least everyone will be safe. That said, this means having a supply of dry wood to burn or a wood substitute.
If you don't have a fireplace, I recommend getting a wood stove of some kind, even if it is small, and having it ready just in case. You will also need a kit that will allow you to set up the piping out a window (look into cement board). Be sure you take proper precautions to prevent fire damage and get a couple of fire extinguishers. Get a carbon monoxide detector for the room the stove will be set up in.
A good wood stove can heat a very large house, but you will need to move the hot air around. There are heat-driven fans made specifically for wood stoves. You simply place the fan on top of the stove and the heat makes it spin.
If wood is not an option, you can buy a large propane tank and have it delivered to your home. As long as you are only using it for heat and possibly cooking, it should get you through the winter. At least 200 gallons of propane is recommended.
Prep 2: Alternative Water Source
Most people these days are on city water which is perhaps the most dangerous situation I can think of. Without electricity, city water will go down and millions of people will be facing dehydration (just look at the water situation in Ukraine right now).
There are some benefits to wintertime, though. Keep in mind that if you live in a place where it snows often, you have a readymade water source right in your front yard and on your roof, you just have to shovel it up, boil it and filter it and it's ready to drink.
If there is no snow, then you're going to need some kind of water storage. The average person is going to use at least a gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation. I suggest having enough water per person for three months, meaning 90 gallons per person. Yes, that's a lot of water, and if you have a basement or garage it will be much easier to store such preps. Most people will probably buy bottled water in bulk and set it aside. Supplement with rain or snow water whenever possible.
If you live in a rural area, things are a little different, but well water still requires power to run. You might need to set up a generator to pump water into storage barrels every couple of weeks. This would use very little gasoline. Just be sure to have a plan. Without water, a person can die in about three days.
Prep 3: Get A Nice Tent
Setting up a tent within a room in your house is an old survival trick for cold weather disasters. Even with no heating, you can still seal up a room, set up your tent with a sleeping bag, light a candle or an oil lamp and your body heat will do the rest. The tent will maintain a bubble of warmth around you and slow the dissipation of natural heat. Unless you are dealing with subzero temps this tactic should keep you relatively comfortable all winter.
In the event of extremely cold weather, you might have to stay in the tent for most of the day, inside a sleeping bag. Choose your resting area carefully. Make sure there are no drafts and also that you can actually see some of your property through a window. You don't want to be completely blind.
Prep 4: Get A Well-Made Sleeping Bag
With a good sleeping bag, you might not even need a tent. You will need a sleeping pad to go under the bag, though. I recommend easily compacted goose-down sleeping bags that can be used for backpacking. You want something that can be carried easily if needed. Also, there are double sleeping bags, and this would work well for couples and for small kids to keep each other warm.
A solid bag might be the best investment you ever made, so don't skimp on the price. Pay a little extra for a well-made bag that won't tear easily.
Prep 5: Get A Jet Boil
If you have a wood stove then this might be redundant, but heating water or cooking food is going to be difficult in a grid-down event unless you have the right tools. Remember, you can cook on a wood stove or around an outdoor fire, but you have to get the fire started and keep it going before you can do so. There will be times when you will want to cook quickly and clean without a major production.
Also, there may be situations in which you will want to keep a low profile. Meaning no smoke and no outdoor visibility. A jet boil is the way to go. The fuel canisters last a while and the device can be used indoors on a tabletop without much risk of fire. It boils water fast and cooks fast. The only downside I can think of is that they are difficult to balance large pots or pans on. You have to have backpack-type pots to cook with.
Prep 6: Get Freeze-Dried Foods
Get at least three months of freeze-dried foods for yourself and your family. For grid-down in winter, this will save you a lot of heartache. Make sure they are ready-made meals with little preparation required except boiling water. This will also save you a lot of fuel and energy with short cooking times.
Canned foods are also helpful because they already contain water, but you must keep them from freezing.
Each person is going to need around 1500 calories per day if they are low activity. They will need at least 2500 calories per day for high activity. Usually, larger freeze-dried ready-made meals are around 600 calories each, meaning each person will need at least two a day along with some kind of supplemental snack like an energy bar as well as a sugary drink mix or electrolyte mix. This will probably be one of the most expensive preps on this list, depending on how large your family is.
Children will eat less, but the cost will run at least $1000 per person for three months of food. This can be reduced by buying in bulk and also using only dry foods on certain days, such as energy bars and trail mix. You should be giving people freeze-dried meals with protein at least four days a week, which would cut the freeze-dried budget down closer to $500 per person.
Prep 7: Set Up a Lithium Battery Bank
Get at least one 12V 100AH Lithium battery, an inverter, a charge controller, and a 100-watt solar panel. This entire setup will cost you less than $1,000 and will allow you to power lights and charge devices throughout the night. Get LED lights that use minimal wattage. You will use them often in the winter to keep sane during the short dreary days. Add a battery to the power bank whenever possible and expand to increase your capabilities.
Prep 8: Get A Security Camera Setup with Small Monitor
It goes without saying, but during a grid-down event, there is a good chance that many people will be unprepared and will start searching for goods to take as they get more desperate. If you are alone and not organized with others, then you are going to be vulnerable. But you can at least set up a couple of security cameras and a receiver with a monitor. These use very little power and as long as you have the solar battery bank I mentioned above, it should be no problem.
Security cameras are force multipliers, and they allow you to sit in the comfort of your home and still watch a wide area around the house. Make sure the cameras have night vision and that they are NOT internet dependent. I would also combine cameras with remote lights that charge with solar panels. Turning lights on might be enough to scare people away. If not, then you will need self-defense measures.
Prep 9: Night Vision and Armaments
Even cheap night vision is better than nothing. Not everyone has the cash to drop on a PVS14, but there are some $500 options out there that can make you lethal in the dark at hundreds of yards. The key is to have a rifle set up specifically for nighttime duty.
Night vision is a HUGE advantage in a grid-down event, as the darkness becomes a major factor in how people behave. Some people will only be searching for abandoned resources, and they will not be much trouble. Others will be looking to TAKE by force, and they will come at night, guaranteed. Weapon lights will help greatly, but they also give away your position. IR night vision is best, and if you have the money thermal works great too.
Prep 10: Organization
As always, organization is key to long-term survival in any scenario, including a grid-down scenario. Having even one neighbor or family member on the same page when prepping for disaster can make all the difference in the world, not just for your safety but also for your mental stability. Knowing you're not alone is a big deal.
The important thing is to make sure the people you work with are just as prepped as you are and will not be a burden. You also need to be able to get along in times of stress. People who crack easily under pressure or that snap and take out their rage on others should not be trusted. Try a few exercises or outdoor adventures with these people and see how they handle it. If they are crying for their mommies after a day of struggle, they are not the type to survive what is coming.
A grid-down event would mean widespread chaos within the
population if it lasted more than a couple of months. Winter is a killer
without proper preps, and it's right around the corner. Be sure you are ready
just in case.
To truth and knowledge,
21 Items To Get Now Before Society Collapses
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· Ensure that your home is the perfect temperature for every season without breaking the bank. Take these steps to reduce the cost of running your HVAC system.
20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World
People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and experience in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive.
And if there's something you need from your neighbors but you're not willing to trade any of your supplies, you could do some work for them in exchange.
But what sort of skills will be the most useful after TEOTWAWKI? Knowing Microsoft Office won't do you much good, but knowing how to make soap could mean the difference between health and sickness. Or maybe you could trade your soap for more food. The point is, you need to learn a few skills that will be useful in a post-disaster world. I suggest you take up one as a hobby while you still have time...
What is a go bag?...
A go bag is a pack you make in advance. Ready for an evacuation. When the S-H-T-F...
That will keep you alive for several days...
If you pack the right stuff…
Bug Out Kits-Choose Your Level
- 72-hour 4Patriot emergency food pack [25 year shelf life
- 4Patriot Greens sample pack [Power supplement]
- 3 Luna Nutrition bars [assorted]+Sunmaid raisin pouch
- Cleaning Wipe Pack
- Steel River Emergency Tent
- Mini First Aid kit
- TRS 5N1 EDC folding tool
- 3-package meal sampler
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- Reusable Face Mask
- Personal Water Filter Straw
- 11-Piece Emergency Survival Kit
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