Grid Down: Surviving Off-Grid

suppliesSurviving Grid Down Scenarios

The most common cause of grid-down situations are natural disasters. The term grid-down refers to loss of all basic electrical power and utilities (i. e. drinking water, natural gas, etc) across a large geographic area.  Advance preparations will enable most preppers to survive anywhere from a week to several months in relative comfort compared to the unprepared individual. Inevitably, supplies will run out over time and only the most ardent survivalists will have any chance of long-term survival.

The First 24 Hours

The first 24 hours of a grid down scenario are not usually taken seriously by most people.  I had the opportunity to ask a number of people how they responded to the 2011 regional power outage in southern California.  I heard statements like, “I wasn’t worried about it.  I just broke out a case of beer and invited my neighbors over,” or “I fired up the grill and started cooking dinner and having a few drinks,” or “We just used an old flashlight, lit a couple of scented candles and made sure we didn’t open the refrigerator too much so the food would stay fresh.”

Do any of these comments sound like survival tactics that you would implement now? . . . Me either! Hell, why not just sit around and sing “Kumbaya” while we’re at it!

As stated by writer Alfred Henry Lewis in a March 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” With this quote in mind, most grocery stores only carry about one to three days of inventory . . . things that make you go, hmmm?

Beyond the First Day

After the first day of a grid down situation without basic utilities, things start to get interesting.  A lot of folks may have the common sense to fill their bathtubs and sinks with water “just in case”. . . most won’t. One of several things might happen now.

  • If the bottled water has not already been cleared off grocery store shelves, it’s about to be
  • Electrical generator sales at your local hardware stores will skyrocket
  • People will start to get worried about basic survival needs
  • The normally “nice” people stop being “nice”

Preppers Beware

As I said before, if you are moderately prepared, you should be able to survive in relative comfort for several weeks to a month. Don’t let moderate preparedness lull you into a false sense of security.  This is where your senses should be heightened. You need to be keenly aware of everything that is happening around you. If radios are still broadcasting, you should be monitoring developments by the hour. You should begin rationing and taking appropriate security measures immediately. Remember, if people know you have food and supplies, THE “Zombies” WILL BE COMING your way soon.

Long-Term Grid Down: Now What?

If you get into the realm of 96 hours grid down and beyond, the serious trouble begins. Most people have run out of what minimal water and food they had on hand and are now looking to the government for their hand out. If it’s a shorter drive to your house than it is to a FEMA camp, beware! Survivalists, preppers, whatever you choose to call yourself; should be making plans to Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD). If your current residence is not your permanent retreat, it’s time to consider getting out. Once safely to your retreat, set about living (surviving) the way you have always PLANNED!