On The Preparedness Map All Roads Lead Back To A Town Called Grid-Down

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We all have our own reasons for preparing for the future and whilst some are convinced a pandemic will be the sure-fire incident that causes the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) others think an EMP attack, natural or contrived will be what sees off the majority of the population.

It’s amazing that most wide-scale events lead back to one certainty:

The grid will go down.

  • A pandemic would lead to massive sickening and death rates within the population. Utilities would not be maintained and failures would result. The grid is susceptible to everything from lack of maintenance to winter storms and would most likely be an early casualty.
  • An Electro-Magnetc Pule (EMP) be it natural or man-made would have a dire and immediate effect on the power grid.
  • A Nuclear war would result in the power going out.
  • A nuclear accident would cause the power to go out in the affected area.

The list goes on an on.

So reliant have we become on our electricity supply that we cannot imagine life without it yet for almost the entire history of humanity we never had it!

In a couple of hundred years we have become so used to the fact that we can flick a switch and get instant light, that we have a continuous food supply so we don’t need to worry about supplies and that we can see the world-wide news on demand that we fear its demise.

This is illogical. When Lucy first climbed out of her tree and started the walk out of Africa there was barely enough hominids to actually call a population. Yet we came from that to a global population of 7 billion souls without the help of electricity.

The Amish and Mennonite communities that still not only exist but are flourishing  perfectly well using manual tools and shunning the modern way of life.

Yes it’s a harder life, yes it’s a less convenient way of life but it’s perfectly doable.

  • Assessments that 99% of the population would die off within a year should the power go off are in my opinion grossly overstated. Yes some would sadly die due to ill-health that relies on modern medical intervention.
  • More still would die because they were not able to get medical intervention when it was needed, after an accident for example.
  • Deaths of mothers and babies during childbirth would most likely increase.
  • Rioting, looting and general lawlessness would see of thousands more.

But even all of those things nowhere near comes to 99% of the population. For that to happen 335,000,000 Americans would have to die within a year of the power going down. No, I don’t see than as a viable figure.

Preparing for a grid-down scenarios is central to my personal preparedness because it’s not something I have ever had to live with.  I have never lived as an adult off-grid. As a woman over 50 life would be far more difficult than it is now so I like to know I have it covered as far as I can. That me and mine will stay warm and fed. That we have educational materials that don’t rely on computers, that I can deal with medical issues as best I can without hospital back up.

This is the starting point of my preparedness because so many situations would lead to it being a problem, but that’s all it is, a starting point.

Preparing for a long-term grid down situation makes sure you have all the basics in place. The first tier of equipment and kit that covers everything from a local outage due to a winter storm to a prolonged grid-down emergency.

From there it’s easier to diverge into the specialist requirements you need to deal with a pandemic or a nuclear war, it’s easier because you have the basics in place. Regardless of what you are preparing for information is key, here are a few prepping articles you may find useful:

Take care,

Liz

8 thoughts on “On The Preparedness Map All Roads Lead Back To A Town Called Grid-Down”

  1. Hi Lizzie I agree with you that a grid down situation is very likely through a variety of different scenarios. With that in mind I am looking to replace my electric cooker with a wood fired one. I don’t suppose you could recommend a good one?
    Also I am keen to start canning but nobody in the UK seems to do it. Any advice you could throw my way?
    Your articles are excellent, thank you for taking the time to write them. I hope they are getting the attention they deserve.

    1. Hiya Sue, Long time no type lol.

      I looked at the possibility of an Aga or Rayburn and a company called Fired Earth were the people I spoke to, can’t remember where they are based though because we have moved so many times. They were way out of my price range at the time.

      As for canning…don’t. You and me both but can you buy a pressure canner in the UK? No, you cannot. Looked at getting one from the States but the shipping charges were twice as much as the canner!

      I have to stick to high acid stuff and water bath can them, I use a maslin pan and usually get the processing times from reputable websites: The Organic Prepper, Ready Nutrition, Backwoods Home to name three but the info is hard to find.

      I can tell you that daisy Luther, a good friend of mine is bringing out a canning book in February that will be on Amazon…she’s brilliant and the face behind theorganicprepper.ca. She has loads of food related articles and is very into self sufficiency so it’s worth a look.

      Lakeland the homewares shop have started doing electric dehydrators not the size or quality of the US ones but I’m going to Chichester to see if they have one I can have a look at, my Christmas present to me lol.

      It bloody annoys me that we can buy all the bits and bobs for canning but not the canner itself. I asked a US chef about using a pressure cooker and he said no way because it doesn’t have a gauge on and therefore you can’t be sure it stayed at the required temperature. I pointed out that nobody stands there and stares at the gauge for the whole processing time and he conceded that point but also pointed out that they are so small you would be at it non-stop.

      As an example you need a crane and hoist to get Daisy’s out of the cupboard…it is HUGE and so heavy. She backed up the chef when I asked her so it looks like pressure cookers are out sadly.

      Well I haven’t really been much use there have I? I get your frustrations though as I too would love to can.

      By the by Daisy has said she will teach me when I go over on holiday and then I can bring one back…can you imagine their faces in customs, massive excess baggage bill and possibly arrested for terrorism as they seem to be the weapon of choice these days.

      I do scan around to see if any become available in the UK a couple of times a year, if ever I find one I’ll let you know.

      Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment, it makes the hours spent hammering computer keys seem so much more worthwhile.

      Take care, love to the family

      Liz

      1. Sounds like your experience has been identical to mine. I was hoping you had had better luck! : )
        Why doesn’t anyone prep in England??!!!!
        I think it’s just you and me. : )
        I do read some of Daisys stuff -very helpful although I don’t subscribe to all of her views.
        Thanks for your insight, think I might keep looking for a wood fired stove as we have plenty of wood for free but I guess the canning is out. Dehydration it is!
        Don’t forget me if you want any info we discussed – happy to help.
        Sue x

        1. We are also moms who stay up too late on a school night lol. Re Daisy she’s actually a long term friend of mine but I know what you mean…we have had many a Skype debate over the years lol. Regardless of her ‘wider’ views she knows her stuff on canning, preserving etc…I hope her wingback service picks this up as I mentioned her…that will be another debate!

          Re the other matter I’ll drop you a line…the apartment in Nairobi is finally finished…waiting to see if they renew his work permit and then will have to make some educational decisions, I’ll email you with the latest, I know all about wheels moving slowly but this is getting ridiculous lol.

          Suppose it’s time i went to bed but I have a stubborn pair of school tights hanging in front of the wood burner that are still a bit damp.

          Speak to you soon x

      2. Liz

        It’s me again. 🙂

        Have seen pressure canner on the UK Amazon site. I was bored and decided to check it out.

        If you want a really good site for canning, try bernardin.ca. It has the site broken up in a logical fashion. The instructions are well written. And most importantly, the measurements are in both metric and imperial units. Easy-peasy. It’s my go-to site. If I want something that is less basic, I go to foodinjars.com.

        Bernardin also produces a good canning book. There’s a lot of extra info in the book that I haven’t found on their site. May be available on Amazon on your side of the pond.

        1. KK, thank you so much…need to tell Sue lol

          We have decided there are two peppers in the UK, her and me so we need to stick together.

          I was just going to bed, gone midnight here. I’ll drop you a line tomorrow.

          Thanks again

          Liz

  2. Hi Liz

    Thanks for the sane post on a grid down situation. I’m so tired of those who write that we’d be thrown back to the stone age.

    I believe you’re right when you state that many situations would lead to grid down. I’m also concentrating on grid down as the main component of my preparedness plans.

    Since we’ve lived in the middle of an Amish/Mennonite community for the past 13 years, I’ve been able to pick up a few pointers. Surprisingly, although they don’t tie into the grid, they use solar panels/wind mills to charge deep cycle batteries to run equipment. I used to see my next door neighbour walking down the road with his empty batteries to get them charged at another neighbour’s place. Then he set up his own solar system.

    There are those people who practice being without power for a couple of days at a time to try and develop skills for the eventual loss of power. Me? I don’t need to. Thanks to being in a rural area, our power utility often suffers from outages winter and summer. I believe it was 2014 when I actually kept track of the outages. In less than a year, we had 24 opportunities to practice off grid living. Still have a long way to go,

    Leaving the city all those years ago was the best thing we ever did. I’ve gotten an education in self sufficient living. Not only that, we’ve exchanged drive by shootings for drive by shittings. I keep my bucket and shovel at the ready to grab that free fertilizer. And the neighbours don’t bat an eyelash when they see me collecting it.

    kk

    1. Hiya KK,

      Sounds like you’re doing ok lol. You know I have thought for a while the numbers were off but only last night did I bother working out what they actually came out at and they don’t work for me. If we applied the same maths there would only be 690,000 people left in Britain, just over 7 people per square mile,so just 112 of us left on the island I live on! No, I think the estimates are way off, a kind of urban legend thing.

      I agree re leaving the city, I can hear a gun go off now and I don’t grab the first aid kit in one hand whilst dialling 999 (our 911) with the other. It’s a nice feeling.

      As always thanks for taking the time to leave and leave a comment x

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