Surviving a Grid-down Disaster – Part 2

Surviving a Grid-down Disaster – Part 2

In part one of this article, we talked about all the potential threats to our grid systems and how our reliance on technology affects us. We also talked about how to become a part of the solution before a grid-down disaster occurs.

Let’s continue that last bit here, but first, we will jump into a short (as it can only be such since we are still in the somewhat early existence of electric power) history of blackouts and how they affected folks over a fairly wide swath.

As mentioned in the previous part of this article, our power grid is made up of more than 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines making up the West, East, and Texas power grids.

These grids supply more than 150 million customers over industries, businesses, and residencies with power. Looking at it this way can prove to give great insight as to what is going to happen if that electricity suddenly goes away. We use this power every day and too often take for granted that it is “always readily available”.

Over the years, the United States has experienced several blackouts or power outages, some which have proven to be nearly catastrophic. Some of the more treacherous ones happened in a time when folks weren’t so “bad and boujee”. They had relatively recent relatives that had suffered much worse things than a simple power outage.

Today, a blackout would have much more potential to do severe damage to our society. As mentioned before, a grid-down scenario is an event more apt to be widespread today than in yesteryear due to its super-interconnection to itself.

Here are a few examples of severe blackouts and power failures in United States history:

  • Northeast Blackout of 1965: This notorious blackout lasted up to thirteen hours, leaving over 30 million people without power. It affected at least eight of the Northeastern States. The major cause of this blackout was human error.
  • New York City 1977: A lightning strike (or three) caused this blackout. A substation by the Hudson was struck causing immortal electrical hell to break loose. That is when New York’s largest generator went down. Simultaneously to this blackout, the afflicted area was going through economic struggles. Unfortunately, this led to immediate rioting and looting. Once the blackout was over nearly 4,500 looters placed under arrest.
  • Hurricane Sandy of 2012: This gargantuan of a hurricane stirred problems in twenty-four American states. Hardest hit was New York with some folks out of power for two weeks.

The best way to get through a grid-failure with some refinement is to have prepared, at least minimally, beforehand. We can’t foresee the future and this leaves us a bit in the dark; however, even the most minimal of prepping can prove to be of immense help in any survival type situation.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the prepping process. It can be tackled in an infinite number of ways.

When Prepping/Beginning to Prep:

Right out the gate, you must have the right mindset for prepping: you are on your own. That is the best way to proceed forward. As for thoughts of any quick and effective help reaching you in the face of disaster, consider yourself abandoned.

For that sort of realization, you must be prepared, not only with skills and tools but with your mind. You must be psychological fit to be right in any aspect of living, survival scenarios included.

Getting started, if you have no experience at all in prepping, is not as overwhelming as it may first come off.

Here are a few things to consider for a grid-down disaster:

1. Making physical room for long-term food and water storage (no matter the size of your living space).

2. Practice cooking and eating the food that you are storing. It may be different from the foods you are currently used to and it would be wise to know how to cook them and how your appetite responds to them.

3. Learn about self-defense/weapons training and participate.

4. Understand how to deal with medical needs.

5. The value of your health and the shape you are in.

6. Patience is the key in developing your survival plans. It is a continuous project that is never “completed”. Simply doing the bare minimum can significantly alter the way you experience any given survival/SHTF/grid-down scenario.

So take a moment to mull over these. Get your head wrapped around the why’s and how’s of prepping. Prepare your mind. Now, that being said, this is not simply a thought processing thing. You need to get started as soon as possible with the action of prepping.

Once you feel firmly convicted to prepare, forget the halfway measures. Dedicate a good part of your budget to preparedness. Do this and begin to actually prep, and statistically, your chances of survival, for you and your family and friends and other loved ones as well, will be much, much greater.

Now, where do I start?

There are four trillion and one (maybe an exaggeration, maybe not) forms of research out there that will point you in the right direction for completely fresh noobs. They have already broken down the basic requirements for a family getting into the preparedness lifestyle.

There are some obvious top priorities to keep in mind for a grid-down scenario:


Number one, the top priority is going to potable water. Even if you only prepped by storing some containers of water, imagine what that simple measure can do for you if SHTF. However, there are limits to this, especially depending upon where and how you live.

Looking at it from this point of view lets you know that you will have to break this thing down into terms of how/where you are living. Having a water filtration system on hand will never hurt you, that’s for sure. Maybe knowing of an open water source near your development is a better bet for your specific situation. Take the necessary time to figure things like this out.

You really don’t want to rely so much on water storage as you do finding an open source of water and a way to filtrate water.


Food is number two on the list of preparedness. Again, before it fails us all, and in an ironic twist of events, turn to the internet and get all the information you can get out of it. There is a fortune of articles and videos that go into considerable detail in food storage. Think in terms of stocking up on bulk foods, basic staples, wheat, rice, beans, honey, canned food, etc..

You’ve got to figure out, first, what your budget can handle, and second, what your palate can handle. As we have said before, you will want to have a bit of “experience” in the foods that you will be caching.

Recommended article: Pros & Cons Of Various Survival Foods

When it comes to storage, the best piece of advice that you can follow is to get creative. There are tons of methods already being used and thanks to your wife’s Pinterest account, you can now get motivated by others’ creations. Once you get started, your own ingenious ideas will start to appear.


So, unfortunately, human nature being what it is, if you happen to dwell in a city or larger suburb, say you are pulling your cart of water or maybe some food for the community. The chances are that someone is going to walk up, stick a weapon of some sort into your back and say, “I am taking that.” This is only one simple example among an uncountable number; the point is that security and self-defense is nearly just as important as water and food preparation.

Self-defense is very important for any and all involved in a survival situation. There are many things to consider in this aspect of preparing. Owning a few guns and knowing how to use them effectively are two different things.

You’ve got to practice with the tools you have chosen; the training to go along with every tool you have, every vehicle you have, every skill you have, is just as important as the thing itself.

Fuel Supply:

Obviously, gasoline logistics are going to come crashing down with a grid-failure. Therefore, stocking up on fuel (in a safe way) can be, depending upon your circumstances, extremely essential.

As with any storage situation, there are limits of course. There are some finer points you will want to know about storing fuels. As for the basics, gasoline can be problematic, not having a very long shelf life. Diesel, on the other hand, has a fairly high flash point and isn’t as hazardous as gasoline if the bullets were to start flying. It may be worth looking into diesel options for your vehicle.

If you are planning on bugging out, fuel is definitely going to need to be a top priority.

Medical Supplies/Skills

At a minimum, you should look into taking all the American Red Cross courses. This would include a CPR class, basic first aid classes, advanced first aid classes, etc. These are essential lessons for preppers not only for a grid-down disaster.

Enroll yourself and inspire relatives to enroll in the local volunteer fire department or rescue/EMT service. This will help you to get some amazing training that will be invaluable in a survival scenario.

Another thing to think about (far ahead of time) is the what will happen if you or someone you know is on a CPAP machine or suffers diabetes or kidney dialysis. Regrettably, if the grid fails, some folks are going to be put in a very hard place.

Not everyone is equipped with a battery-powered CPAP machine. Between kidney dialysis and. Other chronic medical conditions, if we have a major disturbance, we are going to be looking at a very high die-off rate. The numbers will be boggling.

Your Health:

This is no “New Year’s resolution” deal; being in shape is dire for all of life’s happenings. Getting your health right is simply a requirement for living properly. You should gradually create a vigorous lifestyle now before the time comes when your fitness will actually matter.

There are so many ways to do this that don’t even take the effort of going to some 24-hour fitness club. In fact, your best bet to creating a vigorous lifestyle is to use practical approaches. Make the exercise useful. Cut/split/haul wood. Place your garden spaces in different areas of the yard/property. Hand-dig post holes.

Come up with things that you can do that requires both physical effort and supports a chore that needs to be done anyway. Do things that will help you build your back strength so that you can easily complete harder tasks at hand.

If you live in the city or suburbs, and there isn’t much to do by way of “exercising work” (which, there probably are plenty of things…), you should take up swimming as a “workout”. Swimming works each of the muscle groups that make up the body, where many workouts are simply focused on key points of the body.

No matter what you do, understand that physical conditioning is crucial. Sweating more means spending less. We have become a society built on softness Rather than paying someone to come and do things for you, try learning to do them yourself and simultaneously getting your body in shape.


Communication is crucial; if you cannot coordinate security with your neighbors, it will literally turn to “every man for himself” and that is a dangerous state to be in (as if the rioters, looters, and lesser of society aren’t already going to be enough to deal with. Communication is key. Period.

MURS band radios are multiple user radio systems. Where any and all folks who know about it will be covering up the CB channels, the MURS band is lightly used. Another advantage to MURS is that it is next door to the NWSA frequencies (National Weather Service Alert).

A third, and unique advantage to using a MURS system is its compatibility with most infrared alarm systems (driveway, house-entries, etc.). Yes, not only can your hand-held talkie keep you a button away from communicating with neighbors or loved ones, keep you updated by the NWS frequency, but it can alert you to any persons intruding upon your space. “Alert, zone four, alert, zone four” could potentially save you beans, bacon, and your hide. (Unless, of course, your system is set up on the grid, and you have not prepared in any other way…)

Which leads us into a final point before concluding.

It IS NOT All About The Gear:

As you can see by the “priorities” listed above,  a good portion of prepping comes from the obtaining of knowledge and skill sets. A lot of people think that prepping is only about buying the gear, the stuff, the gadgets…

First and foremost, it is about that mess between your ears. Next, it is about the skills that you hone in. And finally, after a good deal of each of those, you are ready to start acquiring the gear. Or, you may be in total disagreement. However, it would still be wise while stocking up on precious stuff to also be shaping the mind and your personal spread of skills.

Recommended reading: 30 Survival Skills Everyone Had 100 Years Ago

Even if you go the route of ‘gear-head’, you still must realize that there is a learning curve to each thing you obtain. If you have the tools, you must learn to use them properly. They will not use themselves, and they damn sure won’t coach you through when the time comes to need it. Practice with your tools. Simple as that.

Even if you go the route of ‘gear-head’, you still must realize that there is a learning curve to each thing you obtain. If you have the tools, you must learn to use them properly. They will not use themselves, and they damn sure won’t coach you through when the time comes to need it. Practice with your tools. Simple as that.


When you start your prepping venture, don’t be overwhelmed by the abundance of information out there and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There a million ways to skin a cat, and it is no less true of prepping.

Find what works for you and watch for common pitfalls (in this technologically advanced world, that sort of info is at your fingertips; while it lasts that is…). This is a multi-year process for any prepper, new to the game or a salty dog.

Another tidbit of advice on prepping: try to use much “old time” technology as is necessary and high technology in the appropriate times. This sort of approach can save your back, your wallet, and a multitude of other things.

This sort of thing takes some serious thought, planning, and budgeting. You must be willing to make some changes (in most cases); commit part of your annual income to stock your cache. This could be what it takes to save your family in the event of a major fall out crisis or grid-down scenario.

This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.

Useful resources to check out:

Learn how to Safeguard your Home against Looters

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

Survival Lessons from the 1880s Everyone Should Know

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