Grid down......think about it.

This article brings up a lot of good points and can be a little scary. Also, it shows how you can start to prepare on minimal amounts of money.

The "unthinkable" is becoming more common these. next time you drive past one of the those electical production yards, even a small one, contemplate how easy it would be to wipe out. And most of us are "amateurs".



  • @RustBeltCowgirl thank you for the article.

    OK a solar flare is unlikely but the pandemic was also unlikely.

    I normally have around 10 meals worth of noodles and 10 to 20 meals worth of rice stored. Canned tomatoes, beans and the like are in the storage too. I try to buy something extra each time I shop at the grocery store.

    I plan to up my preparedness level by getting a gas camping stove and some extra gas bottles. As we plan on doing some more and longer camping holidays this will be of double use. I have roughly around 70litre of water stored in the cellar at all times mainly for drinking.

    And do not forget the toilet paper 😂 remember March last year.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting. Such a great reminder! I have a lot of food set aside, but since I’ve moved I don’t have water storage. I need to look into either buying a manual pump for the well or storing water for emergencies. At least I finally live somewhere where it actually rains. In California that was always my big worry that I couldn’t get around. Living on a hill on a desert had its drawbacks.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    I have an artesian well so I have water that comes directly to the house no matter what. All the water piping in the house needs to be replaced so I am carrying water upstairs right now, but at least we have water. I could probably tap one of out many streams if this artesain well had issues.

    I have directions for making a solar electric system. I just need to have someone else look at it, figure out the cost and them help me build it. That may be a fall project.

    I need to add a better root cellar too. We have one but the location could be better.

    One of the hardest things to get used to if we lost power would be the internet. I really do a lot of online classes and research here.

    I plan to add an outdoor cook stove and will need to add a cooking stove or maybe one of those sun ovens to the plan.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jens Actually after the attack on the Capitol and 9/11, I was thinking more of the terrorist/insurgent aspect. Here in the US, we are heavily dependent on the grid. Hit a major transfer point and the amount of chaos would be immeasureable.

    There used to be a time when that was beyond the point of credibility. Now, all it needs is one individual with a truck full of fertilizer (Oklahoma City bombing).

    Do I believe it's coming? Yes, I do. I honestly don't think it is a matter of "if", I believe it is a matter of "when".

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Megan Venturella Look into a recycled food grade IBC tote. You can find recyclers on Craigslist. The one we have behind our garage is 250 gallons and is water catchment off the roof. The gutters all drain into the tote.

    If you have it set up on blocks with a water spigot at the bottom, it will gravity feed. No pump needed.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,500 admin

    By the way, click on cookbook in the top tab of this article. Tons of really great looking recipes. Something I have never made is white chilli. So I think I might put that on the menu very soon. Something to use up all of those stored beans. :)

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    Extending your growing season may also be important and of course a good supply of seeds. (Many years ago I heard they might try to control our food supply so a form of hidden gardening might also be something to look into.)

    Bartering may become much more important when times get tough. I am always looking around the property thinking, "What can I barter with?" Last year it was plants and rocks of all things.

    I have to replace our furnace heating system next summer or fall. It needs repaired too much and that costs and arm and a leg. It also needs electric to kick on to heat so with our numerous electrical outages I want to switch off gas heat. I have enough wood and wood scraps around here to use a rocket stove and have been leaning in that direction.

    And next year, with more time and planning, I want to improve my pantry. This year it was whatever I can get my hands on. I have stocked up enough that I can help my other family member out but there is more processed food in the pantry than I really want.

    as @torey said, check out those recipes! There are some amazing one there.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,499 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really like being able to use my camping equipment and supplies in case of emergencies. Weather emergencies are my primary concern, and can hit anytime, anywhere. (They make great practice situations for longer term events, too!)

    A few years ago, when a power outage hit my Washington town because heavy snow took down power lines, I had to keep refusing "rescue" from concerned friends. With the lowest temperatures being in the low 30s, I was well prepared to sit it out at home.

    I was able to stay in my small apartment in comfort because I have 4 sleeping bags of different ratings. The 30 below mummy bag wasn't even needed. I just tucked myself in and read books on my Kindle. I have a solar charger that I keep charged up, which will recharge the phone and the tablet a couple of times before it runs out. Every time the power came on for a few minutes (which was several times a day), I jumped up and heated a kettle of water and a pan of soup, and was comfortable.

    That experience told me that I needed to get a camp stove (NOT for use inside) because a little hot tea and soup go a long way in keeping spirits up and the body warm. I'd still like to get a bigger stove and some fuel because I can cook on my patio if I need to. Oh, and a larger solar charger would be really nice to have. And my water storage needs work, too.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,500 admin

    @Mary Linda Bittle, West Plains, Missouri Butane stoves make an excellent option for using inside. The kind that restaurants use on buffets (like for making omelettes to order). I have 2. A single burner and a double burner. Lighter weight for camping. Both the stove and the fuel.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    Don't forget to have a good quality gravity fed water filter. A Kangen is useless if the grid is down. Protein and fat are crucial for survival. Make some beef jerky and get a few liters of coconut oil. You won't be able to cook so something that takes an hour or more like beans is not going to be that useful. Get a big mortar and pestle as you won't be using a blender.

    I live in the tropics so food is not as much of an issue but the thought of 12 hours of darkness every day is rather disconcerting, not to mention all the freezer food going bad. I guess I'd have to have a big bar-b-q for the neighbours.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another suggestion is purchasing a deep cycle marine battery and a small inverter. One fully charged battery powered my CPAP, recharged my cell and tablet, plus allowed me to have a lamp instead of a flashlight in the middle of the night. For 6 nights. That same battery can be hooked up to a solar panel or battery charger to recharge after use.

    Big con is that they are not lightweight.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    I have been studying emps for years. It's been a genuine concern of mine for awhile. There is a good book, albeit fiction called "One second after" by William R. Forstchen. I highly recommend reading it.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle, West Plains, Missouri A butane stove sounds like a promising idea. I've been wondering about some sort of cooking back-up I could use in the house. What's involved in storing the fuel? Can you keep much on hand, and does it go bad after a while?

    I was deep into historical re-enacting years before I got serious about preparedness in everyday life, so power outages and such don't bother me much. I have gear and experience to function well enough without modern conveniences. But there's no denying the older I get, the more attractive those conveniences become....

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @karenjanicki I have read "One Second After. " Definitely worth reading

    @MaryRowe My nephew is in to re-enacting. I occasionally go with him. It's a great learning experience

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant Yes, re-enacting is great on so many levels. When you get really serious about doing it "right" you learn such a range of valuable skills and confidence in using them. That in turns builds a sense of accomplishment and self-worth, also discernment as to what is really necessary to live well, and independence from many pitfalls of modern mainstream culture. It always makes me happy to see families involved, with the kids fully engaged--absolutely the best kind of learning experience. And of course in practical terms it is very effective preparation for the kinds of disturbances and disasters we've been considering on this thread.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,500 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl That stove is just like the single unit one that I have but mine doesn't have the capability of switching to propane. I didn't know you could get them as dual fuel. I'm not sure that I would use the propane fuel inside. But the butane is definitely safe indoors.

    @MaryRowe The butane is very lightweight. As you can see in the picture, the can is much smaller than a similar propane tank. A case of 12 would take up about a cubic foot or so of space. No, it doesn't go bad. In stores here the price comparison is that the propane tanks are almost twice what the butane tank costs.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Thanks for the suggestion and the information. This is definitely on my list now. Looks very practical for preparedness, also convenient for dying yarn and other projects you'd rather not have in the kitchen.

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    We have been considering solar, and until then, getting a battery for our well (which is pumped by electricity!) That is our big weak point right now. The marine battery is an interesting idea and we also have a generator.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey The dual fuel capability is why I picked that item to highlight. Propane for camping, butane for in house. The advantage of options.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    Remember to store things in different places. What happens when you store all of your food inside and you have a devastating fire. Or what happens when you have a tall tree come down and it destroys the part of your house where you have your home storage. I have always had food storage in several places in my house. Not true now but I need to think about this also.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All great advice listed here. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments. I'm glad that emp was mentioned. I feel like that could be a real possibility.

    When I was young my dad often took me camping to practice survival skills. I need to practice more with my kids. I have dropped the ball there.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    So many things to think about. I would also suggest wool blankets etc. And little things: tweezers, needles, pins, the kinds of things we could never make.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    I agree with that. The space under my house is about 5" high, something between a high crawl space and a low unfinished cellar. This is tornado country, so I've built a makeshift tornado shelter there, and put some basic supplies in it. It can get very humid down there in the summer, so I bought new aluminum trash cans with tight-fitting lids, lined them with big heavy-duty plastic trash bags, and filled them with the supplies I'd need to get by for a couple weeks if a tornado took the top off my house.

    To decide what went in them, I set up a camp in my woods and moved out there for three days, paying attention to what I really needed and thinking about what else might be useful in an emergency. (Some of the things on my list surprised me, and I would never have thought of otherwise--practice runs are a good thing!) Today, Groundhog Day, is my way of remembering to go down and check on my stash at least once a year, to make sure everything is in good shape and ready for use. I hope I never need that stash, but it's a good feeling to know it's there.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    We have marine batteries on our solar system. They are great when the grid goes down as it switches on automatically and can power everything we need for days without recharging such as lights, pellet stove, appliances, lights, television and computers. We buy energy efficient everything so it takes very little electricity to run our house. We use the wood stove to cook on so we are pretty much okay.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Water is a big concern if you don't live where you can use a well. Even if I have emergency power sources, I still lose the water supply from my town system when the power goes down.

    In this situation, its important to have some water stored, and be prepared to boil and/or filter water found on your property. For essentials of life like food and water, I wouldn't want to be dependent on electricity, even if you have an emergency power system.

  • Kelley
    Kelley Posts: 140 ✭✭✭

    Water is everything. We can grow and store food but cannot make water from nothing.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl Many thanks for this article.