Catastrophic Power Outage

Catastrophic Power Outage – Can We Survive?

The risk posed by a catastrophic power outage is not simply a bigger, stronger storm. It is something that could paralyze entire regions, with grave implications for the nation’s economic and social well-being.

Do we as a people within this nation have the ability to withstand a catastrophic power outage of a magnitude beyond modern experience – one that exceeds prior events in severity, scale, duration, and consequence?

Well, a December 2018 report titled “Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage – How to Strengthen the Capabilities of the Nation”, written by the NAIC (The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council), addresses some of what we may consider doing as a nation.

The purpose and focus of the study was not on the cause (of catastrophic power outage). Rather, the consequences, best categorized as severe, widespread, and long-lasting.

Alarmingly, the type of event not only includes an extended loss of power, but also a cascading loss of other critical services. Drinking water and wastewater, communications, financial services, transportation, fuel, healthcare, and others—

This is a profound threat. The scale of the event—stretching across states and regions, will affect tens of millions of people – and will exceed and exhaust mutual aid resources and capabilities.

Furthermore, the report details how there literally is no coordinated understanding, standards, or design criteria or plan for this. No cross-sector efforts to protect critical infrastructure.

What is a Catastrophic Power Outage?

– Events beyond modern experience that exhaust or exceed mutual aid capabilities.

– Long duration, lasting several weeks to months due to physical infrastructure damage.

– Affects a broad geographic area, covering multiple states or regions and affecting tens of millions of people.

– Causes severe cascading impacts that force critical sectors—drinking water and wastewater systems, communications, transportation, healthcare, and financial services—to operate in a degraded state.

Read this novel if you want to find out what could really happen:
One Second After

Critical Infrastructure Lifeline Services

– Electricity
– Fuel
– Clean drinking water
– Wastewater services
– Food/refrigeration
– Emergency medical services
– Communications capabilities
– some access to financial services

Above all, a major regional long lasting catastrophic power outage will affect ALL of these services disastrously.

[ Read: Without Electricity Most Of The Population Will Not Survive ]

People Don’t Have Enough Essentials

We talk about this here on a semi regular basis:
Most people simply do not keep enough essential supplies at home anymore. As a result, most people are tremendously unprepared.

It is noteworthy though that FEMA and other government messaging is now shifting from having 72 hours of essentials on-hand to 14 days.

Note that 14 days of essentials would likely cover the majority of ordinary disaster events. But we’re not talking about the ordinary in the case of catastrophic power outage…

I know that I’m preaching to the choir for our regular readers. However even those who are preparedness-minded (preppers) should take a inward look and see if they could survive for months (or longer) without electricity.

There are lots of articles here on the blog which have dealt with this critical topic of long term outage, and the likely scenarios and consequences. I’m not going to rehash every little thing. However the significant takeaways from many of those articles have been:

– Regardless how prepared that you think you are, it may not be enough…

– Understand your neighborhood and community, the prepared, the unprepared, resources, the good, the bad…

– ALL THINGS TO DO WITH WATER ACQUISITION; TRANSPORT & STORAGE THEREOF; PURIFICATION; SANITATION. It’s exceedingly important!

– Food – If you think you have enough, you probably don’t. Get some more!

– Preparing & Cooking without electricity.

– Communications without the grid; News & Information gathering; 2-way (security comms)

– Alternative energy backups (protected from EMP).

– How will you stay warm in the winter!!? Seriously, don’t overlook this.

– Large Urban die-off especially between weeks 2 – 4 without assistance. Many others will die within the first 2 to 8 weeks. This will be a particularly dangerous period of desperation.

– Security! (All aspects thereof)

[ Read: EMP Attack – What The Average Citizen Can Do For Themselves ]

[ Read: Other articles on EMP ]

Studies are Not Enough – Action is Required

I applaud the fact that recommendations exist within the government to develop plans for this very serious threat. The report spells out much detail in this regard.

The reality though is this: In my estimation even if .gov takes further steps towards implementing action plans towards catastrophic power outage, that’s great. However if the grid were taken down, how many will they be able to save? Chances are just a small fraction, and it probably won’t be you. It is YOU who must take action.

The best thing that .gov can do is make efforts towards hardening the grid (perhaps an impossible task). One thought is to mandate that we make our own EHV (Extra High Voltage) power line transformers, and inventory spares here in the United States. The lead-time on building these are 6 months to 1 year and they’re built overseas. But there’s so much more…

The United States Achilles Heel

Think about it! Look at our military – the strongest in the world. Certainly we’re safe, right?

Our Achilles Heel is our modern electronic way of life. Consequently it is deeply and critically integrated into every single critical lifeline infrastructure segment of our lives. Remove the electricity, and we’re completely toppled. Possibly Tens of millions dead within 2 months. Most noteworthy and as a result, official reports estimate up to 90% dead within the first year.

The power grid is a prime target for attack by nation states.

Knocking out our electric grid may be accomplished by Cyber-attack, Physical attack, or nuclear electromagnetic pulse.

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

It may also be knocked out by a major Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the Sun. That’s right, the sun could bring it all down. The event that happened back in 1859 – if it were to happen today, the grid would go down in flames, so to speak.

[ Read: Articles with topic “Electrical Power Grid” ]

What Can We Do To Survive Catastrophic Power Outage?

I am happy to see one of the many recommendations in the government study. It reads:

Strategic Goal 1: Build a Culture of Preparedness

Wow! Wouldn’t that be great? (I’m not joking – it would). The problem with that actually succeeding gets into the political realm… Generally the political left doesn’t want this (they want dependence – which leads to votes – which leads to power). I’m not holding my breath…

There are recommendations for the roles within DHS, FEMA, Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Defense, State and Local governments, Industry roles, and “Individual and Community Preparedness Efforts”.

I like to focus on the individual and community. Whatever is LOCAL to YOU will be your world during such a catastrophic event. THAT is where you need to focus your energy and resources.

I am thrilled that Appendix F of this reports states the following:

Ultimately all events, from small to large disasters, are local. This means that those closest to impacted areas are the true first responders during any emergency or disaster—from individuals to families to neighbors and local communities.

However, there remains an ongoing myth that the federal government will be able to provide assistance and resources directly after an event to help with response and that is not always the case.

Thank you! That’s absolutely correct. Not only is it “not always the case” but more likely “NOT the case” in such an event described above.

We need individual and community resilience. Easier said than done.
However it all starts with YOU and your preparedness.

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142 Comments

  1. A few other sites have reported on this recent study/report. They’ve questioned “why” it has come out and whether or not there’s some underlying reason (e.g. pending situation).

    One never knows I suppose. However whenever a new study is released, they always seem to be of similar messaging. That is, WE ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.

    1. The US military have made comprehensive studies into the likely impact of of a solar EMP.

      Rear Admiral James Marusek – a Navy Solar Physicist, wrote an extensive treatise on the consequences of a solar storm Carrington Size. This was released into the public domain over 10 years ago.

      It’s in still searchable by google.
      Very sobering reading.

    2. North Korea is believed to be within months, if not weeks, of being able to get nukes over the midwest and mideast of the USA high enough to take out the entire power grid. That would put the entire US into the 1800’s instantly. Of course the boomer sub captains might nuke NK into oblivion if/when they realize where the strike came from, but tyrants do crazy things all the time.

      1. Please be advised. N.Korea already has two satellites in polar orbit, which can be located anywhere over the United States within 90 minutes. Each of these are of the size required to hold an EMP device. Each orbit exactly at the optimum height required for the most effective use of an EMP device. Both have no objective purpose, as neither broadcast data to the ground, meaning they are not weather, or recon, satellites, and cannot be spy satellites. Why worry about launching ballistic missiles at the U.S., and waiting and testing to achieve the associated technologies…while giving ample warning to one’s foe…when one can legally launch a few satellites, which have the ability to kill just about everyone in the targeted country…but, cripple its military on every level? An EMP device has already been developed and tested by N.Korea…and the testing was successful.

        Of course, N.Korea could use these weapons at any time. But, they could also want them in place as a deterrent. Push too hard..and FIZZZZZ…….. Everything just goes dark and silent, save for the screaming…for a very long time.

    1. I would rather not. I have no desire to put my SHTF preparedness to the test for a real-world breakdown if at all possible.

    2. Tommyboy;
      I understand your feelings most of the times, but I’m not quite ready to commit Suicide nor would I like to see 265 Million Americans perish because of Grid Down.

      1. Defcon
        That is a given when them upscale coffee shops loose power – mass hysteria and death.

          1. As a right leaning moderate I have to take offense at your LOL kill all the democrats. 1 or 2 of them might be decent people. If you consider the various shades of gray that most of us are the furthest right would actually be black not gray.

          2. Defcon,
            Now thats just mean,,, wow, i mean, you can have the lights the food even the TP
            But the coffee?
            You are sich and brutal!

    3. Tommyboy – I can only speak for myself. I’ve lost people I cared for deeply over the years. Including children. “Bring it” means others would have to go through what I already have. I understand the sentiment of your statement. I too wish to see an end to this entire way of life that has developed. I want change so profound I know it to be impossible without some cataclysmic event. But….. within the core of who I am, I do not want people to suffer. I want to harm no one or encourage, wish, strive for harm to come to any human being. Would I defend myself and those in my circle of affection? I would, I have. But go easy and consider the old phrase, “be careful what you wish for”.

      1. I agree. Bring it is basically a challenge to the assholes of nation states. I would rather live in peace, I have seen enough war.

        Doc

        1. Perhaps yall should tell your so called “representatives” to stop pizzin in everybodys cheerios then….

  2. I like that the report doesn’t dwell so much on the ideas of how such an event could happen, but instead concentrates on the ramifications of it. Reports of this nature have been given to the House and Senate for years with very little resulting action.

    I think that many of the people “in charge” honestly either cannot grasp the consequences of such an event, or they simply do not care as they and theirs are very likely to be “covered” in such a scenario. Otherwise, how could one explain their lack of action? That it is eclipsed by higher priority issues? That would mean that they see preventing the potential death of hundreds of thousands to millions Americans as something trivial and unimportant.

    Although I agree that there will be a horrific number of casualties in direct relation to the length of time it takes to get power restored, I think that the predicted dying off would start slowly. I believe the first thing that will happen will be the exponential increase in crime. Look at recent prolonged power outages in major metropolitan areas and there is a corresponding spike in crime.

    I wonder if the increase from three days of essentials to fourteen days has anything to do with similar recommendations made in some European countries. Wasn’t there a Scandinavian country this past year that told their citizens to ramp up their on hand essentials to cover several weeks and to prepare for conflict? I seem to recall reading about it.

    Couple this with the various movies and shows that have involved this scenario as part of either their premise or plot and it does raise an eyebrow.

    Let us pray it doesn’t happen.

    1. – restoringBrad –
      I believe the country was Denmark. My Dansk is not that good, but when I went to the page referenced in MSB a couple of months ago to look at what they were recommending, the list read very much like what this site has recommended for level 1 Preppers. The 72 hour bag list the offered was much the same as what our Bug-out bags would have. I almost believe someone either is reading and translating these articles here, or else they are simply using good sense. The only thing I questioned was their recommendation of the (pocket-packs) of tissue because they were plastic wrapped and therefore a bit more resistant to water/physical damage. A ziplock-type bag would be more suited, IMHO, and would hold a larger supply of TP. I’m sure NRP would agree.
      – Papa S.

      1. Papa Smurf;
        I agree, BUTT I would recommend removing the core from the full TP roll and vacuuming it down with the good old Seal-A-Meal, it will be about 1/3 (or less) the original size.
        Just a side note, sorry Ken.

      2. – NRP –
        I already remove the core, then sit on the stuff to flatten it before sealing it up. I am not likely to have the Seal-A-Meal along with me when I use the kit, but hopefully I will have my Butt with me.
        – Papa

    2. Restoring Brad,
      I think that it is more a matter of probability with the politicians, not that they “don’t care”, ( although there are some that fit into that category.) Everything is looked at through the ‘probability it will happen’, the higher the probability, the more attention it gets. Immigration, healthcare funding, false news, the internet, re-election……… all have high probability they will have effects on government and the public, so it gets all the attention. This “prepping” stuff and these “wild SHTF scenarios” have low probability, so no attention or funding, despite the fact the consequences are extreme. ( that is where you are right, they can’t grasp the consequences). Squeaky wheel gets the grease, so to speak.

      1. It isn’t that they don’t care, they haven’t learned how to politicize it. When they do that, you’re going to wish they hadn’t.

      2. I would make a slight change. Everything is looked at through the ‘probability it will happen while I’m in office.’ Beyond that, no one cares.

      3. Just because the gov is saying they are not doing much about it doesn’t mean they actually are. Just like the gov denying they have the FEMA camps. There is supposed to be one less than 10 miles from where I live. I’ve never seen it because the military has the area sealed off. But I digress, the gov can probably assist with a local or regional power loss but nation wide, there are simply not enough resources. Just look at the last couple of elections, when you have over 100 million socialist snowflakes, they will only accept minimal impact to their lives from a power outage. They will demand 3 meals a day, heat, and everything else taken care of for them so they are nice and comfortable. I would think there are not enough STORED resources for 100 million snowflakes little alone 200 million others which would like even limited assistance.

      4. Two reasons politicians don’t take action:
        1. Will this get me more votes in the next election? If no, forget about it.
        2. Can I benefit financially from this? If no, forget about it.

  3. Many on this site, including me, think we are somewhat prepared. We are at least striving for preparedness. I’ve read many articles on grid down scenarios. Have I protected the important things? Generator, fuel, solar, wind, water, food, heat, the list is seemingly endless. I think something is happening. I don’t know what or where or why.

    Not sure what else to do. I feel the responsibility to provide for loved ones. I have done and continue to do what I can, as soon as I can. I see the boastful posts of various people on various websites. I fear there are far too many fools around all of us. Maybe I’m among them.

    Does a faraday cage actually work? Have I been wasting time and energy and $? No one seems to know for sure what will be affected by an EMP or CME or cyber or physical attack on the grid. People have been claiming “the end is near” seemingly forever.

    Please forgive my downer of a post. Some days I just feel very old.

    1. Plainsmedic;
      People like the good people here in MSB are at least the ones that “Feel” we prepare and provide some amount of comfort in knowing at least we have tried.
      Our Families are counting on people like you to help in times of need, not only a total Grid Down, but in so many aspects of life.
      I agree; I feel very VERY Old at times, but that is NOT going to stop me from doing what I feel is correct, nor should it you my friend.

    2. Plainsmedic,
      No worries on the post, not a downer. we all have doubts as to how we will fair if (when?) SHTF. Main thing is not to let these self-doubts get the best of you. ( I know this is like telling an insomniac to ‘get plenty of sleep’. ) The thing is you have done the best you can, given your resources, and will continue to do so. IMHO, it is now time to “let go and let God”, and try and focus on the good things you have.
      (sorry, I have been doing battle with the “Black Dog” all my life, I recognized the negative self-talk you expressed. “Trust God, rise above, focus on the positive, find hope each day”….. that has been my personal mantra everyday for years. it does work). my thoughts for what they are worth.

      1. There has been times in my life when I have used two key words that I learned in basic ‘F**k It’. In basic, you are put into situations where you have to finish something within an allotted time frame or you will get smoked (lots and lots of extra PT). Many times in those situations, no matter what you do, you and the platoon will not finish the assigned task on time. Once I learned those two words, I was able to quickly take a step back and evaluated the situation and methodically devise a strategy to solve the problem. Most of the time we still did not finish in time but we accomplished more during that allotted time than we would have if we were just running around like chickens with our heads cut off. After getting smoked, we still had to finish the task. I have used that strategy many times in life when there are a million (ok, not a million but a few) things going on at the same time. Instead of getting smoked, I had to pay a late fee here and there. It has helped me to organize and prioritize things in terms of importance instead of getting upset and developing a mindset of impossibility. Because, I can always be upset afterwards.

    3. To add to your note, a EMP will fry semiconductor junctions in electronic components, regardless of whether or not you’ve flipped off your circuit breakers. It is a approximate 50,000 volt per square meter charge that zaps the atmosphere. Breakers won’t matter. Semiconductor junctions will ‘break down’.

      Nuclear EMP Components E1, E2, E3, and what they mean…

      Note that a CME is typically ejected from a flare. A X-class flare can make it to the earth in less than 10 minutes and will itself cause damage/issues! The CME portion (the blob of charged particles) may even last for days once it gets here if it’s wicked bad…

    4. Oldhomesteader, Minerjim, NRP
      Yes, I have researched the effects E1, E2, E3, etc. I have a good understanding of what the science tells us. I have the transfer switch to separate from the grid. I have pulled numerous meters. I have a VERY healthy respect for electricity, but I do not fear it. I appreciate the faraday comments. I have several different homemade cages. One of which is the cardboard-lined trash can, along with numerous smaller cages. Yes, I use the aluminum duct tape.

      I appreciate the differences between CME and EMP, though no one can be certain of the effects until it happens. I frequently check the “space weather news.” Hopefully my ham radio experimentation will keep me in contact with a VIP.

      I’m not looking for sympathy. I guess I’m just venting a little. I have increased my TP supply since my participation on this site. Seems like a requirement, huh NRP.

      What the heck, we can always eat eggs (coming soon) or chicken. Which comes first, by the way?

      Grid down has always been my foremost concern. I’m just not sure what else to do that I haven’t already done. I have other items I choose not to discuss. I guess, more of everything is the way to go. If it comes, I’m sure my family will be far better off than most, but it won’t be pretty.

      Be well all!

      1. Plainsmedic;
        UR Quote;
        ” I’m just not sure what else to do that I haven’t already done”
        Something that I have not mentioned in some time, but I still do… “Lights Out” weekends… Yep, exactly what it sounds like, Spend a weekend or longer if you have time and use NADA with electricity, including heat and inside conveniences.
        One will be amazed on how much you will learn. AND where the holes in the preps are.

        1. That’s a very good idea. And it’s something that most people won’t want to try – because it’s inconvenient. But that’s the point ;)

          Discover the ‘holes’ in the plan.

      2. Plainsmedic
        Check out this site it will keep you up to date on what is happening with the sun & other anomalies. solarhamdotcom

      3. As to your question on the chicken or the egg I think the rooster had to come first. Lol

    5. Yes faraday cages work if built and installed correctly . (I worked on hardened systems in aerospace, which involved testing units built to specs.)

      1. CDs, DVDs, flash drives not in the computer when it gets hit. Will they fry if just lying around on a shelf?

          1. Thanks and I see Ken already answered the same query a couple of days ago. Oops!

            Flash drives are wrapped in foam and triple wrapped in aluminum foil. Paced in Altoids tin, wrapped again, and placed in ammo can with gsket replaced by crushed aluminum foil gasket.

            Am I covered? Netbook also in foam and foil and ammo can.

  4. Scary! This article should make us all re-think our plans, and re-check our preps. There is always something that we miss, especially me.(duh) Maybe there is a pending situation this time, who knows?

  5. The electric grid is definitely the “achilles heel ” of our nation. From what I have read in the past few years the electrical grid is very fragile and this recent publication seems to back that up. There have been cyber attacks as well as terrorist shootings at a substation in California .

    In our planning we try to look at surviving with out electricity.Everything we plan is geared toward that event. It can be very challenging for sure . If you live in a city or are dependent on a utility for your water source and disposal of your sewage you are at their mercy in a disaster event .The human die off rates discussed are huge and I believe will be most severe in cities .

    A major electric loss will be devastating and people will get cold, hungry, thirsty and real ugly real fast. Grow your local network of folks and family.

  6. Ahhhhhh Boy, here I go.
    A few thoughts from the Old-Fart

    1. These reports have been coming out for years and years. And guess what, nada is done or even recognized by our .gov. Why you ask? Because if they do, it will mean they recognize the vulnerability of the Grid, and are unable to do a dang thing about it.
    2. How vulnerable is the Grid? Do a few searches and you will find that Cyber Attacks are and have been totally into the Grid Control Centers, AND left ‘fingerprints’ to who they are/were. Also look at a few physical outages caused by a very small group of “bad guys” that simply shot a transformer and poof, it went down.
    3. Our past Presidential Regime has made it totally possible for our enemies, aka Iran, to have full on Nukes in the next few years, if they don’t already have them. Does anyone really believe that NK or Iran wont EMP us?
    4. Yes, there have been a few things to ‘Harden” the grid, but simply putting the Control Center in an underground Bunker will NOT stop an attack on the HUGE AZZ generators and transformers sitting there with just a few Guards to stop terrorist.
    5. Money, what will it cost to assure the Grid is Hardened, Billions, Trillions? Heck Trump can’t even get $5billion to secure our southern border all alone a million miles of Transmission Lines and Hundreds of Generation Facilities.
    6. Again, the politicians will NEVER admit how vulnerable we are if they want to keep their power over the Sheeple. AND they cannot fund something that “May” happen.
    7. Anyone remember the blackout in the NE a few years ago, what happened that very night????
    You get the idea, so do NOT expect the .gov to do a single thing to Harden the Grid.

    So as Ken so put it, can you trust the .gov, FEMA, DHS, so-on to “come to the rescue” If/When? Well let me ask ya this, how is their track record holding up so far just this year? How about in the past 5 years? Not so good is it?
    So how about locally as some may suggest…. I work in a small town of around 40K people, and drive through a town of about 8K. Ever see 10,000 people try to drive when there has been a wreck? How about when a Traffic Light goes out at a main intersection…. Yeah, good luck with that one. And of course everyone is sooooo nice and considerate.
    Heck, just go to Wally World on the first weekend of the month when all the .gov checks hit.

    Point being, people are literally azzholes in normal times, can anyone imagine if the Grid goes down?
    One had better have a VERY good way to get where you’re going, AND the means to survive without ANY outside help, even that Neighbor with 4 starving Kids is going to be your worst nightmare.

    So as Ken has pointed out a little less direct than I am; is the Country Prepared for this? How about your local Red Cross, can they feed the 48,000 people in my area? FEMA? Any aspect of the .gov that so many Sheeple trust explicitly?

    I’m also preaching to the crowd here, but if my words can convince just one Newbie, one Reader to get that extra pound of Rice, than my typing has not been for nada.

    Ohhhh yeah, don’t forget those extra 20 rolls of TP, and a way to flush that Toilet, or maybe not, cause the Sewer Systems WILL be backing up into many MANY homes. Got a shovel?

    1. PS;
      One last thing, I really do hope all this Preparing and Lifestyle Doomsday scenarios talk never NEVER happens and some poor sap that I give all my Crap to when I’m pushing up Daisies has to sort it all out.
      Boy-OH-Boy will he wonder why the HELK I have 700 rolls of TP HAHAHAHAHA

          1. Good to know, Now I know what to line my container full of rice and beans with.

    2. NRP: As for FEMA, DHS, the Red Cross and etc. coming to our rescue, I agree with you, not likely to happen. Even if these organizations were able to round up supplies, they would not be able to transport them very far. Any big city population would be the destination anyway, they will not make it to the rural areas or burbs.

      1. Well said. A friend was at a hospitsl conference concerning disaster response on a national level. She asked what the response time was for out small county. The repyly was sorry but you are expendable. resources would go to the major population centers. Her reply when the plagues are running rampant try driving over all of the Redwood trees we will be dropping on Hwy 101 to get up here, It ain’t gonna happen.

    3. Those 10,000 people might initially be headed out when the power is down (assuming cars still work) but how far will they get on that one tank of gas assuming it is full to begin with? One of my best friends is totally oblivious that a person should keep the tank at least half full. He constantly tests his gas gauge down to ten miles or so left in the tank. Absolutely crazy, I know and have told him many times over the years. He might change his mind now that he has a little baby. I asked him if it was worth his baby’s safety to risk running out of gas or burning out the fuel pump especially in the winter.

  7. Unless a catastrophic event happens, I see a lesson from other countries that have or are facing declines – death by a thousand cuts – rolling power outages, limited power to certain areas or at certain times of the day. It’s all about that frog and no one will stand up until it is too late. Do we suffer that slow death or do we adopt Tommyboy”s solution and rip that bandaid off quickly?
    We should know by November of 2020.

    1. Hermit Us,
      Maybe instead of seeing those other countries’ declines and outages as ‘ death by a thousand cuts’ , maybe we should be looking at them as ‘blessings’ for them. I mean, the slow decline in these vital services is allowing them to adapt, to learn to survive without them, before they are completely taken away. (Unlike here in the USA). Not that I would wish outages on us, but they would tend to wake people up to the potential of losing services here.

      1. Hi Minerjim
        The people in Venezuela may not agree that the power shortages are giving them the opportunity to adapt – many are just leaving for other countries that have food.
        Power outages may just affect certain areas or countries forcing the population to go where they can find what they need – at your place or mine.

        1. Hermit Us,
          Agreed. those folks in Venezuela are in dire straights. My point is this though: if there is a world wide CME that takes out all power in the world in the very next instant, who are the folks that most apt to survive it?? Those that can’t live without their cell phone? Or those that can remember living without electricity or are living with little to no electricity now and have adapted??? In that scenario, my bet would be that those in 3rd world countries would feel less impact than those in “civilized” countries. Basically the ‘big die off’ would be in the ‘1st world countries’. Those poor folks living in countries with rolling brown outs, and shortages are at least trying to learn to cope without power. Not so many in this country are being forced to think about it, except the folks trying to do NRP’s “weekend without” power. As Ken said though, we all hope and pray we never have to test our preps.

    2. The catastrophic power outage event referred to in the report is one that’s quick as the blink of an eye. Essentially no warning.

      The infrastructure itself as an aging group of many smaller ‘grids’ is certainly also a systemic risk (your example of rolling blackouts may fit into this notion).

    3. Hermit
      That is more likely than anything else to be our situation, death by a million little cuts, more than likely just a continued slow decline that gets worse for the normal folks every year.

  8. I lived one year without electricity at all. It was beginning of war. Power lines were destroyed. So we had enough electricity but problem was distribution. Grid was made with possiblety to cut residential areas and to keep on important infrastructure. Hospital, police, army, water pumps, factorys etc.
    It’s hard when you don’t have a fridge and light in house.
    For tools you need generator with supplies of fuel and for light solar panels with batteries. You can can dry and cann your food and with time you will not need fridge. You need hand pump for well. I have sistem for water which use gravity to transport water in house. For heating you can fire wood. It’s hard but people will survive. Probably biggest problem are big cities. In small communities everything will be ok.

    1. Veteran;
      Hence the problem, the HUGE Cities, take several million people and turn out the Lights and see what happens.

    2. When I was in China around 15 years ago, there were blackout during high power usage times (in winter in the north). The reason told to me was residential power was cut so that industry can continue as industry had the priority for power usage.

  9. One method of preparing the digital generation for this would be to disable all smartphone devices worldwide for a day.

    1. Old Chevy,
      That would cause mass hysteria among the Millennials ! Where do we sign up??

  10. Local power outages happen frequently, and they are usually just an “inconvenience”.
    Storms like Katrina or Sandy Hook take out larger areas, but evacuation to a non-affected area is an alternative.
    That said, the massive eastern US outage in August 2003 was as close to what a “total outage” that I’d want to experience.

    For those of you who didn’t live in the area here’s a recap of it–

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_2003

    It affected the area from the Atlantic ocean to Mid Michigan- look at the map.

    55 million were affected, and since it wasn’t just local, you couldn’t drive to the next town/county and get food/ gas/ money/etc –like is usually possible in “local” outages.

    In my area (SE Michigan), water was not working (except for one community that still had a community water system that depended on wells and had diesel driven back-up pumps), the sewer system shut down, food stores were giving away refrigerated and frozen food before it spoiled, all transactions with stores trying to stay open were cash only, but you couldn’t get money from ATM’s or the local banks (electronic systems shut down)
    All traffic lights were off (my wife was attending a work conference about 100 miles away — a normal 2 hour trip took her 6 hours to get home). etc, etc.
    All the things that you read about happening in articles like Ken’s were really happening in the affected area.
    It was Summer, and without A/C, the more high density populated areas (inner city) were getting “restless” by the 2nd day.

    At our house, we were reasonably covered for the short duration that this one was. We had an aux generator, and the house was wired with a transfer switch. I was home when it went out, and I immediately filled up 3 seven gal containers of water before it stopped running., We had a couple cases of bottled water, and lived on a lake so getting clean (it was summer) wasn’t an issue. The lake water would flush the toilet The local altitude was higher than the rest of the sewer system, so things flushed ok. We had food on hand, the microwave worked, and we could open the windows on the second floor for ventilation.. Security the first couple days wasn’t an issue, but it got “a little concerning” by day 3 .

    For those who are naysayers about the effects of a nuclear type EMP and what it can take out, I’d suggest you Google “Starfish Prime” and read about the things that happened back in the early 60’s when the US was testing H-bombs in the Pacific. That real world experience/observation was duplicated by the USSR in the mid-60’s during some of their tests in Siberia. Losing electronics is real in my estimation.

    This is the security /SHTF concern that’s top on my list– It would be so easy for some rogue nation/state to launch the equivalent of a beefed up SAM missile from one or two ocean going freighters positioned a hundred miles off our coast(s), and make in happen in a nano-second.

  11. My local power utility has been quietly hardening their equipment. Apparently it’s been going on for several years. Unfortunately they cover a huge area and I’m sure a lot of it will be destroyed if something happens in the near future. At least they weren’t waiting for the government to ride in and save them.

  12. My wife and I try to prep I would like to be better off than I am.Worst part is with two married children three grandsons and one of their mothers in law living with them that makes ten of us and although they could financially afford to prep none of them do, cause they think I’m nuts.so whatever we do will probably be divided 10 ways instead of just 2.

    1. I get that too, so instead of prepping for 2 its going to end up being for 6, sorta shortens the effective zone, i can tell you that 100% im going to lay down the law day one, everybody is doing something, garden, cutting feed fir chickens, security, firewood and i dont want to hear i cant or im tired, my answer will be see ya!
      IMHO its not if, but when, the longer we go without a bad event the higher the odds especially here in the islands,

    2. Agree, I think we all would like to be better prepared. I know I would. Sure, many are more prepared than others but I believe that we are making active choices to be prepared in the first place gives us one leg up. Just acknowledging that we need to prepare are one of the first steps. How far along we are is to each and their circumstances and the reason for preparing in the first place be it power outage, EMP, plague, nuclear war, or zombies.

  13. So many topics within the topic of catastrophic grid down. Where to start? Maybe with some observations.

    Why is the government just now getting around to telling folks that it might be wise to stock more than the much touted three days of the basics?

    Am I the only one that detected a sense of urgency on the part of those releasing the study?

    If, and this is a big “if”, this report is followed up with subtle hints of possible “aid groups/personnel from other countries” should be expected by the public if such an event occurred, hang on, it’s eminent.

    If the mainstream media picks up this meme and makes it the subject around the supper table, how long will it take for shortages of things like canned goods, bottled water, candles, flashlights, etc? Not to mention guns and ammo? (if so, wouldn’t it be prudent to beat the rush and fill in the gaps in your own preps?)

    What are your, as a prepper, plans if it becomes apparent that a grid down has no apparent end in sight? I personally, am not prepared for much over a 3 month grid down, at least not in ALL areas. My plan is to immediately go to half rations on food and supplement our diet with the dozen or so eggs I gather everyday, plus wild edibles and game while they are still plentiful, saving my longer term stores till absolutely necessary (doesn’t hurt to look a little gaunt while others are suffering too). I suspect that night watch security will become imperative. Constant vigilance will not be optional. A force multiplier on your person will be more than prudent. Remember, if your neighbors and acquaintances were good people before, they will probably be so after, at least early on, but they bear watching as the crisis deepens.

    I’m rambling again. Apologies.

    I could go on, but y’all are preppers, I’m preaching to the choir.

    1. Dennis- you might listen to Stan Deyo. He is a pretty heads up guy. He just did an hour on Hagmann on Tuesday and he was pretty tense. You can watch on youtube. Just enter StanDeyo 12 11 2018

    2. Hi Dennis, re timing of this report:

      (1) 2017 was a disaster for disaster operations with 4 major hurricanes, CA wildfires, Puerto Rico events (actually not quite how the media portrayed them) overtaxing disaster resources;

      (2) the current administration has paid attention to the steady, 20 years long, drum-beat of information about the low-probability severe-consequence threat posed by a grid-down situation;

      (3) lessons learned during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina have finally sunk in.

      Re the advice on a 14-day emergency supply:

      The 2016 Cascadia Rising exercise in the PNW showed the points Ken emphasized in his article – the country is not prepared for catastrophic grid-down. Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii implemented the 14-day recommendation that in this report is used as an example for the country to follow.

  14. Hmm, ” a culture of preparedness ” and recommended by the government. Hmmm, interesting. If I remember right, didn’t Obama sign a law into effect about hoarding if you had more than a three days to a week of supplies in your house, and that if needed the federal government can and would confiscate any and all of your supplies ? Now Uncle Sam is saying that we need to do this to stay safe. It wasn’t to long ago that my wife and I were accused of hoarding of veggies that we had grown in our garden, that we canned and or dried, not to mention both beef, pork and some wild life ( legally acquired – state issued hunting tags ) in our deep freeze. One woman even suggested that we should share with others, starting with her and her family. Yeah right

    1. a
      That EO has been expanded upon by each prez only BO, up what they can steal…oh excuse me take from the citizenry #13603

    2. @a

      My opinion is that .gov currently (as of this date) has a conservative President and Congress (House & Senate). Therefore it is conceivable that there would be some ‘sway’ in policy such that there may be (some) favorable recommendations for preparedness. That said, a leftist political ideology (may) dissuade such thought or action (more dependency, votes, and power). But that’s just my opinion.

      Wow! Wherever you live must be quite politically ‘interesting’ if people (or person) there are accusing you of hoarding veggies? That sounds downright ridiculously insane in my estimation. Even in most liberal regions I cannot imagine a neighbor or anyone actually vocalizing that.

      With that said, I could imagine a certain type (types) of people with that attitude “if” they saw or knew that you had a large inventory of stored foods. (Maybe that’s what happened in your situation).

      Anyway, best to stay ‘grey’ in that regard.

    3. If I remember right, I thought that during the Clinton presidency that something was put through that allowed foreign forces with the UN to enter the US to assist in the event something major was to happen here. I don’t remember the details but it was under the guise that the UN troops would come here if the US military would not be able to maintain law and order.

  15. One thing you can be sure of, population centers will be the priority for restoring power, water, food and supplies. That’s been the case, even in rural areas such as mine. Hospitals and water treatment is always top priority.

    Water distribution in my area is dependent on a system of water “towers” (actually steel water tank columns) going up the mountain, each with a pump to push the water up to the next tank up the mountain. The only tank reservoir with a permanent generator on site is the one in town. All the rest require that water employees pull a trailer mounted generator (they only have one) to each reservoir to hook up and pump water up to the next tank elevation, then the next, you get the picture. This applies in every direction from town, meaning that those at the highest elevations in every direction from town, usually lose all water by the third day of an outage. The one generator, even being employed in this leap frog manner 24 hours a day, cannot stay ahead of usage. The majority of the water co-op board members live in town and can’t see the wisdom of buying additional generators. (go figure). Many rural users have let their wells and springs go into disrepair after hooking up to “city water” about 15 years ago. The water co-op, in the past, dropped off military surplus “water buffalo” trailers at strategic locations for rural customers to bring their own containers to fill with potable water (my drop off location is six miles distant.

    My water preps consists of a 305 gallon water tank with rain run-off capabilities and two year round springs, the closest some 300 yards from home. Right now, this spring water would have to be carried in containers to supplement the stored water. Not ideal, but workable.

  16. – As I mentioned before, here in dry West Texas one of our biggest concerns would be water. A large percentage of homes here have their own well and septic systems, but almost every one of those homes has an electric in-well submersible pump. The water level for virtually all of them is far enough down to qualify it as something other than a shallow well, as our water table has been steadily dropping since the Dust Bowl days.

    Because I was unwilling to give up and move elsewhere, I learned to build my own hand pump (See the Flo-jak pump ads). The pumps are found on the EMAS videos on YouTube and Vimeo and will require watching them several times with your finger on the pause button. They are captioned in both English and Spanish. The cost is far less than the commercial types, and once you have built your own , you will be able to figure out most all repairs/replacements as needed. According to what I can find out, the one I’ve built is good for around 20+ years and 4 million liters of water. It is capable of filling a gravity cistern or pumping into a pressurized system if that is what is needed a total lift of 40 meters or so. Mine cost less than 1/4 of the commercial versions, and now I can show someone else how to build their own.

    For power, I have both a larger 750 kw genset and a couple of smaller inverters, 750 W and 1500 W for appliances. I also have 2 150 W inverters and a 400 W (which is not currently in a Faraday cage. The other inverters all are). Typically, I have not less than 45 gallons/180 L of treated gasoline in storage. I also have a small solar set-up and two large marine-type batteries (105 amp). Is it enough? Of course not, but I also know it is far more than 95% of my neighbors.

    Do I want to try them out? Not for more than a very limited time. I have already, several years ago, had a very agitated individual banging on my front door demanding demanding to know why I had a light in my living room (A Coleman lantern) when he did not during a several hours outage. I needed a bright light at the time. I no longer live there.

    We could probably go 6 months comfortably, triple that if it became necessary and we had an idea that was needed. I have both SW and several AM/FM radios, with a good supply of both batteries and rechargeable batteries on hand. Very poor results from garden this year, so I need to work on that.
    – Papa S.

  17. Meh,,,,
    I never said my opinion would be popular,,, if it kills off the axehole who tried to charge a thousand bucks worth of stuff on my debit card last night im good with collateral damage….
    Again, never said id say something just so you like it…

    1. I agree with you Tommyboy. Having lived in a third world country during a revolution I can assure you the average American prepper has no clue of what SHTF really means. It will be kill or be killed, friend against friend and anyone that shows any amount of weakness or compassion will be preyed upon by the vultures. Most people don’t want to hear the truth because it digs down into a deep part of their soul that they are afraid to confront or are willing to except. A SHTF will force many people to confront demons that they could only imagine in their darkest nightmares. Collateral damage has always been a part of warfare and the innocent will die along with the combatants.

  18. As Veteran said, during the first year of the war, the major population centers got the electricity – now I read where Cali is proposing to reduce water for farmers in favor of the cities. These idiots still do not know where their food comes from. It may come down to the rural population and the middle class stopping deliveries and production for a week or two, then the truth will sink in.
    Just be far enough away because whole populations will be on the move for food.

    1. Hermit, there are many municipalities in Ca that are trying to convince farmers that the treated effluent from the sewer plants is perfect for irrigating fields, cant make this up, friend outside of Chico is dealing with this now, he is going to sell his farm, they already bought a place in Mt and have a developer interested in buying their farm to build a subdivision.

  19. Thanks, Ken, very informative.

    Was encouraged that the report touched on individual responsibility for disaster preparedness, though there was no discussion of incentives for individuals to do so as there was for communities and businesses.

    Also by Recommendation 3 to develop local enclaves where folks can obtain critical services and resources while they shelter in place. This, however, was tempered by the obvious normalcy bias found throughout the report – the expectation that somehow emergency and assistance personnel would be available when/where needed, as would resources to be shared with the local community.

    Hopping over to the Dark Sky Playbook for States, was interested to note the prediction that population flight would lead to economic collapse.

    While the report mentioned public safety a number of times, there was no elaboration on the massive criminality that would accompany such a catastrophe, the deployment of public safety officials/LEOs, the need for individual responsibility for personal security, or the impact of long-term dusk-to-dawn curfews that would naturally be put in place.

    We’re on our own.
    Keep Calm and Prep On

    1. Deputizing responsible individuals should be a planned for by local LEOs. When I think of the stores and facilities likely to be looted in a WOROL situation it would be overwhelming for local LEOs to do. Think pharamcies, grocery stores, hospitals, wally world type stores, Home depot type stores, etc.

        1. Me.
          I agree, and IMHO if the community can pull together fairly quickly that would be ideal to increase numbers of people who are all on the same page regarding security and order.
          Where i see this going askew though is in a few different areas.
          1. LEOs and their organizations in many many places view civilians as untrained yokels who need cowing.
          2. The whole community would need to be on board.
          3. The LEOs and specificly their leadership would need to be NOT corrupt.
          4. The weak link will be the level of preparedness of the community, as has been said many times, desperate people do desparate things.
          I fully agree though, and had thought about this before but through talking with a friend who used to be a local LEO i saw where it was almost impossible. Sad but true, he said to talk to as many cops as i can over a few weeks and take note of their attitude and i would see why this was not going to fly no matter how much sense it made.
          Im not saying this is true of ALL areas though, some small towns it may well be the perfect fit, but in our AO and many larger areas its a non starter. Is too bad really as theres many of us who have skills and such that could be beneficial,
          I have found this same aur with the other emergency response people, especially with the local CERT people and was why i decided against going through that, their attitude is going to cause people to put themselves and families in danger.

          1. Tommyboy, I guess I’m fortunate then as we have tons and tons of LEOs. Large super max prison here with numerous corrections officers’
            .
            Just called the retired Sargent neighbor. About 900 potential names to call on for extra shifts. I think we are probably covered.

          2. We can’t forget that the LEO’s have families also. If a situation gets as bad as some think possible, I would think they would be at home protecting their families than the Home Depot. Unless their families are adequately protected on the home front thereby freeing them up to assist the community.

  20. I don’t recall his name but a Chinese general suggested that the way to defeat the United States would be to attack our soft electronic underbelly. Now I’m reading about quantum entanglement as a part of quantum mechanics. I will admit that the math on this is way past over my head. But I do get the scary part of entanglement which just says you can split a particle and whatever you do to one part of the particle will happen to the other part also. Regardless of the distance involved. So Chinese chips could have the potential to self destruct if they have split particles in them. think of how many Chines chips are in our things.

    The other thing I’m wondering about is line of sight. It is my understanding that an EMP would be a line of site event with the earth providing shielding for over the horizon objects. A CME the same but with a prolonged duration depending on the period of time the flare is ejecting. Can the intensity of the flare vary during it’s ejection? I know with a prolonged duration that more of the earth will be involved and f large enough we could be in the path of the ejection for days. How do we know when it is safe to take the electronics out of the boxes?

    VHF radios are line of site and we were amazed when we talked with boats 150 miles away (well over the horizon) on our radio. That was when we learned about ‘skip” where under certain conditions the signal can bounce off of the ionosphere and travel much further. Can EMPs and or CME or skip?

    Insight is appreciated!

  21. No one else has brought up this possibility. This newly published report only confirms what we as preppers have been aware of for years, i.e., the fragility of our grid and the catastrophic consequences if it is destroyed by natural or malevolent forces. This information has been out there for years, but relatively few have paid any attention to it.

    Why now? Why is this report being released now? We all know the government routinely keeps secret, files and reports that the public should be made aware of. Wasn’t the government aware of emp’s from nuclear explosions dating back to early testing of bombs? Did not an astronomer named Carrington associate the solar storm he observed that destroyed what little electrical grid the planet had in 1859? So why an emphasis on warning the people of the dangers of such an event now. Why is it suddenly urgent that people be aware of the dangers?

    A coming false flag event? A misdirection play to divert attention? An intentional act to fulfill the warned of event we were told of, in order to carry out a plan we were not to be privy to?

    Or is it to be taken at face value? That is, a deep love and concern about the well being of, we, the unwashed. Hoping we will demand expenditure of huge amounts to rectify the situation.

    Tin-foil hat anyone?

    Oh, look, there’s another butterfly.

    1. Dennis;
      These reports come out all the time, Why you ask, so these High Dollar “people” can keep their six figure jobs, there is nada now in this report really that has not been presented many of times.

      Someone asked why is now proposed to keep 14 days of supplies rather than 24 hours… Because our illustrious ‘leaders’ are admitting they can NOT “come to the rescue” and are throwing it back in the peoples faces. That way they can “We told you so”.

      Tin Foil Hat????? Hardly……

      1. NRP
        Maybe these high dollar people finally got off the porn sites and onto MSB – our comments scared the crap out of them.

      2. NRP,
        On the subject of tinfoil hats,,,,
        I recently rediscovered my wide brim aluminum hardhat from doing tree work, i went and made a liner like a thermal steel pot liner with the ear muffs on it out of my heat treating stainless steel foil so the foil covers my ears JIC,
        Its the bomb!
        So fashionable too!

    2. Dennis,
      Good point,
      Misdirection, or diversion,
      Like an EMP, massive blackout, bank records etc obliterated,
      Perhaps a way to remove 22trillion debt?
      World wide debt?
      Reduce population?
      Save the exposure of corrupt deep state political machine?
      This is definitely a possibility,
      My opinion is that they dont want to martyr DJT like they did with Kennedy, in this day and age that would be instant death to the machine,
      So they need to create something so haenous that it turns everyone against DJT and the chosen parts of the establishment that they feel they are loosing a grip on.
      When the public is in disarray information will be short, so much easier to manipulate a desperate population. These people are different kinda azzholes so ya need to crawl into their dark little mind set to consider where this might be directed.
      This could be a big nothing, just more fear porn, or is it more nefarious?
      We wont know till its too late. That is the reality,
      Stuff to think on, with all the division going on its not really much of a streatch of the imagination that they need to manipulate things on a grand scale as every day they are losing credibility, ive heard hardcore leftist lately who are saying its gotten ridiculous and these people need to get back to basics and back to work,
      Interesting to ponder.

      1. Tommyboy, agree with all of the above except the loss of banking records. Anything beneficial to you will be lost, anything beneficial to them is being backed up in real time and stored in state of the art underground EMP, CME proof vaults. the quantum entanglement angle is something they need to be concerned about. Maybe they should hire a million or so scribes?

        1. Agreed,
          Your loan you owe or CCs, THAT they will have, but your investment portfolio or savings, they will conveniently be unable to confirm.

        2. Just like on 911, the data from the market at the towers were backed up off-site a long distance from NY.

  22. People. When the power goes bye-bye due to EMP, or Solar Ejections, and the damage is large scale…what happens to all the radioactive fuel rods sitting in all the storage water tanks when no one can pump any water? What happens to all the nuclear control panels governing reactors across the planet? What happens when you are unable to SCRAM a reactor? What happens when the reaction chamber loses it cooling? How many nuclear reactors are there in the U.S….Military, Power Plants, Civilian? How many nuclear piles, and hot storage areas, are there on Earth? What happens when two hundred atomic piles go LOCA?

    We all die. Everyone, everywhere.

    1. Move to where I live. Zero upwind reactors. But when the radiation hits the jet stream and goes worldwide you are right. We all die. But in prepping he who dies last wins. IMHO not much of a win. I don’t prep for nuclear stuff. As I said, I’m upwind of everything. If I’m being affected it will be an On the Beach kind of thing. When I start vomiting and my hair falls out it will be a good time to check out quickly and painlessly.

    2. Sorry, but you need to get a grip. This sort of scenario is only possible in fictitional writing.

      1. So, any major event, such as a repeat of the Carrington event, is entirely fictional? Two EMP devices, detonated at 500 km, over the proper places of the U.S., is something entirely fictional? EMP is an fictional worry? If so, why is the use of such devices a part of China’s and Russia’s military planning? Why have EMP weapons been developed, and tested, and placed into arsenals…if they are fictional weapons? I really do not understand how you can arrive at this comment.

        What you need is to get a grip on the reality of EMP devices and what the SUN can do to our ability to generate electrical power, not just in America..but the planet. To kill all of Humanity…all that needs to happen is for the power to go out…and stay that way…for a specific amount of time…over specific area(s). It will not matter that we have the knowledge of how to rebuild and replace all the required components destroyed by an EMP, as such efforts must take place in the face of a destroyed infrastructure. The supporting infrastructure must be restored first, prior to any attempt to rebuild or replace critical nuclear pile control and cooling equipment. Add to this the extent of the materials needed, and the qualified manpower, on and on and on…and time simply runs out. Little nuclear volcanoes spewing all over the place…….

        1. Anonymous;
          You may be correct, but In a few million years the next phase of the Sun starts and the entire Solar System is toast anyways…..Tis it not interesting we Humans think we’re so important to the life of the Universe?
          Was in not a fictional character in the Matrix that said Humans are but a Virus on the Earth? Good old Mr. Smith, kinda makes life interesting though.
          I wonder what the Dinosaurs were thinking then that little 3 mile wide rock hit the “Third Rock from the Sun”?

        2. Oh, my. “To kill all of Humanity…all that needs to happen is for the power to go out…and stay that way…for a specific amount of time…over specific area(s)”

          Same song, umpteenth verse. Mankind survived without power for a very long time. We’d survive this as well, in spite of little nuclear volcanoes.

          1. How thick can a skull be? Historical Mankind survived without power, but today’s Mankind cannot. There is no equality to compare. If you can figure out how Mankind can survive when dozens…maybe hundreds…of nuclear piles are busy trying to melt their way to the Earth’s core..while spewing every known radioactive isotope into the atmosphere, let the World know. The contamination that a nuclear pile produces when it melts and cannot be cooled, or blown apart, is not like the contamination from an thermonuclear bomb. It is much, much, worse. Imagine the kind of fallout so lethal anything it falls upon becomes impossible for human life for over a hundred thousand years. This kind of fallout is not the same as you were told about during the 1950 and 60s, where all one had to do is place about 16 feet of dirt between it and you…and wait a few weeks. This nuclear volcano fallout is virtually lethal forever. The only way a contaminated area can be decontaminated..is to scoop up the top 4 inches of soil and place it in steel drums…then bury the drums. Now go forth and decontaminate a few hundred square miles. Be advised this will include killing everything to keep it from leaving the area, like birds and cows, placing it all in the drums, along with any structural debris. Impossible. But, that is the ONLY WAY.

            A Carrington event today would mean the end of Mankind, even though a few hundred years ago….such an event was no threat at all. An attack with just two nice EMPs on America would mean the end of it, and, at least 90% of us. I tend to think they were being “kind” with the 90%…just so people could default themselves into the remaining 10%.

          2. Lauren,

            You are correct. “Mankind survived without power for a very long time. We’d survive this as well……….”. While this is true, I feel there will be many people who will, in fact, die under such circumstances, mainly because they will panic. Scared people do stupid things, when faced with the unknown and unfamiliar circumstances. How many people die each year when lost in the wilderness they decided to hike in? They die because they panicked instead of taking stock of their situation and act in a rational manner. That, and they had no plan going in.

            Folks who have a plan before a catastrophe strikes, have made preparation ahead of time, and will adjust their plan rationally and calmly according to changing conditions, will survive. Sadly, that may include armed response to the actions of those who panic. I hope that none of this becomes necessary.

            But,…….. I’m preaching to the choir.

          3. Anonymous,

            While a meltdown would be bad and would have deadly consequences, your statements are a little over dramatic (outright false). Visit Chernobyl. They actually sell tours to visit and explore the area. Take a camera. There’s all kind of wildlife, mammal, avian, reptilian, and aquatic, that are thriving.

            That doesn’t mean I want to live there, but it destroys your propaganda. I have a part time neighbor who purchased his bug out retreat about a half mile from me. He is a retired electrical engineer who spent forty years working for the nuclear arm of a major electric utility. He was in charge of installing the nuclear power plant about 40 miles from where we live. He is not worried the least bit about the scenario you just painted. His primary residence is less than 10 miles from the plant. His bug out plans are to get away from people, not the power plant.

  23. You should expect Federal and State governments will be going door-to-door looking for “excess food and water…”. and confiscating same “…for the good of the American people.”
    Expect churches and synagogs to counsel their parishioners to “share your wealth and supplies with your suffering neighbors…”
    Expect your neighbors and your family members to visit with the most heartrending stories, begging and threatening you to “share….”
    If you open the door to them, they will never leave! Don’t let anyone inside! Prepare yourself to be hard hearted to the extreme. Remember – society will never get back to where it was in our lifetime. Don’t feel bad about hurting people’s feelings. Focus on your own survival and the survival of your immediate family. Stretch everything to the limit and pray that you will have enough!

    1. The Feds don’t want what I have. What isn’t home canned in bottles is outdated. 2011 freezer burned chicken, coming right up!

  24. I’m not worried about the winter as much as the summer in our case. My wife has lupus and most likely won’t survive. At 53 each year it’s become harder to stay in shape to manage wearing body armor all day in the summer. The advantage I have is I grew up in no AC in the summer working on a farm and still remember how we did it.

  25. Imagine. People are so desperate to convince themselves the loss of all electrical power, including all battery power, and all fuel driven mechanical power, which is dependent upon electronic control and ignition systems, is survivable…even though such loss would involve scores of nuclear reactors going LOCA…they even attempt to point to Chernobyl as proof.

    I would remind such wishful thinkers only ONE of Chernoby’s four reactors experienced the “accident,” yet it required armies of men (250,000+) and huge amounts of materials to try and mitigate it. Almost a MILLION people were either killed, or had their lives shortened, by its effects…even though the “fire” at the reactor involved, not fuel rods, but burning graphite modulators, as a molten fuel core had luckily been prevented by the initial steam and hydrogen explosions, which dispersed it…and kept it from forming.

    The ejected radioactive fallout from Chernobyl was the result of the graphite fire, as such, the isotopes released from this combustion have short half lives, ranging from a few days to 30 years, depending on the particular fissionable. Had the core not been scattered, due to the reactor’s design, which provided this benefit, and had formed, and maintained, a centralized melt…the resulting contamination would not be comparable to any prior human experience. The ejected radioactive materials from such a core melt event have half lives of centuries.

    Now imagine Chernobyl where all four of its reactors suffer power loss (testing for which actually CAUSED the Chernobyl disaster), but this time…all the control systems of each reactor go dark, too. Imagine the people in the dark control room, being unable to call for help…or notify anyone..unless they are within range of your screams. Imagine NO fire department response. Imagine no ability to SCRAM. Imagine no evacuation, unless by foot. Imagine no coordination of effective response. Imagine no ability to warn anyone outside the plant. Imagine just one of the four reactors not experiencing the beneficial explosions to disperse its core. Imagine nothing can be done as four reactors go LOCA…

    Now, imagine two hundred power nuclear power plants having issues at the same time…all equally unable to mitigate, or effectively respond, to their uncontrolled cores, as they melt. Then, imagine yourself sitting, stranded in your dead car on some highway, or in some inoperative elevator, or some subway car, where your radio and cell phone do not work…and your only light might be supplied by someone’s cigarette lighter. Imagine being in your darkened home, where you might have been able to light a candle, and looking at the view of the dark city from your window…dark, save for the light of several fires burning, caused by the EMP’s effects.

    “Strange,” you may think, “I wonder why I do not hear the sirens of the fire trucks….”

    1. No. Just… NO.

      Nuclear reactor control rods are designed to fail safe. Loss of power = SCRAM (no Safety Control Rod Axe Man needed). There is no reactor designed otherwise. No imagination is required.

      ET1 (NUC) Retired.

  26. Anonymous;
    Your ranting “we’re all going to die” is getting old.

    Since there is no cure, no fix, suggested of preparedness, or outcome from your “end of the world” than ohhhhh K.

    We’re all going to die and let’s leave it at that…..

    Lights Out, bye-bye we’re all dead. Phhhhhh oh well.

    WTH, we’re all going to die sooner or later anyways……

    I would add I do enjoy how you seem to talk down to all of us “How thick can a skull be?” stupid people here…. Sure reminds me of a few others like yourself that post the same.

    Have a nice day, will no longer be reading your post or responding to another Anonymous that’s too lazy to type in a screen name to identify you from other Anonymous posters.

    1. NRP
      Personally, I actually have a hard time believing that any CME EMP event could be effective enough to knock out everything, i could be proven wrong, but in our area, i think we have more chance of rolling blackouts from too high a load on the system or due to scarce fuel than we do of a mass event taking us out.
      Then theres the factor of terrain, just as radio waves are affected, a pulse be it from the sun or a device will also have shadows

      1. A bit of a correction, we could have a tsunami take out our systems completely, but thats because generating plants are located in flood plains. A CME? Mebbe

    2. An EMP would not be catastrophic, in fact hardly noticeable as Hiroshima and Nagasaki proved. They also proved that a nuclear attack is survivable if certain precautions and measure are taken. If it were not the Russians and Chinese would not be building underground shelters adequate for their entire populations. More of a danger, by far, would be an infrastructure, or a terrorist event.

  27. Okay….okay. I am sorry. I tried. But, understand Hiroshima and Nagasaki were near ground burst firecrackers, designed for blast effect and not EMP. Being inside a shelter is not the issue, either. No one will die from the EMP detonation, save for those caught in aircraft and other environments suddenly dangerous from loss of power. The deaths occur from the after effects, and finally, the radiation…which will take months. When your government says 90 percent shall die, already…I am just pointing out the other 10 percent will also die from radiation, just from the holding pools..alone..not even counting the reactor cores.

    My point has always been to not worry about prepping for surviving an eternal power loss, or a world encompassing solar event, as it is pointless. It is also pointless to try and breach the walls put up to protect one’s moral from this fact.

    1. I disagree; you have caved-in before the event based upon hypothetical events with no precedence. Always go forward.
      I learned this while leaving 1st base about to make a run for 2nd and saw that the pitcher had fetched the ball and was going to toss at the 2nd baseman. So I gave up as if I would’ve tried to make it back to 1st I’d been out as the ball would’ve gotten there first. So I just stopped and meanwhile the pitcher flubbed the ball and it rolled off the field which would’ve gave me enough time to make it to 2nd but it was retrieved and thrown and I was out.
      Never accept the perceived inevitable.

    2. I can understand your opinion (because many others have it too). My opinion however is a bit different than yours as I will try to briefly explain.

      First, I don’t ‘worry’. I do plan and prepare to various extents out of an instinct of self preservation.

      If a long term “catastrophic” power outage were to land upon us, there would likely be a variety of results.

      Some regions would very likely be catastrophically affected. I do suspect that there will also be regions more adept at dealing with it. Lots may depend on geographical location and environmental factors. Affects will vary depending on causation (EMP versus CME) and the details of each. There may even be pockets unaffected (or less affected).

      The notion that you’re putting out there of nuclear power reactors melting down is sensible logic and concern. However we don’t know with certainty the extent or ability to keep water coolant after they Scram the plant. Each site may have their own unique circumstances, contingencies, affects, etc..).

      In my estimation there are unknowns. A damaging EMP or CME has not happened in modern times. Lots of this is theoretical too – although seemingly potentially catastrophic.

      It’s my instinct not to give up and assume that I will die upon such an event. The preparations that I have taken for this (and more in the future as finances permit) will help me in many additional ways and for other potential collapse scenarios (other than all the nuke plants melting down). So in my view these preparations are not wasted effort.

      Anyway, here’s to hoping we never have to find out how nuclear power plants are able to deal with EMP or CME!

  28. – I try to make it a policy not to respond to Anonymous postings. I will make an exception in this particular instance, however. A, you seem to believe that you are already dead before any event happens; have you considered simply taking yourself out into the back yard (to cut down on cleanup) and simply taking yourself out of the equation now, and save waiting for the possibility? If you have, may I suggest using the largest caliber bullet launcher you have, and placing the business end in your mouth. You may need to put a stick through the trigger guard and step on it to obtain the optimal effect, should your tool be too long. I have picked up after such, and can vouch for the efficacy of such attempts. We at MSB might note your absence, but we will not miss you. We do regret your inability to learn.
    – Papa S.

  29. Following up on this subject.

    RealClearDefense (dot) com has an article up today “The Criticality of EMP Protection Guidelines”. Contains a link to DHS manual “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Protection and Resilience Guidelines for Critical Infrastructure and Equipment” dated February 5, 2019.

    Article also discusses the Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses that POTUS signed on March 26, 2019 (E.O. 13865). According to DHS this is a whole of government policy. Among other things FEMA has 180 days to incorporate EMP into its plans.

    I’m encouraged.

    OTOH Iran tested a ballistic missile on Wednesday.

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