SYSTEMIC RISKS

If The Lights Went Out In America

if-the-lights-went-out-in-america

You may have plans for power outages of a few days, but if you were without electricity for a period of months or even weeks, “there is no master plan for the civilian population” says Ted Koppel, author of “Lights Out” (describing how a cyberattack on the nation’s power grids could paralyze our infrastructure).

While most of those who are preparedness-minded know and realize that they cannot count on government to intervene and ‘save them’ in the thick of a major and overwhelming disaster, the cold hard facts unfortunately reveal that the vast majority of Americans presume that there is a plan, and regardless of the disaster their government will step in and ‘provide’ for them. This will prove to be a very deadly presumption…

Lets look at a potential timeline of events when the lights go out in America…

 

IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH

The cities would be the hardest hit.

Thousands trapped in elevators
ALL electrical appliances shut down-refrigerators, heating, A/C
ATM machines are inoperative
Banks and other businesses shut down
Gas stations without generators cannot pump fuel
For most, profound darkness

 

THE SECOND DAY

Water faucets begin to run dry in some areas without utility generators
Toilets will no longer flush without water pressure
Drug stores and supermarkets being stripped
Law enforcement overwhelmed by emergencies and outbreaks of looting
Batteries on laptops, cell phones, and flashlights are dying
Conflicting descriptions of power outage, unknown expected duration
Officials disagree regarding recommended actions
Bridges, tunnels, highways becoming clogged with refugees

 

THE THIRD DAY

Gas stations running out of fuel (those that could pump)
Water is at a premium
Some emergency generators assist in pumping water and sewage (limited)
Many ‘unprepared’ are running out of food already
Beginning to panic, discovering widespread outage ramifications
The “Oh $hit” moment of realization…

 

THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK

Any .gov emergency rations are depleted
Many of the elderly and infirm have died
Hospitals overwhelmed and struggling to perform emergency services
Military attempts to maintain semblance of order, but not enough personnel
Looting (especially cities) has become rampant
Millions upon millions are ‘on their own’

 

THE END OF THE SECOND WEEK

People have become deeply frightened and fear for their lives
Most are now entirely running out of food to eat
Many are dying in regions without access to water
Many are dying in regions/climates where there is no heat (if during winter)
Disease (e.g. typhoid fever, cholera) from eating tainted food, water, poor sanitation
Martial Law is declared (perhaps even sooner)

 

THE END OF THE FIRST MONTH

Many drug-dependent patients are dying
The millions with severe psychotic disorders (no more meds) create bedlam
People and communities fighting over resources
Home invasions and violence-related die-offs
Escaped prisoners, organized gangs, more violence-related die-off
Communities are slowly starving

 

THE END OF THE FIRST YEAR

90% are dead

 

 
Yesterday’s article, “Lights Out For A Nation Unprepared As Cyberattack Downs Power Grid”, pointed out a risk assessment of our electrical power grid (Ted Koppel’s book, Lights Out). Today I’m curious to look at a hypothetical timeline of the aftermath.

The timeline of subsequent events will vary based on population density, cities, suburbia, rural, season, and geographical circumstances, however it is a good mental exercise to come up with a ‘best guess’. The process will help motivate you into more preparedness ;)

What’s your input? Would you add to the above or shift things around a bit?

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125 Comments

  1. If the power grid were to fail today, I think that there would be people dying the first or second day. Whenever there is a huge storm that knocks out power during the winter, the government opens shelters. Since the power will be out even in the shelters they may not even open them unless there is an alternate source of power. Even that will be temporary at best.

    1. Way too rosy a scenario. Please remember that EMP will destroy the ignition systems of all vehicles produced after 1977 (electronic ignition). This also applies to generators driven by computer controlled systems that are not hardened. An old Jeep is a wonderful thing.

      1. That is not a given. It greatly depends on strength, location, and disposition of the vehicle (parking garage, behind large structure)and that is only for a grid down in case of some type of EMP. A grid down could easily be a result of a cyber attack on SCADA systems for critical infrastructure which would leave vehicles untouched.

    2. I’ve heard both sides to the information out there that an EMP would absolutely knock out vehicles that are newer than 1980. I’m really not so sure about that. Vehicles have been struck by lightning, receiving up to 100,000 or more volts of electricity, and still remained functional.

      I think the question to ask is if it would be wise to drive a vehicle around much during an EMP, considering how quickly screwed up the landscape is going to be. If a gang of phycopaths want your vehicle and what’s in it….you might wish you had stayed home.

      1. No one really knows with certainty what would happen with vehicles. Hopefully we never find out.

        After an EMP event though, you’re right… if you had an operational vehicle, you’re going to be a target.

  2. I agree with most of your time lines, except the looting.. I think that will happen day one.By day 3, chaos will rule the cities..also the sheeple will be slower to wake up…

    1. The larger cities will especially be hard hit quickly with looting. Witness what occurs with a simple several hour duration blackout. Along with looting – fires to cover up what was taken, which may lead to some major structures being burned as well because of inaction of fire department not aware of what is occurring.

      I think martial law will be declared more quickly, probably the first week. Probably less so inclined in rural areas. Travel will quickly be discouraged very quickly – no power, no way to check licenses, gasoline along travel routes will be controlled for authorities use.

      Those are my spit ball guesses. :^) Thanks for writing this.

  3. I believe most of your predictions are close to what I would think, a couple of changes.

    I believe the violence, riots, looting, murder, etc. (especially in the larger cites) would start almost immediately, within hours.
    Water would run out as you said, within a day or two, so people would start dying in 3-5 days, no water, or die within a week or two from contaminated water.

    Hospitals with “backup gens” would shut down totally within a week, no fuel. All health care would disappear within a week, those in “homes” or on life support will die in days or weeks at most.

    The police and military would just “go home” with no way to control the panic/mayhem, I would not blame them at all.

    Food would run out for most within the first week, two weeks max.

    Your prediction of 90% dead at end of one year, I believe within 3-6 months.

    Lets keep in mind this ONLY involves the general/civilian public. I will guarantee you the government and those in “power” are prepared to survive (at our expense). They WILL shut down all “help” (think FEMA here) to save themselves. Additionally they will, IMHO, be the worst “looters” of supplies and services, all to save their own skins.

    People you really need to prepare, extremely well prepared, to last more than one year in complete isolation with NOBODY knowing you even exist. If even one “Zombie”, for lack of a better name, knows you have “stuff” you’re going to have to fight for your and your families life/s.

    Of course that’s only my opinion.
    NRP

    1. I have got to admit, Ken sure knows how to get us all thinking, right? and it’s a very good thing.
      NRP

      1. Depending on the design, nuke plants can take minutes to shut it down but it takes 5 – 10 years to encase the rods and decontaminate the facility. Nuclear rods have to be isolated for hundreds of thousands of years as a potential hazard to people and the environment. Since there are no dumping grounds and are mostly stored at the plant, the protection is temporary.

        There are over 400 nuclear power plants in the US. I would think the government would make these power plants first priority, or every living thing would be wiped out, including the ones who shut down our grid half way across the world.

        1. And yes, NRP, Ken got me thinking about these facilities. We can prep till our underwear wears out, but we all get fried if all our nuke plants go down.

        2. Not sure where you are getting your fact but according the World Nuclear Association the U.S. has 99 active nuclear reactors. Lets not let the facts get in the way!!!!

        3. Stardust, Please forgive me but, worldwide there are 400 plus nuclear power plants, in the U.S. there are 104 licensed sites, (at any given time those operating are around 96 to 99) all of these are considered commercial there are also Government owned and operated facilitates Sorry do not know how the number maybe around 20. All of us need to understand the potential major threat they present, as an example about 85% of those 99 operating are located in the Eastern half of the Unites States. Simply put their overlap of contamination due to the worst case event of a total grid failure that last several weeks or more for that area of the country is not good. NOTE. If a natural or man-made EMP event strikes the all power plants and their backup system will be toast. As preppers we all have to prioritize our plans but unless we have all the potential events information for the areas we reside in we may have done yourself and our families a major disservice. We should be thankful for Forums like Ken’s and the inputs we receive to educate and guide us to better choices. God bless this Country and all of you. Even Mr Koppel does not factor in the Nuclear power plant contamination factor, which I believe is the largest and potentially the most damaging event overlooked by the “experts”. Stay alert and stay alive

          1. @icecathook, Awhile ago, I put together the following location map of nuclear power plants in the United States. I drew a 100 mile diameter circle around them – just for reference…

            Nuclear Power Plant Locations in the United States

            Here’s another map (bigger circles),
            Nuclear Power Plant Location Map

          2. Ken, isn’t it true that even decommissioned nuke plants are a critical hazard, since they are storing all their high-level waste on site, which must be cooled by electrically powered circulation pumps? (Guess we can thank the Feds for falling down on the job of developing a permanent storage site).

    2. You mentioning Gov. people, leaders saying and doing anything to save their own skins reminded me of a Jewish man I met in the early 80’s in Miami. He had survived in a Nazi Death camp during WW2. I had the privilege to listen to him tell me about his life as a young man when the Nazi’s came to power.

      He told me that their leaders(community/religious) stood next to the Nazis and convinced people to get on the trains. That it would be a hard journey but food, housing, jobs were waiting for them on the other end. What he thought was ironic is that at first many wealthy Jews “bribed” the Nazi guards so they could be the first to get there so they could get the best houses, positions…(wasn’t long before the leaders were in the camps too. They couldn’t be trusted and outlived their usefulness.)

      One of the more profound things he said was this: IN THE CAMPS YOU FIND OUT REAL FAST THAT A BULLET MAKES THE SAME SIZE HOLE IN A RICH JEWS HEADS AS IT DOES IN A POOR JEWS HEAD…

      That lesson wasn’t lost on me that’s for sure! That’s why they want your guns.

      Between my parents stories of growing up during the depression and his survival experiences started me on my path of preparedness. They called us Survivalist back then. I think I prefer prepper though…

  4. My Opinion,
    At some point after the first to third month a coalition of forgien countries invade because they realize and take advantage of our country’s weakness and seize the oppurtunity to take control over our natural resources. Our preppers become the centers of resistence and form a coalition of what is left of our military and veterans to start a guerilla tactics war against the invaders.

    Please pray for God’s Guildance and Mercy!!

      1. This administration has reduced our troop level to pre WWII levels and is constantly finding more ways to send troops to foreign countries for a reason. To lower our defensive ability here!!! I doubt Obumer will issue a counter nuclear strike codes if we are hit with a preemptive strike!! Many foreign troops are already here and will come soon as a part of the UN Small Arms Agreement. Any UN Member country can ask for assistance with the implementation of it!!!!

        1. This is also why we still have a group of VERY SKILLED Troops in Afganistan when we are supposed to be out. Obumer has tried unsuccessfully to gain control of submarines. Pray that these weapons stay out of his control!!!

          With South Korea signing a Trade Treaty with China that excludes the use of the use of the US Dollar!!! If trade with South Korea is so important to China then China should protect them from a North Korean invasion! Why are we spending our money defending them with 25k troops and a Naval Carrier Battle Group, when those troops could be used to defend our borders??

          We are being set UP!!!!!

      2. I think its little more than a notion with all the different foreign militaries training on our Bases here. A perfect example: US has naval ships that have been warned by China about the South China Sea Issue yet we have a Chinese Destroyer in Port in Florida. We need to stop listening to what is said and pay much closer attn. to their actions. Haven’t we been told enough lies YET!! I think a series of false flag attacks, one being the grid going down, will create such chaos and lawlessness that when Martial Law comes the unaware Sheeple will welcome it for the stability they think it will bring because the false flags will have created so much fear. Then the real terror will begin when they think that they can control everyone under military force!!! They got away with doing it in Boston because of ONE TEENAGER, they shut down a major US city!! They used fear as a tool to manipulate!!!

      3. I touched on this concept a few weeks ago when I commented…

        ” I think America’s future will be decided not by a catastrophe, but how we as a people respond to it. I hope we all consider ways to utilize our understanding, skills, and passion for life to help lesson the impact of such an event. If We as a nation are brought down so hard and 95% of us die, who will be left to defend against a foreign enemy from walking in and making us subjects? If we look at our countryman and see an enemy we have already lost.”

        I truly believe the only redeeming option left for our country to return to its greatness is for a game-changing event to occur that wakes up the masses that are being poisoned by the cool-aid of the progression to despotism. If the heat of the proverbial frog-in-the-kettle continues to rise at a slow, steady pace as it has, the USA as we know and love is cooked. The erosion of our culture will eventually wash away all the good and beauty that is left in the character of this nation. And this is the way the “elites” want it, they are attaining there goals…no reason for martial law when the masses are filing along as planned.

        If, on the other hand, there is a catalyst that forces the monster to show its true nature, I have to hope that we would once again awaken as a nation to dispose of the monster. That is why I prepare for an EMP or whatever…be prepared to give others that hope, be ready to teach and guide others back into the truth of the principles that this nation grew from.

        Mack

    1. Since other countries already own us (think national debt) I can see them coming in to recoup their losses and claiming all national resources–buildings, lands, etc. China for one would loot the country and claim they were doing us a favor. “Consume all natural resources and move on.”

    2. Umm….can I ask, exactly what resources would they come for? The U.S is the largest consumer nation in the world…there are no “resources” left here! Oil and gold are basically gone, there’s not much left to “loot” outside of Alaska.

    3. If the U.S. and Europe go down – the world goes down. Just the U.S. itself going down, because of the financial interdependence and the notion of the U.S. being the worlds policeman mean that the majority of countries will go into meltdown.
      Other countries will be too busy to contain their own populations panicking to bother about trying to invade the U.S. If any invasions for the purpose of procuring commodities or natural resources it will be the “easybeats” first or those countries with no way of protecting themselves without the U.S. as backup.
      Even Hitler had serious doubts on invading the U.S. knowing that every second person was armed.

      1. @ Beano
        It’s not actually proven it was said, but…. They frequently quote Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said: “You cannot invade … There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass
        And a pizzed off Patriot behind every rifle.
        NRP

  5. I’m with NRP! I saw it happen locally last year in one day! I live in an agricultural area too!!
    I see people banding together after “lights out “out of necessity especially in the cities. It goes on for any length of time they are toast!

    People here did without power for a month but they were able to drive 25 miles to buy what they needed. It would of been real bad if there was no place for them to go.

    The thieves and thugs were the first to respond to the crisis and not in a good way!
    I think the timeline is about right…unfortunately.

  6. Agree with time line in general. Season will make huge difference. Summer event and disease will be rampant in short time. Winter event and die off will be faster and local.

  7. Other timelines to consider: Ventilators have a marine deep cycle battery that will run the machine for up to 24 hrs. Back up generators for said ventilators will kick in but have enough power to run for up to 72 hours. Will the nurses and vent techs be showing up for work? Probably not.

    I now work in healthcare within a large hospital. Those years I lived off-grid means I generally show up for work even after a snowstorm, wildfires and earthquakes. I need to get paid because my wife has expensive tastes. As long as the building is still standing and the power is still on, I show up for work. (just the way I roll). I left my last hospital when they said they were not going to pay me cash.(see ya later)!

    I have noticed that many of my coworkers do not show up for work when the roads are icy, there has been an earthquake or the wildfires are approaching the edge of town. I came to work today because my home is prepared. The fact that many of my coworkers are not at work is an indicator of preparedness even among hospital workers.

    We work understaffed, we make do with what we have. If you do not like the job I am doing then you can talk to my supervisor (who is never there during such events) when they return. Despite the numerous threats to fire me, I am still working and collecting a paycheck whether it be driving an ambulance or working within a large hospital. I’ve been working and waiting to get fired for over 20 years now.(Do the job now and apologize later/The more you dither, the more people die).

    There will always be a need for effective people that can get the job done. Signing off here with a reminder of the Four Seasons of California: Wildfires, Floods, Riots and Earthquakes.

    1. For those who might think that CaliRefugee’s sign off remarks about the Four Seasons in California…Nope. AS a nearly lifelong NATIVE resident, until we wisely escaped the clutches of the Parasites of Sacramento(politicians), he is absolutely correct.
      You will get hit with one or more of the “seasons” during your tenure in California. All the more reason to prepare, so you can at least sleep well.

      1. @ TPSnodgrass
        “You will get hit with one or more of the “seasons” during your tenure in California”, One or more? HAHAHAHA I lived there for 10 years and got hit with ALL 4 :-)
        NRP

  8. Within the first 24 hrs, Most Federal assets of Dept of Justice and military on our soil will be used to protect hard assets, fuel terminals, food distribution centers, railway centers, refineries, Fereral Reserve Banking Centers. The Coast Guard will move to protect coastal port facilities and major inland ports along the lower Miss River from terrorist attacks.

    1. Most ‘murikuns think the strategic petroleum reserve is for THEM. Nobody but .gov will see a drop.

    2. I know I’m not the only military Vet here but I’m surprised that no one has brought up the fact that we are signed on to dozens of reciprocal treaties with various countries and organizations(U.N., NATO, C.A.S., etc.) that the feds would quickly invoke “in the interest of National Security” once our own law enforcement broke down. This would increase the number of casualties during the first month of Martial Law after Washington discovers that our troops would be hard pressed to fire on its own people. There’s already a significant number of foreign troops in country that would have no problem firing on Americans. Since Mexico is one of the closest treaty partners, their army would be mobilized in the southwestern states. Everyone here already knows the Mexican Army is corrupt, in general. And their idea of maintaining law and order would be well outside of what we would consider to be honorable or fair.

  9. Wondering about how long after the blackout that nuclear facilities begin to emit radiation and go into meltdown due to fuel not being available to run the cooling equipment?

    Many fictional books and calls for preparedness omit this topic.

  10. After only reading half the book Lights Out, I began to make a list of items still outstanding for me to obtain. I’ve moved some items higher on the list and re-assessing my inventories due to the book Ted Koppel has written. It’s definitely an eye opener so far.

    The details & occurrence that already have happened in the book make me wonder when it will happen. It also makes me wonder if other details not mentioned due to National Security. Hopefully I will be better prepared. I truly believe a power outage due to hacking would be better than an EMP. I’m not saying I want either of them, but I believe people would have better chance in finding items to help them survive if the power was down due to hacking.

    God help us if this were to occur, only the strong and prepared would survive this horrid event. This great Nation would be brought to its knees.

    1. The interesting thing to me is that the rest of the world thinks they would escape unscathed. The US provides billions in aid every year, supplies food to much of the world, and buys the majority of the world’s goods. We provide much of the technology (even if China builds it) and technological advances. If the US goes down, the world trembles. Whether they actually fall would be an interesting test, but the shockwaves would go from one side of this world to the other. We are all interconnected. But I see people laughing and rejoicing at the idea of bringing this country to its knees, without the slightest idea of what that would mean for them. Chances are good that the hackers or those who created the EMP would die along with the rest.

      1. Lauren,
        Most of the tech info the US has brought forth was reverse engineering from UFO’s that have crashed on our soil according to leaks that have come out of Area 51. Actually advances exist that haven’t been marketed yet that only a small group of scientists and Govt Military officials know about. Most of the advances in military electronics that have come just in the last ten years were known 25 years ago. Weapons have been tested and used in Middle East Wars that we, the civilians have no idea exists. Veterans knowledge of these weapons is one of many reasons why Veterans are being targeted now on gun control and I have no doubt will be sought to be put into reeducation camps when SHTF. The ANACONDA Explosives shot from a small cannon, heat lazers, sound cannons are a few of those weapon examples.

      2. Lauren,
        As I understand it, the U.S. is no longer the “Bread Basket” of the world. We now import way more food than we produce ourselves. Seems our government would rather put food in the gas tank (corn ethanol) than on our table. Our grain storage is empty and our beef and poultry industries are in very bad shape due to disease and drought. This countries ability to feed itself probably hasn’t been in as bad as it is now since the dust bowl days if not all the way back to the days of the pilgrims.

        1. In addition to that the global food sources like Brazil having their drought, which effected Europe that normally purchases 75% of the the food grown in Brazil and Ukraine, which was considered the bread basket of central Europe because of its wheat did not plant last spring because of the on going conflict. Yes, weather and food manipulation in all the wrong directions!!!

        2. Tax…

          I think you need to check your sources on the food production in the US vs its consumption. Also, take a trip through the Midwest and you will see endless grain storage facilities.

          Mack

          1. Mack, Just a comment most of those Silos are now empty thanks to the ending of the laws enacted by Truman and Eisenhower to provide backup in case of a bad crop year, to which removal of the laws was started by Clinton and now totally eradicated by Obuma. Simply put 99% of production of all grains are now used here or sold overseas. Note the continued diversion of approx 30% to 40% of corn for ethanol is one of the most stupid moves we have ever made. We have food shortages now NOT hitting the shelf’s of most major retailers and not just food items. If we have a bad year or a bad few years in the field crop production with our grains…..Oh My the other beast quickly rearing its head is Hyper-inflation in the food markets.

  11. Even as we feel somewhat prepared, just talking about this probably gives us a slight edge…I’m pretty sure that there are a good number of the criminal element in large cities that as soon as the shtf..will hit the road to smaller towns and suburbs. Not after a week or 2, but right away when they think the pickings are best. I wouldn’t be surprised if a small minority of these folk view this as their bug out plan. I agree that looting will happen right away..then its off to the suburbs and country towns. Ferguson was just a training ground for the “local chapter” of Obamas’ 2nd front, and as the govt. aint trying to take away the guns from the poor “disinfranchised”…they may have better weapons than alot of us. They are probably even alot better at actually killing someone .

  12. I just got Koppels’s book LIGHTS OUT today
    and am already about a third of way through it

    I HIGHLY recommend it
    very eye opening indeed

  13. Having spent a 34 yr. career as a police officer in a major city, I have seen on more than one occasion how a major power outage affecting a large portion of the city for an “extended period of time” of only a few hours, can essentially put traffic into a gridlock city-wide. With all traffic signals out, the streets become parking lots within minutes and travel comes to a halt. Police protection becomes non-existent, as they can no more travel than anyone else. Fights break out as frustration mounts among stranded motorists. Ambulances and firefighters are just as stymied. Even when power is returned, it takes hours for things to return to normal.

    Now, imagine this phenomena, not just in a portion of a city, but nationwide, not for a few hours, but for days, weeks, months, or even years. With few exceptions, power outages don’t come with prior warnings.

    No disrespect intended, just advice. If you are a prepper who lives in a large metropolitan area and expect to flee the city in your end-of-days, bad-boy bug-out vehicle, I believe you are in for a big surprise. It ain’t happening, at least for several days, and that depends on folks staying with their vehicles and eventually untangling the traffic gridlock on their own. Good luck with that happening. The police and fire personnel have families too. They may stick around for a double shift, but if communications are down, they will go to their families, just like anyone else would do.

    Before I retired, one day, not long after 9-11, and folks thought another terrorist attack, this time nuclear or biological, on a major U.S. city could be imminent, a colleague asked me, over a cup of coffee, what I would do if our city came under such an attack. I responded, “well, the first thing I would do is give my pick-up truck to the city” to which he responded “why would you do that?”. I replied “because I’m taking this police motorcycle to get home”. We were just joking around, but I believe most first responders with families would do just that.

    I expect some folks will make derogatory remarks about what I just posted, but police officer or not (I’m retired now, for over ten years), I answer to God first, my family second, everyone and everything else comes after the first two. If that makes me a bad person in anyone’s eyes, I can live with that.

    1. @Dennis, Thanks for your insightful comment from someone who walked the walk in that regard. My takeaway is that in your opinion, it will (may be) even worse than many people think it will be…

      I agree entirely with your premise that people get frustrated and angry very quickly. Even during so called ‘good times’ it is absolutely amazing as to what one see’s out there on the road or otherwise out in public. If the SHTF, it’s going to be very, BAD…

      1. Ken, I know that preppers, by their very nature, are fearful that bad things are on the horizon. I share this dread. I think that many don’t realize though, how fragile our everyday existence is, especially in large metro areas. I have seen first-hand how, even large police and fire departments can be overwhelmed by incidents that pale in comparison to the scenarios painted in publications such as Koppel’s. Police and fire departments are set up to handle day to day routine expectations. Anything out of the routine will cause a temporary shift of personnel to cope with that problem wherever it occurs. If the problem is city wide and catastrophic, there is no way emergency personnel, even with all hands on deck, can overcome the chaos.

        Yes, I can see this scenario being worse than folks, in their worst nightmares, can imagine, especially as it will play out in the bigger cities.

        1. Dennis, I retired from law enforcement out of California as soon as I could with NO illusions about the stability of the CALPERS retirement system. We figured early on the rates are unsustainable and it will collapse under it’s own weight.

          I am also in complete agreement with your assessment of first responders taking care of their families when a major SHTF event occurs. During the Rodney King Riots in 1992, many law enforcement agencies experienced inordinately high “absentee”(sick/ill) call ins, until families/homes could be appropriately secured.

          Now, with the lack of support from any Federal elected official for law enforcement nationally, I would expect it to be a great deal more pronounced. Just my very subjective take.

    2. NRP, Helmet, TPSnodgrass,

      Thanks for the supportive words. I know that some in the prepper/survival fraternity believe that law enforcement will be an enemy after a catastrophic event. Some individuals may be, but the overwhelming majority have families and their priorities will be the same as yours. Folks might even want to befriend them after shtf, as they just might have skills that will benefit you, or your group, in achieving your goal of surviving.

      1. Dennis,
        I think most in the prepper community would welcome LOCAL LEO’s. Their knowledge would be a valuable source in helping organize neighborhood security. I say Local LEO’s because if they were from the area they were helping organize people would be more apt to trust them as they are neighbors and their own security would also be dependent on those neighbors .

        1. Another point in favor of local LEOs is that they generally know who the habitual criminals are locally. Where they live/tend to hang out; Where they tend to operate, and known associates. The types of crimes they tend to commit, etc. They also know how to read people. This is useful stuff in my mind when grid down happens.

  14. I think your time line is about right Ken. But I agree with many others that within hours of the grid going down the “Wolves” will take advantage of the confusion, darkness and the “Sheep” waiting for someone to take care of them.

    Most of the sheep will be so upset that they cant watch the Kardashians or can’t recharge their cell phones they will be easy pickings for the wolves.

    Typing that last statement reminds me of a video I saw where a woman was being interviewed because a large storm had just past through. She was complaining that she could not get her car out of the garage because the power was down and the garage door opener wouldn’t work. REALLY!! I about fell out of my chair when I watched it. But unfortunately that is the mentality of the sheep out there. They cannot think on their own. They need the .gov to tell them what, when and how to do it.

    Adapt and Overcome.

    1. Your comment regarding the “Wolves” is very valid and no doubt, true. They seek opportunity. I believe that so, so many people do not understand the very real need for personal security…

      1. My personal thought is that the “wolves” will not be as resilient as we might imagine. They operate in and prey in a culture supported by the same technologies as the sheep, and I think they will be at as much as a loss as the sheep. Not saying they wont be out there, but it will take time for them to get their game together. Glad I am 100 miles from the Metro!

  15. I would like to add a very pessimistic and most likely addle-brained addition.

    Those in power and with power (financial) may very well use such an event to continue what they do now. Further their agenda. I can see the political class and those ‘representatives’ of the people attempting to use the military against the populace. I will include those law-enforcement officials who now function in the quasi-military mode right now. Also States may do the same using whatever National Guard units and State Troopers who might rally to a ‘billed-as’ good cause.

    I suppose I see it as those who now have any form of power – be it the wealthy with what they now and will still be able to pay for, the politicians and various levels of government leaning on and stressing the loyalty of those who wear the uniforms and answer to those same, last, those more local individuals who may very well in their misguided concept of right and wrong think to establish themselves as local centers of governance – all or some of these groups may not wish to give up what they feel is their own superiority to the needs and wants of the citizens.

    On one hand, such actions may be actually nobly intention-ed and possibly the right thing to do. Especially on local levels. In the other hand it would be no different that the foreign force a writer above mentioned.

    Actually, all of us need to be on our guard concerning prepper groups in general as well. It would be all too easy in a time of strife and great crisis for individuals and local groups to attempt to exert control over those in their locations.

    I guess what I’m saying is that such a thing would cause all things to be up for grabs. It’d be all a matter of strength to either achieve or repel.

    Either/or – just a thought.

  16. Living in Canada, especially at this time of the year, food and water may be problems, but cold is what would get you the worst in this kind of event. Hardly anyone has wood burning stoves or anything, so if it were to happen here, I would expect people to tear apart any furniture they could find and set it on fire to keep warm.

    1. Hey Youngster,

      In my eyes your exactly right about the cold. I always try to play scenarios in my head and one of them is usually what would I do if I was such and such country or a terrorist org. and wanted to get the most damage for my actions?

      To me winter would be the best time to do a grid shutdown. Especially with cyber attack on the grid it would take little to no time to execute and you could have it happen the same time a bad cold front or massive snow storm hits. Just think about the chaos then. Not only would they have to deal with the weather and any damage from the storm or front but then with no power that would magnify the effect even more.

      I’m sure there are lots of people who heat their homes with wood, propane and natural gas. But just imagine the impact on those who use power. Especially in the bigger cities. Since I live in FL I don’t know what the main source of heating homes in the northern cities are, I’m sure natural gas is a big player but still power has to play a part in that some where along the line.

      Winter would be a very horrible time for a grid shutdown and would play into our enemies hands very well.

      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. I agree, hit your enemy when it hurts the most. I was originally from the north but now in the south because I am smart. Saw that one coming. I still have a fireplace and fire pit so cooking and heat aren’t an issue. You could use a gasifier to make a generator function. Clay pots inside each other with sand and water for a fridge. Solar ovens to cook and solar panels for power. Arm yourselves to the teeth with defensive measures taken, food reserves, water catchment and/or wells and you will survive. Learn medical skills. You can nave a solar still for water. Smart Americans will survive, most of them are preppers. ?

  17. I disagree of your assessment that on the 2nd day the refugees would be clogging the roads. I don’t believe that would happen so soon, because most people would still, at that point, be waiting for the power to come back on. Also, most people would not be aware yet that a Cyber Attack had in fact occurred. I believe it would be closer to a week before the masses would finally begin to wake up to the realization of what was actually happening.
    After the 1st week, then chaos.

    1. In retrospect, I agree with your assessment. Exceptions might be if the masses discovered that the grid-down was more than just ‘ordinary’. However chances are they will not have a clue…

      1. Try to imagine lights out as it would happen for most people. First, the lights go out. That’s not so bad and in some places it’s pretty common. Next, they go grab their phone and try to call a neighbor or relative to see if their power is out too. Oops, the phone isn’t working either! Then, they figure they’ll go jump in the car and drive to some other part of town to see if everyone else’s power is out too. Hmmm, the car isn’t working either. Ok, now we have a problem. Panic will set in immediately.

  18. In response to Dennis’s comments about Policemen bailing out at the 1st opportunity, and being retired law enforcement myself, I can vouch for the fact that when TSHTF, it’s every man for himself!

    1. I wonder if the military would go to quell the riots and mayhem, or Fema people if their families were in as much danger?

      1. Interesting point. I am retired Army myself. One thing to consider is that a number of our Soldiers are not married and are stationed hundreds of miles away from family. Most likely, if they were deployed to an urban area, they would go without fully knowing all of the details. By then it would be too late for many of them to just take off. Although I am sure a large number would eventually, the first few days or weeks would probably see most of them standing by. Just my two cents. Thanks!

  19. Ok Tinfoil Hat time.

    I have to give props to Thox he mentioned something about the gov in the last article which made scenarios playing out in my mind.

    We all know that the gov wants to control the population as much as possible and eliminate those that are self sufficient and don’t need the gov to survive. If the gov were to actually use a grid shut down to gain even more control over the people, such as give up more freedom/liberty for more security, a grid shutdown blamed on someone else would be the perfect storm.

    From what I understand the gov has done what they need to do stay in power during a grid shutdown. If they shutdown the grid in the middle of winter or after a bad storm hits. Make those that need help come to the FEMA camps and then they could very easily start to focus on those darn domestic terrorists(DT) a.k.a gun owners, preppers, etc.

    With the cold weather discouraging DT from leaving areas under gov control it would be much easier for them to round them up. Basically use the weather to take the fight out of them or let the elements eliminate them.

    I know it sounds crazy and loony. But what I see happening to this country everyday is even crazier. I’m just brainstorming here and I doubt it would happen. Because after all we know the gov is looking out for our best interests and rights.

    I have to go and put some more tinfoil on my dogs heads so the NSA cant read their minds. LOL.

    Have a good one and take care.
    Adapt and Overcome.

    1. Okay 11HE9, I put my tin foil hat on as well. If I wanted to knock down a country quick, I would knock out the power grid during the coldest time of the year. That way many people die from the cold. They don’t have to wait for us to die of dehydration or hunger. Most would die with-in hours to maybe a day or two. Quicker, leaving most of the infrastructure intact, as well as most of the food. Then they can come in rounding up what is left.

    2. As much as TPTB love power, their greed for money is worse. While we are fast approaching that intersection, I don’t think they’ve squeezed all of our financial assets out of the working class to satisfy their ever-increasing hunger for money.

      Seems to me that an intentional grid-down would best serve TPTB if it covers both the needs to disappear US debt while simultaneously while creating the ultimate man-made disaster to destroy the population.

      1. @ Lynn
        My Tin-Foil-Hat tells me that the wealth/money has already left/been taken from the common people. I’m not so sure about anyone else on this Blog, but I sure as heck don’t have $-millions in assets/cash/anything. I truly believe the “powerful” people wont give a hoot when “it” happens, whatever “it” is. I KNOW for a FACT that the power in .gov sure wont, dose anyone really think King O-Bummer gives a flying fig about the common people?
        JMHO
        NRP

        1. After visiting other blogs, there are many comments who voice how they will shoot anyone who comes near their home when SHTF. This country is infiltrated with people who don’t care about others who may or may not be leaders, and it saddens me to no end. That is why I came here because ken and others are very helpful to one another.

  20. So…the next blog will be on the immediate steps to take in the case of a “lights out” event??? That’s what I am curious to compare notes on, if possible.

  21. Ken,I hope you find this appropriate for discussion on this post. If not please edit or move it where you think it might be better suited for discussion.

    These last couple of posts sure fit the doom and gloom category especially if the clueless and the sheep read them.

    However, I believe that the folks here are wearing their big boy/girl pants and understand all too well the ramifications of what is being discussed.

    It can be overwhelming, depressing and down right scary to think about.

    I want to to interject a positive note here if I may…

    We are all preparing in our own way for what is coming. Our strength is that we are people from all walks of life and experiences. Cultural, differences, religious/spiritual beliefs and backgrounds. We are scattered all over the place! I’m typing this from Hawaii! We are from many states and even other Countries are represented here. We all have a better chance than most to come out of the other side of this. We will be the ones who save our beliefs and customs. More than likely we will have to take on the role of teacher and historian for those who do make it. We may be few but we will make a big impact after the worst that happens. That’s a positive thought!

    I’m not a stranger to violence and death.In this scenario I expect there will be more killing to be done.

    I just pray that more good people like all you folks come out on the other side.That belief keeps me positive when all we see and hear is negative… .

    1. Steelheart,

      Thanks for your post. I have been feeling a bit down and gloomy myself since the last 2 articles came out. Add what I see on the news and it can be overwhelming at times.

      I hope this never comes to fruition and there won’t be any killing. But I know I will do what I need to for my family or die trying.

      I know the small steps we have taken will put us ahead of the rest of the country and that I also pray that all of us and many more come out on the other side.

      I enjoy reading your posts and don’t always get a chance to reply. But from what I have gathered by reading your posts you are anything but a Steelheart. That is not meant as a insult if you know what I mean.

      Take care.
      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. Thank you for the kind words…
        I discuss with the Wife the articles I come across like these. She helps me stay grounded and somewhat domesticated. Talking stuff out helps me a lot.

        This morning she asked me if I thought it would kind of be like the movie, The Stand, where only a few survived. I told her you don’t get the smell of Death in the movies. Those who have experienced it know what I mean. A kill off like we are talking the smell would be overpowering for quite a while. Then dealing with scavengers, disease would take its toll.

        It’s strange how certain things bring up memories that you try to lock away but seem to surface when you don’t want them to.

        I thought of 2 young kids from a lifetime ago. A kid maybe 7 or 8 holding his younger sisters hand maybe 4 or 5. He was picking thru garbage looking for something to eat. He brushed away the flies and the maggots and split the food with his little sister. Stuff like that changes you. You know someone is responsible for their plight. It makes you angry as Hell. When you find that person its easy to kill them. Too easy…

        That’s why I wrote what I did. Something positive from the old anger.
        Cuz I fear I will see that happening again all over our Country if this comes to pass …sorry Ken for going off the reservation…

        1. Steelheart, you sound like someone who has witnessed carnage. Folks who follow blogs such as Ken’s, seem to be aware of a lot of the challenges survivors will face after a nation-wide catastrophic event.

          You mentioned the smell of death. What I’ve never seen addressed is the inevitable abrupt soaring of feral dog populations. Their taste buds are not nearly as discriminating as ours. When their food supply soars, so does the population. When the scavenging ends, they will turn their appetites toward the next easier meal. The good news? I hear dog makes a tasty meal.

          1. I was going to touch on that but felt I was already making folks uneasy. I sure wouldn’t want anyone to fall away from this site over something I said.

            Feral dogs is one problem as is feral pigs.

            During the Northern Aggression against The South AKA The Civil war neither side was prepared for the mass casualties that happened so quickly on the battlefield. They had no way to deal with thousands of dead at the end of a one day battle. The result was feral dogs and wild pigs on the battle fields scavenging the dead soldiers from both sides.
            People who lived near the battle fields would not eat pork for many many years after the war was over. I BET NO ONE READ THAT IN THEIR AMERICAN HISTORY SCHOOL BOOKS!
            Wild packs of dogs will be a problem as will the smell and disease from it all. You won’t be dealing with grandma’s little poodle…
            I sure have been one big ray of Sunshine today haven’t I…

          2. yup….they’ll be on my menu without a doubt. Similar consistency as lean beef and not a bad flavor either.

          3. Dennis, your comments and career are like mine, have discussed this over the years with fellow officers, we all agree that open season will be declared on day one. The watchdog will act first and not wait for the wolves to gather for the sheeple feast.

            Also, I seem to remember an explorer, I think it might have been Cortez, who said no nation is more then 30 days from cannibalization, we all need to realize a total different mindset will be forced upon those who survive, understand this is not a pretty picture but when the dodo hits the fan…..it will be a whole new ballgame. As my Vietnam era buddies still say “lock and load”.

    2. @ Steelheart
      I will agree with you on the people that are here commenting “get it”. I will note that there are hundreds maybe even thousands of people that hit this Blog that don’t, and a LOT of them may need a little jolt. I look at the “hit counter and see something like 23 million hits???

      Maybe someone, if only one, will read this Blog and “see the light” Maybe????
      Just a thought.
      NRP

      1. NRP, +1

        (I get what you’re saying though, Steelheart, however I feel compelled to ‘push the envelope’ at times, and the potential future reality is not all roses – although I sincerely hope that we never get to that point)

        1. You’re right Ken. Pushing the envelope gets/keeps people thinking. That is a very good thing! I guess I needed to feel some hope in all this. Thought others might too. That’s why I posted it. And the future is not looking as bright as it once did.
          I keep thinking of that song line…”the futures so bright ya gotta wear shades”
          If only…

        2. Ken, You walk the walk, I think the people here on this site, are here because they appreciate you pushing the envelope, unlike mainstream media, that 1 year ago I quit watching, you are that breath of fresh air and the add on wisdom that is generated by YOUR TOPICS and with everyones comments lets all of us understand we are doing something not only right, but we are doing it with others and are not alone….how great is that, my friend

      2. Sometimes, people don’t comment because, someone has already expressed their views…just sayin’

    3. And not one here has suggested what to do with all those bodies.
      If ‘we’ don’t starve or freeze, the hygiene from all the death will kill us.
      Any suggestions??

      1. I would think you only have 2 options. Bury them if possible or burn them. If you can bury them do so very far away from any water source and the deeper the better.

        Adapt and Overcome.

        1. I agree with your options. The logistics of dealing with that many deaths is daunting. You only have to look at Katrina and at earthquakes like Haiti and others to see the difficulty of dealing with the dead.

          The cold truth is most will not be buried. Burning will be the better option. Most in cities will get neither. They will be left in their apts.,condos, too hard to move. No one to do it.

          It may start out as civil and early deaths may get proper burials but it probably won’t last.

          This may make folks uncomfortable but it needs to be said.

          As part of your preparations how to deal with the death of a loved one and proper burial if no mortuaries are available is something to ponder/pray/think about.

          Our ancestors dealt with it. We may have to do it too…

  22. Do you start a war before the crops are in or after? I’m not a farmer but I think that most of our silos are currently full with our latest harvest. Distribution would be a problem but some of it would get out. If we were going to get hit it would make more sense to do it before we could get the crop in.

    I don’t think that anything is imminent. Dying from the cold or dying from no water still equals dead. Kind of think that if anyone did it to us we would probably do it every one else to level the playing field. It stands to reason if they’re in our system that we are in theirs also.

    Problem as I see it is we would probably have further to fall than much of the rest of the world. Plenty of people still cooking on wood or charcoal stoves and getting their water from hand pumped wells.

  23. With a cyber grid failure, the people will all have access to their radios, and many will have access to computer systems, due to UPS systems. The cars will still run, the planes shall still fly, and many things shall still function. However, an EMP, or solar event, will be utterly different. While the backup generators at radio stations run, allowing information to get out, in a cyber attack, not so in an EMP.

    A cyber attack would be no where near as bad as an EMP. A cyber attack will kill many. An EMP will kill all. An EMP is virtually chaos immediately, as planes fall out of the skies and tall buildings become death traps. When everyone’s cell phones and tablets suddenly go black..people will simply freak.

    A cyber attack would probably not effect the nuclear power plants, and rod holding pools, nearly as much as an EMP.

    The Government’s first efforts must be to get ALL of our nuclear plants capable of handling either a cyber grid failure, or an EMP. Until it does, all OTHER preps are meaningless.

  24. In the 70’s New York cities electrical grid went down for about a week. It took the “street people” less then 24 hours to realize that alarm systems where not working Then, it was game on and everybody got into looting.

  25. To all,

    The timelines all seem to be more or less in agreement how the tragic events will unfold after a SHTF event. Now there is a very closely related question. How many readers have put together a decision timeline about when you are going to carry out the various parts of your survival reaction to a SHTF event? Many parts of our reaction plans should already be in motion. For example;
    1. When do I learn how to garden?
    2. When do I learn how to can food or smoke meat?
    3. When do I learn how to reload ammo?
    4. When and what triggers my bug out?
    5. When do I learn emergency first aid.

    This is the first part of my reaction plan to the timeline that is the subject of this discussion topic.

    1. Easy answer, now is the time! The time is now. Learn everything you can from when to plant to how to do a sutures. Learn everything. It’s the only way you will survive. Just a thought!!!

  26. Thor said it all. Now is the time with exception of triggering your bug out. But you should be planning and equipping for it now.

  27. Interesting scenarios. However, my question for the 10% who survive the first year, what’s next? Now a solar storm EMP would likely affect the whole world, but an EMP type weapon can affect specific areas. What is the plan for the 10% to defend the country from invaders that haven’t been affected by the EMP? Hiding from the Golden Horde is one thing, but hiding from invaders who still have working technology will be a nightmare.

    1. I concur which is why I feel we would level the playing field. As I said earlier if the Russians and Chinese are in our electrical grids we can assume that we are in theirs also. If we got hit by an EMP we would probably retaliate in kind.

  28. How long do you think China, Korea, Japan, Mexico and other “producing” countries will last without “us”, the Great Consumers? I believe they will be right behind us in our plight. There are 10 times as many people in China as there are here. Without our ongoing flow of money, I think they will be hard pressed to survive as well.

  29. I wonder how many people here have actually been exposed to the stench of human death & decay. Everyone has different tolerances for it. Some get used to it and don’t notice it after a time, and others never do.
    Pray you never have to find out!

  30. According to the NRC, there are 99 Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors and 31 Research and Test Reactor sites in the U. S. licensed to operate. The vast majority are located along the eastern seaboard and in the midwest. As a result of the Fukushima event in 2011, the NRC mandated contingency plans for all nuclear reactors in the U. S. in the event of a major catastrophe. Part of the plan was to open two Regional Response Centers; one in Memphis, TN and the other in Phoenix, AZ. These sites are (supposedly) capable of transporting, via air or ground, emergency back-up equipment, e.g., generators, pumps, hoses, etc. within 24 hours of an event. The reactor sites themselves are required to have back-up capability to provide electrical power through batteries and generators for a period of at least 72 hours. Some have the capability (supposedly) to provide power for up to 30 days. Now here’s where it gets interesting. It takes 5 – 7 days to “shutdown” a nuclear reactor and even after it is shut down, the fuel rods must be cooled for another 3 – 5 years which entails power to operate the pumps, valves, etc. The Regional Response Centers are specifically tasked with transporting generators, parts, etc. BUT the reactor sites are responsible for providing fuel for the generators, unless the site is inaccessible in which case the RRC will (again supposedly) fly in fuel in bladders. When they talk about air assets, they are primarily speaking of heavy lift helicopters. The real Achilles Heel seems to me the fantasy to believe that in a grid down situation (even if it was partial) that 100+ nuclear reactor sites could be continuously fueled. I’ve done quite a bit of research into this topic and would like for someone to tell where I am wrong.

    1. A cyber grid failure would not prevent a nuclear power plant from continuing to create power, thus they would not need to scram the reactors at all. Shutting down the effective transportation of electrical power, the grid, will still allow all the power plants to power their own areas…which do not need the grid. By physically cutting grid connection lines, to isolate a plant’s output, and thus prevent grid trips, due to unbalanced loads, you create “islands” of electrical power…off the grid. Repair would be a simple matter, compared to any EMP type event. For example, the holding yard would not be able to supply anyone at all, unless their transportation systems (and what they store in the yard) are EMP proofed. In a cyber attack, the nuclear plant control room systems will still operate. In an EMP they WILL NOT, and besides screaming at each other, the crews could not communicate with ANYONE, and would have no idea of what to do…or what is happening.

      Not even the emergency lights in the control room would function, as it is plunged into pitch blackness..ever see a window in a nuclear control room? While some older style flashlights may work, trying to use your cell phone to give you light…probably will not. (Imagine a pitch black interior in a
      high rise office building, where the escape stairs are as dark as the King’s chamber in the Great Pyramid…filled with people feeling their way down, like Helen Keller.

      A Cyber attack is paradise, compared to an EMP.

      1. Ision – I profess to not be an expert in this area, however, my research (which has been quite in-depth) indicates that the nuclear power plants are, in deed, connected to the grid and do, in fact, derive their power from the grid. The only way they can generate their own electricity is through their back-up systems which consist of batteries (short term) and diesel powered generators (theoretically longer term provided they have a continuous fuel supply). Sounds rather moronic that they cannot generate their own electricity under normal or emergency operating conditions, but apparently that is the case.

      2. Most power plant are not “Black Start”. They must back feed for excitation. If a plant is running and suffers no damage from an attack it can power itself for as long as their fuel lasts to drive their prime mover. This is usually done through an auxiliary transformer that taps off the generator before the GSU. I would think in a grid down situation nuke plants will prefer to do a controlled shutdown while it stilled remained an option. They may not be aware of what exactly happened but would know something majorly is wrong.

        Wind farms cannot produce power if ther are not connected to the grid. They constantly must be back fed.

  31. Looking at the nuclear plants, if you live on the east coast, you’re toast. Everyone will be trying to get across the Mississippi River. And I also think the GOV will come and take whatever little supplies we have. The more I think about prepping, the more I’m beginning to feel it’s a waste of time.., I’m OK for a natural disaster type event, but the BIG ONE will get us all. We’re going to die, or be “interred” no matter what we do…

    1. Well, if those plants go… It shall not matter where you flee. Imagine what would have happened to fukushima…if there was NO response by its crew at all? The EMP effected plants would go LOCA instantly, and quickly turn into nuclear volcanos, as their cores melt their way to the center of the Earth.

    2. I agree Billy. It is said “The meek shall inherit the earth”. In my eyes that means only plant life will remain.

  32. I’m late at getting around to reading this, but has anyone given any thought to how the US might pull out of an EMP. I realize there will be a lot of death and destruction first but some will always survive. Will the survivors attempt to rebuild a civilization? After the fall of Rome, things were rebuilt. Any thought on how this might happen here in the USA. Who would step up, what skills would they provide? What infrastructure would be rebuilt first? Once the preppers have done what they planned to do, what can they do to rebuild a hopefully wiser world. Should those preppers also prepare for what they might need for the rebuilding? And what might this be? Seems to me some thought ought to be
    given to this too or those who survive will all be living like cave men.

  33. Why not concentrate your energies on improving things for yourself and your fellow man in the very real here and now rather than worrying about how to survive in a post apocolyptic future which may never come? Why do you want to borrow problems from the future when we have plenty to try to solve in the present?

  34. Your map appears to show an active plant on the west coast of central Florida.
    There is an inactive plant in the Crystal river area. Which appears to be in the same location.

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