Without Electricity Most Of The Population Will Not Survive

It really is incredible when you start to think deeply about our reliance upon electricity and the terrible disastrous consequences of being without it for a long period of time. Heck, even a relatively short period of time without electricity will likely result in people “losing it”…

How long will it take without electricity until lots of people literally begin to die?

What will be the specific chain of events that will lead to the deaths of so many people?

Given the current events as of this post date (the reported supposition that NK may have orbiting EMP capability) I felt this would be a good “food for thought” exercise, albeit grim.

Any thinking person would have to admit that indeed there would be great loss of life if electricity (our life blood) were to vanish.

Why would there be such great loss of life? Because our modern society has become 100% reliant upon it. Most all of our infrastructure is dependent on electricity for it to work. It is a great challenge to come up with a list of infrastructure-related things that do not in some way depend upon a source of electricity.

How long would it take before a significant number of people begin to die off?

I believe that it would begin sooner than most people may think…

I have written about this scenario a number of times over the years and I really have not changed my view too much on this (except one). I have always felt that if the lights went out in America (grid-down), it is my opinion that ultimately 70% – 90% would not survive.

One major viewpoint that I’ve adjusted is how long this would take to occur (the 70% – 90%). When I first hypothesized this years ago, I felt that an approximate one year time frame would be required to finally reach those numbers. I believe that this thinking was incorrect. It would be much sooner than that.

Given the lack of drinking water after the pumps stop working and holding tanks drain,

Given that most people have less than one week’s worth of food at home,

Given that the majority of people live in urban areas,

I feel that these facts alone will seal their fate within one to three months. One month for many, and certainly within three months for most. There simply will not be enough food available within our just-in-time system and this will immediately begin the timeline to starvation. The lack of drinking water will bring about end-of-life even sooner.

63% of Americans live in cities (source).
81% of Americans live in urban areas (source).

While 19% live in rural areas, most of them too are reliant upon electricity. Of the 19% how many are self-reliant and able to procure water and food without pumps, electricity, and grocery stores… enough to last throughout the year?

What do we require to stay alive? Water, Food, Shelter, Security. How long until these things become no longer available after the electricity goes out?


Potential Sequence of Events After “Lights Out”

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

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

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

Beginning to panic, discovering widespread outage ramifications

The “Oh $hit” moment of realization…

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’

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/probably much sooner)

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

3 months, 70% – 90% are dead

The issue of all the bodies…

Related: Lights Out

Related: One Second After

How long do you think it will take before more than just a few begin to lose their lives after the electric grid goes down?

Note: I know that there are those of you who do not accept the possibility that something of this magnitude could or would actually occur, however this is just a thought exercise ;)


    1. Yessiree, I just passed it on to someone I know who is skeptical. They didn’t hurl, but they did say they were feeling very ill. Think I’ll pass it on to a few more. Thanks, Ken!

    2. NK may be holding off on any EMP attack from space until they have enough assets in place to be sure of a knockout blow. I’m sure they are well aware they have only one shot at such an attack. Even if any such attack is only partially successful, USA can fully expect the many enemies USA has made to pile on, and some of our ‘allies’ join in.

      Getting NK to launch such an attack would be great for China and/or Russia. The Norks would absorb most of any retialitory strike by USA.

  1. I’m a electrical lineman in a big southeast city….any outage that goes past 6hrs pisses people off…any power outage past 12hrs customers really lose their shit…if you don’t already physically have it, don’t expect anything. When the sun goes down in a big city without lights, the men come out and women and kids need to be inside. And I’m not talking about Batman, I’m talking about men. Ex-cons, construction workers, rednecks, gangbangers. A lot of snowflake men from all generations are gonna be left at the dock watching the ship sail away

    1. Please don’t include construction workers in your list of goons who come out at night when the power goes out. I’ve been married to a God fearing, Sharing, Caring, would do anything to help anyone construction worker for 40 years. He is the best man I’ve ever met. Not all construction workers are bad people. In fact of all the construction workers I know, none of them are bad people and not a single one of them is an ex-con. You must be running with the wrong crowd.

      1. I agree with you. My father was in construction, and was a God-fearing man
        and a WONDERFUL father

        1. In my 45+ years of construction from Labor/Grunt to Estimator/Project Manager I have seen both sides of the coin and everything between, including the tweekers/ex-cons/scum all the way up to the most honest and wonderful people you would trust your life with….

          Sometimes we/I lose sight of that. BUT, I still have a heartburn for the.gov.


      2. And your construction worker husband has never been starving to death either. If he’s human he will become savage quickly. Fact!!!

        1. If you are referencing the very nice clear liquid from Schiedem, Netherlands, it should be Ketel One. Doesn’t make a lot of difference though. As long as where to obtain some is known.

      1. Just did- three hundred. Add it to the two hundred I already have.
        Now I need to order some sand for filling them.

        1. Pieface, we keep a load of sand in the barnyard for various reasons, but mostly now for our granddaughter to play on. I guess in a serious situation, she would have to make a sacrifice!

  2. Assuming that everything stays calm (which is highly unlikely in my opinion) a percentage of the population would be dead within two weeks.

    First wave (Death within a week):

    On critical life support
    On life sustaining medications (As in “I stop taking it I stop breathing”)
    On dialysis or the equivalent
    On oxygen and cannot survive without it
    Have feeding pumps, medication pumps, etc
    Have pacemakers or other equipment keeping them alive

    These are your immediate losses. The next wave (Within two weeks):

    High risk pregnancies
    People who cannot leave their homes
    People who cannot feed themselves
    Severe Heart problems

    When the first group starts to die it’s going to shock everyone around them. The problem of what to do with the body of your neighbor will start popping up within a few days, even before it’s occurred to most people that there’s a serious problem. Do you leave him in his home and hope things go back to normal? Bury him in the front yard?

    Even without violence the problems will become critical within a week.

    1. We have a neighbor who has been retired for about 6 years. He was a lineman but once he retired, he sat. He ate, watched TV, mowed grass in the summer, and sat. He watched the world-go-by. Just four years ago, after dealing with issues stemming from lethargy and being overweight, he developed diabetes. He then had a heart attack, then another. Then came kidney disease which went into renal failure and now dialysis.

      Every year, they travel to Florida for a ‘winter vacation’ where he can sit and watch the southern portion of the world-go-by. They leave in December and return in late February. I have no idea why they decided to go this winter because he was in VERY poor health and his family had gathered around on several occasions, if you know what I mean.

      It’s May…they have not returned from their winter vacay. I have not talked with any family members, but I am certain that they are stuck in Florida, hooked to tubes and the power-grid, and he can’t return home. He is one of those who is medically-dependent on electricity.

      I doubt I see him again…

    2. Lauren,

      Back in 1994, we had to bring my mother home on a ventilator (ran out of Medicare days.) She was not a vegetable, just not able to breathe on her own due to complications from heart surgery. The nerve to her diaphragm was cut.

      If there had been a power outage, they had taught my brother and I how to hand bag her to keep her alive while we waited for the ambulance. Both the ambulance and the hospital were only 5 blocks away. But if the power was out permanently, and no one came to help, we would have been in the position of hand-bagging her until we were worn out and couldn’t go on any longer and then having to tell her, “We’re sorry, but we have to let you die. We don’t have to strength to keep you alive any longer.”

      1. I am sad to say, as I have never been happy about my mother’s death 12 years ago and reading this article and your response, I am grateful that she died peacefully without having to suffer from running out of oxygen due to an EMP. I just imagined the pain that would have been so much worse for my family if she had to go through something like this. A couple of hours with the power out at the house was very stressful as she relied on oxygen, and if the backup ran out, I would have driven her to the hospital and had a fit to get her hooked up there. But to have no electricity at all, and no way to get more oxygen to her, that breaks my heart more.

    3. This is what most people do not think about, medical dependency on electricity, consider the emergency generators at hospitals, how many are EMP protected. Not to mention personnel to staff the hospitals. How many will just stay home to protect their families. The medical equipment dependent are history.

  3. I would miss my bathroom. But other than that, the up side would be no more electric bills! We lived here for about a year without electric and did fine, of course we were a bit younger.

      1. My significant other and i were talking about this sort of thing,
        She assumed i have fuel and generator to keep the refrigerators running,,,
        I keep it to run the laundry and power tools, dont really care about a fridge

        1. Running a generator for power tools, sure. For laundry? You should have manual ways of doing laundry so as to not waste generator fuel on a non-essential task. I have both a scrub board and one of those special plunger things to be used in buckets to wash with. But frankly, for the first few months I’d be trying to blend in and not look too well groomed…

  4. Depending on the time of year, there could be deaths with-in a few hours to a couple of days. The extreme cold or heat will kill faster than lack of water. I know many people who have no alternate forms of heat. A neighbor not too far from us, went to warm up in their car during an extended electrical outage in the middle of winter.

    I would be interested in learning how people keep cool in the south without electricity in the peak of summer. When we lived in a very old apartment building we couldn’t use an air conditioner as their was only one outlet in each room. The wiring could not handle the load of an air conditioner. So we filled up our big tub and used it as a mini pool throughout the day as we overheated.

    1. @Peanut Gallery

      I live in the south and use but don’t rely on electricity. I just spent this past winter in my cabin with no heat. I simply just curled up in my sleeping bags and stayed in bed till the temps were above 40.

      As far as the heat goes, humans were designed to live in tropical environments so acclimating to the heat is easier than most people believe. We have lots of forrests in Alabama since most are privately owned. The temperatures in the shade of the trees is usually about 10-15 degrees cooler than out in the open. As you mentioned, water is your friend in the summer months months. Ponds, pools, camp showers, and even simple spray bottles help much more than people realize. Plus, we were also designed for sweating. Something most people are terrified of but it’s great for ridding oneself of toxins.

      I think the thing most survivors will miss the most is going to be new/fresh entertainment. No more episodes of their favorite tv shows. No new movies. No new games. Even if they had stuff stashed away in emp protected containers eventually they’re going to get bored with watching and playing the same stuff over and over. I love to read but even my collection of books will get old after awhile. Luckily there will be plenty of libraries if I can find the ones that haven’t been burnt down during the looting.

      Eventually as people reconstruct civilization a portion of the populace will begin again to entertain others again. Of course, kids and pets are good entertainment too if one is paying enough attention.

      It may be rough for awhile, but everything will turn out just fine. Just wait and see. It always does.

      1. @ Grits

        “I think the thing most survivors will miss the most is going to be new/fresh entertainment”

        Ohhhh Myyyy Godddd, NO MORE MSB!!!!!!!!!


        1. Just curious, but I wonder how long it would take to print out an entire history of MSB articles for some extra reading material after the grid goes down? (crazy sarcastic smiley face) :)

        2. Grits

          Your idea could make for an interesting book by Ken – without some of our brilliant comments of course.

        3. @ Hermit us

          It would be a good book but I think it needs the comments as well. The good and the bad. Most of Ken’s articles are written with the purpose of starting a conversation. Going without them would be like eves dropping on half of a phone call.

        4. Yeah, definitely need the comments! It’s huge part of the whole blog experience. And quite entertaining :)

    2. @peanut gallery

      Since I live in Fl cooling the house without power is something I have thought about.

      Google “plastic bottle air conditioner”. I saw it on you tube as well. They are supposedly doing this in 3rd world countries that have no power and it reduces the temp by 10-20 degrees in the home.

      I haven’t tried it yet but the science of it seems legit.

      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. @ 11HE9

        That’s so funny, I just saw that same video on YouTube the other day and mentioned it to a friend of mine and said I was thinking of building some. Only problem for me is that I don’t drink anything that comes in 2 liter bottles. I suppose I could shop around and see if I can find water in 2 liters. Or worst case scenario I could just find the cheapest of cheap stuff and just pour it out. I have a one room cabin and would be interested in trying this on all 4 walls to get the maximum airflow.

        My only concern is that I live in the humid south and the basic premise of this application is that it cools the air by condensing it. Doing this in my cabin is probably going to raise the humidity so much more than outside and I’ll probably end up creating my own weather system inside my cabin. As in, it’s going to make it rain inside my cabin! :) I think the guy who created it in the video was in an arid area of India if I remember correctly. I’ll give it a try anyway and if it doesn’t work I’ll just tear it out.

        1. Grits,

          You could probably use empty 1 gal jugs. I wouldn’t go buy anything. Just ask your neighbors or friends for their 2 liter or it could work with smaller plastic bottles. You would just need more of them. As far as the humidity. I live in Fl, the humidity can be horrendous. But I figure if you have 1 of these in each room and open all the other windows it should create a vacuum and pull the air and humidity out. Yes your rooms will get humid but no more than if you just have all the windows open. They have used it in huts in Bangladesh. I figure it can’t be any worse than having the windows open. Besides we are talking about making life with no power as comfortable as possible.

          Adapt and Overcome

    3. Growing up in the ’50s in a large Midwestern city every summer there would be news stories of people dying from the heat inside their homes and apartments, even without a power outage. They had neither air conditioning nor bars on their windows. Living in high crime neighborhoods they could not leave their windows open, especially at night. They might have a fan, but when it’s HOT and humid, a fan may not be much help. The elderly are especially vulnerable.
      In today’s world with a long term power failure, crime would be up. We need a plan how to keep cool at night and secure from criminals. Plus, when you don’t sleep, or sleep only poorly due to miserable conditions, your next day’s safety and productivity are compromised.

    4. @Peanut Gallery, Regarding your question about people in the south and surviving the heat. When I was younger, it didn’t bother me. But now…the heat gets to me. I have several doggy “cooling beds”. Us humans will be using them as well. Also, sleeping under a damp sheet will help keep you cool. luv ya’ll, Beach’n

      1. I read somewhere that, during the Depression, folks used to cool their homes by hanging a damp bedsheet in a doorway.

  5. One thing to consider is that there will be a lack of accountability. People will no longer be accountabible for their actions because there will be no one to be accountable to. When law and order disappear only morals will hold people in check and a large portion of the population is without them. Those who do have morals will use them to justify desperate actions.

    Also, I have thought of an example in which people use morals to justify their actions toward others but don’t apply it to themselves. Say a person arrives at your door asking for food. “You have to share,” they say. This means “I want what you have and worked for.” You give them two weeks of food. Now ask the question ” how much of that are you going to share with the person who comes begging for food?”

    Electricity has only been available for a century. I try to remember that the great cathedrals of Europe were built without it. The classical composers wrote music without it. Shakespeare wrote plays without it. The British Empire brought an end to slavery without it. The Romans built the aqueducts without it. The Magna Carta and Bill of Rights were signed without it.

    And yet, now, without electricity millions will die. It will be much worse than the Great Plague. As I write this I am trying to think of a solution or at least an optimistic note to end on, but I can’t.

    Stay frosty.

    1. The only solution are the innovators who are willing to look beyond coal/nuclear/water power and find something better. Something that doesn’t rely on a grid or an outdated electrical system. Seriously, why are we still living with power generation technology that was designed in the 19th century?

    2. Pieface

      I think I recall you bought a freeze drier

      I hope your year of freeze drying was as productive as mine – you may need the stockpile before long. I have backed up the bag food storage method with many, many jars which I now use more for my freeze dried food. Somehow I feel better about this as opposed to the mylar bags. Then when the power goes, I can get back to the pressure cookers in storage for a year or two down the road.

      1. The freeze drying has been going well. One batch comes out and another goes in. Non stop.
        I see your point about canning. I still have lots of jars from when I used to can. I need to stock up on more lids.
        I didn’t have a canner but used a hot water bath. If I have to go back to that I know it will take a lot of fuel for the woodstove. Last week I bought an induction cooktop – one burner. I tried it out and found that the temperature increments don’t allow for s simmer (slow boil). I am returning it and purchasing one that has twenty degree temperature changes.
        I am hoping to have everything for my solar power by the fall and I think the induction cooktop will work well with it. Like Ken, I am planning on two controllers and two inverters.
        There is quite a difference between a preparedness lifestyle and a self sufficiency lifestyle. At present I am working on preparedness.

        1. Pieface

          I like my induction cook surface and use it more than my range. One concern I have is that you need a material that a magnet can affect – my favorite pressure cooker is the ALL American which has (I believe) a lot of aluminum. Not sure it would work. If power fails and I run out of fuel for the generator, I have two wood burning stoves (one outside) that are good for cooking and canning.

        2. @ Pieface

          “There is quite a difference between a preparedness lifestyle and a self sufficiency lifestyle. At present I am working on preparedness. “

          I have read that quote several times…… I see an Article coming; if you don’t mind me stealing your Quote that is. I for one, as ya all know, a’m a true believe on living the ‘Lifestyle’.


        3. Pie face – I bought the Ecozoom for canning outside. Uses small amount of wood to run. I will be trying it this year. I also use Tattler lids which are reusable. They work great…just buy a few dozen each time they have a sale.

    3. Pieface

      Has not been that many years where if you lived to be over Fifty Years of age you were doing good. Myself being over 60 with a few health issues. I wonder if young people are scared of dying. Maybe they don’t think of it at all. Being older I don’t want to die “Early” but sooner or later we all get there.

      I think many here, should the electricity go away, would stop and think what they had to do. And Do it. Thinking about dying is a Big Mind Game.

      1. My comment wasn’t about my own death. Millions of people dying is tragic and I will grieve for them.

    4. You know, even stories and parables in the Bible (the 10 virgins) are about this very subject. The prepared did NOT share with the unprepared, they went without and missed the Bridegroom…. something to think about.

  6. While I don’t want to see anyone physically suffering; I would love to see the younger generation go crazy without internet access! They might have to actually communicate verbally and pay attention to their surroundings.

  7. Good article Ken, to get us really thinking…
    I do not find topics like this grim, but just considering a realistic possibility no electricity for a long time….

    This may just be obvious, but let’s say you survive any potential violence or diseases due to electrical outage EMP or whatever…
    Once your store bought provisions are consumed, do I/we/you have the ability or resources to live off the land?

    I think a high altitude EMP burst would actually be probably one of the most difficult events (especially if wide area) to survive long term…

    This morning, I went out to feed my little wild bird friends who visit our front porch, it is such a sunny and clear day here today, beautifully green…I actually thought, even if something happened with NK or anything else, I am just thankful to behold this day for this moment and the sky and birds, and feel the sun’s warmth…

    No matter what happens, root yourself in what is good…

    Good Shepherd bless you friends truly

    1. “Once your store bought provisions are consumed, do I/we/you have the ability or resources to live off the land?”

      This is exactly the question that a seasoned prepper (or any prepper) should be asking themselves. It is a LOT harder than one may think.

      1. Ken, you have been one big ray of sunshine lately!
        I can attest to the food situation. There are 11 adults and 10 children between my property and my son’s property next door. (My group member’s wife is pregnant now.)
        The amount of food consumed has been a real eye opener. Growing more (alot more!!) Is the only logical solution. Knowing certain food will no longer be available will be an adjustment for us. (Not too sure I can grow rice for example. )
        One things for sure. People will get skinny pretty quick. ..

        1. @ Bill Jenkins Horse

          “Ken, you have been one big ray of sunshine lately!”….. Is that ‘sarcasm’ I smell burning on the stove?? HAHAHA I believe Mrs. J has Ken sleeping in the barn again for some untold reason…..

          FYI, Rice is cheap, you should have a ton (literally) stored up with that many people.
          But I agree when the grid goes down, people WILL go into shock with diet change, and weight loss.
          Hence I’m back to “Store what you eat, and eat what you store” so an addition to that would be “Grow what you eat”.
          Having a Garden is not just a fad thing to do. Knowing how to fish and hunt is not a retirement thing to do. Processing food for storing is not something that ya just read about.


        2. Hey guys,play on words! Fast (like fasting)like not eating…geez

        3. @ Bill Jenkins Horse

          Bill, I though it was the Christians that did the ‘Fast’ or Lent thing???? May be wrong, I DO know the Mormons eat……. All the time, no ‘Fasting’ HAHAHAHA


        4. @ NRP

          Leaving aside whether we’re Christian, Mormons voluntarily “fast” once a month for three meals and the money we save (theoretically) from not eating for 24 hours is given to charity. This is where the money spent by the Church across the world for disaster relief etc. comes from.

        5. @ Lauren

          Is that not why the Mormons also ‘voluntarily donate’ 10% of gross earnings to the Church? So not is it 1/30 of the cost of 3 meals of food for a month, it’s actually 1/10 of the total income, according to the Mormons I live around and work for.

          Although it is amazing to me that the ‘Churches’ (organized religions)have the money to build multi-multi-million dollar monuments/churches yet a LOT of the parishioners are dirt poor and yet still are still asked to give.


        6. Lauren,
          Mormons are Christian. Anyone who doesn’t believe that are in error and are uninformed.
          The fast offerings (as they are called) are also used locally to help members in need.
          Tithing is also done. Both are done by faith and obdience.
          If you read the widows mite in the Bible it will put it in perspective.
          Ken,no more word play for me! Didn’t mean to get off subject…

        7. While NRP observes “FYI, Rice is cheap’

          You could and may still have time to experiment with – UPLAND RICE to see what works for your area.

          “Upland rice is rice grown on dry soil rather than flooded rice paddies.”

          I have not yet, but have some seed packets I hope to try this year.

        8. DennyB, thanks for the idea. Let us know how it goes if ya get a chance to grow it.
          I will do some research tonight.
          Btw,where did ya get the seeds?

        9. Baker Creek Seeds has rice and other grains. All their seeds are heirloom.

        10. LoveLoons &DennyB
          Thank you for both sites, have them saved to favorites

        11. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – rare seeds dot com – is where I got mine

        12. “Ken, you have been one big ray of sunshine lately!”

          The recent post topics have indeed been pretty “dark” ;)

          It might be due to the fact that we haven’t seen the sun around here in a LONG time. Dismal miserable cool wet rainy (and even some snow up in the hills) weather. Apparently affecting my mood…

        13. Ken
          I agree. The weather has been and is cold and miserable. I planted potatoes in the greenhouse on April ninth and they are just beginning to sprout up.
          Oh well, instead of being out working I am cozied up commenting on MSB and it feels pretty good!

        14. Gnats here! It made me think to stock up on insect repellent before the electricity is out!

        15. I know how you feel Ken. It snowed here in my state yesterday, and I am two states south of you. Our state even made it onto the weather channel.

        16. Ken,nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around…LOL!
          (according to Calvin from Calvin&Hobbes.)

  8. The critical question is, How long will “you” survive without electricity?

    How do you rate yourself against others in your neighborhood as to how well they will do. Would they even have a mechanical can opener?
    To get an idea on how people react would be to look at weather disasters. though mainly localized, the magnitude of impact would be higher if it was nation wide. Weather is an important factor.

  9. The first day will bring chaos. Airplanes will fall from the sky crushing those on the ground and burning them alive while their screams can be heard off in the distance. Helicopters will plummet into hospitals maiming patients and casting them asunder. Cars and trucks will stop running and crash helter skelter into all around them. Gas and oil wells will explode with ferocious thunder and billows of fire and smoke will shoot up into the night sky.

    The second day will see chaos morph into fear and violence. Volcanoes will rise from the sea spewing magma to the heavens and causing 1000 foot tsunamis which will wash the shores clean of all inhabitants. Ferocious animals will turn on their masters and one another to ravenously feast on their flesh. Thousands will be eaten by alligators, wolves and wild hogs. Zombies will rise up from the ground to mumble and slurp around aimlessly. Mountain tops will crumble into the sea crushing all life underneath. Oceans will rise to the tops of trees. Giant squids will wrap their tentacles around ships and pull them to the bottom to suck the blood from the seamen. Survivors will be devoured by sharks.

    The third day will bring total destruction as humans around the world wail and gnash their teeth in a rabid frenzy. All will appear lost.

    And then… on the fourth day… CrabbeNebulae arises from the ashes and calmly looks around as he picks up his trusty bug out bag and brushes off the dust and ash, shoulders his trusty AR-10, adjusts his full ammo belt, touches his 1911’s to be sure they are intact, checks all the magazines, lets out a sigh of relief as he’s thinking, spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch and shambles off into the sunset.

    1. There you go under estimating the turmoil resulting from this catastrophic event and over estimating your own mortality :) :) Happy trails.

    2. @ CrabbeNebulae

      Dude, not sure what yar smoking, but I want some of that…. HAHAHAHA
      Too bad it’s a 1911…… ROFLMAO


        1. @ Nailbanger

          Ahhhhh you guys and your 1911’s, just as bad as the Glock’ers…. UGH!


        2. I am both a Glocker AND a 1911-ER.
          Both “platforms”have their own purposes, as for mine….I’m not sharing.

        3. @ TPSnodgrass

          I agree, both the Glock and the 1911 have very excellent uses;

          Glock; Great Hammer
          1911; Good fishing snare weights

          Hehehe, that should get the troops fired up.. LOLOL


      1. @ NRP

        Lol. Gotta have a sense of humor to live in this world today. Life gets sorta grim without it, what with all the crazy things going on everywhere. Besides, I can’t imagine me turning tail and running from adversity, no matter its color, shape or intensity, so I might as well view myself as some stalwart and capable guy ready to deal with whatever comes my way.

        Hey… I like the 1911, always have. Sure, it doesn’t have the large capacity magazines like the Glock .40’s and 9 mils but it packs one hell of a punch and it’s heavy enough that it makes a good weapon by itself. I just have to make sure I have enough magazines. It’s heavy and it feels good in my hand. Have a couple of them.

        1. @ CrabbeNebulae

          That’s the EXACT lesion I try to convey to perspective gun owners…

          “It’s heavy and it feels good in my hand”

          Not so much the heavy part, BUT if a firearm does not ‘fit’ you it’s worthless as a hammer.

          I do prefer the SA XD-45ACP, it fits, period.

          This is a very important point to get across to people, if you think you can protect yourself during ANY SHTF you had better know your protection, be it a Rifle, a Handgun, a CANON, a can of beans, or simply a knife.

          And let me tell ya, when the lights go out or the Grid goes down, that IS NOT the time to learn.


        2. Armscor is making a double stack 1911 in 10mm. 16 rounds of pure awesome BA freedom.

  10. Among the first to die will probably be those who live near a nuclear plant.

    My list:
    Elderly and disabled people who live in high-rise buildings — no water in their apartments and no way to get down to street level and back up again. 3 days.

    People who head for the country intending to “live off the land.” A few days for most

    Homeless people. 1-2 weeks as most of them have better survival skills than urban residents who think they can go to the country and live off the land.

    People living in high-crime areas and areas where lots of people are on drugs (both illegal drugs and antipsychotics.) 1-2 weeks

    Type I diabetics. 1-4 weeks depending on time of year (if the weather is freezing, insulin will freeze and be worthless; if it is very hot, insulin will lose potency — the hotter it is, the more their insulin will deteriorate)

    Law enforcement officers (those still on the job and trying to fight crime will be killed at an ever accelerating rate until they take off their uniforms and go home to protect their families)

    People living near nuclear power plants. 30 days

    People who visit this site: several years for most.

    1. I forgot to say that those in nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons will last only as long as their caretakers continue providing them with food, water and medical care. A scary thought is that the prison wardens may decide to open the prison doors and let them all out, rather than have them slowly die of hunger and thirst.

      1. I have heard the comments about the prisons before but really have very little worry on that score and I have several within a 100-150 mile radius. While yes, the prisons have some sick puppy’s in them, for everyone they have there are 10 more ( or more) on the street that are just as bad or worse. The few thousand criminals that would be released are a drop in the bucket to the folks that will turn on each other that you think are just everyday Joe’s.People seem to worry about what they either don’t understand or don’t know as opposed to what they see everyday. I have lived a criminal life in my younger years ( changed my life about 30 years ago ) and i am much more afraid of my neighbors than those who will be released.

    2. Rosy,
      At present we live within the target zone of a smaller USAF base.
      So, we might get to see the flash, or, we might just wake up in a better place so to speak.
      Or, we could get lucky and be on the road to the grandkids when we get EMP’d by the NOTKS.
      Planning that trip within two weeks, driving, so, we are meticulously planning what we are bringing to stage out at their place as well.
      I do believe we will see the heart land get EMP’d a whole lot sooner than we “think” we will.

  11. I always wanted my own backhoe as I’m getting to an age where it’s not much fun to dig holes anymore. Just keep prepping and enjoy the good in each day we have.

    1. Who Knows

      A few years ago I got a skid steer loader. The first thing I did was do dig a long deep trench – just to test it out of course. :)

  12. Ok, so i know this might be harsh, and unpopular,
    But it needs to be said,
    Survival of the fittest,,,,
    Honestly we need a good thinning and a good period of the gloves are off and the bats have come out.
    Theres just too much dead weight we are dragging around and too many predators, need to cull the herd or the pack, whatever suits

    1. Nailbanger

      Just seeing the people around here that go south for the winter makes me wonder what Florida and Arizona look like from nov to mar. Many have difficulty loading all their stuff into their land yachts – one person has to pull up right next to his deck because he can’t climb the steps with stuff. Most are on meds for them pre-existing conditions brought on by their own lifestyles.

      1. Hermit

        How True. Don’t try to get others to feel sorry for you when over your whole life, you burnt the candle at both ends.


      2. I’ve been in Arizona in the winter and except for January in Quartzsite, there is lots and lots of open spaces. The RV’ers in the desert are pretty darn resourceful since we want to stay away from the hordes.

  13. I remember being on a school ”survival” camping weekend with a shelter partner who was a technology nerd [ circa 1970’s ] who was incapable of opening a can without a proper opener. After I opened it with my knife he proceeded to dump the contents into the fire, twice! I don’t recall if he ate any of the cold ash covered potatoes. I do recall telling our instructor afterwards that the first thing I would do if I found myself in a real survival situation with this guy would be to kill him and eat him. He thought I was kidding. I have known an awful lot of people like this in the following years and don’t even want to think about how useless the general population is now without their gadgets.

    1. Ken, we do need to be able to upvote some of these comments. Even if it is a vote depicted by a number of smilly faces.

      1. I will look into the feasibility of implementing that sort of code to the site…

  14. “How long do you think it will take before more than just a few begin to lose their lives after the electric grid goes down?”

    The numbers that would die directly from an EMP would be astonishing;
    Pace Makers, ICU, Heart attacks, Sustained Life Support
    Car/Vehicle crashes, Airplane Crashes, Trains, Mass-Transit crashes
    People walking home dying from heart attacks, thirst, violence

    But leaving an EMP out of the equation and just going with the electrical grid ‘gone’, also assuming no war or outside military conflicts.

    I would give the cities a week max; only the most violent and well-armed will be able protect what little resources they have. Many will try to leave the cities once they find out what’s happening, but there is NO WAY to get out of those jungles once the roads are clogged with the MILLIONS of others that are trying to do the same, plus where are they going to go? Uncle Bob’s or to their ‘BOL’? good luck with that idea, ain’t going to happen.

    Cities; no water in 4-5 days, no food in a week, maybe two, no medical, no fire control, no police, no way to control the violence or rioting NO SEWERS (think about that one). Within 3 weeks the cities will be 90% done with, 10-20% that was able to escape to the urban areas, maybe.

    Ok now you have the urban areas, a little better off than the Cities, not much. You have 15 feet between homes in the suburbs not 15 inches as in a City. Again water is gone in 3-4 day MAX. No more JIT food, or other supplies, PLUS no way to get them (car-truck)ya going to try and carry food 5 miles and NOT get killed for what you have? How are you going to purchase that gas/food/water with no way to pay for it? AND you have those that ‘could’ escape the cities early hording in on your space.

    Urban; fairly the same as the cities with a few exceptions; Water might be had from a river or lake somewhere (if you can filter it people will die from ‘bad’ water). One of the biggest problems will be protection. EVERYONE is going to try to take what you have, even your sweet neighbor that’s worried about that chair you set on the corner for free. Everything will be used for food, even Fito the cat. Of course 99% of the people will have no way to cook the squirrel they caught or the poisonous roots they found. Within 4-6 weeks the urban areas will look like a war zone, the city people are killing anyone they find just thinking they might have food/water, the urbanites are fighting back, probably winning because of more ‘fire-power’ and ammo.

    The Rural areas honestly not going to be much better that the Suburbs; why you ask??? Because of the huge influx of ‘stupid’ (FYI I like the name ‘Snowflakes’) people that think just because they purchased 20 acres of land in the Rocky Mountains they can survive anything that comes that way. 90% of those build there BOL or ‘Vacation Homes’ with every convenience they can think of (using electricity). ALL of this ‘stuff’ depending on electricity. Sure they will have a ‘pretty’ fireplace that would not heat one room all alone the entire house, PLUS they have no way to resupply the wood to keep from freezing to death. These people have no training, no way to grow food, no way to find water except that 400 foot deep well or that contaminated stream running down the hill.

    Rural; I’d give 50% no more than a 3-6 months, only that long because most Sheeple that live there will have ‘some’ supplies stored up and believe they can ‘live off the land’. And yes they will be shooting every Bambi they see and wasting 80% of that food. A LOT of the rural people will be killed off from the ‘Golden Hordes’ (and yes I know some people hate that term) that have made it out of the Cities and Rural areas. Gangs, Violent Criminals, and a LOT of people with training (Militia, Police & Military) will be on the hunt.

    For those that believe that a Generator is their savior, your fuel WILL run out at some time (quickly), Solar Power (I’m going to catch hell here) also will work, for some time, but probably will not last long as soon as someone sees lights or the panels. Solar Panels will be a HUGE flag for those without to invade.

    Medical, Drugs, ER, fuel, JIT food, water, Gin, you name it, anything you can think of these days is gone.
    Yes people survived for thousands of years, and people are living today with no electricity. That’s not the question.

    My question back to Ken and the others here, can YOU live without electricity (even your Solar-Power Ken), do you have the skill set to live a moderate lifestyle after “Lights Out”?

    Honestly I’m not so sure I do, but I’ll give it one HELL of a try……

    Dissertation over, sorry hehehehe

    1. “My question back to Ken and the others here, can YOU live without electricity (even your Solar-Power Ken), do you have the skill set to live a moderate lifestyle after “Lights Out”? “

      My current primary concern (and we’re working on it) is the ability to successfully grow enough food that we can preserve for the following non-growing season. Enough to ‘survive’ on. That’s a lot. A lot more than most people may think. I have enough land, but it’s a lot of work to do a bigger and bigger garden. This year I’m upping my potatoes (high-calorie), upping the corn (another high calorie vegetable), and some others.

      I could probably use some more canning jars than my current storage now that I think about it…

      I’m working on procuring a second Inverter for my solar system (for Faraday storage) and already have a second charge controller. The jury is still out on the panels themselves and whether or not they might survive (the blocking diodes within) but I do have a number of panels from a previous system tucked away in my metal storage container (the one with the wood floor).

      The issue here where we live would be heat during the winter. I have enough propane to heat this place for two years if I’m very careful while supplementing with pellet stove and wood stove. It would be unbelievably difficult to procure cords of wood by hand, although I have a neighbor down the road who is in that business (could maybe work something out ;) ).

      Security here is doable.

      Plenty of candles too ;)

      1. Getting ‘wood by hand’ isn’t difficult.
        This is where you buy the horse, Ken….

        :-) :-) :-)

        1. Can the horse cut and split the wood too ;)

          Then there’s that requirement to feed the horse…

      2. I doubt any of us have enough canning jars Ken even though some will say they do. Think about a pint jar. You would need at least 3 a day per person at a minimum if that was how you store your food that’s about 1100 for a year,now do that by four or so. How many of us have 5000 canning jars. I have a few hundred because I really only store things like meat,chili,soups pasta sauce ect. I have freeze dried veggies in # 10 cans for other add ons to the beans,rice,pasta ect

        1. My grandparents were well able to take care of themselves year round with
          their 1 large & 1 small garden.
          Along with 9 chickens (for eggs & meat)
          grand father would go hunting in fall for deer.
          They made their “drinks” home brew & Homemade wine.
          had 1 oil stove & it did the trick.
          she also crocheted afghans & sold them for $$$
          She could cook & can ANYTHING.

          I learned what I could from them while they were alive.

          I live in the city & planning on moving to country/mtns
          Not one bit afraid of not being able ti take care of myself.

        2. The alternate to having that many jars lies in the SIZE of jars.

          During the 40’s-50’s my MGM canned roughly 900 jars for their family of 6, youngest was 12. Jellies, Jams and Preserves were canned in quarts but most was canned in 24 ounce,..jars. There were few pints, they were used for the foods where the amounts were not as plentiful, like carrots, or for foods that only one or two people liked….There were 32 ounce/quart and a jar that was orig. a syrup jar..it held 48 ounces. Most purchased jar goods came in jars with some type of standardized lid and replacement lids could be obtained for the smallest which were called “53’s” and then the standard and the wide mouth ones we have today. Our alternate is to can things we need larger quanities of…in quarts. That alone can cut those numbers in half. lids and rings will still be an issue.

          It is NOT recommended by the “food police” but some lids, if well protected, carefully opened, can be re used. When our options are no lids or used lids.we will make the choices we need to, and knowing what to look for in a good lid and buying the best quality possible to have for those times is in our best interests…if you require 1100 jars, that is just under 92 dozen lids..

          Do you have 2 years worth of lids…184 dozen lids..?.

          They also had a “keel” for root crops like potatoes , carrots, turnips and onions. For those who are not familiar with the term Keel, it was a hole dug out in a bank of clay, lined with wheat straw, or sage grass, and once the vegs were in place, access points were made for each vegetable. the vegs were covered with straw, and then tin or heavy plastic was used to cover and dirt thrown on top to protect from freezing temps…

          Some houses had a simple root cellar where canned goods and root crops were both placed.

          My grandparents were farmers and did no raise grains for flour, but they bought their flour by the big wooden barrel. Mom said they usually bought two barrels in October and i was sufficient to last until late spring/early summer. They did not have the benefit of freezing it, to kill larvae, and by late spring they had to sift it to get out the lumps and the bugs.

        3. okay but even using quart jars you would still need 550 per person for a year. According to Ball pressure caning anything over quart jars doesn’t work. I do understand you can water bath but not sure how safe it would be for anything larger than quarts

      1. Properly prepared, Fito the cat , can be delicious. We could start a whole new “ranching industry”…I am also told that Poodles are tender as well…

        1. Sweet and sour Fito sounds interesting. NRP are you shipping Fitos COD?

        2. @ hermit us

          This is wayyyyy off subject and it drives Ken totally CRAZY, but yes, have the Thai community working on that…. HAHAHA


        3. Non of you are invited to our house..wanting to eat kitty. We only serve the better meat…mixed Angus.
          Phew..poor kitty.

        4. @ Antique Collector

          Ever look in the eyes of an Angus Calf….. sooooo cute, and cuddly :-) :-)


    2. Yes, NRP,

      And a lot of that distress and chaos is going to come from the sudden shock of extreme change of circumstances….normalcy bias….

      Suddenly not having electricity for months/years would be extremely difficult even for those of us here who often consider that possibility….

      Most are not taught to “adapt and overcome” as a good friend here often says
      Most are not taught to live sustainably

      Your quote: Honestly I’m not so sure I do, but I’ll give it one HELL of a try……

      Yep, us too, bro…

    3. One hell of a try,,,
      Thats it in a nutshell.
      My thing i have thought of is if we are outright attacked by any other country, the first thing they will go for is satellite communications etc, we have a government installation on the mountain less than 3 miles away, unfortunately its 3 miles at 50-60% grade so its close, and depending on how they strike that thing since its not protected i have a feeling i may be trying not to get hit by raining debris from the hit.
      Not good

    4. The following is a bit of Jonathon Swift satire:

      No, we aren’t going to eat the babies. There will, however, be a steep rise in matricide and patricide. Teenagers will drive their parents crazy. No cell phones, computer games, Facebook, TV, movies, junk food, pizza, shopping, green hair dye, nose rings, tattoos. What is a parent to do? The kids don’t want to play cards, board (bored to them), or read. Help out? No Way! Off to their rooms to sulk. Oh sigh. Just leave me alone. It’s not fair. When is the government going to do something? I can’t stand this anymore. Forget about telling me that we still have each other and it’s going to be all right. I wish I was dead!

      Yup, they just might get their wish. Matricide and patricide. The final solution.

      1. Sorry. I didn’t mean patricide and matricide. I meant filicide ( killing one’s children).

        1. Ken,
          Great topic.
          I am a fairly new prepper and this is my first post. So be gentle. I can be trained.
          I think that you very optimistic with the 3 months for our population to survive to even a 30% remaining. 45 days seems more realistic.
          It comes down to the rule of 3s.
          You die after 3 minutes of no air. 3 hours of no shelter ( extreme cold ). 3 days of no water. 3 weeks of no food.
          This the 70% that have no clue.
          Lack of good water is what will cause the most death. We need about 64 ozs of fluid a day to maintain body functions. (2) liters.
          With 81% of the population living in cities or urban areas, when the pumps stop pumping it’s game over. No water, bad water, disease.
          Wow, haven’t I been a ray of sunlight.
          Thanks for your insights, you are helping me become a better prepper.

        2. @ Atlastdftt

          Not Ken, but I would like to welcome ya to the Nut-House HAHAHA
          I agree 1000% with you on the rules of 3, and the fact that ‘when the pumps stop’
          Hence I’m nowhere near a city these days,. And totally enjoy the ‘lifestyle’ and freedom one feels when ya break the ties that hold ya to the masses and ciaos in the cities and burbs.
          AND yes Ken runs one hell of a good Blog here, thanks for commenting and joining in


  15. How long would it take the “government” to take over (eminent domain) the water supply from people that do have the means to have water. Springs. Would they confiscate just the water or all the land on which it resides. Just wondering. I don’t doubt that they have the ability to know who has springs and who don’t. It would be pretty much impossible to stop them. I believe I remember hearing recently about a law giving them the authority to take water from private land if needed.

    1. @ veggies

      Actually if/when the .gov declares Martial Law, they already own everything you have, Everything, no matter what it is… and they have the Law, NOT the right, to take it at any time.


    1. @ CR

      HAHAHAH, ok you got water spraying out my nose on that one…. ROFLMAO


  16. Big fight in Ft.Lauderdale airport over flight cancellations. Not even a power outage which would kill the lights, air conditioning, TSA x-ray machines, moving sidewalks, beer taps, luggage carousels, coffee machines, ….. and the chairs are so comfortable to sleep in – NOT. Someone commented that humans would act civilized in an emergency of a major scale – you can’t convince me after these kinds of minor incidents turn to violence. I keep thinking back to Walmart when the EBT system was down for a few hours – animals went wide. (sorry to besmirch animals)

  17. Ken J
    You and dh must be on the same thought process. He told me to have the generator which is our back up for pumping the well serviced. Which I reminded him if we are hit with an EMP, we are out of luck, but will still have it worked on JIC.

    1. Yes, that’s the thing regarding EMP preparedness. Civilization has not yet experienced a purpose-built EMP nuke detonation, and the damage that it may (will) cause is theoretical (although it’s sound theory). There are variables which will affect the extent of damage, and other variables. Will your backup generator be affected? Maybe, maybe not. Hopefully you will never have to find out…

      1. Ken,

        I’m working from memory, so what I’m saying may, or may not, have any validity. I recall publicized reports back at the height of the “Cold War” that the U.S. had developed a nuclear weapon capable of neutralizing large areas, or even entire countries, without harming buildings and similar infrastructure, making it habitable again in a very short time. At the time, speculation was that it must be a refined radioactivity with a very short half-life. At the time there was no talk of EMP’s.

        Looking back now, it would make sense that this, indeed, was what they were describing. If so, this was just speculation on the part of scientists, after experiencing the more limited EMP effects observed with early atmospheric testing, or was a confirmed observation of a purpose built nuke detonated at altitude above a smaller, isolated island to test the theory. After all, if a remote island with one source of electricity has a catastrophic electric grid failure, who would they point the finger at? No one would hear the boom, see the flash, and the good old USA would have been Johnny on the spot to assist these unfortunate people rebuild their grid.

        Far fetched speculation? I really don’t know anymore, but nothing surprises me any more of what our government is capable of doing.

        1. @ Dennis

          ‘Starfish Prime’ was the 1962 EMP that was set off by none other than….. drum roll please….

          Check it out, thare is a lot of info on the net about it.


      2. Many many factors that affect the pulse as well, topography, distance, location,
        IMHO its more of a fear generator than anything,,, at least fear of unknowns, everybody reacts different

        1. Yes, for sure there are variables as you describe, and then some more…

          Some use it (EMP) as a fear generator. I use it (occasionally) as a wake-up call while attempting to be realistic about what could happen, so as to shake up Normalcy Bias.

          The potential effects to our modern society and way-of-life are so apparently horrible, most people simply dismiss it as ridiculous fear mongering.

        2. Oh its definitely a wakeup call, regardless of the source of that pulse, its serious stuff, even if it just fries the coms and part of the grid, it will still be a problem.

    2. We have a hand pump on our well and have had to use it in power outages. It was expensive, but worth it.

  18. Lived in Baton Rouge during Katrina, Rita and Gustave and Gustave was worst having power out for 9 days with all my utilities underground!! Looting took place primarily in low income areas. Most of the bad circumstances took place to the south of us. Being prepared going in to this is what started me prepping. I escaped the flooding last Aug by nine inches from coming inside. Many here weren’t as fortunate. Here in LA most of the people help friend and family through the tough times.

    With all that is happening around the world and if word gets out that power wouldn’t be restored for many months, I think it would bring out the very worst behavior in many because they will lose hope! WROL will bring chaos!

    If neighborhoods band together to defend their property and show that they have the means to do so, the gangs will likely move on to easier targets, but make no mistake, they’ll be back once they become more desperate.

    Being prepared with supplies, skills, mentally and physically you stand a better chance of survival, but not by yourself!!!

    1. “With all that is happening around the world ”

      We are so close to that tipping point. We only need the one trigger event. An EMP strike would be an enormous event on its own, nevermind being a ‘trigger’ to set off a Nation of chaos headed to war.

      Brandon Smith at alt-market just wrote about “a full spectrum crisis” which he claims is “about to take place; a crisis so consuming that the public will be completely distracted while the elites push their agenda forward and blame conservatives at the same time.”

      We are also watching how propaganda has created mass control within America and how specific groups and agitators are utilized to cause/project systemic bias.

      The strategy to “overwhelm the system” was proposed by the communists Cloward-Piven on getting control of masses of people. America is now filled with welfare recipients and corporate bailouts — all creating the unrecoverable debt we face. We are under assault from all financial sides.

      The Fourth Turning, a theory proposed by Strauss & Howe, shows through America’s history, how there will be a triggering event that will launch fourth turning into full-on chaos and war.

      We can’t last much longer this way…

    2. Only one thing I fear from gangs. If you study gangs in 3rd world countries they don’t shoot you they throw gas bombs and burn you out.
      I often debate if living on a country wooded lot is safe because of fire. These suburbs with the houses spaced wide apart with only lawns and shrubs look fire safe to me. YMMV

      1. Eli

        In a lights out situation, I believe the gang would want your food and stuff first and then roast your wieners on the open fire.

  19. Off Topic but worth watching (as in, is the news reporting truthfully on the incident):

    Tunnel at plutonium uranium extraction plant collapses in Hanford
    (Link at Drudge)

  20. There is an item on Space Weather today that says:

    ‘STEALTH CME’ APPROACHES: When the sun blasts a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space, the event is usually announced by the bright flash of a solar flare or the collapse of a towering magnetic filament. But not always. Sometimes CMEs slowly materialize on their own without an instigating explosion. These are called “stealth CMEs,” and one of them is heading for Earth now. A relatively gentle blow from the slow-moving storm cloud could unsettle Earth’s polar magnetic field on May 10th.

    1. So many people also do not realize how the sun can also “bring it all down” for us. It is scientific fact that one day it will launch a powerful enough CME which will similarly but somewhat differently (than a nuclear purposed EMP) “fry” our modern electrical/electronic systems here in earth.

  21. In my experience, a grid-down will not affect anyone for about a week. After then, well, I don’t know – things probably start getting bad.

    On what do I base this? The Christchurch Earthquake. In New Zealand, in 2011, Christchurch was hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. In the area I lived, power was out only for a day or two. In other parts, it was out for weeks. With water, they advised people to start treating their tap water for months afterwards.

    Did anyone start looting? A few. Did people run out of food? Not really. Charity groups were distributing it to the worst hit area’s for about a month before things stabilised.
    Why did people cope so well with the disaster? Because there was something to do. In the weeks following the quake, a significant number of the people most likely to cause problems were out … digging silt off the roads and out of peoples gardens. I reckon average fitness went up significantly during that time.

    Grid down will not stop trucks carrying food. (In our case even the roads were shut down and the airport was closed and no-one starved to death). Grid down will not stop people with clipboards from figuring it out. As such, grid down will make a lot of things less convenient, but for the most part, people will not starve or die. I trust the civil defence planning will be adequate for probably a month or so. Then people will start dying – much in the manner you describe.

    I think we don’t give enough credit to the human body. On the whole it is very resilient. It will deal with heat until it runs out of water to sweat. It will deal with cold until it runs out of food for heat. It will deal with zero food for about a week in good conditions. It will not catch a disease as soon as power is out. Mental health will probably improve in a survival situation as people come under pressure and stress of a proper type. And despite all the nay-sayers, the evidence of the Christchurch Earthquake showed me that 99% of people are either altruistic or lazy.

    But that was only a single city being hit. What if it was the whole country? Well, not too much except that the rebuild would have taken far far longer (and it is still ongoing anywa) due to shortage of construction equipment. As I said earlier, the threats to life an health of the grid-down caused by the earthquake were very very few.

    1. Oh itll affect folks, most cities sewer systems use force mainsvto move the sewage, once those stop its 24-48 hours till everything backs up, less in some places, most water systems also use pumps to pressurize the system, no power, no water,
      Can you imagine even a spot like Denver with no traffic lights working? Let alone LA

      1. You are soooo correct. No one ever mentions the engineered sewer systems failing… people will be using the streets and alley’s as the pooper. Things in the cities will get BAD very fast.

  22. NRP has it right. Store what you will eat not what stores long. Southern Prepper One tried to live off his bland food storage as a test and didn’t last long.

    Wheel guns are the best SHTF handgun for one reason, they don’t throw brass into impossible to find locations.

    1. Eli

      I do not have a sophisticated appetite. I can eat the same thing everyday for years. I eat for energy not a taste experience. Some say boring but this trait extends to entertainment as well – I can sit and watch or hike in nature all day. Mental exercise comes from designing projects and building things. Life is the experience.

  23. Learn to be a scavenger as people leave for one reason or another food will be left behind. Don’t damage the home just take the items left.
    Have a vehicle or generator that runs on diesel. Many homes run on heating oil and that will be just what you need to survive till things calm down and the herd thins out.

      1. Guess my comment seems a little harsh but I could be out collecting firewood, hunting, fishing, hauling water, ….. House may look abandoned but still not an invitation to loot.

        1. I don’t think you understand millions will die without food,water,medicine,security,heat/ac.
          Only 1 in 4 houses will still be occupied when this hits. Elderly, single moms, and the clueless will pick up and leave or perish because they made no plans.

  24. Hell, ill just eat sardines and rice and live like i do now except i wont have to go anywhere,,,
    Wishful thinking

  25. Boy OHHHH boy, Ken is gona have a LOT of editing on the comments on this Article…. hehehe


      1. We discussed this before NRP it’s easier just to blame you for everything. Save us from having to blame someone else the 10% of the time it’s not you .LOL

        1. @ poorman


          True but still, OUCH

          FYI, just blew Gin out the nose also, so double OUCH!!!


  26. Curious, does anyone consider we will have greater issues fighting off China and Russia if anything of this magnitude happens. Appears the conversation is limited to person local area. I believe our enemies will take advantage of our lack of capabilities. Our allies will offer minimal resistance. The timelines presented may lack a global view. If something this serious happens we will be busy fighting other countries long before we have to worry about each other.

    1. Actually, I think if something like this happened (NK launching an EMP attack on the US) that Russia would act where it benefits them (Eastern Europe) while China would act in Asia… They would let us tear ourselves apart and MAYBE after a few years they would decide to take over all that Midwest farm land to help feed their people when there is little to no resistance.

      And lets be honest, who would NOT welcome “assistance”, at that point, if they are bringing in electrical power, medical care, farm equipment and fuel after years of starvation and 3rd (4th?, 5th?) world country living conditions?

  27. I only caught a minute of it, but there was a story on NPR today about grid stability and coal versus solar and wind. I believe it was related to a potential cyber attack. I tried to search for it but was unsuccessful. Is there more discussion going on right​ now about this, or am I just more aware of it?

    I still feel so unprepared for a long term grid down scenario. After reading the article and all of the comments, I feel slightly ill. Oddly, that feeling doesn’t discourage me. It motivates me to do more.

    1. @ Skibum

      “After reading the article and all of the comments, I feel slightly ill. Oddly, that feeling doesn’t discourage me. It motivates me to do more.”

      Then our work here is done…… Motivating I mean, not the Ill part… HAHAHA


  28. If we were to experience an EMP, it would put us back in the 1800’S.
    All that we have would become finite at that point.
    We all become Amish.
    Can you do that?

      1. I was thinking the hat and dreads with some dark shades and ZZTop beard would suit me well, wear that nice long black trench i that my AR can hide under hangin off its single point sling.

    1. The 1800’s were the industrial revolution times. I think we would be set back to the 1700’s.

  29. I remember August 2003 when the power went out along the eastern seaboard and in the office all power went out and people could not even contact their colleagues by cellphone. All employees went home and I took the bus. The traffic lights went out and no cars would stop to let pedestrians cross. The bus driver parked her bus to block the intersection so that bus commuters could cross the street. The cars were honking at each other and very aggressive. I thought I could use the battery on the clock radio but no it was back up for the clock only. We had no coffee without power and had to drink it cold. I vowed not to be in a similar situation again so I purchased a crank radio and test it periodically. A neighbor had a generator so we did eventually get hot coffee and tea, but relied on a lot of canned food using a manual can opener.

    1. @lady jane

      I remember that outage. We had just moved into our rural property a couple of weeks earlier. We had no preps at all. Heck, still had stuff in boxes. We scrounged dinner from the cupboards, whatever we could eat without cooking. Our problem was not having extra water for the dogs.

      Highway traffic was fine, no road rage to be found. On day 2 we went to work as usual but I managed to get bottled water for the dogs. We were lucky, our power was only out for a day. My kids were out a whole lot longer and they live in the city.

      We had eaten most of preps prior to moving so that we didn’t have so much to pack up and move. Swore I’d never be caught without supplies again.

      A long term grid down situation would be very hard to deal with. Lived a short time in Europe without power (isolated village) and it was an eye opener.


  30. The cooling ponds at the nuclear stations scare the frak out of me. On the other hand nc has two historic train stations with working engines. The mountains have four working trains. There is hope but, I can’t see more than 30 percent still making it.

  31. I remember that blackout in 2003 too. I was camped out with a group of crafters in a mall parking lot near hwy. 401 when it happened. We closed up our booths inside and entertained ourselves with our BBQS, booze, and ‘what if’ apocalyptic tall tales while the rest of the world around us ground to a standstill. You could have walked faster than the traffic trying to get to the gas stations that weren’t pumping anyway. We were fine with our RV’s and supplies but this was a reminder of how things could go south in the blink of an eye.

    1. Makes me glad i live on a farm on a mountain on a little island in the middle of the pacific,,,, not as many crazies to worry about

      1. Nailbanger.

        Big old ant hill with lots of ants in the middle of nowhere ;0)

    2. @BAM BAM

      HATE the 401 and avoid using it. Too many lanes full of raging idiots. Even decades ago, would only drive on the collectors in case something happened (accidents) now we have EMP threats.

      If an EMP goes off while on that highway, consider yourself well and truly scr*wed.


  32. My wife and I visit her sister in Kentucky .She lives among an Amish community .She has electricity but none of them have it.They do use solar for electrified fences and large batteries for other things.They do have stores,English are welcome.Their stores are very enlightening.

    1. Old Okie – each Amish community is a little different in what they allow. About five years ago, we had a mass exodus from our area because many older Amish men felt the Amish here were becoming too modern! Here they do not allow the use of solar fencing, which surprised us. We were just discussing it with with a local Amish man this past weekend. There are many Amish businesses which do leatherwork, carpentry, sell groceries (which include flour already ground in packages from 3 lbs on up to 50 lbs). You can get lambs and goats, as well as eggs from the Amish. And they will build on your property or do repair work. Their cabinetry and furniture making skills are impressive. The ladies sell canned goods, baked goods, and sewn items. They will ride in your car without a problem. They are Christians, but not all exemplify that when dealing with English. So they are just like us, but better prepared to deal with no electricity.

  33. Here’s something to think about: when/if the lights go off, there will be certain specific jobs that will guarantee income in the days, weeks, and months after such an event- barring complete societal breakdown. Getting a job now in the electric, gas, and water utilities or in security, medical, or law enforcement could pay huge dividends later.

    While most struggle with their basic needs, people in these fields will not only be in high demand (and absolutely critical to restoring the infrastructure and in serving/protecting the lives of the rest of society) but will prosper.

  34. I have read several of the comments and the one thing everyone is missing is this…ALL THOSE NUKE POWER PLANTS WILL RUN OUT OF FUEL FOR THERE BACK-UP GENERATORS WITHIN 3 TO 7 DAYS THEN GO THREE MILE ISLAND ON OUR NATION..!!! The fall-out will kill most of the people in America very quickly. Many people are preppers but are forgetting this one MAJOR problem. If you live within 60 to 100 miles of a Nuke Power Plant prepare to get mobile if the power goes out for more than a week. learn about prevailing winds (Wind direction) so you can figure out what direction the winds are going so the fall-out does not blow in your direction..that’s the real KILLER..!!! May God bless and protect our Nation, our Troops and “We the People of our Great Nation”! Never forget that..”With God all things are possible”..!!!

    1. Reactors will be fine. It’s the cooling ponds that require constant circulation. The rods in the reactors drop down during a scram.

  35. NRP,
    I already have the beard :)
    The hat will be the least of our problems—

  36. I’ve been living completely without electricity since last August except for a generator to run the deep well and a solar panel from harbor freight to power one light. We have a bailer bucket that works great when King Kong Un and T.Rump pull the plug. Honestly for the first few days it was a major adjustment. After that my childhood years kicked in, for I was, laying all jokes aside, raised without electricity, running water, or a flushing toilet until about the age of twelve. It can be done people, and the sooner you start practicing to function in the dark and without the ‘dainties’ of modern society the better off you will be. Best of luck in this endeavor and wish all the best. God bless and thanks.

  37. “Officials disagree regarding recommended actions”

    That’s assuming officials are able to get together to disagree in the first place. No electricity in the long term = no phones, no texting, no teleconferencing, no e-mail, no Twitter or Facebook, no gas for cars, etc… .

  38. I’ve got the water situation solved for my family. We have an Artesian well, no electricity needed. We also have a septic tank. Power is solved via solar panels. Food, I’m Prepper…..but I’m always storing more. Self Defense, trust me you don’t want to go here.
    My neighbors also have Artesian wells, septic tanks, solar and weapons. My little neighborhood is good.

  39. I’m in a pickle. I have plenty of supplies in a pack in my vehicle, and at home. Where I work, I’m a 3 mile walk to my elderly mother, and a 16 mile walk home. If I’m at work and an EMP occurs, do I go to my mother’s or get home? Mom has some supplies, but certainly would not be able to walk with me to my home. Hubby and pupper would be at home. I hate these kind of quandaries.

    1. @ Alaskan Girl

      That’s an easy one, go home, than make arrangements with Hubby to both go with ya and get mon and all the supplies you can haul back..


  40. Think about eating things that you would not normally eat. Is that rat just a small rabbit? That frog is looking good. Oh my, yummy grasshoppers for the kids to catch. That sunny lawn – clover salad.

  41. Fact #1. There is no direct evidence that either of the two orbiting NK satellites are actually nuclear EMP devices.
    Fact #2. U.S. intelligence sources state that neither NK satellite has the mass that corresponds to a potential nuclear device (EMP or otherwise).

    This does not mean that NK isn’t working to achieve the capability for deploying EMP weapons. It also doesn’t exclude Iran as a potential future EMP attack threat. Both of these countries are existential threats to civilization.

    Fact #3. On a comparative basis, Russia and China already have the technical capability and the ballistic missile assets to launch an EMP strike against the U.S., as well as other countries.

    In the final analysis, it doesn’t really matter who pushes the button. The protracted absence of electricity would be the end of the world for most of humanity.

  42. i agree that most people will die with in 3 months.the different people who are dependant on others in some way or another.1st.the people that are dependant on life support machines.2nd is the people that are medicine dependant,like diabetics that are dependent on insulin…then there’s the people that cant handle the summer heat.much less the winter cold.there’s folks like my mom.i believe/fear that she wont last one month with out electric.no AC or meds,or her oxygen concentrator.then there’s the people who have less then 1 weeks/months supply of food and/or water.im sure glad that i live in the country.and away from the city..

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