The power grid is one of those things that most of us take for granted, but it’s time to acknowledge that it’s getting older, reaching capacity and under attack. In the article “Bracing for a big power grid attack: ‘One is too many’“, USA Today states “About once every four days, part of the nation’s power grid — a system whose failure could leave millions in the dark — is struck by a cyber or physical attack.” Without a preparedness blueprint in place, most of us would be in bad shape with an extended grid outage.
In this post, we’ll discuss why the power grid goes down, and how to prepare for a power outage that disrupts electricity and basic services such as communications, water and trash pickup. My husband the ex-Boy Scout, August, pulled this list together to help you be more prepared.
Preparing for Power Grid Failure – 10 Things You Need to Prepare
#1 – Lighting
Make sure you can see! Even a small flashlight can make a huge difference. Consider a flashlight for your car, each bedroom, each bathroom and in your kitchen, garage, and one near your electrical panel and a couple spares (especially if you have kids who lose them). The power can go out when you don’t expect it – anywhere. Consider one for your key ring, your pocket and/or purse, and one at work. Think – Could you find your way out in pitch black with elevators not working at home or work or when traveling?
Candles or hurricane lamps are possible lighting source, but keep in mind they create a fire risk and fresh air may be a problem if you are in a tightly sealed building. One advantage of candles and lamps is that they do provide heat, which is useful for cold climates.
A crank powered flashlight is great for kids and serve a double function as a flashlight and backup charger for emergencies. Plus you can get them relatively inexpensively.
#2 – Batteries
Flashlights are great, but when is the last time you checked them? Do you have long life batteries? Where is your stash of 10yr or 20yr AA batteries?
Standardize your flashlights and other battery gear on AA or AAA if possible. Get batteries, a lot of them. You can get 10yr to 20yr life AA batteries. Consider rechargeable batteries and a good charger. They cost a bit more up front but can save you a lot over the years.
There are crank and solar battery chargers, plus your car can charge batteries while you travel using a 12 volt adapter.
#3 – Water
While we normally use refillable water bottles, we do keep cases of water bottles around for emergencies. Rotate your water storage. Even water will go stale after extended storage.
If you suspect power might go out, fill your bathtub, your sink, keep your toilets flushed BEFORE the power goes out. When the power is out, follow the rhyme “if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down”. You will likely be using a VERY limited amount of water to flush. A bucket of so-so water might not be that great to drink, but it can still flush the toilet. Dish water should be used in a bucket or plugged sink. That dirty water is just fine for flushing toilets. (Don’t forget to stock up on extra toilet paper.) Finally, consider good water filters such as Berky and/or Lifestraw. These can take questionable water and make it drinkable.
See Emergency Water Storage and Filtration – What You Need to Know for a more detailed list of water storage and filtration options.
#4 – Backup Power
If you can’t have a generator, can’t afford one, or don’t know how to deal with one, you can still be further prepared. Know where your power panel is and what each breaker services in your home and practice going to check the panel at least once a year with your entire family. If you can afford it consider a generator. See Emergency Power Options for Your Home for more information on providing your own power.
Refrigerators & Freezers – If the power does go out, dramatically limit access to freezers and refrigerators. They will stay cold longer closed. If you have a generator do you have a way to get power from the generator to the freezer? It seems simple but where did you store that extension cord? Maybe consider an extra one set aside for emergencies.
#5 – Off Grid Cooking Supplies
If you can grill, have extra charcoal (2 to 10 bags depending on space and family size). Grill meat that would go bad first and plan food consumption that way. A gas stove might have a pilot light but could also require power. Figure that out BEFORE a power outage.
A small camp stove can also provide a low fuel quick meal. A rocket stove, or mini gas stove can give a hot meal which can make a big difference. Have you ever cooked on it? Do it once a year, make a party out of it – roast hot dogs and then marshmallows. Cooking over a fire or grill is an option… but do you have mits / tongs / spatulas and metal plates and such to use for the food?
See Emergency Cooking – 10 Ways to Have a Hot Meal When the Power Goes Out for more information on cooking without electricity.
#6 – Garbage Disposal
You need a lot of garbage bags (consider at least 3 boxes). You might need to poop on a newspaper, or in a DIY Emergency Toilet and store up refuse in a black plastic bags.
How many large garbage bins could you set aside for water, or refuse, or cleanup, or garbage? What about critters coming around (rats, possum…) if you have a lot of garbage? Work out a plan for garbage for dealing with disrupted garbage pickup. If you need to burn garbage, build a burn barrel that burns safe and clean.
# 7 – Food
Start by stocking extra of what you regularly eat, focusing on dry goods. If you like a specific type of granola bar, or cereal or soup, keep a few extra of them and keep eating the oldest ones. It doesn’t cost a lot more and your day to day activity keeps the food fresh and you automatically restock.
If stocking up on canned goods:
Jerky, chocolate and dried fruit keep well and make a good treat after a few days of no power, no internet and no TV.
Consider purchasing a 72 hour kit or MRE type foods. They are expensive but a great thing if you don’t have food. Buy small sample sizes and taste test before you buy a bulk supply.
The MINIMUM goal is enough food for 72 hours for everyone in the family – including pets. A longer stockpile is better, especially if you can stock a bit more of the food you are eating already, and supplement it with MRE, Freeze dried or other canned food you find palatable.
#8 – Heating and Cooling
Check out Winter Storm Survival – Keeping You and Your Home Warm When the Power Goes Out for cold weather survival tips.
For hot areas, read 9 Tips Everyone Should Know for Keeping Your House Cool.
#9 – Communications
Your cellphone battery will die. So get a solar charger, and/or car charger, and/or crank USB charger. Your cellphone is critical so make sure your power for it is tested – try out your backup plans when you change your batteries at daylight savings in the spring and fall. Assume you might not have 911 or internet… so have a list of key phone numbers written down or printed out. Have LOCAL PAPER MAPS, so you can get where you are going even if a few roads are out and your GPS isn’t working. (See Maps for Preparedness.)
A crank powered radio is good too. Get one that can listen to emergency broadcasts, and even better one that can listen to TV broadcasts.
#10 – First Aid Supplies
Either make your own first aid kit or buy one. Have one kit for home, one in the car/truck, and one for work. You should have enough to be able to hold yourself over if the police/fire/rescue cant show up for roughly a week, so that means medications, insulin, adrenaline, or whatever you need (or might need) to take care of yourself and your family. Ideally, you should get CPR training and basic 1st aid BEFORE you need it, and get the entire family through it, even the squeamish ones.
Some good rated first aid kits:
- Elite First Aid Fully Stocked GI Issue Medic Kit Bag, Large
- Ever Ready First Aid Fully Stocked First Responder Kit, Orange
- Ultra-Light & Small 100-Piece First Aid Kit w/ Unique Items, Durable Nylon Case – Ideal for the Car, Kitchen, School, Camping, Hiking, Travel, Office, Sports, Hunting and Home, Emergency & Survival
All the OTHER stuff – And since clean water will be scarce, do you have extra paper plates and plastic silverware? Oh and that means garbage… so extra garbage bags where are those? Garbage bags are a big deal as they can be makeshift tarps if a window is blown in. But how do you hold the tarp or garbage bag in place? Where is your stash of duct tape? Oh and clothes? Do you have a stash of one or two changes of clothes relative to the season set aside – maybe the power outage occurs right before your weekly laundry day? Do you have a pair of gloves? Do you have PAPER to take notes and a deck of cards with game directions so when the power is out and the cellphones stop working you can play a board game or card game? Do you actually have a box of matches to light a candle or start a charcoal grill? Do you have hand wipes, alcohol swipes and sanitizing hand wash so you can clean up without using drinking water?
Read 20 Things I Wish I Had Before the Flash Flood Emergency to a full list of items you may not have considered for emergency preps.
Getting In & Out – Know how to get in and out of buildings at home, work and frequented buildings if the power is out, and elevators aren’t working. This seems simple but try it at least once, just to make sure you can find your way with the building black and you only having a flashlight.
TEAM UP! – Plan with your neighborhood, with your friends and family. Maybe one is good at first aid, another is a camper, another is a hunter, a prepared group is much better than a prepared individual. Teams win, build a team. This can lead to other ideas like local walk-talkies; ham radio for talking to the team. Maybe you get bicycles so everyone can join up at the guy with the big house. If its out in the country up north it could be a big gas tank a friends house, and/or snow mobiles, or ATVs – a team has far more resources than the individual.
Storage – Where to put all this stuff? See Preparedness Storage – Finding Room and Keeping it Safe and Sound
Power Grid Failure – Why Does The Grid Go Down?
What causes brown outs (partial power loss) and black outs (full power loss)?
Weather – Snowstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes can generate damaging winds or debris that take down power lines.
Cyber Attacks – Cyber attacks are moving from theory to reality. A recent cyber attack in Russia took down the Ukraine power grid. The US utility grid is attacked constantly, it is likely the hackers will eventually succeed and do something bad. (Airports have also been hacked numerous times. Infrastructures breached so far no bad guys taking action … YET. In Madison Wisconsin – a police action resulted in an “Anonymous” attack against police services. The protest hack resulted in actually interfering with 911, fire, rescue and police for the entire County. Hackers attacked with the intent of going after the “bad cops” and actually caused outages of services. This was a small attack but it had significant impact.
Earthquakes and Other Natural Disasters – In 1989 Canada experienced a power outage related to a solar flare. Brownouts and storm related power outages are more common. Earthquakes damage infrastructure, which may take significant time to repair.
Human Error/Disasters – In 2003, there was a “software bug” power outage, which affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states . 9/11 is another example of a disaster that impacted services including regional phone services and transportation.
Aging Power Grid and Increased Demand – The article “Aging US Power Grid Blacks Out More Than Any Other Developed Nation” notes:
The United States endures more blackouts than any other developed nation as the number of U.S. power outages lasting more than an hour have increased steadily for the past decade, according to federal databases at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC).
According to federal data, the U.S. electric grid loses power 285 percent more often than in 1984, when the data collection effort on blackouts began. That’s costing American businesses as much as $150 billion per year, the DOE reported, with weather-related disruptions costing the most per event.
“The root causes” of the increasing number of blackouts are aging infrastructure and a lack of investment and clear policy to modernize the grid. The situation is worsened by gaps in the policies of federal and local commissioners. And now there are new risks to the grid from terrorism and climate change’s extreme impacts, Amin said.
Also, demand for electricity has grown 10 percent over the last decade, even though there are more energy-efficient products and buildings than ever. And as Americans rely increasingly on digital devices, summers get hotter (particularly in the southern regions of the U.S.) and seasonal demand for air conditioning grows, the problem is only getting worse.
The video below shows a recent PBS special discussing just how vulnerable the grid is:
As you can see, for most of us it’s not a matter of if the power will go out, it’s a matter of when and for how long. Many of the tips shared here are a good idea for general preparedness as well as power outages. We always need food, water and shelter.
Has grid stability been a problem in your area? What’s your biggest concern if the power grid goes down for an extended time?
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Source: common sense home When the Power Grid Fails – 10 Things You Need to Prepare
4 No Cook Meals For Surviving The Pandemic And Food Supply Shortages
When it comes to your food supply, you just can’t risk not having enough. These no cook meals will be a great addition to your food supply planning. Check out the recipes below!
No Cook Meals to Help You Through the Pandemic
As of the writing of this article, there are 20 meat processing plants that have been shut down due to COVID-19 infections. We have been worrying about these types of effects on our food supply for months now, and this is the first real sign of how infections can affect the food supply.
When you walk into a supermarket, you might not see all the choices you had in the past. An empty meat case is a humbling thing for your eyes to fall upon. It’s the shocking realization that the seemingly infinite supply of chickens, pigs, and cows that are butchered for us has begun to run dry!
To deal with this issue, we are going to present four no cook meals that will help you create dinners at home that will feed your family without worrying so much about what’s available, or unavailable, in the meat case.
1. Smashed White Bean, Avocado and Salted Pork Sandwiches
As preppers we get beans. There are a bunch of ways to use beans and this a great example of how you can pack a sandwich with great nutrition and protein.
Serving: Makes 4 sandwiches
- Can of White Beans
- Olive Oil
- 1 Avocado
- 8 Slices of Whole Grain Bread
- 8 Slices of Salted Pork (Prosciutto, Ham, Virginia Ham)
- Begin by draining your beans in a colander then smashing them up in a bowl add a few glugs of olive oil, salt, pepper. This little mix is delicious. If you add some minced rosemary, you can even turn this into a delicious dip.
- Pit your avocado and cut it in half and then quarters lengthwise. Leave the skin on.
- Lay the bread out on a clean work surface for assembling the sandwiches.
- Spread your mashed bean mix onto one side of the bread.
- Peel your avocados and slice 1 quarter for each sandwich. Spread slices over the bean spread.
- Add a few slices of your pork to over the top of the avocado.
- You can finish this sandwich with some lettuces, fresh sprouts, or just eat it as is.
2. Delicious Crab Salad
Canned crab is a protein option that will likely be around through much of this meat crisis. It does have to be kept in refrigeration, but it’s delicious and this chipotle mayo salad is great in the spring and summer.
- 1 Can of Crab Meat
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus
- Chipotle Mayo
- 1 Bunch of Green Onions
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro
- Drain your crab in a colander and set it in the sink.
- Slice your asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Throw them into a bowl.
- Thinly slice your onions and your cilantro and throw that into the bowl, as well.
- Gently toss in the crab meat.
- Squirt on enough Chipotle mayo to coat everything and toss gently not to break up the crab meat.
- Chill in the fridge and serve.
3. Simple Greek Salad
The combination of simple summer ingredients makes for an incredible quick salad that you could add other proteins, too, if you wanted. These could be canned meats.
- 2 Large Tomatoes
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Red Onion
- ¼ Cup of Feta Cheese
- A Few Sprigs of Fresh Mint
- ½ Cup of Kalamata Olives
- Balsamic Dressing
- I like to cut the tomatoes in large chunks and have them kind of be the main course in this salad. Peel and slice your cucumber in half. Remove the seeds and either dice or slice in half-moons.
- Peel and slice your red onion in half. Julienne your, or thinly slice, your half onion.
- Add all these ingredients to a bowl. Finely slice your mint.
- Add your olives, crumbled feta, and mint to the bowl and add enough dressing to coat everything.
- Stir it up and allow this to chill for at least an hour for the flavors to really blend.
4. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps
Using some similar ingredients and adding a protein like tuna, you can create some delicious lettuce wraps. The key to a good lettuce wrap is to have most of the items around the same size. So, consider that when you are preparing this dish.
- Iceberg or Butter Lettuce
- Canned Artichokes
- Canned roasted Red peppers
- Fresh Cucumber
- Feta Cheese
- Minced Olives ¼ Cup
- 2 Cans of Tuna
- Green Onions
- Start by peeling all the full leaves from your lettuce. Set them on a plate either cover them with a wet paper towel or put them back into the fridge.
- Dice the peppers, artichokes, and cucumbers into cubes. Go no larger than ½ an inch.
- Thinly slice your green onions and basil and add them to a bowl with your diced vegetables. Add your loves to this bowl and mix them thoroughly.
- Crumble your feta cheese over the mixture.
- Drain your tuna thoroughly and then add that to the bowl, as well.
- Gently toss this mixture. Try not to break up the tuna and the cheese too much but incorporate it thoroughly.
- If you want, you can add some olive oil to the mix or a few glugs of balsamic vinegar. It’s also delicious just how it is.
- Scoop a few tablespoons into a lettuce leaf, wrap it up and eat up!
These no cook meals should help lessen the stress you feel when thinking of what to feed your family. If you don’t have the specific ingredients, use your creativity, and use what you have. You might discover a new recipe while you’re at it!
What’s your favorite no cook meal recipe? Please share it with us in the comments section!
- Essential Survival Fuel: No-Cook Overnight Oats
- Dehydrated Foods to Try This Weekend
- 13 Dried And Canned Foods With The Longest Shelf Lives
This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com Read The Original Article Here
Billionaire Whistle Blower: Wuhan Coronavirus Death Toll Is Over 50,000
- Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000.
A Chinese billionaire and whistleblower who lives in U.S. exile says Wuhan crematoriums have burned 50,000 coronavirus victims. | Credit: Chinatopix via AP
- The official coronavirus death toll in China is a little over 800. But an exiled Chinese businessman says crematoriums are leaking the real figure.
- A billionaire whistleblower alleges Wuhan has crematoriums working 24/7. He claims they’ve cremated some 50,000 coronavirus victims.
- Guo Wengui is a Chinese billionaire living in exile in the United States.
The official coronavirus death toll is some 800 people in China. The current official death toll worldwide, outside of China, is 774. But a Chinese billionaire with a history of blowing the whistle on his former government says the real figure is much higher.
Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui recently revealed leaks from Wuhan crematoriums. He claims based on the number of bodies their furnaces are burning, the death toll could be as high as 50,000. Wengui made the bombshell allegations in an interview with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Whistleblower: 1.5 Million Coronavirus Cases In China, 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths In Wuhan
He also claims to have inside information that there are 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in China. Wengui is emphatic that these are not merely quarantined or “under observation” but confirmed cases of coronavirus infection:
China has struggled to contain the coronavirus. But it has also struggled to contain public outcry against censorship and tight control of information. Dr. Li Wenliang, who sounded the alarm about the disease, succumbed to an infection and died this week. The Chinese government arrested him for blowing the whistle.
Then officials tried to suppress news of his death. Afterwards, millions of Chinese citizens saw the hashtag #IWantFreedomOfSpeech on Mandarin language social media. But the Chinese government censored that too.
Are Wengui’s Crematorium Claims Credible?
Watch VICE’s 2017 profile on Guo Wengui. At the time, he published bombshell documents alleging corruption in the Chinese government. He got the attention of the media and reportedly the U.S. State Department.
5 Types Of Ammunition To Stockpile For A Collapse
Every prepper knows it’s a great idea to stockpile ammunition when preparing for a major disaster.
You can use it for hunting, self-defense, or barter.
But which types of ammo should you stockpile?
If you plan on bartering, then you don’t want a bunch of calibers that nobody wants. And that’s just one consideration.
In this video, Reality Survival & Prepping talks about what he thinks are the 5 best types of ammunition to stockpile for a collapse.
Here are his picks:
- .22 LR – Very common, good for hunting small game, very light and small.
- 9mm Luger – Great for self-defense, fits in a wide variety of handguns.
- 5.56×45mm or .223 Remington – Also very common, cheap and effective.
- .308 Winchester – Widely used, works in AR10 and bolt-action platforms.
- 12 Gauge – You can do a lot with it — hunt, defend yourself, etc.
In the video below he makes a much more detailed case for each caliber. What do you think of this list?
This article first appeared on urbansurvivalsite.com See it here
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