When the Power Grid Shuts Down – Why You Should Care to Prepare for Disasters Emergencies

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5 Years After Blackout, Power Grid Still in 'Dire Straits'

HOLLY NOTE: This is as serious as it gets:

know how to use a home generator safely and properly store fuel;
water storage and purification knowledge essential

April 11, 2009
Kevin Baum

Imagine a life without the comfort we all expect from today's modern infrastructure. Every time you flush the toilet, turn on a light, the air conditioning, open the fridge, brushing teeth, drink a glass of water, boil on the stove top to make your iPod, Shop in the shop, your car, a shower , call your mother, mow the lawn, or just sit back with a cool glass of iced tea, you will be based on a complex and Webbed structure of supply and distribution networks, with all these "small" comfort possible. What many of us do not believe - or more - that the supply and distribution network is very closely linked, which means that disturbances in any part of the network may be shock waves throughout the system, the hundreds of thousands of people and households in the very unpredictable manner.

As an example, an "easy" 7-day power outage (an increasingly common occurrence in today's uncertain world). Once the network is gone, so is the possibility of pumping water, sewage, electricity, street lights, store lights, house lights, refrigeration, heating systems, security systems, telecommunications systems, fuel pumps and more. You will not be able to go to the store to buy food, water, medications and supplies you need so badly, because the shops are closed, the shops, which somehow can be left open to be sold out within hours. You will not be able to move to a place untouched, because the gasoline pumps are not operating - all you have is what is in the tank. Their food is cooled within a few hours spoil your wastewater will again and you have no fans, the smell and the heat, or heating to warm you from the biting cold. Ice in the warmer latitudes. It is out of the food as soon as your pantry is empty, and the only water you drink, or clean, is what you have in the bottle before the failure occurred. If you have an emergency, you will not be able to 911, because the telecommunications will probably be down.

What will the next 7 days like for you and your family? Here is what he looked like a SurvivalOutpost.com's Customer:

"We had no idea how the power failure would be a pleasure. We planned, but there are so many things that you do not think, and water runs from so quickly. We had to wait in lines for water. Who would have thought that a toilet is nearly three gallons to fill to flush! people here would have paid lots of money for a battery operated fan - We were pathetic."–Renee Sutherland, Hurricane Gustav Survivor

If you are not adequately prepared, it is likely that you are responsible for your nervous weeks, in a long line of grumpy and seemingly hostile strangers, as you all are waiting for government assistance (which may days to reach). If that sounds bad, then you now know what millions of unprepared people have lived through (or in some cases - not), after a major disaster.

Peace of mind in these uncertain times comes through adequate preparedness - a balance between personal responsibility to prepare for the likely natural and manmade disasters, an acknowledgment that it could actually happen, you and your family, and a recognition that there is a safety net, there are ready to help ... but one that you must be willing to wait on. It's the waiting, you injured:

"I live in north-western Pennsylvania. Domestic United States. Who would have ever thought that I would be ready for a week power outage from a hurricane, the landfall in Texas! Ike shot law of the country, take us with 80 mph winds and has given us totally unprepared. It was a Wal-Mart, and I had on my neighbors to help me through the incident. A neighbor had a generator, and he went from home from home that each of us an hour to cool our food and limited what water we had." –Alita Gail - Hurricane Ike Survivor

The question of survival in today's increasingly complex and unpredictable and dangerous world is simple: Given the potential hazards that are likely to see you (as an economic collapse severely disturbed that our supply-chain networks and support, or a Katrina-scale natural disaster or social unrest, etc.), you have the necessary supplies to the hand to them about the wait ... stay at home to rest in the comfort and company of your family and friends? Or will you wait impatiently in a long line of strangers, in the hope that it is in the forefront, before it is removed from the supply?

The selection and decision is yours ... Never forget that when the time for action is on you, the time for preparation is over.

Stay safe. Keep informed. Be ready.

Kevin Baum is co-founder of SurvivalOutpost.com, an Austin-based on-line business specializing in Emergency Preparedness Supplies and Survival Equipment for individuals, families and businesses. The SurvivalOutpost philosophy is to balance reason with readiness, and to encourage knowledge, independence and self-sufficiency as tools to survive in an increasingly uncertain & unpredictable world.