Unfortunately, it seems inevitable many people will go through a grid down scenario sometime in their lives. When the time comes, you’ll feel glad you prepared for the moment and know how to handle yourself.
People may think of the power failure in Texas in the winter of 2021 as an example of a grid down scenario, but it provided just a small glimpse into what it would be like. What happened in Texas is a grid going offline for a few days. Grid down refers to power failure that lasts much longer – months, even years.
A long-term grid failure could completely change life as we know it, perhaps permanently.
Tips For Surviving a Grid Down Scenario
It’s important to adapt any advice you get on living after grid failure to your specific situation. Some might have their own generator, for example. Others might already live off the main grid on microgrids. Whatever the case, these tips can help focus on the most important issues.
Find Your Family
This is the first step, even before you know the severity of the crisis. You want to know where every member of your family is and how quickly you can gather them together.
Find Out How Bad It Is
Once your family is secure, find out the extent of the power failure. You want to determine if it’s temporary or long-term. Information resources include Ham radio operators who can contact one another to determine the severity of the issue in their area. Radio stations will broadcast important information if they are able.
Hopefully, you have prepared for such an event with a bug out bag in case you have to leave and plenty of stored food if you decide to stay. But one last trip to the grocery store, taking someone else for protection, can help you quickly stock up on more goods. Also, don’t forget to save the food you have in your fridge by putting it in coolers.
Load Up On Water
While one group gets food, another should be at home, filling every possible container with water while you still can. If you’re on a city’s water system, losing power means losing lift stations and pumps, limiting the water supply to what is already in tanks. Eventually, the tap will run dry. The water also might become contaminated.
Time and Sanitation
If you don’t have emergency power from a generator, make sure to set a windup clock and keep it running so you always know what time it is, helping you stay oriented. Also, make sure to set up stations in the kitchen and bathroom for people to clean their hands – you want to take every step to avoid illness.
How bad can things get? Most people want to plan for “very bad” in a grid down scenario. Boarding up windows, keeping doors locked and even setting up a security watch rotated among members of your family (or extended “team” that includes neighbors and friends) might prove a wise move.
Store them safely in the garage, if possible, or in the driveway pointing toward the street for a fast exit, if needed. The most important thing is to siphon the gas and store it in a container behind locked doors. That way, no one can siphon the gas from your vehicle and you’ll have it when you need it. With gasoline pumps down, the demand for fuel will get extremely high.
These tips can get you started in the right direction when planning for a grid down scenario. It’s not something anyone hopes will happen. But it pays to be ready if it does.