When I think of all the possible scenarios that could mean “bad times” for America, a grid down scenario always comes to mind first.  Maybe it’s because I’m an Electrician by trade, but the obvious frailty of the grid is the big elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about, but everyone can see.

When it comes to prepping, being prepared to live without grid power will get you through 90% of all SHTF scenarios and is the reason why my primary focus in prepping is towards exactly that.

Most people’s idea of grid down is the typical hours to several days of outages from storms.  Easy enough to overcome without preps, but living without grid power for an extended period is such a foreign idea to people that they refuse to even contemplate the possibility, yet our own government knows of the issue and is trying to warn us to prepare for exactly that.

Consider the current situation with N. Korea and testing missiles to get to the USA.  If N. Korea ever did get a Nuke over to the Pacific Northwest, don’t you think they would to get the most bang for the buck and maximize the damage to us by detonating it in high atmosphere, taking out the grid?

Government studies have estimated up to 90% of Americans would DIE within a year of the grid going down.  

A year sounds like a long time, surely we could have it back up in less time than that?  Consider the following…

Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability U.S. Department of Energy

The United States has limited production capability to manufacture LPTs. In 2010, only 15 percent of the Nation’s demand for power transformers (with a capacity rating of 60 MVA and above) was met through domestic production. Although the exact statistics are unavailable, power transformer market supply conditions indicate that the Nation’s reliance on foreign manufacturers is even greater for EHV power transformers, which have a capacity rating of 300 MVA and above (or a voltage rating of 345 kV and above)

Care to guess where the largest number of these critical transformers are bought from?  S. Korea!

THE EMP THREAT: EXAMINING THE CONSEQUENCES                             Wednesday, September 12, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, Washington, DC.

Statement of Chairman Daniel E. Lungren

… An EMP attack would destroy the electronics and digital circuitry in the area of impact, denying electric power to our homes, businesses, and military. Our country is dependent on electricity to power our health, financial, transportation, and business systems. If our power system was ever lost for an extended period, according to Dr. William Graham the chairman of the EMP Commission, it would have catastrophic and lethal consequences for our citizens and the economy. It would also degrade our military defenses. America’s digital dependence grows every year and along with that dependence, our EMP vulnerability.

Computer simulations carried out in March 2010 by Oak Ridge National Laboratories demonstrated that an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear device detonated at high attitude or a powerful solar storm could destroy or permanently damage major sections of our National power grid. According to this Oak Ridge Study, the collapse of our power system could impact 130 million Americans, require 4 to 10 years to fully recover and impose economic costs of $1 to $2 trillion.

The National electric grid has almost no backup capability in the event of a power collapse from electromagnetic pulses. According to FERC testimony presented this morning, existing bulk power reliability standards don’t even address EMP vulnerabilities. In addition, with most of the Nation’s power system under private ownership, who view an EMP event as unlikely, there has been little preparation for a long-term power collapse. Although the impact of an EMP event has been examined, studied, and debated, little progress seems to have been made in mitigating the EMP threat. …

Also, take a look at the following article…


and http://www.griddownconsulting.com/life-without-electricity

The obvious reasons for such a high number of deaths is due to large population centers that can only function when grid power is available, the frail and sick dependent on meds that can’t be stock-piled, the 50%+ obesity in America that those highrise flights of stairs would kill if they had to walk up, and the fact that the predators will be out in full force when supplies are limited in large population groups.


Grid power has made us weak as a people, manual labor is removed from our everyday life because of it and without it, we will pay a hefty price when it is gone and we have no choice but to use manpower in it’s place.

Just consider the following without Grid power…

  • No fuel for vehicles, that means walking for most.
  • No municipal water to your house, or from your well.
  • No municipal toilets flushing for long, they will eventually backup.
  • No lighting in the house.
  • No landlines, and eventually no cell phones.
  • No security motion lights.
  • No battery chargers for flashlights.
  • No jobs to go to, no more money coming in.
  • No electric / battery operated tools or appliances.
  • No electric or gas heat or cooking.
  • etc. etc.

Everything on that list is easily handled with the following…

  • Home with well and hand pump
  • Home with septic system
  • Small (100W-400W) solar setup, rechargeable batteries with 12vdc chargers
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Wood stove for heat and cooking

See how important location is?  If you can afford a place away from the city do it, it will make life much easier for you.


There is no point is talking about prepping in the cities, they are death traps and any period of time without grid power will prove it out, no matter how well you have tried to prepare.  You will be able to ride out short term issues, but past a month or more, forget about it!  At least get to a suburb and commute if you have to.


Obviously not all of us can live off grid on a homestead, but we can all prepare to get out when the time comes and increase our odds of survival.

Before I bought the land I have now, I was renting from a great “like minded” person, but not owning the property meant that if family needed to move back during a long term SHTF scenario, me and mine would likely be on the street.  Blood is always thicker than water.  If you don’t own it, you don’t control it.


My plan during my renting period was to have a small 5th wheel loaded and ready to go to another location about 200 miles away, but being self contained I knew I could do well in the trailer for at least a few weeks anyplace that had a water source.  The issue with a trailer is that there is little room for storage food so you are back in trouble quickly when it runs out.

Growing food is off the table for the most part in a bugout trailer, as any gardener can tell you, it doesn’t happen overnight even with good soil which is scarce around these parts.  Packing gardening tools, etc. is a non-starter also.  Having a bugout location to go to where that stuff is already cached is the only way it will work long term.

Gardens and growing enough of your own food to live on is a big big project and something that will take years of learning and prepping the land for, Plan-A is to have a year’s worth of storage food to get you to that point.

Still, having a small travel trailer gives you so many options it’s a no-brainer really.   I still have mine in case I ever need to “bug out” but thankfully that scenario is likely off the table now, although never ruled out.

There are a few things that you need to consider though in your bugout trailer plan.

  • Propane cooking and heating will only last a few weeks, after that a portable wood stove or campfire becomes your primary source
  • Good sleeping bags are a must as no heat is available without propane.
  • They get HOT in the Summer, a tarp over the trailer with an air gap makes a big difference.
  • A solar charger is mandatory to keep the batteries alive.
  • You likely only can go as far as the stored fuel on hand will take you, then it’s immobilized for good.
  • Don’t use the potty, you won’t have a place to dump it, build a latrine.
  • Grey water needs a hose adaptor to take it away from the site.
  • Storage food space is very limited.
  • etc, etc.

Like I said, it’s a Plan-B for long term, but if you are stuck in the city or don’t own your own land, it’s a pretty good Plan-A if needed and you can enjoy camping in one anyways.  Better yet, practice Dry camping and locating bug out locations on your vacations.


Whatever your situation, the basics for living without grid power are the same.  I’ve put them in the order I consider most important here.  Be it a bug out bag list or homestead needs, I always use this same format.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Medical
  • Defense
  • Comms

What’s your plan to provide the above?  Even if you don’t have the actual items to cover the above basics. make a plan that lists what you need to accomplish the goal of providing each item on the list.

Start spending time and/or money to get what you need after you have designated item priority in your plan.  Then DO SOMETHING!

Doing a little each week will soon add up, but you got to stick to a plan!

Earthquake, HEMP, Solar Flare, Software attack on the grid, economic collapse that sends the workers at the power stations home like Argentina experienced in the 80’s…. all result in long term power outages.

Be prepared!

2 thoughts on “Life without Grid Power, coming to a town near you!

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