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Heatwaves have been blamed for the rolling blackouts in California, 2022. In case you don’t know it rolling blackouts are when the power is intentionally cut off to customers to prevent the grid from collapsing. In 2021, we saw the Texas power grid fail as wind turbines froze and natural gas infrastructure failed without winterization.
If America’s aging power grid were the only concern for rolling blackouts, that would be one thing. Unfortunately, there are a number of other factors that could create massive blackouts, and many are happening all around you right now!
Time Magazine, of all places, published an article titled, Authorities Fear Extremists Are Targeting U.S. Power Grid. It’s about the multiple attacks on power stations across the country.
Let’s not forget about the wars with nuclear armed nations that are now taking place all over the world. It is not just the intentional EMP attack that we have to worry about shutting the lights off. Every nuclear blast gives of a powerful electromagnetic pulse that can damage or destroy the three main power grids of our nation.
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Then of course, there is that pesky ball of fire in the sky. The sun spits out CMEs or coronal mass ejections that smash into our electromagnetic field and disrupt things all the time. If a big enough CME hits us, it could shut the grid off for good!
We are nearing the end of the sun’s active cycle, but we still have 2 years to go. Things are getting wild up there! NASA detects massive sunspot that can trigger extreme solar storm activity.
So, what do you have on hand to make life in the dark a little more bearable? Here are 17 things to get before the coming blackouts.
1. Point Zero Energy Solar Generator
The reality of blackouts is that we have backups. Solar generator technology has really taken off and these units are incredibly powerful. Many people have problems with them because they are almost exclusively made in China.
The Point Zero Energy solar generator called The TITAN is an exception. These units are assembled and tested right here in the US in a small warehouse in Idaho. I have a TITAN myself and when the power goes out, I rarely reach for the gas generator anymore.
The massive 3000-watt continuous output plus a 6000 max output do insane things like power your refrigerator for 26 hours! www.pointzeroenergy.com
2. Rechargeable Batteries
Having rechargeable batteries is great for your backup lighting options in a power outage. Being able to recharge AA and AAA batteries can go a very long way when power flashlights and electric lanterns. Portable lighting is vital in a power outage and most of it is not USB rechargeable.
3. Alternative Cooking Methods
You see the interesting thing about the stresses on the power grid and the terrifying idea that we could experience a long-term blackout, is that everything is going electric! Gas stoves are one of the appliances on the chopping block when it comes to the ELECTRIFICATION of our entire society. It leaves you wondering how you can cook without power.
Of course, the known fact that our grid cannot sustain this level of power consumption makes us all wonder, ‘how do we power the electric cars, stoves, and so on.’
The answer is you don’t. The answer is you get allotted the amount of electricity that the STATE decides is necessary and then you sit angrily in the dark. This is already happening in places like South Africa.
In a power outage you are going to want light as quickly as possible. Headlamps are so great because they give you the ability to use both hands to solve problems while still being able to direct the light in whatever direction you need it.
Each member of your family should have a headlamp in a power outage. They are the very best option for middle of the night interruptions. A run to the bathroom is much easier with a headlamp.
5. Battery Powered Strip Lights
These are recent preparedness finds of mine. I am blown away by the effectiveness of these lights. They take 3 AA batteries and if you are clever about where you stick them then you will not only have lighting, but you will have hidden lighting all throughout your home.
It’s hard to really explain the feeling of stringing your home with these lights that turn on and off with a button press. When the lights go out and you reach behind your television and press a button that lights up the whole room, there is a feeling in that that is like preparedness MAX.
Having some reliable lanterns on hand is a great way to travel with lots of light. Should you need to address issues in the dark it’s good to be able to really light up the situation in a blackout. Headlamps are a bit more targeted, and I think it is important.
7. Less Than Lethal Security Measures
Blackouts can be short term, in places like South Africa blackouts are daily and they are instituted to save power and keep the power grid from failing. Blackouts in America are most often a surprise, and we are entering a time in this nation where surprise blackouts will be more frequent and likely take longer to recover from.
Looting, robbery, and crime all happen in the dark. What we have to remember in the chaos of a blackout is that eventually the lights will come back on and when they do, we will all have to answer for our actions. If your only answer to looters is a firearm, then you could wind up with a felony and be locked away in jail.
The Byrna is a great less than lethal projectile. Do you paintball? Did you know they make pepper balls that are .68 cal paintballs filled with pepper juice. What could be better to reach out and touch someone who is up to no good in your community or near your business.
8. Two Way Radios
Moments after a blackout you are going to run into the issue of communications failure. It is true that HAM radio or GMRS can be effective after a blackout but something much simpler to use and cheaper like two way radios can be very handy in a blackout.
Two ways are not only great for communicating around your own property, but you can also get everyone on the same channel on your block and keep in touch as the struggles from the blackout evolve. Two way radios are very affordable, and you could even buy several handsets to give out in a bad situation.
9. Alternative Heating Methods
Even a short-term blackout in the cold can cause serious problems. “Cold” is a word with various meanings in the US. There are parts of the nation where cold means 30 degrees and places where -30 means cold.
There are a number of great alternative heating methods to consider. I would prep as many as possible.
- Propane Heater
- Kerosene Heater
- Wood Stove
- Standing Electric Heater plugged into a generator
Our world is on a mad dash to a cashless society but when a blackout occurs, we very quickly wind up with no way to pay for anything! ATMs work and card readers at stores no longer work either. Phones eventually run out of juice and can no longer be used to make transactions. It would take a few days before anyone without cash would be basically unable to buy anything!
Keep at least $500 in cash on hand for emergencies.
11. Barter Items
This one must follow the above item because now that you understand there might not be any cash, you might also have to consider what you should do when you run out of cash. Even if you have $500 or even $5000 in emergency cash, eventually it will run out.
Well, you can also store barter items now that are affordable and will be virtually priceless in a blackout.
- Lawn Solar Lights
- Hygiene Items
- All Types of Fuel
- Medical Supplies
- Shelf Stable Food
All manners of fuel are going to not only be important for you but extremely valuable to others. Propane, gasoline, kerosene, wood, are all capable of heating your home and your family. They are all capable of cooking food and boiling water to make it safe.
If you have not already, you can invest in storage containers for various types of fuel. Red cans for gasoline, blue cans for kerosene and 25lb propane containers. It might also be worth investing in an adapter hose for the larger propane tanks. This allows you to run your larger propane container into something like a Coleman stove.
13. Fuel Stabilizer
Storing liquid fuel long term requires fuel stabilizer. This creates a barrier between gasoline and the air. Oxidation is what breaks down your fuel and overtime this can make gasoline ineffective. If you are going to store fuel for a long term, then you have to have a fuel stabilizer on hand.
If your off grid plans include the use of a gas generator and driving around your vehicle when needed, then you need fuel stabilizer.
14. Hand Tools
Once something breaks during a blackout you will come to the harsh realization that you only have power tools for as long as you have gasoline and charged batteries. At this point your only option when it comes to fixing things, building things, or even clearing debris is hand tools.
Now is the time to learn how to use those hand tools, too. You do not wanna wait till there is disaster to learn how to use a hacksaw. Some hand tools are incredible once you learn how to use them properly and I often reach for the hand tool before going after the power tool.
15. A Preppers Library
One of the most important, and often overlooked preps, a person can have for dealing with the coming blackouts is a prepper’s library. I think a good Prepper’s library should be made up of a fiction and non-fiction books.
You need a lot of great books on survival, foraging, off-grid living, and you also need some fiction that you can read over a headlamp or during the day to pass the time. If I had to recommend one book that is an off grid essential it would be No Grid Survival Projects which features over 70 easy to build projects with color photos and great instructions.
16. Food Production
I know that these two words together can be intimidating. Food production sounds like something a factory does. Well, you can do something like that on a much smaller scale. Six healthy free ranging hens can provide a family of four with a lot of protein over time. If you ate eggs every other day then each person in your home could have 3 eggs for one solid meal of protein or spread them out, use them to bake with.
The thing about eggs is they are such an easy thing produce because chickens, quails, Guinea hens, and even ducks are all easy to raise. I would say that a small flock of chickens is exponentially easier to deal with than a traditional row garden.
17. Food Storage
The combination of small-scale food production like a garden, hens, some perennial food producing plants, and long-term food storage can take you a long way should supermarkets shutdown because of a long term blackout.
Remember, if the trucks stop running you have 3 days before the supermarkets go bare and then they may never be full again, at least not until the power returns. That is assuming our cities don’t completely devolve into cannibalism.
Storing things like rice, flour, sugar, dry beans, field corn, cooking fats, salt, and maybe some freeze dried meats and meals, will give you a lot of time to bug in as the situation evolves and changes.
Even if the American people themselves and the hapless politicians do not destroy the power grid using policy alone, we still have tremendous threats both on this planet and even deep in space. The only answer to all this chaos is to get the things you need NOW and be prepared for the coming blackouts.
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