Grid-Down Disaster? Nine (9) Things You Need for Survival Prepping
A Grid-Down Event? In today’s society, so much of what we do relies on our electrical grid. If the power grid goes down, it would be as much of a disaster as a hurricane or a plague.
Almost everything we rely on depends on the electric grid, including our work, homes, and food. Natural disasters, like tornadoes or hurricanes, can also result in blackouts.
It could be as simple as increased demand during periods of extreme weather, such as heat waves and cold snaps. This is why – during times like these, residents of cities and towns are encouraged to conserve electricity and avoid using air conditioners, heaters, and other appliances.
Because the grid could suffer a cyberattack or other deliberate harm, being prepared for a “grid down” situation is one of the most essential survival preparations. It can be applied to a wide range of circumstances.
Losing power for an extended period could be devastating if you’re not properly prepared. With the nine supplies listed below, you can ensure you and your family will be prepared if the grid ever goes down in your neck of the woods.
1. Solar-powered Power Banks are a Savior in a Grid-Down
Power grid interruptions have the potential to be highly disruptive. In a grid-down event, outages may persist for a few hours, days, or even weeks. During that period, you’ll need to be able to communicate and receive updates on your area.
You can’t use your phone or computer if the batteries on your phone or tablet are dead. So, it’s a good idea to have a backup strategy for recharging these devices.
Not all portable chargers are created equal. Some must be fully charged before they can be used. These sorts of batteries are fantastic for travel, particularly if you plan to utilize your smartphone frequently during the day.
In the event of an unanticipated power outage, you may not have your battery charged. Even if you have one, most batteries will not survive long on a single battery. As a result, solar-powered storage is the best option for such situations.
Since solar power banks only need sunlight to provide your electronics with extra juice, you won’t need to worry about running out of power and the grid still not being up to recharge your phone or other gadgets.
2. Satellite Phones Guarantee Communication Without Working Cell Towers
Power loss, particularly for extended periods of time, may render your regular cellphone inoperable. In any circumstance, being able to transmit is crucial, whether it’s a routine power outage or a more severe emergency.
Losing access to communication services or being unable to access the internet might prevent you from contacting loved ones, family members, and other emergency assistance. Furthermore, most people use their smartphones to get news and data, which would be difficult without the grid or the towers.
To guarantee that you and your relatives can communicate with one another as well as with emergency personnel, a satellite telephone is required. Satellite phones function without the need for cell phone towers or a power supply.
Satellite phones are ideal for a power outage because they communicate with orbiting satellites that provide coverage anywhere on the planet. As a result, even if your loved ones are separated, they can use the phone.
Is It Time to Invest in One?
Some satellites use batteries. While having additional batteries on hand is always a good idea, they will eventually run out of power. This is why having a phone that does not need a battery or a power source is essential.
Certain satellite phones are solar-powered, making them the most ideal options for any long-term grid shutdown event, since they only rely on sunlight and no external materials.
If the mobile phone you currently own or have purchased has an integrated charger, check to see if there are solar-powered battery packs available. These will allow you to charge your mobile phone without using its built-in solar capabilities.
3. Light Sources are Crucial When Power is Gone During a Grid-Down
The ability to see during a power outage is essential, particularly for survival reasons. You must be able to travel when confronted with an outage, especially in the event of a natural disaster.
Related: Electrical Grid
Light is essential if you want to easily find resources when you need them. It’s also important to be able to see clearly to avoid stumbling.
During the day, sunlight streaming through your window should be enough to allow you to navigate your home. At night, however, the lighting will be insufficient. If your windows are covered due to a storm, or if your windows have been secured for security reasons, this will be an issue.
You’ll need a variety of lighting sources in your house so that you and your family have enough light. It’s also a good idea to have a convenient, easy-to-carry alternative for you and your loved ones in case you’re forced to flee.
One great option for a light source is a flashlight. Flashlights are great because they are easy to take with you wherever you need to go. Not just any flashlight will work due to the variety of weights and sizes, so make sure you get one that isn’t too heavy or big to take with you in a bag in a situation where you need to quickly evacuate.
Flashlights that don’t require batteries or electric sources would be the best option when planning for a grid-down event. Batteries don’t last forever and once they’re out of juice, your flashlight is unusable.
Instead of traditional flashlights that require batteries, consider rechargeable ones. Solar-powered and hand-crank technologies are also available. Headlamps are another alternative to consider, as they free up both hands.
Flashlights vs Headlamps
If you’re caught in a disaster or a collapse, you’ll need both hands free while also being able to view. If you’re using a flashlight, you’ll be in trouble.
Headlamps are compact, mobile, and light, and provide greater comfort than a lantern because they illuminate whatever direction you move, providing constant illumination.
These are especially beneficial when bugging-out since most circumstances necessitate the use of both hands. Solar-powered headlamps, like many other lights, are available.
The hand crank flashlights are better choices than the battery-powered versions since, even though certain batteries are long-lasting, in a chaotic scenario, you won’t want to take the risk of the battery running out.
Candles are a great option for lighting as well as heating. Unscented candles are a great way to avoid overwhelming your house with a plethora of odors and placing them around the house during a power outage will provide you with light and warmth without the need for any power.
Candles are not the greatest option for a long-term scenario, depending on your circumstances. Because once they’re all melted, they’re no longer useful. They, too, are not water-resistant and require open flames, which is unsuitable for outdoor usage.
Check the wide variety of solar-powered lighting, such as lanterns that can be hung from a tree to provide light at night when there is no electricity.
4. Having Clean Water Without Power Plants in Operation
Access to safe drinking water is essential if you want to survive. You are in a grid-down event! Water treatment plants won’t be able to disinfect and cleanse the water if the power grid fails. To reduce the risk of consuming polluted water and becoming ill, you must prepare backup plans.
You can buy several gallons from your local grocery shop and put them away in a location designated for emergency preparation. You don’t have to purchase them all at one time. Instead, you may acquire one gallon every time you go to the store and slowly build your stock.
Knowing, however, that each individual needs a gallon of water each day makes it impractical to stockpile enough drinking water to last for a long time due to the amount of storage and weight required.
Another option to consider is a single large water bottle. Survival shops frequently offer containers of stacked water bottles, such as ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or even ninety-five-gallon bottles.
Depending on the circumstances and the environment, you may need to replace your stored water in a certain period of time. Check online to see what kind of containers you’re using, as well as the temperature, to see if you can drink the bottled water.
If you don’t have enough water stored, or if you run out of water and are forced to use contaminated water, there are several methods you may use to prevent ingesting germs or other microorganisms found in untreated water supplies.
For instance, you may use water purification pills. These are highly mobile and simple to operate. They’re also quite cheap, so you can buy a lot of them to give you and your family access to safe drinking water in a grid-down scenario.
Before you buy any brand of water purification tablets, make sure you read their instructions. Each manufacturer will have their own set of guidelines for how long the filtered water will take, how effective it is, and so on.
Another option for dealing with polluted water is using a water filter. Water filter straws are designed specifically for emergency circumstances when you don’t have the luxury of waiting for water to disinfect. You may need to drink directly from the water source if you can’t purify it before using it.
The straws are simple to operate, light, and mobile, making them ideal for any on-the-move scenario. Because there’s no need to wait for contaminated water to be purified, this is an excellent tool to keep on hand if someone is gravely dehydrating and requires a drink right away, even if you don’t have safe drinking water.
Another option is to boil the water. Survivalists and health organizations advise that boiling water is the best way to purify water for drinking.
Boil Water for Safety
To cook, you’ll need either a fire pit or a camping gas stove. Because a camp stove is easier to set up than a bonfire, you’ll also need gas. However, during a long-term disaster, this may not always be accessible.
If you use portable stoves, make sure you’re using the right sort of fuel and don’t use it in an enclosed space to prevent breathing in any hazardous gases. Another option is to start a campfire.
This method is preferable for a long power outage since you won’t use up as much gas as you would with a tiny burner. To begin the fire, you must first understand how to do so.
There are multiple types of techniques when it comes to building outdoor fires, including the teepee, the log-cabin method, the lean-to method, etc. Each of these methods creates a different flame, so find what would be best for you.
You should make sure you have a reliable, sturdy container in order to boil water over a fire. Materials you should look for include titanium, copper, and stainless steel. Avoid anything with easily melted materials like plastic or rubber.
For some methods, you may need a contraption like a tripod to place over the fire that will hold your container in place. You can find methods online about how to build these, or you can purchase a portable, pre-built product that is designed for that purpose.
You should also make sure you have strong water containers available to distribute water to your loved ones. Stainless steel bottles are ideal because they are resistant to extreme circumstances.
You can invest in water filtration systems that require no electricity and rely solely on the power of gravity. That way, you and your family will always have access to clean, safe drinking water.
5. Maintaining Nutrition Through Food with A Long Shelf-life
Obviously, food is an essential component of any disaster scenario. In the event of an unanticipated power outage, obtaining fresh food may be difficult. The food industry relies heavily on energy.
Because no equipment will be operational, factories won’t be able to produce any more meals, and no fresh supplies will be available. Furthermore, any resources that may have been saved will not be transported since there will be no gasoline.
Any perishable goods stored in your refrigerator would deteriorate within hours, and everything frozen would become unappetizing within a few days. As a result, having nonperishable food items available when preparing for an off-the-grid scenario is critical.
There are several options available when it comes to non-perishable meals. You don’t have to settle for tasteless, unpleasant, unappetizing cuisine when you’re in an outage or emergency scenario.
Long Term Food
One good long-lasting food option you can keep around is MREs. MREs, or meals ready to eat, are food packages used by the military during battle. MREs come in a variety of meals, including vegetarian options.
Some MREs can last up to 5-20 years when they’re stored in a cool area. If the power is out, depending on your area’s climate, your home may be warmer than usual. In that case, try to find a colder area like a basement or cellar to store them in.
Rice, beans, and honey are examples of long-term food sources. Only water is needed to rehydrate dried meals, however, use water that has been cleaned beforehand.
Tinned meals are also highly shelf-stable, with some lasting up to five years. These are faster, more convenient meal choices compared to waiting for dried goods to be cooked. Make sure your canned goods stockpile includes a manual can opener since electric ones won’t work when the power grid fails.
6. Using Physical Navigation Tools When Digital Options Aren’t Available
When the power network fails in a grid-down, you won’t be able to use your gadget’s internet connection. This means that navigation systems or applications that depend on Wi-Fi will cease to function.
To prepare for this, you should ensure that you have a paper map of your city, as opposed to a digital one. This will allow you to navigate around your neighborhood even if you can’t use your smartphone. Grid-down emergencies, such as natural catastrophes, might cause you to be evacuated from your area.
In case of an emergency, you should make sure you have a paper map of the surrounding area. You may also want to carry a map that covers your entire state or region.
Paper maps are great because they allow you to navigate without guessing. Laminated ones will protect them from water damage, so they’ll still be useful.
You may also mark regions on the physical map that you wish to recall later. In an emergency, each family member should have their own copy of the digital and physical copies.
You may need to mark a specific location where your family can meet if you lose contact with one another during an emergency evacuation. Having a physical device such as a compass can aid you in determining your location on the map.
7. First Aid Kits Will Help You Stay Healthy
People don’t usually think about the fact that local hospitals would be without power after a certain period, too, when their backup generators run out of gas.
The machines would not operate, and the shortage of clean drinking water would make it more difficult to keep things clean. Having first aid supplies accessible is the best way to ensure that your family will stay well in a power failure or emergency situation without the need to rely on physicians or medical facilities.
You can either purchase a pre-made kit or you can assemble one with medicines and supplies that you and your family might need in the event of a medical emergency.
Some essential supplies for any first aid kit should include Band-Aids, over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen for pain, fever-reducing, and anti-inflammatory, as well as sterile dressings, which are handy to have on hand. Also, investigate whether there are any other items that should be included.
Make sure your first aid kit has everything you need. There are first aid manuals available online, as well as instructional videos, that can teach you how to use specific products. Carefully read all instructions before using them.
8. Supplies for Temperature Regulation Will Be Essential If the Grid Fails
In the event of a grid outage, your home will be without power. Your air conditioner and heating system will both be out of service. Depending on the length of time that the power is out, either becoming too hot or too chilly might become life-threatening.
We saw this take place with the Texas power outage that resulted from a winter storm, and many were caught off-guard, freezing to death, or suffering because of a lack of preparation.Teri
It can also occur in places where there are severe snowstorms in the winter months, or when central air is unavailable due to excessive heat. Extreme cold, as well as extreme heat, are both hazardous.
If your house is excessively hot and you become overheated, you will be extremely uncomfortable. Furthermore, if your condition worsens, you may develop a life-threatening illness known as hyperthermia.
Many older individuals are unable to prepare for, or even cope with, situations such as extreme cold. As a result, they may freeze to death. Hypothermia, which can be fatal, can occur if your house is excessively chilly. If you do not raise the temperature of your home, or if you lack the means to warm up and maintain your body heat, this can happen.
The kind of weather you anticipate will have a significant impact on your preparation. If you live somewhere where the weather is usually hot, you should concentrate on preparing for coolness. Alternatively, if you live someplace with chilly conditions, prepare for warmth.
Weather, on the other hand, is a fickle issue. It’s not uncommon for a usually warm region to experience a random cold snap, or vice versa.
It’s a good idea to prepare for typical weather conditions, but it never hurts to be well-prepared in the event of an unexpected extreme weather event. In chilly climes, for instance, you should have clothing that keeps you toasty.
Thick clothes, such as sweatshirts, caps, mufflers, mitts, and boots, as well as warm sleepwear, are essential. In cold weather, it’s also important to keep a sleeping bag and warm blanket on hand.
Blankets will be more effective than sleeping bags when it comes to keeping you warm at night. They’re designed to withstand severe weather conditions outside. On the other hand, a blanket will be beneficial in keeping your body heat contained while you’re moving around.
Wearable blankets are also an excellent choice for the day since they will keep you warm while also allowing you to move. It’s also a good idea to carry a camping burner or other materials that can be used to build a fire and grill outside in the cold.
Having these items will not only assist you in disinfecting drinking water, but they will also help you prepare nutritious meals and beverages. In hot weather, you should wear light clothes that allow the air to circulate.
It may appear paradoxical, yet long-sleeved light clothing is the best option for dealing with high temperatures if there is a lot of sunshine coming in through your window. The long sleeves shield the skin from the sun, allowing you to stay cool.
You may also use a solar-powered ceiling fan. These are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, from tiny individual ceiling fans to huge outside versions. Because all they need to operate is the sun, they’re ideal for cooling down in a hot environment.
You should also drink plenty of water when it gets hot in your house. Tap water is prone to contamination because the water purification system is not operational. Boiling, using a filtering straw, or using purification pills are all good ways to disinfect drinking water.
9. Transportation Methods Not Reliant on the Electrical Grid
Transport choices are extremely crucial to consider when preparing for a grid-down power outage. You must be able to leave your house quickly if you need to go elsewhere to acquire additional provisions or leave.
Either gasoline-powered or battery-powered automobiles will not be useful in the event of a power failure. The battery-operated automobile will not have enough electricity to recharge its battery, and the gasoline-fueled car will not be able to refuel at the gas station, as the fuel pump requires electrical power to operate.
You can store additional gasoline. Even though it isn’t a permanent solution, it might be beneficial to use very little of it – especially if you and your family won’t be able to travel far on foot.
You can acquire gasoline stabilizers to keep the gas fresh for a longer period, which is beneficial during a blackout. Bikes are an excellent substitute for automobiles since they are efficient and do not require the use of any additional power source.
I’d Be Riding a Horse
The drawbacks of motorcycles include their lack of resistance to bad weather and their reliance on the user to power themselves, but they are preferable to nothing in the event of a power grid failure. If you own horses or have the ability, they can be an excellent mode of transportation.
Because their dietary choices are already based on natural substances, feeding them should not be difficult. Additionally, they would not be nearly as physically demanding as a self-propelled vehicle such as a bicycle.
You can also get a boat or canoe for water sources, such as going downstream or crossing lakes or ponds. Make sure that when you begin sourcing these nine must-have supplies, you look for the most durable options and not just what is cheapest for your budget because you want it to last a long time in case the survival event drags on longer than you would normally expect.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and I will be more than happy to help you out.
I’m the daughter of 2 original survivalists who moved from the north to sunny Florida. My mother, along with her parents, bought 30 mostly uncleared acres in 1938. The first home was made of pecky-cypress and built by a house-raising. My mother raised 10,000 chickens.
My divorced mother met and married my father in 1948. From pine trees on our property, he hand-built a log cabin. He also built a tarpaper-lined 65’x45′ pool with duck pond overflow. We had an artesian well for our water and powering our hand-built waterwheel for the pool. He built a substantial cantilevered roof workshop with a car pit in the massive cement floor.
Since my early teens, I have read a ton of books about survival, prepping, the bomb, an apocalypse, homestead living, and SHTF situations. As an adult, I continue to read sci-fi, survival prepping, and science. I practice a prepper lifestyle albeit a bit modified, read a lot, buy a lot, pack/store a lot of anything survival related.
Read my About Me post for more details on our self-sufficient living. I lived there until I went to college in 1968.
My SurvivalPrepperSupply.com blog strives to educate individuals on coping with natural and human-caused disasters using article posts about preparing for emergencies.