Without the power grid, 90% are dead within 2 years.

power outageThere have been studies done on this issue of widespread, extended power outages. In the case of an EMP attack or a computer virus, which wipes out our power grid, it’s estimated that 90% of Americans will be dead within a year to two years. 270 million people. Even a short-term loss of power, in terms of weeks, leads to looting, hoarding and society beginning to break down.

How prepared are you?

You can answer that question right now by looking around your house and seeing how prepared you are. The vast majority of people aren’t prepared. Every natural and man-made disaster proves this over and over again, yet the message just doesn’t seem to get through. It’s understandable as human nature is to lean toward the glass half full. There is a middle ground.

The paranoid, overly prepared person, wonders why there is still even water in the glass if it isn’t poison. The image to the left is when Hurricane Sandy blasted the Northeast. Imagine the entire screen black via a solar flare or EMP nuclear blasts.

SurvivalFinal_KindleBoardsI wrote the original section about preparing for a power outage in the Green Beret Survival Guide in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Millions of people were without power for an extended period of time. Some for weeks. The key there, though, was that the rest of the country had power and could send aid. Every disaster that has hit this country, whether it was Katrina, Sandy, Mount St. Helens, the Mississippi flooding; etc. while tragic, was localized; where, eventually, aid was able to come in from places and people outside the disaster zone. If the disaster zone is nation or worldwide, it becomes a very different scenario.

Too many people have the mindset that someone will swoop in to save them. Here’s a cold reality: all the “swoopers”, whether it be police, military, medical, etc. have their own lives and families. Most will do their jobs. To a point. But when the tipping point comes where they realize that the system their jobs are part of is gone, then their jobs no longer exist.

And when people lose hope and realize that the life they knew will not come back, it will turn bad very quickly.

I picked three weeks as the tipping point between levels of emergencies because it’s a transition time. Where those who are prepared will settle in to life for an extended period if there is no change. And those who aren’t prepared will grow desperate and in many cases, die.

On a positive note, it is amazing how adaptive we are as humans. Some people think they couldn’t do without the Internet or their cell phone for a day. Go a couple of days, and you won’t even remember them. Trust in that. We can adapt. We can survive. But the most important factor is the correct mindset. And preparation.

Here’s another harsh reality. The bad people will win– while I have many issues with The Walking Dead, this is where the series has gone and it is doing an excellent job of showing that now. The person who is willing to shoot first, before asking. The person who will not share. The person who will take and leave someone to starve. They will be the winners. That’s not a moral judgment or an opinion; it’s just the facts as evidenced by history. Accepting that gives the good people a chance at fighting back and defeating the bad people.

Preparation in all aspects is critical. You can’t prepare once the bad thing happens. Talk to people who survived Katina, Sandy, etc. Ask them what they had wished they’d done beforehand.

I highly recommend getting the print version, rather than eBook, because, well, you know.

Nick Rowe_0008Seriously, I’m not posting this to make a buck. Get a different survival guide. Take a course. But do something to help you learn how to be prepared unless you’ve already been through some sort of heavy-duty survival training like SERE training.

Because the fundamental truth is you can’t prepare after the fact.


  1. Wow. It’s a scary thought and when I see groups taking over public lands by armed force, I see just a bad future there. The bullies could win, The novel Station Eleven showed life after a pandemic where eventually, electricity, fossils were all gone. I love the old skills and some day someone’s gonna need to know how to churn butter. tend life stock, build a proper fire, etc.I grew up my greatparents’s stories of homesteading in the 1860s in the west. It can be done, but you’re right the good has to prevail..

  2. Great post, Bob. Maybe it’s me, but I sense a gnawing public anxiety about collapse in general–political, economic, electric grid, etc. Then again, maybe I watch too much YouTube. Either way, I believe this fear is simmering just below the cultural surface. And it is growing, especially in the last decade. Why do you think we are seeing such a rise now?

  3. I agree with your assessment 100 hundred percent. When things go bad it will be unexpected and happen quickly.
    To survive people need to be both mentally and physical fit. I consider that the first level of preparedness.
    I think your book is overpriced at $14.99 and should be $9.99. ( if it is pod I could be wrong)
    I’m going to purchase it anyway and give you a review comparing it to another emergency guide.
    Thanks for trying to get the message out. The more people willing to try to take care of themselves, the better for all.

  4. And then there’s the reality that the better you prepare, the bigger target you become for your unprepared, VERY hungry neighbors …

    • Joyce M. Coomer

      April 26, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Some things are better off unadvertised . . .

    • That’s why u never broadcast what u got and stay hidden for a week if u can. Your stash of food and weapons should never be shown to neighbors etc. when shit hits the fan u become the first target. I believe u must blend in so u don’t make yourself or your family an immediate target.

  5. Joyce M. Coomer

    April 26, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Good post . . . something 99.99% of people never think about — nor want to think about.

    A writer friend and I discussed a year or so ago how much research she would have to do about everyday life to write a book set in the mid-1800’s on a farm. She grew up like a lot of people in this area did — no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no central heat. They had a garden, a milk cow, a few chickens, and killed hogs. They chopped wood for heating and cooking, and carried water from a well or spring. Laundry was done outside, in a cast iron kettle, over an open fire — ditto for canning. Hunting and trapping kept fresh meat on the table. I told her the only thing she’d have to do much research on was clothing as she had done the rest of it.

    There are still some people who have the skills necessary to live without modern conveniences. And, like me, still have some of the tools that were used fifty to one hundred years ago.

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