This article was originally published by Nicholas Oetken on www.askaprepper.com
There are many who believe that a future blackout impacting the United States is a matter of ‘if’ and not ‘when.’
The term ‘blackout’ itself is a rather vague word, but in general, it refers to a potential disaster that completely knocks down the United States power grid.
Whether this blackout is caused by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a solar flare, a natural disaster, how wide of an area it affects, and for how long it lasts before things go back to normal are all questions that remain to be determined.
But that’s exactly why preparation is so important because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
And while you may think that the idea of a massive blackout impacting the United States is unlikely to happen, as the old saying goes, it’s better to pray for the best but prepare for the worst than not prepare at all.
Here’s what you need to do before the upcoming US blackout:
Have Emergency Cash On Hand
As a golden rule, you’ll want to have at least $1,000 in cash set aside in your home.
This is because in the event the internet or card processing machines won’t be working following the blackout, you’ll want to make sure you have cash on hand to buy things while you still can.
If a large-scale blackout occurs, it won’t take very long for there to be a massive societal breakdown.
When this occurs, law-and-order will go out the window and stores will become overrun and looted by people desperate for supplies and necessities.
The best time to go and buy food and supplies while you still can is immediately after the blackout has occurred. You’ll need to have plenty of cash on hand to make this happen.
Stockpile Food and Water
It may seem like a cliché to say, but stockpiling food and water is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a blackout.
This is for two reasons:
1. Without food and water, we can’t live.
2. After a blackout hits, it will be very difficult for you to resupply yourself.
Think about how long of a disaster you want to prepare for and then collect enough food and water appropriately. For example, let’s say that you have a family of four and want to store enough food and water for the four of you to last for six months.
As a general rule, you’ll need to set aside one gallon of water per person per day (for both cleaning and drinking purposes). That’s four gallons of water for your family collectively per day, or around a hundred and twenty gallons a month. Multiply that by six for six months, and you get seven hundred and twenty gallons.
That’s a lot of water, and you’ll want to ensure you have enough storage space to hold that water. The best way to store this much water is to invest in multiple big water storage tanks, and then rotate the water out at regular intervals to ensure it remains clean.
For food, you can invest in emergency food supply kits, and pay close attention to the labeling on the kits to see how many days or months the food is intended to last for. Then stockpile appropriately.
Stockpile Other Essentials
It’s also a cliche to say, but it’s also no less important. Besides food and water, there are a lot of other important items that you’ll want to stockpile as well.
These include, but are not necessary limited to:
- First Aid Items
- Personal Hygiene Items
- Plastic Bags
- Prescription Medication
Hide Your Stockpile
Or at least don’t make it obvious that you have a stockpile.
This is for two primary reasons.
The first is you don’t want people knowing that you have a stockpile, because doing so will put a target on your back once the blackout has struck.
The second reason is because if martial law is declared, the authorities will attempt to seize control over the production and distribution of food and water to ensure that the civilian population remains dependent on them to stay alive.
Don’t be surprised if law enforcement officers come knocking on your door and literally confiscate whatever they want. This is why having a ‘secret’ storage room is so critical.
Make Your Home More Defensible
Most suburban homes are not very defensible and incredibly easy for determined burglars or home invaders to break into.
And unfortunately, after all the stores in town have become looted and stripped of supplies, homes will become the next major target.
There are five big steps you can take to ensure your home is easier to defend to keep you and your family safe:
- Build DIY traps and alarms against looters and intruders, using this guide.
- Replace all doors leading outside with heavy duty steel doors.
- Replace all locks and hinges to the doors with heavy duty locks and hinges.
- Replace all glass windows with acrylic glass windows.
- Install a hideaway safe room in your home with supplies that you and your family.
Have A Backup Plan
Always have a backup location that you can retreat to, and ideally where you can link to with other members in your circle of trust.
Hopefully you’ll be able to bug in at your home and ‘wait out the storm,’ but if it becomes too dangerous for you to stay at home, you want to make sure you have somewhere to go.
Bugging out of town with no plan and nowhere to go is one of the worst things you can do in any disaster scenario.
Make sure the following conditions are met at minimum for your bug out plan:
- You have a bug out location, preferably in a rural area. It should be shielded from view of anyone on nearby freeways or highways. The location should ideally be property that either you or someone in your circle of trust owns.
- This location should have tents or buildings in which you and members in your group can live in.
- It should have access to a natural source of water.
- You must have at least 2-3 routes of getting to that location. If law enforcement blocks one route, for instance, you’ll need another way of getting there.
- You must be in coordination with family and friends in your circle of trust during and after the blackout. Invest in CB or HAM radios so you can get in-touch with them after the blackout has occurred. You may not be able to rely on cell or internet service depending on what’s happened.
Bugging out on the open road is always risky. But bugging out with nowhere to go is always riskier than bugging out with somewhere to go and a plan of meeting up with other people you can trust once you are there.
For a final piece of advice, remember to not inform anybody of your preparations outside of the small group of people in your ‘circle of trust’ while preparing for a blackout. Doing so is an excellent way to put a target on your back.
Even though your unprepared friends and neighbors may be nice now, when the blackout hits and supplies dry up, these are the same types of people who will knock on your door demanding what you share with them…and they won’t be very nice then either.
What else do you think you should be doing to prepare for the upcoming blackout that hits the United States?
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