This post isn’t about preparing for an apocalyptic event, or the more popular ‘zombie apocalypse’ scenario. This isn’t about arming yourselves and getting all paranoid.
However, this is an extremely practical question to ask yourselves!
If the power grid goes down at any time, for any length of time, are you prepared?
How much water do you have, how much food, perishable and non-perishable?
How long can you hold down the fort without going to the grocery store or gas station?
Does anyone in your family depend on a medical device which would need a generator or medicine, and how long before that stock is gone?
It is not the Hollywood versions of some uncontrollable event such as a meteor from space or a solar flare which have caused our major black out events. It was human error, faulty equipment, or some combination of both.
To date, the Northeast Blackout of 2003 which affected 45 million people in eight states of the Northeast and Midwest and 10 million in the Canadian province of Ontario, is the largest in US history.
In some areas, power was restored that evening but in more remote areas, it was almost a week.
When the US and Canada Power System Outage Task Force released their final report on the power outage, blame was placed on the energy company, First Energy, for failing to maintain a deteriorating system, failure to operate its system with appropriate voltage criteria, failure to maintain proper clearance of power lines from trees, and concluded the huge cascading effect was due to “failure of the interconnected grid’s reliability organizations to provide effective real-time diagnostic support”.
More recently, in September 2011, a blackout left more than 7 million residents without electricity, from San Diego County to western Arizona and Tijuana.
In 2012, a federal inquiry found a lack of effective contingency planning and coordination, describing the power outage as largely a consequence of human failures, and not hardware. As the power failure had spread, various grid operators were left unaware of many rapid-fire events outside their territories. Basically, this is the same issue which caused the cascading effect in the Northeast.
Back to the question, are you prepared to go without electricity for several days or a week?
Being able to provide food and water for your family, in case of the ‘unlikely event’ is not only very wise but easy to do… all you have to do is DO IT!
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Photo credit: http://photographyblog.dallasnews.com/category/today-in-photo-history/page/4/