Valley Food Storage

The Day the Power Grid Crashed

The Day the Power Grid CrashedThe Day the Power Grid Crashed - In the event of a power grid crash, imagine what your life would be like without electricity.

In the event of a power grid crash, imagine what your life would be without electricity for a day. Then, imagine not having electricity for years. Virtually all of the technology developed during the 20th  century up through today would be inaccessible.

As an exercise, every time you use electricity in your house, whether it be to use a light switch or to turn on an appliance, imagine that you are unable to do that. 

Every time your furnace comes on, imagine that it did not come on. 

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Let's walk through a typical day — the first day you discover there is no electricity, no cell phones work, and no water in your home.

6:00 a.m.

Your inner clock tells you it's time for the alarm clock to ring — but it didn't. [Panic] You'll be late for work! You check the clock and there is no sign of life. No light. No numbers. Nothing. You jump out of bed and check your cell phone for the time. It's dead too! (A dead cell phone would only happen in the event of an EMP and possibly a CME. Its inner workings might be fried.)

You check a light switch automatically as you pass one — nothing; then rush downstairs to check the breaker on the electrical panel. Again, no signs of life (or light).

6:15 a.m.

You throw on some clothes and run next door (can't call them - your cell is dead). You pound frantically on the door and Joe greats you with that same panicked look that you are feeling. As you compare notes, you both conclude that something has happened (of course) to knock out the power but assure each other that it will probably come back on in a while, so you go home.

7:00 a.m.

You can see that there is nothing to do except wait it out, so you decide to just have a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet. (You noticed an eerie quiet when you were outside and wondered about it.)

You grab the coffee pot and turn on the water to fill it. NO WATER! Now you're really panicking! (If you're extending your thinking past just the electronics in your house, you will realize that when you use the toilet for the first time this morning, it will be your last flush.)

Check the refrigerator — no light inside and it's a bit warmer than it should be. How long has the power been off, you wonder?

7:15 a.m.

You wake up your wife and relate everything you've discovered. She looks at you in disbelief and says it will probably come back on in a while.

So between the two of you, you try to figure out what to have for breakfast and wonder how you'll get along without that comforting cup of coffee.

7:30 a.m.

You decide to go through the house and find out if anything . . . anything at all is working. And you discover there is nothing — no computer, no radio, no cell phone, nothing electrical works. 

8:00 a.m. Until Dusk

Deciding what to do with your day can be a difficult task. After all, you are used to going to work, kids going to school, cleaning the house, doing the dishes, cooking meals — you know, all that ordinary stuff you sometimes resent having to do. So you:

  • Try to get the kids interested in something other than TV, the iPad, or their electronic games. (Difficult, I know.) 

  • Sit down together to discuss what to do next if the power doesn't come back soon.

  • Get together with the neighbors and decide to have a BBQ to use some of the meat in everyone's freezers so it won't thaw and spoil.

  • Hunt for all those candles you have stored somewhere.

  • Gather all the flashlights you own.

  • Gather all the blankets you have (if it's winter).

  • Figure out how to keep cool (if it's summer).


After playing a couple of board games with the kids, there is nothing else to do but go to bed and hope the electricity comes on tomorrow.

So did this motivate you to begin preparing in the event this really happens?

First Day Items You Will Need:

  • Water - Do you have enough water stored to last one day? (approximately 1.5 gallons minimum for each person - more if you plan for cooking, and hygiene.) 

  • Food - You should have enough food in your pantry and refrigerator to easily feed everyone for one day (and hopefully more than one day's worth).

  • Cooking - How will you cook a warm meal? You could use the BBQ, a solar oven, Dutch oven (if you have charcoal stored), or any kind of camping or backpacking stove, and fuel for all methods.

Whether the power is out because of a cyber attack, an EMP, or a huge weather event, your way of living will be completely altered. It will be almost totally about survival because without power:

  • Water stops coming out of your faucet and toilets won't have water to flush.

  • Your furnace won't work (even if it's gas).

  • The pumps will stop working at the gas station (better keep that gas tank at least 1/2 full).

  • Traffic lights won't work snarling traffic everywhere (unless it's an EMP, vehicles may not work at all).

  • Your security is compromised. (How are police and medical vehicles supposed to make it through snarled traffic?)

  • ATMs will not work.

Comfort or chaos - you choose.

  • How much food storage do you have? A pantry full? Six months? A year?

  • How is your water supply? There is nothing more important than water in a blackout - just ask any hurricane survivor.

  • Got plenty of flashlights or other means to light up the dark?

  • If it's winter, do you have a way to keep warm? Or keep cool if it's summer?
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More Resources You Will Need:

What do you think?

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.​​