UPDATE: I originally posted this on January 23, 2015. Since then, Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys with brutal winds and rains, and Houston was nearly drowned by Hurricane Harvey. Puerto Rico has been sent back to the stone age by Hurricane Maria. If you’re living in areas prone to natural disaster, and especially isolated spots like islands, this sort of preparation is an absolute must.
One second your family home has power. The next second—click—the power is out and could stay out for days, weeks or longer. Sound impossible? Not at all. How do you rate the worldwide radical Muslim security risk today? I research and write about risk weekly and today rate our risk at maximum. The media plays down the risk because 99% of Americans are completely unprepared for an extended power outage. I have written for years about the savage effects of a terrorist-led EMP attack. If EMP is a subject that is foreign to you, you need to read the material I have provided for you on this site.
Losing power is no joke and quite possibly life-threatening. A few days ago the juice clicked off here in Key West. This time our battery-backed solar had to keep Debbie and me up and running for only a half hour or so (past outages have been longer). Key West is a tropical island 150 miles from Miami and only 90 miles from Cuba. so it makes sense to be prepared at all times. And yes, I may be much more paranoid than you. Most people, however, have a vested interest in a lack of paranoia theme as they have done squat about emergency preparation. Hunkered down in a 50th floor co-op in Manhattan (what mind-blowing vulnerability), sequestered in a manicured suburban enclave, or simply mindlessly isolated in some impossible to defend (24/7) rural setting, the results would be the same. No water for six days, and the whole crowd will not have to worry about anything ever again.
Picture this. Your spouse is beavering away on Wall Street in some high-rise glass office building when your phone clicks off, the giant Sub Zero refrigerator and wine cooler crank down along with all the lights and air conditioning. The Suburban sits in the driveway with the gas gauge probably near zero because you have been too lazy to keep the beast filled. And the kids? All at school. Just great! What’s your move now?
Your goose is cooked. You had better drop to your knees and pray that the juice is out because some neighbor has lost attention and driven into a power pole. Any extended outage and you are an ill-prepared sitting duck.
Our recent power outage put us into game-day mode and Debbie and I hit our local ACE hardware store (Strunk’s) on a mission. We had become too lax, but now our preparation list is up to speed. Our satellite phone is on full charge. Our giant rain barrels are tested and full. Our CC Solar Observer AM/FM weather solar emergency radio, Bearcat portable scanner, and the solar powered Powermonkey (charge your iPad, smartphone, and GPS) are good to go.
Next up was an emergency drill with our five shot (with integrated red dot laser) Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 38 revolvers. Doesn’t a 9mm or a 45 Caliber handgun offer more fire and stopping power? Of course. That is why the military and local law enforcement team choose such weapons. Debbie and I are well-educated, self- defense-oriented homeowners in a tight setting. We are not day in and day out gun professionals. As such, we both prefer the simplicity of a no-safety, non-jamming revolver over a semi-automatic handgun.
Finally, check on our Lifestraw. Lifestraw is perfect for creating potable water.
Now you have a little KISS emergency prep guide that could help your family ride out a threatening situation caused by an extended electrical outage. I have just scratched the surface for you here and have not even touched upon rifles, ammo, food supplies etc. You can find all you need here at richardcyoung.com. After you have met the basic requirements I have provided, click to my posts on Navy Seals survival packs (Debbie and I carry two packs on the road), head to your grocery store for a small mountain of 24 packs of bottled water, gas up the beast, top off your supply of toilet paper and village Burgundy, and give a call to your local NRA outpost. Sign up your whole family for NRA’s great handgun safety course. Debbie and I are Florida Concealed Weapons License holders and the NRA course was a worthy prerequisite.
My best luck to you and your now enlightened and prepared suburban family. And oh yes, the ATMs, your local pharmacy (prescriptions) along with your gas station will likely be among the first casualties of a terrorist electric grid attack.