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I don't see how such an event could be permanent.  We constructed this modern, intricate grid in less than a century.  We have more know how than when we started.  Also, after reading One Second After, I did some reading on how devastating an EMP attack or extreme solar event would be against our grid.  From what I gathered, it would not be as it is presented in literature and on Alex Jones sites, with all electronics and the power grid being fried.  I'm no expert on the subject, but I've read conflicting articles on it, and it seems the articles which play down the threat are well written by people who seem to have a firm grasp on what they're talking about, whilst the articles which predict doom and gloom are written by people who sell ad space to prepper websites, and present opinion as fact.  Just my observation.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but I do worry about a somewhat long-term lack of power should there be a major incident that results in widespread damage to the power grid.  We have seen in the past how even a minor disruption in one local spot can create a massive blackout under the right conditions.  Take the blackout in New York City back in 1977.  It was the result of a damaged transmission line that was struck by lightening, lasted less than 24 hours, and the city saw social unrest and looting.  Imagine if power was down for days or weeks following a coordinated terrorist attack or cyberattack.  As I understand it, part of the problem is that there isn't a stockpile of some major physical components of the grid and it would take time for these to be produced, transported, and installed if there was a widespread need for them.  Also as I understand it, there are three grids in the US.  The eastern grid, the western grid, and one in Texas.  That means an incident anywhere in the eastern US could potentially impact the power supply here in Tennessee.  I'm not a gloom and doom kind of guy, but I know a bit about our pitiful effort to defend from a cyber attack, so this is an issue that is on my mind when I think about my preps.

Edited by East_TN_Patriot
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I think it is highly unlikely this country would be invaded due to it's size and population  If you add Canada to the math North America is larger than Russia.  There isn't a military in the world that could control such a vast land mass with such a heavily armed populace.  

 

How long before the grid is irrelevant anyway?  With the rapid advances in locally produced electricity via micro solar array coupled with further advances in the technology over a few decades the current dependence on the grid for power shouldn't last much longer.  Maybe another 30-50 years I would say.   

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I could definitely stand to stockpile more food.

On a related note, a question I have is this: do you think people would come together an share resources or would people just hoard what they have? In other words, wouldn't a community of like-minded people come together, pool their collective knowledge and resources in a real SHTF scenario? It seems to be the nature of humanity to do this for mutual benefit and to protect their resources from those who seek to take from others.

Personally, I think folks out in the country would band together much easier than folks in the cities (bigger cities, not talking about small towns). In the major metropolitan areas I think you'd see looting, robbery, burglary & even killing just to take someone else's supplies. There would be groups of people/neighbors who banded together, and they would probably out number the looters.
Folks who live farther away from those bigger towns would see a small amount of looting/violence but I don't think they would tolerate it and would squash it rather quickly on their own. But eventually the survivors of the metro areas would have to start heading out of their metro areas to get what they're looking for. Then it would turn interesting.
I know I need to load some more ammo, work on the food preps and chat more with the neighbors in my new neighborhood to feel them out a little.
My biggest accomplishments this year have been relocating to a safer neighborhood & starting to get a little medical training under my belt. I plan on continuing that for as long as I can. Let's face it, you partake in dangerous activities and eventually your number is gonna get called. You either get lucky and it doesn't, or you're prepared when it does. I'd rather be lucky AND prepared if I can help it.


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My wife and I have decided to start buying up solar panels as we can afford them. Eventually we will have everything we need to get off the grid completely. We might also find a wind generator as we live on the side of a mountain that constantly has winds blowing.

 

We are also going to put in gardens and buy birds this spring. I cannot wait to have a bunch of guinea fowl, they are the worlds best watch dogs.

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... I cannot wait to have a bunch of guinea fowl, they are the worlds best watch dogs.

 

Yes, they are very loud. And will alert you to everything. Like a branch falling in the woods, a car door slamming half a mile away, the wind blowing, whatever. Or anytime one gets separated from the others.

 

My prediction: you'll eat them all within a month. ;)

 

On that note, my great grandmother claimed they can have a gamy taste if they die when alarmed. So she used to sneak up behind one with hedge shears when it was due for the pot. :) :)

 

- OS

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Yes, they are very loud. And will alert you to everything. Like a branch falling in the woods, a car door slamming half a mile away, the wind blowing, whatever. Or anytime one gets separated from the others.

My prediction: you'll eat them all within a month. ;)

On that note, my great grandmother claimed they can have a gamy taste if they die when alarmed. So she used to sneak up behind one with hedge shears when it was due for the pot. :) :)

- OS


I heard they weren't good eating.


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.....

 

On a related note, a question I have is this: do you think people would come together an share resources or would people just hoard what they have?  In other words, wouldn't a community of like-minded people come together, pool their collective knowledge and resources in a real SHTF scenario? ..

 

I'd predict that if you don't have that like-minded group before the balloon goes up, you ain't gonna put it together afterward in any kind of area more dense than small isolated suburbs. At least not for a good little while until the first round of survivors may gravitate toward each other.

 

More pertinent is, how will you (meaning each of us) handle it? How many folks do you know within say a the first half mile radius? How many have even food and water stashed for a month? And of those, how many do you trust? What happens first time there's a couple of them on your steps begging? Or 10, or 50? Or past begging, demanding, after they've eaten their dogs and are sick from drinking bad water? Etc.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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I heard they weren't good eating.

 

Had one in my youth, couple more in my 30's that were given to us (ready to cook). Was okay. Like a leaner chicken.

 

Seriously, I think more people don't raise 'em anymore just because of the noise. Or maybe because their neighbors talk them out of it. Because of the noise. :)

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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Yes, they are very loud. And will alert you to everything. Like a branch falling in the woods, a car door slamming half a mile away, the wind blowing, whatever. Or anytime one gets separated from the others.

 

My prediction: you'll eat them all within a month. ;)

 

On that note, my great grandmother claimed they can have a gamy taste if they die when alarmed. So she used to sneak up behind one with hedge shears when it was due for the pot. :) :)

 

- OS

 

 

We have had guinea fowl before and really liked them. The only thing I did not like is they like to hide their eggs but with enough chickens you do not need to collect guinea eggs. Guinea only have two modes, alert and make as much noise as you can and the wander mode where they sound like a child on a tricycle with a squeaky wheel. I would set things in the yard to see if they would notice and almost always they would. Another thing that was super funny was when a bird flew over head. All of them would freeze in unison then cock their heads sideways so they could watch the bird above. 

 

We gave an entire flock of birds, chickens, guinea fowl and turkey as we were figuring out our exit strategy after my brother's last interaction with me.

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  • 4 weeks later...
We have two Guinea fowl. Ours are very finnicky about laying eggs. They only do it for a couple of months in the summer. They are very tasty, and almost all yolk, but about half the size of a chicken egg. We keep ours penned with the chickens, so they don't roam the yard and alert us to any thing, but they never miss an opportunity to squawk. When we first got them they did not stop for about three days.

I still think a good porch hound would be better for alerting us to strangers.
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I don't see how such an event could be permanent.  We constructed this modern, intricate grid in less than a century.  We have more know how than when we started.  Also, after reading One Second After, I did some reading on how devastating an EMP attack or extreme solar event would be against our grid.  From what I gathered, it would not be as it is presented in literature and on Alex Jones sites, with all electronics and the power grid being fried.  I'm no expert on the subject, but I've read conflicting articles on it, and it seems the articles which play down the threat are well written by people who seem to have a firm grasp on what they're talking about, whilst the articles which predict doom and gloom are written by people who sell ad space to prepper websites, and present opinion as fact.  Just my observation.

 

 

As Robert pointed out, transformers are the big problem.  Specifically the large 161, 230 and 500kV transformers that our local large utility uses.  Replacements take two to three years to manufacture, deliver and install. Depending on the configuration and size, there could be as many as 15 or 20 of these at one power plant.

 

There are also the smaller transformers that reside throughout the power distribution system, that could also have to be replaced. When you take this all into account, It's easily conceivable that parts, if not most of the grid in this country, could be down for 5 to 10 years or longer.  These things are not kept on a shelve to be trotted out and installed, when one fails.

 

The bright spot in all this, is that there is movement afoot to protect the grid from a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), but it won't happen overnight. And I am not sure how this would protect against a large EMP attack, which is what I worry about most.  This seems to be more devastating in nature and could affect more infrastructure than a CME.

Edited by Moped
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Security...

 

It won't matter how well / bad you're prepared if you can't protect it. Rioting and looting are bad now, imagine how bad it will be should a major national / global emergency occur, much less if TSHTF. Whatever you have, people are going to deceive themselves thinking they need it much more than you do and try to forcefully take it. 

 

Purposely living in the country for that potential eventuality has it's pro's and con's. At our age the wife and I wouldn't be able to defend our place having to sleep and other distracting chores on any scale probably. They're are few neighbors around here but with the exception of only one, they are not interested nor capable of much physical activity. Due to the scarcity of warm bodies, there wouldn't be enough manpower for a 24/7 watch, much less any early OP / LP. 

 

There's not many people on the Tennessee Preppers website living in NW Tn. that I can find. At any rate, I can't foresee myself pulling up stakes and leaving most of my possession here and relocating to an assumed safer location? 

 

I brought up the subject of prepping to a buddy of mine at the gun club awhile back and asked his thoughts. He said he's not going to plan / prep and "I'll just come over and take yours". I believe that he was at least half serious too!

 

Security camera with motion sensors they can alert you when someone or something comes around when you are asleep.  You get an alert when someone approaches.  That allows you to manage 24/7 without actually having to be awake the entire time.

 

Thanks

Robert

Edited by rmiddle
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Or, invaded by stronger enemies to solve their food crisis.

 

I doubt it America would be in rough shape but most of our really big bad weapons would survive since much of our military command and control is generally EMP harden.  In a sense we would be a hurt bear even more dangerous as we couldn't depends on our conventional forces we would be more likely to depend on the use of Nukes to defend ourselves.

 

Thanks

Robert

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I think it is highly unlikely this country would be invaded due to it's size and population  If you add Canada to the math North America is larger than Russia.  There isn't a military in the world that could control such a vast land mass with such a heavily armed populace.  

 

How long before the grid is irrelevant anyway?  With the rapid advances in locally produced electricity via micro solar array coupled with further advances in the technology over a few decades the current dependence on the grid for power shouldn't last much longer.  Maybe another 30-50 years I would say.   

 

Most of those local Solar array require a power grid to function.  Just ask people in NJ after sandy came thought how well there local solar systems worked.

 

Thanks

Robert 

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I just happen to be lookin here and would suggest that ya keep some super glue around.  For those who severed in Vietnam know what I'm talkin about.  It will stop bleeding in an emergency until a person can be stitched if needed.   It saved many in nam from bleeding to death.

 

 

https://youtu.be/HKT9aozf4Ak

Edited by Ron_TN
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I just happen to lookin here and would suggest that ya keep some super glue around.  For those who severed in Vietnam know what I'm talkin about.  It will stop bleeding in an emergency until a person can be stitched if needed.   It saved many in nam from bleeding to death.

I have medical grade super glue in single use packs as part of my 1st Aid Kit, along with steri strips (butterfly closures) and stitching kits.  Quick-clot bandages are also great to keep on hand, they work real well to stop the bleeding from all but the most severe lacerations or arterial bleeds. 

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Oh shoot brings up a subject I have thought about a lot lately and that is the neighbors and how they are or are not prepared. It is a hard subject to breech because you don't want to show your hand that says I have food, water, weapons and know how. I know a lot of people in my rural area and I know several hunt and have guns and ammo, water isn't a problem here, there are several head of cattle and lots have chickens and gardens, but beyond that I really don't know how people really feel about preppers. We do have at least 3 nurses within 2 miles and we are out in the sticks. I have always wondered how each of you handle the situation of discussing prepping with your friends and neighbors.

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It is a tough topic. I have two neighbors (households) that we actually plan together a little, and work towards complementary stockpiling (I get A, he gets B, another gets C, etc) according to our individual strengths/abilities. We have also been spending a little time and money working on some basic farming, but that's a little hard in a neighborhood.
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As Robert pointed out, transformers are the big problem. Specifically the large 161, 230 and 500kV transformers that our local large utility uses. Replacements take two to three years to manufacture, deliver and install. Depending on the configuration and size, there could be as many as 15 or 20 of these at one power plant.

There are also the smaller transformers that reside throughout the power distribution system, that could also have to be replaced. When you take this all into account, It's easily conceivable that parts, if not most of the grid in this country, could be down for 5 to 10 years or longer. These things are not kept on a shelve to be trotted out and installed, when one fails.

The bright spot in all this, is that there is movement afoot to protect the grid from a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection), but it won't happen overnight. And I am not sure how this would protect against a large EMP attack, which is what I worry about most. This seems to be more devastating in nature and could affect more infrastructure than a CME.


I don't have a lot of time to write a long response, so I'll sum this up by giving thought to what can be accomplished in times of crisis versus times of peace. You're applying timelines based on normal operating conditions. If we did that for the hundreds of life changing inventions that came about during the 40's or the industrial revolution, we would conclude that nuclear weapons and automobiles would not be a thing right now, or certainly would have taken longer. Necessity is the mother of invention. It would be hard to recover, but we could do it with a country of people working in concert for a common goal. If you apply current day values of self absorbed society, with priorities being everything other than the basics of food/water/shelter/security, your conclusion won't reflect what would actually happen in the event of complete grid collapse. You need to look at the intangibles here as well as any other factor.


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I don't have a lot of time to write a long response, so I'll sum this up by giving thought to what can be accomplished in times of crisis versus times of peace. You're applying timelines based on normal operating conditions. If we did that for the hundreds of life changing inventions that came about during the 40's or the industrial revolution, we would conclude that nuclear weapons and automobiles would not be a thing right now, or certainly would have taken longer. Necessity is the mother of invention. It would be hard to recover, but we could do it with a country of people working in concert for a common goal. If you apply current day values of self absorbed society, with priorities being everything other than the basics of food/water/shelter/security, your conclusion won't reflect what would actually happen in the event of complete grid collapse. You need to look at the intangibles here as well as any other factor.


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The fact of the matter is there are just so many factories turning these things out.  And not nearly enough to replace even half of the of the high voltage transformers in a timely manner.  And time will be a thing we need the most of, but won't have.

 

We discussed this at work the day after I posted my initial comment here, and there was general agreement that we were screwed as a nation, if something were to happen like an EMP attack or a huge CME where more than half of the high voltage transformers in this country were destroyed.  This is what we do for a living, I might add.  We work for most of the large power producers in the country.
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you really want to try a "low impact" test of your prep...trip the main breaker to your house, secure the water supply, unplug the phone line and put your car keys away...do this from Friday just before supper until the following Monday at day break. Do this once when it is really cold and once when it is really hot. Monitor how many batteries you use as well as how much water is consumed. As you (and your family) go through each day make a list of things you needed, things you know that you have but can find, things that you wished that you had...we went through this exercise and the results were very interesting. We cheated and left the refrigerator running so no food would spoil...but the rule was, no food or drink from the refrig after the first 24 hours. "Boring" might be the operative word for this test, so much so that I made 5 bird houses by hand the first time we tried this activity. The second time, I had stocked up on lamp oil and several good books to read. The wife said that I should have gone out back and shot several squirrels for supper...just to add realism to the test. I don't care for squirrel. By the way, we (the entire family) were a whole lot better equipped to handle the test the second time. Even a simple test of your prep will go a lot further than talking about it or making a list. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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If you really want to try a "low impact" test of your prep...trip the main breaker to your house, secure the water supply, unplug the phone line and put your car keys away...do this from Friday just before supper until the following Monday at day break. Do this once when it is really cold and once when it is really hot. Monitor how many batteries you use as well as how much water is consumed. As you (and your family) go through each day make a list of things you needed, things you know that you have but can find, things that you wished that you had...we went through this exercise and the results were very interesting. We cheated and left the refrigerator running so no food would spoil...but the rule was, no food or drink from the refrig after the first 24 hours. "Boring" might be the operative word for this test, so much so that I made 5 bird houses by hand the first time we tried this activity. The second time, I had stocked up on lamp oil and several good books to read. The wife said that I should have gone out back and shot several squirrels for supper...just to add realism to the test. I don't care for squirrel. By the way, we (the entire family) were a whole lot better equipped to handle the test the second time. Even a simple test of your prep will go a lot further than talking about it or making a list. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


Pretty good idea. I had several questions.

Did you continue to use the toilet? If so, did leave the water on or go hard core and refill the tank with your gray water for a true test?

What was your main mode of cooking?

Are there some things you learned you would be willing to share?
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Like the frig, we used the toilets for the first 24 hours...then shifted to our portajohn...lesson learned, we need a bigger stock of liner bags. First day we used the bbq grill for cooking and shifted to a rocket stove...we now have a set of cast iron to use with the rocket stove.

We number one thing that appeared to help our attitude was lighting. The second thing was being creative with the food. Set aside some prep reading material and several board and card games.

My big purchase resulting from the experiment was a robust solar panel for recharging batteries. My biggest comfort purchase was a solar hot water bag (hang it in the sun light even on a cold day and you will have warm water to wash). These bags can be found on boating supplies web sites.

Last lesson, inventory your survival gear with location...we spent a lot of time and batteries looking for minor items that were stashed in random locations.

The best part is that I now feel that my family has been exposed to the process and will be able to better cope with a number of scenarios. Thanks for asking about our experiment.
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