What would you do if the electrical grid goes down for weeks or months? Are you prepared?
Will it even happen?
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that Russians successfully infected vital infrastructure with malware. Infected software included computers that controlled oil pipelines, electrical grids, municipal water systems, and nuclear plants.
Experts said this was the type of malware that could shut down the entire grid nationwide.
That same year, NSA Director and U.S. Cyber Command Commander Michael Rogers noted a few foreign countries with the ability to shut down the entire grid. He mentioned real cyber reconnaissance that appeared to have that intent.
Then it happened…
In 2019, a cyber attack targeted “low impact” electrical grid sites in the Western USA. Experts from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) analyzed the attack and wrote a report about lessons experts learned about vulnerabilities.
Experts speculated about what would happen if key sites were attacked instead, especially in winter.
Are You Ready for When the Grid Goes Down?
When the power goes out, you may not know how long it will last. If cell towers are working, you may be able to find out what the problem is and that the fridge will start running again within a few hours.
If it does, you’d better go catch it. If not, and you have no way of knowing when the fridge will start running again, be prepared.
Long-Term Power Outage Checklist for Preppers
Here are some items you want to keep around in case the power grid goes down long-term.
You want to have food that won’t rot on you.
Before you dig into that, eat whatever is in your fridge. After that, eat what’s in the freezer. According to the Red Cross, freezer food will keep its cold temperature for 24-48 hours.
Then bust out your emergency rations.
During a power outage, it will be more vital to check the internal temperature of food items you want to eat from the fridge and freezer.
Surrounding the food in your refrigerator and freezer with ice will help it keep longer.
Generator & Fuel
This should go without saying.
A generator will power multiple essential devices. Follow proper safety precautions and don’t burn fossil fuels or natural gas inside. Unplug everything not hooked up to the generator.
If you want to go solar, Lion Energy’s Lion Safari ME Solar Generator will power your fridge, TV, computers, or any other appliance or device. It comes with AC, USB-A, and USB-C outlets. It only takes about 90 minutes of sunlight to charge it.
Lion Energy also makes an optional expansion battery that could make you forget about the outage entirely. Then you can also forget about most of this checklist. It quadruples the battery capacity of the ME generator.
If you’re on a budget, try the Lion Cub GO Power Generator, or a few of them.
In the mid to low price range is the Lion Safari LT Power Generator.
Portable Power Bank
This will help you keep small gadgets charged so that your generator doesn’t have to deal with them.
Lion Energy’s Cub PB Solar Power Bank has a built-in solar panel and LED flashlight.
Fire Wood & Fire Pit
You can use a fire pit for cooking, gathering, storytelling, meditation, and much more. It can help people remain calm and entertained.
The Wolf and Grizzly Fire Safe is perfect for safe outdoor fires. It is compact to go wherever you need to and works great for making memories besides survival.
If you’re lucky, your tap water will continue running. However, that’s only if you’re lucky. Don’t count on it.
Store some water reserves. Consider a rain water collection system as well if it’s a viable option in your environment.
If you happen to have a well, then great!
Do you need an affordable and lightweight filtration system? Try the HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag.
Don’t forget to stay clean. A solar shower is an efficient way to accomplish this.
Solar, Oil, or Battery-Powered Lighting
Lanterns and flashlights are far safer than candles. Oil lamps may be the most hassle-free.
The Goal Zero Lighthouse Core Lantern is a rechargeable USB lantern that puts out 430 lumens. Run time ranges from four to 350 hours, depending on your brightness setting.
Pain & Allergy Meds & First Aid
Be sure to keep extra supplies of essential prescription medications if possible.
On top of that, keep some pain relievers handy. This will keep people calm and thinking clearly if they’re in pain.
Don’t forget over the counter allergy meds or immunomodulator herbs.
For first aid, check out the MyMedic Range Medic | First Aid Kit.
This can be solar or battery-powered. You may not have internet or cellular service during a long-term power outage.