Country Living Series

Saturday, May 24, 2014

If the grid fails, will you die?

Here's my WND column for this weekend entitled If the Grid Fails, Will You Die?

It seems to have struck a nerve, as people are leaving lots of comments.

The fine folks at Thoughts from Frank and Fern sent me a link to a blog post that supplements the article very well, entitled Homestead Delusions.

Well worth reading.

UPDATE: Got a mention on SurvivalBlog too!


  1. I lived off the grid for 1 year with a 3 year old, an infant, and a wife. It was a bitch to do! It would be much harder, if not impossible in an EMP scenario with thousands of unprepared neighbors.

  2. I recently watched a "what if" quasi documentary style program on a discovery or science channel that addressed a grid down scenario. In the documentary they had 4 separate story lines. One was the Yuppie couple in a city high rise (they didnt make it, criminals got them). One was a suburban family with a bug out plan and a rural redoubt (the locals turned on them). One was a suburban family with minimal preparation,(Father dies from infection resulting from minor laceration) and one was some folks stuck in a elevator. (one died in the attempt to escape the elevator) The scenario lasted 10 days.

    The breakdown would begin immediately and snowball rapidly. If you are urban or suburban your odds of survival (especially long term) are minimal.

    An observation, (please dont take as a criticism) but one thing to consider in these scenarios is the "reason" the grid goes down. If its a EMP or cyber attack, both are indicative of the declaration of open hostilities between warring nations. Point being, if a enemy attacks us on that level, it would be reasonable to anticipate more attacks / action from the same enemy.

    I enjoyed the article. Good luck to everybody out there.....we are going to need it.....

    I have never worried about the proverbial "bullet with my name on it" . I always worried bout the one that said "To whom it may concern"......

  3. Patrice, as you know, I'm one of your loyal followers, that has purchased all your ebooks and have read endless homesteading books and homestead sites. We finally made that "big move" to the country on our 18 acres; mostly pine woods. We moved in October, rented for six months and just a few months ago, moved to our property. After all that I read and prepared for, I still realize how far we are from being self-sufficient if we had and EMP scenario. We don't have a tractor, trailer, pickup, a pantry, garden is a lot more work than I thought, and so on and so on. We have oil lamps, matches, first aid kits, etc. but that's not going to keep us alive. I just pray that in 3-5 years I can have a well-stocked pantry, a well for fresh water, and a handful of other things to survive more than the average person. We know the Lord as our personal Savior, so when we can't survive anymore, we know we'll go and be in a better place. A great article and always right on the money. Have a great weekend! Alicia

  4. This is a common problem of too many people not seeing the trees because of the forest. Of course no one is going to be 100% self sufficient unless they wish to lower their living standards by a huge amount and even then they better be on a tropical island. Eventually everything will wear out and need replaced at the very least.

    The trick, which so many people like you guys Patrice and your readers know is being able to sustain ourselves long enough for the infrastructure you mention to come back.

    Some parts of it you need to have plans for decades of self sufficiency, like food and water, but other parts you need only prep for a couple years worth. Aim to get through the really hard first 12 to 18 months after that, well the weeding will be done and things will start to come back. Have a skill you can use for barter once the survivors start sticking their heads out once again.

  5. In the nonfiction book, An Army at Dawn, it states that a great many young men were rejected from the draft for WWII. Why? Underdeveloped, poorly developed, malnourished. These were farm and ranch kids, mostly, in a time period where people did garden and raise their own food. It was just so dang hard to raise "enough". Now, fast forward to a time where people think (I use that word lightly in this case) that food comes from the grocery store.
    I currently live in WY and am overjoyed that we have a mechanical engineer/physician/rancher/Constitutionalist running for Governor, who has all ready let it be known that he thinks EMP is a real threat, and who openly advocates beans, bandaids, bullets and the battle rifle of choice along with a sidearm are common sense items everyone should have. If he wins and later decides that those things are MANDATORY, I'll probably move back to WY, since DH and I decided that we would also prep for "retirement" and bought a place in Idaho (in a banana belt, lol).
    I do plan on the time the Lord determines is my time. Until then, I plan and WORK toward living, preparing as Joseph did, trusting in my God.

  6. Great job, Patrice.

    Spot on as usual.

    Many of us are walking around on a wealth of nutritious plants we think of as weeds or don't recognize as edible. Knowing how to identify and use these things is vital, imo.

    A. McSp

  7. Love your articles Patrice. This is totally off topic. Can you please tell me a little about the wire in the picture at the top of your blog. It isn't barbed wire and doesn't look like welded wire that I know of. I am getting ready to do some fencing on parts of my land and am looking at every option. Including the Jack fence at Enola's blog. Thank you.

    1. It's our neighbor's fence. For lack of better description, it's electrified elastic. Works fine to keep their horses in but it's lousy for cows -- they bounce right through it, especially calves (even when it's "on" and electrified). Many's the time we've had to chase a calf or two back through it, which is difficult because one of us has to prop the elastic apart wide enough for a skittish calf to go through, while the rest of us try to herd the calf toward the hole in the fence. Personally I don't recommend it, unless ALL you have is horses.

      - Patrice

  8. If the grid goes down tens of thousands of very talented linemen and other utility workers will begin working overtime to bring it back up. One thing to remember; in the very unlikely event of an EMP powerful enough to take down the grid it will be suprisingly easy to repair. This is because contrary to what the EMP fanatics believe an EMP will cause power to fail by melting the weak points in the system just as a power surge blows a fuse or trips a breaker. This leaves the rest of the circuit unharmed. The power lines won't burn up or melt and ditto for the transformers. Electric utility transformers are incredibly robust.

    1. Technically you may be right. However, the seriousness of lack of electricity (AND running water, flushing toilets, heat, A/c, refrigeration) will quickly pale in comparison to the lack of civility. Do you honestly think your linemen will to go to work and leave their love ones in danger of murder, rape etc.? Same goes for law enforcement and military abandoning ship. Anarchy will quickly set in.
      Montana Guy

  9. Thanks Patrice, enjoyed the article! Also re-read Frank & Fern's post. Congrats on the mention!