AFTER A DAY Listening to your battery powered radio, you discover that the whole electrical grid is down. Eat your most perishable foods first. Make a meal out of all your ice cream and popsicles. Then the next meal can be frozen pizza cooked outdoors on a propane grill, or using a Dutch oven and briquettes. In hopes that the power would be back any minute, you could turn off or unplug all unnecessary or sensitive electric equipment (electric stove, computers, TV, sound systems) so an electrical surge or spike wouldn’t damage them if the power is restored.
THREE DAYS The fridge should be emptied by now, and you should be dipping into the canned food and dry goods. Discard any questionable or potentially unsafe foods that have a foul odor, color, or texture. The water tower should probably still be working, so urban and suburban dwellers still have drinking water – but for how long?
ONE WEEK Chances are good that municipal water and sewage services will be out by now. This means that you’ll have to devise ways to get and disinfect drinking water. And you’ll have to figure out how to make an outhouse, or at least a bucket toilet. The average household will also be running out of food, candles, batteries and sanity by now.
ONE MONTH After a month of living off-grid, the vast majority of living people are starving and life is a living hell. You’d need to spend all of your time trying to beg, borrow, barter or steal for food. This length of crisis would make violent crime a common day job, and reduce almost everyone to a hand-to-mouth existence. People living in the country on farms may seem to be holding it together, but they are under constant siege from marauders and constant harassment from beggars and refugees. This scenario is not fun to consider, but unfortunately – it’s necessary to consider in this day and age. But on a brighter note, humans survived without electricity and by-the-minute Facebook status updates for a long time. We could do it again, but not without a painful and lethal transition period.
And if that’s not enough, you can:
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