Preparedness Scenario – Grid Down

Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) also known as a solar flare


The last preparedness scenario drew a lot of interest, so I dreamed up another one for you guys.

We are at a period of heightened solar activity.  On your way to work one morning you hear on the radio that a large solar flare is heading our way and will likely cause large global power outages.  The experts aren’t sure how long the effects will last or precisely how much damage the flare will cause, but their best guess is that 70% of our global communications and at least part of the power grid will sustain damage and are unsure how long it will take to get things back online.

The solar flare is expected to hit within the next 20 hours.  This story is immediately followed by a broadcast of government restrictions against hoarding and the authorities are asking people to remain calm and stay at home until the effects of the storm can be fully ascertained.  On your way home you notice goverment troop vehicles and a heightened police presence in the area.

You have 20 hours.  What will you do with that time?

-Jarhead Survivor

74 comments… add one
  • Prepared N.D. June 27, 2011, 7:23 am

    All my supplies stay close to topped off so I really don’t need anything if this happened today. If the gas stations aren’t that bad I’ll grab a few extra bags of ice and a few gallons of gasoline. If we have left overs in the fridge, I’ll make a point to eat those and lower the amount of perishables I have.

    All my sensitive equipment would go in protected boxes, everything else would be unplugged or shut off at the breaker. At least until the flare passes, I’ll use one of my cheap radios for information. Extra handheld batteries would be charged, and the larger deep cycles would be tested and topped off. I would also try to get laundry, dishes, and house cleaning completely finished.

    While comms are up, this would be a good time to touch base with family to make sure they’re doing okay. If not, I still have time to deliver some additional supplies to their location or help them load up to stay with us during the event.

    If I have extra time, I might mow the yard if it needs it. lol.

  • SPARROW47 June 27, 2011, 8:26 am

    RUN! Here at my location, CME is one of the only natural disasters im affected by; conversely, my location is extremely vulnerable and hard hit by them; yes im Canadian.

    Unless i lived at my BOL id grab all my gear, ram it into as many cars as possible and run for it while i still can.

    Why do i say that? A large solar flare could do major damage to our electrical grid, in turn shutting down for a while the electricity and running water supply. Its hard to truly appreciate how fragile our electrical grid is. Because of how expensive components are and how fast a transient can hit, EVERYTHING is computer controlled. BTW even WE, the designers of those computers dont know how it all works… Wonder how that is possible? Simple; we only know how any given module operates, but not how it interacts with other modules. Come crisis situations, race and anti- conditions cause unpredictable and erratic results. An excellent example was the first major New York blackout; race conditions and previously unknown interactions between components cause the grid’s stability to collapse spectacularly. No one could even conceive most of the failure modes…

    Likewise, a congressional study in the ’70s showed very limited supplies of spare parts and long lead times. Making any significant repairs would require more contractors and specialists than are available, and more spare parts than exist on the continent, and probably raw materials that are hard to get as well.

    I recommend reading Brittle Power for more information on the vulnerability of our national energy supply.

    The only reason modern cities are possible is that we have sewer and running water; otherwise we would have a cholera and typhoid fever filled cesspool.

    Likewise, people depend on the convenience given by the electrical grid. As the grid goes offline for an extended time span, people will either go feral or into denial. I have no desire to be at ground zero in either case.

    I wouldnt put it past the local government to go on a Maoist confiscation and redistribution of resources either, blaming the hoarders for your personal hunger. Why do i say such a depressing scenario could play out? Because it would take peoples attention off their plights and the ineptitude of the government (or reality of the situation i suppose)

    Anyways, the Big One would probably catapult us back to the 1910 is technology for an extended period of time. I wouldnt want to be in a city during that sort of disaster if i had a choice.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. June 27, 2011, 8:59 am

    Get the solar battery chargers and battery’s in a homemade Faraday box, fill every container we have with water, start exclusively eating the refrigerated foods while purchasing canned foods. In no particular order.

  • Templar June 27, 2011, 9:44 am

    Prepared N.D. prertty much said it. We’re already prepared for a SHTF-type situation, vis-a-vis the police, military, food, etc. Even a Carrington-level CME event is tolerable if you remove all your technology from all the antennas to which it’s connected, that is the power grid, telephone lines, TV cable (and actual antennas). Even a minimally-shielded local generator probably won’t suffer any damage, but it would still be a good idea to not actually have current flowing through stuff during the worst of the event.

  • irishdutchuncle June 27, 2011, 9:59 am

    yeh, what they (above) said.

    i’d buy some extra aluminum foil, and make a desperate attempt to wrap-up my small electronic gadgets. i would charge up any and all of my rechargable tools, and place them in one of my metal tool boxes. i’d check my supply of camp stove fuel. i’d pick-up an extra jug of “Chlorox”, if i didn’t manage to previously store a lifetime supply of calcium hypochlorite.

    the hightened military and police presence is very troubling. what else do they know, and how long did they know it before they bothered to tell us?

  • Presager Buddy June 27, 2011, 10:21 am

    First, I would call out sick at work (just in case the solar storm isn’t that bad- we have to protect our jobs!). Next I would fill up my gas tank and head to the bank for some additional cash. I would make contact with my family and outline what might happen and then I’d encourage them to make the same preparations that I am making. I’d work out a plan for action with my family.

    Because I’m nearly fully prepared all the time, most of my electronics are already in Faraday boxes, but I’d look around for some of the electronics I use on a daily basis and I’d protect most of them as well. I would store as much water as I possibly could in addition to the hundreds of gallons I have already stored. Since I maintain a 180 day minimum of prescription medications at all times, it’s not likely I’d need to have any refilled. Also, since I have a minimum of 6 months worth of food on hand, I wouldn’t want to join the panic and chaos that might be happening at the grocery store. That would waste time and could be a dangerous mistake.

    I’d want to be home as soon as possible after getting the gasoline and cash. There might be a danger of becoming stranded if the electromagnetic energy created by the solar storm disabled the car. Once home, I would unplug most of the major appliances – but I’d leave the refrigerator running to preserve as much food as possible.

    I would monitor the media constantly for developments. In preparing over the years, I have put aside a redundance in radios and other electronics. Almost all of them are in Faraday boxes. The solar storm may knock out a number of radios during the first days that the effects are felt so I would probably just use the ones I use every day and then take only one out of the Faraday box at a time. Hopefully, I have enough to get through.

    After that, nothing might happen or it could end up being a scene taken right out of “One Second After”.

  • Odd Questioner June 27, 2011, 10:41 am

    Err, if they know about it in advance, they can just shut down the grid for a few hours/days during the expected time, then turn it back on. That alone minimizes the damage by quite a lot.

    But, party-pooping aside ( :) ), I’d do the following:

    As a sysadmin, I’d shut down and unplug most of the servers, routers, etc. both for power and network, then insure the backups are disconnected and safe. That’d take a couple of hours, then I’d go home (I bicycle to/from work now – only takes 10 minutes). I’ll get the rest of that when/if I come back (depending on severity).

    Once home…

    * Take one last, long, hot shower. Invite the missus in (evil grin).

    * Have the missus check over the preps to be sure everything is there and in good order.

    * Disconnect the battery in the Jeep, and the antenna from the back of the radio in it.

    * Start grabbing as much clean water as possible – fill the bathtub and all sinks, isolate the hot water tank (turn off the valves, shut it off), fill every potable container I can lay hands on, and even layer up some garbage bags in the washing machine and dryer (say, 5-10 layers per setup) and fill those with water.

    * check weapons and ammunition one last time, insure that they’re easy to access.

    * board up any easily-accessible windows.

    * leave my crappy older TV on and have it fixed on the news. Unplug everything else but the fridge and freezer, which will get unplugged at the last hour. This includes unplugging all but one cable (and all modems), and disconnecting any antenna I can lay hands on, and removing all laptop and other batteries (don’t forget to disconnect a watch battery while you’re at it :) ).

    * If time and traffic permits, go out and top off the fuel tanks and gas cans (if needed) at the closest gas station, and maybe grab a couple bags of ice for the chest freezer if there’s any to be had (and be sure to have a sidearm handy when I do). Maybe buy some useful items – everything gets paid for w/ cash. OTOH, if things look crowded, I’ll just go home – not going to wait in line for anything. If the opportunity presents itself, maybe fill up a cart at the grocery store next door to the gas station w/ bleach, oatmeal, rice, charcoal, dog food, and suchlike – I’ll hand ten $100 bills to the cashier/guard/whoever while grabbing some plastic bags on my way out (keep the change, dude!) so I don’t have to wait in line (because even if they had guards at the exits, I’m pretty sure that the guard will likely okay me passing by if he has a wad of $100’s after doing so. What he does with that dough afterwards? That’s up to him and his conscience).

    * once at home and all settled in, quickly go over any bug-out plans, check maps, then spend the remaining hours in rotation to get as much *sleep* as possible (there won’t be much opportunity for that after SHTF, you know.)

    Hopefully, once I get moved to a more remote location (well, a smaller town) where I can telecommute, this will be even easier. :)

  • JohnDoe1999 June 27, 2011, 10:56 am

    Contact people in my network (need to work on getting radios), who already know the drill anyway, to show up. Kick myself for not buying more supplies but be happy I have far more than most, and proceed to review defensive plans, reinforce the “perimeter”, and ready firearms. The situation would call for a “passive” defense (I read the Holding Your Ground book, I recommend it btw) and a prayer or two.

  • Lynn June 27, 2011, 11:30 am

    Gas, ice and break out the Berkey!

  • Jason June 27, 2011, 12:12 pm

    Just a 20 hour notice? I’d gather the kids, pray, wait and see and respond accordingly. The very last thing I would do is panic.

  • fedup June 27, 2011, 12:26 pm

    These ‘scenarios’ and their comments are a tremendous learning tool for us. Personally I am in awe at the well-thought-out responses you get to these queries. Preppers are incredibly generous in sharing their knowledge. The ‘scenario’ posts are brilliant. Please continue to do these with regularity–maybe once a week?

    Thanks so much for all you do. This site is a wonderful tool to learn survival techniques.

    The Fed UP American
    PS. I greatly enjoyed the prize–survival book–thanks again!

    • Nor' Country June 27, 2011, 9:54 pm

      I agree with FedUp…

      The comments have tremendous value to me. I’m pretty remotely located in Alaska and having like minded people contributing or sharing their purposed plans helps me to identify problem areas in my own plans…

      As always, keep up the good work Jarhead…

  • Max June 27, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Get home if not already and turn up fridge and freezer to max settings.

    Give the dogs a bath while water is plentiful.

    Go from SOP to SOS mode takes about 2 hours at my place. Anything less means I am still well prepared just not over the top ready. Anything more… bake some cookies.

    • Prepared N.D. June 28, 2011, 1:26 pm

      “turn up fridge and freezer to max settings.”

      Never would have thought of that, thanks.

  • russell1200 June 27, 2011, 12:54 pm

    We are supposed to be in a high period of solar activity, but are not.
    They are concerned about a mini-ice age because the last time solar activity dropped like this was during the Little Ice Age. However, there was also an increase in Volcanic activity at the time, so they are probably being over alarmist.

    But to the scenerio:

    20-hours helps a lot.
    Call in sick.
    The threat has a high likelihood of being a short term power outage situation (granted it could be worse), so I would probably buy a generator and fuel and put it on credit. I don’t like the idea of debt , but I don’t want to fall into the “principaled idiot” catagory.
    Unplug everything from the grid.
    At that point, I am probably pretty well covered, so you usual fill the tub up with water, etc type things should be sufficient.

  • riverrider June 27, 2011, 2:36 pm

    stop by the store and buy all the beer they’ll let me and go home, pull up a chair and watch the pretty light show. i’m ready. when the grid dies, have a barbeque, invite the neighbors, make a party of it. armed of course, but otherwise normal. it’ll be days or weekss before the zombies figure out uncle sugar can’t save them and they bug out for the burbs. in that time, we cut the only road leading in with neighbors dozer. river on three sides takes care of all but the most determined zombies. meanwhile i finish the defenses with my backhoe and get on a guard schedule. grid down is not my fear. eco/gov collapse is. more zombies, sooner, meaner, more desperate, little hope of recovery. in that case i drink all the beer while i can and lock n load. happiness is a target rich environment:)

    • JohnDoe1999 June 27, 2011, 3:11 pm

      Sir, I don’t mean to disrespect or condescend, but assuming zombies is code and not literal, I hope I’m misinterpreting your apparent eagerness to fire on people. I’m all for preparing to defend against an all out assault (it’s a hobby for me) but I really don’t want to have to shoot anybody. I don’t consider my fellow Americans targets. Although your insights on raiding the beer are OUTSTANDING!

      • riverrider June 27, 2011, 3:51 pm

        johndoe1999, no offense taken. i’m not eager to shoot people at all, but there will come a time that it will be them or us. i intend it to be us. at that time i won’t consider anyone trying to kill me or mine to be my”fellow americans”. i’ve had to do it before, didn’t like it, but you have to remember that to be a survivor you have to be the guy still standing up after the fight. it helps if you demonize them or like me, never focus above the shoulders of the enemy. its looking in the eyes that gives you nightmares. you see them for people just doing their job like you, and you hesitate and somebody ,maybe you, dies. you gotta do what you gotta do. no glory in it, no honor except to honor your dead brothers by remembering their courage, and hoping they do the same when you get it, hoping you honor them with your courage. fare thee well my friend, johndoe1999.

        • riverrider June 27, 2011, 3:53 pm

          oh , i hope we can have a beer after the new dawn:) take care.

          • JohnDoe1999 June 28, 2011, 12:16 pm

            Thank you for the refreshing civility, take care as well.

        • T.R June 27, 2011, 4:26 pm

          Thats kind of interesting you should say that . In WW2 , soldiers in the european theater of operations had a much harder time with the aftermath of killing the enemy because other than the uniform , the german soldier looked like anybody on the street or the next door neighbor in a different reality . The soldiers in the pacific theater of oppressions had much less difficulty with that because the japanese soldier was so drastically different in both appearance and culture , they could deal with it in their mind a lot better .

      • Jason June 28, 2011, 11:16 am

        John Doe 1999,

        I agree with your assessment of riverrider – this will NEVER be a combat situation. Sometimes this seemingly more common sociopathic type fantasy that gets displayed on a public forum makes me ill.

        Less than 4 decades ago this type of mindset, let alone an open communication of such, would have considered vile & obtuse by everybody. Today very few call it for what it is – warped. Why is it now acceptable, have we sunk that low or worse, become numb to those base thoughts?

        • Jeff June 28, 2011, 1:07 pm

          There were just as many kooks 4 decades ago as today.

          A mere 4 decades ago, students were protesting around the country. Many were murdered by our very own government at Kent State. Others formed groups like Student’s for a Democratic Society and the Weatherman Underground. And they were not just talking smack they were making bombs and killing people.

          By today’s media standards, those groups really did get a light ride, many of the participants (terrorists?) were later pardoned and have even profited from their experiences.

          Who said “If we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it”?

          • Jason June 28, 2011, 4:07 pm


            You successfully missed the point.

            It is the acceptance of this text book expression of sociopathic behavior that I was addressing – that is appalling. To stand up and publicly say I will indiscriminately kill any who I deem as a threat to my coveted supplies, is despicable in my unabashed opinion.

            It has been proven time & time again that during times of extreme hardship (recent tornados in Alabama, Japan nuclear meltdown etc) that the natural tendency for people is to move towards one another to help one another in harsh survival situations. This isn’t Polly Anna thinking, it’s fact & human instinct.

            Four decades ago who was the most famous, non military, mass murderer in the world? Charles Manson – touted by ALL of the MSM as Satan incarnate.

            What is really interesting is, he did not personally commit those murders. He convinced others that it was ok to kill randomly innocent people & for them to do his bidding. By that era’s definition he was unquestionably considered absolute scum, vile and a subhuman not worthy of living.

            So in that time period if I made the same proclamation as riverrider, how do you think society as a whole would view me? Be honest …

            There are always going to be some with a missing screw in their head but it is far, far from the norm.

        • JohnDoe1999 June 29, 2011, 2:28 pm

          I’m not advocating indiscriminate use of deadly force, but just balancing it with responsibility and plain humanity; survival is not just about a heartbeat for me, but I’m prepared to be more prejudiced than most. There needs to be a clearly defined trigger to when violence is appropriate; I’m a city dweller, it’s not like I can say that anyone who passes a warning sign gets perforated, but I don’t plan to get friendly with everyone and invite them over. Below you said that people have a tendency to be generous, but as the masses realize the nature of a total collapse situation, this will quickly dissolve. Even in Katrina where it was obviously not TEOTWAKI, the generous sentiment had a limit. SHTF and TEOTWAKI require different conduct, and the use of force should always be restrained as much as safely possible, but If it ever does come down to a band of 20 gang members prepared to kill me and mine for what we have? I define it as a combat situation and will treat it as such. Ultimately the number of variables to these hypothetical scenarios dictate that it is all just opinion at this point, and besides: this topic is far more vast than the scope of this article. I was just trying to impart a reminder to remain human, not ridicule river rider for preparing to kill or be killed.

          • Jason June 30, 2011, 2:35 pm

            John Doe 1999,

            I did not say generous – I said move towards to helping each other to survive. Generous implies Polly Ana thinking.

            The greatest & most well known TEOTWAWKI in the modern world is the Holocaust. The millions upon millions of Jews were confined, tortured, murdered etc. What did the inhabitants do to survive? They worked with each other to keep each other alive to an extreme point.

            Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote the most definitive work on how human beings survive in the most extreme & dire of conditions & serves as a foundational model as how human beings truly respond in a real SHTF situation. Read “Man’s Search for Meaning” it may change your perspective.

            Katrina was a very specific event where people were herded to a “safe” location, which was too confined & depended upon FEMA to provide the promised support. Given the fact that everybody was caged in this location & FEMA was completely unprepared, the inhabitants naturally rebelled as would be normal for this type of situation. However, to extrapolate that condition into a broader environment is erroneous.

            IF – and that is a big IF – a grid down occurred or some other natural catastrophe happened AND it remained for an extended period of time you MAY have outbreaks of civil unrest. What would happen – and it gets proven time and again by comments made by the general audience in this and other forums, people move towards more protection type groups (neighborhood watch etc) and would most likely share among each other to avoid being that lone zebra. Safety in numbers.

            My point about riverrider was to question the judgement & mitigate that influence. He speaks as if he is a combat veteran & shows little qualms about killing someone & that’s on him. I severely disagree with someone voicing that thought & potential action because it would probably influence the less experienced to commit an irreversible act. He further defends his thought with combat situations in 3rd world, under educated countries as if it is relative to how things would unfold here in the US. It makes no sense, it is a completely different culture.

            Defend yourself & your loved ones, yes but to set yourself up in an offensive position – no, I believe that’s wrong because that is >>creating combat<<. I grew up in the city – L.A. and you never blustered about like some of these comments, you either did or did not – no gray.

            Do you know how far it would have to go before it would be a kill or be killed situation? Twenty gang members singling you or another out? The probability of that happening to any "normal" individual is nearly incalculable yet, some speak of it as if it is an eventuality in the very near future. You are better off preparing for being struck by lightening – twice.

            Probably my bigger point was stated in my first post on this subject – "Why is it now acceptable, have we sunk that low or worse, become numb to those base thoughts?"

            What you may not realize is that an opinion like mine gets demonized (not that I care) for standing up and saying something that would be very widely considered as clearly sociopathic and relative to 40 years ago – there would have been no end to the ostracizing of that individual.

            I don't know about you but it seems absolutely ludicrous to defend – in any way, the kill or be killed position. If that's your position, that's your personal choice but keep it to yourself. That's my opinion.

          • T.R July 1, 2011, 2:35 pm

            Sorry Jason , your observation of Manson not actually doing the killing is weak . If we use the same rational , then Adolf Hitler is also innocent of any wrong doing sense he didnt actually do it himself . That rational didnt fly at the Nuremberg war crime trials either . Revenge is good in a lot of cases . Ask any POW captured by the SS and especially the Japanese . The western allies that liberated POW camps treated the captors humanly ( they got away with it ) Camps liberated by the Russians were a different story . In most cases they ( the former captors )were either flat out shot on the spot or sent back to the Soviet Union as labor , never to see their country again . I have no problem with that , they deserved it .

        • JohnDoe1999 July 1, 2011, 11:36 am

          Jason, I’m replying to your most recent comment. I do live in L.A. and remember what it was like getting a blade pulled on me or having to learn the difference between martial arts and self defense on a regular basis; I remember the animals of all colors, who preyed on the weak. I moved to where I can walk around at night (although with a high degree of caution as i would anywhere) but I will simply agree to disagree about what kind of violence will be possible, I prepare for the worst even if it is unlikely. I understand your point about “creating combat” but if armed looters are going house to house in what they perceive as a “rich” neighborhood, when it’s a “worked for years to get what we have” neighborhood (it was my parent’s blood sweat and tears, not mine) I wont be inclined to barbeque with them. Frankly, I don’t think 9,000,000 hungry and thirsty people will just mind their own business, not even considering the pre-existing armed criminal groups. But to your main point, talking about violence may offend polite company or appear as eager to kill, but I accept that with the inevitable irresponsible actions that result from that kind of talk, mentally prepared people will help bring some semblance of order. Again, Lets just agree to disagree.

          • Jason July 1, 2011, 7:13 pm

            John Doe 1999,

            I am always happy to agree to disagree. I happen to like more pointed discussions because they are of more interest to dig a little deeper into the gray matter.

            I was raised in L.A. & though I moved to San Diego in ’89 I still like the cultural diversity of L.A. and it has a lot of fond memories for me. Every time I hear Randy Newman sing I Love L.A. it brings me back to all parts of the city. However, I would not trade it for San Diego – it’s perfect here.


            If you are going to make a decent argument, read the entire text then respond, I believe I made my point pretty clear.

            I never said Manson was innocent, I was merely pointing out the public perception of him and the fact that he did not kill anybody but was STILL viewed as subhuman. He set a precedent by being given a life sentence without parole and did not commit a murder.

            It was how people viewed things during that era relative to today was more to the point. Today if someone encourages someone to kill another, doesn’t make page one news.

            More to the point, some speculate that when the SH’sTF they openly talk about blowing some hungry guy away for attempting to steal something as petty as a precious can of Cheez Whiz.

            It is the fact that people speak of death & killing so cavalierly and how we have become numb to that lunacy is what is so far out of kilter in my opinion.

            Here is an indisputable fact for you which shall illustrate the difference of perception in 4 decades:

            In 1969 a movie came out called The Wild Bunch. It was the center of significant controversy from the ratings board because they wanted to rate in X because of the excessive & extremely graphic violence in the movie. It made the front page of the L.A. Times in several publications & many critics outright hated it because of it’s content.

            Finally it was rated R with nobody under 18 allowed in to see the movie – and yes, they checked ID’s at the door – I know personally because I was 16 & 6′ 4″ and figured I looked older but they asked for ID.

            Today, you find that same movie on TBS (public TV) on mid day Saturday’s and rated NC 17 movies have kids under 17 in the audience all of the time.

  • T.R June 27, 2011, 4:10 pm

    If you were in a city , your problems would be greatly compounded at every level . Out in more rural areas , depending on the state , the govt. doesn’t have enough troops to make a presence outside big metro areas considering most are deployed on foreign soil . The police are not enough either , they have families that for the most part are living in the local area and in a long term situation , will be unreliable . I live in AZ and outside Tucson and Phoenix , its a big state full of wide open areas sparsely populated . Getting away from someone isn’t a big problem if you know where to go , not to mention you can see the dust plume or headlights of a vehicle miles away on a high point . As survivalists , we are already ” hoarding ” lol and should be very comfortable living without the cell phone , computer , or xbox or other idiot box . but the general population ? Its like taking away cigarettes from a smoker , they only THINK they are going to die without it .

  • Brair Rabbit June 27, 2011, 4:18 pm

    I have been thinking about such things for a while, judging from the comments, lots of other folks have also thought about it.

    However, I disagree with the “20 hr warning” as being too optimisitic. I don’t think there will be a warning. But, I do think they’ll turn off all the power in advance.

    Cash will be king. In cities, where folks don’t know how to use paper to record sales, there will be no sales.

    While concidering this topic, I decided that my (plastic) battery-buckets were semi-foolish! So, I “invented” the battery pot! Get a large 2+ gallon stainless pot and line it with paper-or-plastic, and fill with batteries and electronical stuff. Place a layer of AL foil over the lid, and duct tape into place. Open only at night!

    A flood warning is obvious. (Water is slow) A solar flare (CME) is slightly less than the speed of light!

    Other than have backup systems pre-protected there’s not much can be done about it.

    Best bet? Be as prepped as you can, now.

    But if there IS a warning I’d follow the commenters great advice!


    • Odd Questioner June 28, 2011, 10:15 am

      You’re right about 20 hrs usually being too generous… OTOH, it is possible, depending on the Sun and what it’s up to (that is, they see a CME or similar brewing, they can generally predict something within a given period of time and how it affects us).

      If one went off without warning, we wouldn’t get even 8 minutes (the time it takes for light to reach Earth from the Sun), because the first satellites that can detect it are (IIRC) 3-5 light-minutes from Earth. That’s right, campers – worst-case scenario is about 3-5 minutes (just about enough time for me to get halfway home from work).

  • Presager Buddy June 27, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Some degree of warning can be had by subscribing to IPS Flare Alert at, which is offered by the Australian government. It provides various information on “Space Weather”/Solar Flares.

  • Brad in South FL June 27, 2011, 4:39 pm

    I guess I would have the family fill all the available containers with water including the tub. I would make sure all the cars were topped off with gas. Buy lots of aluminum foil. I would take all of the small electronic gear (flashlights, batteries, radios, etc.) and put them in the gun safe, that is a combination lock and cover with a layer of foil. Have read a few places it is a natural faraday box. Wash all the clothes and towels. I think I would cook all the frozen food. I like the above idea of washing the dog! Load mags!! Go and buy a few box of cigars and pipe tobacco, no need to suffer! LOL

    • T.R June 27, 2011, 6:13 pm

      This isnt common knowledge , but Radio Pharmacies swap out their delivery containers for new ones periodically . They are lead lined and small enough to be carried easily and stored . They are on the heavy side but this is a well made and ready made means .

  • Spook45 June 27, 2011, 5:29 pm

    Hmm, well whatever you do, decide to do it! Dont sit around waiting for orders from Headquarters! THINK FOR YOURSELF! I would study on it a bit and decide wheather to bug out or shelter in place. In this situation, this decision may be final so make a good plan, if its bad enough to produce EMP like effects, your vehicle may not run. IF your gonna bug, you better pack fast and haul ass! IF your staying and shelter ing in place, I would suggest charging everything rechargable buy extra batteries, I noticed someone mentioned a faraday cage, if you can do that even on a small scale, I would do so and be latigious about what you put in it if it has limited space. Check your bugout gear in case the situation changes and you have to change your plan(Murphy!) Check your weapons and ammo, and then co-ordinate with your like minds. Friends family and like minds should all be on the same page before hand because you will likely(at least temporarly or maybe longer) loose communications. If you can go shop, load up on lots of food espacially fuel efficiant things you can eat without cooking, this wll extend what ever fuel supplies you have. Make sure you hvae plenty of water and a way to haul and purify water(pumps will go down with the grid and it could be a while). If you have a genny, gas it up and refill your cans. then the fun begins…….hurry up and WAIT!

  • Jarhead03 June 27, 2011, 7:07 pm

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned radiation prevention preparedness. To keep the AC bill down and blast my music I have 2″ thick insulation foam which is coated with mylar coating on both sides. It is great for keeping out the heat on the extreme days and reflects the rays. If you don’t want to spend that money use cardboard and layer on aluminum foil or emergency space blankets. If you want to “camo up” the insulation you can place vertical blinds, curtain/bed sheets or anything that looks natural to keep prying eyes off.

    I have everything prepped I need for any emergency and a pre-staged toy hauler. If you have to drive and it doesn’t short anything out I suggest tint your windows and stock up the SPF 50 sun block, wear light color long sleeves, gloves and hat. Great topic!

  • No ME Preppy June 27, 2011, 9:14 pm

    First, I’d call into work. I “just came down with something.” Second, since I only live a few minutes from a local supermarket, a local chain pharmacy, and a couple of gas stations, not to mention the main branch of my bank, I would go to the bank and take out several hundred dollars in cash. Then I would go and fill up all I could in regards to gas cans/tanks. After that, I would go to the supermarket, which is also a liquor store, and I would buy, beans, rice, flour, canned fruits/veggies/meats, some rum/vodka/whisky (about a dozen bottles total) a couple cases of beer, a few bottles of wine for the wife and MOL, as many 2.5 gallon containers of water that I could, a bit of fresh fruits and veggies (about 40 lbs of apples, and 100 lps of potatoes), corn meal, some additional wooden and metal cooking utensils, a couple of cook pots, bleach, baking soda, vinegar, lamp oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, motor oil (burns pretty decent on an old rag on the end of a stick), charcoal, propane( both 1 lb and 20 lb tanks), a good deal of medical supplies (I’m probably on my 4th cart by now), some notebooks and pencils, and a pint of Cherry Garcia. Then I’d put it all on a single, low interest credit card (remember I took out all the cash). I’d bring it all home and head to the gun store to stock up on extra ammo and magazines (can never have enough). At home, I’d have the wife fill up the tub and the kitchen sink, as well as any empty pails with water, unplug everything that is plugged in (except the fridge and freezer) and we’d park our’s and our neighbors vehicles to make a fence of sorts. I’d load up, and sit back with my ice cream.

    Alternate choice: (if it happened several years from now) I’ll be living at my BOL (a small farm with cows, chickens, a sow, and a few dogs along with a large vegetable garden and orchard and several acres of fields; fenced and down a less-used side road). The house would already be fortified, and there would be stockade fencing around the back yard, perhaps leading up to the barn. I’d pick up a few things at the store (after I “came down with something” and called in to work). Those things would be some extra ammo and mags (might even have time to add a piece or two to the “collection), and some extra medical supplies, charcoal, lamp oil, olive oil (very multi-purpose), and beans, rice, flour, and corn meal. Depending on the time of year, I might also pick up some extra fruits and veggies.

  • Wally June 27, 2011, 9:48 pm

    Fantastic ? Jarhead!
    First off call the Frau and give her a heads up, so she can go down to the local supermarket and purchase (using a credit card) some big ticket perishables for the next few days AFTER going to the bank and withdrawing as much $$ allowed. For me I drive to gas up, then drop off at the hardware store and buy some extra work gloves/dog-cat food/bleach.
    Once arriving home, pull our steel trashcans out of storeage and into the basement. Take all the computers, radios, stereos, smaller tvs, cell phones and put them in the trashcans. Seal the cans and using some stored speaker wire to ground them to the intake water line.
    While waiting for my Frau, I’ll have the kids bathe the dogs then take some quick showers. At our home we’re pretty much able to switch “it could happen” to “Holy F…here it comes” in acouple of hours. So after unloading the Frau’s car and moving our old truck to the end of the driveway to block access, we’ll get on our hardwired phone and call family and friends to check on them and offer help if possible.
    Then sit back, stay well fed/watered, and wait for the dust to settle.

  • ChefBear58 June 27, 2011, 10:10 pm

    If something along the lines of a CME Solar flare came along like the scenerio says, I think my priority would be topping-off the fuel tanks in the vehicles and the extra 55gal drum out in the shed, getting some more ammo and arrows from the local sporting-goods shop, and then going to the auto parts store to buy a couple cases of motor oil, brake fluid and a couple spare marine batteries. Food, water, medical supplies and other necesities I am pretty good with. However, you can NEVER have to much ammo, the motor oil and brake-fluid can be used to create defensive items (I try not to keep to much around in everyday life, because of all the animals that call my garage home), the batteries would just be downright handy, and the arrows I would add to my current stock… when I am shooting game post SHTF I don’t want to broadcast it (or my position) to all of creation! The only other thing I can think of is maybe going to the liquor store and buy some cheap, strong booze for disinfectant, water-purification, anistetic, blood-thinner and in a pinch can be used (like the motor oil) to make defensive/offensive items.

    After that is done I would head home and talk with family/friends that are a distance away, I would have been trying to reach them on my cell phone while driving to the different shops. Any family/friends I couldn’t reach with the cell phine I would send an email to (and hope that they get it in time), but everyone would be sent an email specific to them in which I have downloaded TOPO maps, routes (to get here and a couple other family members that might be closer/easier to reach), some basic land-nav and survival directions, along with a list of items to pack and how/when to travel. The neighbors and I would probably just step-up our current “watch” (just trying to look-out for eachother during our usual routines) to start with… No reason to go “Rambo” until it’s needed! We would likely all take inventory of our supplies, figure out what we have that we CAN protect from the CME and then figure out HOW to protect it. From there we would probably start setting up for a “lock-down” of the area, that way everyone/everything is ready, so when stuff starts getting real rough in town we already have the defensive mindset and can impliment our plans quickly/efficiently. From there the defensive plan is pretty straight-forward, just escilate as needed and keep “level heads”. Luckily we live in an area that would make a good defensible position, the only major concern is our proximity to I-95. Another thing I would be thankful for in that situation is that I have several neighbors that have a similar mindset, most of which are retired/active-duty military and law enforcement.

  • Sarge June 27, 2011, 10:50 pm

    I believe there have been many good ideas mentioned so far. However, I believe Prepared in ND had the most salient ideas. I would duplicate much of what he stated, especially the shower. I live in South Carolina and when we were leveled by Hurricane Hugo for days without power, I was grateful for that last shower.

    I live in a rural suburb with homes spread out on one acre or two acre lots. There are some farmers within a mile and consequently fields and crops. My wife and I have done a decent job of preparing but as Mel Gibson’s character in “We Were Soldiers Once and Young” (Colonel Hal Moore) said, “There is always one more thing you can do.” So, I know there are many more things I can do to prepare further. Never become complacent with what you have. During a major global catastrophe, you can experience a local catastrophe… fire may break out, raiders may break in, etc. Always duplicate as much as possible. I have even cached some food, water, first aid supplies, and ammo. (See AnalyticalSurvival’s youtube channel)

    Here is my list in the order I would execute it (all other things being equal)
    1. Pray for the blessing of protection for family, friends, and all people
    and inspiration/direction for the things I should do or what He would
    have me do.
    2. Call my wife and notify her, if we were not already together when the
    warning was issued. I would do this as I was going to pick up my
    daughter, again assuming we were not already together.
    3. Call, text, e-mail all family members and make sure they got word. I
    would invite them to “double-up” with my family. I have already
    laid the groundwork for them by telling them the things to bring in
    order of priority. Water, food, meds, necessary clothes and shoes,
    guns and ammo, camping supplies, and any tools they could bring.
    4. Call, text, e-mail my friends and tell them what I told my family –
    brothers, sisters, neices, and nephews, and in-laws. There are only a
    few people outside of my family I would invite to “double-up” with
    at my home.
    5. Tell my wife to fill up every container we have with water incuding
    6. Despite martial law or crowds I would try to go to the nearby Wal
    Mart and get as much as I would be able to get from whatever came
    to mind.
    If things are too dangerous, I’ll head home and stop at the nearby
    convenience store/gas station. I would top off the tank on my truck
    and get any other fuel and fuel container I could.
    I would also try to pick up one or two PROPANE tanks for my grill. I
    already own three and keep two of them topped off.
    7. Once I returned home, I would rally my neighbors and start laying
    out ideas and perhaps plans for pulling together – defence,
    gardens/crops. Perhaps create some basic, urgent form of SOP.
    8. I would unplug whatever appliances I would not need until as close to
    the “moment” as possible.
    9. Disconnect the batteries in my truck and my wife’s car.
    10. I already have key electrical appliances, including two-way radios in
    large ammo cans – faraday boxes. I would also recharge as many
    rechargeable batteries as I could.
    11. In the South there are many churches. Almost every neighborhood
    has a church. The church in my neighborhood is not the one I am a
    member of, but its facilities will be very useful to the people around.
    It has a sanctuary, large kitchen, food pantry etc. I believe the
    neighbors who attend that church would open it up as needed for the
    people around. I would never intrude upon them and would accept
    help only with their blessing and a desperate need on my part.
    12. As family members arrive from nearby areas of the state, I would
    make arrangements for everyone to be comfortable.
    13. I would water my garden very thoroughly one last time.
    14. At the end of a long and exciting (not good exciting) day, we would
    gather together as family and pray again, giving thanks for our
    blessings and ask, once more, for protection and inspiration.

    I have no bug-out location to go to. I have some friends who are situated more favorably in remote rural areas. I would only go there with invitation and in absolute dire/desperate need and ask for admittance. I believe that my friends would invite me though.

    This was a great question and very thought provoking. I would suggest rachetting it up a notch. Use the example in “One Second After” no notice at all of grid shutdown.

    Thanks again for a great site which I visit daily,


    • gat31 July 3, 2011, 3:45 am

      As for the shower issue, l have found those camper shower bags at gander mtn for like 10 bucks. They hold 5 gallons of water and you set them in your car window, outside, wherever there is sun and few hours you have hot water to shower with. They are awesome!

  • gat31 June 28, 2011, 12:21 am

    Wow what an awesome post. The comments gave me a lot to think about and things l’ve never heard of. Never heard of the faraday box but l get what it is basically and have now added it to my “to get” list.
    I agree with the contacting family and getting them on the way to here as this is the BOL for everyone but me. I would then make sure my water containers are all full with the trash cans filled as well for flushing purposes. Fill all gas containers as l finally got my generator last week ( yay me)
    Hit the bank for all the cash l can get and hit the store for anything l’m low on.
    Since my garden is pretty much done until August, l would probably take the few remaining producing plants and put them in containers so they can be brought in to keep from being over exposed if the flairs get too hot or produce higher levels of radiation. Also I have been wanting to try the method suggested here with the shoe caddy, so l might go ahead and plant that thing up so I’ll have fresh sprouts or shoots if this thing lasts a long time so fresh food is still coming in.
    Then make sure the portable dvd player is charged, pop some last time microwave popcorn, unplug everything else and watch a movie :)

  • Presager Buddy June 28, 2011, 10:05 am

    I may be wrong, but it seems like so many comments talk about running all over creation to get stuff you should already have in your preps. Having a 20 hours advance warning is very optimistic. It’s more than likely the media will under-report such an event, it will be ignored or you may not have gotten the word until the last minute or never. Other than getting gas and cash and calling family on the way home, I would seriously limit driving around in case the electromagnetic energy disabled the car.

    Even if everyone did get the word, would you really want to join the chaos at Wal-Mart and risk getting stuck there? Not me. That’s why I’m a survivalist/prepper so I don’t have to do all that at the last minute. We should already have water, food, batteries, Faraday cages, etc. in our preps. If you don’t, you should. Grabbing stuff under these circumstances when you’re fully prepared falls under “hoarding” in my opinion.

    I didn’t go out and “buy” my Faraday boxes or cages. I made all of the ones I have or I adapted existing containers to serve this purpose. Some of the Faraday boxes I use have been MODIFIED from: old metal milk boxes, suitable ammo boxes and older aluminum suitcases. There has been a lot of chatter amongst survivalists and preppers about the best way to make Faraday boxes or cages and whether to have them grounded or not. Personally, I have several different varieties – some are grounded but most of mine are not. Almost all of them are doubly or triply nested (Faraday shielded equipment within Faraday boxes). I would, however, hesitate attaching a ground to the household water intake. Actually, the entire plumbing system of the house could act as an antenna collecting the electromagnetic energy and may end up frying your electronics. If you’re going to use a ground, use a separate ground with as short a wire as possible (honestly, I’m not a fan of grounding most of my Faraday boxes except for the large items).

    One of the easiest Faraday boxes to use is a microwave oven, but you’ll need to make sure that the electronic equipment stored inside is insulated from any interior surfaces and that the electrical cord is removed (it may act as an antenna). Faraday boxes should rest on a non-conducting surface and be placed well away from any household utility lines (water pipes, electrical wiring, metal duct work, etc.). The best material for making a Faraday box from scratch is from copper or aluminum. Faraday boxes should not have ANY openings or gaps and discussions on making them can be found by “googling” this subject.

    A very quick and simple form of Faraday “cage”, for example, is to place your electronics in a plastic bag, wrap that with aluminum foil COMPLETELY and then place that in another plastic bag.

    Consider having redundancy in all of your equipment. The effects of a major solar storm may be present for some time and disable sensative equipment for hours or more. Depending on the severity of the event, you could fry a few radios (especially if they are plugged in or have a large antenna) before the initial dangers have passed. Start using your cheapest stuff first. Plugged-in equipment is more at risk – even if turned off.

    It’s really not necessary to bring in plants to protect them. They’re exposed to the sun all the time. They won’t be fried. Even if WE stood out there for the entire duration of such an event, the worst that might happen is that we might come away with a sunburn from standing there so long. You won’t feel a thing, but you would see a fantastic light show in the northern sky at night (providing you’re in the northern hemisphere. In Australia, you’d see it in the southern sky.) In 1859 during the Carrington Event, the “Northern Lights” (Aurora Borealis) where seen as far south as Mexico.

    The last reported solar flare was reported this past Tuesday at about 6pm Eastern Time. Last month there was a flare that was reported by most of the news outlets and that one was slightly stronger than Tuesday’s. Within the past decade or so, some have been strong enough to knock out power in Canada and in the US. If we were to have another one like the Carrington Event of 1859, your best predictions of the outcome would probably come from the book “One Second After”.

    • Presager Buddy June 28, 2011, 10:17 am

      Post Script: There may be one other overlooked danger that would encourage you to get home as soon as possible: the possibility of FIRE. During the Carrington Event, it was reported that telegraph stations around the country burst into flames because of the electromagnetic energy that was collected by the telegraph wires. Unlike 1859, we are now surrounded by wires and many of them are going right into your house. In such an event, I’d want to be home and ready to fight the fires that might pop up there. Now there’s something to think about.

      • Odd Questioner June 28, 2011, 10:33 am

        eep! Good point. I only have a couple extinguishers (and the apartment complex has one in the hall close-by).

        Might pay to have a couple extra handy.

    • Odd Questioner June 28, 2011, 10:30 am

      “I may be wrong, but it seems like so many comments talk about running all over creation to get stuff you should already have in your preps. ”

      One bit to note: Most of us would be out not looking to get items we don’t already have, but instead are looking to grab a few things before looting takes it all away. You can never have too much of some things, after all.

      In my case, the missus would already be inventorying and categorizing the stuff we already have, the extra water would be in place, and I’d just be out looking to load up on extra bits that might come in handy.

      If the grocery store and gas station are already mobbed, then I wouldn’t bother. Instead, I might mosey over to the un-mobbed beauty shop and buy pretty stuff for the missus, or more likely to the less-crowded Radio Shack to pick up a few extra bits… or probably to the completely empty shoe store to grab a few pairs of boots (I already know my and my wife’s sizes). That little strip mall presents a lot of opportunities.

      Come to think of it, I should just walk into the ice cream shop and buy a whole rock-hard frozen 20-gallon tub of Birthday Cake ice cream (to provide a nice frozen-solid mass to stick in the chest freezer – already got water at home by that point, and that tub’s contents taste better than ice, after all :) ).

      • No ME Preppy June 28, 2011, 6:24 pm

        Don’t forget that many places have a variety of goods. For example, if you’re at a strip mall, there might be a Sherwin Williams store. They have plastic sheeting, tape, and paint thinner. They also have empty pails. It might not hurt to buy a few gallons of earth tone paint as well as some brushes. Might as well get fancy with the back side of your garage. :) Also, there could be a Home Goods or TJ Maxx. You can get a few extra cook pots and utensils (for trade purposes, or as back ups). Many hardware stores also have a small drink cooler and candy rack. Some of the more independently owned still sell ammo (can never have too much of that). While you’re at it, stop by the Chinese restaurant and pick up some egg rolls and spare ribs (never know when you’ll eat that again).

        I agree with other posters, you should already have all you need for 3 months, but it’s always a good idea to pick up a little extra.

  • Jarhead Survivor June 28, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Thanks for your comments everyone! As always I walk away from this with some new ideas.

    • Jason June 30, 2011, 2:44 pm

      Excellent post Jarhead, you continue to create some thought provoking material – as it should be. Very well done!

      Thank you ~

  • HUNKER DOWN June 28, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I agree with Presager Buddy, the last place I would want to go is to a walmart or the like. The mass hysteria by uniformed people would be
    sad and laughable, no one would go to work thinking that life as we know it might be over in 20 hours.all stores would be closed and/or looted in the major cities, everyone would be trying to grab as much gas and other things as possible. If it was to last more than a week the illegal drug inventories would disappear and the crack heads would look like zombies while they try to steal what ever they could. Better of getting ready now and hunkering down with your kin folk

  • hunker down June 28, 2011, 1:49 pm

    oops! I mean uninformed

  • kyprepper June 28, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Great comments and ideas! One thing I’ll point out is that many people made comments about filling their sinks and tubs with water. I haven’t sat in too many tubs lately that don’t eventually allow the water to leak down the drain. A cheap solution to this is to buy a small inflatable pool and place this in your tub (or shower enclosure) before you fill it…

    • Odd Questioner June 28, 2011, 9:25 pm

      Excellent idea! (I was going to settle for covering the drain with a rubber sheet or somesuch, but that works pretty well too.)

      I have seen something about a water bladder that holds 110 or some-odd gallons that sits specifically in a bathtub… forgot the link, though.

      • Prepared N.D. June 28, 2011, 9:52 pm

        They’re called WaterBOBs. They’re FDA approved and have a siphon pump attached. The price is competitive with a kiddie pool, ~$20 or so.

  • Spook45 June 28, 2011, 4:45 pm

    WHAT??!………….NO ZOMBIES??! What kind of survivalist are you ! Im goin home………

    • No ME Preppy June 28, 2011, 6:25 pm

      Oh, there’s zombies alright, just not exactly the kind that George Romero utilizes in his films….

      • Spook45 June 28, 2011, 9:25 pm

        Heh…..COPY THAT. My AO is full of em!

      • Odd Questioner June 28, 2011, 9:27 pm

        He’s right – there may well be zombies, but this type is faster, smarter, and they won’t be wanting brains…

        • ChefBear58 June 29, 2011, 3:41 am

          And there lies the sad part about Zombies in the traditional “hollywood” sense compared to the ones that are on our streets now. The “hollywood” ones are lookin’ for brains, sure they want to eat ’em, but it’s just because they don’t realize that’s not how you get smarter… and the ones on the streets today are lookin’ to fry the brains they already have! (one of my former friends is an excellent case-in-point!)
          Sad… So sad…

  • Fern June 28, 2011, 5:03 pm

    Like so many others, I’d start by having husband and son put sensitive electronics in protected boxes. Unlike others, that would take more time for us – we have a home based electronics business!

    I’d top off water storage (we are not on public water), top off gas supply, probably get some dry ice for the freezer. And fill all available freezer space with containers of water, to help themal mass in case power goes out. Call a local friend, get more manure for the garden (while I can still easily shower afterwards with hot water!) and suggest she top of water supply and protect her generator. E-mail neighbors – we only have 25 or so locally – so they might consider topping off THEIR water supplies.

    Water garden fully, if it hasn’t rained in the past day or so.
    Vacuum while that’s still easy.
    If I’m behind on laundry, do that.
    Iron if I gotta. Sigh.

    We have a home-based business, so we won’t have to call out from work, we’re mostly prepared for something like this, so there wouldn’t be much to do in THIS case.

    Wait, I’m low on cat litter. THAT I would buy, too

    In the grid goes down, I am prepared to can the meat and veggies I have in the freezer (have jars, lids, and fuel). Have generator, and fuel enough so that we can run pump for water once a week for at least 6 months, maybe 12. With generator parts protected, it should still work. Back up is stream in next yard and water filter, back up for that are several other local streams, back up for THAT is the Potomac river – all within 2 miles. We’d have to use a wheelbarrow to haul buckets of water from the river, but that’s do-able.

    • No ME Preppy June 28, 2011, 6:28 pm

      Don’t worry about the litter. Stick to canning. Serve roasted, with catsup.

  • riverrider June 28, 2011, 11:42 pm

    jason and jeff, if you think this won’t be a combat situation you are giving way too much credit to your fellow man and failing as a prepper. it is you that are dillusional if you think that people won’t kill you for what you have, or just for the hell of it if they think they can get away with it. they do it now at every opportunity. what do you think? we’ll all get together in the street and sing kum-ba-ya? riiiiight. ask the somalis, ruwandans, bosnians, jews, insert refugee of your choice. i think they would disagree that your fellow man is so loving. they’ve been loved to death. i spent 30 years serving my fellow man, seen what being a refugee can get you. you have fun. out here!

    • T.R June 28, 2011, 11:55 pm

      Got to agree with you on that one ! depending where you are , if your in a suburb of any major city , its a high probability your going to have to sleep with one eye open and the unavoidable shoot out if they decide they want to take a look inside . If you live in an area with a large hispanic or black population , its for sure ! The gangs and drug cartels already have the cops outnumbered and outgunned . I live in AZ and that crap is a regular occurrence in the cities and border towns .

    • Odd Questioner June 29, 2011, 9:39 am


      To be fair, Jason and Jeff are perfectly right – people do pull together in altruistic fashion during the early stages of most disasters and crises. Ordinary folks are capable of some eye-popping heroics while the S is actually hitting the F.

      OTOH, you gents are perfectly right as well.

      The disconnect is that both sides of this debate haven’t figured in an entire dimension: Time.

      At first, folks will likely think it’s a temporary thing (“the news and mayor said so, right?”), and will go out of their way (in general) to help each other out. It’s only during prolonged crisis, when the supplies and/or hope actually start(s) running out, that folks will start getting restless.

      Let’s assume the SHTF, nation-wide, as per Jarhead’s hypothetical…

      If you live in the city when this hypothetical hits, I figure that you have exactly one week of heightened brotherly love. If you’re going to bug out, you have exactly seven days to do it, during which you can likely leave unmolested, with all your stuff. Hope you have somewhere specific to go, though.

      If you’re bugging in, this grace period would be a perfect time to start organizing your neighbors. You likely won’t be able to do that later on, once the food runs out…

      Week 2? Un-critical things begin to run out, and folks who relied on civilization/electricity for medical reasons will begin to die off as hospital generators fail, home oxygen supplies run out, etc.

      By week 3, folks (and local governments) will start running out of more important stuff, and you’ll start to see some isolated grumbles here and there. By week 4, critical bits start running low, crime starts climbing, and folks start getting more defensive. By week 5, you’ll see the transition from ordinary person to zombie happening in full force, and this is when fleeing refugees and raids will become a given condition in the city and near- ‘burbs. Police/troops will pretty much abandon any pretense of keeping order in the urban areas by this point.

      By week 7-8, the raids will be fully happening in the suburbs too, and some groups may venture out into rural areas if there’s sufficient gas and working vehicles to be had.

      In rural and small-town areas, double the time factors, but w/o the migrations (after all, where would an unprepared rural or small-town family actually go?)

      • T.R June 30, 2011, 12:25 am

        You forgot to mention all our soldiers abandoned on foreign soil with no way to get them back in a country (s) that dont want them there with vehicles that no longer function because the fuel is gone .

        • riverrider June 30, 2011, 9:17 pm

          tr, funny u should mention that. i told my young captain to make contingency plans how he would get his people home from iraq should they be stranded by the gov for whatever reason. without outside support they are sitting ducks. i brought him up thru the ranks to think outside the box and improvise. if anybody can do it he can.

  • ChefBear58 June 29, 2011, 3:32 am

    I just had a random thought while I was pondering, yet again, what I would do with 20hrs of warning of a CME Solar Flare. Bear with me for a moment, because I haven’t had any sleep in a couple days (so this might sound stupid), and I am by no menas an “expert” or even have much understanding of the subject of EMP effects on electronics! So please if this sounds to far “out there” just tell me to shut-up!

    Anyway, I remember reading in somebody elses comment on this particular post, that you can create a “make-shift” Faraday-cage from tin-foil and plastic bags… So what I was thinking is- Would it be possible to sclae this idea up and have any chance of success? I am thinking that if we have said solar-flare barreling down on us, and you have some time/materials on hand, could you wrap a vahicle in pallate-wrap (basically saran-wrap on steroids) a couple layers deep, to provide at least some insulation, and then cover said plastic-wrap with a few layers of tin-foil, seal any openings in some aluminum foil with A/C “foil duct-sealing” tape to prevent any gaps, and have it prevent the EMP effects on your vehicle? Or even possibly reduce the effects? I have even seen the pallate-wrap that has a super-thin (see through, it just looks “tinted”) layer of aluminum bonded to one side… Does anyone have any thoughts on my idea?
    I know you would probably want to disconect anything and everything possible from the battery/electrical system (someone mentioned making electronics into the smallest “antenna” that you can might help).

    I was just thinking that this might be one of those “just crazy enough to work” ideas. It wouldn’t cost more than about $75 in materials; and buying a whole bunch of big packages of tin-foil and plastic wrap from the local bulk shop (Sam’s; Costco; B.J.’s) wouldn’t look very conspicious. You can buy the foil-tape at any store that sells sheet-metal ducting/electrical components/HVAC supplies.
    Maybe roll the vehicle into a garage first, I don’t know if a standard garage (attached to a house, made of wood/drywall/concrete) would help any with sheilding, but I guess I am thinking along the lines that anything you can do to try and protect your vehicle might be better than just letting it sit and get fried!

    Anybody have any thoughts on my crazy idea?
    (Yeah I know it sounds crazy, but again I was just having a “brain-storming” session, and figured there might be a chance; And I was thinking of how handy it could be to have access to a WORKING vehicle in a survival situation, it for nothing else just to G.O.O.D. FAST when the “hungry horde” is trying to knock down your door!)

    • Prepared N.D. June 29, 2011, 5:07 am

      It might work. You would have to bring the shielding all the way to cement/ground and tape it down or get rid of the gaps somehow. I think that set up would shield your vehicle from the higher frequencies. The lower frequencies can penetrate concrete, so it seems theoretically possible that if the angles are just right, some radiation could still pass through to the exposed chassis.

      Maybe you could get around this by prepositioning some space blankets on the ground and attach your cover to the space blankets instead of directly to the ground. The tires and air space would provide insulation for the bottom piece of the set up.

      Another thing I’m not sure about is the ability of the shielding to retain a charge. That’s a pretty large conductive area, I would be nervous about touching it until I can attach a wire to a good ground and let that wire hit the shielding to let it discharge.

      This is just a guess as well.

    • irishdutchuncle June 29, 2011, 11:04 am

      ChefBear, get some sleep!
      our worries about the EMP threat, may be overblown. i don’t know for sure, one way or the other.

      if you can cover the entire car with aluminum foil, insulated from the car, and from the ground, it could possibly work. each seam would need to be “rolled”. (or taped, with metal)
      (i was just going to keep a spare ignition module in an ammo can… )

      a steel building would probably offer more protection, than the average frame constructed garage. all openings/ windows etc. would need to be covered with metal screening. (probably the floor also) these need to be connected all together, with heavy electrical cable. (creating a giant screen room) that’s more work than i can do in twenty hours, still with no guarantee of success.

    • riverrider June 30, 2011, 9:25 pm

      chefbear, take it easy man. the emp threat is VASTLY overstated by folks that sell protection for emp. we studied it in the 80’s in college and again in the 90’s in the military and i can tell you don’t waste your time. yes, it will knock out hte grid. yes it COULD knock out small electronic devices with overly large antenae. cars, planes etc will be fine. your average radio will work unless you have it hooked to an external ant. if you have warning, simply unplug, remove batts and any ext ants and you will be fine. if its large enough to kill all the stuff not in faraday cages, our atmosphere is toast and breathing is a bigger concern than casey’s top 40. sleep tight bro.

    • Jason July 1, 2011, 11:00 am


      You ask – “Anybody have any thoughts on my crazy idea?”

      Re-channel your energies, you are wasting valuable time & productive brain processing space. It seems you are spending an inordinate amount of time on the thoughts and speculations of less than 1/100th of 1% of the population.

  • Joe July 7, 2011, 9:44 am

    I was camping all last week so I’m a bit behind on my daily reading. But I’m enjoying reading the scenarios, Jarhead, just a little late to the party to really get involved in the discussion.

    Keep it going.

  • chirol July 10, 2011, 8:42 pm

    This scenario is just the upcoming movie Remnants


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