Losing power is one of the most dangerous survival obstacles.
Some people might take for granted just how challenging it can be.
Here’s the terrifying reality of what happens during an extended blackout.
As society has become more technologically advanced, so has our dependence on the power grid.
Any disruption in power can cause major turmoil in a household, neighborhood, community, town, or even region.
One of the most common causes of blackouts are devastating natural disasters such as hurricanes.
However, the state of California has recently experienced rolling blackouts due to poor mismanagement by the state.
The lone utility company Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is heavily regulated by the state of California.
Forest fires and blackouts in the state have been caused by aging and outdated equipment because state officials forced PG&E to invest in green energy products instead of repairing old infrastructure.
If you find yourself caught in a blackout for this or any other reason, here’s what to expect and what you can do to survive.
The first thing you’ll notice is that your electronics and appliances go out.
If the blackout happens at night, you’ll obviously notice the lights going out, too.
If you live in an apartment that doesn’t have a lot of windows, you might feel the loss of light during the day as well.
Your portable electronics might have some juice left in them, but in an extended blackout, they will die.
In order to handle this, you need to have alternative power sources.
For light, you’ll need a healthy stock of unscented candles and lanterns.
A gas-powered generator will help you stay plugged in, but with generators and gas lanterns, ventilation becomes important.
Try not to place your generator too close to the house.
As for food in the refrigerator and freezer, try to make use of the perishable items first so they don’t go to waste.
If you’re in an extended blackout, a lot of the items won’t be any good after 24 to 48 hours.
Here’s where a gas stove or gas grill can come in handy.
Having a healthy stock of canned goods and freeze-dried meals will serve you well.
Your hot water may not be working, so bathing can be a challenge.
For those who can’t handle cold showers, you can use a metal bucket and gas power to heat up water so you can properly wash off.
If your water isn’t working at all, that’s when it helps to have a robust stock of potable water that can be used for bathing, drinking, and other common uses.
Finally, during an extended blackout, people may begin to get restless.
As resources get scarce for people who haven’t properly prepared, some might take to looting.
That’s why it helps to be armed in case anyone gets any ideas about encroaching on your property.
Simply letting people know you aren’t an easy target should be enough to ward off most intruders, but you should always be prepared if the tense situation dangerously escalates.
If you’re prepared for these blackout obstacles, you’ll be in good shape when the power finally comes back on.