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10 Ugly truths about long-term power outages and how to deal with them
By Arsenio Toledo // Oct 25, 2019

Perhaps you have already experienced short blackouts and have prepared for them – but what about a power outage that lasts for weeks or even months? It's important to understand what a long-term blackout entails in order to fully prepare for it. Here are 10 things to note about a long-term power outage. (h/t to UrbanSurvivalSite.com)


Your guns might get confiscated

Law enforcement confiscating firearms after a large disaster isn't a new phenomenon. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the long-term power outage, this can also happen to you. Civilians with guns will be perceived as a threat.

Consider hiding your guns. If that isn't possible, train yourself to use alternative self-defense weapons, such as bows and arrows, pepper spray, and even kitchen utensils.

You won't be able to flush

In a power outage, the sewage will get backed up. This is a main concern since waste disposal is essential so that people don't catch any diseases.

You'll have two viable options: burning or burying. When doing either one, be sure to do it at a minimum of 250 feet away from both your home and from any source of water to avoid contamination. If you decide to bury the waste, make sure it's at least four feet underground and fully sealed in garbage bags.

Sanitation will go downhill

Without power, chances are waste management won't be anybody's priority, meaning all that trash is probably going to pile up on the streets. Stock up on hygiene items now – rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and dishwashing liquid for starters.

The best way to fix this would be to organize with your community. Talk to your neighbors and come up with a plan of action. Choose to burn, bury, compost, or simply relocate your trash to prevent disease spreading throughout your neighborhood.

Credit and debit cards are useless

You'll have to rely on cold, hard cash during long-term blackouts. Stock up on emergency money right away. Withdraw your money broken up in small denominations – nothing larger than $20 bills – and store it in a secure location.

Assuming that money itself becomes useless, talk to your neighbors about establishing a proper system of barter. Being able to trade for food, water, and even labor will be essential especially if, for example, you're running low on water but a neighbor has a surplus they're willing to trade for something else.

No internet and cell service

Your mobile phones and other electronic gadgets will only run for as long as your batteries and generators last. Even then, you won't have WiFi or cell service unless the service providers have power wherever they're located.

There may still be other ways to get messages across if you or your neighbors are able to cobble together some CB or Ham radios. Being able to at least hear messages broadcast from emergency services is a must to get updated on the status of the power outage.

No gasoline

Gas pumps will stop working during a long-term blackout. Gasoline is going to be a precious commodity during this time, something that can even be traded for important items like much-needed medicine. No gasoline also means you won't be able to bug out with your car in case of an emergency.

Stocking up on gasoline is important. Learn how to properly store it, and you might just save yourself from having to walk to your bug-out location.

No heat

No electricity means your source of heat will disappear along with the lights. You need to figure out how to keep yourself warm or risk getting sick.

Stocking up on a lot of warm clothes will help you at night, as well as alternate heat sources like candles and kerosene space heaters.

No water

The lack of running water will be an issue. Three days without water can kill you. Finding water, especially if you live in an urban area, isn't going to be the most difficult part, as there will be plenty of water everywhere in public fountains and lakes.

The problem will be making sure that water is safe to drink. Learn how to purify water today to address this concern in the future.

No food

A long-term power outage means a lot of food in supermarkets will go bad quickly. The only food you'd be able to get your hands on is the supply you already have, and those that you can buy or trade with your neighbors.

You can never go wrong with stocking up on rice, whole wheat grains, and other foods that have long shelf lives.

People will be pushed to their limits

Because of the long power outage, people might turn to violence for their survival. People might start looting for food, water, medicine, and other essentials. You need to be on your guard for this. Talk to your neighbors immediately as soon as the lights go out and try to rally your community into forming a self-defense organization. Designate checkpoints into and out of your neighborhood, form night patrols and, assuming the guns haven't been confiscated yet, feel free to share arms and ammunition to neighbors that don't have any means of defending themselves – provided you can trust your neighbors, of course.

However, if you feel like you don't have a lot of faith in your community, be prepared to defend yourself with your own weapons, and consider investing in things like stronger doors and windows to better fortify your home.

A lot of the world's systems rely on electricity to keep them running. Cut the power and society basically collapses in on itself. Understanding the realities you have to deal with when it comes to a long-term blackout can help you prepare for any scenario that may befall you.

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