If you have a conversation with a prepper, chances are it won’t take long before the subject of power grid failure comes up.
You know that power grid failure is a major threat and would have devastating consequences. You’ve probably already made preparations and plans for what you would do in that scenario. Maybe you even think you have what it takes to thrive off the grid in a post-electricity society.
But have you ever stopped to think about how fragile our power grid really is?
Of course, there are the obvious things like EMPs, natural disasters, and nuclear war that could cause the power grid to fail.
But there are some less obvious causes that are just as much of a threat, if not more so. (For example, did you know that squirrels are a legitimate threat to our power grid?)
#3. Green Energy Is Completely Unpredictable
The critical thing you need to understand about our electrical grid is that it falls apart unless the demand for energy matches the supply of energy. When there is too little energy being produced and too much demand for it, the grid breaks, the PlayStation's turn-off, and within minutes people are out on the streets eating cats.
Things like solar panels and wind power are called “green” because they have the potential to save our environment from the current smog-farting generation of engines. But people who work in electric utilities call them “variable generation sources,” because their energy output fluctuates so heavily that they're about as reliable as the lifeguard at that swimming pool behind the Walmart. If it's an especially cloudy or windless day, the electrical grid won't have enough power to supply the demanded energy, and the entire grid will shit its pants.
Remember when I said the supplied energy has to exactly match the demanded energy? That goes both ways — solar and wind power also run the risk of producing too much energy. If it's too sunny and windy, because of some brilliant shining tornado or something, the electrical grid gets overwhelmed and can fry itself. We've seen it come close to happening when big storms go blasting through wind farms.
This seemingly contradictory idea of “too much energy” is the same reason why charging your electric car is free at night in Texas. Utilities generally have a surplus of electricity at night, and in order to keep the grid running, all that shit must go. The price of electricity can range anywhere from hideously expensive to so dirty cheap that utilities will actually pay you to use it. That is not a joke.
I don't know about you, but learning how weak our power system really is doesn't make me feel too confident about the future.
When such little things could cause the grid to go down, it’s obvious that it doesn’t stand a chance in a much larger disaster like a terrorist attack or EMP.
And when that day comes, society will be sent into complete chaos.
It’s not a matter of if, but when.
So if you haven’t already begun preparing for a power grid failure, now is the time. Learn what the risks are and what to do when the grid fails, and you’re left to fend for yourself.
- Why Is Our Power Grid Failing?
- What Happens When Power Goes Out?
- The Ultimate Story of Off Grid Living
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Oct 17, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.