Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gratitude - Day 12

It's just a test. And they're not going to actually knock-out the grid. I think.

It's a simulation - like those field exercises that we did when I was in the Army. You know. Practice. Just in case.

We do all sorts of practices for all sorts of things that probably won't ever happen, right? And the fact that our government is working on the potential problems, and how they plan to respond should (probably) be a relief. I mean, I just read the book they mention One Second After that describes an EMP attack on the US and what happens. It was disconcerting - mostly because people were (are) incredibly short-sighted.

Of course, I think most people would be short-sighted, in a case like that, because, for the average person would not believe that things wouldn't go back to normal fairly quickly. When the power goes out following a storm, for instance, there's never any question that it will be coming back. It's not "if" that we question, but "when", and of course, the longer the power stays out, the more irritated we get, and the more thankful we are when it's restored.

This planned simulation is in response to that understanding - the understanding that our society needs the power grid to keep operating smoothly, and without it .... Well, just say that One Second After paints a pretty bleak picture of human nature and the response to a catastrophic event that makes life a lot less comfortable. What surprised me most, probably, were the food issues and the fact that no one did enough early enough to mitigate the eventual starvation (which, considering that it takes place in the spring in North Carolina, really bothered me, because they could have started planting things and subsequently harvesting things a lot sooner - at least I want to believe that, with better planning and preparation, it wouldn't have been so bad).

I'm not really concerned that this simulation will go bad, because I don't think the intent is to really shut down the grid, but if it does, I'm thankful to know about it ... and to also be comfortable that we are, kind of, prepared. I mean, the reality is that one can never, truly, be prepared for a change that happens instantaneously - kind of like becoming a parent. We think we know what to expect, but the reality is that we don't have a clue, until we live it, and even with five children, each one was different, each time was different.

I'm not concerned, but just in case, we're making sure everything is charged ... and we'll probably make sure to fill up our vehicles so that, worst case, we'll have a bit of gasoline for the generator. I'll probably fill up the water filter systems.

I know it sounds like not much to be thankful for, but I am thankful that we've been moving closer to self-sufficiency, because while nothing probably will happen, if it does, I'd rather be where I am today than where I was seven years go.


  1. A practice scenario sounds such a good idea. We have never had anything like that in the UK. In fact we experienced a 10 minute power cut a few weeks ago, that was the first power cut we had had in decades. It was good to see the kids knew what to do, but I have really been far too lax with emergency kits and provisions such as water. I realised that had it lasted even 24 hours we would have been stuck. I am not feeling anywhere near as prepared as you are, but thanks for the reminder to get things in order.


  2. Well said! :D I know my family isn't "prepared for EVERYTHING" - and I assume we never will be. But we're always doing better than the year before, at least. (With thanks in part to your books!)