Life After Losing the Electric Grid

Thursday, February 7, 2019
By Paul Martin

Editors Note: The following article has been contributed by Jonathan Hollerman, he is a former USAF SERE Instructor and an expert on prepping and survival. Working as an Emergency Preparedness Consultant .

“The Congressional EMP Commission on which I served calculated that within a year of a blackout that knocks out the national grid, we would probably lose up to 9 out of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse…. The only reason we can sustain a population of 310 million Americans is technology. If you take that away, we don’t have any way of feeding, providing water or even providing communications and government for an orderly society that is going to sustain 310 million Americans.”

– Dr. Peter Pry, Executive Director for the Task Force
on National and Homeland Security Policy

The severity of what life after a grid down situation depends on which scenario was the culprit.

A cyber attack or physical attack on our infrastructure could leave the electric grid down for months and in some rural locations, years. A massive solar storm or small EMP would leave the grid down for six months to a year in most locations, but a Super EMP could cripple the grid for years in most locations and fry most of the electronics we depend on. When dealing with a Super EMP attack, scientists have varying views on what percentage of small electronics would be affected. Either way, any blackout lasting more than a week will result in major metropolitan areas descending into utter chaos and total anarchy. Anything longer than a few weeks and, in my opinion, the country will never fully recover. It will be survival of the fittest from that point forward.

Before we get into how losing the grid would affect you personally, let’s discuss how it would affect the country as a whole. Today, America is the richest country in the world, and every other industrialized nation leans on the US for our buying power. Since 1944, the US Dollar has been the world’s reserve currency and is what the central banks use to set exchange rates and the price of oil and other commodities. In recent years (due to irresponsible financial policies by our government) countries like China, Russia, and others have been working to replace the Dollar on the world stage which would have disastrous consequences for the US. The only reason they haven’t been very successful to date is because they can’t offer up a more viable alternative.

I believe the US Dollar would be replaced as the world’s currency very soon after a grid down scenario. Think about it–no American has the ability to buy anything from stores or the internet without their credit cards and the stores can’t be restocked due to lack of transportation. Essentially, this shuts down all our imports from overseas. Our Stock Market would unofficially crash (unofficially because it would be closed for business without electricity). This would crash every other market around the globe and Asian countries would especially nose dive without Americans being able to buy their exports for the foreseeable future. A lot of overseas factories would be forced to shut down, putting their employees out on the street without jobs, further exacerbating their countries’ woes. Weeks after the grid goes down, your dollar bills are most likely going to be worth pennies.

I believe the ensuing global financial collapse would seriously hamper the ability of our UN partners from coming to our aid in the aftermath. I’m sure some European countries and maybe even Russia and China would pitch in for a short while, sending us ships with food, but for how long? They are going to be experiencing their own societal collapses and record unemployment. They are going to need to focus their resources on helping their own populace. Even if they did send large amounts of food for an extended period of time, how would that food get distributed? We would have 300 MILLION starving Americans scattered across a huge land mass with no infrastructure or way to transport food throughout the country! You’ve seen the movies and videos when we deliver food to starving refugees in developing nations. It’s total mayhem with the stronger men beating up women and children to get a small bag of rice. Could you imagine a container ship of food arriving in New York City’s harbor with TEN MILLION angry and starving people stampeding the docks? Again, it would be total mayhem, and my suggestion is that you stay far away from these types of scenarios because they will be absolutely deadly environments.

In a nutshell, I believe our country would cease to exist in any realistic fashion shortly after losing the grid. The EMP Commission Report and Lloyd’s of London talk about how it would cause trillions of dollars in damage to our economy. With half the US population dead from starvation, sickness and murder after six months and 80 to 90 percent dead after the first year, why would you even fix the grid and who’s going to accept our worthless dollars to help us? EMP Commissioner Lowell Wood calls an EMP attack a “giant continental time machine that would move us back more than a century in technology to the late 1800s.” The problem is that our infrastructure is completely different than the 1800’s. We aren’t set up to live like the people did 150 years ago. Who makes horse drawn plows anymore? Do you see what I mean? We don’t even make the tools and supplies needed to live before electricity.

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