What If We Lose The Grid?
One of the scariest scenarios for us is loosing the electrical grid for a lengthy period of time. Depending on the circumstances of the grid going down, it might be years before life would return to normal for the majority of us. There are some groups that are well prepared for this situation and other groups that wouldn't really be affected because of their current lifestyle (think Amish).
Our economy would most likely be wrecked because without electricity banks can't conduct business. Our money is basically just bits and bytes of information on computers now. We get direct deposit, and use debit cards and credit cards. Most people use very little cash and have very little cash on hand at any one time. We think that it's prudent to have cash on hand just in case. There are numerous prepper sites that advocate buying precious metals for this situation but I'm wondering how would you do trade with gold. There's no communications so the value of gold would be purely subjective. Are you going to break off a piece of a gold bar for a loaf of bread?
The next thing we think about is no power no fuel. No fuel, no deliveries of food, water, parts, etc. You're on your own to make do with whatever you have on hand or can scrounge or grow. We bought some Heirloom seeds and keep them preserved in case we wind up having to grow our own vegetables. It would be most convenient to lose the grid at the beginning of the growing season but what are the chances of that timing?
If we lost the grid due to an EMP, there's a possibility that more modern vehicles wouldn't work although no one really knows for sure.
The Grid might go down due to someone hacking into the grid causing some type of cascade failure that would wipe out substations and transformers. If we lose some of the larger transformers it might take 2 years to get power back up and running since the transformers aren't made in the US but overseas. The result would be the same, wrecked economy. Believe it or not, our power grid is pretty vulnerable since we keep using more and more electricity and the grid is barely keeping up so it's running pretty close to maxed out
Since there would probably be issues obtaining fuel, learning how to distill alcohol would also be pretty useful information. No matter how much gas you have stockpiled, it does go bad and would eventually run out. I did get myself a small hand pump that I would be able to get gas from abandoned vehicles, fuel storage tanks at gas stations, etc., but knowing how to make your own fuel would be great. You can buy ready made stills online for fairly cheap and there are any number of articles telling you how to distill. This might become a cottage industry and give you something to trade in the future as well. Just remember you need sugar and yeast for alcohol. Both sugar and yeast occur naturally in our environment so theoretically you could do it without stockpiling these items, but it would definitely be easier if you already have them on hand.