This is a ‘What If”…did you ever play that as a kid? What if I’m adopted and I’m really a princess? What if there’s snow and no school tomorrow What if I fail that Geometry test Friday?
Well, imagine it’s a Thursday night in August in the beautiful Lone Star State. It’s about 10pm, your 8-year-old is smiling in her sleep…it’s quiet, You start to smile, then remember your face is covered in a tightening mask, so your smile becomes somewhat frightening. Ahhh, a peaceful evening with a glass of wine in one hand, a bottle of Advil in the other. The lights begin to flicker…after a minute or so of this, they go off altogether. We’ll dispense with the invectives coming from your direction, and notice instead the sound of your toe hitting the corner of the door. Wine glass shatters as it hits the floor and you’re groping blindly for the sink to pry off the youth restoring concrete mask, which you must do to find the flashlight, matches, candles – oh, dear Lord, where did you (not the Lord; you)put those things. Think. Maddie, said 8-year-old, was playing at camping in the backyard. No! Not waking her up!.
Okay, face is clean, careful not to step on glass shards, swallow the Advil dry. You hear sirens…you could hear a pin drop without the power on. The August heat is glistening on your forehead. Grope your way to the living room, find the hall entry closet, top shelf…YES! There’s a flashlight! You press the button triumphantly, yet remain shrouded in darkness. Pick up the phone, call your sister, Celeste, spend the night there. Nope. That’s not happening. There’s no signal on your cell phone. A bit of panic is creeping over you. Grab your robe, rustle up the child and pick her up – ugh – when did she get so heavy??? Keys aren’t hard to find – always hanging in the same place by the back door. Maddie rolls into the backseat, key in ignition…nothing. We’ll leave you there for a moment to slam your head against the steering wheel.
Okay, let’s summarize what we know so far. No electric, no flashlight, no cell phone signal, no car (by the way, no glass of wine, either)…is it coincidence? What would be your first thought? What’s your next step? Go back to bed – the power will be back on in the morning? Maybe. But what if it isn’t? What if your world just did a 180? What if there was an EMP. Have you read about the possibilities of an Electromagnetic Pulse? Maybe you should. Could it have been a CME? Coronal Mass Ejection…familiar with that? Is there a difference? Yup. An EMP can destroy the power grid and the electronics supported. A CME impacts the power grid, alone.
Well, either will really wreak havoc with your life and cause a domino effect the likes of which we have never experienced. Do you enjoy baking, gardening, sewing? Yes? That’s great, cause now you’ll want to get started on those things. Of course, you’ll also have to use a wood stove, grind your wheat (do you know how to raise wheat), shear sheep, card wool, and spin fabric. THEN you can sew, I think. Do you take medication? Anything that requires refrigeration? That could be an issue. But you’ll be a distracted for a while, as planes come hurtling out of the sky, cars stop in their tracks, our transportation system screeches to a halt, grocery shelves empty, the police lose the ability to keep you safe from looters, vandals, and violent criminals.
Sounds unpleasant, doesn’t it? So, what are the odds? Is it worth fretting over, knowing more about, or planning for? Read Could an EMP send America back to the 1800s? and you tell me what you think. What about a CME? Well, NOAA certainly spends a lot of time (and tax dollars) analyzing the conditions of the Sun, or, space weather, as they call it. A very interesting Guide, not so scientific you can’t comprehend much of it, is available from their site. One internet site that stands out, in my opinion, is The Preparedness Podcast. This guy’s smart as a tack. His writing is clear and concise and his advice seems well researched.
Of course, you can also find articles at Breitbart.com, or the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Bloomberg…there’s no shortage of information, and you’ll find it doesn’t just come from Preppers and survivalists living in caves in Idaho. But those guys are smart! I do believe in preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. During hurricane season, you’ll find our shelves full of food and water, batteries and gasoline, in the event the something blows in from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s happened before and we were blessed and happy that we had made preparations. So, while I can’t prepare to the degree I’d be pleased with, I can still be aware, informed, and keep some items on hand. I mean, if NOAA can predict it, I certainly want to take advantage of the warnings!
You may think it strange that I would write a post such as this but, you see, I read a lot and this is one of my favorite genres…post-apocalyptic, survivalist, end of the world (whatever you want to call it) literature. This is another instance when you may say, ‘that’s it, I’m not reading another word written by this nut’, and that’s okay. You don’t have to make my concerns yours. Freedom…yep, you have choices. But right now I’ve got a Faraday Cage to build, three months worth of blood pressure medication to box up and there’s always more canning to be done. You take care of yourself, my friend. It’s a dangerous world, my.