When The Grid Goes Down...

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via ReadyNutrition.com,

Let’s just say that the unthinkable becomes the real and happening.  Let’s take this article and go over it.  This will be a segment in three parts, the next ones being immediate actions taken at work and at home.  I’m hitting on traveling first, as there are so many vacationers jaunting around happily over the landscape.  All kidding aside, traffic is congested during the summer, extending traveling time on the commutes.  Let’s game the scenario, and here it is.

Here’s the scenario:

You’re cruising down the highway in your 2013 four-door sedan, having just dropped the kids off twenty minutes ago to the swim club.  Now you’re on the open highway with a heavy traffic flow…about 5 miles from the edge of town and 7 miles from work.  You’re listening to the radio, when suddenly it crackles and goes dead, along with your engine.  You look around and pumping the brakes manage to slow down and then drive off the road onto the shoulder, just feet away from the back bumper of another vehicle.


The vehicle comes to a stop, and you try the ignition again.  You look at your watch, a Casio G-Shock, to find there is no display.  You reach for your cell phone.  Nothing.  It’s dead.  There are perhaps a dozen cars around you…half to your front and half to your rear.  All of them have stopped, and most of the drivers have gotten out.  You hear the sound of an engine, and looking up, see a ’58 Ford pickup truck weaving in and out of the stalled traffic, moving toward your rear, away from town.  The book “One Second After” has just played out in real life.  The United States has been attacked by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapon.  You’re 15 miles from home, and the “S” has hit the fan.

On Friday 7/29/17, North Korea just successfully tested an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and experts from four different countries including the U.S. have determined that they have the capability of striking the U.S. anywhere.  That means the optimal point for an EMP strike (dead center of the continental U.S., at 300 km above ground) is not only their prime target but also attainable.

15 Tips to Get Safely Home Following an EMP

Back to our scenario.  Most will be clueless and unprepared.  Let’s do it up, down and dirty with the steps that you should take if you are “Citizen X” outlined in the scenario:

1. Have a plan already in place: That means to formulate one right now, if you haven’t already done so.

2. If there are a lot of people around, such as in the scenario, then immediately grab your gear and get out of there. What gear, you may ask?  We’ve “gamed” much of this to the point of nausea, but let’s list out those essentials:

“Go/Bug Out Bag”: This guy already needs to be packed and ready, in that vehicle that will become a 3,000-lb. paperweight. Three days’ supply of ready-to-eat food, one day’s worth of water and the means to filter more.  Compass, flashlight, knife, first aid kit, poncho, jacket/sweatshirt, extra socks, map, light sleeping bag, fire starting material, small fishing kit (hooks, line, bobber), sewing kit, MSW (Minor Surgical Wound) kit, extra cash ($20 denominations and smaller), ground pad, extra clothing (hat, OG bandana, etc.), and ammo. An EMP may be followed by radiological and nuclear consequences. Having an NBC gas mask and anti-radiation pills in your vehicle could be a lifesaver.

Weapon: Please don’t feed me “legal information,” or “I can’t do that in my state.” These are “sink or swim” rules.  If you don’t have a weapon now, you may not have one later.  If you don’t have the fortitude to take that weapon and be ready to use it when the time comes, then you probably won’t survive this or be able to help your family.  One rifle, one pistol, with ammo for each.

Grab that bag and put it on, securing your weapons. Then secure the vehicle, closing the windows and locking it up.  If nobody is around, throw it into neutral and push it off the road.  Camouflage it with branches and leaves…taking care not to cut them from the immediate area that you stash it.  Most likely it’ll be “violated,” so now is the time to take the stuff you need and get it out. If the scenario above applies, just secure the vehicle and get out of there.

3. Traveling: Do not walk on the roads. Skirt the road with about 50 meters (that’s about 150 feet) between you and the edge of the road.  Stay away from people unless you know them and trust them…both qualities are emboldened.

4. For metro people: If you are out in the suburbs or open road, and you must return to the city? It may be better for you and your family to arrange for a rallying point outside of the city.  If that isn’t possible, then you should exercise extreme caution.  Allow the nearest family member to secure the home and then wait for you.  Travel when it’s dark to be on the safe side.  Your visibility is cut down, and so is the visibility of those who may be hunting you.

5. Long distance to go? Forage along the way.  Refill your canteens/water bottles whenever you’re able, and take note of any freestanding water supplies or “blue” features (that’s the color of water on a military map) for use in the future.  DON’T MARK YOUR MAP!  If someone gets a hold of it, you do not want them to be able to find your home.  You must commit the route to memory and adjust your steps accordingly.

6. Dealing with the Stress of the Event: The power is not coming back on…ever…and it really has begun…the Day After Doomsday is here. Take a deep breath and concentrate on your training, your preparations.  If you don’t have any, then this piece is a wake-up call to get moving!  The best way to do it is immediately accepting what has happened without dwelling on it.  Concentrate on the tasks at hand: navigating home, scouting what is in between, and foraging for anything you need.  You have a job to do!  Reconnaissance!  We’ll go over that now.

Reconnaissance: You must see on the ground what is in between you and the happy Hallmark home you’re returning to. You should take note of any places that hold medical supplies, food, or anything you may need for yourself or your family.  You should take note of possible refuge sites to hide if you and the family hightail it out of the home instead of having a “Walton Family Homecoming.”  You must take note of water features, danger locations (cliffs or impassable terrain features), as well as dangerous individuals.  Yes, the ones who were jerks before all of this?  Wait until you see how they’ll be now, with no controls exercised over them.

7. The best advice I can give: Travel at night. This may be impossible for several reasons.  Firstly, if it’s an all-out nuke attack, there may be the problem of radiation for you, in which case you’ll have to either reach home immediately or seek shelter immediately to remain in place for several weeks.  Secondly, you may have other family members that need to be attended to and cannot wait for a long time.  The kids in the scenario are a prime example.  If it is an EMP only, there will be a “quiet period” of about 6 to 12 hours before everything breaks loose and the sequel to the movie “The Road” begins in real life.  Darkness is the best time to travel.  It hides you and helps you to cover your tracks until the morning light.

8.The rest of the family: They must KNOW THE OVERALL PLAN AND HAVE A PLAN OF THEIR OWN TO FOLLOW UNTIL YOU GET THEM OR UNTIL THEY REACH HOME. This is all going to take some preparation on your part and remember the saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Don’t put it off!

9. Avoid people, families, and groups of people. Your goal when traveling is to be invisible.  I wrote some articles on how to hunt and how to avoid the manhunt.  You may want to refresh yourself on those points, and follow a few basic rules I keep in my own mind and heart:

  • When a disaster occurs, everyone is your “friend” even when they are not
  • There is no interest but self-interest outside of you and your immediate family
  • Whatever you need and have, they also need and want
  • They will kill you for the barest of essentials of what you’re carrying
  • Don’t talk to anyone: don’t exchange information, pleasantries, and do not tell anyone anything about yourself, your family, your general destination, or your home…it can be used against you later…and it will be.

10. Coming home: Don’t walk right on in. Use a roundabout route, and go to a spot where you can watch your house for at least half an hour or so before making your “triumphant return.”  The S has hit the fan, and this is not the return of the Prodigal…you’re just going to tiptoe in.  But before you tiptoe through the tulips and the window, keep in mind that Tiny Tim and his gang of marauders may have done it before you.  That is why you want to watch the house closely.  Best Advice I can give: Have your kids/spouse put up a long-distance-visible sign/signal so that you know everything is either OK or that you’ll have to come in and rescue the family.  For example, if the birdhouse is still on the corner of the porch, then all is well.  If the birdhouse is gone, or if it’s sitting on top of the post that holds the mailbox…well, time to play CQB (that’s Close Quarters Battle) and clear the house of the rats.

11. Never underestimate anyone’s ability to take your family members hostage: That goes for the “friendly neighbors,” most of all…the biggest rats on the block. If that happens, guess what?  You’re now the HRT (that’s Hostage Rescue Team), or you better have a couple of guys such as this in your survival group/pod/neighborhood unit.  The hardest guy or gal in the world will “cave” when their son or daughter is being held at gunpoint by some goon.

12. You’re home…Now, it’s time to fight! That’s right!  Just when you thought it would be cozy and comfortable…just you and the family and your happy supplies…here comes a whole bagful of “Gummi Bears” down the block…only these bears are armed with baseball bats, zip guns, chains, and crowbars.  Armed also with about a week of BO (that’s Body Odor), all twelve of them combined still have an IQ of 50, tops…and here they are, at your door.  They don’t want Halloween candy, by the way.  You just walked twenty miles.          Say, remember that article I wrote about using ginseng, and drinking coffee to help you keep alert and awake?  I hope that one comes to mind because it’s about to become a “festival” at your house.  We’re going to cover more on this in the next segment.

13. Obtain that “second set” of electronic equipment. Oh yeah, the one JJ continuously warns about!  Well, now that all your electronics that were exposed are junk, I hope you made some Faraday cages and stashed an extra one of those radios…or even several, for those of you who thought long-term.  You need to find out what’s going on.  Ham radios may help if you shielded them.  So may CB’s and satellite phones.

14. Arm the whole family: by the time you reach home, every family member either accompanying you (small children and toddlers excepted) should be armed. Time to really see how tight and full of solidarity you are as a real family unit…one that must fight in order to survive.

15. Exit stage left: You may just find that the homecoming isn’t; that is, you must write it off as a loss and get out of there…it’s either destroyed and burning or occupied by the marauders. Unless you have the skills and the ability to deal with all of them, it is better to retreat and stay alive.  You need a plan in place in order to make this work.

We’ve covered a lot of information here.  This is all designed to stimulate those creative thought processes.  The thinking alone is not enough: you must formulate a plan and then implement it.  A plan without action is of no use.  A plan executed too late is a tragedy: a funeral dirge getting ready to play.  Don’t be too late to formulate your plan for you and your family.  If the lights go out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the party’s over…and the party may be one that never comes to an end.  Fight that good fight each and every day!  JJ out!

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RafterManFMJ's picture

What if an ELP sets off the Yosemitie Supper volcano? Can I get a former Greet Barret to ramp up my doom porn erection?

BarkingCat's picture

ELP??  Extended Play Record??  

I guess it depends on whether you set it on 33 1/3 or 45. I don't think anyone is capable of 78 anymore, but that would be terrifying.

Cloud9.5's picture

Assuming your hypothesis is correct, cars and trucks will keep running but gas stations won’t be able to pump gas.  Assuming that you had a full tank of gas when the EMP strike hit, that would give you about a 400 mile range.  Where would you be when the gas ran out?

BarkingCat's picture

400 miles??

More like 10 miles. Have you seen what happens when there is a natural disaster and everyone is trying to get out of dodge?


gregga777's picture

One Ohio-class submarine could totally obliterate North Korea which would make the Chinese very angry, I might add.

General characteristics SSBN-726 to SSBN-733 from construction to refueling

Armament: 24 × Trident I C4 SLBM
with up to 8 MIRVed 100 ktTNT W76
nuclear warheads each, range
4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi)
[Up to 192 individually targetable warheads]

General characteristics SSBN-734 and subsequent hulls upon construction, SSBN-730 to SSBN-733 since refueling

Armament: 24 × Trident II D5 SLBM
with up to 12 MIRVed W76 or W88 (300–475 ktTNT)
nuclear warheads each, range
6,100 nmi (11,300 km; 7,000 mi)
[Up to 288 individually targetable warheads]

If Kim is suicidal there are much easier ways of going about than launching a nuclear strike on the USA or Japan. The DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) strategy is developing a nuclear DETERRENT to prevent the Anglo-Zionist Empire's aggressive war strategy against weak, non-nuclear states.

Jeremiah Johnson is an integral tool of the Anglo-Zionist Empire's Forever War propaganda machine.

Praetorian Guard's picture

That, and if you somehow survived an exchange, they do launch again in the future, just to make sure ;)

lolmao500's picture

We just need to glass Kim and his buddies. Let the north korean people live free for once in over 60 years of communism...

Posa's picture

On Friday the Chinese committed themselves to defend NKor if preemptively attacked by the US ... the US has no play now... It's a colossal defeat for the US ... but a WIN for us... the defeated US Globalists need to return to the North American homeland and start filling the potholes and cranking up the domestic economy while figuring out how to pay my pension...

Socratic Dog's picture

That last sentence sums it up.

Flankspeed60's picture

NAH! Best reason to rest easy is that the MIC/Deep State will not allow a war on our soil. Would FU and disrupt the revenue stream. That's why we can only have wars on someone else's soil. BUT, keeping the home folk scared and agitated IS good for business.

lolmao500's picture

Bitcoin wont be worth shit

Ben A Drill's picture

When The Grid Goes Down...

There will be looting, lots of looting.
The world will never see such looting.....

Best to be home within the hour.

RafterManFMJ's picture

It will be awesome to watch the uh, minorities, stealing TVs and stereos after an EMP attack while whitey loots the supermarket.

Praetorian Guard's picture

As long as I get a steady supply of cold beer, a loyal dog, maybe a cat and parrot, shit a farm... and a fishing rod, with my ole lady and family in the afterlife, I could give two shits about the end... lol


I had to up vote my own post, who the fuck does not want that? Fucking pussy libs... please go away...

aloha_snakbar's picture

The only sound you hear will be the Bitcoin fanbois going *waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh*...

Yellow_Snow's picture

Until then...  BTC = $4100 Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh  :)

Praetorian Guard's picture

Damn the LibTards are out in force tonight. Hey I suggest the site conjure up a "safe space" article for you guys to hang out in...

pawn's picture

Welcome 2 the n E w great again aMeRiCa

stant's picture

Old stuff with carbs and points be ok except the condenser. Might want to have a spare. Magneto's, and old diesels be ok too. If you get a heads up disconnect the negative on the battery..a metal building or basement garage be nice

Praetorian Guard's picture

Yea, but shit, whats the fun in running an older vehicle without at least installing HEI? Makes a world of difference in performance. Just hold onto the old Kettering point dizzy...

Deus Irate's picture

Galvanized garbage cans make a great place to store spare electronics. Just line it with cardboard and Bob's yer bitch.

GentlemanJim's picture

"He who has the Gold, makes the rules and 

Praetorian Guard's picture

True, but in this situation, my bet is on lead...

Tugg McFancy's picture

Pfft, the guy who makes the rules is the guy that has one more bullet than you.

MeLurkYouLongTime's picture

The taste of this doom porn is just a little a stale. Is there anything else in the kitchen a 'retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces' can cook up?

a Smudge by any other name's picture

You just need more imagination. You reach for your dick but your arms fall off. And you look down and your dick fell off. And then your legs and now you are on the ground trying to drag yourself along with your tongue. But your tongue falls out so you use your eyelids. You use your eyelids to blink your way across the pavement. And then it gets worse.


Fortunately if you get Alex Jones' Super Male Vitality crap and mix it with water and guzzle it down like sedimentary sludge you will be JUST FINE. With super eyelid enhancing metamutagenic probiotic compounds, your eyelids will be able to get you anyplace you need to go.

Order now! Operators are standing by!

RafterManFMJ's picture

Maybe he can dish out a story about the Yosemite Supper Volcano?

Posa's picture

This is how life ends with EMP: There are 100 nuclear reactors in the US. Most are located in the Eastern half of the country, though SoCal has about 10. There are pools that store spent fuel rods at each reactor site . Coolant is pumped over the rods. Once the pumps go down the coolant boils off. The rods explode, spewing radioactive materials all over the place.

Pretty soon the US is one huge radioactive toxic waste dump. Your shotguns and 25 Year sealed food pouch and protective mask are all worthless. You'll quickly envy the dead.

PS Thank Jimmy Carter for the gift of spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors ... Carter closed down the nuclear recycling facility at Savannah River... so the spent rods keep accumulating. No US President has rectified Carter's blunder.) We're screwed.

Deus Irate's picture

Erm... You do realize the effects are quite local? Outside 30 kms things will not be affected much at all as was proven by both Chernobyl and Fukushima. Besides, to listen to you one might imagine there are BWRs all over the place but the fact is they are very few and concentrated near a relative few urban centres. Who fecking cares about the cities anyways? I say bring it.

Victor999's picture

You obviously have no fucking clue as to what is happening at Fukushima, and as a consequence to the rest of Japan (whose real contamination is being severely downplayed by a cooperative media) and the Pacific Ocean.

Posa's picture

Those were meltdown of the core... I'm talking about something else: spent reactor rods...

dlweld's picture

Good to see a realization of how the atomic reactors add to the existential risk of the grid failing. If Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) lose their cooling pumps for any period of time - the reactors blow up - baked in the design - and that's what happened at Fukushima. Back when these GE reactors were being designed several GE engineers resigned in protest over the implementation - an interesting story.

So, to add to the topic: one bullet dodged at Fukushima was that TEPCO managed (barely) to keep the "spent" fuel pools cooled - they had to compromise big time by spraying in unfiltered sea water using fire hoses. If they hadn't, the pools would have boiled dry, continued to heat, and finally melted down and caught fire. Now THAT would have been major contamination. And if the wind had been from the North East - result: the end of Tokyo and I assume Japan as a useful country. Oh well, a miss is as good as a mile.

So, due to the inability of the US Gov't to agree on where to ship and store all the US reactors' hundreds of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel - the fuel is currently all stored in or near the reactors themselves, outside of any containment vessel - and you can see on the map just where the reactors, and their planet killing waste, are located -

Posa's picture

I'm pro-nuclear power... but we're talking about a hypothetrical attack in time of war.

Deus Irate's picture

It must appear quite scary for most but I am not worried, at least not any more. Most of my vehicles and other equipment can withstand even the most severe electromagnetic disturbance and the machines that might prove susceptible have been modified to minimize the risk and I have more than enough spare electronics in Faraday cages to be sitting pretty when the earth stands still. All 3 of our 10+Kw gen-sets are shielded diesels that will run all our electrical needs just fine without controllers, but I have a couple of those stashed as well. We will have three phase power available while most stand in their condos dumbly flicking dead light switches.

We now live far away from any cities and the teaming, soon to be very hungry masses of blabbering sheep contained within them. It will be months before any stragglers manage to stagger into our outer perimeter, only to be gnawed on by dogs and various other nasty critters. I am almost looking forward to it.

shinobi-7's picture

What an extraordinary pile of shit! This is a remake of zombie apocalypse for zombie apocalypse news readers!

I was in a very similar scenario 6 years ago when the big earthquake hit Japan, 70 km (40 miles) from home, at 4pm in the afternoon.

In the long list above, the ONLY things you need is a good pair of shoes and a map, that's it, all the rest is dead weight.

No phone, no e-mail, no or very limited information is unsettling, just makes you walk faster in the end. Yes this was Japan so very secure, but unless you are right in the middle of the worst gettho, no one will attack you either in America. So you just go home where, yes, some of the stuff listed is useful in the long term. Especially water and food (A couple of weeks is long enough to find other solutions!)

What's important is not to panic. (Some people do and just add to the stress of everyone else.) Even though you see of experience more stressfull situations in a few hours than in 10 years of your life, destroyed houses, exploding gas tanks (1km high flames in the port of Tokyo, just to add to the apocalypse feel!), accidents (let local people deal with that, you're just passing, don't add the the crowds.

It is a good idea to know beforehands where you are going and how. Take the back roads, the main ones are packed. Check the road blocks. A closed bridge is 10 miles extra walk! But beyond that, nothing much. It can be a long walk, so better be fit but you'll find that you have extra strenght suddenly. It took me all night to walk (no rest) We even had the worries of nuclear radiations in the following days!

But real life is not the apocalypse described in the article. Do not prepare for the end of the world, it won't help. Just to confront difficult circumstances: It's hard enough!

a Smudge by any other name's picture

Have to totally disagree. Japanese are NOT Americans. Certain urban areas here will flash fast. The format is oft repeated. Looting begins first. Then arson, then racial violence and then they target emergency services. Hurricane Katrina showed  us what happens next. Once local resources are consumed, they spread out looking for more. New Orleans, being connected by a series of bridges, was able to contain them. Otherwise it would have been predators among prey.

StarGate's picture

Have lived in country villages in other lands without power. All you need is food and water. If it's cold where you live, get a woodstove. Doubles for cooking.

Inserenity's picture

The United States has been attacked by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapon.

Bullshit alert!

One EMP might knock out a small town, but the whole US? Nah....

Praetorian Guard's picture
Starfish Prime Main article: Starfish Prime

In July 1962, the US carried out the Starfish Prime test, exploding a 1.44 megaton bomb 400 kilometres (250 mi) above the mid-Pacific Ocean. This demonstrated that the effects of a high-altitude nuclear explosion were much larger than had been previously calculated. Starfish Prime made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a microwave link.[8]

Starfish Prime was the first success in the series of United States high-altitude nuclear tests in 1962 known as Operation Fishbowl. Subsequent tests gathered more data on the high-altitude EMP phenomenon.

The Bluegill Triple Prime and Kingfish high-altitude nuclear tests of October and November 1962 in Operation Fishbowl provided data that was clear enough to enable physicists to accurately identify the physical mechanisms behind the electromagnetic pulses.[9]

The EMP damage of the Starfish Prime test was quickly repaired due, in part, to the fact that the EMP over Hawaii was relatively weak compared to what could be produced over the northern U.S. with a more intense pulse, and in part due to the relative ruggedness (compared to today) of Hawaii's electrical and electronic infrastructure in 1962.[10]

The relatively small magnitude of the Starfish Prime EMP in Hawaii (about 5.6 kilovolts/metre) and the relatively small amount of damage (for example, only 1 to 3 percent of streetlights extinguished)[11] led some scientists to believe, in the early days of EMP research, that the problem might not be significant. Newer calculations[10] showed that if the Starfish Prime warhead had been detonated over the northern continental United States, the magnitude of the EMP would have been much larger (22 to 30 kV/m) because of the greater strength of the Earth's magnetic field over the United States, as well as its different orientation at high latitudes. These calculations, combined with the accelerating reliance on EMP-sensitive microelectronics, heightened awareness that EMP could be a significant problem.[citation needed]

a Smudge by any other name's picture

The above basically says you can nuke the whole ocean into fish soup. Throw some udon noodles in there, maybe some miso, not bad!

bardot63's picture

2 questions:  1) After the EMP, just exactly where are you going to bug out to?   1)  Will it be legal to shoot Zombies? 

Praetorian Guard's picture

I'm staying home and drinking my 6 pack as I pop Zombies at 100 yards... ;)

bardot63's picture

I will ask Zombies for I-D first followed by stern interrogation.  I will shoot them in order of who has pissed me off the most   1)  Reporters.  2) Judges  3)  Public officials    4) Snowflakes   5)  Hillary voters    6) Bankers.

Perhaps I should make Bankers #1. 

JerseyJoe's picture

I don't know.  I would move Hillary voters higher up.  Think about how braindead you would have to be to vote for that corrupt POS!

They are already zombies of the state.  But Banksters probably at the top.  (Snowflakes become your slaves if you can feed them.  LOL  You can always trade them.)

Ok just kidding.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Anything you want to do will be "legal."

Yen Cross's picture

  This fucking article is beyond retarded. 

 Yeah, just skirt the road  50 -100 feet away.  The meathead that wrote this article must be on hallucinogens.

 People don't start going full retard for 48-72 hours. Why the fuck would I want to be away from people, and risk breaking my ankle, or being bitten by a poisonous snake, getting lost, ect... after an EMP?

  AS a general rule, people try to pool resources after an attack, until they start to feel desperate, then start forming groups based on individual skills, and resources.

Are you listening snowflakes?


waspwench's picture

Yen Cross is right.   It will be two or three days before most folks realize the implications of the situation.   You do have some time.   Real panic will not set in until the store shelves are emptied and it becomes apparent that they will not be refilled any time soon.   Only then.....