Here comes the sun – When a massive solar flare, grid loss and overheated nuclear reactors change the world. [Edited to include what the prepper in the story did wrong.]

Solution for what the prepper did wrong at the end of the post.

This morning, you watch as the sun shoves the sky aside and plants itself in your line of vision. Sunrise. No one cares much for sunrise these days.

Thirteen months have passed since your world went silent and dark.

The massive solar storm stopped the world dead in its tracks. It destroyed the vulnerable electric power grid transformers. There had been a committee back in 2011 that had examined the risks and warned action was needed. It was too late now.

You listen. Nothing. At one time the sound of traffic and horns honking was an annoyance. Now, you would give today’s ration of food to hear a car or sip a warm beverage, or linger with a good book while sitting on a gleaming white porcelain toilet that actually flushed. When the grid was destroyed, it took sewage, sanitation and potable water along with it. 

At first, they said restoration would happen in months, then months became “foreseeable future.” There was some irony for you in that phrase. No one was seeing much of anything these nights. It was pitch black at night now.

You try to remember the smell of coffee in the morning. You haven’t made coffee for three months since your supply of fuel ran out. You should have stocked more fuel or searched for better alternatives while you had the chance to do so.

Has it only been 13 months? It feels like an eternity has passed since the sun threw a massive solar tantrum larger than the Carrington Event of 1859. 

The event was the solar flare equivalent of the big earthquake on the San Andreas fault predicted by seismologists. 

Some reports said a solar storm wouldn’t have the deleterious effects upon communications and electronics that everyone feared. 

The misinformation about solar flares and the electro magnetic pulses were fed partly by the entertainment industry. 

People mocked those who doggedly prepared for a solar storm event because they didn’t understand how a solar storm would affect the power grid.

Severe solar storms only produce an E3 element that takes out the power grid transformers, and initiates DC like currents in extremely long electrical conductors.

Solar storms don’t produce the rapid E1 element that damages electronics. It was the loss of power that rendered electronics useless.

No one considered the threat that would result from long term power loss and it’s effect upon nuclear power plants. When those effects became apparent, everyone suddenly remembered Chernobyl and Fukashima.

The early days of blackout conditions and the subsequent looting and rioting was nothing compared to the long term effects of grid loss and the reactions of the nuclear power plants.

Then the psychological illness started, people who hadn’t prepared couldn’t cope with the utter devastation of their electronic world. They were overwhelmed by the disruption to all the modern conveniences integrated into their lives. You could see it in their eyes. They were not just hungry and dirty. They were lost also. Some of them became fatalistic and murderous in their insanity and very dangerous.

You need to forage. Maybe someone missed something in the mosaic of abandoned cars that litter the roadways and streets. But, you need to go further away from home to do so. It’s a big risk taking the bicycle out. Bicycles are like gold now and people have been killed for them.

You lace your boots up and whisper “thank you” to a prepper on The Prepared who taught you about FLC: feet, leather, covered. 

You made sure to have the best boots you could afford. After testing them, you bought two extra pairs of those boots plus repair materials and learned how to repair them to extend their life.  It wasn’t just a prep for a long duration event. You knew that sometimes really good quality items stopped being made or began to be made with inferior materials or workmanship.

Footwear was an important prep and the limping, poorly shod people roaming about were grim reminders. Some people with bad footwear were getting infected feet. Gangrene was nothing to fool with.

Save the bicycle for when it’s time to bug out. On The Prepared, you learned about The Monowalker from a UK prepper. It was carefully stored and ready to be used for bug out. Another “thank you.” 

You wondered if the people from The Prepared were alive, if they and their families were okay. You hoped that however they prepared, that it was enough. You hoped that an experimental gardener with the dogs and gardens was picking ju-jubes and that there was a pound cake on their table.

It had become tougher to forage as more and more desperate people scavenged, while predator survivors waited in the shadows to take what they found. 

Gun fights were common and avoiding stray bullets was a new pastime. When bullets hit your home, you moved your bed away from the outer walls and slept in a room lined with bookcases for protection.

Today, you could assemble a travois to carry larger or heavier items as close as possible, then “cache and carry” under cover of darkness. You needed to assemble more barter items to get the supplies you lacked for the long bug out journey ahead.

It was almost “bug-out o’clock.” Your personal doomsday clock was ticking louder. Bug out was your last resort, but survival is and always will be your first resort.

The bug out option became more complicated after the reactors overheated. It was a part of prepping that many preppers hadn’t factored. 

There were now fewer options unless you wanted to glow in the dark. You had heard the radiation wasn’t as bad at the West Coast. “Heard!” How could you have forgotten to print the map for predicted reactor drift? You printed all your other important prep info! 

The chorus of regret began to rise and flow toward your amygdala where it would soon become panic. NO!

Focus. Stay focused and aware. Get through today. Do it thirty seconds at a time if necessary, but get through today alive. You can do this. You can make it.

Internal pep talk concluded, you sling your dummy pack over one shoulder and do a final pat down and run a mental check list from head to feet of everything stashed on your person. The dummy pack was just some crumpled paper, empty tin cans, and a couple of rocks in a bag, but it was a way to blend in, foil robbers and useful as an improvised weapon.

What’s left of your guns and ammo is reserved for the long road ahead.

You think of The Prepared and everyone there who became an online community of preppers. You whisper the words into the air, “wherever you are, I hope you survived and if I make it, it will be because of all of you.”

Go time. You step out into the sun and begin to walk.

How could you become better prepared for a severe solar storm, long term loss of the power grid and the potential impact upon the nuclear power plants?








http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.tra.038 travois

Here’s what the prepper in the story did wrong.

This scenario was meant to illustrate the power grid loss and reactor issues, but there was another message left in clues throughout the story.

The story is set thirteen months after the event in an urban area based on the number of people roaming about.

The person in the story is alone without any community established either before or after the event occurred. We’ll call this person the prepper.

The prepper claims to have not made coffee for three months which would place their last coffee ten months after the event happened. Making coffee with its distinct aroma was a mistake from the beginning.

The coffee should have been saved to drink cold if in need of caffeine to stay alert. This prepper was low on fuel, yet they still wasted fuel on a cup of coffee. That fuel might have been needed to boil water and sterilized equipment for first aid purposes.

Next, the prepper admits not prepping enough fuel or alternates which are part of needs, not wants in prepping. Water, food, shelter, defense, clothing, warmth, and first aid are needs, not “nice to haves.”

The prepper clearly describes the psychological condition of the population, yet is still sheltering in place without adequate community or resources.

The prepper describes needing to forage and having to go further away because vehicles in close proximity have been picked clean. This is now done on foot and without the bicycle. How does he plan to get that bicycle and Monowalker out of there without being noticed at this late stage?

Bicycles may be considered gold in the scenario, but so are boots according to the story with people needing them. He should have been “public” in an old pair that he could afford to lose.

The pepper refers to The Prepared and people that he learned from, yet has failed to see that the need for bug out happened long ago. Would this have happened with other people/family around? Is the isolation affecting this person’s judgement? Is there a lesson for all of us regarding isolation?

The prepper refers to “predator survivors” stealing from other survivors. No one should remain in that environment, nor in an environment with “gun fights” that are “common.” “Avoiding stray bullets” should not be a preppers “pastime.”

The prepper in the story wants to scavenge and possibly “cache and carry” items with which to barter to get supplies he “lacks” for the long bug out journey ahead. If he was prepared, why is he lacking important items?

Whom does he plan to barter with? It doesn’t sound like people around him are doing very well and barely surviving. If they did have what he needed, he could have bartered the boots he was wearing and worn his brand new back up pair without risking a foraging trip.

There are survivor predators and he thinks that he can just breeze past them with his foraged items? They would be out a night also and he will have trouble seeing them until it is too late.

The prepper is wasting more time and energy and running more risk in this fruitless exercise that he is mistaking for survival.

It no longer matters that bug out was a “last resort.” Now it should be his first resort if he wants to survive.

The prepper doesn’t have any maps.

The reference at the end to “what’s left of your guns and ammo” is troubling. How much shooting was this prepper doing? If you are alone and have to shoot that much, you shouldn’t be there. Why waste ammo when the solution is to exit a no win situation.

We assemble items, information, plan and prepare, but in an actual disaster we need to be careful of our judgement. 

Hanging onto preconceived ideas that are clearly no longer working for us in a disaster, is a dangerous strategy, especially if we are alone and there is no one else to challenge our thinking.

Sometimes, our judgement can be faulty. We may, like the person in the story, remain far too long SIP, when we should have been long gone.

We may also place priority on having items that are not necessary or wasting resources in order to have “the comforts of home.”

Bugging out is not a camping trip. It is becoming a refugee to save your life, so take with you what will actually help you to survive.

One final note on the cars, the prepper in the story did not check the mass of vehicles for one made in an era (80’s) which from my newly formed understanding, would not have sustained damage during the solar flare. A bit of siphoning, stash bug out items, and if no keys, hot wire and go.


  • Comments (30)

    • 6

      Good morning Ubique,

      In reply; I could not become better prepared. My preparedness philosophy uses common-denominators to strive for the FEMA doctrine to “Prepare for realistic, worst-case disasters”.  I factor in to this overall preparation the deterioration of the human body as explained by Sigmund Freud in “Civilization and its Discontent”. 

      Loss of the power grid, to include inoperability of small generator use, is factored into anticipated environment.  So is a mentally-shocked population reverting to barbaric living.

      The anticipated long camping trip will be severed by a required evacuation to somewhere. The evac will be by walking or pedaling.  

      When reading the scenario, I knew that less than 15% of the area’s public could write a couple of statements in re Chernobyl, Fukushima, San Andreas. The Carrington event is archaeology. I write this paragraph because I remember a couple of decades ago that with the same time line of event to discussion, I had asked someone if they knew the significance of Diego Garcia.  The spontaneous reply was “A cigar ?”

      • 2

        Good morning Bob,

        Despite my aversion for electric or battery powered hand tools and home appliances, I had never really studied the material that is out there on solar flares and emp or hemp events or the connection to nuclear reactor overheating. It is cause for concern and part of a well rounded prep plan.

        I admit anything with the word “nuclear” was when the “game over” sign would flash over my mental image of the earth.

        Now I realize it could all be survivable, if like anything other crisis, we are properly prepared. So this information is being integrated and accounted for in my preparedness now.

        There was so much more that could have been added, but I wanted to give an overview in that scenario and hope that others, who may not have factored this scenario into their preparedness might begin to look seriously at it.

        The time to do this reading and study is now while the WWL (world wide library) is accessible. Anyone who doesn’t love reading history can learn to love it by thinking of it as time travel. I learned to read very young and for me reading a form of travel. I could go anywhere and learn. If it was science, I was standing in the lab and observing as discoveries were being made. If it was history, I was marching with them and immersed in the written experience.

        How can anyone not take advantage of that free education, especially now that so much is available online?

        Diego Garcia, good stage name for an actor or island gateway to the middle east complete with burger bar and bowling alley for the personnel stationed there?

        Cigar indeed! Not while Arturo Fuente exists.

        I must admit, non-smoke/drink now, but I do miss the salon style armchair days of a good cigar and a fine scotch and discussions that lasted far into the night.

      • 3

        Good morning Unique,

        There are so many no-cost educational opportunities, from half-day seminars to 8 week Sheriffs’  Citizen’s Academies, to the web, ……

        Here, aforesaid are not crowded nor with with waiting lists to attend.

        No longer smoke or drink but when did occassionally smoke, when overseas, it had to be a Cuban cigar. I collect political souvenirs and the cigar rings are super !

      • 6

        Good morning Bob,

        Also a good idea for no-cost education opportunities. I haven’t heard much advertised in these parts. Perhaps I am missing how they advertise these types of events? I will check.

        There should be waiting lists for these events.

        Cigar rings would be a great political souvenir.

        Ah, a good Cuban and the smell of leather. They need to make an incense like that.

      • 4

        Good morning Ubique,

        Some of the advertising sources here are:

        The local Alzheimers’ Assoc chapter had meeting notice in county newspaper re a no-cost mental health first aid course.

        Our voluntee fire department has numerous bulletin board notices at places like gasoline stations for home fire safety courses.

        The veterans orgs have print meeting notices in the county newspaper.  Meeting themes range from history seminar, an attorney spoke on fire laws, a state agency rep spoke on mobility issues of the injured,..

        The Emergency Management Dept has print, web and radio announcements re hurricane preparedness seminars and parking lot fairs.

        Our regional health district has state-provided notices for the health subjects.

        Just attending one event leads to others.

        One of the best I attended – and also no-cost – was our area’s 2 day SART course. SART = State Animal Rescue Team. This is not my specialty at all but wanted to learn how to handle stray animal situations. Made great contacts, learned much and had good time. I learned of this seminar via a vounteer at our local animal shelter.  The SART seminar was not advertised like other programs  due to shortage of volunteers to prep news releases.

      • 4



        Above link is to one of the sections of the Winnipeg Emergency Mgmt Dept’s website. I can guess there are local area orgs.

        Once signed up, material will arrive via email.

        At left bar, note the “Community Emergency Advisory Committee”. We have the same here (but obviously smaller; this is a rural backwater) which I avoid like the corona virus. 


        I’m posting this also for other Forum Members to research their area and then surf around and get on a couple of lists, eg weather emergency material, fire prevention,……

      • 5

        Hi Bob,

        I just posted a reply to your reply above before your addendum and I’m not sure if I messed up on the reply button. I’ll go back and redo that one.

        I have saved the Winnipeg link and thank you.

        Winnipeg is a 6 hour round trip on summer pavement for me. It could still work. I have support (couple of friends there) in case of triggers (99% happened there).

        I do go there alone, but with a plan in place, so yes, it’s important to learn things that I may not be able to source in my area, I believe I can make it work.

        So thank you for suggesting Winnipeg. They will have many more programs and resources available.

      • 4

        Good Afternoon Bob,

        There is precious little for resources in my small town. There is a particular sensibility here of what is “allowable.”

        For example, I spoke along with my husband in another community during “Mental Health Week.” The high school youth were supposed to be bused in to attend the seminar/workshop. The local parents stopped it and refused to let their children attend. 

        I will need to go to another community for what I want to learn about. 

        The good news is that there are other rural communities who are more interested in emergency preparedness and other related issues.

        You are very lucky to have the community programs even if sometimes volunteers can hard to find. 

        I appreciate the suggestion, Bob. You have given me some hope that I can find something in the area or driveable region.

    • 4

      Something that I think would need to be considered in such a scenario is light.

      Is it good to have or bad to have?

      If you have light in pitch black conditions, then you will be noted and possible approached for what else you may have.

      On the other hand, how do you function in pitch black conditions without light?

      Infrared? or?

      • 4

        Good afternoon Ubique,

        Sidebar; Received all the above replies. My mentioned no-cost seminars and training were mostly not in this county; just in area. Most are a 2-4 hour round trip.



        I’d call this a situation-specific decision.

        It is good – a preparedness requirement – to have light but not necessarily to use, depending on the situation.

        If circumstances and situation allow, eg no first aid required, safe location  prior to dawn, I would attempt to rest, recoup and save the moving around combined with saving the batteries’s juice.

        For a basic level private citizen prepper, white light will meet requirements. 

        Weight of the load and costs must be factored into light selection. 

      • 2

        Good evening, Bob

        Please excuse tardiness of response, I had what I think was a walloping case of food poisoning tonight.  I went down fast after ingesting a “prepared” frozen pizza. I don’t usually eat food like this but Spring chores and working on projects. It ended up not so convenient.  Another preparedness consideration: recognizing food poisoning and preventing it.

        Understood on the distance. It is worth it to get the information or education. Also I’m going to look at online possiblilities.

        On to light, my thoughts run the same direction. Don’t use it. It will set you apart really fast in blackout type conditions.

        If as in the scenario, bug out was imminent, then definitely not to be used. 

        Bug out bag versus items in Monowalker for bug out gear would have to be carefully considered for necessity, future need and ease of transport.

      • 4

        Good morning Ubique,

        No tardiness reasons / apologies needed.  I completely understand. 

        (Real pizza is like real bakeries … that Canadian guy and his song you mentioned … things change.)

        Chores required. Projects must be thinned out.

        Here, too, as fatiguing as chores are, mentally considering adding a Monowalker, …… this is more fatiguing – so mentally draining  – than manual labor in the forest.  My thoughts are firming up to an abandonable Grandma’s collapsable 2 wheel shopping basket only to augment my vests and load-bearing suspenders. 

      • 4

        As a general rule, without electricity & living a self sustained life, one works a dawn to dusk schedule and sleeps when dark.  In a crisis, especially in the early stages, one would probably not want any light escaping.

        If you are butchering animals, you can render their fat & make tallow or lard candles.  I keep around 100 feet of wicks in storage.

      • 2

        Redneck, what does your 100 feet of wicks look like? 

        Would it be something like this? 

      • 4

        It sure can.  For me, I have several different packs of different diameter wick.  Each pack holds 30 feet.  I’ve never made candles but I know it is important to match the wick size with the fat and container size… thus multiple sizes.  I understand if your wick is too small you can simple have multiple wicks.


      • 5

        Thank you for the response. Candle making could be a fun hobby that could turn into a trade if something bad were to happen and people started to rely on candles more than electric lights.

      • 4

        Good morning Liz,

        Only as an aside, a tangent, … I’ve seen candles also serve as a medium for artists. Some candles were as elaborate a piece of artwork as an oil painting on canvas. Some also had carved sections showing Bambi and friend in cave section.  Saw a candle with a Manger scene.

        Some storm candles were so relaxing to look at, I knew I’d hold off using them somewhat like not wanting to use a new knife and wear off a fraction of the parkerized finish on blade section.

        The candles were a mental sedative !

      • 3


        Please forgive tardiness of reply – see above to Bob re why. Makes the argument for avoiding processed foods.

        These conditions would mean the dawn to dusk schedule. Definitely blackout conditions. The worst thing you can have is light when no one else has it. It becomes a beacon.

        Candles, if used, would have to be with windows covered.

        Also, from a person I knew who kept bees/honey and made beeswax candles, it is worthwhile to get a book or understand the size of wick for the type/diameter of candle. It will make for a better burning candle and economy of use. From what I remember, there were also other substances added to the beeswax. I’m not sure if that would apply to tallow or lard, but it’s worth having the info in advance.

      • 2

        These conditions would mean the dawn to dusk schedule. Definitely blackout conditions. The worst thing you can have is light when no one else has it. It becomes a beacon.

        Yep.  I think once folks start doing manual labor from dawn to dusk, they will be ready for bed & therefore not a lot of use for light.  Obviously there will be some need, especially in the long nights of winter.  And your location is as important as blackout.  My farmstead can’t be seen from any road.  I live a mile back off the highway with forests & rolling hills between.  But in the early stages of the crisis, we will stay blacked out.

      • 5

        Lack of visibility from the road is also part of my property search criteria.

        There are hills in the area I live in. One family just built a nice home not long ago. Whoever he is, he knew what he was doing when he designed and engineered his property. I learned something very valuable about stealth by observing what he did when I happened to travel past his property.

        At first you could see his home from the secondary highway off of which it is situated. After he planted trees and completed his landscaping, his home virtually disappears. But there is more to what he did.

        There is a field for cattle before his property and driveway. There is also a curve in the highway as you drive past the cattle field. This creates a visual distraction so that your eyes must focus on the highway and lessens the chance of seeing his property.

        He ran his driveway at a point where it is slightly past his home and then doubles back toward his home. I saw him construct that driveway. He graded that property so that the driveway sloped upward and basically built a similar landscape as the surrounding hills. His driveway gets lost in the landscape and that curve on the highway.

        I don’t know if they are a prepper family, but what he built was amazing. They had no work crews. He built that home alone. 

      • 2

        I would be pretty nervous about any light escaping my windows if everyone else’s houses were completely pitch black. A completely blacked out neighborhood isn’t something many of us city folk can imagine, we are so used to the constant light sources wherever we go.

        I would put up some light blocking curtains and then go outside on a dark night and look for any source of light seepage. 

        Can always go back to the trashy looking aluminum foil and duct tape on the windows.

      • 5


        I have done exactly that with a layered approach. I don’t want my home looking odd or fortified. It has to look subtled and “normal” from the inside (I have to live in it) and the outside.

        I began with a one way window film for daytime security. This is a window film applied to the inside of my windows and the glass on my screen storm doors. From the outside it appears white, like looking at a curtain back or blind.

        On the inside, it is like looking out a screen door. It is clear with small black dots (very hard to describe) on the inside. I can see outside quite well, but no one can see me standing there.

        If it is dark outside and I have lights on inside, then the most someone would see is shadows. The film works very well and also reduces UV.

        Because I want the privacy and don’t want people seeing “shadows” in my home at night when I have lights on. I layered horizontal and light blocking window blinds over the window film. Then I layered blackout curtains over everything.

        All my window coverings indoors are white and very nice. I have complete blackout for light at night. Plus, there is an energy efficiency component to doing this. I have noticed a reduction on my heating bill. Not a huge amount, but there is a difference.

        Part of why I did this, is I have my television mounted on the living room wall and don’t want passersby noticing that or anything else I have in my home if I’m watching tv at night.

    • 5

      How could you become better prepared for a severe solar storm, long term loss of the power grid and the potential impact upon the nuclear power plants?

      Well you prep so that you aren’t dependent on electricity.  That would be very hard & uncomfortable to do, so I prep for minimal electricity… just enough for important needs.  I have a good number of full size solar panels in storage, some of which are in Faraday enclosures.  I likewise have  2 solar generators, one of which stays in a Faraday enclosure.  I have a flex well pump in a Faraday enclosure, which can operate directly off of solar panels.  I also keep dc hot water tank elements in storage which also can be run directly from a solar panel.

      I keep all sorts of hand tools on hand with a very large selection of saws & axes.  I keep all sorts of pulleys & come-alongs in the barn with large volumes of different types & thickness of ropes.

      To me you just game it in your head.  If I were without electric for an extended time, how would I ……?  Take them one at a time & find a solution.

      • 2

        Hi Redneck,

        That is exactly why I posted this scenario.

        We’ve touched on cold war issues before. I always thought that nukes were game over and never considered any of that in my preparedness.

        I knew a bit about solar flares, but I had no understanding of the issues with the power grid transformers or considered the impact on the nuclear power plants.

        With Fukashima, I was so focussed on the earthquake in the media relating to their nuclear reactor crisis, that I (and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one) didn’t consider how that loss of power could be a problem in a non-earthquake situation.

        It was an example of how we can miss information when the event becomes the focus instead of how the effect of that event can be applicable to you or your community.

        When I realized that a grid loss and overheated reactors wouldn’t be the “big bang” extinction event, I thought I better get on this and start understanding it.

        So, I started reading, took that information and extrapolated it into a snapshot scenario of a few moments in the day of someone who has been placed into that situation. What would it look like? What would it mean to survive and more importantly, what am I missing in my preps?

        Bug out is my last consideration. I’m examining prevailing winds, and if reactors are blown, looking at which areas would be safe not just to live in, but also to grow crops/garden, water.

        There is much I don’t know. Like you, I have hand tools and personally, don’t like being reliant on a bunch of electric gadgets. I wasn’t like that. But this goes deeper. I’m looking at the environmental impact as it relates to survival (garden/fishing/hunting/crops) and the human impact.

        People are so used to electricity. There have been studies that show electronic devices such as phones to be addictive i.e. addictive technology. So, we know that in black outs in the past, people riot, loot and act very aggressively and strangely. I’m trying to wrap my head around what we would face if one adds electronic withdrawal to the mix.

        The looters who stole big televisions and stereos would probably go for resource theft pretty quickly. There would be no vehicles running (no fuel), so I think large groups of people on foot or bicycles and more likely, very violent.

        I think they would devolve into violence and instability very rapidly because of their fear. People who loot are opportunistic. If you add fear to the mix, you have their version of survival. They may also believe that it’s TEOKWATKI and behave in a sort of mob madness much beyond what we have ever seen in media coverage of looting events.

        My instincts are telling me that you would see a lot of instability very quickly. People who are on the other side of this behavioral coin, will be dealing with fear as well. From the time man discovered fire, it kept danger at bay. It was also comfort.

        So, that is where I am and why. Like you I “game it” in my head, run the scenario, immerse myself in conditions, jot notes, read and now, I am revising some of my prepping priorities.

        It also taught me a good lesson in being careful of how I view disaster events on the media. I think sometimes, it is possible to focus on parts of the event, but not see the applicability to our own community/situation.

        Thank you for replying with your approach. As always, you are balanced and practical and I truly appreciate that 🙂

      • 3

        When I realized that a grid loss and overheated reactors wouldn’t be the “big bang” extinction event, I thought I better get on this and start understanding it.

        You might want to rethink this.  Scientists have stated in Congressional testimony that around 90% of the US population would perish within a year of a grid down scenario… be it EMP or solar mass ejection.

        This is why foremost, I prep to be stealthy.  The initial part of such a crisis will be horrible once folks realize there in no food and none coming.  Another reason why I prep for my neighbors so that we can form a community for joint security.  There will be millions of desperate hungry folks and that will be exceedingly dangerous for preppers.

      • 4


        I wasn’t aware that the number was as high as 90%. That information underscores the need for stealth and community. 

        A lone wolf can survive against the odds, but a pack has the best chance.

        This lone wolf was an exception and the extraordinary thing is that before Takaya was shot, a female wolf had begun to howl at him and it was believed that she would have made the swim to where he had journeyed seven years earlier. An incredible story.


    • 4

      While reading your scenario here I imagined what it would look like for me to be bugging out with a bicycle. I bet you would only carry the essentials and want to keep things as light as possible. 

      I’d want to keep some kind of spear with sharp pointy things at the tip that I could have easily accessible to fight off people waiting to ambush me on my evacuation out of the city. Maybe a glass bottle full of gas siphoned from a old vehicle so that when I throw it at the ground it would shatter, spark, and explode.

      • 3

        Hi Liz,

        I agree regarding keeping things light and essential. If I could ask you to take a look at the reply I posted to Bob and Redneck, there is more detail behind my thoughts on this subject (apologies, but it is a lengthy response).

        I’m still working my way through the reactor drift. Where would it be safe to go? How would prevailing winds and groundwater/water table be affected by the radiation? How would soil be impacted?

        I believe it is a survivable event, but it is one that calls for more reading and study. Right now I am looking more closely at Chernobyl and Fukashima for more details about how their situation impacted the environment.

        Then it is a matter of figuring how any reactor problem could impact where I am currently and where it would be necessary to bug out to if it wasn’t safe to remain at home. Bug out is my last resort and I hope it doesn’t come down to that, but the whole point of being prepared is to know in advance how to respond to an emergency.

        I like your Molotov Cocktail idea. I hadn’t thought of that one and it could definitely come in handy. Be careful of spears, because in self defense anything that is like a spear can actually be grabbed quite easily and then you can be pulled and thrown off balance (aikido using your force against you).

        I would practice avoidance if at all possible and stay off of main roads, walk or bicycle parallel to them as Bill Masen advised in another thread, but stay out of sight.

        I think I would also want to bug out to a pre-determined safe place before things got that bad. It was one of the points in the scenario that I wanted to show, the person had waited too long to bug out.

        Thanks very much for replying, Liz.

      • 7

        Good morning Liz and Ubique,

        Had missed above early this AM.

        It is illegal to make “Molotov cocktails” in the US. They are bombs. I’m sure they’re illegal in Canada also.

        Besides being illegal, they are dangerous. They must be ignited before thrown. 

      • 1

        Hi Bob and Liz,

        I was just about to post on the Molotov Cocktail. They do have to be lit.

        If legality wasn’t an issue and defending alone against a crowd in an extreme situation, diesel would be a better choice as it is more difficult to ignite, but doesn’t evaporate like gas and spreads.

        I just learned about this from an Engineering Disaster episode where a diesel fuel tank of a vehicle in a car park (Liverpool?) ignited and dripped down from an upper level of the car park.

        Because of the way diesel spreads and behaves when ignited, the whole car park went up in a massive fire.

        This information also caused me to be aware of car parks (not a fan of them for a variety of reasons) and also accident scenes where a diesel vehicle is involved.

        Thank you Bob for underscoring the legality issues of what we discuss. Much appreciated.