620 million people in India are caught in a massive blackout as the world’s largest power outage strikes the country.
Water shortages caused by worldwide drought and coal shortage (57% of India’s electrical production comes from coal) means not enough power production. People stealing power from the grid in some areas results in India losing up to 50% of it’s power to theft. Corruption in the power industry is also a problem, according to Massoud Amin, professor of electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
This has all caused the largest power outage in world history! How many people were without power? At least 620-670 million according to some reports. Here’s some perspective.
According to almighty Google, at this time of this writing India has a population of 1,241,491,960.
That’s 1.24 BILLION people!
620 Million equates to 52.3% of India’s TOTAL population!
If 52.3% of our own country went without power, that would be 162.9 Million people. Could you imagine?
India has the second largest population of any country in the world. China has the most at 1.3 Billion, with India set to overtake China in population in the coming years.
Here’s a little more perspective of exactly how many 620 million people actually are. You would have to combine the TOTAL populations of ALL the people living in all 7 of the countries listed below to equal the total number of people in India who went through this historically massive blackout.
TOTAL POPULATION BY COUNTRY:
USA 311.5 Million
Mexico 112.3 million
France 65.4 Million
UK 62.6 Million
Canada 34.4 Million
Australia 22.6 Million
Holland 16.7 Million
If you’re not off grid already, now might be a good time to consider it. Just ask yourself, “What if?”
What if this happened in your country? What would you do? Are you prepared for a prolonged blackout? Do you have enough food and water stored? What if the blackout lasted 3 days or more? Food won’t last that long in the refrigerator. Even frozen foods will thaw after 2 days.
What if the blackout lasted 1 week or more?
PREPARING FOR A POWER OUTAGE
3 DAYS OF FOOD
If you haven’t prepared beforehand, you have 3 days! That’s it before you run out of food and water.
All your frozen foods, (meat, frozen veggies and juices) will spoil in 2 days in the freezer according to the CDC. Foods might last longer as they cool, and you may get another day out of them. But after 3 days you’ll need to have backup dry good foods stored somewhere, or get to the store the FIRST day during the power outage IF you haven’t already stocked up. Even then it might be too late because if the power is out, gas pumps don’t work, and neither do cash registers! Stores will shut down if they do not have generator backups.
So, at max, you have 3 days. That’s it. After that, what are you going to do?
The old adage is true “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Pack away water, dry goods like rice, beans, cereals, oatmeal, dehydrated foods, canned goods, pasta, flour, sugar, salt, etc.
WATER WATER AND MORE WATER! Without water, you die. Simple as that. You might be able to go 2-3 days with very little water, but eventually, dehydration will set it and then it’s too late to start thinking about where to get water.
Store water in 5-gallon jugs, or even food grade 55-gallon plastic barrels. If you don’t have either, use your bathtub (in emergency situations only). Just boil the water before drinking or cooking with it to kill any bacteria. Also, use water purification capsules or filters if you can’t boil your water if you have them. Have plenty of ice on hand in your freezer. Your freezer will still freeze water after the power goes out if you don’t open it much.
NOTE: During the famous San Diego power outage last year (2011), we were fortunate that we had some large 1 gallon water bottles on hand. As soon as the power went out, I filled them all with water and threw them in the freezer. The power was fortunately only out for 6-8 hours, but by the time it came back on the water had frozen nearly solid save for the core which was still liquid water. Now I try to keep big water bottles in the freezer all the time. In the event power goes out again, I know these bottles will act as huge blocks of ice and may give us an extra day or two as long as we don’t open the fridge too much. This buys us precious time by keeping or food fresher longer. The problem with them is they take up a lot of space that could be used for food, so it’s a lesser of the two evils kind of thing. We weren’t prepared last time, so I had to think fast on how to preserve what little food we had.
You’ll also need candles, flashlights, lots of batteries, a handheld radio, rope, duct tape, blankets, etc. If you can find a wind-up radio you won’t need batteries. There are also “shake” flashlights that work on the Faraday principle. These are GREAT for emergency situations as they don’t need batteries, and as long as they are well made, they will last a very long time.
Salt can be used to preserve meat so make sure you have plenty. One pound is NOT enough. Have about 5 pounds of salt on hand; in prolonged survival situations it can also be used to barter with in the event you find that you need other supplies.
Get a good portable propane stove or wood burning stove. Depending on where you’re located, and your access to trees, a wood burning stove might be better. Propane costs money and if you don’t have a large reserve, and the blackout lasts longer than a week, a small LP bottle will not be enough to cook all the meals your family will need.
PROCURE & SECURE YOUR WEAPONS
Defend yourself and your family. Make sure you have a weapon or multiple weapons that you can use to defend your family. A handgun, shotgun, knives, baseball bat, stun gun, taser, etc will do the job.
Weapons may freak some people out, but the fact is if you’re caught in a prolonged blackout and anywhere near the city proper, you are in greater danger of bands of marauders and looters looking for things to steal. They could be armed, and it’s safer to assume they will be armed and dangerous rather than hope they aren’t.
This is not a joke!
I’ve seen people freak out, and when people are scared, like when they can’t feed their families, or they are starving, they do crazy things. Look at the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. That will give you an idea of what can happen in a disaster situation. Many people died in the street, killed by looters and marauding bands of thieves, gang members, and people just scared of dying.
If you’re thinking, “I can’t get a gun, I don’t believe in guns, or I could never…” Forget that way of thinking.
The security of your family comes before ANY self imposed ideology or prideful naive ideas of how life should be.
A blackout is REAL. So, being a realist is important for survival. You can delude yourself into becoming complacent, but if you ever get into a situation where you need to defend yourself or your family against someone hell-bent on taking what you have, then everything else flies out the window. In that moment, LIFE and DEATH become very real things.
You must defend yourself and your family. Ideology means nothing when someone is trying to take what you have worked hard to secure. Don’t let false pride or fear of weapons get in the way of defending your family. It might just come to it. I’ll get down off my soapbox now.
KEEP YOUR CAR FUELED
A full tank of gas goes a long way. It will get you out of the danger zone if you need to flee or go somewhere to pick up supplies. Always keep at LEAST a half a tank of gas in your car. If you feel the need, get an outdoor fuel tank and fill it with a reserve of fuel. Even a plastic 5 gallon can of gas will last months before it turns “sour”. Just store it where it minimizes fire danger to your home.
BUG OUT BAGS
Keep bags packed for yourself and all your family members. This costs money, so it might take a while to gather all the items you need. Sleeping bags, flashlights, fire starters, pocket knives, twine, tape, changes of clothes, MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), candy bars, money, etc. The idea, of course, is to have the bag packed and ready to go in the event you need to “bug out” at a moments notice.
For example, if food/water riots start up and are endangering your family, you might need to get out of the area fast and may not have time to pack what you need. If you pack it ahead of time, you’ll have it when you need it.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of things, but these are just some of the basic survival skills and equipment off the top of my head that you need to think about in the event you’re caught in the middle of a massive blackout. If the blackout lasts any amount of time, and you’ve prepared you and your family will be safer.
If you haven’t already done so, stock up NOW while you can. Once the power goes out, it’s too late.
“Get off the grid NOW!”
20+ Years of survival/preparedness training and study.
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More news from all over the world:
- USA Today: Second day of India’s electricity outage hits 620 million
- New York Times: 2nd Day of Power Failures Cripples Wide Swath of India
- ABC News reports: “India suffers world’s biggest power outage“
- Wall Street Journal: India’s Power Network Breaks Down
- Huffington Post: India Power Outage: 620 Million People Affected By One Of The World’s Biggest Blackouts