Welcome to a Tuesday Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by The Fastest Way To Prepare course–the fastest, step by step way to get you and your family prepared for 8 hour to 8 week disasters.
Good news! National Geographic really did their homework for the movie American Blackout that aired this Monday. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much but I tuned in anyway out of morbid curiosity. The portrayal of what takes place after a cyber attack crashes the grid was insightful and is filmed in such a way that the viewer feels as if they are in the middle of the action.
I’d love to hear from others who watched American Blackout. Did you feel it was realistic? Anything you feel they should have added, but didn’t? Did you feel the looting they portrayed was realistic, or too tame?
(David’s note: I wasn’t too pleased with how they portrayed the prepper, but the fact is that a lot of preppers ARE like him.)
For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, look for the rerun tonight! It’s worth the two hours, and if you have someone in your life that you feel underestimates the potential of a societal meltdown during a grid-down scenario, you might want to ask them to join you!
(David’s note: Even my wife…MY WIFE…was moved by watching this. After being married to me for almost 10 years, hearing me prepare to discuss this very scenario (with a kinetic twist) a few years ago in DC, doing all the training that she’s done, learning the skills that she’s learned, reading the books she’s read and even watching the movies & shows that we’ve watched, this show struck a nerve with her and we’ve had some great conversations as a result.)
Because the material is timely, I’ve broken down the overall “big picture” of this 10-day blackout scenario, but left out the individual story lines so it isn’t ruined for anyone who plans to catch the show.
Progression of events:
- When the cyber attack hits the electrical grid, it happens in a domino affect, rolling across the U.S. one region at a time as cities and towns are plunged into darkness.
- Because only around 10% of traffic lights have backup power, gridlock is almost instantaneous and the situation leads to numerous car wrecks.
- All cell phone and land-line phones are down.
- Electrical transformers blow and fires break out.
- All 900,000 elevators across the U.S. screech to a halt and thousands are trapped with only 4 hours of back-up lighting available before it’s lights out. (Some automatically return to the ground floor before stopping)
- Trains and subways stop and thousands more are trapped, or forced to find another form of transportation.
- Only a handful of gas stations have back-up power. It’s nearly impossible to find gas, and when it is found, fights break out over who gets what.
- In a matter of hours, food in freezers and refrigerators start to go bad.
- People living in high rise apartments or condos can’t use the elevators and are forced to walk. Many staying at hotels chose to camp out in front of their hotel, rather than trudge up and down stairwells in the dark. Another issue is electronic key cards no longer work, so people cannot get into their rooms. (David’s note: I had a problem with this one since most keyless locks are battery powered or have battery backups.)
- People hold “Blackout” parties, unaware, or unwilling to face the long-term repercussions.
- News broadcasts tell people the blackout is the result of a cyber attack, and authorities are unsure about how long the blackout will last.
- All banks are closed and ATM machines are not working.
- A family of preppers hit the road to get to their big-out (there are several characters depicted in the movie with various mind-sets and income levels, but only one prepper, of which it’s pointed out in the movie, totals 3 million in the U.S.).
- Party time is over! People are panicking over the lack of food, water, and supplies.
- Some households across the nation do not have water or sewer because municipalities aren’t set up for days-long back-up power. (In the real world, gravity would take charge and backflow preventers (check valves) would be tested.)
- People search through closets and drawers for candles, flashlights, lanterns, matches and lighters. Some discover the batteries in their flashlights are dead.
- News broadcasts announce store shelves are bare and many are desperately searching for food, water, candles and batteries.
- Some of the more industrious people power up their cell phones from the battery in their laptops, and others break out windup cell phone chargers and radios in an attempt to stay in communication. It isn’t made clear whether or not they are able to get a connection.
- It’s announced that refineries cannot process and distribute fuel because, ironically, they do not have sufficient back-up power. Even if they did, fuel tanker trucks driving on roads without stoplights and gas stations without generators to pump gas out of the tanks would cause cascading problems if the refineries DID keep producing.
- Millions are stranded and are unable to get to work because of gridlock, the nation-wide power outage, and empty fuel tanks.
- Because so many are burning candles and lanterns, running generators and cooking on camp stoves, fires break out everywhere, but the fire department can’t help. There’s no water to put the fires out.
- People shown on camera admit they regret not having any emergency food and water put aside.
- Police are out in full force, watching for looters and criminals who are taking advantage of security cameras being down. Authorities advise that everyone stay indoors. (Keep in mind that in most places, the ratio of law enforcement on duty to civilians is in the 1:4,000 range. More than that would cause budget issues, but it’s an impossibly small numbers when things go bad)
- By nightfall on day 2, civil unrest begins in earnest.
- Most municipalities have run out of emergency backup power and across the nation, people are thirsty and unable to cook or shower or flush their toilets. A newscaster goes on air, requesting those who are still receiving water to conserve it for absolute necessities–it is shown on the screen that an average family of 4 consumes 400 gallons of water each day.
- Bartering at grocery stores begin. Unable to get cash from ATM machines, one man offers his Rolex watch in exchange for what he needs, but the shopkeeper refuses, saying it is no longer worth anything. Those with cash are offering $40.00 for a gallon of water and $20.00 for a jar of baby food.
- Fights are breaking out everywhere over food and looting is out of control, especially after nightfall.
- Some pet owners have run out of dog and cat food and have no idea what to do about it.
- Many stuck in elevators have not been rescued, and they are growing desperate with thirst, and hunger while they are left in the dark.
- It is announced that urban locations have been the hardest hit by the blackout, but suburban and rural locations have suffered as well.
- The President calls a nation-wide state of emergency.
- The Prepper gets a visit by a neighbor who begs for food and water, but he is refused help. The prepper allowed his daughter’s boyfriend to bug out with them and the boyfriend pipes in that they DO have food to share.
- A dusk-to-dawn curfew is called in an attempt to control lawlessness. The police are overrun and the National Guard has been called to action.
- A newscaster wraps up his announcement by telling his audience they are about to run out of fuel for their generator.
- The president calls for rationing with priority given to the military and emergency services.
- FEMA requests that everyone remain calm.
- Further reports tell the public that riot police are trying to control the unrest.
- People complain of police and military brutality.
- Parents are desperate to feed their families and fighting and looting is greatly increased.
- The Prepper learns his daughter’s boyfriend, who he took pity on and allowed him to go to their bug-out cabin, sneaks food to the neighbor in the dead of night. The prepper is convinced now that his neighbor has been given food, he will return with others to try to forcibly take what provisions they have.
- Thousands of fires are now burning out of control, but there is nothing fire departments can do to help.
- The death count climbs and the problem grows worse when the morgues admit they have no backup power to preserve the bodies.
- A teenager is shown approaching the hospital where his mother is employed as a nurse and discovers body bags lined in multiple rows in a parking lot, but he is refused entrance by a bodyguard and told they are only allowing those with life-threatening emergencies inside.
- FEMA warns people not drink water from unknown sources due to possible contamination.
- Announcements are made for anyone in need of food or water to go to nearby Red Cross stations for help.
- As food riots, looting and lawlessness increases, it is announced there will be zero tolerance for criminals and vigilante groups.
- While people record what is happening on the streets, screams and gunshots are heard.
Skips to Day 8
- A Ham Radio operator claims authorities are confiscating guns and food and will shoot anyone who does not comply, but advises not to give them up.
- The President requests international aid. The U.S. does not have the money or resources to help everyone in need.
- Hospitals are running out of fuel for their backup generators as the wounded and the ill continue to seek medical help.
- The prepper’s young son (around age 11) watches as the neighbor and several other males walk onto the families bug-out property. They grab the boy, telling him if he takes them to the food, he won’t be hurt. Once the looters clear out the “decoy” shelf of food, they leave and the son wakes his patents. They rush to their underground shelter where 2 years of food and water supply are hidden out of sight.
- Civil unrest has escalated and people are afraid for their lives.
Skips to Day 10
- A London broadcast announces that a massive relief effort is headed for the U.S. with supplies and personnel.
- The malicious code used to take down the grid is closer to being tracked down to the culprit(s), but it is said the repairs to the grid may take months or years.
- Red Cross stations continue to hand out food and water to the ever-increasingly desperate public. Photographs of the missing take up every square inch of the wood structures of the Red Cross stations.
- The Prepper watches from an above ground camera as the neighbor and his friends return to the compound and discover his fuel supply and other important goods that the prepper’s family need to survive–things get heated from there, but I’ll stop here so I don’t give away the ending.
Reading the day-to-day description of American Blackout, do you feel the movie realistically depicts a kill shot that takes down the grid? Was anything left out? How would you react if you were the prepper, watching your survival goods about to be looted?
For concrete, step-by-step ways to prepare yourself and your loved ones for local, regional, and national disasters like what we discussed today, check out the SurviveInPlace.com course, the FastestWayToPrepare.com course.
God bless and stay safe,
Survival Diva and David Morris