09:41 – I finished reading Koppel’s Lights Out last night. It’s well-researched and -written, but it fails by just about any measure, unless Koppel’s intent was simply to make readers despair. Koppel spends a great deal of time, for example, covering the history of the LDS Church and detailing how well organized and prepared it is to deal with widespread disasters–vastly more capable than FEMA or the Red Cross–but he then makes clear that the LDS Church would be swamped immediately by a long-term grid-down event, unable to help even all of its members let alone the general public. The simple truth is that, without electric power, the US is now incapable of supporting a population of even 50 million, let alone 330 million, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that fact. It’s up to individuals to do the best they can, and their best usually won’t be good enough to allow them to survive.
The truth is that rather than reading Koppel’s Lights Out, you’d do much better to read David Crawford’s Lights Out, a fictional treatment of the same subject.
Both books correctly point out that rural communities will fare better than heavily urbanized areas, but that’s little solace to urbanites. If your home and your job is in a city, you’re not likely to sell your home, quit your job, and move to a rural area. By the time it becomes obvious to everyone that cities are death traps, their residents will be stuck there. That’s why Barbara and I are getting out now, while the getting is good. She’s more concerned about civil unrest and the underclass presence in cities. That concerns me, too, and is by itself a good enough reason to relocate, but my main concern is the really, really bad stuff, like a grid-down situation.
When we get relocated, one of my top priorities will be to become part of our new community. She’ll volunteer at the library, we’ll join the rifle club, and so on. I’ll also introduce myself to the folks at the Sparta LDS Church, and volunteer to do what I can to assist their emergency preparedness operations. I’m a gentile, of course, but the LDS Church is open to working with non-members for such things. Another top priority will be to get an off-grid solar setup installed, sufficient at least to power the well pump, and to expand our long-term food storage with a lot of bulk staples to allow us to help family and friends if it comes to that.