Sunday, July 24, 2016

SURVIVAL | Checklist (Updated Sep 27, 2016)

This one from
The Council on Foreign Relations and former NYC Police Chief Ray Kelly have both recently warned about the dangers of cyberwarfare. 

One possibility is a cyberwarfare- generated broad electrical blackout.

If all 12 U.S. regions were brought down, one estimate is that it could take 18 months to restore power.

How can an individual prepare for such a calamity?

As a general piece of advice, I recommend Stewart Brand's conclusion: "In our researches on the likely economic apocalypse it's become clear what is the prime survival tool for hard times: friends. Good friends. Lots of them."
Stewart Brand

A friend who lives in New York City recently tried to think through what would be required to survive a total blackout of, say, three weeks. 

Here is her list so far of what she would have to do to be ready. I just found one prepared by National Geographic and another one on a blogsite devoted entirely to survival preparation. There is even one published by the City of New York Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Heidi’s Lights-Out List
As of 2016-07-24

Things I believe I should do to prepare for a possible prolonged electric grid failure, as a New York City apartment dweller.  Please comment below or send your suggestions to heidifi33[at]

  • In case someone else is with me in the apartment at the time, double all the supplies below.
  • All this needs to be stored in my apartment. I may not be able to get to basement storage, or someone may steal it from me as I attempt to retrieve it.


  • Have just one of my keys at the front desk. On that door, have an extra way to secure it from inside.
  • Gun–fake gun to scare people off (dangerous?)? Buy a real gun and ammo and learn how to shoot?
  • Be able to barricade, not just lock, both doors.
  • If the building allows, install a peephole in my door that allows me to see the entire landing.

  • Have enough food that won’t spoil on hand for 3 weeks or more. Ideally, food that doesn’t need to be reconstituted with water.
  • Periodically check expire dates on this food, and replace it if necessary.
  • Some way to cook that doesn’t depend on electricity or Con Ed gas.
  • Parmalat or other milk that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Instant coffee.

  • Have one month’s worth of all necessary meds on hand.
  • Have vitamin C on hand, so as not to get scurvy if veggies run out.
  • Put together a standard first aid kit, whatever that might contain.
  • Have on hand a guide to simple first aid.
  • Figure out how to contain my waste so that it is not contaminating. At least: buy lots of garbage bags.
  • Disposable underwear so I don’t run out of underclothes that are at least marginally clean. Water will only be used for drinking.
Communication and Light
  • Is there any way to keep one’s computer running? Buy extra batteries, chargers?
  • Batteries galore for every flashlight.
  • Flashlights and candles and matches.
  • Small denomination bills adding to a considerable sum for buying things if people come door to door with water, food, batteries, etc.
  • Corollary: have a way to open one door just a crack and still have it securely inoperable.
  • Diversify investments and where they are kept now.
  • Beef up what I have in Treasuries, with the Treasury Department directly.
Get and Learn to Use Now
  • Tarps to lay over bathtub water (protect from falling stuff; decrease evaporation]. Or keep dry cleaner bags.
  • Check that locks work, can be opened.
  • Save all empty bottles with screw tops (or maybe get some from basement recycle bins).
  • Investigate what proteins to keep, etc.; what is needed in a first aid kit.
  • Keep up to date paper records of all asset ownership.
  • Better sources of light than flashlights and candles?
  • Would the cloud be accessible?
  • Don’t know and need to: ways to communicate if landlines, cell towers are out. Best I know of at this time: Eton Red Cross radio. But what is range? Who would be broadcasting?