Life After The Power Goes Out [Interview]

Tara Dodrill - Author

Mar. 5 2014, Updated 1:58 p.m. ET

A North Korea EMP attack and solar flares have many Americans concerned about the power grid. Homesteading expert Rick Austin recently sat down with The Inquisitr to discuss what life would be like if an EMP threat or massive solar storm became a reality. The author and public speaker explained how such disasters could destroy the power grid and change life as we know it.

IQ – 2013 is rapidly turning into the year when solar flares and EMP topics are constant headline makers. What would happen if massive solar storm struck the Earth?

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RA – First of all there are two types of EMP event possibilities. One is natural and caused by a solar flares (coronal mass ejections) and the other would be man-made. We have had natural events in the past, both small and large ones. But most of these events have occurred in times of humanity when there was no real effect to the populace or to mankind’s infrastructure.

In 1859 the Carrington Event occurred which was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm from a coronal mass ejection that traveled along telegraph lines, the only real electronic devices we had at the time. This event shorted out telegraphs, ran along the telegraph lines, killed linemen, and burned telegraph paper in telegraph offices.

If such an event where to happen in our electronically, computer driven, web-based, interconnected world today – it would change life as we know it. Think about Hurricane Katrina, and how society completely unraveled in a matter of days. This would happen not only country- wide, but world-wide.

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IQ – What exactly is an EMP?

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RA – The man-made version of an EMP is one of the things that those “in the know” fear the most, and are not talking much about. Why would our government really be worried about Iran or North Korea getting one measly little atomic weapon, you ask? Well, that is because one weapon launched from a cargo ship over the center of our country would cause an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) that would take down our entire power grid, and that would, in less than one second, fry every computer, cell phone, ATM, and electronic device in the country. We would be blind, without radio, television, or any form of communication. We would be without gas pumps, and without transportation. Just about every vehicle today is run by computer chips. The grocery stores would be out of food within hours-and could never be replenished again.

IQ – How would life as we know it change in America if the power grid suddenly went down?

RA – There would be mass panic, society would unravel, and the “have-nots”, would take from the “haves” to feed themselves and their families. People would die quickly in the cities, and many of the survivors would “head out to toward the country” to find food and resources. If you are a homesteader, prepper, or just have a traditional garden in your yard, you and your family will be a target for the hordes of locusts that will be hungry and wandering the countryside, consuming everything in their path.

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IQ – Your most recent book addresses using old-fashioned homesteading techniques and a secret garden to not only survive, but thrive in the face of disaster. What concepts in the book would particularly aid folks concerned about a downed power grid?

RA – My book, the Secret Garden of Survival-How to Grow a Camouflaged Food-Forest is about having a homestead garden that doesn’t even look like a garden. It looks like overgrown underbrush. It looks natural because it is the way that nature grows things. Nature does not grow plants in nice, neat, straight rows, nor does it grow fruit on trellises, etc. Nature grows things wildly, and plants naturally work together in symbiotic relationships that intermingle, intertwine, and ultimately benefit one another. The great thing about having a growing area like in Secret Garden of Survival, is that in a situation like the one above, the staving hordes will most likely pass by your house, because your garden doesn’t look like a garden- in fact, it looks like the property was abandoned.

Rick Austin also noted that the increase in homesteading by Americans does not entirely have to do with disaster preparedness. The author feels that more people are opting for a more self-reliant lifestyle for several reasons. Some homesteaders have reportedly lost faith in the government’s ability to see the country through a crisis. Others were reportedly drawn to the less complicated existence homesteading offers and the desire to grow and raise their own food.

Are you concerned about the possibility of the power grid going down after an EMP attack or solar flare?

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