Dear Preppers and Survivalists,
"In other words, there's no upside to this. Is there, O?" Stedman asked
"No, darling. Plus, the general consensus is these United States is one of the prime targets for an array of attacks on the power grid." Oprah replied
"An array of attacks?"
"According to the research team, other countries are developing EMP weapons or are working on the techniques to use nuclear weapons to disrupt the country's power grid." holding up her hand, Oprah continued "And, ... before you ask EMP is an acronym for Electromagnetic Pulse. It is a short pulse of electromagnetic energy that can cause disruption or damage to electronic equipment."
"That doesn't sound so bad" Stedman commented
"There's more. These electromagnetic pulses are also naturally occurring. It seems our sun periodically has Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) but the planet is protected by the earth's magnetic field and the atmosphere"
As Oprah paused, Stedman said "O.K"
"Not O.K. There is more. The nations' three electrical grids are connected to the internet, so there is the possibility that a lone individual or a small group could cause damage to power generation plants by 'commanding' the generators to quickly shift on and off.
"There is also the possibility of a small group targeting transformer farms using explosives or firearms to destroy equipment." Oprah finished
"Transformer farms? Sounds like Optimus Prime and the Autobots retired and moved to ..." Stedman quiped
Smiling Oprah and cut him off, "No silly, a transformer farm is a collection of power transformers.
These transformers change the high voltage, from the power plants, to a lower voltage for our homes and businesses. They are usually grouped together in one location."
"What makes this special?"
"Some of these transformers are huge. The larger transformer were originally transported on trains while the smaller ones have special tractor trailers for dilivery. Plus, the larger transformers can take years to order, manufacture, and deliver to a 'farm.' Oprah answered
Finishing his wine, Stedman asked "I'm getting a beer. Do you want more wine, O?"
Living full-time with Stedman, for the last few years, had taught her that 'Getting a Beer' was Stedman's way of pausing to think about the subject being discussed, so Oprah said "Sure, but take your plate into the kitchen, and I'll get the rest of the dishes.
And, ... Put your plate in the dishwasher." As she heard Stedman open the refrigerator door.
After gathering the dishes, Oprah walked into the kitchen with the remaining dishes. She neatly placed the remaining dishes in the dishwasher as Stedman watched her.
"So, what happens if the electrical grid stops working?" Stedman asked, as he handed Oprah a half-full wine glass.
"With the nation's electrical grid down, our country would lose its ability to communicate after a few days, heat our homes, process food, move freight across the country, plant crops, and many other tasks.
Chicago's water would quit working, toilets would stop flushing, the 'L' would quit running, and ..." Oprah stopped, taking a sip.
"According to the research team, we have several things to discuss.
First, do we even want to do anything about it. If we don't, we live our lives, just like we are now. If we do, ..." she trailed off.
Walking towards her, Stedman said "Darling, I think it's clear; we have to get ready for this" as he hugged her.
"Then, we have more to talk about" Oprah said, hugging him back.
Releasing each other, they walked into the great room with its gas fireplace giving the room a warm glow.
Sitting down, next to each other, Stedman reached for the notepad on the antique side table as Oprah started talking.
"First, we need shelter. We can do this a few different ways.
We can purchase a spot in these purpose built shelters, just like a condo. It will stand ready for us if we ever need it.
Another option is to build a purpose built shelter, just like .." Oprah said, as Stedman cut her off
"Tom Cruise" laughed.
"Yes, just like Tom and Nicole at their homes in Colorado and Melbourne." glaring at him, Oprah continued "We can also buy land and have a place built for us, like G.W."
"G.W. as in G.W. Bush?" Stedman ask.
"Yes, just like Laura and George Bush, down in Texas" Oprah continued after drawling the state's name "They have a nice home with solar power, wood stoves, water wells, and a host of other things."
"I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but what's the down side to each option?"
"According to Tom and the research team, a lot.
The purpose built shelters could be a scam, just fleecing people of their money. Plus, there is no guarantee the security staff won't kill everyone and move their families into the shelter. If, there is even a security staff.
Building a shelter would be difficult, here in Chicago and in Santa Barbara. There isn't enough space, and the building and zoning process would advertise to the world about the shelter.
Hawaii combines the two. The process of building a shelter would alert everyone, so we would be overran by unprepared neighbors. Plus, being trapped on an island that imports almost everything is a poor idea, so our home in the Bahamas is out, too." Oprah replied.
"That leaves buying and building a place. What is the downside to that option?" Stedman asked as he doodled on the notepad.
"Several. The home would have to be remote but not too remote. We would have to be discrete about building the property and, .." pausing "We would have to be accepted for our skin color." Oprah said, looking at Stedman
Putting down his notepad, Stedman said "I'm getting a beer. Do you want more wine?" as he scooped up her glass and walked to the kitchen.
As Stedman walked into the kitchen, Oprah quickly got up and padded to the bathroom for a quick pee. Returning, she found her lover sitting on the couch, sipping his beer.
Looking at her, Stedman said "There is a fifth option. We could upgrade each of the homes and stock them with the needed supplies."
"That is an option." she replied.
"So, what do we need to survive one of these EMP attacks or coronal mass ejections?"