NOAA and other government agencies indicate the US and the globe at large are experiencing increased catastrophic weather events over the past 20 years. Being prepared for dangerous events increase the likelihood of surviving the event and the chaos that ensues from the event.
There are so many scenarios it can be overwhelming! We at Practical Preppers prefer to secure water first, then food and shelter. Redundancies are added once these foundations are done. Being prepared for power interruptions is essential.
Humans can live only 3 to 5 days without water, less in hot climates. Water systems must be secured first. If bugging out (leaving home), adequate water must be carried to ensure safe arrival at secure location (must consider water needs when walking, worse possible scenario) or adequate water filtration system procured.
What we at Practical Preppers have actually experienced and seen in others is anxiety DECREASES as one becomes prepared for dangerous scenarios. It seems counter-intuitive, but the more one prepares for a bad event, and thinks through possible outcomes, the more one is empowered with preparation and less worried about negative outcomes.
Great question! Sustainability is the key on this: If reasonable expectation is a sustained power outage with a large population of unprepared people nearby ( a group heavily dependent on large electricity consumption), one must have either1) exceptional planning in handling heavy security or 2) leave home. If event is a hurricane or other dangerous weather event, timing, of course, is essential.
There are prepper conferences being organized all over the US and internationally! Both Scott and David are speakers on a regular basis in many venues. I encourage you to contact on-line survival/prepping stores for locations and times- and GO! There are many people looking to find other people of like mindedness. We have seen many neighbors pleasantly surprised to see each other and many old friendships renewed!
Good start! But stored goods can only last a short time, especially if you help your neighbors. Scott can engineer house systems that integrate off-grid water & power solutions that can be as active or passive as you want them to be.
Generators in the US can be hard wired into house by a certified electrician. Fuel can be conserved with backup battery banks. This is relatively passive as physical labor is minimal. Gasification is a much more active power solution where energy is extracted from wood (by burning it) and capturing the hydrocarbons escaping prior to burn. A gasifier in tandem with a generator has the potential to be a sustainable power source for years - as long as there is wood to burn ( and something to cut it up with!). Solar systems are passive and can be relatively financially affordable IF an alternate system is designed for your house. Scott's experience and education has saved his clients thousands of dollars in choosing the right system for the individuals.
There are Faraday cages (packages that protect electronic devices) of all different sizes and prices. We carry military specification bags. Since all electronics would be affected by an EMP, preparing for a pulse is extensive (there is electronics in virtually all vehicles since 1970). Scott has been able to speak to/and or listen to some of the US' most expert individuals on this subject. One Second After by William Forschen , with forward by Newt Gingrich, is a well researched fictional read on the subject. The field is still somewhat unchartered, so expect to see conflicting answers to your questions. Perhaps the question is not how to prepare for an EMP, but how to live without electricity. We have answers!
Overwhelming, but not impossible. Nutrition is key. Start with storing protein first (meat & beans), as this is most difficult to acquire in grid-down situations. Canned meats and dry beans - but be aware dry beans need LOTS of energy and fresh water to be used. Do not stock a chest freezer unless you have power redundancies backing it up. Start with 1 weeks worth of food (14 - 3 oz portions per person is good to start), then rotate to grains (these will increase calories), whole preferred as they store for much longer. veggies and fruits (dehydrated) are great for vitamins and minerals. Storing multiple vitamins (rotating stock as needed) is a cheap "insurance policy" against major deficiencies.