If What They Say is True, You Should Prepare Now!

March 23, 2023

Difficult Next Few Months

“None of us can come to the highest maturity without enduring the summer heat of trials” – Charles Spurgeon.

Record Breaking HeatIf the weather experts are even partially right about their forecasts for the summer months of this year, the crisis we currently find ourselves teetering on the edge of will get substantially worse.  Meteorologists, scientists, and even the Farmer’s Almanac all indicate that this Summer will bring record-breaking, searing heat to the United States and parts of Europe.  Are you prepared for power and water outages or rationing?  Are you prepared for heatwaves and failing harvests?  The drought and record high temperatures are projected through this year and as far into the future as we can currently see.  Some communities are already feeling the impact.  Some states will soon suffer from a lack of electricity and even water, even though it may have just rained where you live on the east coast or the great lakes. Balancing the national grid and maintaining a nationwide food supply will bring these problems to your doorstep.  In this video, we will look at the forecast, the known impact it will have on us, and what you should be doing right now to lessen the impact of the disaster we are facing.

Download the Start Preparing Survival Guide To Help You Prepare For Any Disaster.  We’ll post a link below or visit cityprepping.com/getstarted for a free guide to help you get started on your preparedness journey. 


DroughtAn incredible 53 percent of the lower 48 states are currently experiencing some level of drought.  In the past, we might have shrugged this fact off.  We mainly did so if it was raining where we lived or we lived in an area surrounded by lakes.  A drought at this level hasn’t been seen in 1,200 years, and it only worsens. The Summer season of 2022 will be the second consecutive La Niña — also known as a “double-dip.” The La Nina jetstream pattern means an even hotter and drier summer for parts of the United States and Europe.  That means the Pacific Northwest may get copious amounts of rain, the South West and Midwest almost none. When winter rolls around, most of the country will be unseasonably warm, while the Northwest and Northeast can experience record-breaking cold. If the weather pattern shifts to an El Nino Southern Oscillation pattern in 2023, these same drought areas could receive a deluge of rain so heavy that it cannot be effectively channeled to relieve the drought’s impact fully.

Last year, winter got off to a promising start with a series of powerful storms that actually improved California’s overall drought outlook.  However, an unseasonably dry January and February wiped out most gains.  The highs and lows taken together leave large swaths of the southwest still deep within the clutches of one of the worst droughts in at least 1,200 years.  The current forecasted temperatures this Summer will only exacerbate the problem by accelerating the evaporation rate.  If the weather patterns continue for a third year, major hydroelectric generators like the massive Hoover Dam will soon be forced offline.

Nearly every major city across the Northeast and Midwest experienced more 90-degree days than typical last summer.  Meteorological summer doesn’t officially start until June 1st, but parts of the country are already experiencing temperatures in the 80s and 90s as early as February, while precipitation levels stayed at record lows.  Indeed, except for the Pacific Northwest, everything from the Pacific to the Missouri River will likely be hotter and drier than we have ever seen.  The rest of the country will be wetter with intense and severe weather: Derechos, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hurricanes.  At this point, the forecasts indicate it will not be a lovely summer for anyone.


It Wont Impact MeLet us start off by addressing what may be on many readers minds when reading this blog: it won’t impact me in my part of the country because we don’t live in the Southwest.  The reality is that you don’t have to live in a Western state to suffer the consequences.  If you already see the price increases at the grocery store, you can expect them to go up even further.  If you are accustomed to stocked shelves with a large selection, you may one day be surprised to realize how many of your products are grown or manufactured from resources in Western states.  You may pay mere pennies for your water and electricity now, but when water and energy are rerouted, you can expect those costs to rise.  The North Electric Reliability Corporation has already warned blackouts could hit much of America’s Midwest.  The minor problems of droughts and heatwaves are compounded by extreme weather and infrastructure in disrepair with parts that are unavailable because of supply chain failures.  This is another perfect storm of disasters.   Throwing more coal in the fire, adding more renewables, and even building a nuclear reactor at this point may help in the short term but will have no effect on the inevitable.

There is a common and oft-repeated myth that the water crisis in the West results from mismanagement of the water.  It’s easy to see why some people might come to that conclusion.  The fact is that CA does dump water into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, an estuary where saltwater from the sea mixes with fresh water from Sierra snowpack runoff.  Water from the delta is used for irrigation and drinking water, and if too little freshwater is present, then seawater would fill the gaps.  If the freshwater isn’t allowed to migrate, you would have saltwater that is neither fit for consumption nor agriculture.  

It’s also not true that all of Southern California suffers from a drought.  San Diego has a desalination plant that takes water right from the ocean.  The plant delivers nearly 50 million gallons of fresh, desalinated water to San Diego County daily.  That is enough to serve approximately 400,000 people.  It isn’t enough for the 3.3 million residents of the county, but it does offset the drought conditions a bit.   Don’t dismiss the genuine drought crisis with pundit soundbites.  Instead, look at the very real subsequent phases of this deepening drought condition.  

You may also hear people say that what we are seeing is cyclical and happens every several hundred or thousand years or so.  That may be true, but at that time in our historical past, the population was not where it is today.  The infrastructure we rely upon was not in place.  Powerlines weren’t strewn across the land from power generating facilities to homes.  Hydroelectric dams, pumping facilities, and water treatment plants didn’t exist. Indeed, large-scale farming operations didn’t produce a quarter of the rest of the country’s food.  

It is true that California faced significant droughts in the last several decades.  Droughts do happen with some regularity.  Unfortunately, the droughts we have seen in this century are happening with greater frequency, record dryness, record heat, and cover a much larger geographical area.  And they aren’t just limited to California.  Not to mention the population of California has increased by 17 million since 1976. Hence demand has grown for both water, food, and electricity.  The population of Colorado increased from 500,000 to 5.6 million in the same period.  Arizona went from 1.1 million to over 7 million.  There are significant infrastructure challenges today that previous drought generations never had to wrestle with.

We need to accept and prepare from the standpoint that neither renewable nor fossil fuel industries will be there to rescue us when the mercury rises and the power systems fail.  Realistically, though, any solution to the crisis will have to be plugged in by you.  The impact of this year’s mega-drought and accompanying record temperatures could dramatically alter your way of life moving forward.

Understand that the top 5 energy companies in the United States control 416.2 billion dollars of the market.  Energy and water, like natural gas, aren’t guaranteed to you, even if it’s produced next door or pumped out from the ground right outside your town.  These resources flow to the highest bidder in a free market.  That might be the state next to you.  It can even be across your nation’s borders.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking the government can do anything about it, and don’t make the error of thinking that your current supply of resources from any for-profit entity is at all guaranteed.  Instead, anticipate that if you live West of the Mississippi River, you run the risk of a prolonged blackout.


Weather ForecastIn many western states, water rationing, fines, and even flow restriction devices are inevitable and, in some places, already being implemented.  We have already seen flow restrictions regarding electricity, as electricity providers have asked some areas of Texas to avoid charging electric vehicles during peak hours.  In the coming months, it is a high probability that several hydroelectric facilities will need to go offline.  Energy from other grids will need to be siphoned off to meet demand.  All the while, a scorching Summer sun will result in higher demand.  Natural gas could help offset the hydroelectric demand. Still, with it more profitable to ship American natural gas to Europe and the high costs and demand for liquid natural gas, it isn’t much of a solution to the overall disequilibrium of the power structure.  Natural gas will flow to the highest bidding country, which isn’t necessarily the same country from which it was initially extracted.  Finally, the higher temperatures result in drier and windier conditions.  That results in a higher probability of devastating fires.  Those fires often result from high winds.  These fires can easily take out electrical networks.  So, people can expect rolling blackouts, high rates, and even periods of extended outages are probable.

Even if you don’t live in the West portion of the country, you will still feel the impact.  It could be due to routing power or water to these troubled zones or away from municipalities to farm and industrial endeavors, but it will likely take the form of high prices and food scarcity.  Just 3 of the drought-affected states account for 25% of all the agriculture produced in the United States.  That is an incredible 92.8 Billion dollars of agricultural product per year.  Picture it this way.  Think of four items you had at dinner last night.  Now take one from the table.  Maybe that’s the potatoes because the crop failed. Perhaps that’s the beef because ranchers downsized their herds because of less water and skyrocketing grain prices.  

We are just at the beginning stages of the warmer season, too.  The crops currently in the ground have to endure the still to come scorching temperatures of Summer.  Crop failures are more likely as the temperatures increase in the dryer months ahead.  Farmers cannot just pivot to another agricultural product.  The reality is that the meteoric rise in the price of fertilizer and water scarcity have forced some farmers and ranchers to downsize and scale back their operations.  Precisely when demand is highest, yields will be both intentionally, by choice, and unintentionally, by weather, reduced.

Beyond energy, water, wildfires, and food scarcity, you must prepare for the overall weather impact wherever you live.  The chances for the continental U.S. and the Caribbean Islands to experience hurricane activity increases substantially during La Niña.  La Niña years show a significant increase in higher category tornadic outbreaks and an increase in the number of devastating tornadoes.  And as mentioned earlier, the colder temperatures and harsh weather in the Northeast and Midwest are dramatically increased during the winter months.  Cold air from the north can violently descend deep into Texas, and Texans are well aware now of the power outages that can result from that.  To put it as simplistically as possible, what affects one area affects others.  Just because your region may not be in a drought does not mean your area will be immune to the overall effects.


Food Stock PrepareFirst, ensure that your food, water, and energy preps are in order.  Having a supply of water, food, and backup energy will make you less susceptible to suffering from either outages or food scarcity.  Planting a drought-tolerant vegetable garden will offset some of the food scarcities that may be coming and higher prices that are guaranteed.  Replacing sprinklers with drip lines can also benefit you.  Before this is over, some communities will rule that you should let your lawn die off or face fines.  

Creating a precipitation collection system and ensuring runoff systems capture whatever rain falls will help you conserve water resources.  The rain will fall again, likely in torrents over several days or weeks once it starts.  However, flash floods are possible when the soil is so dry and compacted, and much of the water simply washes over the drought-stricken land instead of seeping deep into it.  The result is aquifers across the country dropping lower.  Groundwater depletion is possible in some areas, even as rain occasionally falls.  This will impact both industry and individuals.

Make sure that no matter where you live, you have established some type of rain collection system.  Even a rainbarrel connected to gutters can provide an emergency supply of water or sufficient water for a small garden area.  If you live in an area where either fires or high winds are possible, make sure you prep for these.  Clear flammable brush, trim tree branches, install shutters or other semi-permanent wind protection and check seals and insulation.  High winds are a significant cause of blackouts so keep an emergency kit handy with everything you need to spend hours or days without electricity.  If you are living in a wet region right now, expect that you might receive a lot more precipitation than average even as part of the country gets even drier.  Conserve water, remove lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant plants, install rain barrels and create defensible space around your house if you live near wild areas where fire or flood is possible.

If you live in a zone where a fire is possible, even in a suburb you think is completely safe, have a fire evacuation plan in place.  Consider having a bug-out plan which we’ll link to below.  Have established rendezvous points with your family members.  Have a plan for when you only have mere minutes that will determine your survival.

Assess your dependence on systems outside of your preps.  If you require medications that also require refrigeration, how will you keep these medicines in their cool temperature range after the power goes out for several days or even a week or more?  Have a small gas generator or solar battery system.  We recently did a blog covering these options, which we’ll post below.  Have a small backup refrigerator if it fits your medical needs. If you do use a gas generator, be careful about fumes and potential fire risks. We will be releasing a blog in the next few days covering a product that will power your whole home with renewable power.  Though such a thing is an expensive option, something like this would be worth the investment at this point.

In anticipation of a power outage during an extreme heat event, ensure you have fully charged flashlights.  Make sure you know how to open your garage door without electricity.  Make sure you have your preps to survive a week or more without electricity and with extreme heat.  Make sure you have a bugout bag packed and ready to go if you live anywhere near a fire zone.  At the very least, if you live in one of these heat zones, ensure you have the means to keep cool should the power go out.  Use natural ventilation and battery-powered fans to cool your home.  Keep curtains and blinds closed during the day.  Drink plenty of water and put cool water on your body’s pulse points.  Consider wearing a wet hand towel or using a spray bottle to mist yourself.

The reality is that this drought and the forecasted heat still to come are unavoidable.  They will have ramifications for everyone across the country, from the very direct and real possibility of rolling blackouts to the indirect ramifications of lower crop yields and higher prices.  Consumer demand for energy will surge to combat the higher temperatures, and power will be allocated to commercial endeavors.  Every day people will be blamed and charged extra costs.  Expect the genuine possibility of rationing, fines, and flow control devices.  Also, don’t expect these problems to go away, even when the rain finally cycles back.

If the current forecasts are fractionally correct, you will be adding heat and drought to the problems of this decade when you talk about it years later.  If you plan to be around to talk about it, you have to start prepping for it right now.  The impact of the Summer’s heat will be felt most drastically beginning in just two months.  That doesn’t give you much time to prepare or restock essential preps.


As always, stay safe out there.

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