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What Is “The Grid” And Why It Matters, And Why You Need To Get Off Grid To Self Sufficiency & Self Sustainability Now

Why is everyone trying to get off grid? We’ll explain Sub-Grids and “The Grid”, how they’re all interconnected, and if you really need to get off the grid.

what is the grid and why it matters, and why you need to get off grid to self sufficiency & self sustainability now

We’re all interconnected. Everything we do is interconnected.

No, I don’t mean on some spiritual sense, but in our day to day lives everything we touch and interact with is connected to one another.

The hamburger you ate for lunch relied on a vast and unseen infrastructure and logistics system to get it from farm to table.

The gas you put in your car relied on a just as complex system to get it from oil in the ground to your gas tank.

We call these systems “grids”. There are many grids, (power grid, water, etc) and they all interlock into “The Grid”.

All of these systems are always running, always connected, and always fragile…

The Grid

As we have discussed previously, self sufficient living is about taking care of yourself in as many aspects as you can manage, and not relying on anyone or anything for your day to day needs. In essence, cutting yourself from The Grid.

In this same way homesteading is also about creating a place, your home, that allows you to get off The Grid as much as possible.

What Is The Grid?
So, what exactly is “The Grid”? It’s a term used to describe the almost invisible systems surrounding us that allow us to more easily live our daily lives. It can be considered the country’s vast and various infrastructures and how they interlock with one another.

The power grid is the most well known example. We no longer have to worry about making candles every week to see at night because we have an electric grid and can simply flip a switch.

what is the grid and why it matters, and why you need to get off grid to self sufficiency & self sustainability now full shelves

Nor do we have to worry about taking care of a cow and milking it if we want cereal every morning, because if we want milk we simply go to the store and pick up a gallon.

We can do this because a farmer tended their cows, milked them for us and sent that milk for processing, where a truck picked it up and delivered it to your grocery store.

That whole system is a grid.

Sub-Grids And “The Grid”
There are many grids around us, sub-grids if you will.

Food, gas, water, lights, communication, and hundreds more – just about everything we touch in our day to day lives relies on an always-on infinitely working perfect grid network to continue pulsing away 24/7 without a moments rest.

All of these sub-grids are connected together in a thousand different ways, woven into each other by necessity and convenience. Almost all depend heavily on trucks.

what is the grid and why it matters, and why you need to get off grid to self sufficiency & self sustainability now trucks

Trucks require the gas grid to provide the fuel needed to deliver bread into the food grid, and water treatment chemicals into the water grid, etc.

The power grid requires trains to deliver coal. Trains need the gas grid to deliver diesel so they can bring the coal.

Diesel manufacturing plants need power to run, crude oil delivered on trains, gas for company trucks and their employee’s personal vehicles so they can get to work, chemicals delivered on trucks to process the oil, food for their employees to eat at home and at lunch, etc.

All of this has to hum along at top efficiency 24/7 on every level. Everything, and I mean everything in this vast world of ours, relies on similar interlocked grids.

Why The Grid Matters To Preppers

These grids are all VERY fragile and we are VERY reliant on them.

For example, if the price of gas suddenly goes up because of a terrorist attack on some oil pipeline on the other side of the world (or your back yard), food will cost more to deliver so food prices go up. This is a tiny whack to the system, one which it has and can withstand but nonetheless it hurts us all.

What if just one calamity falls on us from a very long list of SHTF scenarios that have a high chance of happening in your lifetime? Maybe the dollar collapses, maybe China hacks our power grid, maybe terrorists pull another large scale attack, maybe there is another large solar flare as big or bigger than the one from the 1980’s, maybe there’s another war, maybe peak oil is true, maybe North Korea finally launches that nuclear missile, maybe that big earthquake finally hits California, maybe Yellowstone finally blows its top… the list is incredibly huge.

What happens when just one of these happens and, say for example, the price of gas goes through the roof? Trucks will stop running without gas, trains will stop too. Food will not be delivered, chemicals to treat the water won’t be available, coal to run power plants will dry up. The food grid collapses and grocery stores are empty in 2-3 days, the water grid is dangerous and undrinkable, and the power grid is crippled with blackouts covering most of the nation.

This is only a single example.

what is the grid and why it matters, and why you need to get off grid to self sufficiency & self sustainability now empty shelves

They don’t have to all happen either, it only takes one. If a single sub-grid fails the entire Grid will fail in due time, collapsing like a stack of dominoes. And even if it’s local and only your local grid is shut down, does it matter to you and your family if people 500 miles away are ok if you can’t get there because there’s no gas and the streets are full of violent rioters and dead cars? At best you’ll end up in a FEMA camp.

As the Butterfly Effect explains, a tiny problem in one part compounds on itself a hundred fold as it works its way through such a complex grid until the end result is catastrophic.

We have always managed small whacks to the grid. But if a big enough whack hits us, the grid will collapse and then everyone dependent on it (about 330 million here in the USA alone) will fall into chaos, a true SHTF moment.

The Solution

So what’s the solutions? By becoming more self sufficient you cut yourself from the grid more and more until, hopefully, eventually, you are free from the grid entirely.

Your goal should be to be so independent that if the world ended and The Grid fully collapsed you wouldn’t even notice.

what is the grid and why it matters, and why you need to get off grid to self sufficiency & self sustainability now homestead

It’s important to understand that it’s all something you have to gradually learn. Just as The Grid took hundreds of years to grow and interlock, it will take you weeks and months and sometimes years to learn the skills and build the systems necessary to get off the grid.

Final Thoughts

Talk to the older generation, they remember a simpler time, a time when The Grid was smaller and not such a threat because we didn’t rely on it as much. Ask them how they lived, where they got their food and water, and ask them how much gas was a gallon too.

Self sufficient living is not as easy as our fully grid dependent life, that you have to admit and accept. It takes time, sweat, and work to grow tomatoes, can beans, feed chickens, work on your own car, put up solar panels, etc etc.

Most people would rather stay a slave to the grid than put the effort in. They will live and die by it.

Choose to live by your own two hands. Get off the grid.

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Meet The Author

Sergeant Survival

Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.

2 Comments

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  1. Sarge,

    Good reminder about the fuel “grid” being dependent on the electrical grid. The impact of Hurricane Harvey on the fuel supply system is just a hint of what would happen if all those refineries lost power. What fuel was already out in the market would get consumed pretty quickly. Then, nothing. No fuel for trucks means no “stuff” to buy.

    Living simpler means needing less “grid”, so you’re less of a hostage to shortages (or stoppages). Better to practice living without now, while there’s room to fail and learn. Once the trucks stop coming, things will be unforgiving.

    Thanks for the article

    — Mic

  2. Conversely not being on the grid means you dont support the grid making it slightly less stable. the more people that do not support the grid the more fragile it becomes. if enough people left the grid it would cease to exist and everyone would need to everything for themselves.

    people do not want to live this way so they would seek others to trade and work with, creating a new “grid”. In reality you cant leave the grid without using the grid to leave. In your idyllic photo there are solar panels and lumber and windows all paid for with “on grid” currency and delivered by grid based companies.

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What Is "The Grid" And Why It Matters, And Why You Need To Get Off Grid To Self Sufficiency & Self Sustainability Now

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