A tree falls in Ohio…
…and the Northeastern United States goes dark.
The New York City skyline disappears that night. Subway trains grind to a halt, passengers are trapped in the pitch-black tunnels. Food rots in grocery stores and restaurants. Thousands flee Manhattan Island.
Across the Brooklyn Bridge they walk.
Gas stations can’t pump. Traffic lights stop working.
More than 55 million people are without power on the hot August night.
This isn’t some dystopian future I’m imagining now. This actually happened and I’m sure you remember it.
Most people know all about the Great Blackout of 2003.
What most people don’t realize is that the entire Northeast lost power because a tree fell on a power line in Ohio.
That’s all it took.
You’d think that after a disaster like this, something would be done to make sure it never happens again…
…but I’m afraid to say – nothing has changed.
We’re still living with the same, outdated, rusty, crumbling power grid we’ve had since Thomas Edison’s day.
The system will not save you. You know that…but don’t feel hopeless. There is plenty of hope – we talk about it on this letter all the time. Something as simple as a fallen tree could completely disrupt your life.
You can…no you MUST take a few simple steps starting today to build simple, resilient systems for you and your family.
It’s been 2 years since I started writing this letter to you and in that time we’ve seen:
- Hurricane Sandy leave millions without power, water or food for weeks.
- The largest blackout in history in India, where the lights went out for 600 million people
- Millions of people in the Midwest suffer the worst winter in memory…thousands lost power…everyone had to pay HUGE bills just to keep the heat. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January!
Listen…this trend isn’t going anywhere. The system is broken and nobody out there is going to fix it. That’s why we need to build our own personal systems that guarantee that we survive and thrive during the next crisis.