Letter Re: The Importance of Rural Retreat Light Discipline

Jim:
I’m writing to comment on something in your nonfiction book “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”: On page 206 you state: “Without proper blackout precautions, your house will be a
‘come loot me’ beacon that can be seen for miles at night.”I can’t stress light discipline enough. Here’s an example: About fifteen years ago my parents went to dinner at The Cougar Inn on Lake Wenatchee [in eastern Washington]. It was a dark night and on the way back from dinner they looked across the lake and saw a faint green flashing light it the vicinity of their un-lit cabin. Arriving at the cabin they found the light source for the flashing: The light that could be seen from slightly over one mile was the reflected light inside their cabin of the video cassette recorder (VCR) flashing “12:00, 12:00, 12:00.”

That was one mile away. The VCR was sitting in a corner in a built–in cabinet, and not pointed directly at the window.

Don’t ever tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s not that bad.” What’s not that bad? The act of being raped, robbed, and murdered, or the light leaks? Even the smallest light leak can be an invitation to disaster [in a grid-down situation, where all of the houses are blacked out.] – Rick B.

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