PDA

View Full Version : America looses power - what happens?



Talfuchre
01-13-2010, 09:20 PM
I have asked my students this from time to time, and I have my theories - but I want to know what you think.

Let's assume, for whatever reason, that we lost electrical power, in all of America for two months.



It is my opinion, due to the lack of survival skills in most major cities, that the death toll (especially amongst the elderly and young) would be very high.

Am I wrong? What do you all think - of the 308 million people in America today - how many do you think would not survive the two month time without power?

Any other predictions? Bedlam? Working together? Mass Chaos? What?

Let's try to keep it simply by saying that it is just our power grid, no war, or EMP's or what have you - just a loss in power.

TF

Keyser Söze
01-13-2010, 09:31 PM
right now in this cold weather... some would die of thirst in 3 days

Homeslice
01-13-2010, 09:36 PM
Massive casualties. Very, very few would be ready for that sort of thing. A decent amount more would be saved by government response, but the loss of life would be enormous.

Trekon86
01-13-2010, 09:39 PM
Ditto on what Gaga says.
Most peoples' (including our 200-odd yo farmhouse's) well pumps run on electricity, and most don't have hand pumps or even the means to install them. A good 50% of the population (at least) don't even have their own wells. Cities would become deserts of the worst sort...deathtraps that anyone in their right mind would leave, and quickly. Only the people who live on the roofs of buildings would have the means to capture enough rainwater or grow enough plants and herbs to survive.

Water would be the most pressing issue.

I'd have to say that small towns, villages, hamlets and rural areas would be the best off. People in these areas would do what they have always done--get by, and help each other out. There may be such a thing as "urban survivalists" but in reality most of them (those of them that don't evacuate as soon as they can) will be killed for their food and water stores and other preps.

Pretty bleak. Most warehouses that supply grocery chains only keep enough gasoline on hand to top off refer trucks's tanks that are low, or enough to run their generators for a few days of power outages.

It'd be a disaster, even without the whole EMP thing thrown in. Even worse in very cold or very hot weather.
:(
PMZ

pedro
01-13-2010, 09:40 PM
Good point, Gaga. How people are affected would depend on the season. This time of year, you'd probably see a lot of asphyxiation deaths from people doing stupid home heating tricks with devices not meant for use indoors. If it were in the dead of summer, a lot of heat stroke.

GreyOne
01-13-2010, 09:42 PM
I have to say the scenario seems a bit flawed- ANY nationwide loss of power would be associated with war, EMP, or similar major problems.

The likelihood is that if it lasts more than a few days, it will be far more than 2 months.

With a major power loss, all the fuel pumps die. Trucks will soon quit running. No transport grid within days.

Most cities have a 3-5 day food supply in the grocery stores. Most homes have a 3-7 day food supply in stock. In 2 weeks, there will be no food available. Those who have stockpiles will be hunted down and their food stolen.

Water cannot be pumped or treated without power. Within a few days, people will be drinking unclean water, and suffering diarrhea
and dehydration a day or so later.

If the power loss is in winter, many people will be freezing to death in homes poorly insulated and impossible to heat without central heating. Many will die in the fires that break out trying to heat themselves or cook food. Nor fire trucks will be available- no fuel , remember- and no water to pump either. Whole areas will burn down, leaving people homeless.

Bottom line- 75% or more mortality, complete economic collapse, no one left able to do the work of restoring the grid.

That is the optimistic scenario.

Grits
01-13-2010, 10:01 PM
QFT.

The History Channel had a 2-hour show the other night about a killer pandemic. All systems collapsed due to not having the manpower to staff the infrastructure. The weak died quickly of weather-related dehydration due to failure of the water system. Most people only have a 3-day supply of food in their house, causing massive looting and food riots. Warlords and gangs that could command some control of food supplies made pout like the bandits they are.

If you could survive the first 2 months, your chances of survival increased, but any large city was no-man's land. The real survivors were those in rural towns and villages that still had relations with the earth, and could turn to one another for gardening, animal husbandry, mutual defense, comfort and aid.

WindWalker1970
01-13-2010, 10:30 PM
There was a movie that dealt with this subject called The Trigger Effect. Very interesting.

Trekon86
01-13-2010, 10:39 PM
I'd say 75% would die during the ordeal.

First two weeks: Utter Chaos

Two Weeks to 3 months: most of those who are going to die will have died, including those who swarmed out of the cities into the countryside.

3 months to ~ (indefinite time period, end of scenario or otherwise): Remaining 25% of population will have to cope with life and rebuild society if that is even possible. Likelihood of total rebuild very slim. Likelihood of Medieval to 18th century lifestyles more reasonable. Tradesmen will pass on necessary skills to sons and grandsons, who will pass them on to others. Eventually towns will rebuild with palisades, small cities and guild houses will form. Farming will be done near town walls, everyone will come inside for the night due to roving banditry.

Yeah, it would be bad. But possibly what our country needs. E.G. a wake up call and return to roots/the earth.

PMZ

TeeDee
01-13-2010, 10:59 PM
As this seems to be a sort of TEOTWAWKI on a short term basis ( 2months ) what would happen with respect to dwindling oil reserves?
So with respect to the predicted loss of Oil production;-

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/world-oil-supplies-are-set-to-run-out-faster-than-expected-warn-scientists-453068.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/world-oil-supplies-are-set-to-run-out-faster-than-expected-warn-scientists-453068.html)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil)

or is it a case of pessimistic analysis?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12993250/ (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12993250/)

Or will Canada Oil Sands become a more local investment?
http://www.dirtyoilsands.org/ (http://www.dirtyoilsands.org/)

Be it in 5/10/15 or even 20 years how do you think the USA will cope? or not?

With a country as large as yours and the very heavy reliance on vehicular access and infrastructure to keep the commercial and society 'engine' going , what happens when it starts to become far to expensive to run the conventional car?

As a Brit , on what is a tiny Island by comparison , we should be able , in theory to cope far better , but we wont.

Do you see commerce and society then reverting back to where you can walk/ride?

Trekon86
01-13-2010, 11:20 PM
TeeDee brings up a good point.

I believe in the Peak Oil theory. If not on a worldwide level, (e.g. maybe there's a ton left in the middle east) but at least in the USA. So-called scientists hired by the oil companies continually "predict" that there is more and more oil to be found every year. How can this be? Oil does not, as one might say, grow on trees. It "grows" very slowly, over millenia.

And we are horridly wasteful consumers. Not on the personal, small town family level--but on the transportation, industry and warfare level. Every task--literally everything...depends on oil to produce electricity or power to run it. We are mechanized by oil and oil has us by the balls and is shaking us, reminding us that we need it. It's like a crack addict...every time someone tells us we are too oil dependent, we get the shivers. Not because we personally don't want to go without tons of gas, but because we know that "green" technology is too expensive, too underdeveloped and years from fruition and feasibility. And because our lazy ass, self-entitled, self-righteous and prickish Prez and Czars are all too content to put us to work at making the world greener, while they burn trillions of dollars of high octane jet fuel and heating oil for their mansions in the sky.

Eventually oil will become too expensive, and yes such an event will occur. In which case commie countries with lots of oil (think Venezuela) will own us and control us by exerting their authority whilst they hand us oil in return for control of our lands and people. In exchange for the charity of formerly third-world nations we will put up with quite a lot.

PMZ

rik_uk3
01-13-2010, 11:42 PM
Two months? First off is I'm OK, more than enough food, plenty of fuel for stoves and lights and a fresh water supply.

Well you can't grow anything in two months (maybe some lettuce) so the countries food stocks would need to be distributed so the army and police are involved. The quicker food distribution happens the less public panic. I don't thing the government would allow people to leave the cities as they are easier to control in big groups plus distribution is easier in city areas. A lot of the elderly and frail may die but I doubt it would run into and end of the world situation. It would be easier for us in the UK because we are a small island and still a stoic race.

o2toxed
01-14-2010, 12:11 AM
Anyone here live through hurricane andrew in 1992?

O2

Rat Eater
01-14-2010, 12:18 AM
The entire country! Inside of a week it would be anarchy. Marshall Law within days and I would not want to be near any city!

Old Philosopher
01-14-2010, 12:46 AM
Anyone here live through hurricane andrew in 1992?

O2
Anybody go through the LA Riots in '65, or '92? Anyone who's been through any major disaster is out of their freakin' mind if they actually want the S to HTF, for real!
A complete loss of power, nation wide? YGBSM! No cell phones, no gas pumps, no communications that weren't battery or generator operated. Do you actually think even police departments, or hospitals have a 2 month supply of fuel for their generators?
The normal attrition from the obvious (freezing, thirst) would be added to by suicides within a week, if no end was in sight. And how would they know? No TV; no Big Brother to tell them what to do. Scary, scary, scary......

But G1 is right. The scenario is totally implausible.

Faol
01-14-2010, 12:54 AM
Anyone here live through hurricane andrew in 1992?

O2

I was thinking about Andrew. I was stationed at Fort Stewart at the time and volunteered to go down there. I flew on a Chinook for the first 2 weeks delivering supplies to the remote areas. It was a mess for sure.

If the US had a 2 month disaster of that magnitude, I think the incremental damages would be thus:


Within 3 days...mass die-off from dehydration and murders. Martial law declared.
3-14 days...starvation, more murders from organizing gangs, death from infections & consuming infected water. Government assistance starts to come into larger areas.
14-30 days....more of the same, government 'help' really starts to get organized. Urban center populations down by at least 75%. Rural areas are organized and repelling roving gangs and organizing their resources. Cannibalism starts occurring in areas.
30-60 days...government moves into rural areas to procure resources for urban groups. Of course, these government folks will be urban dwellers. Rural and self-reliant people will become the new "rich" to be vilified since they have skills and the willingness to work. In the process of this government take-over attempt, real America will present itself, and in the end, the Constitution will be restored.

I am probably wrong, but it would be nice. The country would certainly be reset in values. The libtards would be dead in the first month since they do not believe in guns and criminals are really just victims. They will just anoint their door frames with unicorn tears and the expectation that bad guys will pass them by.

To further my fantasy, we can add to the qualifications for elected officials to run for office. In order to be the President or a Congressman, you must have served your country (even if only a Private with an Honorable Discharge), held a private sector job (even if flipping burgers), and you cannot have attended law school.
.

Old Philosopher
01-14-2010, 01:06 AM
...To further my fantasy,....
ROFL! Faol, can I come live in your fantasy? :D

Rat Eater
01-14-2010, 01:16 AM
To further my fantasy, we can add to the qualifications for elected officials to run for office. In order to be the President or a Congressman, you must have served your country (even if only a Private with an Honorable Discharge), held a private sector job (even if flipping burgers), and you cannot have attended law school.
.

If it ever happened, what would come out of the ashes would not be the US as we knew it. Most likely we would see the US divided up into several newly formed countries or regions and we probably would not see it in our life time.

Well I guess it's officially winter, since the squirrels are already digging up their nuts:p LOL

Faol
01-14-2010, 01:21 AM
ROFL! Faol, can I come live in your fantasy? :D

Sure thing. There is room for all.

Rook
01-14-2010, 01:25 AM
I think it would be quite a scene of chaos. Energy,food stores we should be fine. The roving hordes of looters combined with gangs and even normal people whose animal instincts have triggered desperation tactics to survive on the other hand. I believe we'd be stacking bodies deep. Not to mention sickness and prescriptions for health maint. running out. I'd be in a heap of shat as soon as the wifes estrogen tablets were depleted. All the more reason to make bonds and friendships with like minded people you can trust within your community and outside of it. Because after the chaos starts, who can you trust that you didn't before? The sheep just awakening from blacking out due to the fact they missed american idol? I'd rather not take any chances with them or the shady looking character that just knocked on the door.

Faol, that is a work of art fantasy and a good one as well ! Change we could hope for.

Sharpdogs
01-14-2010, 06:18 AM
Would I still be able to pay my taxes to show my patriotism? Seriously though, chaos would start in the populated areas and spread from there. It would get uglier by the day. Hope it never happens, but it's smart to prepare like it could.

cbo
01-14-2010, 06:35 AM
often thought about it
dairy: farmers are not able to milk all the cows, no trucks come along to get the milk, they have to kill the cows, because they become ill with the milk in them

we are not able to feed the people with the crops in the fileds, because most of them a are not for human consumption

all crops are hybrids, so you cannot take the seed from the crops to put in the ground.

the shelfs in the stores will stay empty, because there in no one to fill them up, every item is scanned and walmart knows which store sold which item and a computer puts a new one on the way, this all stops

Mattnu
01-14-2010, 07:14 AM
If such an energy loss was about 2 months long it would be an unmitigated disaster. 2 mos is not long enough for alternative systems to naturally evlove. Death toll would be high, but things would stumble back to normal.

Gasoline can be pulled out of tanks with siphon pumps, or 12volt pumps. Many construction, heavy equipment and agricultural sites have fuel in gravity fed tanks. Same with some of the rail yards. Goods can be delivered with animal and people power.

A lot of the effect would be dependent on where you live. If you live in rural areas or in the rural/suburban interface it would be smart to make a map of where known water sources are. Open water, wells, livestock tanks, places out of th way that you could dig for water, etc Learn how to sterilize water. If you live on an old homestead/ranch, consider investing in a wind or manually driven pump. Look at maybe a small gravity fed tank for water.

I store one case of 24oz bottles of water per person, per week for emergencies such as TEOTWAWKI. It would provide enough for relief to be organized, or to displace to where there is safety and water that can be retrieved from the ground.

If you live in a large city, you are screwed. If you live near one, you are screwed once the urbanites decide to move to areas where they might have a chance to survive. Think tidal wave of people.

On the bright side, the electrical grid in the U.S. is generally not as interconnected as everyone thinks and it would take probably take a large nuclear exchange to bring it all down. Regional grids are interlocked, and would take a beating, as has happened occaisionally.

Talfuchre
01-14-2010, 07:24 AM
You guys think worse than I did. 75% is a crazy number. I am NOT saying your wrong - but we are talking about 200 million dead +.

Wow.

Isn't it crazy that we have only had power in our houses for a few generations - and yet we depend on it so much.

TF

TeeDee
01-14-2010, 07:47 AM
You guys think worse than I did. 75% is a crazy number. I am NOT saying your wrong - but we are talking about 200 million dead +.

Wow.

Isn't it crazy that we have only had power in our houses for a few generations - and yet we depend on it so much.

TF

Agree , once something becomes 'familiar' 'normal' we tend to treat it with ..I guess Contempt.

Says me , punching away on my laptop , just going to nip off , put the kettle on , and slam a DVD in the TV. Later on i may even kill some bad guys on my Playstation.





"The Hypocrisy, The Hypocrisy........"

Rook
01-14-2010, 08:11 AM
You guys think worse than I did. 75% is a crazy number. I am NOT saying your wrong - but we are talking about 200 million dead +.

I thought so too and in reality it may be close or not, but then figure we have in our population
1) 10-12% that are unemployed with and without kids who are barely getting by.
2) how many people that are depending on the monthly welfare food checks with kids and how many more of the rest truly abusing this option
3) all the ones who don't care and live in the so called "moment"
4) and the "my gov will save us with rainbows and lollipops" crowd
5)elderly
6) infants and young children

That's alot of people to add to the equation of a possible chain reaction that could most certainly affect this country in a way none of us would truly want to witness.

Tony Torre
01-14-2010, 09:01 AM
Anyone here live through hurricane andrew in 1992?

O2

I lived through Andrew as well as the riots in the 80's. I suspect in the scenario proposed you would see massive casualties. From experience I can tell the human animal is quite resilient and will surprise you with its level of ingenuity. Not all are sheeple, even if they started as the "uninitiated".

Tony Torre
Miami Arnis Group
www.miamiarnisgroup.com

Faol
01-14-2010, 09:05 AM
You guys think worse than I did. 75% is a crazy number. I am NOT saying your wrong - but we are talking about 200 million dead +.

I think that number would only exist in the urban areas, and it is a swag of course. The reasoning is thus:


At the most, there is 36 hours of food in the pipeline within an urban area and you can normally only exist 7 days without food. Since 2000, it has mostly dropped to 18 hours in distribution channels as our "on demand" technology allows for remote restocking. Try to go to a chain grocery store and ask them for an unopened case of greens beans...I have tried and they did not have any, but they could have it to me on tomorrow's truck. Even our small town local grocer, who has been in this business for 50+ years, does on-demand ordering.
With the rampant violence and chaos that is sure to occur, the living will be able to find food for awhile, except for those too scared to leave their dwellings. The choice will be starvation or cannibalism.

This is just my wandering mind, though. My job in the corporate world involved business continuity planning, determining worst case scenarios, find solutions, and develop the cost-benefit analysis. I really liked that part of my job.

I think there is a lot of validity to the hybrid food issue too. I personally have open pollinated seeds, and have never grown hybrid. There is just not enough benefit to me personally, to go that route. You can use natural solutions to keep bugs and such off of your food, without resorting to harsh chemicals. I used to turn my chickens loose and they would take care of insects and worms in the garden, for the most part.

My uncle owns the last dairy in this county and you are absolutely right. His electricity bill is $15,000+ per month. He does have a PTO driven generator, so he can operate for a few days to keep the herd healthy. The stored milk will have to be pumped out of course, due to storage limitations. He milks 300+ head, twice per day.

Commercial dairies overwhelmingly use Holstein cows. The problem with that is, they are a commercial breed with veracious appetites for highly concentrated, formulated feed. They will deteriorate quickly if you put them on pasture only. Family dairies with breeds like the Guernsey and Jersey, would come back, as would dairy goats.

I would not wish the death of 75%, or even 25% of our population. I would welcome the community result, and knowing where my food came from. I think the respect the farmers would get would be a nice change. Without these guys, none of us live.

Arrowolf
01-14-2010, 09:23 AM
Well, since I'm a prepper, I would do ok. I probably have more the 2 months worth of food. My stove is gas and I refill my propane tank whenever it falls to 40%. It can also be used for heat plus I have an indoor propane heater and a few filled 40 lb tanks. I also have kero backup. My main concern is water because I have a well. I have about 150 gal storage capacity right now and also have some rain barrels. There's an intermittant creek at the bottom of the hill which has water right now because we've had a wet fall/winter. But two of my neighbors have windmills so I might could work out a barter of some kind with them.

Those prepared will do ok and the rest of humanity is probably largely gonna be toast. My biggest concern would be raiders. But I have means of deterring them also. I also have a support system of fellow preppers.

Arrowolf
01-14-2010, 09:33 AM
we are not able to feed the people with the crops in the fileds, because most of them a are not for human consumption

all crops are hybrids, so you cannot take the seed from the crops to put in the ground.



Wrong. Just because a variety, say corn for example, is of a type most suited for animal feed, it can be consumed by humans. Just about any food crop in the field is edible. Wheat is not a hybridized crop, so it can be consumed or replanted.

Horned Toad
01-14-2010, 12:46 PM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true

A way for the power to go out minus war or EMPs

rik_uk3
01-14-2010, 06:37 PM
You guys think worse than I did. 75% is a crazy number. I am NOT saying your wrong - but we are talking about 200 million dead +.

Wow.

Isn't it crazy that we have only had power in our houses for a few generations - and yet we depend on it so much.

TF

It is a crazy number, one just plucked out of the air. There would be death and unrest but on nowhere near that scale IMHO.

Bush Otter
01-14-2010, 07:01 PM
It would really suck but it is doable, The government would get the chance to show us how bad we need them . I would imagine there would be martial law and food lines every where and I imagine quite a bit of violence, roits and stealing and I don't know if the POTUS could go 2 months without his teleprompter having to depend on idiot cards wich might be a realistic change.

Trekon86
01-14-2010, 07:09 PM
It is a crazy number, one just plucked out of the air. There would be death and unrest but on nowhere near that scale IMHO.


The USA is a bit different than the UK.
The UK has a great rail system and is smaller in general. Things (food, water, medical supplies, troops) are easier to transport in a country like that.

Here in the USA most if not all of the sub-regional deliveries are performed using trucks. E.G. tractor trailers, which consume a horrific amount of fuel.

Once all of those gas stations along the highway are emptied, whether by force or simply by frantic citizens trying to get all they can before it gets worse...there would be no more deliveries within dozens or even hundreds of miles. Store shelves would be emptied in a hurry.

Also the prevalence of firearms (both legal and illegal) in the USA is something to consider. Most every thug in the USA has a gun of some sort, any city punk could simply hold up travelers or homeowners quite easily, thus adding to the death toll. Sure, people would fight back, but the numbers of citizens who have been incarcerated for violent crimes and then spat back out into the world to eke out a living is frightening.

I'm not saying that there are no guns in the UK but gun bans have been in place there for a long time now.

Maybe not 75% but probably at least 50% in my estimation, would die, from waterborne illnesses, civil unrest, banditry and starvation. Think of how many tasks that a century ago were performed by hand or by simple machinery, are now performed using electricity.

Government stores only last so long, and they really only keep enough fuel and food on hand to supply their own needs for a short period of time. It would be nice if the Leviathan would stock more of such useful things instead of spending trillions trying to convert the world to the democratic ideal. Unfortunately governments are about power and the ability to exercise authority, not to help people any more than they have to. At least, ours is like that.

PMZ

Trekon86
01-14-2010, 07:11 PM
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true)

A way for the power to go out minus war or EMPs


Technically that is an EMP. Just a natural one:p
PMZ

rik_uk3
01-14-2010, 08:37 PM
The USA is a bit different than the UK.
The UK has a great rail system and is smaller in general. Things (food, water, medical supplies, troops) are easier to transport in a country like that.

Here in the USA most if not all of the sub-regional deliveries are performed using trucks. E.G. tractor trailers, which consume a horrific amount of fuel.

Once all of those gas stations along the highway are emptied, whether by force or simply by frantic citizens trying to get all they can before it gets worse...there would be no more deliveries within dozens or even hundreds of miles. Store shelves would be emptied in a hurry.

Also the prevalence of firearms (both legal and illegal) in the USA is something to consider. Most every thug in the USA has a gun of some sort, any city punk could simply hold up travelers or homeowners quite easily, thus adding to the death toll. Sure, people would fight back, but the numbers of citizens who have been incarcerated for violent crimes and then spat back out into the world to eke out a living is frightening.

I'm not saying that there are no guns in the UK but gun bans have been in place there for a long time now.

Maybe not 75% but probably at least 50% in my estimation, would die, from waterborne illnesses, civil unrest, banditry and starvation. Think of how many tasks that a century ago were performed by hand or by simple machinery, are now performed using electricity.

Government stores only last so long, and they really only keep enough fuel and food on hand to supply their own needs for a short period of time. It would be nice if the Leviathan would stock more of such useful things instead of spending trillions trying to convert the world to the democratic ideal. Unfortunately governments are about power and the ability to exercise authority, not to help people any more than they have to. At least, ours is like that.

PMZ

You don't think much of your fellow Americans by the sound of it;)

How do you know how much food the government has stashed away? any links?

How much fuel does the government have stashed away? any links?

What recent emergency planning by the government are you and others here privy to?

You estimate 50%, based on what sort of data? Its just guess work Trek, I'm just playing devils advocate here but these type of threads always bring BS/fairy tale answers like we have seen here.

Way less than 50% IMHO

PS, the UK rail system is mainly electric.

Faol
01-14-2010, 09:07 PM
It is a crazy number, one just plucked out of the air. There would be death and unrest but on nowhere near that scale IMHO.

That was a swag as I said, and is also only relevant to urban centers as I mentioned in my original post. Rural areas would not be near as bad as urban areas.

riley
01-14-2010, 09:14 PM
just a thought but all those in california, arizona, new york, chicago, ect. would have no water or food. most people live in cities, one of the worst if not the worst place to be in this situation. add to that guns, and disease, 50% seems likely to me. few know the skills to live without power anymore. It only takes one guy with a full auto to take out alot of unarmed, untrained people. again just a thought.

Okbushcraft
01-14-2010, 10:17 PM
"Pray that your flight does not take place on the sabbath or in the winter."

It would be rough for almost all involved. All industry would cease along with the food storage losses.

I remember watching a news special on the war in the Yugoslavia, one town/village was dependant upon their electroturbine dam. When the Serbs moved out they dammaged the electro turbine dam on the river. A 16 YO boy got some house wire and an alternator off a Yugo and made a small paddle boat he floated out into the current, they ran some stuff off of it-not sure if it they used DC or used an inverter. Didn't recall hearing that part.

barnes3126
01-14-2010, 10:35 PM
I ......................... - of the 308 million people in America today - how many do you think would not survive the two month time without power? ..............

154 million will die with their hand extended, palm up, waiting for the food and water they are entitled to.

77 million would die while trying to steal from the other 77 million who decided to buy and hoard 10 billions rounds of ammunition and other needed items.

edispilf27
01-14-2010, 11:10 PM
i think noone would know what was going to happen. No mobile phones, telephones, internet, radio, lights, water pumps, anything electrical would leave a large part of rural america dislocated but safer than the masses of needy associated with the urban locales.

Yes, casualties will be inevitable; some by nature's hand, and, more than likely, the hand of society as it breaks down.

It is highly unlikely that we'll collapse into a technologically deficient mid-millenium society. there are quite a few countries around us that can provide power to the border towns, fuel to more centralized locations, and plenty of manpower.

Personally, it would just mean that i wouldn't be able to reply or start threads on this website anymore, would have to melt snow until i got to a couple of my favorite lakes, and eat a lot more fresh meat... after looting the nearest town of course :D

Trekon86
01-14-2010, 11:11 PM
I don't have any links but I have a fair idea of the lack of concern our govt. feels for such "wacky" ideas as wide scale civil emergencies.

Myself, I doubt that it will ever come to that. But if it did it would be horrific.

You're right, the numeros were pulled out of the air;)
PMZ

Grits
01-14-2010, 11:34 PM
Not to put anybody down, because this is a common mistake, and I have a pet peeve about it:

The phrase is "Martial Law" because it comes from the use of the military as police. Like Martial Arts. Martial = warlike.

The phrase is not "Marshall Law." (There was a Marhsall Plan, named for Secretary of State George Marshall, that was a program for rebuilding Europe after WWII.)

Just trying to educate folks about this one so they don't get innocents confused. <VBG>

Trekon86
01-14-2010, 11:35 PM
LOL yeah I noticed that too Giz.
PMZ

Rook
01-15-2010, 12:43 AM
Personally, I'd rather be on the side of caution and prepare for the worst, alittle over time without breaking the bank. It's not that hard to do, food/water is rotated. You do have insurance on your home correct? Same thing to me. Regardless who thinks they can speculate the most accurate positive scenario I'll take my chances and keep on keepin on. As far as resorting to looting as a plan of action. Heh good luck with that. Hopefully no one will ever have to go through that scenario.

cbo
01-15-2010, 04:45 AM
just another thought: Stock alot of salt, when your freezer starts tahwing, you can cure the meat. when power goes down, alot of people will loose alot of food

o2toxed
01-15-2010, 04:49 AM
well, i said andrew b/c while there was great damage down south in homestead n FL City, the northern part of the county was pretty intact except for electrical outages. Hurricane Katrina there was mass flooding compounding problems. but for stictly electrical outages without other compounding issues to go along with it the biggest problem would be the length of time down to spoil food, transportation, gas shipments comunocations. But we've gotten around those problems before. remember the CB? Ppl would drop b/c they can't continue to keep their body temp right.

All in all' survival of the fittest. it would become a larger problem than it really needs to be.

Capt'n
01-15-2010, 05:41 AM
I've lived through a number of power outages that lasted up to a week ..... people banded together in the outlying areas and we worked together to take care of what needed to be taken care of.

But that's a week and the power was still on the grid ... people hadn't gotten hungry yet.

I think the larger cities would be beset with looting and riots, the outlying areas would escape most of this, the small towns would be free of all most all of it.

Martial law would certainly be put in place and I believe that there would be mandates for people to turn over all but a weeks worth of supplies to the government, so they could try to feed everyone. There would be a number of people arrested for price gouging, more for "hoarding", some will be shot trying to protect their homes.

When all the supplies in the local area, including everyone's personal larders were re-distributed, and consumed, then everyone will begin to get hungry, the outlying areas and the small towns will survive best, because they will have access to small game, but the inner cities will be total and utter chaos, and will be crying in the streets to be saved by the government.

All fuel will be rationed, fresh water will be in short supply, and the biggest killer will most likely be disease from tainted food, water, and human waste and garbage that will back up everywhere. Meat will be almost non-existent. Cat and dog populations would fall to an all time low. Infant mortality would jump way up, the sick and aged wouldn't survive two weeks.

The longer term would be bleak, at least for a while ... the Economy would collapse, companies would go out of business, and it would take another two months to get the pipeline of goods back on track.

In short ... not fun.

rik_uk3
01-15-2010, 07:33 AM
"the sick and aged wouldn't survive two weeks"

Why?

riley
01-15-2010, 10:54 AM
how would those that need medication, especially meds that need to be kept cold, get them. the stress would be hard for the elderly especially in very cold conditions or very hot conditions. those with a cold would be fine but the extreme cases would have a hard time.

Capt'n
01-15-2010, 11:07 AM
"the sick and aged wouldn't survive two weeks"

Why?

Lack of medications, lack of proper nutrition, lack of quality medical care (x-rays, chemo, MRI's, surgeries, etc.) I think you would be amazed at just how tenuous a hold on life a lot of people in this country have at any given moment .... I mean, what kind of care are you going to get if you suddenly have a heart attack or a mild stroke? Even allergies and asthma, if people were denied their twice a day breathing treatments, would result in a number of deaths in any given area.

We take Modern Medicine for granted ... and electricity is much of what enables modern medicine to even exist.

sbkittrell
01-15-2010, 11:09 AM
I've lived through some lengthy power outages, like for two weeks after hurricane Floyd, but I think we should remember that that the thread is talking about a total power outage nationwide. We came through our two week outage OK, because it was during warm weather, and because of outside assistance. During the Floyd flood, drinking water was unavailable because the water treatment plant was flooded and contaminated, but again, we had plenty of drinking/cooking water brought in from the outside.

In a scenario that involves a total power outage nationwide, any governmental assistance would be shortlived, or at least not last for two months. I'm sure the U.S. goverment has huge stockpiles of fuel, food, water etc. but not enough to keep the entire U.S. population fed, watered, and sheltered for two months. I have no idea how many death's would occur but I'm sure it would be a big number, especially if the outage occurred in deep winter, or the hottest part of the summer. The elderly might surprise you. Many of them have lived through tough times before, for example the depression, and know how to kill and eat animals. They've lived without air conditioning and with wood or coal heat and know how to survive without a shower every single day. Plus their families would take care of many of them, best they could. I agree that people living in rural areas would have a better chance. Two months is a long time, but it's not THAT long if you are prepared. Even in cities some people would survive if they had access to water to boil and they could always eat cats and rats. Might suffer from scurvy after a few months without their vitamin water, but two months is survivable in most cities, if you can stay away from thugs and that sort.

rik_uk3
01-15-2010, 03:56 PM
how would those that need medication, especially meds that need to be kept cold, get them. the stress would be hard for the elderly especially in very cold conditions or very hot conditions. those with a cold would be fine but the extreme cases would have a hard time.

Easier to keep warm than cool down so perhaps if the power failure was at the height of summer you may have a point (depending upon location). Meds that need to be kept cool? Some do, most will last without refrigeration so more a question of supply/need/distribution than drug failure due to heat.

Our health system is nation wide and so perhaps the UK would be better off than the US in this situation, coordinated emergency health care planning is well advanced here (I've read some) so distribution etc would be well in hand for a couple of months at least.

Tony Torre
01-15-2010, 03:59 PM
Interesting article to give this some perspective.

http://wcbstv.com/national/haiti.earthquake.haiti.2.1427143.html

Tony Torre
Miami Arnis Group
www.miamiarnisgroup.com

GreyOne
01-15-2010, 04:45 PM
Point to keep in mind about the healthcare/ pharmacy situation-
no power for 2 months means _no computerized records_, no central database, no distribution central control.
Most modern hospitals and doctors are totally dependent on the computer for their planning and records. Even the paper record file is mostly printouts now.
My bets guess is that the pharmacies could not verify prescriptions for patients, would have to have a handwritten scrip for each one.

With no computer, there is no inventory control for most businesses, and pharmacies are no different. The local pharmacy might have 2 weeks supply of some RX items on hand, but less than that for most items. They depend on computer reorder, just like any other store selling merchandise.

It is not a 2-3 day scenario- it is 2 months- and all the failure points will resonate and reinforce each other. I can only see a catastrophic systems collapse before it is over.

rik_uk3
01-15-2010, 11:21 PM
"Most modern hospitals and doctors are totally dependent on the computer for their planning and records"

Then they would need to use their diagnostic skills? Handwritten prescriptions? Not exactly rocket science now is it.

While grid power may be off you would still have a solid infrastructure to fall back on and use to organise things, a dam sight more than the poor buggers in Haiti have just now.

Are people here saying the US military could not survive a 2 month grid failure? If thats the case then its pretty piss poor planning on their part.

Trekon86
01-15-2010, 11:26 PM
Not a case of the military not being able to withstand it...more a case of the majority of the population (non gov/mil) falling apart around them.
PMZ

Trekon86
01-15-2010, 11:27 PM
And considering that most of the population is centered in major metropolitan areas here...very concentrated in the northeast in the larger cities...it would be pretty bad pretty quick.

Everything depends on electricity, and electricity is produced using oil. Oil is a finite resource:(

Gas prices just shot up again btw. Suckiness.
PMZ

rik_uk3
01-16-2010, 12:11 AM
Not a case of the military not being able to withstand it...more a case of the majority of the population (non gov/mil) falling apart around them.
PMZ


Thats where the military show their strength and guide people through situations like this I would have thought? Again its infrastructure being used. When you have potential mass panic situations people tend to go into 'sheep' mode and will follow the leader. So, the population will fall apart? No, they just need to have guidance and see that things will get better; this is very basic psychology really.

cbo
01-16-2010, 03:26 AM
I just think about living of the land: here in Germany we have 230 people on square kilometer, USA has 30, we are not able to grow enogh food, maybe in America you are. Fertilizer helps farmers to plant one grain of wheat and get 60 to 80, in mideval times you plant one and get 3, one is for human consumption, one is for lifestock and one you have to keep for next year to plant

TeeDee
01-16-2010, 04:06 AM
Thats where the military show their strength and guide people through situations like this I would have thought? Again its infrastructure being used. When you have potential mass panic situations people tend to go into 'sheep' mode and will follow the leader. So, the population will fall apart? No, they just need to have guidance and see that things will get better; this is very basic psychology really.

Really ? So no looting or rioting or independents who decide that during a period of change/unrest is a good time to 'get some' and equalize the scales a little?

I'm not an Amercian , but as this is a question aimed at turbulence in American society i have to agree with Treks point of view.

I wasn't there after Katrina hit , so i can't comment first hand , but it seemed to me ( and yes it possible the media decided to spin it one way or the other ) , and accounts of what i have read that many people were NOT waiting for leadership to arrive , they were quite capable of making their own choices.

Just my view.

EDIT Also bear in mind currently the amount of US Forces overseas rather then on domestic land and actually being on the ground to offer assistance or leadership or to actually supress anti-societal elements. Not sure what the rotation of US Troops currently is , but if they are as active as we are overseas..

As for 'Basic Psychology' , Yep Man is Basic , basic needs , fears and desires , I would love to say i have seen or witnessed higher function acts of selflessness and willing to work together during crisis situations but that isn't so. ( my opinion )
I'm sure i could find as many Psych test to demonstrate this as you could find to support your view.



With hindsight , maybe there are those people that in times of stress or confusion become sheep-ple , i also think that there may be a significant element that reverts to becoming wolves..

pedro
01-16-2010, 07:12 AM
And considering that most of the population is centered in major metropolitan areas here...very concentrated in the northeast in the larger cities...it would be pretty bad pretty quick.

Everything depends on electricity, and electricity is produced using oil. Oil is a finite resource:(

Gas prices just shot up again btw. Suckiness.
PMZ

Electricity is NOT produced by using oil! The vast majority of electricity in the United States is produced using coal. Also nuclear, hydropower, wind, solar, but mostly coal. Running out of oil is not how our electrical grid could go down, it's the distribution network that is fragile. The infrastructure of America's electrical grid and the switching system that allows different energy producers to provide power to each other is outdated and under maintained.

Arrowolf
01-16-2010, 07:31 AM
Texas has a power grid separate from the rest of the nation. I think I'll stay here for awhile.

rik_uk3
01-16-2010, 01:10 PM
Really ? So no looting or rioting or independents who decide that during a period of change/unrest is a good time to 'get some' and equalize the scales a little?

I'm not an Amercian , but as this is a question aimed at turbulence in American society i have to agree with Treks point of view.

I wasn't there after Katrina hit , so i can't comment first hand , but it seemed to me ( and yes it possible the media decided to spin it one way or the other ) , and accounts of what i have read that many people were NOT waiting for leadership to arrive , they were quite capable of making their own choices.

Just my view.

EDIT Also bear in mind currently the amount of US Forces overseas rather then on domestic land and actually being on the ground to offer assistance or leadership or to actually supress anti-societal elements. Not sure what the rotation of US Troops currently is , but if they are as active as we are overseas..

As for 'Basic Psychology' , Yep Man is Basic , basic needs , fears and desires , I would love to say i have seen or witnessed higher function acts of selflessness and willing to work together during crisis situations but that isn't so. ( my opinion )
I'm sure i could find as many Psych test to demonstrate this as you could find to support your view.



With hindsight , maybe there are those people that in times of stress or confusion become sheep-ple , i also think that there may be a significant element that reverts to becoming wolves..

Yep there would be massive unrest, but not a 50-75% mortality rate.

GreyOne
01-16-2010, 02:57 PM
U.S. Military Personnel
Total Active 1,445,000

National Guard & Reserves
Total Reserve 850,000
--------------------------------
TOTAL Strength 2,295,000

Above figures from Wikipedia , for 2009
[The Army and Marine Corp together number about 750,000]
=======================================

The military has several hundred thousand troops overseas,
and the Navy and Air Force will be of little use in maintaining urban order.

The top 50 cities by population in the U.S. drop from 8 million in New York to "only" 370,000 plus in Raliegh, N.C.

With 750,000 troops, minus those overseas, I would guess that we have 250,000 to 400,000 ground troops in country, maximum.

400,000 troops divided by 50 would be an average of 8,000 troops per city. The large cities, such as New York would need far more than the average figure, but I think you can put it in this perspective- with no power, you have no mass communications ability- no way to tell people what to do, or where to go. The military can no more control such a situation than the sand can hold back the tides.
They can secure a few places, to use for supply points, but that will tie down troops. Logistics of transport will tie down far more troops.

One of the oldest military axioms is that if you do not have sufficient strength to hold an area, you contract your perimeter to match your available strength. That is what will inevitably happen in this scenario. Larger cities, where mob violence readily takes hold any time, will be written off as uncontrollable. Those areas where local government has some ability and functions will be chosen for the available supplies and manpower. Detroit and Chicago, LA and New York- those cities cannot exist without massive supplies every day from the "fly over country" where food is grown, and oil and gas are produced. They will be uncontrollable after no more than 2 mights without power, and mobs will be looting any stores or warehouses they can reach.
Without power to pump fuel, most of the city population will be reduced to foot traffic , and unable to get far. The ones who do have enough fuel will either leave early in the crisis, or be co-opted by the looters. Within 4-5 days, there will be essentially no civil government of control in these worst areas.

The mortality rate will not skyrocket in the first week, though it will go up. Many people depend on dialysis machines, oxygen concentrators, CPAPs, and other powered devices. As medicines run out, and food, those who are medically dependent will weaken swiftly, and by week three, mortality will start to climb.
If cold or heat are factors due to weather, the death rate will be climbing faster.
Water- untreated- will be a critical factor. If those who drink untreated water begin to sicken (likely in week 2) then by week three the dehydration and debilitation will weaken many formerly healthy people. Lack of food, combined with disease and cold or heat stress will cause a mortality rate climb here as well.

Violence will not be the primary cause of death- at least directly.
The violence and looting will mainly impede any attempts to deliver emergency supplies and share them fairly.
[Haiti is a preview of this effect]

In short, within one month the feedback effect from untreated water, lack of food, lack of medical care, lack of transport, and lack of civil government functions will all start to reach the tipping point. The second month will see massive mortality increases, and a loss of hope from the lack of information will simply magnify the effects.

pedro
01-16-2010, 03:59 PM
Without power to pump fuel, most of the city population will be reduced to foot traffic , and unable to get far.



You make several valid points in your post, but a power outage does not mean that fuel could not be pumped out of underground tanks.

Method 1. Power up a generator and connect to the gas station's pump circuit.
Method 2. Use a generator or an inverter to power a fuel transfer pump.
Method 3. Use a hand crank fuel transfer pump.

Of course, there is a limited amount of fuel in those tanks, but it is there and can certainly be pumped out.

TeeDee
01-16-2010, 04:13 PM
GreyOne , Excellent post , as you say after a period of attempting to 'fight-the-fire' the current leadership will be forced to hold strategic areas a let the 'forest burn'

Triage in effect.

I also think that there can be/will be a group mentality shift , that will follow a snowball pattern , as Rioting and Looting starts , so will violence escalate and spread.
Those that in normal life who would not consider looting, placed in a situation where looting and violence is occuring will be at odds with the group dynamics.

Rook
01-16-2010, 04:17 PM
Unless you are the one storing the fuel and/or have rights to it, how are you going to get it from the ones who do? Those commodities are going to be guarded and regarded as treasure once everyone realizes it's going to be long while before A) power comes back on and/or B) resupply available shortly. Look at 9/11 when they thought there might be a problem with a gas shortage for a few days. Traffic lined up for miles and tempers were fairly calm and collect. Throw in no power, calamity and chaos with all the fear that will quickly overwhelm many people in just a few hours and it is going to be a different ballgame. Sure it's possible but not likely for long, in fact I'd say hours if one is lucky. And if martial law is enacted you have no right to it and many other things as well, even if you're willing to pay $20 a gallon. Just a thought.

GreyOne
01-16-2010, 04:22 PM
You make several valid points in your post, but a power outage does not mean that fuel could not be pumped out of underground tanks.

Method 1. Power up a generator and connect to the gas station's pump circuit.
Method 2. Use a generator or an inverter to power a fuel transfer pump.
Method 3. Use a hand crank fuel transfer pump.

Of course, there is a limited amount of fuel in those tanks, but it is there and can certainly be pumped out.

Yes, it can be done, but it will require a bit of organization and equipment, as well as time. From my best guess that will mean either a military unit or a gang that can protect their "resource", and neither will be of much use in getting the transport grid to work reliably. There also will not be any replacement for that fuel, as the refineries won't be working without power.

Every single element I have mentioned _can_ be countered or dealt with, if the right people and resources are brought together soon enough, in a local area. There
simply is no chance of the entire country dealing with most of the these problems, and it is the compound effect of all of them that will overwhelm most urban areas quickly.
Two dark nights with no lights, no telephone , no 911, no electronic entertainment for the drones ,no law enforcement response , no water pumped, and no real information on what happened or when it will be "fixed"- what do you think will happen in most cities ?

rik_uk3
01-16-2010, 11:51 PM
IIRC most petrol/gasoline pumps in UK service stations have a hand cranked pump built in to deal with power failures, not in the US?

GreyOne
01-17-2010, 12:25 AM
IIRC most petrol/gasoline pumps in UK service stations have a hand cranked pump built in to deal with power failures, not in the US?

Not in this area. At least, not the newest EPA approved electronic air sniffing vacuum equipped doo dads. They can't
work without their sensors to approve air quality.

BOWGUY
01-17-2010, 02:03 PM
i remember a few years ago we lost power for just a couple days.
gas prices sky rocketed,line at the pumps were outrageous,stores flashlight and batteries all were sold out and people were bbq'ing everything they had in the freezers so they would not suffer too much of a loss.
lots of time on our hands...it was quiet at night and was hustle and bustle by day.
one thing i did notice were ALOT MORE PEOPLE walking about and asking questions etc.
we did not have to go into work,cellphones died,etc.
it really amazed me what just a couple of days did to our small town,it made me think twice about "stocking up" with emergency supplies.
i havent yet did it as money is tight and all but as soon as i get back to work im going to buy a little something and put it away and rotate my goods.
this happened in the middle of summer.people were HOT.
we,just poured some extra chemicals in our pool and had a great time with the kids...i rather injoyed it!
any more than a few days and it would have been going down hill very quickly in our small town.
this is just what i recalled.
jamie