Having been through a couple of several day power outages in the last couple of years, after a blizzard and a hurricane, we got just a glimpse of what
it would be like to be without power.
The gas stations and grocery stores were closed. Well, all stores were closed in the area. There was one small grocery store open that was taking
cash only, and running their refrigeration on generators. But if you did not have cash, you were out of luck, because there were no local banks
There were long lines for generators in the few stores that were receiving shipments. If you were at the end of the line and had not prepared in
advance, you were out of luck again.
Many people I know lost hundreds of dollars of food in their refrigerators and freezers.
The thing in, this was localized. So, you could drive a little while and find a gas station or store or bank. The hotels in the surrounding areas
filled up quickly, and some people had to drive far to find lodging if they did not want to stick it out in the dark.
Our company was closed for several days, as most business were, which means people had to use vacation days or get no pay. Just imagine if that was
more long term!
Some people were out of power for a couple of weeks, until the trucks could get to their areas. What happened was - they saw the storm coming, so
they had cooperating power companies in local areas prearranged to help out. But, the storm hit those other areas harder than expected, and our local
companies did not get as much help as expected restoring power.
There were concerns about security and looting, but I must say that people seemed to mostly help each other out, sharing what resources we had. I
would hope that would hold true if the situation were worse, but knowing humanity, I have my doubts. People were definitely getting cranky everywhere
you ran into them after days in the dark with no hot showers or hot meals.
Now, magnify that power failure in a larger area, for a longer period of time. No driving a bit to find a store. I am sure if generator
availability was so limited for one area, that in a larger crises they would be even more limited. Eventually the gas for generators would run
Power companies were stretched to their limit in these storms. For those saying - no worries the power companies will save us - well, they do not
have unlimited resources. There is only so much they can do so quickly, so I am sure in a situation where they had to rebuild an entire grid, we
would be in the dark for a long, long time.
People would start getting very grouchy - no make that dangerous. Looting would be rampant. It would not matter to people that they were working on
rebuilding. People would want food for their kids today.
And of course there would be more than just power outages, as equipment of all kinds would be knocked out.
People would die, as hospitals run out of generator power (if the generators were even shielded).
Shipments of food would be interrupted, if not non-existent. Ask the people recovering from Hurricane Sandy. The government did not seem overly
concerned with bringing food in for people. Most were pretty much on their own.
If the military was busy fighting a war at the same time its people were going through all of this, I doubt there would be much national guard left to
come in to restore order or help with recovery.
There would be little communication. No way to know what is going on in the rest of the world, or even with your family across the country.
This is not a science fiction scenario. We see a tiny glimpse of it every time the power fails, and it takes longer and longer for the power company
to rebuild our systems.
edit on 4/12/13 by BlueAjah because: (no reason given)