10 things the D.C. power outage taught us about a real, large-scale collapse

In the wake of violent storms, the power went out for millions of Americans across numerous U.S. states. Governors of Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio declared a state of emergency. Over twenty folks were confirmed dead, and millions sweltered in blistering temperatures although getting no air conditioning or refrigeration. As their frozen foods melted into processed goo, some had been waking up to a couple of lessons that we would all be wise to bear in mind.

Right here are 10 tough lessons we’re all mastering (or re-understanding, as the case may be) from this scenario:

#1) The power grid is ridiculously vulnerable to disruptions and failure

All it requires is Mother Nature unleashing a tiny wind storm, and whole human cities are cut off from their power grid. Wind and trees, in other words, can destroy in seconds what requires humans years to construct. As Newt Gingrich even quipped about the circumstance, what we witnessed was just a small taste of what a high-altitude EMP weapon attack could unleash across all of North America. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpuyPfAZRTU)

#2) Without having electricity, acquiring food and water in a key U.S. city can grow to be a challenging job

During the outage, masses of folks across the Eastern U.S. scrambled to get squared away on food and water. Thankfully for them, malls and gas stations had been open, providing (processed) food, water and air conditioning. That’s due to the fact the power outages had been fragmented, affecting some neighborhoods but not other people.

In a total grid down scenario, food and water supplies in a given U.S. city will disappear practically overnight. It is significantly the exact same for gasoline, batteries and even ammunition. All these supplies (and several a lot more) will simply be stripped from the shelves.

#3) Most folks are just not ready and therefore worsen any crisis

The average American citizen practices zero preparedness. They are 100% dependent on the power grid, the city water supply, 911 services for protection and lengthy-distance food deliveries to their grocery retailer. They have no backup plans, no stored food, no emergency mindset and no practical expertise for surviving a actual crisis.

As a outcome, their lack of preparedness worsens any crisis. Rather of getting part of the solution, they grow to be a burden on all the emergency services and supplies available in the location.

Hilariously, today’s city goers really contemplate malls and movie theaters to be locations of refuge. As FoxNews reported last weekend, “On Saturday, several individuals flocked to locations like malls and film theaters in the hope the lights would be on once more when they returned house.” (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/01/millions-without having-power-brace-for…)

#4) Cell phones are a fragile technology that can’t be counted on in an emergency

One of the a lot more exciting observations about the current crisis is that a lot of cell telephone towers are out of service. That is since they have no electricity and / or they have been damaged by wind or debris.

As a result, men and women who depend on cell phones for their lifeline to friends, relatives and 911 emergency services were suddenly left with non-functioning devices. Even in regions exactly where the cell phone towers were still operating, several men and women had no spot to charge their phones because their own houses had been cut off from electricity.

When the grid is up, and there are no storms, solar flares or disruptions, cell phones are actually remarkable devices, but they are vulnerable to even small-scale natural events, and they for that reason can’t be relied on when you want them most.

#5) The net is wildly vulnerable to natural disasters

According to news reports, these storms took down a portion of the Amazon Cloud, and this in turn shut down Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram. These services have now been restored, but they had been offline for many hours throughout which several of their users no doubt thought the world was coming to an finish.

#6) Numerous folks have no clue what to do in an emergency

Consider this quote about the CDC telling folks what to do:

“The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention was among many government agencies trying to preserve folks informed — from being aware of when the food in your suddenly inoperable freezer can’t be eaten to taking a cool bath if you don’t have AC.” (http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/30/us/extreme-heat/index.html)

Seriously? Does the government have to tell individuals to take a cool bath in order to keep away from overheating? Do men and women not know when food has spoiled? And even more strangely, is it now the function of the U.S. government to tell everybody what to do in every single emergency?

Whatever happened to widespread sense? I can tell you what: It moved out to the country!

Out in the country of Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and just about everywhere else, ranchers and farmers still have typical sense. They know about backup water supplies, and they can figure items out for themselves. It appears to be city individuals who want the most directions from Washington D.C.

#7) 911 and other emergency services are quickly overwhelmed or completely offline

According to MSNBC:

In Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs, emergency 911 call centers were out of service; residents were told to call local police and fire departments. Huge trees toppled across streets in the nation’s capital, crumpling cars. Cellphone and Internet service was spotty, gas stations shut down and residents were urged to conserve water.

The recent storms that caused this “grid down” situation for millions of Americans was a local event, and its repair and restoration was aided by workers arriving from outside the affected regions. In a national grid down scenario, however, there will be no excess human capital to lend to the situation. Every worker will be busy trying to restore the power grid in their own home regions.

This means repairs will take significantly longer, and according to some experts like David Chalk and James Wesley Rawles, a national grid down scenario has the potential of being unable to be repaired at all, resulting in years of no power grid which would obviously cause a mass die-off across the U.S. population.

#9) Modern cities are built on systems that have little redundancy

When the power goes out to a local hospital, there might be a temporary backup generator, but even that generator relies on the delivery of fuel. The delivery of generator fuel, in turn, relies on the availability of diesel truck fuel, which depends on petroleum refineries functioning, which in turn depends on the power grid staying up and highways remaining navigable. This is a complex chain of dependencies which can suffer disruptions or even total failure without warning.

There are surprisingly few redundancies in modern cities: Power, water, 911 services, natural gas and even sewage systems are all vulnerable to single points of failure. Even the evacuation infrastructure of modern cities is ripe for total failure. The city of Los Angeles, for example, simply cannot — under any circumstances — be evacuated. The highways simply do not have the capacity to handle the mass of vehicles attempting to leave, and in less than 72 hours, the whole thing would turn into a giant parking lot of stranded vehicles and desperate people, ripe for the picking off by armed gangs riding motorcycles.

When 911 fails, most people have no backup plan. Most people have no skills to defend themselves against acts of violence. They have no mindset for dealing with difficulty, so they call others to solve their problems for them: the police, the plumber, the fireman, the ambulance and so on. In a collapse scenario, individuals whose specialty skills are currently shared across a broad population will suddenly be difficult or impossible to locate. Why? Because they’ll be at home protecting their families!

#10) Mother Nature will humble humanity

Any time human beings get too arrogant and too big-headed about all their amazing cell phone technology, hi-rise cities and nuclear power plants, Mother Nature just shrugs and sends forth a tsunami of water or wind. All of humanity’s greatest constructs are but fragile toys compared to the truly awesome power of Mother Nature and the resilience of planet Earth.

If the power grid goes down across planet Earth for just one year, 90% of human civilization will perish, and along with it all the DVDs, Nike shoes and designer bling as well. Even the entire fictional construct of society’s laws and banking system will cease to exist.

Mother Nature is real. Consciousness is real. Seeds are real. But much of what humanity has so far created is paper-thin and temporary. It can all cease to exist in the blink of a cosmic eye.

We are fragile beings exploring a sea of such greatness and scale that our own lives seem silly by comparison. What humans think of as a natural “disaster” is but a tiny expression of natural patterns to Mother Nature. If we truly hope to survive as a species, we would be wise to remember how insignificant we really are in the greater scope of things… and why we must learn to respect nature and the universe rather than arrogantly thinking we have conquered it with GMOs, nuclear power and a supercollider.

( via naturalnews.com)

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