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Old 02-27-2010, 12:54 PM
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Default What If The Power Grid Went Down



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I just read an article on Brazilian power black outs and how the intel community is saying that it was due to a cyber attack, and the government is denying it.
http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Cybe...ticle16803.htm

This is the third time in the past few years that they have been hit, and Paraguay was also hit.
http://illvox.org/2009/11/blackout-i...io-de-janeiro/

I know I am speculating here, but suppose you wanted to take down the power grid of a large country, like the United States ... do you think you would practice first on smaller countries who didn't have the intelligence capabilities to find you and stop you? What if someone developed a program that had to ability to cause a cascading meltdown of our system ... one that corrupted everything it came in contact with? The reason I am asking this question is because this is a senario that hasn't been discussed all that much on the boards as a survival situation, so I was thinking maybe we need to add this to our ever increasing list of causes for TS hitting TF, and to add what it would take to overcome this problem to our survival preperations.

If the power grid was to go down in this country what are some of the things that would be affected?

>You couldn't get gas, because the gas stations need electricity to pump the gas out of the holding tanks.
>Without gas, the trucks don't run, so there are no deliveries.
>Without electric, the stores can't run the registers, and if they used manual means, they couldn't keep track of the inventory anymore to reorder.
>Without electricity ... (WE from now on) there would be no refrigeration in the stores or in your home.
>WE there would be no lights in your homes, no stoves to cook on, no heat or air conditioners.
>WE there would be no way the banks could function, because their whole system is electronic.
>WE credit card transactions wouldn't work, so you couldn't buy anything without cash.
>WE there would be no communications, radio, tv, news.
>WE which would make getting gas next to impossible for most people, no one could get to work, even if their work didn't involve the direct use of current.
>WE the hospitals and emergency services would be severely crippled ... fire departments also.
>WE police would loose their ability to patrol ... no gas ... or to respond ... if you could even contact them.

I am sure there are a lot more WE's that could be added here, but the ones I listed, I should think, would be enought to make you take a deep breath, followed by the words, Oh Crap!

We look at power outages as a temporary situation that can be easily fixed with a little time and manpower. What if someone had the capability to take the whole grid down in a way that would keep it down for a good long while? What would we do then? What would you do differently to help prepare your family for having to live without that little convenience we have all grown so dependant on? Just food for thought ......
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:58 PM
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thats why we prep.

as for gasoline, there are hand pumps for such matters... there you do run into the likely hood become seen as a looter.

the rest is why we prep, hospitals and such are on backup generators, that should function immediatly, and in most situations it wouldn't take more than a couple days to a couple of weeks to get power back. remember that big power outage in the northeast a few years back. everyone stayed calm and got through it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepx22 View Post
thats why we prep.

as for gasoline, there are hand pumps for such matters... there you do run into the likely hood become seen as a looter.

the rest is why we prep, hospitals and such are on backup generators, that should function immediatly, and in most situations it wouldn't take more than a couple days to a couple of weeks to get power back. remember that big power outage in the northeast a few years back. everyone stayed calm and got through it.
Yeah, they got them back up, but they weren't targeted. That was a malfunction that got fixed. I am talking about someone basically killing the "hard drive" on our computer infastructure. How long do you think it would take to totally delete all the corrupted files nation wide, bring up a new system and get it back online? Plus trying to figure out how to make sure that once the new system is back up, they couldn't just target it again???? What I am trying to say is what if they could bring about the same situation as an EMP attack without having to detonate a nuke, by totally melting down all the computers behind our electrical grid?
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Last edited by Graywolf; 02-27-2010 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywolf View Post
I just read an article on Brazilian power black outs and how the intel community is saying that it was due to a cyber attack, and the government is denying it.
http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Cybe...ticle16803.htm

This is the third time in the past few years that they have been hit, and Paraguay was also hit.
http://illvox.org/2009/11/blackout-i...io-de-janeiro/

I know I am speculating here, but suppose you wanted to take down the power grid of a large country, like the United States ... do you think you would practice first on smaller countries who didn't have the intelligence capabilities to find you and stop you? What if someone developed a program that had to ability to cause a cascading meltdown of our system ... one that corrupted everything it came in contact with? The reason I am asking this question is because this is a senario that hasn't been discussed all that much on the boards as a survival situation, so I was thinking maybe we need to add this to our ever increasing list of causes for TS hitting TF, and to add what it would take to overcome this problem to our survival preperations.

If the power grid was to go down in this country what are some of the things that would be affected?

>You couldn't get gas, because the gas stations need electricity to pump the gas out of the holding tanks.
>Without gas, the trucks don't run, so there are no deliveries.
>Without electric, the stores can't run the registers, and if they used manual means, they couldn't keep track of the inventory anymore to reorder.
>Without electricity ... (WE from now on) there would be no refrigeration in the stores or in your home.
>WE there would be no lights in your homes, no stoves to cook on, no heat or air conditioners.
>WE there would be no way the banks could function, because their whole system is electronic.
>WE credit card transactions wouldn't work, so you couldn't buy anything without cash.
>WE there would be no communications, radio, tv, news.
>WE which would make getting gas next to impossible for most people, no one could get to work, even if their work didn't involve the direct use of current.
>WE the hospitals and emergency services would be severely crippled ... fire departments also.
>WE police would loose their ability to patrol ... no gas ... or to respond ... if you could even contact them.

I am sure there are a lot more WE's that could be added here, but the ones I listed, I should think, would be enought to make you take a deep breath, followed by the words, Oh Crap!

We look at power outages as a temporary situation that can be easily fixed with a little time and manpower. What if someone had the capability to take the whole grid down in a way that would keep it down for a good long while? What would we do then? What would you do differently to help prepare your family for having to live without that little convenience we have all grown so dependant on? Just food for thought ......

i would do nothing differently, as I prep for a SHTF scenario. In all my planning I assume that the Grid WILL be down, and that serviced will stop. otherwise its NOT SHTF.

I mean if you have electricity what could be so bad?? other than some randome unexplanable social meltdown, cause by who knows what... nothing really
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:07 PM
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Good, thought provoking post.

As for preparing.. a good excercise for the household is to pull the 'mains' for a day or two. I've done that, with the approval of the family. It sure will show you the 'holes' in your plans in a hurry. Oh, also,.. after pulling the mains, there is no using a vehicle, no walking to the store. You use what ya' got.
When weather warms, I plan on doing it again, only extending it to a few days.
I'm retired, I have a little flexibility. lol
I may add the element of surprise,.. no warning. I'm blessed to have a like-minded wife. So she'll see it as a family challenge.
No way to simulate unrest other than to increase vigilance of the area surrounding us.

A long, longterm lack of power and resources. I'm not fooling myself, it would be nasty.
The longest naturally occuring power/services disruption here? 7 days. Entire neighborhood dark, including local grocery and gas stations. We took advantage of that teachable moment. Shot some sizable holes in our 'preparadness'. lol
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:55 PM
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We have included a major grid failure in our preps. We have alternate means of cooking and heating. We'd have to adjust a lot to the refridgerator thing, but it's part of what we prepare for.
After doing some research, we discovered that should an EMP type event happen, with transformers destroyed, it could be 5 years before things could be restored. Many have read the book "One Second After" and taken that danger to heart when making their plans.
One thing that we are doing to help us, is reducing the amounts of "fun stuff" we keep on hand in the freezer...things that are breaded, will melt (ice cream) and can't be cooked on the stove top easily (casseroles). Having lost my freezers entire contents (after having spent a huge amount to fill it) last year, I try to keep it in mind that not everything I like to eat is good to cook in a more primative way. (dang, no pizza, no hot pockets) lol Yeah, I know, I should eath ealthier, and I do, but I still like a treat once in a while.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:59 PM
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We're far to dependant on the grid. Every critical system in our lives should have a backup. We know that and plan for redundancy. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way in life. The grid going down long term would cause one of the worst catastrophes in our history.

On the positive side, it's going to be amusing watching all the TV and video game addicts trying to adapt. Oh well, they had plenty of time to break the addiction beforehand and chose not to.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:25 PM
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I agree with the others I think that most of us who do prep prep with the knowledge that there won't be any electric. Although I see having no electric as a nuisance I don't believe it is an end all of end all's for most people. Of course there will be those who are completely unprepared and will go mad if wallyworld can't operate and they can't contact their BFF on their cellies but really it isn't that difficult to survive without electric. We are prepared for this we have our knowledge of how to do things the old fashioned way, we have our old fashion hand tools, and our preps to carry us through until we can substain ourselves the way our forefathers did. Personally sometimes I think the world would be a better place without electricity.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:35 PM
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I have being buying solar panels for years now, as well as 3 Diesel Generators and 3 Gasoline generators, I also have a wind mill with a 737 Jet Plane's Generator to keep 6 giant plane batteries charged.
Power is no problem for me.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:42 PM
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You know, I've been giving this thread more thought...
It wouldn't be too terrible if everyone was in the same boat. If the world had such an event, we wouldn't have to worry about someone invading us while we were "down" (at least not as much)
People would certainly eat healthier, work healthier, and have better activities. We may even socialize in a healthier way (no twitter or Facebook).
News would actually be REAL news, not just "filler". There are a LOT of good things that could come out of it. I would feel bad for people who are life dependant on electricity though (diabetics etc). I wonder how long it would take pharm companies, gas companies etc to start moving again?
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbalpagan View Post
You know, I've been giving this thread more thought...
It wouldn't be too terrible if everyone was in the same boat. If the world had such an event, we wouldn't have to worry about someone invading us while we were "down" (at least not as much)
People would certainly eat healthier, work healthier, and have better activities. We may even socialize in a healthier way (no twitter or Facebook).
News would actually be REAL news, not just "filler". There are a LOT of good things that could come out of it. I would feel bad for people who are life dependant on electricity though (diabetics etc). I wonder how long it would take pharm companies, gas companies etc to start moving again?
I agree with your herbalpagan it would be nice for things to be like they once were, harder yes but nicer.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:15 PM
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people think iam more of a nut case when it comes to talking about makeing sure your home has some form of power system to help run the items that you might need in or after the shtf liveing..

as for building my dream cabin system part of the power system is beening able to have the battie bank recharge by the means of a solar and wind turbine system that can be taken down and put up as it need along with mirco harris water turbine to help power the some units when filling up the fresh water tanks as the water is pumped though the system to produce elec to the battie bank also ..

so it better to sometype of system than to have nothing at all..
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:44 PM
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Well, it is certainly a possibility that such a thing could happen. Our enemies would love nothing more than to totally cripple us and our economy and our way of life. Certain people in government in fact too, would love nothing more than to put us back in the 1840's or something.....I mean, look at all the hare-brained schemes ("cap-and-tax" and various other "environmental laws" that they want to ram down our throats)....wanting to do away with coal, oil consumption, internal-combustion engines, etc....the list is endless.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepx22 View Post
thats why we prep.

as for gasoline, there are hand pumps for such matters... there you do run into the likely hood become seen as a looter.
I would imagine, in a prolonged power outage, it would be the station's owners using the hand pumps to draw gasoline out of the tanks for sale. They might even hook up generators and run the station off those until the fuel ran out or the power came back on.

The thing is, while a nation-wide blackout would be costly and disruptive, it wouldn't be crippling unless whatever caused the grid to fail managed to inflict such harm that it COULDN'T be repaired in a few days, or weeks, or even months. That would take a LOT of effort. Maybe you could hack into a power plant's computer system and send the right commands to make the plant's dynamos grind themselves into paste; or maybe you could set off an EMP at the right altitude and take everything down. But those are some pretty sophisticated moves and not something the terrorist on the street could accomplish.

And any nation or group which DID succeed in hitting us that hard, might find itself on the receiving end of some nuclear retaliation...
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:36 PM
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I'm good to go survival wise. That has always been a part of my plan. Lots of candles, alternative cooking means, available water, MR'Es, windup/solar radio, etc. My biggest worry is access to bank accounts. If $ can still be used for supplies, I do have a cash supply but may not last long. I questioned my bank a few days ago about access to my SDB and they said it would be possible. They also have backup plans to access their vault if they choose to open the bank on a limited schedule. Overall I should be good for 6 mths.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:15 PM
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We are much more dependent upon electrical power than most people actually realize. I have a couple of big generators and some fuel stored, but how long will that last? Around here during hurricanes, the lines form at the gas pump. No power means no pumping, or limited pumping depending on the generators they use at the store or gas station. It would get increasingly harder to get fuel even for your generator, much less your vehicle. That in itself would dramatically change the way we live and work. Then throw in the fuel for freight trains, commuter trains, planes, ships, buses, 18 wheelers hauling your food.

Just the logistics of shipping whatever items to whatever locations are totally computerized. A vastly large percentage of the food we get is frozen, chilled or temperature controlled from the time it's produced, packaged, shipped and stored. (I drove and 18 wheeler for a while hauling a reefer trailer) There are entire frozen and cold storage warehouses of food to be shipped that are 5 and 6 city blocks long, that have hundreds of 18 wheelers arrive and leave everyday. I can't begin to imagine the spoilage of so much food, once the fuel for the generators is gone. That would take a heavy toll on the food and goods you get regularly. It doesn't only effect your lights and power at home. It effects EVERYTHING!!!

Even the military itself is so computerized and driven on fuel, the very power and fuel made would probably be diverted to the military, government and hospitals for the most part. Only the essential services would be a priority. If our grid went down totally or even 50%, it would be drastic for this country. Most people just aren't prepared for the consequences of it.

How long do you think Biff and Buffy, the Yuppie Couple would last in a neighborhood in the Northeast right now, blanketed in snow and freezing temps, with no regular food shipments comming and no fuel for the beemer or the Escalade SUV ? No TV or radio to inform them of another comming blizzard type storm. Most people would go stark raving mad because they had no TV, Computer, Wii games, lights, refridgeration, etc. People go berzerk when the power goes out for more than a couple of days. We are so dependent upon electrical power and grid services, that it would totally change the way we live or don't live within days. After being a cop in these situations, with no alarms, no lights, no phones, very little communication, etc, it will get very interesting, very quickly.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:18 PM
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We cook on a propane stove. Currently we have about one year supply of propane. By the end of summer I plan on having five to 10 year supply. We can most of our food. What is in the freezers would be eaten first or canned. I have two diesel tractors with 1,500 gallons of fuel. One of the tractors would run a 15,000 watt generator. The fuel would last more than a year running 24/7. I would not run 24/7 but could. Solar/ small wind generation for charging batteries is in the planning stage. We have been buying kerosene lamps at the flee markets and I have 55 gallons of kerosene. I also have several Coleman lanterns and stoves with 20 gallons of Coleman fuel. I plan on using some and bartering the others. Loosing electricity would not be my first choice but we would get along.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye Alex View Post
I also have a wind mill with a 737 Jet Plane's Generator to keep 6 giant plane batteries charged.
That is, quite possibly, one of the most awesome things I've heard. How does one obtain a 737 generator?
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepx22 View Post
remember that big power outage in the northeast a few years back. everyone stayed calm and got through it.
I stayed drunk through most of that...but I have a better strategy these days...

Edit: I'd like to add that in my drunken haze I was able to wire a UPS to my car battery so that I could watch DVDs. I wasn't completely useless back then.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:45 PM
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after watching Die Hard 4 "live free, or die hard" i wonder how many people actually considered this "fiction" as a real world event; i wonder how many woke up.

when the "convenience" of electricity goes, i doubt that the general population will remain calm for more than a week.
i suspect that about 20% of the population will probably freeze to death(too many elec heated homes). here in canada, i suspect more. have a natural gas furnace? forget it. it still needs elec to function.
i have been noticing more communities are banning wood stoves to preserve "air quality". want to build a new home? oh sorry, code prevents construction of a new home with a wood stove in it. blah blah...
people with propane systems for heat are fooling themselves for LONGTERM survival. electricity is still needed to refill those bottles.
got solar? not for long, when your neighbors come to steal it.

there will be terror, hate, and anger. it will be a mess.
it will be riots in the streets.

pretty grim.
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