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OK, if the economic SHTF, how long before the lights go out and the water stops coming out our faucets? Why would they stop, anyway? Would people just not report for work and things just stop running? Aren't they sort of on automatic? Do they just turn off if someone doesn't report to work?
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒ&
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Stop paying people and they will stop showing up to work. The ones that do show up without pay will start to take items of value from their employer "in leiu" of pay. Steal enough tools and equipment from a company that cannot afford payroll and it will shut down.
 

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Power companies have automatic generators with enough fuel for I believe 2 weeks. They turn on automatically but when out of fuel, thats it. No power no lights, no power no pumps for water. But its likely the fuel stores would be looted by workers long before then. S will really HTF when power and water disappear. Thats when you guns stay locked and loaded.
 

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The US electrical grid is a national "smart" system. If one power plant goes down, the rest pick up the slack. The management of the system as a whole is a national security issue. Anyone remember when the air traffic controllers went on strike? Reagan fired them all.

As long as people pay for the electricity (the last utility that folks won't pay), the workers will get paid. Unlike many jobs, if you work at the local power plant and dont go in, your lights go out along with everyone elses. So the self preservation aspect of going to work to keep your own lights on and get paid later should get enough workers to keep the power flowing.
 

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OK, if the economic SHTF, how long before the lights go out and the water stops coming out our faucets? Why would they stop, anyway? Would people just not report for work and things just stop running? Aren't they sort of on automatic? Do they just turn off if someone doesn't report to work?
Things take money, manpower, and maintanance to work. If one of those stops coming, it shuts down. There are a lot of automated systems, but it still takes people to control them, switch them, maintain them, etc. They might run on their own for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, but sooner or later, it's going to come to a screeching halt.

Lack of money would probably shut them down faster than anything else.
 

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No utility system can be counted upon to work for any length of time without human monitoring and interventions. And that only addresses the main control and generation sites. All utilities also have to have crews that maintain the networks that connect the generation and productioin sites with the residential hubs that service individual consumers. There are short term and moderate term power blackouts fairly frequently. Power is usually restored in hours, or at most a day or two because all the staff and crews are hard at work. Whenever a disaster occurs that creates a power domino effect a local problem can become a regional problem very quickly. As for these crews showing up, most will at first. But after a time they will stop if they see no sign that the head office payroll department is showing up for work. It all depends on the nature and duration of the emergency. So far the ones I have seen that cause the most sustained probems are floods, forest fires, ice storms and hurricanes. Utility people stay home to look after their family and sometimes because they simply can't get in to work. I even travelled through a power blackout in southern British Columbia (and I mean all of southern British Columbia) beacuse a small private plane had flown into a major power transmission tower and the entire southern part of BC had an instant power blackout that lasted about 24 hours if I recall. Power blackout mean no gas stations could pump fuel. I made it back to Alberta on fumes, the gas gauge had been on empty for 20 miles.
 

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During the Great Depression many of the public service workers stayed on the job for months based on the promise of latter paychecks or IOUs written by the local government.

When Russia colapsed many of the public service and most of the military stayed on the job even after months of no pay.

Our military does not swear an oath to a paycheck. When I went in we made $80 a month.

Failsafe systems? Yea, right!

In August 2003 the entire northeastern quadrent of the U.S. was in the dark for several days because a squirrel shorted out a single transformer and colapsed the entire NE grid.

There will be several days of water on gravity flow from the storage tanks. What will really make a stink is when the sewer system colapses due to no power for the sewage pumps in low lying areas. Happened in my area when Huricane Ike knocked oput power for 8 days.
 

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It would have to be so bad in the US for the "water to stop and the lights to go off", that there would likely be no power or water in the entire world.

If it didn't happen during the Great Depression, it won't happen in our lifetimes.
 

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Sabotage, or other factors, could make the lights and water go out immediately; or they could stay on for a couple of weeks.
Accept that SHTF IS going to happen. (I believe within the next decade.) Then, plan and prep accordingly, as your finances and situation allow.
NO nation in the history of the world has avoided utter collapse eventually. Had we stuck to the original plan, we had a chance. But, not now...
 

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I am surprised to find this Quote on this Site.

It would have to be so bad in the US for the "water to stop and the lights to go off", that there would likely be no power or water in the entire world.

If it didn't happen during the Great Depression, it won't happen in our lifetimes.
Seems like you have a lot of confidence in your fellow man. Most of us here would not agree, I bet.

The greatest threat is the interuption of all electronic devices with the atmospheric detonation of a nuclear weapon to disrupt all circuitry and everything that has electronic function, which is most things that use electricty or other fuels. I forget the exact term, but it creates the chaos and panic in society without destroying infrastructure and turning our nation into a 10,000 year nuclear wasteland.

Nothing with an electronic board in it will work. No cell phones, radios, cars, trucks, internet, electricity, ATM's, trucking grinds to a halt, nothing moves unless it is old enough to have points, a condensor and a manual cap with rotor. Even the car batteries would be negatively affected based upon my understanding. Not having elecricity would be an inconvenience for me as I am generator independent, private well, septic system. As long as I protect my generator's electrical capabilities, I should be able to keep my water flowing and enough electricity to survive comfortably for awhile.

With just about everyone without power, the house with lights will stick out light a huge target at night. Probably would be safer to keep the generator off and secured at night and just run during the day to build water pressure and other minimum requirements. Since the gas pumps won;t work since there is no grid electricity and no vehicles to drive to the station, people will walk or ride bicycles. Pulling a wagon to the gas station with 5 gallon cans will probably require a security escort on your way home.

I am quite surprised you have this much confidence in your fellow man yet you are on a Survivoralist forum.........
 

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Enscheff:
"It would have to be so bad in the US for the "water to stop and the lights to go off", that there would likely be no power or water in the entire world. If it didn't happen during the Great Depression, it won't happen in our lifetimes."

Are you really unaware of all the major and minor power blackouts that have happened in North America in the last 25 years?

Are you really unaware of the number of times water has been cut off for hours or days due to water main disasters or water supplies being found contaminated?

Have you ever heard of the safety phrase: "Call before you dig!" Even utilities cause their own problems but those are usually of short duration. When a major power grid drops, a flood occurs or transmission lines collapse, or bugs get into the water supply, you have problems that last for awhile. Ten days may not sound like a long period but if you have no water and no power and the food stores are closed because the cash registers are all electric now, and have made no provision for these things yourself for a few days, you have a survival situation on your hands.
 

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If people know that their families are safe and they are needed at work most will show up. They will hope to be paid and they will hope to keep their job. If things have gotten so bad that they need to be home for the safety of their family, they'll be a no show at work. As a rule of thumb if you feel the need to stay home, don't expect the utilities to last much longer.
 

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If the gas runs out like during Ike then people stop going to work unless it's right next door. The well thing works only so good... there are now records of well's and they charge us for having it each year and usage. As it's out in the middle of nowhere we are thinking about having it demolished and concreted over (on paper). It is wind powered and we have another windmill and some extra plunger rod's as those damn things go out every 5 years or so. It's basically a long wooden pole with GIANT o-rings on it. The old ones just had tanned leather on the ends so we can make those if needed just have to find some wood that long which would be hard considering nothing grows over a story and half out there but we can just use the old ones and slightly modify them also. The depth is a couple hundred feet so the water is naturally cool which is good during the summer but a pain during the winter.

Have the energy thing solved on a small scale, but want a better solution like wind turbines and stockpile the repair parts. Solar panels attract to much attention and are to easily damaged anyways.
 
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