Sunday, October 27, 2013

"American Blackout"

National Geographic's new TV show "American Blackout" debuts tonight. As the blurb says "American Blackout imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack —told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones." I shall make an effort to stay up late and watch it, but in the meantime I checked out the website. NG invited readers to answer a few questions, including "How would you prepare in order to survive a long-term blackout?"

One response to which I in turn tried to respond (until I found out how much personal information I was required to give them) was this:
If the lights really went out one of these days, I would start with getting a light source of course, and maybe food that doesn't need to be microwaved or cooked at all . But let's be realistic , I think Human beings can survive just fine , it's not an apocalypse to lose electricy everyone , we would be o.k. But still, when you think hard about it, we dont have as much to lose as we think if there were a blackout . we would have our daily sunlight we could still work and we could still live a peaceful life , people get worried because technology has affected so much of their life , but in the long term it's no big deal...
Talk about someone who does not get the concept of 'long-term', "national' and 'blackout'.

My intended reply:
Actually, we have a lot to lose: Water. If the power fails regionally, much less nationally, IF your water company has back up generators to run the purification equipment and pumps, they will run out of fuel in probably a couple or three days. Three days after that people start dying in very large numbers.

The chance of a long-lasting regional or national collapse of the electrical system is fairly slight, but the consequences would be apocalyptic, especially for those states like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and southern California which rely on water from far away. Especially so if the blackout occurred during summer.

People with the ability to get to fresh water sources like rivers, streams, and lakes likely would, then they would have to stay there, drinking unfiltered water ever more polluted with their own feces.

Collapse of the electrical grid means collapse of our ability to purify and distribute water. That would indeed be apocalyptic, and very quickly so.

And where would you get a light source and food which doesn't need to be cooked, after the event? 300,000,000 people would be suddenly in the same market.
The info notice from National Geographic (for which I thank them):
National Geographic Society will receive the following info: your public profile, friend list, email address, birthday, hometown, interests, current city, personal description and likes.

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