What is Long Term?

I’ve spoken about this before but it sort of cropped up in a radio program today with a solar scientist talking (strangely enough) about the sun.

At first it was just the wrong side of interesting aka:-
boring

Then the interviewer got my interest when he asked the scientist:-
Is industry building in protection for the effects of a high power coronal ejections which cause geomagnetic (solar) storms? A low probability but high effect event.

I sat up then thinking disrupted communications both analogue and digital, satellite failures, and electricity blackouts, just like an EMP would. History had a massive solar storm hit in 1859 and it’s effect on yester-years high-tech (telegraph lines) was “dramatic” to say the least. Only it happened again in March 1989 and the entire province of Quebec, Canada suffered a 12 hour electrical power blackout caused by a solar storm!

Now the solar scientist said, maybe politically correctly, that industry was now building in “resilient” systems to cope with this effect. My instant response was “bollocks” and what about existing older systems?

So I’m now thinking if everything goes down and it could take months if not years to put it  right. After all if all electricity generation fails as parts (especially those huge transformers) burn out, the very tools you need to use to make replacement parts are probably powered by electricity!

Scary stuff of fantasies but once again I found myself thinking about you, me, and the rest of the world, plunged into an indefinite grid down scenario.

To simply list all the effects is pointless.
Most everything relies on electricity as you’ll probably appreciate.
Except what plans do you have for that, NO ELECTRICITY, I mean FOR EVER!
Being preppers I’m sure you all have some plan in place.
You have haven’t you?

But what about the rest of the world?
Well about 1 to 1.5 billion in the world have no access to electricity.
Also no fridges, water treatment, supermarkets, or TV’s.
You know, basically the trappings of the West’s modern world.
So if everything went off, I’m betting their survival is a given.

What about the Western world?
No water will probably be the biggest killer.
Food comes next as its distribution is mainly controlled by computer, transported by vehicles using fuel which cannot be pumped or even made without electricity, and grown with modern farming techniques which involve the heavy use of chemical fertiliser and ‘bug sprays’.
Shelter figures in as most Western homes use heating systems that run off electricity.
I’ll stop there and simply quote you the rule of threes. You will see why as I type it.

Note that  I’m not talking about Nuclear attack.
This is purely thoughts about a total grid down scenario caused by a natural event.

  • 3 seconds without adequate cover.
    The rule of law will break down quickly and violence will erupt.
    That will be ongoing in certain areas.
  • 3 minutes without a heart beat or good air.
    Violence again, or as industry fails it could cause catastrophic failures and the subsequent fires could produce harmful gases.
    A little thing extra here but it will amount to a few down.
    Modern living means a lot of people don’t actually walk anywhere let alone carrying heavy loads. Heart attacks are a possibility when faced with the 99 steps up and down from your apartment, or the mile walk to the nearest food or water, is going to kill off quite a few.
  • 3 hours without adequate shelter.
    Middle of winter, modern living in an apartment or even a house.
    With no electricity the heating systems won’t work, and as for air conditioning in the middle of summer? Phew, it’s going to get hot. Too hot, too cold, both will kill people, especially the very young, sick, and elderly.
  • 3 days without clean water, and medicines for those who depend on them for life.
    First water.
    Water, like all utilities, is pumped in modern living.
    No electricity no pumps.
    OK, everyone has a stove so boiling will make the water clean. REALLY?
    First you may have to go and get it, transport it by foot, now boil it.
    On an electric stove with no electricity? One down.
    Using a gas stove? Two down, as the gas stopped flowing when the pumps stopped.
    Using chemicals which everyone has in stock (not), no so LOL now eh?
    Three down and you’re out!
    Now at this point I’m going to add NO SANITATION.
    It’s not generally mentioned in the rule of threes but modern living, especially in high density locations generates one hell of a lot of waste, dry waste, plastics, tins, card, old food, solid and liquid toilet waste.
    A couple of things to think about here. No one is going to collect it (Garbage trucks) and you have no probably will have no water to flush body waste away, Anyway main line sewage systems are often pumped to the treatment works that ALSO depend on electricity to operate. Enter disease and rats, flies, rotting material, nice eh?
    NO SANITATION also concerns you in the form of personal hygiene.
    Washing without water and soaps, toothpastes, shampoo, and even if you’ve got all of that, the cold bit may cause the occasional sharp intake of breath. 😉
    Only what about washing clothing if you have no way to dry them and no ‘cold wash’ detergents. Personal hygiene is not only the body but what you wear on top of it.
    Drugs and medicines. Take any, Long term?
    If you take life-sustaining medicines, what happens when you run out?
    The Western world is a victim of Big Pharma and poor doctoring aka take this and it will keep you going, as opposed to fixing the problem. Only if electricity is no more, so are your drugs. They can’t be made, delivered, sold as shops won’t be operating or able to restock, and you need a daily dose of whatever? I reckon you’re royally screwed at that point.
  • 3 weeks continuously without food.
    Bit contentious but in cities it’ll be more like a week before everything easily accessible is stripped bare.
    After that, who actually knows.
    No electricity means no food chain, deliveries, manufacturing has ended, transport needed fuel, and your 6 months of food stores still needs to be cooked!
    Now I’m an advocate of NOT fleeing cities or townships unless you have to.
    Basically let everyone else go and you’ve got a one stop shopping mall of dwellings and industry to pick over. OK it might not be that easy BUT for the resourceful (and street people are), if you know where to look, the rule of law is no more, and you possess a dodgy set of morals (like me), food and other supplies won’t be an issue for quite some time.

So long-term?
After 3 weeks you’ll be seeing the bodies stacking up and in summer, without electricity, it could get well smelly. That will almost certainly generate a biological hazard.

After 3 months, we are talking the peak of the death rate.
Once again in summer, heat is not a good thing
But in winter, the death rate will be worse but maybe not so immediately noticeable.

firestorm

What will be though is the result of thousands of little fires in winter that have got out of control. No electricity means no water, thus nothing to fight them with.
Emergency services may still be running, MAYBE, but you just don’t know.

Now some ex-spurts reckon that within the first few weeks 80% of the population will be in dire trouble of not dead following the total loss of electricity.

I’ve sort of got mixed feelings about that grandeurs number except the UK is full of rather stupid sheeple so maybe. Especially if you factor in mass epidemics caused by poor sanitation or bad water.

Long term?
What does that now mean to you having read this?

Personally I’m thinking that if we can make it through the first winter we may be OK.

pair

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7 Responses to What is Long Term?

  1. yokel. says:

    governments tend to rate long term as anything over 30 days, to me long term means 6 months and counting.
    on the electricity side I read a report many moons ago that said if, say an EMP or solar storm blew all the transformers and stuff in the UK power grid it would take 2 YEARS to replace them all, you see these things are not kept “on the shelf” and have to be specially made by some outside company probably foreign, so what would be the death rate in those 2 years? probably off the chart!
    as for deaths, another report said the population would HALVE every 6 months probably levelling out at the 18 months stage, by which time the population of the UK would be down to about 8million or somewhere just above 10%.

  2. yokel. says:

    survival will mostly be down to what each person knows and can do, otherwise known as skills and knowledge.
    many people living in the UK today will not be able to live without electricity, and many do not want to, its not their fault they just don’t know any better.

    • It’s not just people in the UK, it’s everywhere. So much is taken for granted that no-one thinks about alternatives, or even entertain the need for them. When asking a friend how he would manage without electricity, his reply was that he wouldn’t miss TV. Cooking, heating, running his car, even getting money out of the ATM didn’t register at all, yet these are things we tend to forget need electricity to run them. Technology is all very well, as is the latest in gadgetry and mod cons, but take away the power source, and they’re useless apart from providing fuel for something else (ie, putting on the fire to cook a stew, heat water and keep warm).

  3. yokel. says:

    most of the population don’t have a clue how fragile the system really is, most have never heard of a “Just in time” delivery-especially food- system or that we are “9 meals from anarchy”, they just assume that everything is okay and nothing bad can ever happen.

  4. yokel. says:

    I look at it as a positive outcome rather than a negative one, but then I don’t care much about others-especially sheeple who will be the first to suffer in any catastrophe.

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