It really is incredible when you start to think deeply about our reliance upon electricity and the terrible disastrous consequences of being without it for a long period of time. Heck, even a relatively short period of time without electricity will likely result in people “losing it”…
How long will it take without electricity until lots of people literally begin to die?
What will be the specific chain of events that will lead to the deaths of so many people?
Given the current events as of this post date (the reported supposition that NK may have orbiting EMP capability) I felt this would be a good “food for thought” exercise, albeit grim.
Any thinking person would have to admit that indeed there would be great loss of life if electricity (our life blood) were to vanish.
Why would there be such great loss of life? Because our modern society has become 100% reliant upon it. Most all of our infrastructure is dependent on electricity for it to work. It is a great challenge to come up with a list of infrastructure-related things that do not in some way depend upon a source of electricity.
How long would it take before a significant number of people begin to die off?
I believe that it would begin sooner than most people may think…
I have written about this scenario a number of times over the years and I really have not changed my view too much on this (except one). I have always felt that if the lights went out in America (grid-down), it is my opinion that ultimately 70% – 90% would not survive.
One major viewpoint that I’ve adjusted is how long this would take to occur (the 70% – 90%). When I first hypothesized this years ago, I felt that an approximate one year time frame would be required to finally reach those numbers. I believe that this thinking was incorrect. It would be much sooner than that.
Given the lack of drinking water after the pumps stop working and holding tanks drain,
Given that most people have less than one week’s worth of food at home,
Given that the majority of people live in urban areas,
I feel that these facts alone will seal their fate within one to three months. One month for many, and certainly within three months for most. There simply will not be enough food available within our just-in-time system and this will immediately begin the timeline to starvation. The lack of drinking water will bring about end-of-life even sooner.
While 19% live in rural areas, most of them too are reliant upon electricity. Of the 19% how many are self-reliant and able to procure water and food without pumps, electricity, and grocery stores… enough to last throughout the year?
What do we require to stay alive? Water, Food, Shelter, Security. How long until these things become no longer available after the electricity goes out?
Potential Sequence of Events After “Lights Out”
Thousands trapped in elevators
ALL electrical appliances shut down-refrigerators, heating, A/C
ATM machines are inoperative
Banks and other businesses shut down
Gas stations without generators cannot pump fuel
Water faucets begin to run dry in some areas without utility generators
Toilets will no longer flush without water pressure
Drug stores and supermarkets being stripped
Law enforcement overwhelmed by emergencies and outbreaks of looting
Batteries on laptops, cell phones, and flashlights are dying
Conflicting descriptions of power outage, unknown expected duration
Officials disagree regarding recommended actions
Bridges, tunnels, highways becoming clogged with refugees
Gas stations running out of fuel (those that could pump)
Water is at a premium
Some emergency generators assist in pumping water and sewage (limited)
Many ‘unprepared’ are running out of food
Beginning to panic, discovering widespread outage ramifications
The “Oh $hit” moment of realization…
Any .gov emergency rations are depleted
Many of the elderly and infirm have died
Hospitals overwhelmed and struggling to perform emergency services
Military attempts to maintain semblance of order, but not enough personnel
Looting (especially cities) has become rampant
Millions upon millions are ‘on their own’
People have become deeply frightened and fear for their lives
Most are now entirely running out of food to eat
Many are dying in regions without access to water
Many are dying in regions/climates where there is no heat (if during winter)
Disease (e.g. typhoid fever, cholera) from eating tainted food, water, poor sanitation
Martial Law is declared (perhaps/probably much sooner)
Many drug-dependent patients are dying
The millions with severe psychotic disorders (no more meds) create bedlam
People and communities fighting over resources
Home invasions and violence-related die-offs
Escaped prisoners, organized gangs, more violence-related die-off
Communities are slowly starving
3 months, 70% – 90% are dead
The issue of all the bodies…
Related: Lights Out
Related: One Second After
How long do you think it will take before more than just a few begin to lose their lives after the electric grid goes down?
Note: I know that there are those of you who do not accept the possibility that something of this magnitude could or would actually occur, however this is just a thought exercise ;)