Wednesday, 29 August 2018

If The Grid Went Down


If we were to be told that our water was contaminated and undrinkable or for what ever reason food deliveries had to be stopped, it would take a couple days for it to sink in for most people, then, once it has hit home people would start to panic, they would head out to the super markets and "panic buying" filling their shopping carts to the point of overflowing, emptying shelves of water, food and everything else in a matter of hours.

However, if the electricity were to go out the effects would be immediately felt, after the initial confusion we would pull out the candles and after explaining to our kids why you can't get the WiFi back on, we would sit and patiently wait for the power to be reconnected.


But what if it didn't come back on? What if we found our selves in a long term Grid Down situation? No ETA as to when we would get power back, it just stayed off... Even if we are well prepared for it with candles, solar lanterns and torches, it wont take long before the water stops or becomes undrinkable as the water filtration systems failed due to the lack of power, deliveries of food to our local stores will stop and because these days our stores get deliveries on a "nearly out of stock basis" their shelves will be empty within a matter of days, if not hours, even if deliveries were to get through, perishable foods will defrost and go bad in a matter of hours in the summer, a day or so in the winter because our grocery stores would have no power to run their freezers. Then what?


 With no electricity to run our telephone lines and mobile networks, the communication system would stop, everything that runs in electricity, would stop. Even generators would have a finite life span as fuel starts to run out.

This is where the panic will set in, and scared people can become dangerous people. Society as we know it would totally collapse in a matter of days as the police loose control of our towns and cities and concentrate instead on the safety of their own families and loved ones.

It is at this point our only hope would be Martial law taking control of our towns and cities and even then, the best that we could hope for would be check points to control the movement of people around the country, as whole areas of cities would become no go zones, now under the control of gangs and marauders. This is the part of a SHTF scenario that fills me with dread, it would be bad enough trying to steer my family through a SHTF landscape to our bug out safe place, if we decided to make that move, without having to deal with the criminal element, now given free reign to do what ever they want.


Alistair Reynolds said that we are only three hot meals away from anarchy at any point in time.

When people become hungry and thirsty or when they realise that they can only live for three days without water before severe dehydration sets in, shops will be the first to be looted, once our super markets are empty the next step would be gangs going door to door looking for food and water, it won't matter if there are families with children in a house, if they have food they will become a target.

With no law enforcement in place, no consequences to pay for your actions, some people will have free reign to do what ever they want.

With any luck those in the know will have seen the signs and bugged out, leaving the city before society broke down, if they are lucky.


We have seen it so many times where the mob mentally takes hold almost over night, a good example would be London Riots of August 2011 when businesses, even small ones were looted and then destroyed, even innocent people walking down a street became a target as gangs walked the streets, taking whatever they wanted, "Shopping For Free" were the new buzz words.



Of course the riots and looting will only last so long, after a week or so there will be nothing left to take or destroy. With no water sanitation, garbage collection and the other unseen pest control companies that go unseen no longer there, disease will take hold, there will be no hospitals or doctors available, hospitals will have already been looted and destroyed, the people who staffed them gone to be with their lives ones, the old, the disabled and those addicted to drugs will be first to go, followed by those who depend on medication so that they can live a relatively normal life, compounding an already disease infested country.

It won't always be like this though, at some point people will come together and form small communities through common goals, the main one being survival. In the end, people will always group together, its what we do.

It has taken nearly 2,000 years for our civilisation to get where it is today, but it could take only one day, one single day to undo everything we have built up.