The really bug thing about long-term black outs, is the failure of urban (and not-so urban) water systems. Few care where their clean, safe, drinking water comes from, since it’s been gushing out of their pipes all their lives. Electricity pumps water into towers and tanks on high ground where gravity does the rest. No power, no water. Even the FEMA planners in New Jersey I lectured to a few years ago didn’t quite grasp the implications of a post-EMP America….they all thought they’d be inconvenienced because they couldn’t use their computers. Toilets need water to flush, so there will be sanitation issues on a Biblical scale. There will be disease outbreaks soon after 315,000,000 people start eliminating outdoors. Few peopele will dig latrines in the concrete jungle to properly bury waste. Ultra-modern buildings built without windows capable of being opened will soon be unusable for their designed purpose….but maybe can be used for baking, eh?
Our fellow citizens who lived through Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy already have had a taste of this, except that no outside help may be coming next time. Next to immediate considerations for clothing, water will soon prove our biggest challenge in coping with life without power. When I ask neighbors where they will get clean water to drink when it no longer comes out of their taps, I get “the stare.”.
Best Regards, – Paul