"The first thing that hurts is running out of water"

The scenario: A weather event or a hacker attack causes a widespread power failure. A quarter of a million people are completely without electricity for several days. The media speak of a "historic power failure". 

From one second to the next you can no longer make a call. Water no longer comes out of the tap and all traffic is paralyzed. 

Power outages pose major challenges for modern societies. Large cities and metropolitan regions are suddenly paralyzed without electricity. Almost every infrastructure is directly or indirectly dependent on the availability of electricity. Areas such as traffic systems, emergency and rescue services or authorities and administrations are directly affected. Even very short outages can have a severe impact on information technology and telecommunications, but the real problems arise when the power goes out for many hours or even days. 

aboutwater water dispenser: nature shot
pic by pexels @pok rie

In addition to the economic damage of such a catastrophe, a blackout - a large-scale power failure lasting several days - also poses a considerable risk to life and limb. 

Just a thought experiment or real danger? 

A power failure as described above cannot only be caused by a natural disaster. Potential hacker attacks on the power grid are also realistic and have much worse consequences. In addition, one observes increasing disruptions in the power grid - is a hacker attack a real danger? 

In any case, the effects of a widespread and long-lasting power failure are literally catastrophic. Our private life and the entire working world is completely interwoven with electrical devices. A blackout therefore has serious and simultaneous consequences, because we are dependent on electricity.

No internet, no water, no traffic: in the event of a blackout, everything comes to a standstill

Immediately after the blackout - traffic chaos

Traffic lights fail - people get stuck in trams, trains and elevators. Most petrol stations have run out of fuel, and ATMs have stopped dispensing money.

Communication via the landline network or the Internet has been paralyzed, and mobile phone networks also require electricity to operate. After a few hours, it gets very cold or very hot in apartments and offices without working heating or air conditioning, depending on the time of year.

Start buying hamsters!

There are purchases with the remaining cash reserves, supermarkets are emptied after hours.

After 12 hours, the first emergency power generators no longer work, a massive problem in factory farming, cows are no longer milked, animals are no longer fed. After a comparatively short time, neither the fresh water supply nor the sewage systems are working. The water pressure in systems can no longer be maintained.

fires and smoke inhalation

For lack of alternatives, cooking is done with the camping gas cooker. 

The result: there are many house fires and smoke poisoning. The fire brigade has hardly any chance to put out the fire, fires are spreading. 

aboutwater water dispenser: man sitting desperately by the sea
Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

panic

After a short time, the first looting takes place. Because if there is no electricity, neither alarm systems nor surveillance cameras will work. 

Emergency power generators in hospitals and companies no longer work, conveyor belts are at a standstill. The consequences are fatal. 

So-called emergency reserves are released by the state to supply the population. The drinking water supply is at the limit. Emergency rooms are overcrowded, diseases are spreading dramatically. 

Power plants shut down

After a week, neither the police, fire brigade nor rescue services can take action. Experts believe that by the end of a blackout week at the latest, damage to health or the death of many people can be expected. 

Since the fuel rods of nuclear power plants must be continuously cooled, the situation for the electricity suppliers is particularly dramatic after day 8 of a blackout. The emergency power supply is slowly running out after a week.

preparation and care

How can we prepare and take precautions for a possible blackout?  

As soon as it is clear that it is not just a very local event in the house, in the row of houses or in the district, you should switch on a battery-operated radio to be able to receive information. 

It makes sense to stock enough water and the right food for yourself and your family. The drinking water should be stored in several small containers. This makes water transportable and easier to schedule. The "right" foods in this case are canned goods and foods that do not need to be cooked or that can be prepared with a gas camping stove. Always adjust the supply to the number of people in the household, this supply should last for at least 3 days. 

Water filter for on the go Lifesaver
LifeSaver Model Cube

Water sources - filter water

In our latitudes, it also makes sense to collect rainwater as a precaution. Portable water filters even filter water that has been contaminated by viruses or bacteria.  LifeSaver water filter take care of this issue. Thanks to the aluminum-sealed versions, these filters can also be stored for several years without losing their effectiveness. There is the handy 5l variant, which filters up to 5,000 liters of water, or the practical canisters, which are equipped with different filters and thus filter up to 20,000 liters of water and make it safe. 

Water filter for on the go Lifesaver
LifeSaver Model Jerrycan