Sunday, December 29, 2013

Who has it worse when SHTF/Blackouts/Etc.?

Dave Dora, with Grand Haven Board of Light and Power, works on fallen wires in Lansing, Michigan. on December 23, 2013.
OK folks, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? We all know what’s happening given the recent storms and power outages but the truth is, some people just have it worse than others and this gentleman explains it pretty clearly.
This is something I’ve made reference to many times in the past.( by the way, the town where generators were getting stolen? Population 8.000, there goes another myth)
First, it’s just common sense that a company focuses on restoring service where most people are being affected. If 12 hours of work restores power/water/gas/keeps safe 50.000 people, then any smart resource manager will to that before spending 6 hours to restore service for 5.000 people let alone a few dozen.

This is where a lot of the widely accepted survival myths fall apart. “I live in my BOL homestead already and I’m a much cooler survivalist than you! I spent two weeks without power, used my 100.000W generator and spent 5000 USD in gas.” On the other hand, someone that doesn’t live a gas tank away from the nearest town, in a place with better infrastructure, didn’t even go without power, or if he did it was restored within a few hours.

Then you have the other point the man in the video mentions, and he’s absolutely right too. Given somewhat equal population masses, nicer areas get taken care of first. Why? Because those are the ones with more financial and political power, maybe were the company’s own executives live themselves. Besides, no company wants to upset those that may end up deciding if they get a new contract or not, if they are authorized to expand or get safety approvals. While this is of course unofficial, it is common sense as well.

So keep all this in mind when making up your mind regarding where to live and which places are better off. In novels super hero survivalists may win the day, but in the real world living in isolation has several disadvantages, and its not just about power.  Take a good long look before moving somewhere with poor infrastructure or too isolated to care about.
The same principle applies to security and policing, water, public infrastructure and environmental hazards among others. 



Anonymous said...

Did you read that tip (or maybe it was on your blog earlier) that some generator thieves would sneak in during the night, turn on a cheap lawnmower and disconnect / take the generator, the noise of engine lulling the owner that all was well.

I'm not surprised at all about the article - cold is cold and people in the boonies feel it as well. The boonies are less priority for authorities to get hooked up as quick as larger urban populations.

People in the boonies are far more knowledegable of what you own and where you keep it than the city - small town talk / gossip and all.

Thank you for your post Ferfal - I hope you and your family have a great holiday season.

Don Williams said...

Real survivalists in the northern countryside have a well-insulated home, a wood stove/full wood shed, and kerosene lanterns.

People easily survived these conditions long before the electrical grid came alone.
Heck , they survived them 12,000 years ago during the Ice Age -- google "Meadowcroft".

Javier said...

I too have experienced what Fernando stated. I live in a well populated area of NJ that is close to Manhattan. My neighborhood happens to be the more "well off" section of the township which has the highest property taxes and highest income. Please, don't take this the wrong way, I'm not bragging I'm just stating the facts. Anyway, we have had four extended power outages that lasted anywhere form three days to five. In every single instance power to my area of the city was restored earlier than other sections due to the same reasons that Fernando stated. My friend who lives out in the Boonies was out of power anywhere form seven to fourteen days during the same situation. Also, we have city water and thankfully running water was never an issue. However, my buddy has well water and once he lost power he had no water. In my opinion living in "well off" populated areas has many advantages that most survivalist are not willing to admit to.

Anonymous said...

The guy in the video has BWL (Board of Water and Light) in Lansing, MI. BWL is a quasi-governmental utility that is notoriously mismanaged. There network near the city is patch-worked with commercial public utilities. There are STILL several hundred BWL customers without power.

I don't think this is so much a matter of what neighborhood you live in. There were some various nice neighborhoods serviced by BWL that were among the last to be put back on-line. Never attribute to malice what can easily be explained by incompetence.

Mark Bolton said...

Today people are so much concerned about surviving in the disaster. But really people need perfect for doing this.People should be well-known about surviving in any disaster. SHTF