Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

This isn't going away anytime soon folks and with all the new variants of COVID-19 popping up it just made sense to drop COVID-19 from the sub-section name and consolidate all the pandemic stuff in one location.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
absinthe beginner
* * * * *
Posts: 1795
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:05 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead
Location: Colorado

Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by absinthe beginner » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:22 pm


User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 7393
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:01 pm

The obvious question would be: does China, the epicenter of COVID-2019, currently have power and water? Yes? Well perhaps that's your answer then. Let's not let the senastionalistic, fear-mongering press get the best of us here. The Corona virus is a lot of things, but a civil society destroying, infrastructure wrecking pandemic it is not. Even if certain quarters of the prepping community want to make it out to be (Ohh! Shiny new object!).

Feel free to correct me about my foolishness should the intranet crash in six weeks time, but I'm thinking not.

User avatar
RonnyRonin
* * * * *
Posts: 1749
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 8:11 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by RonnyRonin » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:43 pm

majorhavoc wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:01 pm
The obvious question would be: does China, the epicenter of COVID-2019, currently have power and water? Yes? Well perhaps that's your answer then.
In general, I tend to agree. My question would be how do the utilities differ between china and the US? I assume the chinese system has more leverage to compel utility workers to show up for work, but to what extent I really have no idea. I don't expect COVID-2019 to become a thing, but the broader question is perhaps worth considering, what level of health crisis would actually shut off the power and water? I'd assume it would have to be near-apocalyptic but I couldn't say.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

User avatar
norcalprep
* *
Posts: 207
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by norcalprep » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:10 am

RonnyRonin wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:43 pm
In general, I tend to agree. My question would be how do the utilities differ between china and the US? I assume the chinese system has more leverage to compel utility workers to show up for work, but to what extent I really have no idea. I don't expect COVID-2019 to become a thing, but the broader question is perhaps worth considering, what level of health crisis would actually shut off the power and water? I'd assume it would have to be near-apocalyptic but I couldn't say.
I'd think to reach that level would have to be Contagion (2011) levels of death rate and contagiousness. I expect most power facilities have contingency plans for operating with minimal staff, right? To achieve the sensationalist levels of WROL, first this pandemic would have to be nationwide (so no option to utilize extra power capacity from a different state), very prolonged (maybe several months of a pandemic), and then the fear of the pandemic is enough to keep enough people home that power facilities can no longer maintain minimal staff.

This isn't a flip-the-switch sudden apocalypse of a zombie movie, so I'd expect that the fear of a pandemic would empty the streets before the pandemic itself kills/hospitalizes enough to turn off the lights. Hard to guess what would be a utility worker's risk-reward calculations to determine when staying home in the dark is better than clocking in at work, but I'm pretty sure this COVID19 in its current state isn't the one that knocks humanity down a peg or two. I'm lucky that I'm not on the "essential personnel" list at my work, so whenever there is something bad (like the hurricanes we had, or that gas explosion last year), I get sent home to make room for "essential personnel" to come in. I'm sure utilities have their "essential personnel" lists, too, and would provide them items like PPE, and exemptions to quarantine orders.

This will be a temporary setback, and then the world moves on and forgets. Maybe there will be a COVID20 that would be worse? In the meantime, stock up on masks after this panic buying stops.

User avatar
emclean
* * * * *
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:31 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Fido
Zombieland
Location: NW Indiana

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by emclean » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 am

Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?
Yes.
A repertory virus isn't going to keep everyone home from their jobs, hell a blizzard doesn't keep everyone home from their jobs.

it is just another click bait title.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 17053
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by raptor » Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:32 pm

IMO yes if CONVID 2019 came to the US we would still have power & water.

That said there are many many reasons why we should plan on NOT having power and water that do not include CONVID-2019. So while my answer to this is affirmative I would point out that you should have plans in place that assumes no power and city water for 30 days.

I would note that NOLA had no power and no municipal water for literally weeks in most areas and in some areas, months. Plan accordingly.

User avatar
flybynight
* * * * *
Posts: 3314
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:30 am

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by flybynight » Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:25 pm

IDK about the rest of you , but I have a generator and my water comes from my well. So while I may not be sitting around playing COD zombies. I will be just fine
Not all those who wander are lost

John Titor was right <--- :ohdear: Way past the point of going gray man. See you on the other side ( or not :wink: )

User avatar
darmstrong
* *
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:32 am

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by darmstrong » Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:58 pm

Most places can run a skeleton crew and have plans accordingly. COVID19 wipes out the staffing to make things happen. This is different than taking out the infrastructure in a hurricane situation. Some work can compel their employees to report for work with termination being the consequence for failing your duty.

Assuming just COVID19, I'd suspect that most things would run, but new projects would be slowed significantly.
In order to succeed you must first survive.

RoneKiln
* * * * *
Posts: 1068
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:20 am

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by RoneKiln » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:20 pm

The title is click bait, but the article talks about a pandemics impact on recovering from other common natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados. Imagine a Katrina scale hurricane hitting while our distribution systems are severely hampered by a widespread pandemic.

A pandemic may not take down utilities, but it could sure impair recovery when something else takes them down.
"Seriously the most dangerous thing you are likely to do is to put salt on a Big Mac right before you eat it and to climb into your car."
--Raptor

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 14250
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Safe On Base

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:18 pm

When they say "we" I think they mean themselves. Because the answer for me is "yes" and for everyone else it is less certain.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
manacheck
* *
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:32 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Train to Busan

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by manacheck » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:05 am

Clickbait titles like this are the kind I approve of :D They let the imagination go freeeee~ :crazy:

From my perspective, the answer is more along the lines of first: whether we have power and water even *without* widespread COVID-2019 in the U.S., and second: what possible foreseeable disruptions might arise (and why), if the virus should spread widely in the states' populations over the next two years.

It's a two-part question, kind of.

First: Identifying the expectation of what is normal: do we have power and water presently? The answer is usually. Sometimes there are disruptions, just as a regular part of normal life. Usually disruptions are brief. An hour to a day. Sometimes up to a couple weeks if there's a particularly bad storm or major fires or something. Very rarely longer, except after dramatically serious events. Like sharknados. (Or megastorms that disrupt everything locally, and for years to come.)

Second: what would be considered (at least possible) foreseeable disruptions that a highly infectious flu virus could cause. That's a two-part answer in itself.

Or rather, two problems that crop up (with this or any similar situation):

First, actual disruptions that cannot be avoided, due to the result of a problem. (Primary)
Second, actual disruptions, due to bad decisions or behaviors. (Secondary)

If you come down with the flu, your ability to perform tasks is negatively impaired. Depending on the general protocol in place for flu, and on your own personal level of present zombification, you may be required to stay home and recover. Or, you may need to go to a hospital for medical care. These things are the result of being sick. They are disruptive to daily life due to the result of an immediate and direct problem. They are in the first category of disruption.

Impacts for this type of disruption on a large scale and national level could be:
-Reduced number of employees at work
-Increased need for medical care
-Loss of employment
-Delayed shipments
-Increased prices/price gauging and occasional unavailability of some flu-care related merchandise


Moving on are disruptions due to bad decisions or behaviors. Whether by leadership or lack of leadership, or just plain knee-jerk reactionary behaviors. Sometimes these kinds of disruptions are avoidable, sometimes they are not. Sometimes people can control their own behaviors. Sometimes they can't. (Or won't, even if it's in their- and others'- best interests to do so.)

An example: Uncertainty and widely spread misinformation creates a social environment of mass fear. Subsequent reactive panic buying and mass hoarding of only certain medical supplies (whether useful or not, a perception of items in scarcity fuels additional fears) by individuals or companies results in at least short term shortages of those items. People who rely on the items in question during regular times suffer as they may be unable to obtain the items for a reasonable price, or reliably, during the fearful period of time.


THIS type of impact is, from my perspective, why this kind of clickbait title IS worth thinking about. How people react when afraid isn't a logical, common sense thing. Am I worried that a pandemic coronavirus will sweep through the country and everyone who catches it turns out to work at the power plant and no temps can be brought in and our power suddenly flickers off and water suddenly doesn't work and an asteroid hits the planet and it could have been avoided if not for the cononavirus?!! ...Yeah, that's not likely going to happen.

But what I could see happening is something like people reacting with fear and doing stuff that's actually really bad for ourselves in the name of avoiding something worse.

My closest family has been paying a lot of attention to every scrap of information on COVID-2019 they can gleam from anywhere they frequent. Facebook. Youtube. The various news outlets they know of. The rumor mill. Random cashiers and shoppers in the grocery store. Anybody who'll listen and interact if given half a chance.

They decided to stop buying vegetables that come from any company even reportedly affiliated with China in some way. (Without researching to make sure they're even right about which is which. Facebook posts with poor grammar and no source links are proof enough about what to buy or not buy!!) They stopped buying pork altogether and freak out when I do. And chicken, better not buy chicken from Tyson, was it Tyson? Hm, not sure, but it might be, better not buy it. Because, you know, COVID-2019 is related to China!! and who knows!! Don't buy that sale!! It's almost definitely on sale because of China!! And I can't even blame them because everyone seems to be freaking out over this new strain of flu. And they've been telling everyone who will listen for hours at a time to not buy or use face masks if they're around people who are sick, not even if they get sick, because they heard that N95 masks don't offer 100% protection! Plus the virus can infect you through your eyes so don't wear masks! And, if we get sick, we're staying in and not going to the hospital even if we get pneumonia!!

And I mean... I'm thinking, even if they say that, that's not going to fly. If you've got pneumonia, does it make sense to stay home? If you've caught it already, what's gonna happen if you go to the hospital? You catch it MORE? Yeah, no.

So, I can imagine things being impacted, along any level of the supply chain, until further notice. In the event certain people make certain decisions while in that state of uncalm mind.

Think about if you were a leader, or a manager, or someone in charge of telling people what they will do on a particular day or under particular circumstances, and in the front of your mind is a blaring klaxon of fear about all the things you DON'T KNOW about the brand new coronavirus, and thinking to yourself that if you send people to do XYZ, then you are responsible... it's crippling and people make bad decisions under distress. (People make bad decisions even when NOT under distress.)

We hear from "news in general" that people en route to the US from locations where the virus is confirmed are being confined for two weeks before being allowed to return. Anyone in charge of people could take that completely out of context, not understanding what goes into it, and say, "Well, we'll do that too." and bam, it's situational Confinement. We have enough history with this kind of thing to not take it at least a little seriously. Who's going to step in and say, "hey, you can't do that, these particular people have tested as clear, you can't hold them for two weeks, three weeks, or indefinitely, just because you want to and there's precedent for people who ARE proven infected with COVID-2019." Nobody, that's who.

Let's say that an area that produces a food product is hit with a hundred cases of the new flu. Will you buy the product? If you buy it and someone in your family gets sick, even though it's not transmissible through that method, even if you can prove they didn't catch it from that, even if they didn't catch COVID-2019 but something else, or maybe nothing else, you just wanted to say they had it, you have a lawsuit ready in your hands.

I don't see a pandemic, except in biblical proportions way beyond the scale we're hearing COVID-2019 is capable of now, crippling our water and power, unless it's the result of trade being closed between countries and we have no backup stock of, say, transformers. I could however, see power and water being impacted if people make fearful decisions, thinking the biggest threat isn't losing power, water, and food.

To me it seems like the fear level of this particular virus is extremely ramped up. Like I wouldn't expect people to be THIS level of afraid even if it had a 99% mortality rate. They'd just be like, "Oh, shit. That's a serious disease. We'd better not catch it." not "holy shit don't buy Chinese stuff it could come here!!11! D:" in all caps and with hysterical arguements about building a bunker.

(On the other hand, bunkers are sweet. :3 And it is way better to have a couple weeks preps taken care of when that's something at all financially doable, so in that way... the hype IS raising awareness of some common sense ideas for weathering various other short term other disruptions.)


The funny thing with this whole issue is that I know that what people I hear say, is simply not realistic to their actual proven behaviors I know and expect.

An example.

Person says: When we first hear even a whisper of any people in OUR area getting sick, we're bunkering down and staying in! Not going out until it's over or we're out of preps! Okay? We have enough to stay in for a month. Pets are all set on their vaccines.

(Sounds good, right? but realistically...)

Person will: Oh, I see we've got the first case of this flu close enough that it's possible to catch it.
This is scary. I am immediately going out to do MORE last-minute shopping. I'd better interact with as many people as possible to ask what they think. Hmm... the produce here seem less than perfect, maybe I can find better ones by digging through. Oh no! Someone's coughing! I better leave! But I can't without my food! The lines are so long, it's going to take an hour! Ohhh... I should have brought my face masks.... what if I catch it.... I'm too busy to wash my hands when I get back though... I'll have TOO many things to tell even more people about. And somehow I feel kind of sick, I'd better go to the hospital and just wait in the waiting room. Maybe someone will call in and cancel an appointment! I might have been exposed so I'll have priority. Call ahead and tell them I was near someone who I know was sick? Why would I do that? Oh, maybe I shouldn't go in. What if they tell me I have the LETHAL version?! Maybe I'll just go for a walk or visit my elderly mother at the nursing home instead. She'll want to hear all about this. Hmm.. is 25 cases of face masks enough for when it gets really bad..? *cough cough*

As opposed to me: I don't want to talk to anyone. People are sick? Do I want to go shopping? ...No, today sounds like a day to catch up on sleeping. Huh? No. Even if you feel sick, you probably have regular flu, like 90% of the people who think they have this new flu do. I don't want you to share it, regular flu stinks even worse than new flu. I'm sanitizing my doorknobs, don't use them until 24 hours after you're better. No! Don't call your mother. You'll scare her with your panicky kneejerk gossiping. No! Eat your freaking vegetables and pork. Everything is from China these days. China gives you everything you use. Be grateful for China. They're bigger than you are. Now go get your seasonal flu shot. Fine, don't get it then. Yup, 300 N95 masks, 20 vials of potassium iodide, and 100 pounds of unseasoned rice and beans that you'll never cook, because you don't even store any water to cook them with, and also you hate rice and beans, ARE more than enough. You are totally safe now that you have purchased a bunch of things. Good job. Now get off my lawn and go wash your hands already, you show-off. Also can I have some of your rice and beans. Next week after you're better I mean. Not now. Huh?! ...What do you mean, 'how long will Walmart take returns of N95 face masks if you kept your receipts?'... GRRRR
"It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

MPMalloy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 6445
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:48 am

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by MPMalloy » Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:35 pm

Manacheck: Good observation, IMO. :)

User avatar
tedbeau
* * *
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:08 am

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by tedbeau » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:52 pm

emclean wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 am
Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?
Yes.
A repertory virus isn't going to keep everyone home from their jobs, hell a blizzard doesn't keep everyone home from their jobs.

it is just another click bait title.
Not meaning to troll you, and not “everyone” was kept home from their jobs but let’s face it, this got way crazier than most of us ever imagined!

I mean I’m sure there are some people here that were not surprised after all that’s what zombie squad is all about

User avatar
emclean
* * * * *
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:31 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Fido
Zombieland
Location: NW Indiana

Re: Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?

Post by emclean » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:23 am

tedbeau wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:52 pm
emclean wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:51 am
Would we still have water & power if COVID-2019 comes to the U.S.?
Yes.
A repertory virus isn't going to keep everyone home from their jobs, hell a blizzard doesn't keep everyone home from their jobs.

it is just another click bait title.
Not meaning to troll you, and not “everyone” was kept home from their jobs but let’s face it, this got way crazier than most of us ever imagined!

I mean I’m sure there are some people here that were not surprised after all that’s what zombie squad is all about
it got crazier than was generally expected, but still way short of loosing utilities. I still stand by my assessment of it being click bait.

Post Reply

Return to “All Things Pandemic”