Published on Oct 29, 2013
American Blackout, a National Geographic program first aired in October 2013, giving a fictional “docudrama” account of a nationwide electrical blackout in the United States, and its severe aftermath. Most of the program is mock “vlogging” by those affected, interspersed with mock “news footage.”
Yes, It was definitely softened up for viewer consumption.
I lived in Florida through Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Wilma and Hurricane Katrina. The devastation that took place was horrific. It was like driving through one of those futuristic sci fi movies that takes place after a major apocalyptic event. Everyone in Florida with any kind of sense begins to prepare for Hurricane season. However, their preps are just barely basic because they are always confident that everything ill be alright and the infrastructure will be repaired relatively quickly. After Hurricane Andrew we were without electricity for 2 weeks. Considering the major destruction took place in East Everglades which does not have a large population. But the grid was compromised by tornadoes that were spawned and the massive winds. Hurricane Wilma hit the southernmost tip of Florida went out into the gulf and did an about face just as it was arriving in Mexico. Heading straight for the middle of Florida which barely ever sees hurricanes and people there were not prepared. The damage was unreal as there are many who live in mobile homes on land they have purchased. The grid in Central Florida was down for 3 to 4 weeks and South Florida was in the dark for 1 to 2 weeks.
When Hurricane Katrina hit us it was full on in South Florida. We were without electricity for 4 weeks. in less than a week you could not find charcoal to cook outdoors. While one may be prepared with food that one can cook or that needs to be warmed up in someway. Without fuel to make a fire one is out of luck. And Gas runs out eventually. Even if one had a large supply of freeze dried foods that only require water not necessarily hot if you have time to wait for the re-hydration process using cool water. If you cannot find bottled or potable water. Or do not have the money to be able to purchase it , IF there are still any bottles available on the shelves. How would you make water drinkable without a fire ?
Unless you have an expensive filtration system, or you understand the use of a Fresnel set up or have a reliable solar oven. There really is no way to purify water without chemicals.
We were lucky enough to have a yard with fruit trees that provided wood for our fire. So the kids had their job and I had mine. They collected all the wood they could find and place it in a large 55 gallon container I had in the shed out back and I built the fires, cooked the food and boiled the water. Had I not had a yard with fruit trees that provided us with wood I would have had to find an alternative to survive.
I even had a deep freezer that I converted into a giant cooler by going out as soon as possible and get as many bags of ice as I could buy. The great insulation of that freezer turned the cool from the ice into a good size fridge. Our food did not spoil. So my only concern was fuel for our fire. I had prepared for everything else. we even had a small generator I had purchased
Now I share this with you , because it was a fairly isolated incident. Florida was affected but it’s neighboring states were not , so helped arrived for those who had not prepared within days. Murders, looting and overall crime were bad only in areas with high population density and of course criminal element. But we knew that it was only Florida that was affected and help would come. It was not a situation of total devastation like the one used in this film.
I guess what I am trying to relay to all of you is that in my experience the reality will be a much longer period of time without infrastructure. A lot more people unprepared for such a long period of time without food or water. In certain cases depending on the scenario it could take years for the grid to be back up and running.
In Major cities , well, just look at what happens in a blackout that only lasts 24 hours in NY. I have lived there as well. The city descends into chaos unless you live in a neighborhood where everyone is close and watches out for each other ,you are at the mercy of the gangs and those who did not prepare who want what you have.