Electrical power outages


Concerns about power disruptions and communications shut downs
in 2012 are frightening enough but most people do not realize
that a melt down of the power grid can affect public water
systems.

“When I was young, no one gave much thought to having drinking water available. There was no bottled water as we know it and little concern for the quality of water coming from our taps. Gradually we have been indoctrinated into relying on bottled water and questioning the quality of water everywhere and in most cases for good reasons.

Many are aware of potential problems of having access to potable water. Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters have heightened our awareness of this potential problem. However, most people are not aware of the impact of power outages on public water systems. We have a false sense of security about our ability to get the power back on fast.

This article will hopefully provide a reality check.

“It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn’t create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.”

“The projections of just how catastrophic make chilling reading. “We’re moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster,” says Daniel Baker, a space weather expert based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and chair of the NAS committee responsible for the report.”

“The second problem is the grid’s interdependence with the systems that support our lives: water and sewage treatment, supermarket delivery infrastructures, power station controls, financial markets and many others all rely on electricity. Put the two together, and it is clear that a repeat of the Carrington event could produce a catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen. “It’s just the opposite of how we usually think of natural disasters,” says John Kappenman, a power industry analyst with the Metatech Corporation of Goleta, California, and an advisor to the NAS committee that produced the report. “Usually the less developed regions of the world are most vulnerable, not the highly sophisticated technological regions.”

According to the NAS report, a severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people (see map). From that moment, the clock is ticking for America.

First to go – immediately for some people – is drinkable water. Anyone living in a high-rise apartment, where water has to be pumped to reach them, would be cut off straight away. For the rest, drinking water will still come through the taps for maybe half a day. With no electricity to pump water from reservoirs, there is no more after that.””….Read more

As reported earlier on this blog, solar activity should peak in the
year 2012. NASA and other scientists are predicting increased solar
flares and recently discovered a large breach in the Earth’s magnetic
fields. There will be an increased chance for disruptions in communication
devices and electrical power. In 1989 6 million people lost power when
an increase in solar activity caused a surge.

Now is the time to begin preparing for power outages. Here is an article
explaining a simple, inexpensive way to have electrical power during an
outage.

“Survival AC Power 101”

“This article will explain how you can have AC electrical power for days if your power goes out. It also will provide a means to start your car if the car battery is not functioning. This solution will not run all your household needs but can provide light and power for small appliances.
Here is what you will need:

1. Power inverter. This converts DC current from a battery to AC current that your appliances need. Power inverters come in many sizes from low wattage such as 100 up to thousands of watts. Pick the size you need based on your budget and power requirements. Some appliances or tools require more watts and they will also drain the battery power source faster. Power inverters can be purchased at many stores such as Home Depot, Harbor Freight, Advance Auto, Walmart and many other stores.

2. Automotive battery jump start unit. This is a self contained battery. They are affordable and everyone should own one anyway. The beauty of this is that you will use this unit whether your power goes off or not. Take it with you on trips for peace of mind.

My story:

I bought 2 of these battery units years ago as gifts for relatives but did not buy one for myself, duh. One of the relatives has used the unit many times to jump a dead battery. As fate would have it, a few years later I was stopped at a fast food restaurant many miles from home and my car would not start. Fortunately a man in a pickup truck parked beside of me had one of these units and I was able to start my car. Needless to say, I bought a battery pack. Sometime after that the lightbulb came on in my head. I owned a power inverter and had a need to run a power tool at a site with no electricity. I ran a reciprocating saw from the inverter connected to a car battery.

Since I discovered the simplicity and low cost of this solution, I consider it one of the biggest “no brainers” in the world. Ok, we all need the battery packs if we drive a car. Even a smal linverter can be useful in our everyday lives. I own a small one that I keep in the car for trips. It powers my laptop computer and has a capacity of 100 watts.”….Read more