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    When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    I haven't seen this posted here, but if it has been, sorry.

    Saw this on another website and thought it was interesting and relevant enough to discuss here...

    Straight Dope Staff Report: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Dear Straight Dope:

    After watching Dawn of the Dead, I am left to wonder about one thing: If we were to suffer an apocalypse where most of the living became flesh-eating zombies, how long, assuming I survived, would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company? Is it a mean-time-before-failure situation, or would the system automatically shut itself down after a few days? (I am assuming that most of the people who were supposed to be maintaining things at my hydro company would be out looking for brains, and that the surviving hydro employees would be busy digging shelters, etc.) Also, what's the outlook like for people whose chunk of the power grid is supplied by coal, nuclear, and other types of energy? Just wondering how many solar panels I should be putting on my roof! —Jason, Vancouver, BC, Canada

    SDSTAFF Una replies:

    Believe it or not, this is a question I've been asked before. Many people wonder how key parts of civilized society might continue after a post-apocalyptic Dawn of the Dead / Night of the Comet / Omega Man / Teletubbies Go to Paris scenario. Your question has two possible answers depending on which scenario of zombie conquest you envision.

    In Dawn of the Dead, the zombification process doesn't happen all at once. We can imagine a gradual scenario in which the infrastructure systems controllers plan ahead for shortages of personnel and try to keep the power going as long as possible. Alternatively, zombification could happen fairly quickly – say, over a few hours. I'll address the second, more dire scenario in detail first, then the first, slightly less alarming one briefly.

    How long the power supply would last in the most critical zombie situation depends on two key factors – first, how long a given power plant can operate without human intervention, and second, how long before enough power plants fail to bring down the entire transmission grid. I'll ignore the side issues of whether the zombies would want to try to run the power plant themselves, or if they would be a union or non-union shop.

    More at the link....



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    There was a good program on the history channel last week about how long things would last if man ceased to exist. The Hoover Dam operation would last years...



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    But what about solar and wind power!!??!? What if the zombies realize that they can still function as active members of the society without coal?

    But really, I heard on some random television show that within 10,000 years all traces of humans would be gone from earth if we were to be wiped out, excepting maybe the Great Wall and things like that.


    'Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.'
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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Damn you beat me to it


    'Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.'
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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by superman_101680 View Post
    There was a good program on the history channel last week about how long things would last if man ceased to exist. The Hoover Dam operation would last years...
    I wathced that show. It was quite interesting and kinda weird to think about but they said Hoover could run until tiny mollusks the size of our fingernails plug up the intake tubes used to cool the turbines. They said the rest of the world would go dark within days of people being gone. Crazy to think Vegas and all of the slot machines will still be spinning for two years with no one around.



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    What I really want to know is when did Zombies learn to run. I remember the original Dawn of the Dead and you could literealy walk away from a Zobmie. Now all of a sudden it is like Carl Lewis is after you at a full sprint.



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    They must be taking ZED's (zombie enhancing drugs).



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrocker View Post
    What I really want to know is when did Zombies learn to run. I remember the original Dawn of the Dead and you could literealy walk away from a Zobmie. Now all of a sudden it is like Carl Lewis is after you at a full sprint.
    I almost spit my coffee out after reading that.



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    They banned that, they can't detect ZGH though yet.. (Zombie Growth Hormone)



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    There is a serious (no zombies) book about what would happen to Earth if suddenly all humans were gone called "The World Without Us", by Alan Weisman. It covers the initial question about the power supply as well as many other thought provoking topics. Highly recommended.


    Forever trying to find a cure for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrocker View Post
    What I really want to know is when did Zombies learn to run. I remember the original Dawn of the Dead and you could literealy walk away from a Zobmie. Now all of a sudden it is like Carl Lewis is after you at a full sprint.
    Depends on your definition of zombie. In Romeros zombie movies they were re-animated corpses so they were slow. I think I could survive that plague. In 28 days later, they were infected raged zombies but not dead. Those one freaked me out more and would probably pooch my plans of survival.

    I always wondered how long todays necessities would last. ie water, gas, electric, netflix.



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by bostinelosd View Post
    Depends on your definition of zombie. In Romeros zombie movies they were re-animated corpses so they were slow. I think I could survive that plague. In 28 days later, they were infected raged zombies but not dead. Those one freaked me out more and would probably pooch my plans of survival.

    I always wondered how long todays necessities would last. ie water, gas, electric, netflix.
    IMO, the infected in 28 days later are technically NOT zombies because they were not reanimated.



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by superman_101680 View Post
    IMO, the infected in 28 days later are technically NOT zombies because they were not reanimated.
    So really I think you are right by definition.

    Websters Def.

    zom·bie
    –noun 1.(in voodoo) a.the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose. b.the supernatural force itself.

    2.Informal. a.a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton. b.an eccentric or peculiar person.

    3. A terrible song from the Cranberries



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    A more relavent question would be what would the Iowa City PD do if EIU disbanded its athletic department?



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    Re: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

    Quote Originally Posted by bostinelosd View Post
    So really I think you are right by definition.

    Websters Def.

    zom·bie
    –noun 1.(in voodoo) a.the body of a dead person given the semblance of life, but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose. b.the supernatural force itself.

    2.Informal. a.a person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton. b.an eccentric or peculiar person.

    3. Can be found watching Basketball games at Carver Hawkeye Arena

    It's science.



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