Internet Disaster Strikes! What Happens If the Internet Vanishes for a Day?

The internet has grown and now dominates every aspect of our world. This reliance includes daily tasks, work requirements, paying bills, and sending friends money and more. This reliance begs the question, what would happen if there was an internet disaster and the internet went down for a day.

Determining the Internet DISASTER Scenario

The most important factor in this scenario is advance warning. What if people knew it was only going to be out for 24 hours in advance. Or if it went down and then came back on after being out for 24 hours. We’re going to assume this internet disaster is not planned as some type of internet refresh. Partly because those who receive and are expected to read and respond to emails, would love a planned 24 hours with no internet.

Plus, some experts, such as Scott Borg of the United States Cyber Consequences Unit have weighed in. He found that the immediate economic impact for short term internet outages actually wasn’t that severe. His findings were based on a per company level and not for widespread internet outages. He revealed that if every company turned off their computers for a few hours each month it may not be a bad thing. It might help employees perform tasks that they continually put off and might actually lead to an increase in productivity.

How Would People React if the Internet Went Down for a Day?

To keep our scenario simple, we’re going to imagine that the internet went down starting at midnight EST. The outage then lasts exactly 24 hours.

The Early Morning

The first people to experience the downed internet would be the night owls. Suddenly the notice their favorite apps stopped working. When they switch to Google, that too seems to be down as if they’re going through a tunnel. Plus, as many homes now stream their television services, these streaming apps would show error messages as well.

Common Reactions

During the rest of the early morning hours, early birds across the country would be:

  • Unplugging routers, modems, televisions, computers and plugging them back in
  • Calling tech support even though many wouldn’t be open yet
  • Bring their phones outside to see if there’s better reception or internet access out there

Of course, there are some people that would just ignore it and chalk it up to a power outage. After all, the power wouldn’t be on because systems communicate through the internet. Others, albeit a much smaller group, would chalk it up to the fact that they hadn’t paid their bill and move on with their day.


As many normal routines became disrupted, there are many who would panic. Especially when they couldn’t go their favorite news source or to social media channels to find out what was happening.

In the morning, some of these people may call work to see if the internet worked there. Or they’d call friends and family to see if they were experiencing the same things. Some others would race to the bank to try to take money out of the ATM, but they wouldn’t work either.

Should they wait for the bank to open?

Others, like preppers would spring into action. These folks may have stockpiled weapons, water, and canned food. Some may even have an underground shelter.

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