"One Large Honda Generator, Please..."

Say the people who work at power plants were all suddenly turned into zombies. How long before the power grid would collapse? That's the subject of a recent piece on The Straight Dope.

Okay, so zombification sounds far fetched. How about a biological, nuclear or conventional attack? Years ago, my Dad and I had a customer on the East End of Long Island who mounted a brand new Cummins Turbo Diesel running a generator to a trailer so that he could have power in the event of some sort of catastrophic event. Seemed silly at the time. I wonder whether he ran his air conditioner during last summer's blackout.