America’s antiquated and overly-taxed power grid is finally getting at least a little bit of attention from the federal government. The nation’s electrical system has become increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, seasonal storms, an EMP attack, and solar flares. The first ever nationwide power grid drill, GridX II will take place on November 13 and 14.
The power grid drill will simulate an attack [type unknown] that immediately forces the nation into an 1800s existence. The electrical system test is a joint endeavor being planned in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Thousands of utility workers, FBI agents, anti-terrorism experts, governmental agencies, and more than 150 private businesses are involved in the November GridX II power grid drill.
The disaster drill is being described as a crisis practice unlike anything the real power grid has ever experienced. The GridEX II drill will focus primarily on how governments will react if the electrical grid fails and, for instance, the food supply chain collapses. The EMP Commission, created by Congress, released a report in 2008 calling for increased planning and testing, and a stockpiling of needed repair items. The SHIELD Act, which is stalled in Congress, is the first serious piece of legislation in many years to attempt to address the vulnerabilities of the power grid in.
A 2012 report by the National Academy of Science said terrorists could cripple the nation by damaging or destroying hard-to-replace components, some of which aren’t even made in the United States. Off The Grid News reported that a recent American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) report gave the power grid a “D+” when grading various pieces of infrastructure and public services in the United States.
American utility companies are responsible for running approximately 5,800 power plants and about 450,000 high-voltage transmission lines, controlled by various devices which have been put into place over the past decades. Some of the utility companies which oversee the power grid reportedly use “antique computer protocols” which are “probably” safe from cyber hackers,” according to the New York Times reported.
An excerpt from the New York Times report about the vulnerabilities of the power grid reads:
“If an adversary lands a knockout blow, [experts] fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of September 11. Of particular concern are giant custom-built transformers that increase the voltage of electricity to levels suited for bulk transmission and then reduce voltage for distribution to customers. Replacing them can take many months.”
Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Curt Hebert stated that if the nation fails at electricity, “we’re going to fail miserably” at everything else. Hebert also noted that during prior power grid drills, the scenario assumed the system would be up and running again relatively quickly after an attack. This drill will assume it’s out much longer. Clark W. Gellings, a researcher at the Electric Power Research Institute, “I don’t think we pay quite enough attention to the technology fixes that would allow us to make the power system more resilient.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had this to say about the possibility of a downed power grid before leaving her post at the federal agency:
“Our country will, at some point, face a major cyber event that will have a serious effect on our lives, our economy and the everyday functioning of our society. While we have built systems, protections and a framework to identify attacks and intrusions, share information with the private sector and across government, and develop plans and capabilities to mitigate the damage, more must be done, and quickly.”
If the power grid fails, a lack of electricity and food delivery are only the first wave of troubles facing the American people. Police could face major problems with civil unrest. Of course, there also would not be any electric heating or cooling, which easily could lead to many deaths depending on the season.
NatGeo’s American Blackout original movie, which premieres on October 27, focuses on what life would be like in the United States after a power grid failure. The blackout last just 10 days, but millions of deaths and violent attacks occur. Starvation and fires are the two primary survival obstacles the populace faces after a cyber attack destroys the nation’s electrical system.
While a power grid down scenario in and of itself will not cause any deaths [unless the attack involves an EMP which also downs the thousands of planes flying over the United States at any given moment] fatalities from such a disaster will number in the millions, according to scientists and emergency management professionals. Once food is no longer delivered to local grocery stores, those who did not grow and raise their own food, or have long-term storage food on their shelves, will starve. It will likely not take more than a week for panic to set in, marauding hordes and civil unrest will take yet more lives.
Lights Out Saga is a trio of movies based upon David Crawford’s cult classic book. Disaster and Emergency expert Travis Fox is producing the films.The movie beings just moments before the power grid goes down. Millions of people in North America and Europe are suddenly left without any of the modern conveniences which we have all become too accustomed.. Unfortunately for the main character Mark Turner and his family and neighbors, society is ill-equipped to deal with an existence sans microwaves, iPhones and the Internet. It does not take long after “The Burst” for society to collapse, civil unrest to unfold, and millions of people to roam city streets with bellies aching from hunger.
Planning ahead when it comes to long-term food storage allows you not only to protect your family from starvation, but to taste test various food packets and give thought to meeting nutritional needs when purchasing.
Whenever possible, eFoodsDirect recipes are cholesterol-free to help ensure a diet that is low in cholesterol. Some cholesterol-containing foods, such as whole milk products, butter, red meat, and egg yolk, may raise your blood cholesterol. In a power grid down situation, going to the doctor for treatment or to renew blood pressure medication prescriptions will not be an option. Purchasing long-term food storage products which are high in fiber should also be a part of your family preparedness plan. A diet which is high in fiber has long been touted as an excellent way to lower the risk of heart disease, diverticulitis, and diabetes.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are an excellent way to craft a high fiber diet and remain healthy during a downed power grid disaster or any other type of man-made or natural disaster. eFoodsDirect also offer a myriad of long-term food products which do not contain any hydrogenated oils, transfat, or added MSGs. The company also makes every effort via networking with its supplies and growers to make sure ingredients are not genetically modified – GMO. A comprehensive line of vegetarian long-term food storage products are also available.
What do you think about the nationwide power grid drill – GridX II?