Skip to comments.Nightmare on Main Street: The Power Grid Version Of Bomb Shelters
Posted on 12/10/2012 7:19:18 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT energy story of the summer deserves revisiting.
India suffered through massive blackouts that spilled across regions with a combined population about twice that of the United States.
The televised images of that outage were easily compartmentalized and dismissed. Here was a far-off undeveloped country.
It can't happen here.
Thinking about the Indian power calamity, I recalled admonitions from grid and cyber security experts in the United States that it is only a matter of time before terrorists, criminals or a hostile state disrupts the power grid in this country.
World War III, should it come, or the next 9/11, is likely to be a massive digital invasion that will be unprecedented in its ability to disrupt the normal lives of tens of millions of Americans far removed from any physical battlefield.
Picture a twin assault on our power grid that would be both physical and cyber.
Transmission experts have told me that small explosions that bring down remote, unprotected pylons could cause cascading mayhem on the power grid affecting distant cities and regions.
Couple that with a coordinated cyber attack on the power supply system, and America's strategic and economic strength in the world fade to darkness.
The consequences can barely be fathomed. What if we had to spend days, or weeks, without email, cell phone service, electronic banking, heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer, clean water, transportation - and light?
Much is being done by utilities and government to try to put in place protections that would ward off cyber attacks. New smart grid technologies are providing powerful tools to monitor and quickly repair the transmission and distribution system, sometimes seamlessly with little or no human intervention.
But a serious question needs to be asked...
(Excerpt) Read more at energybiz.com ...
I think it would take about 4-7 days before the people go Lord of the Flies if the nation’s power grids were taken down. Watch “The Mist” for a great narrative on what happens to people when you shut off the lights and take away the rules.
How odd, I just finished a book about the power grid going down. Dark Grid by David C. Waldron is a pretty good book.
There’s another issue that I’ve never seen discussed. The EPA through the shutdown of coal fired power plants may have sharpely reduced the reserve capacity of some of our nation’s grids for a period of two years or longer until replacement facilities can be built.
I’m not as concerned about transmission as I am about the generation of electricity. A terrorist organization would have an easier job of analyzing and interrupting power generation than trying to damage the transmission lines. We as a country have our ass hanging out, and don’t know it. Homeland Security, AFAIK, has their collective head up its ass on a vital aspect of our energy supply.
In the worse case scenario electricity would be unavailable for months or possibly longer in some areas of the country. Doing that would be less complicated than 9/11.
prepared already, off grid cabin and 30’ fully contained Trailer on 10 acres, solar powered, well with 10,000 gallon water tank solar powered, and everything works perfect. Good fishing 1 mile away thru mountains at lake and river, hunting right out the back door, dirt bikes,quads,4-wheeler,guns,ammo,supplies,.....And I keep my airplane full of fuel and ready to leave to other house in AZ with private strip, fully stocked and same everything. I did this a long time ago when Obama won Primary, I knew then the end was in sight for most of Americans.
**when you shut off the lights and take away the rules.**
Depends if the lights go out in summer or winter. In winter people will be more likely to hunt warmth. In summer, especially a heat wave, look out!
In a situation of no power, having some big time flashlights ($60 and $90 dollar, 500 and 700 lumen AA based night blasters that will reach out there 2 and 3 hundred yards) and rechargeable AAs with solar chargers, will sure go a long way to intimidating prowlers, after a couple of weeks of darkness and fading $10.00 flashlights, as more and houses slip into having almost no light except maybe their little solar lights brought in from the garden.
Seeing high quality firepower being worn and carried by you and your neighbors during the day time, and seeing continuous, even wasteful use of mind blowing lights being used at night, as noises and suspicions are checked out, would make for a pretty intimidating atmosphere.
A couple of weeks of darkness can really change the balance of power between the bad guys and the straights, and I think that most people would just want to hide in their homes at night, and hope for the best, as the bad guys took over the nights.
I strongly suspect he’s selling something and wants a bundle of homeland inSecurity money. The Algore funny money is drying up after “stimulous”. The junk science deniers ate their lunch. So now they are going after homeland security money.
As long as America keeps allowing in Muzzies and other enemies to our shores I won’t be surprised when, not if, it happens.
Nightstar makes the only “real” shakelight, I own one of those and it is truly like something from a sci-fi movie, it actually works and would be a durable, permanent flashlight for a mad-max world, for instance the magnet doesn’t hit buffers when it is shaken, it runs into two other repulsing magnetic fields, so there is no hitting anything, which could wear, also the capacitor is high quality, Nightstar is very conservative in their description, too conservative, the light produces much better than their modest description.
They also make crank lights which are probably very good.
People should remember that they can always bring in those solar powered garden lights, and also, most of those have AA batteries in them, so some of the batteries can be robbed for flashlights, and put back in for charging during the daytime.
I am not sure of your assessment of which would be easier t take out or have longer term disastrous effects.
I was concerned to see two articles in a week which spoke of the transformer problem.
Anyone who is out and about or lives in proximity to those things should keep an eye out for people who appear to be casing them, IMHO.
In the meantime, we would do well to not consider our grid superior to everyone else and think it could never fail us. Ask our North-Eastern brethren if they would have some more options if given a Sandy do-over, for instance.
The distribution end is not our most vulnerable aspect. That if damaged wouldn’t take long to repair. Maybe weeks at most. Because of events in the past and now the effect of the EPA’s regulations we could see an outage lasting from months to possibly close to a year based on procurement lead times of equipment that is easily accessible by terrorists.
The casualties could run to hundred of thousands or possibly millions in the Northeast depending on time of year. Over the past twenty years there have been factors which have now combined to create the potential for a perfect storm of electrical supply loss.
It’s a forest for the trees situation. The EPA’s action may have been the trigger that gives a group of terrorists the opportunity they want short of a nuclear weapon that would make 9/11 look like a typical weekend death toll in Chicago.
Fortunately the terrorist attacks in this country have been somewhat symbolic. In a way they have been more of an embarrassment to the the government than seriously disruptive. The potential exists for a real game changer.
I’m hoping the terrorists remain as clueless as our government. If that’s the case, we’ll all live out normal lives. If not, it’s going to be an end of the world scenarios for many.