Energy expert Robert Brenner is back this week to discuss the threat of a national power grid outage. What's the biggest threat to our national power grid? Find out in the article below, and be sure to check out Robert's previous EMP articles here, here and here.
National Power Grid Outage: What's the Greatest Threat?
The greatest threat that could potentially cause a national power grid outage isn’t EMP from a massive solar storm. Nor is it damaging EMP from a high altitude nuclear explosion two dozen miles above our land. While the effect of EMP can be serious, the probability of an actual EMP strike is low, so these don’t worry people monitoring grid vulnerability. No, the greatest threat we face comes from home grown or imported terrorists who are already within our country. They pose a real and significant threat for multiple, wide area physical attacks. And their threat potential is growing.
A report in Self-Reliance Central states that the U.S. power grid is attacked at least once every four days by cyberterrorists or people attempting to physically damage or destroy parts of our electrical infrastructure. These attacks are real and they are potentially quite destructive.
Last year Frank Bates at Patriot Headquarters wrote that one power company reported receiving about 10,000 cyberattacks each month, and many other utility companies noted frequent cyberattacks each day as our adversaries probed networks to find weaknesses. Our power industry and Homeland Security have kept ahead of cyber terrorists, but it’s a constant battle to keep our national grid safe. Terrorists are persistent. They keep trying to find our Achilles heel.
In the last five years more than 362 such attacks have caused electrical disturbances or partial power outages. Many are probing tests to see just how prepared we are and to identify our weaknesses. Every time I hear or read about an outage, I immediately suspect foul play. The July 24th power outage at Le Guardia International Airport in New Jersey made me question how workers could “accidentally” cut through the exact cable that provides power to Terminal C and Parking Lots 4 and 5.
Delta Airlines had to cancel over 100 flights—among all the airlines using Le Guardia 170 flights were canceled, disrupting lives for thousands of travelers. The Delta communications system was down for over 5 hours and jet ways (jet bridges) and people movers at the terminal were inoperable for almost 12 hours. Normally a construction job does not start without prior knowledge of all the underground objects that are in the area of a work site and appropriate flags or markers are installed on the ground above the work area. What was different about this job?
A short term outage can be endured, but loss of electrical power for several days or longer can cause havoc on society. Communications can go down, commerce, banking, healthcare, fuel supplies and travel can simply stop working. Countless organizations and individuals will energize backup generators to keep their facilities open and electricity flowing. What happens when they can’t keep their generators running because fuel trucks can’t deliver the diesel, natural gas, or propane needed to sustain operation?
Our lack of foresight will delight our enemies. They will be happy, but others will suffer because they failed to prepare once again.
What’s comforting in all of this is that because EMP is not involved, survivalists should do just fine. You will be fine. So relax and enjoy the outages when they come. Others will ignore the threat, but you will be prepared. Be happy, and be safe.