NEW YORK, NY – Government fears of a “Black Sky Event” shutting down or destroying portions of the electric grid take center stage amid threats by North Korea. And this month, the federal government is taking part in a massive exercise to respond to the potential catastrophe.
Known as EarthEx, the annual “war game” is hosted by the Electrical Infrastructure Security Council, which has led the fight to harden the world’s grid against EMP and cyber attacks for years. The goal of the exercise is to improve community resilience to large scale, long duration power outages through multi-sector exercises.
The organization’s mission is critical for a world increasingly dependent on electricity to power homes, food production, drinking water systems, hospitals, communications and virtually every other piece of daily life and survival.
Much like Black Swan events, Black Sky Events are defined as “catastrophic occurrences caused by man or nature that bring society to its knees.”
Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, says “We are only one act of madness away from social cataclysm unlike our country has ever known.”
But it’s not just EMP or electromagnetic pulse fears that are growing. Geomagnetic storms, terrorist and cyber attacks are increasingly worrisome.
Dr. Thomas Bogdan, the director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said of a geomagnetic event, “It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
Democratic Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, of New York, said, “The likelihood of a severe geomagnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100 percent.”
This powerful and scary video clearly illuminates the threat and the effort undertaken by the EISC and broad spectrum of government and private entities working to protect the nation:
Other threats include coordinated attacks, such as the one in California by AK-47 wielding terrorists reported on the PBS NewsHour:
For EISC’s Aug. 23rd EarthEX2017 exercise to highlight and manage the problem in light of North Korea’s saber rattling, the organization invited a broad section of entities to participate with the federal government.
- Electric Subsector
- Oil and Natural Gas Subsector
- Water and Wastewater Sector
- First Responders
- Information Management Sector
- Situational Awareness Sector
- Other Private Sector Corporations
GOVERNMENT SECTOR – U.S. and Allied Government Departments and Agencies: Federal, State, Local
- Emergency Management
- Critical Infrastructure
- Security / Defense
MASS CARE NGOS (Non-Governmental Organizations)
But despite the EISC effort, it’s clear this nation, if not the entire world, is unprepared for the possibility of the new EMP threat. And one reporter’s words couldn’t be more true, “Given that FEMA has been stockpiling ready-to-eat meals, blankets and body bags for years, perhaps it’s time to dust off those old generators and stock up on that storable food.”
Yes. Time to review the survival gear, recheck the plans, and hold on. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.