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Honored Advisor

The vulnerable grid

Our former CIA director.has just testified to Congress that the electrical grid of our nation is very vulnerable...to cyberterrorism, natural disasters, and manmade mischief. His assessment is that this failure would not drive us back to the 1980s, but to the 1880s.

Fankly, I have heard very learned people who put the setback more in the vicinity of the 1780s. We know this grid has been hacked already.

Maybe it is just me, but hearing someone with this man's cred say that we would need to find enough horses and seed, quickly, to stave off starvation...well, thar sort of harshed my mellow.

Would you be able to make it without grid power? I know where there would suddenly be 12,000 feral pigs on the loose..
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17 Replies
Frequent Contributor

Re: The vulnerable grid

Except for the inclusion of cyberterrorism, similar comments were made following the 2003 NY blackout and, to a lesser extent, to the blackout in 1977. Cyberterrorism raises the ante considerably, since there would be less need for a physical disruption if someone or something took out controlling computer systems.

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Honored Advisor

Re: The vulnerable grid

Like I said, the hackers have already been there.  It was sobering to hear this source cite gross gaps in grid security.  Better enjoy our Christmas lights while we can, I guess.  

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Highlighted
Veteran Contributor

Re: The vulnerable grid

The grid - at leastwhere I live in the last house on a poorly maintained line is vunerable even without cyber attack.

Have a gas generator, but will install a LP hooked to a 1000 gal tank , that tests itself weekly

reeal soon. But the folks in high rise appartments in the city may not fare too well.

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Honored Advisor

Re: The vulnerable grid

We switched the house here in Carolina to a genset with LP fuel for emergency power several years ago. We really like the fact that within a minute of blacking out, the lights are back on and the feed is dependable. That lasts only so long, even with a big tank...this type of outage could take years to rectify.
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Senior Contributor

Re: The vulnerable grid

I'm not buying it that it could get that bad. We have a lot of smart people who know how this stuff works. I'm sure there are a few old timers out there that could figure out how to run the power plants and manipulate the grid without computers. Maybe we spend a few days, weeks, or for some maybe a month without power. I absolutely could survive that long. Maybe if some sort of super storm was followed by a terrorist attack on physical structures and a cyber attack all together. Then maybe we would be in trouble.
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Senior Contributor

Re: The vulnerable grid

We had a young man from a poor South America country staying with us this Summer and he  remarked the other day, "everything here in the US runs on electricity, what would happen if the power grid would go down across the country?"  Anyway, he was keenly aware of or dependency

on a working power grid.  I'm afraid we just think it's going to work and be safe for ever.

 

Another subject, drones.  It was the jet age, space age, computer age, and now the drone age?

Check this out for your "feral pigs."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/04/louisiana-company-uses-drones-to-hunt-feral-pigs/

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Advisor

Re: The vulnerable grid

Back in the storm of 76/77 I think it was, it was 10 days before the snow plow went by and 15 without electricity.  Poles were down for miles and teams got them back up quickly.  Was it difficult without, yes, did we and all our livestock survive, yes.  Using 5 gallon buckets to pull water from the well for us and cutting a hole in the ice 2x a day for the cattle to drink.  We survivied before electricity and would survive if it went away.  Now the big cities?  GOOD LUCK!

 

I can see going to rolling blackouts, not a horrible thing just requires planning.  I was in Bali a year ago, sitting in a resturaunt when the power went out.  No one blinked just continued about there business, only issue was people ready to leave patiently waited for the power to the register so they could pay.  I am sure they could have figured this out with pencil and paper but then they customer would not have bought that extra cocktail.  Smiley Wink

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Honored Advisor

Re: The vulnerable grid

I am just telling you what the former head of the Ia told Congress this week. He didn't seem to think it was all that simple to rectify.
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Senior Advisor

Re: The vulnerable grid

We couldn't make it without power very long before we had to install alternatives.  I guess I'd be putting an oil burner stove in the living room till they got it figured out.  Figuring it out would not take all that long, although it might mean an eternity while it lasted.  Martial law would be delcared or the next thing to it and many industries would fall under federal oversight.  Distribution of and access to food and essential services would be the issues.

 

We've had these kinds of warnings forever, it seems.  Back in the 1780, a family would hunker down somewhat near a town and survive.  Nowdays, we may have to go back to very basic services for a while.  Now, every bureaucrat and academic makes money or inflates their repuation by issuig these apocolyptic warnings.

 

I guess we could all build a bomb shelter and start stockpiling food.

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