Buckle up, prepared families. The threat to America’s power grid is closer and more pressing than you probably thought. The enemy this time isn’t an EMP blast or sophisticated cyberattackers backed by a hostile foreign power. Indeed, the most pressing threat to America’s power grid is much less exotic and closer to home – domestic terrorists are targeting the American power grid.
What’s more, a critical breakdown in communication between law enforcement agencies and officials responsible for the security of the power infrastructure has left state and federal regulators largely uninformed about the true extent of these threats.
The blind are leading the blind when it comes to protecting the national power grid against threats from domestic terrorists. What’s more, the power grid is likely much more fragile than you suspect. All of this underscores the need for you and your family to be ready for a massive blackout, perhaps only lasting days, but potentially lasting weeks or even years.
According to energy regulators, a lack of comprehensive information is impeding efforts to safeguard the extensive electricity system of the nation. The problem is that there’s simply not enough data to ensure the grid is properly guarded against all threats, including domestic terrorists hellbent on crashing the grid for their own nefarious purposes.
Statistics reveal a troubling trend with the national power grid. In the first half of the current year, utilities reported 94 physical and computerized threats or assaults on electric grid infrastructure to the Department of Energy. This is a significant spike from the 67 incidents reported during the same period in 2022. The country is on track to equal or surpass the previous year’s record of 164 major cyber and physical attacks.
All signs point to “we’re just getting started” rather than a troubling and disturbing trend that’s about to run its course. Indeed, the actual number of attacks might be higher than indicated by the Department of Energy’s data. Certain incidents reported to Homeland Security officials by utilities did not appear in the DOE data. The lack of a centralized agency maintaining a comprehensive record and the lack of automatic alerts from law enforcement investigating potential threats further contribute to the challenge.
Law enforcement officials attribute much of the rise in grid assaults to white nationalist and far-right extremists who use online forums to disseminate tactical advice on disrupting power systems, according to the FBI. Indeed, the far-right in America is well aware of the threat that the increasingly rickety American power grid represents. Younger members are increasingly concerned with ecological issues, making the average left-wing climate activist look like Bambi by comparison.
That might not sound very threatening to you – after all, how many far-right extremists are there attacking the power grid in, America? However, it’s important to understand just how fragile the American power grid is. There are over 10,000 high-powered transformers in the United States. However, crippling a mere eight of them would result in the entire power grid crashing coast to coast.
The power grid isn’t like your laptop which you just turn off and turn back on again when it crashes. It would take at least 18 months for replacement parts to appear, plus a significant amount of time to install them and get the grid going again.
It’s estimated that in the first year of a grid-down scenario in the United States 90 percent of the American population would die.
For those responsible for running and regulating electricity plants and power lines, understanding the nature of the threats is of paramount importance. An illustrative example is the case where suspects with neo-Nazi ties were charged with plotting to take down Baltimore’s power grid earlier this year. ‘
Maryland’s top utility regulator, Jason Stanek, discovered the scheme from news reports, not receiving any information from law enforcement before or after the news broke. The incident left regulators “caught flat-footed” and underscored the urgency of improving communication channels to enhance the security of the nation’s power grid.
How is your family preparing for the grid to go down? What steps are you taking to protect yourself and your family in such a scenario? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.