A church friend of mine loaned me a copy of the book Lights Out by Ted Koppel. It was the spark that got me thinking about emergency preparedness. Koppel was not some obscure author I never heard of. He has won numerous awards in a slue of journalistic categories so he comes with a great deal of credibility.
His book is about the threat our country faces from a potential EMP (electro magnetic pulse) attack and how prepared we are (or not) for such an event and the impact it would have on us. He “names, names” of department heads, both former and current in his interviews from such government agencies as Homeland security and the Dept. of Defense.
Koppel has divided Lights Out into 3 parts: A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared and Surviving the Aftermath.
These are my biggest takeaways from this enlightening book.
Virtually all of our infrastructure is dependent on our electrical grid. Think about it. This includes water coming out of your faucet, water treatment centers and sump pumps. Gas and diesel requires electricity to pump it from underground tanks at your local gas station. Trains, planes, subways and most automobiles all run off electrical circuitry. Hospitals require electricity to run operating rooms and other life sustaining equipment. ATM’s and bank operations require electricity. Manufacturing plants require electricity to produce. Can you imagine milking 3,000 cows by hand because the milking machines no longer run? Just imagine your own home without electricity. Starting with just your lights, how many appliances do you use that require electricity? I counted somewhere around 15-20 appliances.
Is it just crazy thinking that we could lose our electrical grid through some accident or an intended attack by some rogue nation and put us back a few centuries? Stay tuned for part 2!