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Attack on the Power Grid

If the power grid got knocked out, are you prepared?

“Almost everything we do in modern society relies on electricity.” So would you be able to survive without it?

Granger Morgan, quoted above, heads the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. After a 2013 attack on an electric grid near San Jose, CA nearly knocked out Silicon Valley’s power supply, Granger and other lawmakers and analysts were shocked that no one was doing more to prevent a repeat attack.

Many wonder if we’d be prepared to live without power considering how much we rely on power.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the 2013 attack, which Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (the facility’s owner) once downplayed as vandalism, is now being treated as a possible act of terrorism.

It would actually be fairly easy for a criminal group to knock out the power grid, according to a report issued in 2007 by the National Research Council committee (which was chaired by Morgan). If the power grid was knocked out, large regions of the U.S. could be denied “access to bulk power systems for weeks or even months,” leading to “turmoil, widespread public fear and an image of helplessness that would play directly into the hands of terrorists.”

Unfortunately, as the Los Angeles Times reports, not much has been done to protect the nation’s power system. Read their full article here.

Considering this vulnerability, it’s important to be prepared on an individual level for a power outage. Think about the following:

  • What would you do to protect your perishable foods?
  • How would you stay warm?
  • How will you see in the dark each day?

Addressing these questions will get you off to a good start. To learn more about staying safe and powered up in  an outage, check out our Insight Article, “Preparing for and responding to a power outage”.

Also take a look at some gear you can add to your emergency supplies. Adding even a few basics will make your time during a power outage or blackout more comfortable, and it will feel a little less like an emergency. These product categories are a great place to get started:

Check out some gear that can help you stay warm in a power outageCheck out gear that will help provide you with power in an emergency     Check out this gear that will help light your way in a power outage


What do you think is the best thing you can do to prepare for a power outage?

8 thoughts on “Attack on the Power Grid”

  • Brock

    It's smart to be prepared

  • Marion Ekola

    Just prior to the Christmas Ice Storm in Maine I made sure I had a full tank of propane. I live in a 600 sq. ft. home and heat with oil, but cook with propane. I had filled buckets with water and felt ready. I was without power for three days. I don't condone using the propane oven to heat but I did during waking hours. I had candles and flashlights for light at night. What I learned is even for three days I could use more water for the toilet. Otherwise I missed reading at night but life was fine. Now this year I plan on getting a type of pump to place on my existing pump for water when I need it. I put up food in the summer so I do not entirely rely on electricity to keep my food. The food storage I purchased from you has been a great comfort to me to know in an emergency food is not a problem. I'm an advocate for others to be prepared. Our electricity is a system I do know can and will be interrupted either briefly or for a long time. I try to imagine what living without electricity would be like, then prepare. So far I'm improving on my outlook. Thanks for the great products and the articles to help me think.

  • William & April Bladh
    William & April Bladh March 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    We have also been concerned for many years when we heard how a few not so friendly countries have have EMP devises that when they fly over an area they can knock out ALL mechanical circuits which knock out not only the electrical grid but include your cars, cellphones, and etc;. What is the most frightening is that they have protected themselves by installing preventive devices which don't allow us to do it to them, yet our electric companies and our country won't spend the money to protect us. Therefore, my husband and I have our own generator and fuel, radios, flashlights, devices, and etc; which will enable us to survive thanks to Emergency Preparedness and other online sites.

    Thank you,
    William and April Bladh

  • Sharon

    I've felt for a long time that I should have been a boy scout since my motto seems to be "always prepared". :) I'm working on getting the knowledge and accumulating what is needed. I try to imagine how the pioneers in the 1800's lived and emulate them as much as possible. It brings it closer to home for me and makes it easier to prepare. My grandkids and I even have "Pioneer Days" every so often...no electricity, running water, etc They love it and it helps them to have a mindset that isn't all about technology.


    To the comments from William and April if your concern is a EMP brought on by neighboring country's or solar flare. You should keep all your electronic devices in a faraday cage, something to look into. And thanks for being one of those that prepares.

  • Dan

    We started canning all the meats in our freezer after a friend lost hundreds of dollars of frozen food due to localized power outage. Beings we already pressure can on a big camp style propane stove, we could easily can up the stuff in our freezer due to an extended power loss. We've even started washing and storing our clean canning jars to save a step.
    Along with our kerosene lamps and various flashlight, we have added some solar light systems that really offer done great light. We are in the process of adding solar panels to charge the ham radio batteries in the near future. Some of our critical electronic items are stored in a Faraday cage.
    Stay calm and prep on!
    Dan in Virginia

  • atasteofcreole

    I've heard so many people on blogs, lists & groups talk about prepping then say they have everything on their iPads and the Cloud.

    Power outages show just how vulnerable their data is, but they still keep it there. *sigh*

  • Henley

    you have a headlamp pictured and if the grid were to go down because of EMP, then unless you put the flash lights in a faraday cage, it would be useless.

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