Imagine if you will; you wake up in the morning and everything has changed overnight. You reach to turn on the light in your bedroom and you quickly realize that it doesn’t turn on. You begin sweating because sometime in the middle of the night your air conditioning stopped working. Your milk in the refrigerator is warm and there is no hot water.
You are confused so you reach to turn on your 40′ inch plasma television to find out what’s happening, but alas, it doesn’t work either. So, you head to the basement to grab that crank up radio that your conspiracy theorist father bought for you in case of an emergency.
It’s fuzzy at first, but you mange to finally capture AM 1100. Your wife and children join around you to hear what the cause of this major inconvenience is and why there is no coffee or waffles this morning. As you listen to the reporter you grow more and more anxious. You are hearing words like “cyber attack” and “act of terrorism” screaming across the airwaves.
People are being asked to stay inside their homes until further notice as there could be more coming. You calm your family and assure them that everything will be alright before hopping into the minivan to see what’s going down at the local Target in the center of town. You must proceed with caution as the street lights are no longer working.
You live in Texas, and by this time temperatures have reached a blistering 95 degrees. You finally make it to Target where you are met with a sea of cars. You head inside to find your friends and neighbors rushing through the store grabbing bread, water, and canned foods giving you flashbacks of another certain day where time was of the essence.
You stroll down the aisles only to find that it’s slim pickings. So you grab a can of spam and the last case of water on the shelf. You see your next door neighbor and you exchange rushed pleasantries, as if you were to stop and speak, it may be too late. But too late for what? What was happening? Was it more airplanes? Was it an invasion?
On your way back home, you stop by the local police station where you see large tents with the words, “FEMA” written across the tops. It’s a hectic scene, but you roll your window down and manage to get the attention of one of the officers. You ask him what has transpired and in a visibly shaky voice, he replies, “Sir, we are under attack! It is believed that a terrorist group has hacked into our nations power grid and has destroyed all power to the entire country! Please return home and stay there until further notice!”
Now if this scenario sounds far fetched, think again. A few years ago, the power went out for three days in the town where I live and people went nuts. It was July, so it was very hot. You couldn’t use the water without boiling it, all of the food in the fridge eventually went bad, all of the water was gone off of the shelves, and not even McDonald’s could give you a cup of coffee.
What would be the outcome if this happened on a nation-wide scale and for weeks or months? People would go crazy, violence and looting could take place, and that’s just among your own neighbors. What if it was brought on by terrorists? How vulnerable that would make America and its citizens if we were shut down at our power source?
Some Americans may not be aware that an attack on our main substations has already happened. Rebecca Smith, who works for the Wall Street Journal, reported that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for a total of 19 minutes in 2013, which knocked out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night. Authorities found over 100 fingerprint-free shell casings and carefully arranged stones as if to give advance notice of where to shoot. The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred in the U.S.”. Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith regarding the attack.
Not only is our power at risk, but so is our internet. On Tuesday, the New York Stock Exchange came to a halt for 3 1/2 hours in what is being called and “internal problem”. United Airlines grounded fights all across the country for close to two hours to what is being described as “router issues”. There are hundreds of instances just like these and the truth is, it’s not a matter of if our grid system will perish, it’s a matter of when. Kind of makes those “preppers” that you made fun of not look so silly now, huh?