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What is an 'electrical grid attack'?

Electrical Grid Attack

Erroll Southers (Former Deputy Director of the California Department of Homeland Security) gives expert video advice on: What is an 'electrical grid attack'?; What's the likelihood of an electrical grid attack?; What can I do in the case of an electrical grid attack? and more...

What is an 'electrical grid attack'?

Someone would attack the grid. They would attack the system that would take out power for a large segment of this country, geographically speaking. Which, as you know, I just usually tell people: look around. Everything that's running stops--everything. And most people have no concept of that. They think, "OK. It's my lights. It's my refrigerator." No, it's everything. And it's not for just a minute, meaning your computer, communications.One of the things that we are concerned about, in terms of response, is having the ability to communicate, the ability to have emergency services, hospitals, those entities up and running, even in the event that we have a grid failure. So it's much, much more than just the lights going off.

What's the likelihood of an electrical grid attack?

In fairness to the public, the system is so redundant that to be successful in an electrical grid attack is going to take quite some doing. Now I know we've had massive blackouts in this country, where we've seen things like that happen. The risk has been reduced significantly for them to happen deliberately over a long period of time . The system is very robust, and very redundant.

What will the government do in the case of an electrical grid attack?

We have played out - and they test these systems regularly. To have a grid fail happen, but we are prepared to respond and get that grid restored rather quickly. And the way that the government responds is they train on electrical grid failures and how to get them back up and running fairly quickly. Especially essential services: hospitals - and I keep reiterating hospitals because that's very important. If we have injuries or fatalities it's going to be very very important that those kinds of services receive that power first and then it works itself out for the rest of the municipality.