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Power grid

NatGeo to explore grid-down survival scenario with 'American Blackout' premiering Oct. 27

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: power grid, American Blackout, National Geographic

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(NaturalNews) For some time now, Natural News and others have warned Americans that a range of things from natural disasters to political unrest threaten to disrupt American civil society, but not until recently have the subjects of so-called "prepping" and survival gone mainstream. As the threats from economic collapse, terrorism and widespread corruption increase, however, these subjects are increasingly being taken seriously.

Nowhere is that more evident than in a new original movie by National Geographic, which will examine what would happen if the world just suddenly went dark.

The film, called "American Blackout," premieres Sunday, Oct. 27, and it will examine what would happen following the collapse of the power grid after a cyber attack on the country, which would obviously force America - and the world - into an immediate crisis.

'We needed to know everything that would be affected'

According to Off The Grid News, the timing of the NatGeo movie is prescient; the first-ever nationwide "power grid down" drill is to be held Nov. 13-14.

As The New York Times reported:

The electric grid, as government and private experts describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry. If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.

The director of the film, Jonathan Rudd, said during a question-and-answer session for the press that a cyber attack was specifically chosen as the means for disabling the power grid because it is no longer an unthinkable proposition.

In fact, earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security said the U.S. experienced a 68 percent increase in "cyber incidents" at federal agencies during 2012. The department also warned that an increase in such cyber activity appears to include a number of nations, including some from the Middle East, like Iran.

"The research drove the narrative. This film is obviously a drama, but we were determined to be as informed as possible and we spent countless hours trying to get it right," said Rudd.

"We needed to know everything that would be affected in a 10-day nationwide blackout ... and that turned out to be basically everything," he continued. "Our team of researchers interviewed leading experts in various fields - cyber security, search and rescue, emergency medicine, sociology, engineering and more. We also sent experts the film script to have them weigh in, and we made changes based on their feedback."

'We really want to go beyond that'

The movie's official promotion says: After it becomes clear that the blackout isn't isolated to a small region, curiosity may turn to concern for the entire country. Electronic communication will become increasingly difficult, as most backup power systems are only capable of maintaining normal operations for short durations.

According to Off The Grid News, which received an advance copy of the film to review, the movie is shot from a first-person perspective, and it follows a number of families and groups as they deal with a disabled power grid scenario. "Viewers may not be introduced to the character's entire backstory, but quickly begin to feel that they not only 'know' but can identify with the folks on the TV screen," the website reported.

Regarding the November drill, dubbed "GridEx II," the Times said more than 150 utilities, companies and organizations have signed on to participate.

"This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days," Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, told the paper. "We really want to go beyond that."





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