A report published in July 2015 by the United Kingdom, titled "The Space Weather Preparedness Strategy," (PDF here) states that a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) "typically take 1-3 days to reach us, and we can predict the arrival time to within about 6 hours. Predictions are currently less accurate due to degradation in the satellitecapability available to forecasters. Generally speaking, the faster the ejection, thegreater the potential impacts. The Carrington Event, for example, travelled to Earth in as little as 18 hours. It is therefore likely that our reasonable worst case scenario would only allow us 12 hours from observation to impact." (Page 11 - category: 4.1 Forecasting)
Danger From Natural Occurence Or Terrorist Attack
That is 12 hours if the attack on the power grid is a natural occurrence, that time frame drastically changes to "no warning" if the attack is a cyber attack or a physical terrorist attack, which as was seen in 2013 with the attack on an electrical substation near San Jose, California, is more than just a mere possibility.
Assailants who were never apprehended attacked the Pacific Gas and Electric Metcalf substation with automatic rifle fire on the night of 16 April 2013. Firing more than 100 shots altogether, they knocked out 17 transformers and, even though electric officials were able to avert a blackout, the damage took 27 days to repair. Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, called the attack “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the U.S. power grid that has ever occurred.” (Source)
Above is an example of the physical threat to the nation's power grid, but there are also the EMP threats from other countries, setting off an Electromagnetic Pulse and wiping out nearly all the power grids at once, as Iran has been plotting to do, reported in March 2015:
"Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States," he wrote.
A knowledgable source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places.
Today an electromagnetic pulse event would be devastating. It wouldn’t need a solar storm, just a solitary nuke detonated in the atmosphere above the American heartland. We would envy the horse-and-buggy era.
“Natural EMP from a geomagnetic superstorm, like the 1859 Carrington Event or 1921 Railroad Storm, and nuclear EMP attack from terrorists or rogue states, as practiced by North Korea during the nuclear crisis of 2013, are both existential threats that could kill 9-of-10 Americans through starvation, disease and societal collapse,” the Washington Free Beacon quoted Pry as saying.
As we reported early last year, Pry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst, believes that North Korea’s recent seemingly low-yield nuclear tests and launch of a low-orbit satellite may in fact be preparations for a future electromagnetic pulse attack.
As the Heritage Foundation has reported, an EMP attack with a warhead detonated 25 to 300 miles above the U.S. mainland “would fundamentally change the world:”
Those threats are so real that in May it was reported that NORAD and the Pentagon moved their communications equipment to Stargate Mountain, the cold-war era Cheyenne Mountain bunker that's naturally EMP-hardened Colorado to be used as a command center.
Power Grid Vulnerabilities
While the report discusses the UK's preparedness, it clearly describes the threat across the globe . The U.S. power grid is severely compromised already as detailed in a 2012 The Washington Post report which states that America's power grid is nothing more than a "patchwork system" that "ultimately will break down unless $673 billion is invested in it by 2020."
“If we keep investing as we are today, we’re headed for some serious financial and economic difficulties,” said Jim Hoecker, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). “The investment gap that we’re facing is a little scary. In fact, it’s a little more scary than the report indicates. We’ve got a congested system that keeps electricity costs artificially high, and that translates into higher rates for consumers.”
Aging equipment and bottlenecks in the grid that routes power where it’s most needed have resulted in some brownouts and occasional blackouts. Although investment by power companies has mitigated those failures, the ASCE report said, they will get worse unless billions of dollars are poured into the system.
The system that delivers light at the flick of a switch consists of 5,800 major power plants, 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines that connect them to areas of demand, and overhead and underground lines that deliver them to buildings and to that light switch.
ASCE President Andy Herrmann described the nation’s power generation as “close to adequate” but said the system that delivers power is badly deteriorated. Lynch, whose company provides consulting and software for power line projects, compared the power grid to an overloaded water system where the pressure on the system increases each time a burst pipe shuts down a portion of the network.
Historical Certainty An Event Will Occur
Off The Grid News reports "Earth gets hit by a massive solar storm every 100 to 200 years, according to most solar weather experts." The Carrinton Event happened in 1859 and experts have maintained it is common knowledge within the scientific community that this type of event, which historically speaking is guaranteed to happen again, "would likely cause widespread problems for modern civilization," and in effect "end the world as we know it." It is common knowledge, admitted by NASA that we had a "near miss" in July 2012.
In the video below, ANP first reported on in January 2015, Arnie Gunderson interviews Matthew Stein, who is a MIT trained engineer and author, and who explains as succinctly as possible how the more advanced our technology becomes, also has made the world more susceptible to natural and man-made attacks, via an EMP (Electrical Magnetic Pulse). As Stein explains, this is not mere speculation... his assertions are backed up by documentation and historical data.
One of the most important points made at around the three minute mark in the interview below, is that these giant transformers, weigh roughly 100 tons each, cost approximately 10 million each, are custom built and designed, and there is a three year waiting list to just obtain ONE. In an emergency situation, some can be obtained in a year, but a solar storm will knock out as many as two to three dozen Stein explains, leaving us with the very real probability of being sent back to the dark ages for at least three years.
In a NASA article dated January 2009, on a NASA-funded study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts, they report ""A contemporary repetition of the Carrington Event would cause … extensive social and economic disruptions," the report warns. Power outages would be accompanied by radio blackouts and satellite malfunctions; telecommunications, GPS navigation, banking and finance, and transportation would all be affected."
ARE YOU PREPARED?
Preppers and survivalists need to ask themselves if they are prepared to survive for up to three years if necessary?
Non-preppers need to seriously consider what they would do if a coordinated attack against the U.S. power grid knocked out power in a blink of an eye, which is a worst case scenario, but another critical point is -- even if they had 12 hours before it was all gone as the The Space Weather Preparedness Strategy warns ..... how much do they really think they could obtain in such a short amount of time when everybody will be rushing, at the last minute, to buy supplies?
Even smaller events such as a hurricane, earthquake or a tornado can knock off electricity for weeks at a time in some areas, with stores unable to get deliveries, many having no more than three days worth of stock, which would become less than a days worth with a mad rush of patrons doing the "last minute" stockpiling.
So, the bottom line question here would be... are YOU prepared?