NatGeo hit a homerun with their new docudrama American Blackout. The docudrama is based in America where cyber-terrorism has taken out the power grid. The power fades first on the East Coast, then Texas and finally the West Coast. As generators fail, water stops flowing, gas stations stop pumping, a/c stops cooling, things get very interesting. It doesn’t take very long for the power failure to cause a national crisis.
The movie follows several people/families in various situations. Some include a young family with a mother VERY pregnant, a teenager who is at home while his mom, who is a nurse, goes to work, a few people stuck in an elevator, a couple in a high-rise and a prepper who has a fully stocked bugout location. Intertwined with the personal stories, the viewer gets news reports about what is going on across the nation and how the government is responding. There is even an appearance from our friend Dan over @ The Daily Prep!
American Blackout will scare the crap out of a lot of people, hopefully in the good way. Like I’ve said before, it was the show After Armageddon that finally convinced my wife to start prepping. However, as preppers, we look at the possibilities of crisis/disasters. The power grid failing is more probable than a pandemic right now. In fact, if you do a Google search for “how vulnerable is our power grid,” you will find a ton of recent mainstream articles that discuss this very point, including an ex-CIA director and recent findings that detail how vulnerable we really are.
NatGeo has created a companion interactive website that is worth checking out too. The site will take you through 1o days of the lights being out with tips, assessments and advice. The sound is a little annoying, but you can turn that off.
Also, as I was preparing this review, I listened to a recent Survival Podcast episode where a caller asks the question, “what could cause a societal collapse in the magnitude that we see in the book Patriots?” Jack’s answer is relevant to this post and our power grid, so I’m linking the podcast here. You will want to skip to 1:15:40 to get to the question.
A POWER GRID SNAPSHOT (provided by NatGeo)
- Often called the largest machine in the world, the U.S. electrical grid connects Americans to 5,800 major power plants and includes more than 450,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines.
- America’s electricity is supplied by the East, West and Texas power grids.
- There are more than 140 million electric customers, spanning homes, businesses and industries.
- Seventy percent of key power grid components are more than 25 years old and the average age of power plants tops 30 years.
- Many experts refer to the electrical grid as America’s “glass jaw” and worry about a well-placed attack’s ability to cripple our infrastructure.
- In November 2013, more than 200 utility companies and government agencies across the U.S., Canada and Mexico will participate in GridEx II, a large-scale grid security exercise that will test the electricity infrastructure’s ability and readiness in the face of a cyberattack.
For me, the ultimate question is, will people watch it and will they do anything in response to it? I’ve been talking about it at work and even at church. I’m going to do my best to remind others about the show. I would love for others to at least DVR the show so they can watch it later. I think that a movie like American Blackout can help convince others that they need to prepare. We are a visual generation. Many of us grew up with TV. Watching the possibilities of a grid down scenario on TV will do it…. I hope.
National Geographic Channel’s 2-Hour Movie Event,
Premieres Sunday, October 27, at 9 PM ET/PT
If you are concerned about a power grid failure and you want to do your own research on what you could do to prepare, you can visit these links to a find a ton of articles on the subject.
- Prepping for the New Prepper
- research your own preparedness topic
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