Don't let a cyber-attack turn your "lights out"!

posted on July 12, 2016

We live in volatile times. Each day, it seems we are faced with a new threat on our values and our way of life, which is why it is increasingly important to consider what you need to do NOW to protect you and your family if disaster strikes. This article examines Ted Koppel's landmark book Lights Out: A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.

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The book's promotional poster

NPR analyst urges preparedness

For those unfamiliar with Koppel, he has been a mainstream media correspondent for decades, working for such organizations as ABC, NPR, and BBC America. In other words, he's not the conservative prepper many envision when they think of being prepared for disaster. Nevertheless, Koppel embarked on a tour of America to chronicle what is being done to prepare for a cyber-attack that could cripple the nation's power grid.

High likelihood … low preparation

Koppel spoke to the heads of four federal government departments. Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano conceded that the chance of a cyber-attack on America that would affect the power grid -- the equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction in Koppel's words -- is better than 80%. Yet what is the government doing to be prepared?

"I’m finding that they haven’t taken that responsibility very seriously, or at least have not come up with a solution yet," Koppel told Gwen Ifill of PBS in an interview.

Anyone could cause a grid shutdown

Unlike conventional warfare, Koppel believes that anyone with a decent amount of technical knowledge or money could cause an attack with catastrophic consequences.

"The dangerous thing is it doesn’t require a government to do it. It doesn’t require anyone with a ton of money to do it. Someone sufficiently skilled in cyber-warfare, using an individual laptop, can inflict enormous damage," says Koppel.

Asked if he was concerned he would be written off as a doomsayer, Koppel's response seemed all too prescient.

"I would be more worried if people after the fact found out that I had discovered what I had discovered, and that I hadn’t said anything about it. I think that would be the greater ill."

Steps to take to be prepared for a cyber attack

Is a cyber-attack likely to happen tomorrow? No. This week? This month? After our presidential election? No one knows for sure. What is for sure is that there are three steps you should take now to protect yourself and your family.

1) Stock up on non-perishable food and water

It's always a smart idea to have a few months' supply of food on hand just in case. Waiting for disaster to strike can lead to chaos at the cash register of your local supermarket. Act now to avoid the panic.

2) Talk to your neighbors

In the event of an emergency of any kind, you want to be on the same team as your neighbors. Plant those seeds now by discussing how you can care for one another in a time of need or desperation. Make plans to be prepared as a neighborhood so you'll have a team working together.

3) Consider purchasing a solar generator

If the power grid goes down, having a solar generator is a sure way to keep power flowing to your house. You can use the power to connect to the internet to receive emergency information, power your refrigerator to keep food and medication safe, and to charge phones so you can stay in touch with loved ones. Sure, a gas generator would provide power, but the last thing you need in an emergency is stand in an endless line to fuel your generator. The sun will surely keep shining. And a solar generator will provide power with no noise, no fuel, and no fumes. Plus, right now you can buy a solar generator and receive a 30% tax credit. It's a win-win. Learn more about the solar energy tax credit.

Err on the side of safety

The only way you can be sure you will have reliable power in wake of a "lights out" attack on the power grid is to have power that is off the grid. Now is a great time to invest in solar energy. Call us today for more information: 484-593-4262.

About Alternative Energy, Inc.

Alternative Energy, Inc. is an innovative supplier and distributor of American-made solar energy solutions specializing in off-grid power and solar project development. Founded in 2008, the company is an authorized distributor of SolarStik and SUNRNR products and is a proud partner of the EPA's Energy Star initiative. To learn more or find out how you can start saving energy, the planet, and your bottom line today, contact us.

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