It has been called a warning, a wakeup call, a must read and the scariest story of 2015. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, by veteran newsman Ted Koppel is all of those things, plus an education about exactly how hooked we are on the power grid teat and how unprepared we are as a nation at many levels should the plug get pulled.
Think about your house and your life; one minor disruption, say a storm causing the power to go out for even a couple hours or even less, something your internet connection to unexpectedly go offline and how quick we and our families are to overreact. Seemingly minor inconveniences become, cue REM here; the end of the world as we know it.
Koppel delves much deeper in to the not if, but when scenario of a cyberattack or electro-magnetic pulse (EPM) knocking out the power grid. Suddenly we aren’t just in the dark, we’ve lost the ability to communicate, in many instances to cook, to have potable water, to commute, to in the worst cases to be safe in our own homes. How will you react? Your family members, your neighbors as the recovery stretches on to days, or weeks, or months?
Store shelves quickly empty, drinking water is in short supply, sanitation is a pleasant memory. Koppel does an in depth examination of the multiple layers of the problem in both the personal and public sectors; along the way illuminating how woefully unprepared the government, that so many have become dependent on, to take useful action to offer assistance.
Koppel also takes a look at folks who are preparing themselves and their families for this type of disaster and many other form of disaster that could come our way. If you came here hoping that Koppel might offer up some sort of prepper handbook, you will be disappointed; there are plenty of useful books on that topic available if you choose to pursue that route.
Like any good warning shots, Lights Out in the end is only as useful as those who take the wakeup call and actually do something with it. Unfortunately for our sakes I have my doubts about the government/politicians looking beyond their own self-interests and I know that the reality TV and selfie obsessed general public are likely to end up the first victims of any disaster that comes our way.