Are you prepared if the lights go out in your area?

Janine FinnellBy JANINE FINNELL, Executive Director & Clean Energy Ambassador, Leaders in Energy

This article is reposted with the permission of the author. Here you can find the original article.

I just finished reading the cyber-techno book thriller, Blackout, by Marc Elsberg, on the theme of a cyberattack in Europe and the United States leading to a prolonged power outage. It made me wonder whether I was really prepared for an emergency of this kind. It was bad enough experiencing the Derecho storm in the summer of 2012 where my neighborhood in Virginia experienced a power outage in the sweltering heat for 5 days!

After that experience, I became more interested in the topic of community microgrids and back-up power systems to help shield one in the event of a power outage. As a result of reading Marc’s book, I have also been doing research on the best ways to prepare for a power emergency, whether caused by natural or more nefarious reasons such a cyberattack.

Here is an excellent article titled “The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies” by The SweetHome website, whose authors conducted 120 hours or research and tested nearly 100 different products to come up with 30 products that are recommended as indispensable in case of a disaster, as well as being useful in everyday life. They point out that it is possible to assemble an emergency kit out of items that you may already own.

If you are further interested in these topics and live in the Washington, DC area, I invite you to meet Marc Elsberg, who will be visiting the U.S. from Europe. Ellsberg will join other cyber and grid resiliency experts for a panel discussion at the Leaders in Energy forum on Energy Infrastructure and Cybersecurity on Thursday, June 1, 2017, 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Make Offices Clarendon, 3100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 200 in Arlington, VA. This is also a great way for clean energy and sustainability professionals to network with like-minded individuals.

Joining Blackout author Marc Elsberg (pictured) will be Scott Aaronson, Security Executive at the Edison Electric Institute, Paul Feldman, AMP Electric, OPUS One, and EnergySec cyber/electric grid specialist, and John Morrill, Arlington County Energy Manager on grid resiliency and distributed systems. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Elvin Yüzügüllü, author of Synergies for Sustainable Energy.

Copies of Blackout will be available for purchase and author signing. The door prize will be a Power Outage Survival Kit! Blackout will also be available on Amazon beginning June 6, 2017. Registration is available here.

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