I live on the Texas Gulf Coast where hurricanes are a fact of life. I live far enough inland that rising water is not a problem but rain, wind, and tornadoes are. And after the hurricane there may be a period of several days before power is restored. After Hurricane Ike, we were without power for 3 long, hot, miserable, dark days and nights but others in the area were without power for up to 2 weeks. Lights Out by Ted Koppel is about a power outage resulting from a cyberattack on one or more of our 3 national power grids. Such an attack could result in a power outage lasting not days but weeks or months.
We have a general plan of what to do and how to prepare for hurricanes and their aftermath and one would think that there would be plans somewhere within FEMA or Homeland Security for what to do if there is an actual attack on one or more of the grids. But there is not. No, really there is not. There is not even agreement that such a cyberattack is probable or even possible. Something that could literally bring us to our knees physically and economically is not being planned for.
A couple of chapters are devoted to how well the Mormons are prepared for an emergency. And while I find it admirable, it is hardly comforting to me, a non-Mormon. In all honesty, by halfway into this book, I was looking into websites for food and water storage and wondering if I should buy oil lamps and oil or stock up on lanterns and batteries. And what about water--a gallon per person per day. Guns and ammo anyone?
I wish the book had a more reassuring conclusion but in an interview, Mr. Koppel admitted that he had bought a 3 month food supply for his family, children, and grandchildren and advised them about water storage. Seems rather reasonable to me after finishing this book.
JMM and I are native Galvestonians and very much enjoy going back to go birding. It is especially nice in the fall and winter( but the spring migration can be outstanding too.) Here are some photos from a recent birding trip.