Lights Out by Ted Koppel

Lights Out

Lights Out by Ted Koppel is a book that explores the vulnerability of America’s power grid system to a cyberattack or an electromagnetic pulse device launched by terrorists or foreign nations.

The book outlines the realities of such an attack, the vulnerabilities plaguing the defense systems that protect it, and the preparations that Americans can take now to prepare for an unthinkable grid-down scenario.

Koppel uses his profound journalistic talents to raise pressing questions about our nation’s aging electrical grid. Through interviews with leading experts, Koppel paints a compelling picture of the impact cyberattacks may have on the grid.

The book is broken down into three parts. The first part, A Cyberattack, discusses the possibility and likelihood of a cyberattack on America’s power grid.

The second part, A Nation Unprepared, highlights the vulnerabilities of the defense systems that protect the power grid. The third part, Surviving the Aftermath, provides practical advice on how individuals and communities can prepare for a grid-down scenario.

Useful takeaways from the book include the importance of being prepared for a grid-down scenario, the need for increased investment in the nation’s power grid infrastructure, and the importance of public awareness and education on the issue of cyberattacks.

What I Liked

The book is interesting, readable, and very useful (note the power outages in Texas, California, etc). Extended outages can absolutely happen here. I like how he frames the issue.

What I Did Not Like

This is the rare case where I think a YouTube video or blog post series would work better. It seriously needs some illustrations to help show all the systems and engineering.

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