Triple Threat Power Grid Exercise: High Impact Threats Workshop and Tabletop Exercises Examining Extreme Space Weather, EMP and Cyber Attacks

by Charles Manto, Dr. George Baker III, Terry Donat MD, David Hunt, William Kaewert, Mary Lasky, Cedrick Leighton, Dana C. Reynolds, Robert Rutledge

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About this Workshop and Tabletop Exercise Package: This InfraGard National Electromagnetic Pulse Special Interest Group (EMP SIG) exercise package facilitates discussions, planning and preparation for catastrophic events involving the electrical grid and the cascading impacts to other critical infrastructure and the community. It includes three separate scenarios to examine how different causes of grid failure can affect local communities and warrant preparedness efforts. For a facilitator’s guide contact the EMP SIG at: igempsig@infragardmembers.org

White House National Science & Technology Council Recommendations from the Second Goal of the 2015 National Space Weather Strategy:

• “Complete an all-hazards power outage response and recovery plan:

• for extreme space weather event and the long-term loss of electric power and cascading effects on other critical infrastructure sectors;

• Other low-frequency, high-impact events are also capable of causing long-term power outages on a regional or national scale.

• The plan must include the Whole Community and enable the prioritization of core capabilities.”

• “Develop and conduct exercises to improve and test Federal, State, regional, local, and industry-related space weather response and recovery plans: Exercising plans and capturing lessons learned enables ongoing improvement in event response and recovery capabilities.”

For more information about White House NSTC recommendations see: http://www.dhs.gov/national-space-weather-strategy

About the InfraGard National EMP SIG: The EMP SIG was formed in July 2011 for the purpose of sharing information about catastrophic threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure and encouraging local communities to become more resilient. Threats include extreme space weather, manmade electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attacks, coordinated physical attacks, and pandemics. On October 3-6, 2011, the EMP SIG instigated and cohosted workshops and exercises at the National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD examining scenarios of national level power grid failures due to extreme space weather. In December 2014, the EMP SIG led a workshop and tabletop exercise at the National Guard Association of the US to look at grid collapse scenarios due either to space weather, EMP or cyber attacks from which this package was developed.