“There are emergency preparedness plans in place for earthquakes and hurricanes, heat waves and ice storms. There are plans for power outages of a few days affecting as many as several million people. But if a highly populated area was without electricity for a period of months or even weeks, there is no master plan for the civilian population.” –Ted Koppel
As a renowned journalist, Ted Koppel is one of the most trusted faces in news. He has reported on wars, political events, and natural disasters. Yet, he has not reported anything close to what he suggests could be the next newsworthy story in his book Lights Out. In this frightening, but well-researched examination of the realities of what would happen if there was a doomsday-style attack on America’s electric infrastructure, Koppel paints a terrifying picture. As Americans, we are conditioned to react to natural disasters and are prepared for what we think might be the worst. In reality, though, Koppel points out that a terrorist attack on our grid could decimate entire portions of our nation as we know it, crippling everything from transportation networks to water supplies, and fuel resources to communication systems.
With great detail (and a comfortingly peaceful tone), Koppel walks readers through the possibilities that exist regarding a future attack of this style. Examining FEMA, individual resources, surviving without electricity, and proposing solutions, Koppel doesn’t sugarcoat his findings, but rather presents them in a thoughtful manner allowing readers to examine their own fears and preparedness should something like this happen. While it is not a light read, Lights Out is an easy and informative read that should not be ignored. It is compelling and insightful and covers a topic that should not be taken lightly.