This post is to alert readers about the pressing need to make preparations for possible electrical outages this summer or in future months and years. The USA and the world are currently experiencing a massive heat wave where temperatures are at prolonged high levels in North America, Europe, China, etc. Phoenix, Arizona’s extended string of daily highs above 110 degrees, the vast Canadian wildfires and out-of-control fires in Greek tourist sites, etc. have gotten many headlines and affected hundreds of millions of people. However, there is an important aspect of this super heat-wave that is not receiving sufficient media attention. That is the increasing risk that the electric grids that provide the power which makes modern civilization possible may fail due to overwhelming and prolonged demand for electricity for air conditioning (and everything else). However, the danger is very real, and it represents a growing threat to your standard of living.
The nation’s largest electric grid network, PJM Interconnection, operates and coordinates a multi-state power grid that includes the states between Delaware and Illinois and into North Carolina, Tennessee and the District of Columbia (first link). PJM has “declared an emergency” which warns that extraordinary measures may be need to keep the power grid operating. The link notes this is due to the obvious fact that “a good portion of the United States is being scorched under a massive heat wave (emphasis added).”
The second link cites a warning from an industry monitoring agency, the NERC, that other multi-state electric grids, including the Midcontinent Independent Systems (which serves many states along the Mississippi River), that much of North America “could face power shortages this summer,” and that the electric grid system “is close to the edge.” It includes the western United States and the Carolinas as being in the region where power outages might develop. The link also discusses the arguments about the dangers of replacing fossil-fuel power plants too quickly. Such action could pose a greater risk of electric grid failures or periodic power outages. The third link also discusses the NERC’s warning that “165 million” people in North America could face power shortages during periods of extreme heat. It reminds us that California had to experience rotating power outages in 2020 and the same thing affected Texas in 2021.
The fourth link describes the severe problems that have led to chronic electricity shortages in South Africa. South Africa may have chronic energy shortages until 2025 due to a multitude of problems, but its example shows that nations still need stable fossil-fuel plants to ensure sufficient energy supplies. The link notes that the solar- and wind-generation facilities in South Africa regularly operate at only 25-35% of capacity due to weather conditions in that nation. I am familiar with South Africa’s energy shortage and its system of scheduled and unscheduled regional power outages. I have a friend that spent weeks in South Africa this year on an African wild-animal photo-safari tour and I was told that the power shortages were a regular experience there. If the USA and other western nations try to phase out fossil-fuel plants too quickly, we may be seeing our future in what South Africa is experiencing now. Industry and society need regular, stable sources of electric power. Fossil fuel plants offer that stability. They can supply a steady, reliable supply in electrical output in many types of weather. However, solar power drops rapidly at night or whenever the sun is obscured and wind power generators become useless when there is no wind.
The intense heat-wave experienced by the Northern Hemisphere in July this year has been very intense. The fifth link reports the heat has been so great it warmed up a portion of the Atlantic Ocean near Florida to over 100 degrees. I think this is unprecedented for the Atlantic coastal region of America. It is worth remembering that warm ocean temperatures generally accompany increased numbers and intensity of hurricanes. We will see if this holds true in 2023 as the prime period for hurricanes is still ahead of us yet.
What does this mean for you? Plenty! If you experience a power outage, your life changes immediately. Lights don’t work, computers, appliances, furnaces, A/C units, etc. all stop working and our normal modern life ends until the power comes back on. I recently had a taste of this happening. My local power company posted a notice on my door that a scheduled, multi-hour power outage would occur the next day in my neighborhood. This gave me time to turn off my computer, TV, etc., put some block ice in my refrigerator (in case the power outage lasted longer than expected), etc. I had the advantage of knowing the power would come back later the same day, a comfort denied to people who suddenly lose power unexpectedly and for an unknown period of time. Panic can set in depending on individual circumstances. One unexpected phenomenon I noticed during the power outage was how quiet it was. We are used to the sounds of A/C units turning on and off, refrigerators turning on and off, air flowing through HVAC systems, radios or TVs being on, music being played, etc. There were absolutely no such sounds inside my house during the outage.
What if your power went out suddenly and unexpectedly? What if you learn from your cell phone news source that the power may be off for days due to a major electrical systems failure. What if it takes weeks to get the electrical grid back on-line? How will you survive during that time? How will you keep food from spoiling? Can you get your garage door open and shut during an electric failure? Even if you can get your car out of a garage, will any stores be open? There are many questions that each person and family would face in a time of such emergency. The time to prepare is now, before such an emergency strikes. No one can prepare for everything, but you should prepare as best as you can. Do your flashlights work? Test them and see. If you live in a high-rise apartment, ask your landlord if your building has a back-up generator to operate the elevators of that building? If not, you will be doing a lot of walking up and down stairs during the power outage. People living in wheelchairs or with other compromised health conditions may need to re-locate to a safer living space before any long power outage affects them.
You need to make a list of items that you and your family members need to obtain now, before a power-outage emergency occurs. Thankfully, you do not have to make such planning alone. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has compiled a list of common items you and your family should stock up on before an emergency hits (sixth link). Its a good list and I urge you check it and make sure you obtain whatever is on that list that you do not yet have. The list is very useful for all natural or unexpected disasters (power outages, hurricanes, ice-storms, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc.).
Power outages can come not only from heat waves, but also from terrorist attacks on electrical facilities or even coronal mass ejections (CME) from the sun. A massive CME occurred in 1859 which knocked out telegraph service in a part of North America (seventh link). Today, we have satellites, electronics, digital systems, cell phones, etc. that are very vulnerable to failure if a similar CME occurs again. If such an event occurs, satellites, TV service, power grids, internet service, etc. may all be wiped out with no assurance regarding when they will function again.
Applying a biblical perspective, I’d like to draw your attention to Revelation 16:9 which states (in the KJV) that something is going to happen to the sun which will cause mankind to be “scorched with great heat.” I hearken back to the first link which used the word “scorched” to describe what is happening now to mankind from an elevated level of heat. This prophecy does not indicate that mankind’s activities will have anything to do with this prophesied increase in the sun’s output of heat sent to the earth. “Man-made global warming” will not fulfill this prophecy. This prophecy indicates the prophesied increase in the sun’s output of heat will be Divinely caused. Intense CMEs could partially fulfill this prophecy; if so, many modern electronics, satellites and digital systems will be “fried.” Normal life, as we now experience it, would cease to exist. We do not know what modern systems will work after a powerful CME occurs. If you have any doubt that we are living in the latter-day period of time when this prophecy will be fulfilled, please read my free article, Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?
The time to prepare is now…while you have time.
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