‘Dark Sky’ Prepares Wisconsin for a Grid-Down Situation

Here at 4Patriots, we preach preparedness more than any other message.

We’re usually talking to individuals like yourself. But occasionally we also see communities and local governments getting on board.

These days we are facing ongoing threats to our power grid, cyber security and public safety. It’s more important than ever to “practice what you preach.”

And the state of Wisconsin is doing that. State officials recently organized a training exercise based on a mass power-outage.

Preparing for a Long-Term Blackout

The Wisconsin National Guard conducted a full-scale training exercise in seven counties last week.

The three-day event was called “Dark Sky.” The purpose? To help communities prepare for a possible long-term mass power outage.

Utility companies, law enforcement and first responders were involved in the blackout simulation.

Here’s how an Outagamie County Emergency Management spokesperson explained it. “We’re trying to fill in those spots for the what if’s.”

Public Sees Increased Military Presence

While it may sound like a scary situation, the public was not affected by this exercise.

Residents saw an increase in military presence and more emergency personnel. But no electrical power was cut off from homes or businesses at the time.

More than 1,000 first responders, members of federal agencies, the Red Cross and many other agencies participated.

National Guard soldiers went door to door, asking citizens preparedness questions. They also left behind information. They did not enter homes nor collect any personal information.

Agencies Must Work Together

Seven Wisconsin counties were involved in the training exercise. They were Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Brown, Calumet, Dane and Outagamie.

The Alliant Energy facility in Fond du Lac County served as one of the National Guard training sites.

The event tested businesses that work directly with the public. Because they are the ones who would be impacted by critical infrastructure failures.

The exercise was also conducted to coordinate critical fuel distribution, cyber response, intelligence sharing and mass care shelters. Plus procedures for opening and operating the state’s Business Emergency Operations Center.

Preparation Is Key

How would county officials and organizations function without power for 30 days? How would hospitals, nursing homes or businesses operate? Rehearsals for these scenarios help companies and departments answer the questions.

Major General Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjunct general, said this about the experience:

“Our emergency management community must be prepared to deal with the myriad scenarios and challenges posed by a long-term mass power outage.

“And by training together, we continue building meaningful relationships that leave us better positioned to respond to a real-world situation.”

They considered various hypothetical scenarios. Including mass casualties due to hazardous material and natural gas emergencies.

Preparing at Home

For most of us, not having power for a few hours would not be too inconvenient. But if you’re looking at a few days, weeks or even longer, its considered a state of emergency.

Unfortunately, most of the other states in the US are not currently training to prep for a possible mass power outage.

And it’s no secret that our power grid is failing and vulnerable. Not only from storms and natural disaster, but also from terrorist and cyber-attacks.

Former CIA official Dr. Peter Pry says that attacks on just 9 of the nation’s 55,000 electrical substations could result in nationwide blackouts for up to 18 months.

It’s growing more and more obvious that it’s time to take steps to protect your family if you have not yet. A solar generator is the best option because it can power your home without any gas, fumes, or noise. And without risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can use it to run kitchen appliances. Charge your personal or medical devices. Or light up a room with an LED light string… for weeks at a time.

See this personal solar power system in action for yourself

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