Hurricane Sandy blackout

What happens when blue skies turn black? – EARTH EX 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us how an unexpected crisis in one part of the world can  cause major disruption to infrastructure around the globe. But novel viruses are not the only threat  – ‘black sky’ events that cause major damage or disruption to our infrastructure often occur with little, or no warning.  

Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are hard to predict and can happen at any time. Extreme weather can be hard to forecast more than a few days, or even hours in advance. Even weather above our skies can damage infrastructure – ‘space weather’ such as solar ejections of material can induce currents in electrical cables that damage our power and communication networks. The last time this occurred was in 1921 when it damaged the telegraph network – in our more electricity-dependent world today the effect could be many times worse.

Disruption to power supply infrastructure can be one of the most damaging effects of black sky events. Electrical power failure can lead to knock-on outages in other areas like communications, lighting and water and food supply chains.  So it is vital we are ready for any interruptions to power supplies caused by unexpected events.

Although these events are unpredictable we can make sure we are prepared. Practising our response and testing our procedures and systems can help to lessen the impact of black sky events.

EARTH EX 2020

How do we prepare ourselves, and ensure we are ready to cope with an outage to our power supply? EARTH EX 2020 is a unique opportunity to test your response to a major power outage and better anticipate and prepare for such an event.  

EARTH EX uses state of the art, high quality video simulations for setting the scenario and for video injects that move the exercise forward. It is designed around a very realistic real-world threat-based scenario and builds on previous years events which tested situational awareness, communications, and the need to develop courses of action. 

For organisations, the exercise is an opportunity to pull your team together, to pull out your policies and procedures, and immerse yourself into the scenario and decide what actions you need to work on to become more prepared.


 

How to take part 

EARTH EX opens on 1 September 2020 and remains open for play until 31 October 2020. 

You can register to take part here: https://www.eiscouncil.org/EARTHEX.aspx   

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